Flash Fiction - Thanks, Mom!

Prompt: He was driving her crazy. If he didn't leave, she couldn't be responsible for her actions


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He was driving her crazy. If he didn't leave, she couldn't be responsible for her actions.

Elaine pulled a $5.00 bill out of her purse. "Go," she said, waving it at him, "just go!"

Josh grabbed the money with just a slight twinge of guilt, kissed his Mom on the cheek and ran out the back door. He had told her that he was meeting Dirk and Len at the Circle Burger, but that wasn't quite true. He didn't have plans to meet anyone, but he was hoping like heck that Jen would be there.

Jen had been his best friend ever since he could remember. She lived three doors down and they had hung out together all through grade school and junior high. She had gone away for the summer after 8th grade graduation and hadn't returned until the night before school started, so he hadn't seen her until the first day of school.  He had hardly recognized her, but the image of her waiting for him at the bus stop had been on his mind every waking minute since.

Her hair fell across her shoulders in soft curls, framing her heart-shaped face. The baby blue cashmere sweater and straight skirt she wore accentuated curves that he never remembered her having and when she saw him, her eyes lit up, all sparkly-like and her smile melted his heart.

Nope, he had not been able to get that picture out of his mind, nor did he want to.

He pulled the chrome and glass door of the Circle Burger open and stepped inside, sweeping the room with his eyes.

"Hey, Josh," said Jen waving from the booth in the back.

"Oh, hey, Jen," he said, feeling his face flush as the three girls sitting in the booth with Jen turned to stare at him.

He ran his fingers through his course red hair, shrugged his shoulders and took a seat at the counter.

Becky Jo, the waitress working the counter. stopped snapping her chewing gum long enough to ask, "Whadda ya have, kid?"

"Uh, I'll have a chocolate shake and can you make a strawberry soda and send it over to the blonde in the back booth?" he said, never taking his eyes from the salt and pepper shakers in front of him.

"Sure thing, sweetie," she said, as she resumed snapping her gum .

Ten minutes later he saw her head to the back booth with a tall strawberry soda, topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Then he heard Jen's friends giggling and felt himself go all flush again. Girls!

He didn't see Jen slip up behind him, so he jumped when he heard her say, "Thank you, Josh." She set her soda on the counter and sidled onto the stool beside him.

She chatted away as they finished their drinks, hardly giving Josh a chance to get a word in edgewise, but that was okay with him. Sitting this close to her made him even more aware of how beautiful she had become; a fact that made formulating words rather difficult.

"You want to go for a walk?" she asked.

He nodded, grinning at his good fortune.  His felt his heart speed up when Jen slipped her hand into his as they walked down the sidewalk.

That was the best $5.00 my mom ever spent! he thought.

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(Copyright© 2011 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)

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