tagNovels and NovellasMy Summer Vacation Ch. 01

My Summer Vacation Ch. 01

bybardsy©

I could feel her staring at me. She sat at the end of my driveway watching me untangle the jumbled mess of my fishing poles as I stood in my garage. She was cute as a button. Blonde hair in pigtails, sitting on her barbie doll bike with the training wheels keeping her upright. Her name is Elsie and I think she is four years old. But it was the first week of summer vacation and I have every intention of getting some fishing done.

My name is Jason Ramsey. I'm twenty-seven years old, a college graduate and the 8th grade teacher at the parochial school that I'm an alumni of. I'm also the girls' basketball coach, not that I know anything about basketball. I moved back home with mom and dad early this year when my nasty divorce wiped me out financially. Thankfully, I have no children. Elsie is the daughter of my childhood friend Andrea, who just moved back home last month with her mom and dad after her husband supposedly beat her up. Andrea and I have not really spoken to each other since high school, when we kind of went our separate ways. She is two years younger than I am. We live on a dead end street, and when we were Elsie's age, this neighborhood had plenty of kids to play with. Now, it's an old folks' neighborhood. All of us grew up and are or were trying to start families of our own elsewhere.

Elsie still watched me from the street, occasionally making a little circle on her bike only to stop in the same place and watch me again. Andrea moved to the big city after high school and got married. I never met her husband. Hearing the training wheels make their little circle again, I smiled to myself. I was taken back to a time when I was playing cops and robbers with my buddy Troy. We were both 5.

-----

Andrea sat on her bike in the street and watched us play. I was Jon, he was Ponch. Andrea's blonde hair was in pigtails, her training wheels keeping her bike upright. After a day of watching us, Troy-- I mean Ponch, decided she could be the robber and we'd chase after her on our bikes-- I mean motorcycles.

------

Okay, so maybe I took a little longer to untangle my fishing poles. It was kind of cute having her watch me, and me taking a trip down memory lane. That act of allowing Andrea to play with us opened up the whole neighborhood of kids playing together. Some days we played cops and robbers, some days it was baseball or football, and some days it was house. Andrea was always my play wife. And then we grew up. And then we moved away. And then two of us moved back, and there was only Elsie, the only kid in the neighborhood.

"Hey Elsie." I shouted to her as she made another circle. "Can you come here a minute? I need some help." As I held up my untangled --- I mean tangled fishing poles. Elsie stopped in her tracks and looked at me wide eyed. Then, as fast as her little legs could pedal, she high-tailed it back to her house. I shook my head and chuckled to myself almost certain I scared her away for the summer. Within five minutes, I heard the training wheels again. This time, they stopped at the end of her driveway as I took my fishing poles and tackle box to my car.

"Hey Mister." Elsie shouted. "How do you know my name?"

"Well Elsie..." I replied. ..."I know your mother. Her and I used to be good friends."

"Momma says I shouldn't talk to strangers." Elsie stated.

"That's good advice Elsie. You should always listen to your mother." I replied. "My name is Mr. Ramsey. Your mother calls me Jason."

"Where are you going Mr. Ramsey?" Elsie inquired.

"Fishing." I replied.

"Okay."Elsie shouted and waved. "Bye Mr. Ramsey."

I got in my car and went fishing. While drowning some worms, I thought about all those times during the summer when all of us kids got together and played. I felt bad for Elsie not having anyone to play with, but why am I so enamored with that little cutie pie right now? Maybe it's because I once considered her mom, Andrea, as the one who got away. We were best friends, planning on doing all sorts of things when I turned sixteen and got my driver's license. Those were big plans that never came to fruition. By the time Andrea got to high school, I was way too cool to be hanging out with a freshman. Four years later at her graduation party when she was 18 and I was 20, home from college, we drunkenly made out on the couch in her parents basement. I got my hand up her shirt and she got her hand down my pants. She got me off in my underwear but wouldn't let me go any further. Macho as I was, I ended up passing out and haven't spoken to her since. My fishing day ended up just being a day to drown worms, and I packed up my stuff and went home. I didn't see Elsie the rest of the day.

The next morning I was in the garage getting ready to cut the grass. I had the lawn mower fueled up and was checking the oil when I heard the training wheels stop at the end of the driveway. I looked up, smiled and gave Elsie a wave.

"Good Morning Mr. Ramsey" Elsie shouted. "Are you going fishing today?"

"Good Morning Elsie." I shouted back. "Not today. I have to cut the grass and change oil in my car." Elsie looked at me as if she was about to cry. Then, as fast as her little legs could pedal, she rushed back to her house and left me wondering what I said wrong. As I cut the lawn, I spotted Elsie again on her bike, but she wouldn't venture out into the street. She rode up and down her driveway and didn't pay any attention to what I was doing. When I got done, so did she and she went back into the house. I began to change the oil in my car and I heard the tell-tale signs of the training wheels on the pavement crossing the street. I peered out from underneath the car and saw her bike stop at the end of my driveway.

"Hey Elsie." I shouted. "Is that you?"

"Yes Mr. Ramsey." Elsie replied.

"Can you help me for a second?" I asked. Elsie hesitated for a brief moment then got off her bike and came over to where I was laying underneath the car. She squatted down and looked at me.

"What do you need help with Mr. Ramsey?" Elsie sweetly asked.

"Will you hold this so I don't lose it?" I asked her as I wiped the drain plug clean so she wouldn't get her hands dirty.

"Sure Mr. Ramsey." Elsie replied. "I can do that."

"Thanks." I said as I put the clean drain plug in her hand. I went to the task of changing the oil answering the childlike questions she asked about what I was doing and why. When I took the plug out of her hands she wiped her hands on her pants asking me why I needed the screw. After I was finished I asked her how much I owed her for her help.

"I don't know Mr. Ramsey." Elsie said. "My momma said if you ask me to help you go fishing I could but not about anything else."

I laughed. "Oh is that why you ran away from me before?"

"Yeah." Elsie said. "But momma told me when I went back in the house that it's okay for me to help you if you ask me to."

"Well how about this Elsie. We have to make sure the oil is circulated so why don't you go ask your mom if I can take you for an ice cream cone since you helped me change the oil."

"Make sure the oil is cir...cir.." she struggled to say. "Can I just say I helped you and you're going to take me for ice cream?"

"Sure Elsie. That will be fine." I laughed.

"Okay Mr. Ramsey. " Elsie ran back to her bike and got on it. "Don't go anywhere. Wait for me."

A few minutes later I heard the training wheels again and looked out from the garage to see Elsie anxiously trying to pedal her bike faster as Andrea walked beside her with Elsie's car seat. This is the first time I have actually seen Andrea since she came home. She was still good looking, a little heavier than I remember but wore her extra weight well. Her blonde hair was blowing freely in the wind curled down the sides of her face, legs that started from a pair of jean shorts with the cuffs turned up and ended in a pair of basic flip-flops. She had pink polish on her toenails, pink and white french manicured fingernails, and breasts that jutted from her chest in a modest t-shirt revealing no cleavage or midriff. She looked right at me through her Paris Hilton sunglasses. At least I think she was. She reminded me of the actress Kirsten Dunst with an extra 75 pounds.

"Hello Jason." Andrea said as she approached me. "It sure has been a long time hasn't it." I looked her up and down lingering on her toes for a second longer than I should have. "Here Elsie" she said as she handed the car seat to her. "You know how to buckle it in." She turned back to me. "School teacher need to be taught some manners? I said hello." she chuckled.

"Hello Andrea." I chuckled a little back. "Yes it has been a long time. Good to see you again. You're looking very good."

"Thanks." Andrea smiled. "You haven't done too bad for yourself either. Although I could lose a couple pounds."

"Really Andrea, you look good. Care to join my little helper and I for an ice cream?" I asked.

"No thanks." Andrea replied. "Nice to see you again, Jason. Walk her home when you get back please?" Andrea gave Elsie a kiss on her hair. "Be good Elsie."

"Bye mom." Elsie said as I watched those legs and feet walk away from me. They stopped for a brief second as Andrea bent down to pick up Elsie's bike. I looked up to see Andrea looking at me over the top of her sunglasses and she gave me a smirk and a flirty wave.

"Bye Jason." Andrea said as she pushed up her sunglasses and walked back across the street.

As promised, Elsie had her ice cream for helping me, and had to tell me all about Grover and Elmo while doing it. As promised, I walked her home carrying her car seat for her. Elsie gave me a big thank you and a little hug before taking her car seat into the house. I didn't see her or Andrea for the rest of the day.

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