#17

Miss Calloway sat at her desk taking generous bites of the ham sandwich she had packed for lunch  that day. It was Friday, and she had gone the entire week without saying much more than cordial greetings to Mr. Temple. She and Miss Bristol had actually spent more time together than she had planned, and she hated herself for not hating it. Bonnie Bristol could be smug and arrogant, but both fresh-faced educators did well with the children they worked with on a daily basis. Of course, Miss Bristol’s tight blouses and perfect hair attracted boys and girls alike, albeit for different reasons.

Miss Calloway took another healthy bite of her sandwich when she realized that she and Mr. Temple would be chaperoning the homecoming dance that evening–along with Miss Bristol. The thought infuriated her, so much that she couldn’t breathe. Actually, it was the ham sandwich caught in her throat.

“Kelly? Kelly! Are you okay? Oh my God!” shouted Mr. Temple as he rushed to Miss Calloway’s aid. He wrapped his arms around Miss Calloway’s midsection and began pumping as hard as he could. Miss Calloway wanted to die.

“Kelly? Oh my God, Kelly!” shouted Miss Bristol as she ran toward the choking woman.

Miss Calloway could feel her face turning blue, but the sandwich finally dislodged itself–and found its way down Miss Bristol’s low-cut blouse. She sank to the floor, blue from the lack of oxygen and red from embarrassment. It wasn’t how she pictured the day Mr. Temple would finally hold her in his arms. She certainly didn’t picture Miss Bristol being there to witness it, or for her lunch to stuck between Bonnie’s bountiful bosoms.

“I’ll call the nurse,” Miss Bristol said, removing the sandwich from her cleavage. “And I’ll grab you another sandwich from the cafeteria.”

Mr. Temple laughed. “I guess this means I’ll at least make it to first tonight.”

***

Olivia stood in front of her bedroom mirror admiring the dress she had picked out. While she had given her mother a hard time, she had to admit that the woman had good taste. It was white and just poofy enough, and she felt like she belonged in a black and white movie with the Boy Next Door. Tom Gibson wasn’t exactly perfect, but he at least fit the image. She fixed her hair and went downstairs to answer the door.

To her surprise, Tom had combed his wavy blond hair into a side part, and he wore a black jacket and pants with a white shirt. Olivia felt herself blush. She secretly adored the way their photos were going to look.

“Am I early?” Tom asked?

“No, no right on time,” Olivia said. “Come in. My mom’s got dinner all set.”

Olivia led Tom into the dining room and commenced with awkward introductions. Her father surveyed Tom up and down, asked him about his intentions, and all the other wonderfully embarrassing things that fathers do. Tom sat down as Annette and Olivia went into the kitchen. Redmond towered over Tom as he leaned toward his ear.

“If you so much as even think about taking off her shoes, I’ll make sure you end up in a ditch missing two-thirds of your teeth,” Redmond whispered.

“Lasagna’s ready!” Annette chirped, setting down the pan in front of Tom. “I heard this was your favorite, Tom. I hope you have a good appetite! I know how much football players love to eat. My brother used to always…”

Olivia and Tom were only half listening. Olivia smiled at him, and he smiled back. They were speaking without words. How romantic! Olivia thought, spooning sauce over her pasta. Tonight. It’s going to be tonight.

END

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