First Sentence Friday! CHAPTER TWENTY

First love.  Do you remember yours?  I remember mine.  He was a junior in high school.  I was a sophomore.  He was part of the “cool” crowd, not the popular football, cheerleader, member of various different clubs sort of crowd, but still very well liked and “in.”  This was back in the day of Grateful Dead, Aerosmith, and Bachman Turner Overdrive.  Cream, Grand Funk Railroad, and ELO.  It was all about the swagger in Levis, Levi jackets, long hair and Wallabees.   I remember wearing “angel” shirts, cropped so they showed my mid-drift, or fitted shirts with wide belted bell bottoms, and my hair hung halfway down my back.  We smoked.  We slouched when we walked along the crowded school hallways hand in hand.  I was smitten, starry-eyed, and oh so innocent.

We lasted three months.  I think.

First love is like a rite of passage into adulthood,  where the first emotional scars of hurt or disappointment form, and while the Stampers are getting settled into the life of the traveling show and their talent draws in a good crowd, the only person Wallis Ann cares to see is the high diving performer, Clayton Jones.  For Wallis Ann, this is her first real interest in someone of the opposite sex, and like any young girl, she’s excited about the possibilities of what any amount of attention from him might mean.  She’s trying to read between the lines, while believing he’s there for her.

Chapter Twenty

Clayton come to our performances regularly.

Publishers Lunch BUZZ BOOK Fall/Winter 2017, and a SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) Trio Pick for 2018, THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET releases December 26th, 2017.  

***I’m using #FirstSentenceFridays on Twitter and tagging @Kensington Publishing Corporation.  Follow along and tweet out/share if you’d like!***

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COMMENTS

  • lilacshoshanwp

    October 27, 2017

    Reply

    What an amazingly written post, Donna! I loved reading about the first time you fell in love. I was three years old when I fell head over heels in love with someone from preschool. My parents had to hang around with me near my beloved’s apartment building every weekend, just on the fleeting chance we’d run into him and his folks.

    Thank heavens I didn’t turn into a stalker…

    But maybe that’s how I developed the pattern of “let me love you from afar.” Getting to know the guys I liked later on in life was always deeply disappointing and/or hurtful.

    Still, I miss being in love (which, paraphrasing some psychiatrists, is similar to psychosis…) 😉 <3 <3 <3

    • Donna Everhart

      October 28, 2017

      Reply

      Thank you, Lilac!

      Unless you find the “right” one, it’s better to be on your own, yes? That’s what I think. When I married WAY too early the first time, (lasted six years) and then divorced, I knew deep down in my heart I would have to be absolutely sure before I tied the knot again. It took 13 years to find “him,” along with several bad experiences, but then I met Blaine. We’ve been together for 22 years now! And he’s as amazing now as he was then.

      I tend to side with those psychiatrists – because depending on how the person you’re interested in behaves, that drives your own motivations, desires, wants and needs. Then there’s that whole “he’s just not that into you,” which can make just about any SANE person crazy! <3 <3 <3

  • Eldonna Edwards

    October 27, 2017

    Reply

    Oooh…this is such a great post. Stirs up lots of memories! My first love had the cutest smile and when he asked me out I thought I would die from giddiness. We spent a summer at drive-in movies, throwing frisbees, and lolling at the beach where I showed off my tan lines in a crocheted bikini. That fall I strolled down the high school halls in my bell bottoms and peasant top, wearing clogs like wooden bricks under my feet, showing off my gorgeous boyfriend. I used to inhale the scent of his locker as we leaned against it, sneaking a kiss between classes. And then one day I got mono. I was home-bound for two weeks. He stopped visiting after one. When I returned to school he had a new girl on his arm, much prettier and more popular than me. I was devastated. Which the boy who had a crush on me took full advantage of, and I moved on from boyfriend number one. But I never forgot him. You never forget your first.

    • Donna Everhart

      October 28, 2017

      Reply

      Your account painted a perfect picture before my eyes! I remember those crochet bikinis – they were the thing! I had a few peasant tops too…and let’s see – do you remember Earth Shoes??? The shoes that were higher at the front than at the heel? OMG, I think I had about six or seven pairs of those, all different styles from sandals to high top lace boots. 🙂 It was such an ERA, wasn’t it???

      But the mono thing. Yeah. Those flighty, I’m after something else, first loves. With mine, my innocence had a LOT to do with his moving on. He broke up with me in the middle of the “smoking lounge.” I was so upset, I took off running and a girl friend came after me. We skipped school, took off to another one where she was interested in someone, got caught by the truant officer and my parents were called. I’m not sure if they understood what was going on. The very next day he was with this girl…yet, unlike your situation, she wasn’t any prettier, or any more popular – it was simply that she was, ya know – not innocent. 🙂 You don’t forget, that’s for sure!

  • Craig

    October 28, 2017

    Reply

    Oh to live on Sugar Mountain
    With the barkers and the colored balloons
    You can watch your favorite performer all you want to
    and she won’t call the cops and call you a stalker

    I worry about the shape of dating with today’s generation. If you were to make enough of a ruckus that they look up from their phones, they just get mad.

    First love in Tampa was and is an odd thing. People here move around a lot, we have no roots. Many who might have been that first love suddenly moved away. After a while the hormones took over and love moved too. Down this list of the most important things needed that day.

    I guess Kathy, not the one I share my life with today, was as close as I got. She too moved away, or back to where she came from, before it got that far. I thought Maura was the one until she got a job at IBM and I didn’t. Perhaps that is why I made such a mistake with the first wife. If I figure it all out I will let you know.

    Hope things are settling for you.

    • Donna Everhart

      October 29, 2017

      Reply

      To live in the mountains anywhere….that’s our dream. We’re gonna do it one of these days. For now, we have our camper. We were supposed to spend a month (October) there, and…well, due to unforeseen circumstances we had to delay. BUT. We’re gonna do it in the spring! Maybe the entire month of April when the stock the Linville River and my husband can fly fish to his content. It depends on my book events. Maybe we’ll stay at LEAST stay two weeks.

      You know, for as much as we have our fond memories of first loves, and those who follow, the ones who we “think” are The Ones, I wouldn’t give all the money in the world to back to those days. Maybe only if I could with the knowledge/wisdom I have now.

      Things are actually very tough going right now. I’m distracting myself out here. Unbelievable side effects. But, at least I’m done with the treatments.

  • John Davis Frain

    October 29, 2017

    Reply

    All that delicious build-up, and then you feed us a six-word sentence. I’m still hungry!!! I need an entire chapter to sate me!!!

    I’ll slink away now, stomach a-growling and jumping.

  • Micki Browning

    October 31, 2017

    Reply

    Oh Wallis Ann, guard your heart…there’s trouble ahead.

    ELO. There’s a blast from the past. I loved my Ditto pants. I was a California girl, so I wore Vans long before they were cool.

    • Donna Everhart

      November 1, 2017

      Reply

      Yeah, her poor little heart.

      Ditto pants? Hm. Well, do parachute pants count? Oh, wait. That was in the 80’s. Never mind. It took a while for some of the west coast trend to make it here – and vice versa. 🙂


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