We were starting to wonder about the weather, it looked as if it might rain, not the best conditions for kite flying. I rolled down the window a bit to see how cold it was outside, it was then that I noticed the guy in the car next to us.
“Look at him,” I said to Paula.
She leaned over and looked out my side of the car. “Not bad.”
I smiled at him and he smiled back, he had a cute smile. We played this little game for a while, smiling at each other and waving. Then I started to feel dumb, it was like when I was little and on a trip with my family and my brothers and I would wave at the car behind us until they got tired of us and changed lanes.
That’s just what this guy did, except he dropped back and into our lane right behind Paula.
“I think he’s following us,” Paula said as she glanced at the rear view mirror. “No, wait. He’s going back on your side again.”
“This is embarrassing. I feel like an idiot just smiling at this guy.”
“Well, he’s right beside you now,” Paula said. “You started it. You have to keep doing it or else we might lose him.”
I looked over again, and this time he held up a piece of paper with something written on it.”
“He wants to know where we’re going,” I told Paula. “He’s holding up a sign.”
“So tell him!”
“To the beach,” I mouthed through the window.
Then he turned the paper over. On the other side, it said follow me to my boat at the marina.
“He’s got a boat!”
“He wants us to follow him to his boat at the marina,” I said.
“You want to?”
“Why not? He’s cute and he has a boat. What more could we want?”
I nodded to him and he pulled in front of us so that we could follow him.
“Watch him turn out to be a murderer or something,” Paula said as we followed him off the freeway.
“Yeah, psycho-killer rapes and murders dumb girls who followed him to his boat.”
“Even if he is,” Paula said. “There’s two of us. One can go for help while the other gets raped and killed.”
“What are we gonna do, flip a coin? Heads you live, tails you’re brutally murdered?”
“Sounds good to me!” Paula laughed.
We pulled into the marina parking lot, found a parking space near his and got out of the car. He walked over to us, he was wearing shorts and tennis shoes and had a fairly nice body. His hair was sandy blonde and curly, and he was kind of short. But since neither Paula nor I topped 5’3” we didn’t mind.
“Hi,” he said. “I’m John.”
“Hi, I’m Alex.”
“My boat’s down this way,” he said and started walking toward the docks. “I’m not usually in the habit of inviting people on the freeway to my boat.”
“And we don’t usually follow guys on the freeway,” Paula said.
We walked a little further until we got to his boat and helped him take the canvasses off. It wasn’t very big, just a day cruiser, but it was nice.
“This is yours,” I asked once we were on board.
“A friend and I went in on it.”
“Must be nice,” Paula said.
It’s great having the boat,” he said. “But I’m not too crazy about the payments.”
John gave us a grand tour, which took all of a minute since he just had to open the door and point to the inside of the boat.
“That’s the galley and the v-berth,” he said.
“Yeah, the berth is where you sleep. It’s called a v-berth because it at the front so it’s shaped like a V.”
We sat on some beach chairs that he took from a hatch on the deck and gave us each a beer from his cooler.
“So, do you two go to Long Beach State?” he asked.
I laughed, “No.”
“Where do you got?”
“Carver,” I said.
“Is that a private college?”
“Not exactly,” Paula said. “It’s more of a public high school.”
He looked at us for a minute as if we didn’t believe us.
“You’re in high school?”
“For a little while at least,” I told him.
“So you’re seniors?”
“Yeah,” Paula said.
He smiled. “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how old are you?”
“We’re both eighteen,” I said.
A look of relief spread across his face. Eighteen years old, over the age of consent, no longer jail bait. It wasn’t hard to figure out what this guy was after.
We talked for a while longer and then a light rain started to fall. Paula and I decided it was time to leave, and John had to put the canvasses back on the boat.
Before we left, he invited us to him house for dinner/
“You want to make dinner for both of us?” Paula asked.
“Well, my friend Tony and I were gonna do something tonight, and I figure this could be a lot more fun.”
“Who’s Tony?” I asked.
“The guy who I bought the boat with.”
Paula and I looked at each other.
“He’s got dark hair and a mustache. He’s taller than I am. He’s pretty good looking. You’ll probably think he’s very good-looking, but I’m a guy so I’m not supposed to notice things like that.”
“Sounds like fun to me,” I said.
“Me too,” Paula agreed.
John gave us his address and told us what time to be there.
As we drove home, Paula and I discussed the evening ahead, what we would wear and who got which guy.
“I want John,” I said.
“Why do you get him?”
“Because his friend might turn out to be a loser.”
“That’s not fair,” she protested.
“Finders keepers …”
“You didn’t find him.”
“I saw him first,” I said.
“So? I was driving. If you hadn’t been in my car you never would have seen him.”
“Yeah, but if I wasn’t with you, you never would have followed him.
“I don’t want to get stuck with the loser.”
“Okay,” I said. “If Tony is as nice as John, then I get John and you get Tony. If Tony is a geek, we’ll go in the bathroom and flip a coin for John. And if they both turn out to be weirdos, we’ll give them phony last names and numbers and cut out early.”
Paula thought about it for a minute, agreed it was a good plan and put out her hand to shake on it.