Tag Archives: love

Ghost Boy Blues 11

To say the kiss is a surprise would be the understatement of the century. My first instinct is to struggle and wrest myself from the forced embrace, but the host body wants this too much. I feel his excitement course through the body, affecting it in areas I myself wish it wouldn’t . But I have no control over this. The emotions are too strong and overwhelming that I am nothing more than an observer forced to experience the moment.

To my recollection, I’ve never had a problem with anyone’s lifestyle choices. I know some students who are LGBT and I see nothing wrong with the fact that they feel differently than me when it comes to attraction. But this kiss, it throws me for a loop. It is so unexpected that I never saw it coming. I had no idea either one of these guys might be gay or bi. In fact, I think no one has such ideas. They are keeping it a secret. I say this because the kiss itself is desperate and starved, as if they have both been waiting for this chance for a very long time.

I realize then I could ruin them. Expose their secret. The head of the class, maybe the future valedictorian, and the star football player in a romantic relationship. In this day and age in most places and towns it may not be a big deal, but here it would be scandalous and make outcasts of them both. It gives me a sense of power knowing I alone hold their secret. But I can’t reveal it. It would be wrong and cruel. There is nothing wrong with their relationship as far as I can see. The kiss itself tells me they are in love. I had jumped into this body in order to try to gain someone’s attention and perhaps love. To expose them would be like stabbing my own self in the heart.

The kiss and it’s embrace only lasts a few minutes, but the emotion is so overwhelming I feel like they have been making out for hours. I even feel flushed with excitement myself. I’ve always liked girls. Never thought of myself as even having the slightest desire to want a boy. But this kiss washes over me and I almost don’t want it to stop. I know it isn’t my body. I am just sharing it with someone. I’m a stowaway, a non breathing observer. And yet I feel something, and it scares me.

I leave the body so fast, he nearly faints.. The jock catches him. “Whoa, are you alright?”

I hadn’t been part of him for too long, but my sudden absence has some kind of inner effect. For a moment, he looks as if he is going to hurl everywhere, but the feeling passes and he begins to laugh. At first it is a nervous sound, then it becomes more joyous in nature. I don’t know if it’s because he’s happy that my alien thoughts have left his head or if he is just overjoyed over the mad embrace and kiss from his boyfriend.

They stand there looking at each other for a moment and then my former host sighs. “Yes, I’m okay. Very okay.”

I don’t stick around to see if they are going to kiss again. Instead, I push my way through the wall and into the hallway. Classes are still going on, so the corridor is devoid of people. Even me. For I am spirit once again. Without a host body I am floating free, invisible, unseen, and increasingly more lonely than I have ever been. The longings experienced in the bathroom doesn’t leave me so easily it seems.

I drift down the hall, past the closed doors of classes in session, wondering who I can try next. My great hope for romance seems shattered. Denied me in life, it appears to deny me in the afterlife as well. Perhaps I just need to get to know her better before finding a host body to impress her. After all, I can find out details about her no one knows and use that to my advantage. I can eavesdrop on her secrets. I can observe and see who really interests her among the student body. I can go anywhere, follow her no matter where she goes, or perhaps take her as a new host body and discover all the things she holds inside away from everyone else.

The bell rings so loud in the hallway, I would jump out of my skin if I had any. Within seconds the hallway is flooded with students, all of them heading in different directions, scattering like bees from a hive. And I, like a mere worker bee, scan the hallways for my queen.

 


 

Feeling lost? Check out previous episodes here. Ghost Boy Blues Main Page

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Monday Morning At The Springtime Cafe (short story / flash fiction)

It’s Monday morning and I’m sitting at the Springtime Cafe once again, watching all the A.M. people get a kick start to their day. Coffee, danishes, breakfast, conversation, whatever one needs to begin is right here. There’s even a duo set up with their acoustic guitars in the corner playing a cute little Ingrid Michaelson song. Several waitresses move about, taking orders and offering their own voices to the conversations at the various tables and booths. This morning I spot two of them right away.

Mags, or Maggie for long, is a middle aged lady, perhaps 40 or so, but she moves through the place like she’s twenty-five. She has blond hair, from which I can spot a few grays, though I never try to look that close. She gets picked on about that enough by some of the regular guys who come in and perch at one of her tables while awaiting their carpool. Of course she usually just shoots them down with a look from her steely, gray eyes. If that doesn’t work she has a tone to her voice that might remind you of your mom telling you a whipping is coming. For this reason alone, I can’t help but like her.

The other waitress is just as likable, a little more bubbly perhaps, because of her age. If I had to guess she’s about 30, maybe a few years younger. If Mags acts and moves around like a younger woman, then her co-worker flies around the room like a college girl late for class. Her name is May, and perhaps her parents should have been scolded for naming their child Maybelline, but she too made the best of the jokes and cajoling from the guys who frequented the cafe, some of them drawn indoors by the sight of her alone.

I speak from experience here. I myself was just tooling down the street on the way to a cubicle job I hated when I looked over and saw the brunette waitress through the window of the cafe. Her hair was long then, falling over her shoulders and slightly down her back. From the street, I saw her smile at a customer, and from that day I knew I would want her smile to be at the start of my morning for the rest of my life. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but as if on cue she arrives at my table, while I sit here like a dumbfounded idiot watching her approach and jotting it down. If I drew instead of writing about her, she may take more notice, but as it is I’m just another guy, maybe a teacher at the local college, working on a thesis or grading papers while waiting for his coffee.

“Still at it,” she asks, as she steps up to the table, the soles of her white shoes tapping lightly as if a near perfect dance routine had come to a temporary stop.

“Yeah,” I sigh with a smile and fall in love again for the tenth time this morning.

Perhaps The Rain 

I sat on the passenger side in the truck. The rain came down in torrents, running down the windshield. She didn’t care to use the wipers, but instead let the rivulets of rain hide the fact we were sitting alone in her boyfriend’s truck in the parking lot of his work. We’d come to pick him up so we could all grab a bite to eat once he was off for the evening, but something was different than usual. Perhaps it was the rain. Or maybe it was her perfume filling up the interior of the cab as we waited. The scent of it was sweet and inviting, and filled my mind with images of her getting ready to pick me up, walking into the spray of perfume,feeling it lightly caress her then naked body. A body I hadn’t really thought much about except in secret thoughts, though I’d always found her attractive.
She’d always been off limits. We were friends. Nothing more. She couldn’t want a boy like me when she had him, the typical college frat boy, all beer and muscles, whereas I was the thin typical geek boy girls always liked to have around as a friend and confidante. Tonight however, she was confiding something else to me and I barely heard her, as lost as I was in my own thoughts.
“Sometimes I wish I wasn’t with him,” she said. “Have you ever felt that way about someone?”
For a moment I didn’t realize there was a question there, then she leaned forward and made eye contact, which made me nervous. I hung my head slightly and wouldn’t look at her. “No, not really. Maybe once long time ago, but I haven’t had many relationships other than friendship, you know.”
She nodded and smiled. “I sometimes wonder what it would be like with someone else.”
I dared to look up. “And?” I asked, feeling there was more to her statement.
“You’ve never tried to hit on me.” It was spoken as a statement, but I felt there was a question intended.
“What?”
“In all the time we’ve known each other, you never once put a move on me. Why is that? Do you think I’m ugly or something?”
I smiled. “No, you’re not ugly.” This was a true sentiment. She was far from being unattractive. Beautiful brown eyes, high cheekbones belying a Native American heritage, long dark hair that I’d always wanted to run my fingers through. Lips, thin and moist, from her adorable habit of licking them nearly every time she spoke to me.

“You’re beautiful. You’ve always been that way.”
“Then why is this the first time you’re telling me?”
“Maybe we shouldn’t be talking about this here.” I looked up at her boyfriend’s workplace. He would be coming out soon. 
“You’re right. We shouldn’t.”
She started the truck. 
“What are you doing?” 
“We’re going someplace else.”
“You’re going to leave him here stranded?”
She seemed to think about it for a moment, then turned the engine off. She reached across me, her hand brushing against my leg on its way to the glove box. She opened the box, pulled out a sticky notepad and jotted something on it. She tore the little note off and stuck it to the steering wheel. Then she opened up her door and danced out into the rain. 
I took a quick look at the note. It read, “You never kissed me in the rain.”
I opened up the passenger door and stepped out into evening shower.
2017 Paul D Aronson. 

Orchard House Part 57: I’m Going To Miss This

Orchard House: Daily Serial Novel

Okay, here we go with the second part for today. As the name implies, I am going to miss sharing this story with you everyday. I hope you have enjoyed  sharing in the adventure and what I have been trying to do with putting this tale out there like this. We are not at the end yet, but I just want to say thanks for taking the journey with me. I really have appreciated the company. 🙂

Okay, here’s today’s second part ….

Part 57: I’m Going To Miss This

After the Ashley incident, I did give considerable thought to calling Eric and blessing him out for sending her my way. Of course, it was my fault I gave him a clue to where I was last time I talked to him, but I didn’t think he would tell her. If anything, I thought he’d look it up on the internet and come track me down himself. Still, I did need to call him about something. And when I told Summer about it, she gave her approval.“If both my mother and I could find it in our hearts to forgive my father,” she said, “then I think you should forgive your brother.”

She was right. There was no sense holding grudges. So what he had talked to Ashley after she ditched me on that failed wedding day. So what he didn’t understand my grief at losing our parents when he was always a self-supporting guy, never relying on them for anything. So what he always seemed competitive with everything I ever wanted…it was all trivial, and forgiveness was far better for the soul and beneficial to the heart than bitter resentment.

I turned on my phone, while Summer went up to her room in search of hers, too. We hadn’t turned them on or used them for quite some time. Proof you don’t really need a cell when you’re alone in an isolated farmhouse with the one you love. I had several messages, but none were from him: apartment rent was due; a publisher returning my call and sounding so unenthusiastic I figured it was a rejection of sorts; a public service call asking for my support on the next local election. I dialed Eric’s number and waited for him to pick up. When he answered, I hesitated, but after a second I said hello and got down to business. Neither of us mentioned Ash.

When Summer came back down she declared that she also had several pesky calls waiting on her phone. One was from an ex she left behind.

“Today must be old lovers awareness day or something,” she said.

I laughed. “Want me to punch him in the nose?”

“Nah, I need the practice.”

“You could always invite him to the wedding.”

“Ha! No way. And you better not invite the wench either.”

I shook my head. “No worries there, baby. Though she could probably use a lesson on what is expected of brides on their wedding day.”

“Well Matthew, you don’t have to worry about this bride. I’ll be there.”

“Good.” I kissed her on her cheek. “Have you decided when?”

“Not really. I guess I’m ready when you are. We just need time to put the wedding together. I don’t even have a dress. Mom wasn’t exactly my size, and I think she sold hers to a consignment shop anyway. There’s a lot to think about though. Decorations, caterers, who’s going to be in the wedding party, hiring a preacher to do the deed, all sorts of details. It’s mind boggling to think about.”

“As long as it doesn’t boggle you so much you want to cancel.”

“No Matty, it’s not like that. It’s just a lot of things that have to be taken care of. We have to go to a courthouse and get us a license too.”

I shook my head. Leave it to her to think of all those things. I just wanted to marry the woman. I didn’t care about all the details, as long as she said “I do.” Finally I just smiled and kissed her. “Okay, we’ll try to get all we need first, and then we’ll plan on the big day.”

She put her arms around me and kissed me back. “I can’t wait.”

“Me either,“ I replied, thinking of Summer in a white wedding dress walking down the church aisle towards me in front of God and everybody. But for now, I had to be content just to watch her walk through the house.

In the kitchen she opened up the refrigerator. “We’re going to need to go to the store if we are going to have anything for lunch and dinner.”

“Well, I thought for our last evening here we could go out and have our first date as almost marrieds.”

“I like the sound of that,” she replied. “Though I can do without the almost part.”

“Me, too. But it won’t be long.”

“We should go to the store and see if they have anything we can have for our lunch.”

I nodded, knowing. “You want to tell her, don’t you?”

There was no need in hiding it, so she grinned. “Hey, I’m engaged to be married. A girl has to tell somebody.”

I smiled.

“What?” she asked.

“You make me so happy, Summer. No one could ever make me happier.”

“You make me happy too, Matty.”

“Thanks for giving me closure.”

She held up her hand, which was still a little red from meeting Ashley’s face. “My pleasure.”

“Not just that. The real closure came the moment you said you’d marry me.”

“I’m glad,“ she replied. “But I didn’t say it to give you closure. I said it because I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

I smiled and kissed her. “Well then…let’s go tell somebody.”

The smile that spread across her face was adorable. She jumped up and down excitedly as if she were a young girl getting ready to get her nails done for the first time. “Yes, let’s!”

The walk down the long path through the orchard reminded me of our first days here, when we were strangers becoming friends, secretly longing to be more. To look back on it, I had to smile. How Helen knew we would hit it off and become a couple was beyond me. Maybe after years of seeing people come and go from Orchard House, she had developed a knack for the ones that would explode into the grandest of loves. Perhaps she just knew from experience and family history, the effect the house had on others, lost and lonely wandering through this world. Either way, I felt like if this had been a fairy tale, she would have been the Godmother with the magic wand waving it over our heads and sprinkling our lives with wish making dust.

We didn’t take a straight path to the store, but instead wandered down the paths and rows of the orchard, which was huge and encompassed many acres. We had walked its paths before, even streaked them in the late night hour, but had never covered the entire area. We had seen the small cottage home of Hope and Gunboats far across the orchard next to the woods, and we wondered if anyone else lived, or had once lived, in other close proximities to the house. The question was answered as we followed a rutted trail within view of the store and down an embankment into a small valley, where a stream ran through. This stream diverted into different directions, mostly back into the orchard where it fed the pumps that provided moisture to the apples and peaches. Beyond the stream, and now out of sight of the store, we saw an old cottage. It may have once been a home not unlike Hope’s and Gunboat’s, but now it had fallen into disrepair. The front porch was leaning, windows had gaps between their frame and glass, and it needed a new paint job, its once white color now falling off in flecks revealing a dingy gray underneath. On the back side, there were remnants of a small greenhouse, maybe once capable of growing fruits and vegetables, but now fallen into disuse as well. The place was not a complete loss, but it was obvious no one had lived here for many years. Perhaps the diversion of the creek had made the ground a little too moist for habitation, or maybe a better house had been built to accommodate its original tenants. Had other members of this apple growing family lived here or was this the spot in which the country store had first started, far off the beaten track and doomed to failure if a better place wasn’t built closer to the road?

As we moved away from the house and went back up the embankment to rejoin the orchard, it made me sad that the history of this place would soon be lost. All the lives through the years who had been affected by the solitude and magic of Orchard House, now to fade untold with time. How many had stayed or lived here on these acres, falling in love, and taken that rarest of loves back with them into the world? Maybe that was the purpose of Orchard House – to instill in its visitors the healing power of love, taking broken lives, or at least those that were unfulfilled, and inspiring them to love beyond even their wildest hopes. If that was the case, then it was a shame it would do so no more with the closing of the best bed and breakfast ever.

Summer sensed I was deep in thought and squeezed my hand. “You okay?” she asked.

“Yeah, I’m just lost in thought again.”

“By the look on your face, it seemed to be sad ones.”

“I’m just going to miss it is all.”

“Me too,” she replied, looking back at the rundown house we had just left. “I wish we had a place here, so we could stay. I think I’m going to miss this much more than I thought. No wonder Earl came back to this area.”

“We could try and see if there’s any places for rent nearby,” I suggested.

“That would be awesome, but I imagine most people in these parts are about selling, instead of renting. And correct if I’m wrong, but I don’t think either of us have the money to buy right now.”

“No, you’re correct,“ I replied sadly.

She stopped me and put her arms around my neck. “Hey, I don’t need a lot of money or things, Matthew. I’d be happy living with you anywhere.”

“Really?”

“Very really,” she replied with a soft kiss.

I hoped she was right in that or otherwise I was going to be a big disappointment as a husband. I had never been very ambitious, even in college. While everyone else aspired and persevered to make something of themselves, I was dreaming away interviewing local bands and following the national music scene like the biggest nerd ever. And back then nerds weren’t cool at all. I guess it was lucky for me that Summer loved them.

“Well,“ I sighed, as we resumed our walk across the orchard to the store, “no matter what, we can take all this with us.”

“What do you mean?”

“All the memories we have made here. No matter what road we may be on, they will be following right behind.”

She smiled. “I like that, poet boy. Every minute here is a memory made.”

“And what memories they are,“ I replied.

She slyly flashed me a smile. “We can make more…”

“I look forward to it.”

Part 58: Thanking Helen

“Orchard House & The Heart Of Everything” 2016 Paul D Aronson.

In The Comfort Of Gathering Storms

We watched the gathering storms

From the safety of a bed of no pain

As the clouds moved across a darkening sky

We smiled at the coming rain
Reggae music wafted high in the air

Marley singing “No woman no cry”

And we fell in love all over again

In the blinking of a lover’s eye
I touched her bare caramel skin

her rain kissed lips touched my own

And in the comfort of the gathering storms

We made love our only home

Orchard House Part 39: Apple Festival

Orchard House: Daily Serial Novel

Part 39: Apple Festival

Stepping outside, we noticed there were now more people in the orchard. The afternoon seemed to have brought out the pickers. Cars and trucks were parked at the side of the path that led to the country store and it looked like the whole community had come out for the fun. Deciding to get us a drink from the store and find out just what was going on, we headed down the path. Passing by families, couples, and even the fortune teller from the day before, everyone seemed friendly. For a moment I got the impression everyone we passed by knew who we were. Being a small community I could understand the familiarity, but it made me feel a little strange, as if suddenly we were a couple on display for everyone’s consideration. Any minute I expected people to start holding up placards with scores on them. Summer must have felt it too, as she clutched my hand and whispered, “Maybe you should have dressed me in a monk’s robe.”

I laughed. “You’d still look hot.”

We didn’t see any of the migrant workers out. They must have been given the day off, but there were still plenty of people in the orchard, going up and down the rows in groups trying to find the best apples. Smaller groups of children ran and played, and as we passed by a pickup at the side of the trail we noticed someone had set up a rocker in the bed. An elderly gentleman was rocking back and forth with a smile on his face.

“So, this is what they do for weekend entertainment,” I suggested.

A group of teenagers were going by and must have heard me. “No,” one of them said, a girl of about sixteen with hair the color of sunshine. “That’s tonight. The street party.”

“Street party?”

“Yeah, they block off the road on that far end for live music and stuff.”

“Cool,” Summer said. “What kind of music?”

“Blues, country, southern rock.” The girl’s friendly smile turned into a proud beam. “My boyfriend’s band is playing. “

“Where do they set up and play?” I asked.

“Right up there in front of that house.”

She was pointing up at Orchard House.

The country store was packed. if we thought we were going to hear the rest of Helen’s story today, it didn’t look like it was going to be happening. We managed to maneuver our way to the cold case and grab us some crème soda and root beer. We held hands the whole way, not because we wanted to show our affection, but so we wouldn’t lose each other in the crowd. As I reached into the cold case, something caught me by surprise. Jackson, the dog from Orchard House, was lying right beside it, probably cooling off from the outdoor heat.

“Well, hey there buddy,” I said, reaching down to pat his head. He rolled over so I could rub his belly too. As Summer leaned over to pet him, a squealing voice from the back of the store announced a fresh batch of lemonade was made. Peering through the crowd, I could see Twyla at her table, standing on a wooden crate like a barker at an auction taking orders for her sugary concoction. She saw us both and waved excitedly. Throwing up our hands to wave back, we heard someone come up behind us. Stepping out of the way to let them pass, we noticed it was Raymond, carrying a basket of golden apples. He smiled, recognizing us.

“Well hey, there you are,” he said. “We was wondering if you’d come out for the apple festival.”

“Ah, so this is what is going on.”

“Yep. Have it every year. Everybody loves it, as you can see. Helen’s over there somewhere if you want to holler at her.”

He moved off, continuing with his business, and from the looks of things he definitely was having a busy day. I heard a loud noise outside. Summer pointed to a huge tractor that had just started up. An open flatbed covered with hay was hitched to the back and kids were climbing on as it started to pull off into the orchard. We moved towards the front counter to pay for our drinks. I don’t think either one of us did well with crowds. We just wanted to get to some wide open place again.

We had to wait about ten minutes before we could set our drinks on the counter and pay for them. Helen looked up from her register and the smile that crossed her face threatened to light up the whole room.

“Well, there’s my favorite couple,” she announced.

“Yes, here we are,” I replied, a proud smile on my face as Summer held my hand.

Helen raised an eyebrow and grinned. “Ah, so finally you believe me! Ready to admit what your hearts can’t deny.”

Summer smiled. “Yes, we’re guilty.” She glanced at me and then added, “Big time guilty.”

Helen clapped her hands in delight. It didn’t take much to figure out what had occurred between Summer and I. Even the blazing sun can’t make people glow like that. “Isn’t orchard House wonderful?” the woman exclaimed. She gave us both a wink. “I fell for my Raymond up there myself.”

I got out my money as she rang up the sodas. “That reminds me,” I said, handing her a couple of dollars. “We’re still due a continuation of the story from the other day.”

“I would really love to tell it, but it’s crammed busy today. And we are closed on Sunday. Maybe Monday if you want to stop by.”

“Well actually, I wanted to ask you something.”

She handed me my change. “Ask away.”

“I don’t think I told you, but I’m a writer and I was coming up here to get away and write a book, but I couldn’t quite figure what to write about in the beginning. So I was wondering if you would mind if I wrote about Hope and Gunboats?”

“That’s awful flattering. Never thought their story was book material, but maybe there’s some folks like to read that kind of thing after all.”

“Is that okay?”

“Well son, I’m really not the one to be asking.”

Oh,” I replied. “I just thought since they were your parents, you were the one to give me the okay.”

“I could, but you should just ask them yourself.”

“Ask them myself?”

“Yeah, they live on the other side of the orchard. You can’t see their place because of all the trees, but they got a little house over there. The old home place got too big for just them.”

“I’m sorry, I thought they were deceased being their story took place during the war and all. And you said the ring came back to her before the body did. “

She laughed. “You liked that, did you? Maybe I should be a writer too?”

I smiled. “Yes, maybe you should.”

I opened my soda and took a sip. “You want to call and tell them to expect me?”

“No phones on that side of the field. Just walk on over. I’m sure they would love to meet another orchard couple.”

“Cool. Okay, we’ll do that.”

Helen looked at Summer. “Your outfit is so cute. You’re the prettiest flower in the wild.”

“Thank you, Helen, but he dressed me.”

“Oh well! I can almost hear the bells then.” She grinned. “Let’s see you deny that, young man…”

Heading out of the country store, we ran into Raymond again. He was taking what was probably a much deserved break. Sitting in a wooden chair out front, he was enjoying some of Twyla’s lemonade and nodding to customers who crossed his line of sight. He saw us and smiled. “Hey, you folks going to the party tonight?”

“Well, I guess so since it’s in front of the house.”

Summer nudged me and I realized it came off sounding a bit rude.

“But I’m sure it’s going to be fun,” I added.

“Yes sir, it is. I was thinking we probably forgot to mention it to ya. We get so excited about the Apple festival it slipped our minds someone would be staying there. Hope the loud music don’t bother you. It’s a little ways from the house, down the hill out front right before it meets the road. There’s a little amphitheater we made, got about ten long benches in front of a little stage. We first built it for family get-togethers, but then the street party idea came along.” He smiled. “Now people just stand out in the road and dance. It’s quite a sight.”

“I bet it is. Sounds like a little bit of the city coming to the country.”

“Well, that’s about as city as we get,” he said with a laugh.

“Good. I was trying to get away from the city myself.”

“Don’t blame you none.” He got up and stretched his legs. “I guess we’ll see you there then?”

“Wouldn’t miss it.”

The big tractor came pulling into the parking lot again. It was now empty except for the hay. As soon as it stopped more people came out from the store and got on. I turned to Summer. “Want to hitch a ride home?”

She looked at the truck bed. “Yeah sure. Why not?”

We jumped on board with the rest of them, and as the tractor pulled off to head up the Orchard path, I put my arm around her. She leaned against me with a happy contented sigh. If you had told me on Monday I would be riding on the back of a truck bed in an apple orchard with a beautiful country girl, I would have laughed at you. I guess it just goes to show that when you’re out of your element, expect the unexpected.

When the tractor got close to the house, we bailed out. We landed on our feet, sodas still intact, despite the fact the tractor hadn’t stopped. Some of the other riders cheered and clapped at the two romantic daredevils, and in a gesture of complete silliness I curtsied and Summer bowed.

“So, want to go see Hope and Gunboats?” I asked.

“Are you kidding? Of course I do. I loved Helen’s story. It’s killing me to know what happened.”

“Let’s go see then. She said it was on the other side of the orchard. I figure we’ll just walk in a straight line from our place and hopefully we’ll get there.”

“Sounds like a plan, Matty. Ready when you are.”

So we headed across the orchard, down the rows and past all the pickers who were still filling up their baskets and bags. Eventually, we left them behind as we headed into a part of the orchard I remembered from our streaking event the night before. We jumped over a ditch and I remembered chasing after Summer’s naked frame in the dark.

“I just thought of something,” I said. “What if last night we streaked right past their house in the dark?”

“Oh my god, I hope not,” she replied with a red blush to her cheeks.

It was the cutest thing ever.

Part 40: Gunboat’s Tale

“Orchard House And The heart Of Everything” 2016 Paul D Aronson.