I still remember the day Lisa told me that her family had sold their second house atop little Walter, the smaller of the two hills on Walter Street. The look she had on her face as she said, "you'll never believe who's moving into our old house" said it all. I stood looking at her for a moment trying to determine if she was just trying to get me riled up or if she actually thought finding out about this new someone would bother me. When she told me who the new kid on the block was going to be, I walked away muttering about moving far away. How could something like this happen? The neighborhood would never be the same!
I avoided him for several weeks after he moved in until he discovered the neighborhood hangout one day. The Pizza Roma, a local pizza joint was where all our best times were had. To my shock there he was one day when I entered the front door. What made it worse was he had already ingratiated himself into our group. I walked past the group saying hi to everyone, but him. A little pinball would work off my frustration. That day started a ritual for us that took a path that neither of us expected. Each time after that when he saw me playing pinball, he'd come stand next to me and silently watch me. He would watch my hands as they worked the flippers. He watched the expressions on my face and the movements of my body as I shook the machine just enough to finesse more points, yet kept the machine from tilting and losing the game completely. I was always aware of his presence, of his eyes on me, but I never acknowledged him. I never allowed myself to gaze into his eyes to see what was there.
One day several months after he had become part of our gang, I made a quick appearance at the Pizza Roma on my way to babysitting one evening. Sharon was the cool new lady who lived down the street and didn’t mind my friends keeping me company while I babysat for her children. I quickly slid into the booth and began talking since I only had a few minutes to spare before I had to leave. Within seconds “he” slid in next to me. I had no way of escape. He was forcing me to interact with him.
What I did next, was done out of instinct, but not from any prior knowledge or real experience. Before Wayne, all the experience I had with the opposite sex was one brief make out session with George at the truck yard on Patten Street, a few kisses in the backseat of car while riding around with my cousin, Debbie and some guys she knew and of course, chasing after Jimmy like a female dog in heat, but not knowing exactly what I would have done if I had caught him. Jimmy and I were friends and spent a lot of time together. I chased and chased, but he never let me catch him. I was just a fourteen year old kid and had never had a boyfriend. He was 19 and smart enough to keep me at a safe distance.
Without looking at Wayne, I placed my hand on his inner thigh. He had a small hole in his jeans and I began to outline the hole with my index finger. No one else sitting at the booth with us could see what was happening nor did my expression give any indication that I was engaging in some risky foreplay for a fourteen year old. I did this for several minutes before announcing I had to leave and invited all present to join me if they had nothing else to do. Of course, he used this as a way to finally get me to speak to him. I had to ask him to move so I could leave.
When our eyes met, something frightened me. Something in me stirred. Something I wasn't familiar with feeling. He smiled as he slid out of the booth and gestured as a knight would bow to a princess. I coyly smiled and then winked at him as I slid out of the booth. Within minutes Greg, Joyce and a few others had followed me, but he lagged behind. I felt almost a disappointment when I thought he didn't accompany the rest of my friends.
When I saw him, my heart raced with excitement. I was sure everyone there could see my pulse quicken and would notice the way he and I were looking at each other. There was a definite hunger... a spark... a curiosity. Raging hormones, no doubt! I think they must have noticed something was happening because one by one each person left early that evening. Before long we were alone with the music playing in the background. That night he became my boyfriend and I went home with lips so sore it hurt to move them. He walked me to my door and kissed me one last time before bidding me adieu. I raced upstairs to my bedroom to look out the window so I could see him cross the street and go inside his house. I laid in bed, touched my lips and hungered for much more. Yes, Wayne was the boy who lived across the street and he was my first love.