Bea falls asleep quickly as I spoon her. I lie there for a few minutes enjoying the scent of her hair, the taste of her neck, and warmth of her skin. Then I slide away without disturbing her and return downstairs to spend some time with my family.
“You’ve outdone yourself. Bea’s delightful.”
“I know, Mom. I’m fortunate. What’s this?” I ask as I sit at the table. There’s a ring box, which I pick up and examine.
“Open it,” Mom directs me.
Inside is my mother’s engagement ring.
“Mom, I can’t …”
“Hush. Your father worked hard to afford that ring, and it meant so much to me that he would choose to give it to me. He would have wanted you to have it and make someone feel special again.”
I welled up at the table, glad that Bea didn’t catch me. I miss my father, and I’m honored.
“OK, thank you.” I give her a big hug and my brother slaps my shoulder. “Look, let’s keep this a secret for now.”
“You do the right thing and plan a nice surprise for her out west. And, don’t be afraid to get your knee dirty.”
“I know, Mom.”
“Have someone take pictures and post them on Facebook, so you can annoy the rest of the family,” Neal teases. He knows how much I can’t stand those inane status updates.
We chat for a while and Bea finally joins us. She’s wearing sweats, which is odd, but I’ve learned to expect strangeness from her. The four of us feast as my mother keeps refilling plates. What should I do with the ring? Does she even want to marry me or is this just a game? I try to avoid thinking about the ring box in my pocket.
“So, what do you two have planned for this evening?”
“I thought it would be fun if Mormon gave me a little tour of your town.”
“Perfect. Take my car,” Neal offers, “No racing, and get her home by midnight or you’re grounded.”
We cruise around town as I point out the places my buddies and I used to hang out. We pass an old drive-in theater that has been closed for decades, a local fast food franchise known for its awesome bratwurst, and arrive at the high school football field.
“Ooh, let’s go in.”
“Sure, why not?”
Hand-in-hand, we walk the track around the outside of the abandoned football field. It brings back memories. I was never talented enough to play, but always enjoyed supporting my school. Bea leads me to the old wooden bleachers behind the home end zone.
“Sit there. I have a surprise,” Bea teases.
She pulls off her top and peels down her sweats to reveal a cheerleader outfit in my high school’s colors.
“Tell me you never fantasized about having sex with a cheerleader.”
“I’d be lying. Are you going to do a cheer for me?”
“I was hoping for something a little more intimate,” she said as she approached and straddled me while unbuttoning my jeans. Oh, dear God, she’s not wearing panties, either. Sex in the high school bleachers. This is so wrong!
We make love quietly while peeking around to make sure the coast is clear. Suddenly I feel a sharp prick.
“I think I just got a splinter.”
“Ha, ha, ha! Let me see.”
“No! God damn it.”
“Don’t start swearing or you’ll get me all worked up and more splinters.”
I don’t know how much more intimate it can be than limping home to have a lover tweeze a splinter from your ass cheek and apply peroxide and Neosporin to the wound. Sexy, huh?