Kiss Me GoodbyebyKirk482002©
This is a repost and rewrite of a story that I pulled a year ago for publication. Though the story itself is fiction, the two girls are very real from my past... Kirk
We choose it, win or lose it; Love is never quite the same...
It was mid December 1973 and Lisa was just finishing her chorus class. She transferred into Washington High around Thanksgiving holiday after she and her Mother moved from Ohio. She and her new friend Denise were hurrying back to their lockers as chorus was the last class of the day and they were looking forward to getting out and going home. The holiday season was upon them and the girls were excited about going to the mall that evening. As they headed out of the music wing of the school, they heard the band playing. It sounded much better than it had just a few days before. In fact, it didn't even sound like the same band. They both stopped in their tracks and peeked through the windows in the doors. In the month she had been there she'd met most of the band members but Lisa saw several faces she hadn't seen before. Even though the class was over, the band was still playing away. When the song was over, the girls entered the room as the musicians put away their instruments to hurry to their buses, while the new faces started another song on their own.
"Have you seen any of these people before?" Lisa asked Denise, waving her hand around the room.
"Yeah, I know most of them. They graduated last year. They come back now and then when the director asks them, to tutor the younger players. When they graduated last year, most of our good players went with them. What's left is a band that sucks."
Lisa looked the grads over and thought a few of them were really cute. As she walked around the back of the room, she tripped on a snare drum and fell, spilling her books all over the place. One book hit a blonde haired trombone player in the head. He was in the middle of a nice solo when he almost swallowed his mouthpiece.
"Yo!" he bellowed, checking his lips and then the back of his head for blood.
Lisa was busy picking up her books when she came face to face with her assault victim. He was still rubbing the back of his head as she smiled a silly little smile at him and said,
"I'm so sorry. I can be such a klutz. I'm really, really sorry!"
The trombone player shook his head, got up and started to put his horn away. Lisa tried to hold his case for him, but dropped it on the floor. Mr. Trombone just stared at her.
"I'm leaving! I'm leaving!" she said, as she and Denise made a quick exit from the room.
"Who the hell was that?" Mr. Trombone asked a clarinet player.
"Somebody new. The other girl was Denise. I think they're both in chorus."
"Hum..." said Trombone man. He finished straightening up and headed to his car.
* * *
It was a very sunny and breezy December afternoon as he approached the door of his '64 Malibu when he saw Denise and the other girl running up to him, shouting and waving their arms. He was suddenly reminded of the pain in the back of his head.
"The buses left! The buses left!" they both hollered over and over, as he put his trombone in the trunk. They finally reached him by the car, skidding to halt. "Hi!" they said in unison.
"The buses left, huh?" he said, opening his door.
"Yes," they both said, with their hair fluttering in the wind.
"Do you need a ride?" he asked.
"Yes!" both replied, as a gust blew their hair all over their faces.
"Hum..." He unlocked all the doors for them and they jumped in the back. Starting the car, he turned to look at them over his shoulder and said, "You know if you weren't checking out strangers, you wouldn't be in this spot."
"You're not a stranger," said Lisa. "You're the guy I hit on the back of the head with a book."
"Hum...Where am I taking you?" he asked.
They told him.
"Okay. I'm Jack, by the way."
"I'm Denise!" she said, bouncing up and down in the seat.
"I'm Lisa," his assailant said quite calmly.
"My friend says that you're new here. Is that true?" asked Jack.
"Yeah, my Mom's a nurse. The hospital in Ohio she worked at closed down and the remaining hospitals in the area weren't hiring. My Dad died last year and she needed a job, so she looked out of town for a position. My sister moved out here years ago and told my mom about some openings out this way. She got a job and we moved here. At least I get to see my sister and her kid more often," Lisa explained.
"Sorry about your Dad," Jack said looking in his rear view mirror, not knowing what else to say.
Lisa shook her head, "Don't worry about it. He didn't suffer. Forget I said anything."
He decided to change the subject. "So, what does your sister do out here?"
"She teaches kindergarten. Her husband teaches high school math. They just became grandparents too."
'What?' Jack thought to himself and looked at her in the rear view mirror.
"Yep, I'm a great aunt, can you believe that?"
The back of his head was hurting again. "I'm not sure I'm following this."
"My sister is forty four years old. Her daughter, my niece, just had a baby girl. That makes my mom a great grandmother and me a great aunt. Neat, huh?" smiled Lisa.
Jack shook his head slightly, not sure he understood all this.
Lisa leaned forward and whispered in his ear. "I'm a 'Whoops' kid."
Jack knew what that meant. He had a friend that graduated with him last year who was the youngest of his siblings. When he talked to him last week, he told him his fifty-year-old mother was having another baby. The word 'Whoops' came up a few times in the conversation.
Jack nodded and directed his attention the other way. "What's your story?" he asked, looking at Denise in the rear view mirror.
"I don't know," Denise answered, while giggling and bouncing up and down.
'Oh, brother' Jack thought to himself.
He reached their houses and let them out.
"Nice meeting you", both the girls said, as they waved and he drove away.
"He was really nice!" chirped Denise.
"Yeah, he was kind of cute too. Look, I got his name and phone number!" said Lisa.
"How did you do that?"
"It was on his trombone case," she answered, all proud of herself.
"Call me," said Denise, as she headed across the street to her house. Lisa put the note in her pocket. She liked Jack, but there seemed to be some kind of dark cloud hanging over him. She might have need of it sometime.
* * *
That sometime was about 6:30 that evening. Jack was finishing the dinner his Mom made for him and his Father. His Mom was a part time secretary for a real estate agency and his Dad worked for the steel mill. Both were hard workers and after 30 years of marriage, still enjoyed each other's company and loved doing things together. The phone rang and Jack's Mom answered it.
"It's for you," she said, reaching it out to Jack. "It's a girl," she said, giggling to his Dad.
"Hello," said Jack.
"Hi! Jack, this is Lisa."
The back of Jack's head started to hurt again. "Yes?"
"I want to know if you'll do me a favor," she asked.
"Well, what is it?"
"Tell me if you'll do it first," she said.
Jack put his hand over the receiver. "Hey, some girl I met today wants to know if I'll do her a favor without telling me what it is."
His Dad made a slam-dunk motion with his hand indicating he should hang up. His Mom gave him thumbs up indicating he should do it.
"Okay, I'll bite. What do you want me to do?" he asked as his Dad groaned across the room.
"I need you to take me to the mall so I can buy gifts before the holiday hits. It's seven days away and I'm empty handed," she replied. "Please, Jack. I'll give you gas money."
"Okay, be ready by 7:00. We're going to have to park on the far side of the mall this close to the holiday, so wear something warm for the walk."
"Thanks, Jack. I knew you were a great guy," she said, as she hung up.
"So, what was that about?" asked Mom.
"She wants me to take her to the mall."
"I would have hung up," said Dad.
"Yes, dear, we know what you would have done," said Mom, as she gave him a peck on the forehead.
Jack's Mom was glad to see him going out. Since he had broken up with Holly earlier that year, all he did was work or go to college. She knew that they had become serious, but she hadn't really found out what ended the relationship. It had been ongoing for almost 3 years when suddenly, without any warning of trouble, he came home in a major huff and never spoke her name again. Jack's Father wanted the best for his boy. He too could tell that Holly had seriously hurt his son. He felt it was a shame, because they seemed so good for each other. He liked Holly too. If it wasn't meant to be then that's it. Life moves on. Right now he had serious doubts that Jack should get in another relationship. He definitely did not approve of girls calling guys houses looking for a date. Still, his son needed something to get himself back in the flow and maybe this would help.
* * *
Lisa was seated at her make-up table in her room. On it sat an arsenal of cosmetic paraphernalia and supplies. She always wanted to look her best when she went out. Tonight would be no exception. She was through tweezing her eyebrows and was now applying several layers of foundation.
She couldn't believe that her Mother was forced to work a double shift this close to Christmas. This was the only time before the Day itself that she was on the day shift. Denise's Mother wasn't home and none of her friends drove. Lisa was proud of herself that she thought of writing down Jack's number right away. Normally, she wouldn't have asked him, but she was out of options, besides, he seemed okay and he was cute.
She finished applying mascara on her baby blues and chose a flaming red lipstick. Lisa had pale skin and pouty lips and the red set off her entire face. When she was done, she pulled out her brush and tried to tame her long, light brown, wavy hair. She gave up and tied it high on her head with a ribbon as red as her lipstick. She made one final check on her appearance and headed to the living room. It was 6:55. She picked up the phone to call Denise to see if she was ready. As the phone started to ring, there was a knock on the door. Lisa answered it with the phone still on her ear. Denise was standing there making goofy faces. Lisa hung up, put on her maxi coat and went outside.
"I can't believe Jack is taking us!" cheered Denise, hopping up and down.
"How much coffee did you drink today?" asked Lisa.
"None," replied Denise.
"Could have fooled me," muttered Lisa.
* * *
This was actually one of the last things Jack wanted to do tonight. He wasn't comfortable with the girls in his car earlier and he was now even less comfortable about picking up this Lisa again. He knew he wasn't ready for any contact with girls while the hurt was still there. He had no intention of being hurt like that again.
He was on the girl's street, slowly making his way down while on the lookout for the house that he had seen earlier. He caught sight of two girls standing at the bottom of a driveway. Well, one of them was standing and the other was jumping up and down. The back of his head started to hurt as he pulled up to them. Denise opened the front passenger's door and jumped in. Lisa got in the back.
"Hi!" said Denise as she jumped up and down in her seat.
Jack turned to look at Lisa in the back. She waved to him.
"Sorry. I forgot to tell you that Denise needed a ride too."
Without saying a word, Jack threw it in gear and pulled away. As he drove, every time he needed to use the rearview mirror, he noticed that Lisa was looking at him. He became a bit self-conscious. He was glad when they finally reached the mall and found a parking spot. The spot itself was a long way from the actual mall, but at least they were in the lot. The temperature had dropped dramatically that evening and the wind was no longer just a nuisance as it was now impossible to ignore. They hurried as quickly as they could to get to the entrance.
Inside the mall, they found themselves among thousands of holiday shoppers.
Trying to decide where to go was fruitless. You had to go with the flow of humanity as it hurried up and down the hallway. If you were lucky, you could duck into a store that you wanted to shop, if not, you had to wait until the next trip around. They managed to enter a women's clothing shop. The girls milled around a bit. Jack found himself looking at sweaters for his Mother and found one he thought she would like. They'd been in the mall for a while now and Jack found himself getting warm. He took off his heavy coat and decided to look for the girls. He found Denise and noticed several pieces of clothing in a basket. Some looked expensive. He hoped she wasn't thinking of stealing them. He looked for Lisa.
As he turned the corner around two rows of dresses, he bumped right into her. Lisa had also taken her coat off and had it draped over an arm. In the collision, it fell to the floor. She just looked at him.
Jack's mouth opened slightly and he gasped as he got his first real look at her.
Her face was pale except where the wind had turned her cheeks red. Her eyes were the bluest he'd ever seen and her mouth was small with bright red painted puffy lips. The top of her head came up to his eyebrows and he could smell the scent of her shampoo.
Lisa wasn't heavy, but was no lightweight either. Her upper arms were a bit chunky and overall she looked like she still had her baby fat. On her it looked good.
She was wearing very high heeled boots covered by bell bottomed jeans that appeared that she had poured herself into. She also wore a horizontally striped knit shirt that stretched around the largest gravity defying pair of breasts he had ever seen.
He immediately blushed. Having blonde hair and fair skin, he knew he probably looked like Rudolph's nose.
"Whoops, sorry," she said, noticing the red in his face. As she reached down to pick up her coat, Jack turned away to keep from embarrassing himself any further, willing the blush from his face.
Lisa thought it was kind of funny that he reacted like that. She knew she looked good, yet he acted like he wanted to get away from her. She wanted him to look more. "Jack! Could you hold my coat for me?" she asked, nicely.
Jack stopped in his tracks. He turned and held his hand out. She draped her coat slowly over his arm, allowing him a long close-up look at her. His faced turned even a brighter shade of red.
'I guess that got his attention' she thought and then noticed he was sweating. She reached up with a perfectly manicured hand and pushed the hair off his forehead that was beginning to stick from the sweat.
Jack was ready to have a fit. No girl had touched him since Holly half a year ago. He found himself backing away from her. "Is there something wrong?" she asked, batting those baby blues at him.
"Of course not," Jack said, as he turned to continue to shop.
'This guy won't even let me come on to him. I think I've found a challenge,' she thought.
The rest of the shopping trip consisted of a few more stops. Jack was relieved to find that Denise had a wad of cash that her Mother had given her. They finished their shopping by 10:30 and were on their way back to the car. About three quarters of the way Lisa faked coming up lame and asked Jack to help her to the car. He put his arm around her waist and held her tightly for support. When they reached the car, she hopped on one foot as Jack opened the doors for them. Denise got in the back this time, and Lisa sat next to him in the front. On the ride home, Lisa thanked him several times for the ride, and wanted to know if he still wanted money for gas. He refused to accept it.
When they arrived on the girl's street, Lisa noticed that her Mother wasn't home yet. "Could you help me to the door, Jack?" she asked.
He said nothing. He got out of the car and went around to her door. He opened it and helped her out. Denise was already on her way to her house. She was waving and thanking Jack as she went. He put his arm around Lisa's waist and helped her to the door. When he got her there, she pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket and handed it to him. She kissed him on the cheek and said, "Call Me." She unlocked the door and went in. She blew a kiss to him and closed the door. He walked back to the car. After starting it, he turned the dome light on and looked at the note.
'Thank you, my Knight in Shining Armor! 555-9869. Call me anytime! Lisa.' He stuck the note in his pocket and drove home.
* * *
Lisa was lying in bed replaying the events of the day in her head.
She couldn't believe her incredible luck at meeting this great guy. He was good looking and a gentleman too. He was nothing like her last boyfriend out in Ohio. Lee was a first class jerk. All he ever wanted to do was grope her, even in public. He spent the rest of the time insulting her in front of her friends. She was glad that she made new friends here. But most especially she was thrilled that she'd met Jack. She started working on a plan to capture this guy's attention.
In her mind, he was a real keeper.
* * *
It just so happened, that Jack was lying in bed reflecting on his day as well.
He was still trying to get over the gorgeous face and incredible body on this 17-year-old-girl. He knew she hadn't hurt her foot, but he went along with it. She was definitely coming on to him; he just wasn't ready for that kind of thing. His thoughts turned to Holly. He hadn't thought of her in the last few days or so, but this evening's events brought her memory clearly back in focus.
He had loved Holly. There was never any doubt in his mind from the moment he met her in ninth grade. She was a petite brunette with a wonderful smile and big brown eyes. They hit it off right away. They went to the school dances together and she played the flute in the band. In tenth grade, he had given Holly an opal ring. It set him back half a year's allowance. They were known as 'Jack and Holly". Not Jack or Holly. 'Jack and Holly.' He could remember vividly the first time he held her hand. She had just cracked a particularly bad joke and several friends were booing her. She started waving her hand in the air to dismiss them and he just reached out and grabbed it. She squeezed his hand in return and refused to let it go. They stayed that way for over an hour before they had to take separate buses home.
He could remember the first time he kissed her. Not a simple peck on the cheek, but a real kiss. It was the first for both of them. They were alone in the back yard of her parent's house, seated at a picnic table. He had come over after school and they stayed out back so if someone came home, they wouldn't get in trouble for being inside alone. It was his turn to tell a bad joke. Holly moaned and rolled her eyes. Then she closed her eyes and leaned across the table and placed her lips against his. The kiss was wet and warm. That moment made him realize that she had stolen his heart and it was a wonderful feeling. He was 16 and in love with the most fantastic girl he had ever met! By their senior year, he and Holly had become very serious. She even talked about getting married after graduation and before college. He knew that it was an unrealistic thing to discuss, but they were deeply on love. At a point close to graduation, they were alone in his house and she asked him to make love to her. He declined, knowing what happened to some friends of theirs that had done just that. Most of them were never the same and broke up. She assured him that everything would be fine. Jack just wasn't ready.
That was the beginning of the end.
He knew this Lisa was going to make her presence known sometime in the future. Either that or he fully misread her tonight. He couldn't let her get under his skin.