I'm working out the kinks with some new equipment this morning and have spent a good chunk of my ride trouble shooting rather than writing. Enough of that. I'm using a stop-gap and will press on. Don't mind the bubblegum.
Read My Lips
by Jon Stark
It's hard to be 16 and in love. We don't need to debate whether it's worse for boys or girls, but I will tell you that Scott thought the answer to be, most definitely, boys. Specifically, boys who were in love with Lana.
She was everything he'd ever dreamed of except approachable. Scott was a clever young man but he lacked courage and if there is one thing that love requires more than patience, kindness, or forgiveness, it's courage.
Lana sat one row over and two desks forward from him during three classes. He could talk to her back. He could write her notes (but never send them). But when she turned to look at him all he had was a goofy grin and a need to use the bathroom.
At night, Scott would sit on his bed with Virgil and discuss the problem. "It's like this, see?" said Scott sounding like a 1940's P.I. "The dame's got legs and she knows how to use them."
"What's her angle?" asked Virgil. Scott's lips barely moved when Virgil spoke. He'd become much better in the last couple of years. I should probably mention, at this point, that Virgil is a dummy. His lips and limbs only move when Scott directs them.
"Do you think she'd like a picture show?" asked Scott.
"Ask her. A smart gal like that won't take you for a drive around the block. You'll know where you stand." Virgil punched Scott in the arm. "Sometimes you gotta get off the sidewalk."
Scott did get off the sidewalk, sort of. He signed up for the PTA's talent show and worked very hard on a new routine. I'd tell you all about it but ventriloquism is only funny when you watch it. Let's just say his was the best act at a local PTA talent show and leave it at that. Achmed has nothing to worry about.
An interesting thing happened after the show. Lana came up to Scott and said, "That was really cool. I didn't know you were so funny." Scott smiled.
Then Virgil said, "He isn't funny. I am. I told all the jokes. He's a palooka!"
Lana laughed. Virgil kept going and all the while Scott's lips barely moved and Lana laughed. He could talk to her, when he was Virgil. So he went for it. Asked her to the picture show. And she said yes.
I would love to end the story here but I've still got a few stops left and I'm sure you're dying to know how the date went. Virgil said it was amazing. Lana had her arm around him the whole time and didn't care where he rested his head. Scott, however, will tell you that it was awful.
The three of them met at the appointed time but when they approached the box office Lana turned to Scott and said, "The movie gets out at 3:40. We'll see you then." She plucked Virgil from his arm and marched inside.
Scott was speechless. He watched as his girl went into the movies with some dummy while he was left alone on the sidewalk. And he couldn't be sure, not completely, but he thought -- couldn't be -- but really it looked like... Virgil winked at him.