The Trials and Tribulations of a Girl?
A Novel By Teddie S.
Copyright © 2018 Teddie S.
All Rights Reserved.
New car. A thunderstorm. A hike.
I had received a newsletter, from the Fairbrothers, that is written for the American Indian people, and it had an excellent article in it about the two spirt people, and they’d used a picture of Kai and Ajie in it.
The most significant thing that had happened to us is that Amy and I had graduated from college, and she did it as a Summa Cum Laude graduate. I love this girl and I’m so proud of her.
Well, our parents giving us a new car was another big thing that happened.
The day after commencement Amy had to take the exam so that she could be a licensed registered nurse. And I’d just picked her up after she’d finished the exam and we were on the way to a drive-in to get her something to eat. As I drove, I asked her, “So, how do you feel you did?”
“Well.”, she said. “That was probably the most comprehensive test that I’ve ever taken, as it should be. It was hard but fair. And I think I did okay.”
“So you passed it?”
“I feel that I did.”
“When will you know for sure?”
“In about six weeks.”
“Yeah. I guess that they grade it twice.”
I was driving the ‘57 Chevy, and as usual, when we pulled into the drive-in, we were looked at. Well, really it was the car that was looked at. We had a late lunch. Cheeseburgers, fries, and milkshakes. As we ate, I asked Amy, “When do you want to go to the Chevy dealer?”
“We’re only here for a few more days, so I guess soon.”
“How about after we finish eating?”
A short time later we were pulling in to the Chevy Dealer that my dad uses. And of course we had a salesman, who looked to be our age, almost run up to us, and he asked, “How can I help you?”
He looked a little crestfallen when I said, “I need to see Bill Green.”
“Oh. He’s inside. Come with me, and I’ll show you.”
We followed the salesman into the showroom and to an office. The salesman knocked, and a voice said, “Come.”
The salesman opened the door, and said, “Mr. Green, these two would like to see you.”
Mr. Green said, “What can I do for you.”
“Hi, Mr. Green.”, I said. “My dad said to stop in and see you.”
“Who’s your dad?”
“Oh! You must be Tom and Amy.”
“Your dads said that they wanted you to have a new Chevrolet as a college graduation present. Something about going to New Mexico. You two must have done well in school.”
“You could say that.”
“Would you mind if Jeff, here, shows you what we have?”
“No. Not at all. Will he get the credit and the commission for the sale.”
“Yes. He’s doing all the work.”
Jeff took us out on the sales floor and showed us what was there. And he asked, “Is there anything in the Chevy line that you like?
“Well, we do have the ‘57 Bel Air that we dove in here. And I love it.”
“You’re not trading that in. Are you?”
“No way. That car is a keeper. I also have a red ‘61 Impala, two-door, hardtop that I’ll need to get rid of.”
“Do you want to trade that in?”
“As Mr. Green said, our dads are buying us this car as a college graduation present. They probably wouldn’t be happy if I traded something in.”
“I see. So this is a cash deal?”
“I think. But Mr. Green has all the details.”
“Let's walk through the lot and see if you see anything you like and we'll take it for a ride.”
As we walked, Jeff asked, “Which do you like the best, the Bel Air or the Impala?”
“Without a doubt the Bel Air.”
We looked at a number of cars, and test drove a few cars including an Impala, a Biscayne, a Bel Air, and a Caprice. We ended up picking out a red, yes another red car, Bel Air four-door sedan with an eight-cylinder, 325 horsepower engine, automatic transmission, radio, and air conditioning. And we would be picking it up in two days.
As we were doing the paperwork for the car, Jeff said, “I just graduated from State. Where did you guys go?”
“Same place. State.”, I replied.
“Cool. So if you were at the graduation, did you see that girl get a hug from her Dean?”
“Sure did.”, I said. And I think I saw Amy blush a little.
“That was really different.”, Jeff said.
“The Dean was just happy that one of her students graduated Summa Cum Laude.”, Amy replied.
“I’m a business major. My dad wants me to take over the business.”
“I’m an engineering major, and Amy’s a nursing major.”, I said. “What business?”
“This one. My dad owns the dealership.” Then looking at Amy, he asked, “So you probably know the girl that got the hug?”
“Yes.”, I answered for Amy. “She’s the one that got the hug.
“Tommy.”, Amy said. “Please stop embarrassing me.”
“Honey, I’m just proud of you.”
“I’d be proud too if my girl made Summa Cum Laude.”
“So.”, I asked Jeff. “If your dad owns the dealership, why are you working as a salesman?”
“He wants me to learn the business from the ground up. Like he did”
“Good idea. I guess.”
“Probably. But I’m not really sure that I want this business.
On the way home, Amy said, “Honey, I know that you’re proud of me. But please stop telling people about my Summa Cum Laude.”
“I’m sorry.”, I replied. “I won’t do it again.”
“I’ll believe it when I see it. You know, not counting today we have nine days until we leave.”
“I know.”, I replied.
“I’d like to spend more time with our friends before we go.”
“I agree. So what do you want to do?”
“Let's have them over for a frybread tacos dinner tomorrow.”
“Sounds good to me.”
When we got home, Amy called Kelly to invite them over tomorrow for dinner. I went out on the porch to sit and read. A short time later, Amy joined me. She sat, looked at me, and said, “Kelly said no.”
“What!?”, I said.
Then she smiled, and said, “They want us to come over for the same thing. She was going to call us later, and I guess Maria and Mark are doing cinnamon crisps and fruit salad for dessert.”
“That’s our thing.”
“I know, but I think it’s sweet of them.”
“You’re right. It is.”
That night as Amy crossed off the day, she said, “Nine days left.”
“I know.”, I replied.
“Let's go for a walk tomorrow.”
Tuesday we slept in, and I was up before Amy. I think the stress of her licensing exam had tired her out. So I let her sleep. Mom and dad had already left for work.
I walked into the kitchen, and before turning on any lights, I looked outside, and it was raining. I thought I’d heard the rain start a little while ago. Then all of a sudden there was a bright flash and crack of thunder. And what lights that were on in the house went out. And I thought, ‘That was close.’
Within seconds Amy, completely naked, came running into the kitchen. She grabbed me and said, “Hold me!”
Who could refuse that, but she was shaking. So I said, “Easy, babe. I saw it hit a tree down the block.”
“God that scared me.”
“I can tell.”
“Let’s go and get your robe.”
As we walked to our room, there was another clap of thunder, Amy jumped and grabbed me. And I said, “Honey, do you need to talk to someone about this?”
“No.”, Amy replied. “As long as I have you to hold me I’m fine. That first clap of thunder startled me awake, I rolled over looking for you, and you weren’t there. So I jumped out of bed and came looking for you.”
“Be happy my mom and dad were gone.”
“Ah. Did you forget that you went to bed naked last night?”
“Oh, God! I did.”
Then there was another bright flash and a loud clap of thunder. Amy squeezed me even tighter, and said, “I’m sorry.”
I didn’t say anything but decided to take her mind off the storm, so I picked her up, carried her into our room, and tossed her on the bed. I looked down at her as I let my robe drop to the floor. She looked up at me and smile. I got on the bed with her and started with a foot massage, and spent the next hour taking Amy’s mind off the storm. And there were other claps of thunder, but I don’t think she noticed them.
When we were out of bed, dressed, and eating breakfast, the lights came back on. Then Amy said, “Lover, we can do that every time there’s a storm if you want to.”
“I just thought it would be a good way to get your mind off of the storm.”, I replied.
“I couldn’t think of a better way.”
“You know it’s going to rain most of the day.”
“I know. And there goes our walk in the park.”
“We can do that tomorrow.”
“We have to pick up the car tomorrow.”
“I know. We can do that after we take our hike.”
“I guess we can spend today figuring out what we’re taking to New Mexico with us.”
“We probably should.”
“And getting the ‘61 ready for dad to sell for us.”
So we started out by making a list of the things that we wanted to take, other than clothes. We know that we’d think of things to add to the list as the days past. But we had a start.
Then we cleaned out the ‘61 Chevy. We weren’t messy, and it didn’t take long to take our stuff out of it. I’ll try to wash it before we go. I also needed the get the ‘57 Chevy ready to be left alone. But, I knew my dad would drive it on a regular basis, and take care of the maintenance.
The rain finally let up at about two in the afternoon, and we walked out into the backyard. We could see a tree, down the block, that the lightning had hit, and it was splintered. Then we walked over to where the little tree was, looked at it, and I said, “We’d better not forget this.”
“We won’t.”, Amy said.
Around five we were at Kelly and Larry’s apartment sitting down to some delicious frybread tacos. I guess either we were good teachers or Kelly and Larry were good learners or both. And Maria’s and Mark’s cinnamon crisps and fruit salad dessert was delicious too.
Of course, we talked, and part of that was about commencement. Kelly said, “Amy, I can’t believe your Dean hugged you.”
“Yeah.”, Maria said. “That was a little weird.”
“It was Dean Richards way of showing how happy she was.”, Amy said. “And to tell me again that they were going to miss me.”
“It was still strange her doing it in front of all those people. Weren’t you embarrassed?”
“No. I thought it was nice.”
One thing we did learn tonight was that all four friends had jobs. Two full time and two part-time. So it would be just Amy and me hanging out together most of the time.
You’ve heard the saying, ‘April showers bring May flowers.’ Well, this year it was June showers. It rained all day Wednesday and Thursday. Not heavy rain, but just enough rain that we couldn’t do anything outside, like our hike.
Being rainy it kept us inside but helped us start getting things together that we were taking to New Mexico. We used the spare bedroom to arrange everything. None of Tammy’s clothes were going, which helped. All of Kai’s clothes were going except for grandma’s old wrap moccasins which were too fragile because of their age. And the red Bill dress wasn’t going for the same reason.
Amy wasn't taking all of her clothes, but a good selection of things, including her long skirts, fancy blouses, and I knew that we'd be buying her nurse's uniforms once we were in New Mexico and knew what they wore. She did take her nurse's cap with her.
Me? I was taking some of my guy stuff, shorts, jeans, t-shirts, button shirts. Why? As Amy would say, just in case.
We also added a few of our books to the pile. A few school books for reference, and a few of our favorite books. We had to start our library.
We picked up the new car on Wednesday and took it for a nice long ride in the rain. It was nice having a new car. But before we leave, I’m going over it with a fine tooth comb. I don’t want any problems on our fourteen hundred mile drive next week.
On Wednesday evening, we showed the car to my parents, then the four of us drove over to Amy’s mom and dad’s house. We told the four of them that we could never thank them enough for the car. And of course, we had to take them all for a ride, even though it was raining.
On Thursday morning the rain had changed to a drizzle, and it finally stopped at about two in the afternoon. That night when I crossed off the day on the calendar, I said, “Six days.”
“I know. Honey, are we doing the right thing?”, Amy asked.
I looked at her, and just said, “Yes.”
“Thank you. I need a positive force right now.”
“I know, as my mom said, it’s a big step, one of many big steps in life.”
She smiled and said “Yeah. I know. The third biggest step in my life.”
“What were the first and second?”
“The first was marrying you. And you know, I was less nervous about that then I am about going to New Mexico.”
“I guess because I had years to think about you and plan how to marry you. This move is happening in weeks.”
“It is quick. And that may be a good thing because we can’t think about it too long. And what was the second?”
“Graduating from college.”
“I thought it might have been that. And you know, if I had to rank the biggest three steps in my life they would be the same.”
After breakfast on Friday, we were able to take our walk. As we pulled the new car into the trailhead parking lot, we were the only ones there. And as we got out of the car, Amy asked, “Did you put the backpack from the ‘61 into this car?”
“Yes.”, I replied. “Why?”
“You're being bad. Aren’t you?”
“Just bring the backpack along.”
A few weeks ago Amy had taken a small backpack, put a blanket in it, and put it in the car. When she had done that, I’d asked, "Why are you doing this?"
She said, "Just in case."
"Just in case of what?"
"Just in case we get stuck in the snow."
"Ah. It's summer."
I knew she wasn’t going to tell me, so I dropped the subject. But, I think I knew why she did it.
As we walked the lake trail, Amy said, “Do you think they have any trails like this in Albuquerque?”
“Probably.”, I replied. “If not, the national forests probably do. We may have to ask or explore to find them.”
When we reached our bench we sat and watched the birds on the lake for a few minutes, then one of our friends showed up. We watched the Eagle circle overhead for a short time, then swoop in and take a fish right out of the lake. And just like the first time that Amy and I sat on this bench, she grabbed my hand and let out a little squeal, but she didn’t say anything about that poor fish like she did the first time, but she did say, “I know the Eagles have to eat.”
“And, they probably have young.”, I said. “I’m going to miss them.”
“Me too. But when we come home, we can always come back here.”
“And we will.”
“Cross my heart and hope to die.”
That got me a kiss. A really nice kiss. Then Amy whispered, “Good sir, take me for a walk in the pine forest.”
With a surprised look, I said, “And do what, M’Lady?”
“Ravish me, my good man.”
“Your wish is my command, M’Lady.”
We stood, I took Amy’s hand and led her deep into the pine forest. An hour later we found our way out of the pine forest and finished our hike.
That afternoon we washed the ‘61 Chevy, and I’m glad we wore bathing suits as a lot of the water out of the hose didn’t hit the car but hit one or the other of us. I think after all the stress of graduation and her licensing exam that Amy needed all this silliness.
Just as we finished, mom and dad came home. And as my dad got out of the car, he asked, “Did any of the water hit the car?”
“Oh, some of it.”, I replied.
“It looks like you were trying to grow more concrete by watering the existing concrete.”
“Daddy, you’re funny.”, Amy said.
“How long would it take you two to get cleaned up, so your mother and I can take you out to dinner?”
“We both need showers, daddy.”, Amy said.
“Well get busy.”
Amy and I got cleaned up as quickly as we could, and it wasn’t long until we headed to a restaurant. And I think both Amy and I knew where we were going.
Amy said, “Daddy, are we going to the same pizza place as last time?”
“Sure, honey.”, my dad replied. “Is that a problem.”
“Remember it’s Friday night in a college town. And that pizza place has the best pizza in town, and they don’t take reservations. So we’ll be standing in line again.”
“But school’s out. Isn’t it?”
“Today is the last day. A lot of kids have gone home already, some that haven’t will come here.”
“Want to go someplace else?”
“No, dad.”, I said. “We’ll stand in line if you will.”
An hour after we arrived at the restaurant we were seated for what I will say is the best pizza in town. Hmm, I wonder if they have good pizza places in Albuquerque?
As we have for the past few days, as we were going to bed one of us crossed off the day. Tonight was Amy's turn, and as she crossed off Friday, she said, “Five and counting.”
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