First and Second Date...the Time Between
Chapter 1

Copyright© 2010 by ryan801army

Spring 1994

It was spring in Utah. As with any spring, that meant the weather could be drastically different from one day to the next. One of the track meets two weeks before had been cancelled due to snow. Now our Monday workout was winding down with a jog back from the park ... in 70 degree weather. The jog was easy, but even for this late in the track season I could still feel the burn in the muscles from the number of hills we'd run. My first year of track was coming to an end. There was one more race that I'd run in on Thursday – sophomore regional, and then the next week would be the state championships. We'd seen a taste of what the future may hold for those of us successful enough to run varsity in the regional finals the Thursday before.

One of our sophomore distance runners was good enough that he'd made it into the regional finals, even qualifying for the state championships. After all, he'd already run in both the regional finals as well as the state championships in cross country back in the fall. As much as I'd like to say that it was, unfortunately that runner wasn't me. I was good, especially for a sophomore runner and we had a good team, good enough we'd be competing for the state title. Unfortunately I was along for the ride. I was good enough that on a good day I could push one of the varsity runners to perform better; a good enough runner that in the next year, maybe two at most I'd be on my way to state.

With the workout finally over I made my way back to the locker room. With a shower and a change I'd be heading back for home. Now, though, I was hearing about one of the seniors, Johnny, and how he'd gotten lucky after a concert he'd gone to on the weekend. Locker room talk seems it's the same the world over. My thought as I pulled my sweat-soaked shorts and t-shirt off was that it would be nice to be able to talk about something like that. At sixteen I thought it would be nice to have a girl like that, hell, I'd have even settled for a real date at that point. High school life, some were outgoing, some were shy, some were good at the glory sports, some the sports that no one would care about. I'd been good at wrestling in junior high, but I was a better runner, so the running had won out.

I suppose I should introduce myself. If you've made it this far, you could be getting to know me a lot better. I'm Ryan and I'm 16, 5'3 and weigh about 140 pounds. My parents are teachers, my dad at the junior high I'd gone to and my mom at the high school I now went to. I live in a city called Kaysville, Utah, roughly a 30 - 45 minute drive north of Salt Lake City. A little more personal background could be appropriate, too. With the spring coming to an end, I'd be coming up on the start of my second job soon, a games operator at a local amusement park called Lagoon. I say second because my first was another seasonal job, only this one was in the winter. During the weekends and on holidays I taught skiing at a local ski resort called Powder Mountain. Going to school in Kaysville hadn't been too bad so far, with parents as teachers at both schools people came to know who I was fairly quickly. Unfortunately, people knowing who you are because of your parents, doesn't always mean you have a lot of friends, but typically you've got a reasonable number of people around that are willing to be friendly at least. And that's how it was for me.

Growing up in a relatively small city like I had could have created the opportunity for me to have a lot of friends, to be popular and outgoing. And I suppose in a way, I was. Sure, around school I had a lot of different people I would talk to, spend time with, and even go out to lunch with. Outside of school though tended to be another matter. Outside of school my social group was much smaller. Adam lived across the street, he had since we'd been in junior high when his family had moved in and we'd met over driveway basketball. It had started simple, and as with a lot of guys, simple was enough for us to form what would become a lifelong friendship.

Now before you get the wrong picture of me, it wasn't that I was unpopular, or not comfortable with the girls at school. I was. I had a number of female friends around school that I would spend time with and talk with. That was all it was though, just talking and hanging out. When you grow up only working on weekends in the winter and having parents who both teach school you don't have a lot of extra money to be able to enjoy. At sixteen I'd gotten my driver's license and been given the opportunity to share driving time in one of the two family vehicles. That would explain why I had the job set up for the summer, sure it wouldn't necessarily pay a lot, but I figured that working at the local amusement park would give me the opportunity to spend more time with kids my age, and outside of a school environment. Who knows, with a little luck I might be able to shed some of my shyness and even have a date or two over the summer.

I gave a brief thought to the meeting I had in a little while as I headed to the shower. I could still hear laughter as Johnny continued to brag about how he'd hooked up over the weekend, starting to get drowned out over the sounds of a couple showers running. Definitely one of the joys of high school athletics, among the boys, it sometimes seemed like showering was optional. As for me, I may have been shy and awkward around women, but it wasn't for a lack of personal hygiene. It was the first training meeting we had for the summer, they'd start to explain some of what we'd be doing, the hours we'd be working, and how the job in general would work. Not that it was going to be too difficult, but if they were going to pay for us to go and expect us to be there, that was what we would do.

After the shower was over I went back into the school building itself, having track as a class at the end of the day made it so that after our workouts were over it wasn't too late, I'd finished the workout and been done with my shower and the school day had only ended about fifteen minutes ago. Even without a watch I could tell school hadn't been done for very long, the halls were clearing out, yes, but there were still a few lingering in the hallways talking. There were a few small groups here and there, some male, some female, and even a few couples talking over by a locker. I didn't give it much thought as I opened my locker, reaching in to grab my bag and slip a few books into it for the homework I had to do that night. Once I had my bag I walked back out to the parking lot, my parents knew my schedule for the night, and had let me know that the car would be out in the parking lot, my dad waiting to drop me off at work.

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