Jack did a little dance step as he crossed a crack in the sidewalk. He did this for the next fifty feet.
Alan had to walk faster to keep up. “Slow down. What’s your hurry? I’ve never seen you trot to the library before. Those history books will still be there.”
“She’s hot, she’s hot.” He danced across the intersection smiling at the people in the two cars. “She’s hot, really hot.”
“Whoa.” Alan blocked Jack from dancing down the street. “Who’s hot? Who are you talking about?”
“She smiled at me last night. A big smile. She’s really hot.”
Alan nodded as Jack jumped over a crack in the sidewalk. “I assume she will be at the library. What’s her name?”
Jack quit jumping over cracks and began walking normally. He walked ten feet before answering. “Betty.” He walked another ten feet. “I think it’s Betty. It might be Betsy.” He kept walking. “I’m not exactly sure about her name.” He turned toward Alan and grinned. “I remember her smile. She has a really hot smile.”
“You sure her name isn’t Hetty? Teddy? Zetty? Just how long have you known this girl with the magnificent smile.” Alan stopped. “That reminds me of ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.’ Does she by any chance have a dragon tattooed on her shoulder?”
“How would I know that? She had her clothes on in the library.” He slowed for Alan to catch up. “And I’m certainly not going to ask her about any tattoo. She’s hot. Hotter a hot rod with a four-barrel carburetor.”
“Maybe I’ll ask her.”
Jack stopped completely. “Ask her what?”
Alan walked on for five seconds. “If she has a dragon tattoo. She might have one on her rear-end. Now that would be hot. Jack’s girl has dragon tattoo on her rear. Hot. Hot. Hot.”
Jack shook his head. “Don’t ask anything like that. You would embarrass the poor girl to tears. Plus she would never speak to me again.”
Alan ignored Jack’s statement and altered his steps to step on cracks. “Step on crack and never fear, see the girl with the tattooed rear. She’s hot. She’s hot.”
Jack stopped on the first step of the library. “Why don’t you sit at a different table from Betsy and me. I don’t want you to be embarrassed with your lack of knowledge about American history.”
Alan was on the top step before he turned around to face Jack. “What does my knowledge of American history have to do with this hot young thing. Is she some kind of history nerd who looks down on us C-minus students.”
Jack shook his head as he opened the library door. “Betty is a tutor. She is helping me prepare for the mid-term exam. It’s mostly about the Civil War. She says she is highly regarded by her instructor.”
“When you’re hot, you’re hot. The history professor may think she’s hot, too. That’s why she is so highly regarded.”
Jack ignored Alan’s comment. “Just sit at another table. Don’t even look at her. Read the comics in today’s newspaper.” He entered the library leaving Alan standing beside the door.
Alan waited five seconds, just enough time for Jack to find a table. He entered, stood with other students and scanned the room. Jack and the hot girl were not to be seen.
He rubbed his jaw and eyed the four private work rooms on the far wall. He took his time walking around the room to the first door. He peered into the room through the huge window in the door.
The girl looked up and smiled. Thoughts ran through Alan’s mind as he stared through the glass: a smile that went from ear to ear, teeth that glistened, a dimple in just the right place and hair with a well-care-for-wind-blown look. His mind snapped back to normal when she beckoned him in. “She is hot. Real hot.”
Jack twisted around, shaking his head and mouthing a silent no. “What are you doing here? Don’t you have some work to do in your remedial arithmetic class? Multiplication tables or something like that?”
Alan ignored Jack remarks. “Hi, my name is Alan and I need help in Civil War history and Reconstruction.” He held out his hand.
She gave Alan a magnificent smile.
“Jack has done nothing but brag on you all day.” He held her hand a second too long. He released her hand and glanced at Jack. “Aren’t you going to introduce us.”
Jack tried to frown at Alan and smile at the girl at the same time. “I’d like you to meet Mary, my friend and tutor.” He turned back toward Mary, “Alan is an exchange student from Somerset County, so his knowledge of the Civil War is very limited.”
“How nice. I just love the way Somerset natives talk, especially the Smith Islanders.” She leaned toward Alan and gave him a dazzling smile. Her blouse opened a bit. “Any chance of you speaking that awesome dialect? I would give anything to hear it spoken.”
Alan shook his head and tried not to stare. “No, my dialect is strictly Marian Station. But I have been to Smith Island.”
“How quaint. I just love these little villages that keep their village station status like Marian Station and Ironshire Station.”
“Enough.” Jack pushed on Alan with his elbow. “Don’t you have somewhere else to go? There’s a ping-pong table in the basement.”
“No games for me when there’s history to learn. I want to catch up on details from Sherman’s March to the Sea.”
Mary turned a loose-leaf page in her notebook. “General Sherman is not on my lesson plan for today. We are going to go over causes and what led up to the first shots being fired.”
Jack put both elbows on the table. “Yes, we were going over yesterday’s lesson on slavery, so why don’t you hit the road.”
Alan dropped his eyes to Mary’s blouse. “I really loved Rhett and Scarlett. The whole Civil War, especially Sherman’s March to the Sea, is told by their lives. Don’t you think so?”
Mary pulled her blouse together. “I’m not familiar with Rhett and Scarlett. Whoever they are, they had absolutely no bearings on the outcome of the Civil War.” She spoke without smiling. “Don’t you have somewhere else to go? Jack and I want to continue with today’s lesson.”
Jack moved back a few inches. “I kind of liked Rhett and Scarlett, too.”
Alan’s opinion of the girl shifted a hundred and eighty degrees. He smiled widely. “You do know who we are talking about, don’t you? Rhett and Scarlett are in American lore like apple pie and ice cream.”
Mary leaned back and folded both arms across her chest.
Alan moved in like a terrier looking for a bone. “Jack says you have dragon tattooed on your rear-end. Is that right?”
Mary used both thumbs and sent a text message. A few seconds later the door opened.
“I’d like you two to meet my boy friend, Rocky, from the university’s football team. He and I have an important meeting to attend. So this tutor session and all future sessions are canceled.”
The two-hundred-fifty pound defensive lineman smiled, showing a missing front tooth.
Alan jumped on a piece of pine bark on the sidewalk. “Step on the bark, break Jack’s heart.” He stopped at the next crack. “You know, nobody can be hot if they haven’t read Gone With the Wind.”
Jack nodded. “She really wasn’t that good looking either.”
1277 words 7/5/17