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Rated: 13+ · Novel · Romance/Love · #2283601
Chapter 3 of Valerie's story
Chapter Three - The Lamp

A little while later, when Valerie’s eyes fluttered open, the first thing she saw was Drew crouching above her. He had his hand on her breast, right above her heart.

He looked frightened, and this was the first time she had seen him look scared.

She was stretched out on the couch.

She was still woozy. Despite this, she took a moment to tick off in her mind - get copped a feel by a boy - check, even though she knew he was just feeling her heartbeat.

After a little while longer, she felt somewhat better. “I think I can sit up now,” she said.

She pushed herself up. Drew looked relieved. Nevertheless, he stayed crouched before her, his eyes looking up to her questioningly.

Then her heart all but melted at this, even though she had just been informed that she was indeed not human, and a beast. It was funny, that revelation had terrified her a short time ago, but presently this seemed to not be the end of the world, and it explained a lot.

Then her nose crinkled and she said, “Whoa...Drew, you really smell...”

And it was not a monster, or alien, or inhuman type smell. It was nasty, regular, sixteen old boy type smell. And she wasn’t kidding, he stunk. She wondered if his reek was what had brought her to, smelling salt style.

He looked at her with confusion. Then his stomach growled loud and long.

Her eyes opened wide. “When was the last time you ate?” she asked

“Fish fry,” he said.

“Yesterday afternoon?” she said as her alarm grew.

He said, “Yes.”

“And before that?!” she asked.

“Ice cream,” he said.

She instantly became furious with herself. She had been so self engrossed with her own tragic plight, she had completely missed that he was suffering. She could only imagine…

And her self-disgust grew as she now noticed he still had on the same t-shirt and jeans he had on two days ago. She also saw that his face was gaunt, and he had dark circles around his eyes.

“How did you sleep last night?” she asked.

“No sleep,” he said.

“Do you even sleep?” she asked

“Yes,” he said.

“Have you slept since you got here? From wherever you are from?”

“Some, little,” he said.

“When was that? When did you sleep last here?” she asked.

He looked like he wasn’t sure, and then he said, “Two days?”

“Jesus,” she whispered. “We’ve got to get you fixed up here. And quick.”

He stood up as she said this. He said, “What fixed-up?”

She said as she stood as well, “You need a shower because you smell bad, and clean clothes. You can’t go to school tomorrow smelling totally gross like that. And you need to be fed, and right now!”

He looked curiously into her eyes, and although he had dark circles around them and bags beneath them, his eyes still looked handsome as hell to her.

He said, “No smell. Shower first.”

“No fucking way,” she said. “Food first.”

“Shower first,” he said again.

“Oh, my god!” she cried. She threw up her hands. “All right, let’s get moving on that, cause you need something in you and pronto.”


A little later she got the shower’s water temperature right, then she closed the curtain. She said to Drew, who was standing next to her in the bathroom, “So I’m going to leave here and go outside. Then you’re going to take off all your clothes and leave them on the floor. Later, I’ll burn them. You, however, are going to pull that curtain open, step inside this tub, and then close the curtain across again. Got all that?”

“Yes,” he said.

She stepped outside the bathroom and she closed the door most of the way. After a minute or so she heard the curtain open and then close.

She called through the door’s crack, “Are you in the shower? Is the curtain closed all the way?”

Drew said, “Yes.”

“Are you absolutely sure?” she asked as she didn’t think she could take another shocking development happening without her passing out again.

“Yes,” he said.

Tentatively she opened the door. His clothes were on the floor and he was in the shower with the curtain closed. She blew a sigh of relief.

She had thought ahead. “Get your hair all wet,” she said as she retrieved the shampoo bottle she pulled out earlier and placed on the tub’s ledge.

“Hair all wet,” he said after a moment.

She pulled the curtain back a smidge. “Stick your hand out here, past the curtain…”

Drew put his hand past the edge of the curtain. His hand was a fist.

She smiled. She took his fist and opened his fingers. She made his hand flat. She squirted some shampoo on it.

She said, “Listen, that’s shampoo. It will sting and hurt if you get it in your eyes. Understand?”

“Yes,” he said.

“Now step outside the water, close your eyes, and rub that shampoo into your hair nice and good,” she said.

After a while Drew said, “Rub that shampoo into Drew hair nice and good.”

Her heart melted at this, all of this was very adorable.

She said, “Don’t open your eyes yet. Now step under the water and get all of the shampoo out. All of it.”

She stood there silently for time. Eventually Drew said, “All shampoo out hair.”

She shivered a little as he was getting so much better at talking. That sounded almost normal.

“You can open your eyes now and put that shampoo bottle on the rail there. And hey, I’m going to stick my hand in there to check the water, to make sure it hasn’t gotten too hot or cold. OK?” she finished.

“OK stick hand,” he said.

She put her hand back into the shower and under the water. She said, “Sometimes the water’s temperature changes as you shower. This feels a little cold.” She moved her hand down by feel to the hot and cold water knob. She said, “If you turn the knob this way, the water gets colder. If you turn it this way, the water gets hotter. I’m going to turn it up a little hotter.” And then she did so.

She put her hand back under the water. It seemed to get a little warmer, and she thought the temperature wasn’t too chilly now.

She retrieved the bar of soap from off the tub’s ledge and stuck her hand past the curtain. “Take this,” she said. Drew took the bar of soap from her hand.

She smiled. She was actually having a fun time with all this. She sat down on the toilet seat cover and she began, “That’s soap, You’re going to rub it all over you. You’re going to want to get your armpits, your butt crack, and your feet the best. Do those twice actually. Careful when you do your feet, cause soap is slippery. You have to keep your balance and watch your footing in there or you’ll fall down. Understand?”

“Yes,” he said.

And for a time they were both quiet. A couple of minutes passed before she asked, “How’s it going in there, kiddo?”

Drew said, “Now finish soap.”

And before she could say anything, he said, “Now get soap off, right?”

She smiled. She said quietly, “Yes.”

After a while he said, “Shower good…”

“Yeah?” she asked as her eyes lit up. “Do you want to relax and splash around in there some more, while I see if I can find anything that will fit you?”

“Yes,” he said.

She left the bathroom and made a beeline to Mr. Wezell’s bedroom, as his was the only bedroom on this floor of his house.

As she opened his door, she stood in shock at what she saw.

Lying on his bed were plastic packets of clothes; men’s extra large tee-shirts, men’s extra large boxers, new jeans that looked like they’d fit Drew, snazzy shorts, spaco size 10 and a half sneakers, a bathrobe, slippers, etc..

They were all unopened and untouched.

Jesus, she thought. She suddenly realized Mr. Wezell hadn’t left Drew in a lurch. He had all the stuff for him here, already. She mused that Mr. Wezell must have left in a hurry, so they must not have had much overlap time...if any at all.

Mr. Wezell didn’t even have time to show Drew how to change his clothes.

And then she thought about Drew, as she sadly opened an underwear pack.


Soon Drew was outfitted in a clean tee, new underwear and jeans, and fresh kicks. Valerie thought he looked pretty damn spiffy and handsome. She smelled him without even thinking about what she was doing. Then she froze, as she realized how close she was to him.

“Good?” he asked.

She stepped back and blushed. She said quietly, “Yes, you look and smell great.”


Time was ticking as it was almost five now. She knew she had to get some decent food into him and lots of it.

And she needed to get him out of her hair to do so. Cooking lessons could come another day.

She plopped him in front of the TV. She clicked the remote on. The TV jabbered to life and ESPN sports highlights were on. Somebody had kept his satellite TV on for Drew, and she smiled thinking of Mr. Wezell.

“Watch that,” she said to him. She watched him for a moment and he seemed to be sucked into the TV instantly.

She smiled and thought - not human my ass, that a classic, dumb man right there.

Then she went into the kitchen. She cringed for a moment before she opened the first cupboard.

She needn’t have worried, as it wasn’t bad at all. She saw boxes of mac-n-cheese, tins of spam, spaghettios, cans of chili and the like. Not the best, she thought, but not the worst, and more importantly, there was plenty of it.

She grabbed three boxes and two tins from out of it. She put them on the counter and then she opened the fridge.

It was a little more bare, but there was the milk and butter in it she needed right now. She pulled both out and she checked the milk’s date. It was still good.

Then, as she went to close the door, she smiled.

There was a six pack of beer in there. She grabbed one and then she closed the door shut.

She cracked the beer open and she grabbed a colander. She brought the bottle over to Drew and put it on the coffee table in front of him.

He unglued his eyes from football highlights to glance at it for a second. Immediately his eyes returned to the TV., although he did ask, “What that?”

She all but squealed gaily, “It’s a beer!”

She made straight outside with her colander, so she could get something really healthy from Mr. Wezells’s garden to round out that other dinner crap. And she smiled big as she thought - fetch a handsome boy a beer - check!

Just a little later she came back in with a boat load of string beans, three still unrotten, late tomatoes and a giant zucchini in her colander.

As she walked past Drew, she asked, “How is it?”

He absentmindedly said, “Beer gross,” as he intently watched the TV.

She laughed. “You’ll get used to it,” she said.


At around six she was finally done. It wasn’t the best, nevertheless she was feeling all Martha Stewartly and domestic. All the food steamed, and she loved that. She made up two very heavily loaded plates.

“Come and get it,” she said as she put them on the table she had set to semi-perfection.

Drew stood and began to walk to her, but then he stopped. He turned around and picked up the remote.

“How do TV stop?” he asked her.

“You are the best!’ she cooed. “Are we just going to talk while we eat?”

“Yes,” he said. “How do TV stop?

“Point it at the TV and push the red button.,” she said.

He did so and the TV clicked off. He set the remote down on the coffee table. He picked up his beer, and he came to the dinner table and sat down in front of his plate.

She demonstrated to him how to use a knife and fork. He picked up on this quickly.

And then for a time, they ate in silence. She couldn’t believe the civility and restraint with which he ate his food. He must have been starving. If she had been him, she would have been shoveling it into her fat mouth like there was no tomorrow.

He carefully took one bite of everything. And then he did so again. He said, “All good.”

“Isn’t it?” she said all proud of herself.

“Yes,” he said. “More good fish fry.” And, of course, she was ecstatic at his compliment, even though she thought he was way wrong.

When he was about halfway through, and she was nearly done inhaling hers, he cut a bite sized piece of spam off a slab. He held it up to her so she could see it. He asked, “What this?”

She said, “Pan fried Spam.”

He nodded his head. He put it in his mouth and he said, “Spam yummy.”

She giggled at this.

He speared a string bean with his fork and held it up to her. “What this?” he asked.

“A boiled string bean, with some butter and salt on it,” she said.

Drew nodded his head and said, “It good” as he put it in his mouth.

She started to feel all cozy inside.

He forked up some mac-n-cheese and he looked at her questioningly.

She said softly, “That’s mac-n-cheese that’s dressed up with a little tomato, and it has some zucchini in it…”

Drew nodded his head. With his fingers he picked a green huck out of it with his fingers. He held it up so she could see it. He looked at her questioningly.

“That’s the zucchini,” she said smiling.

He dropped it on his plate and he said, “Zucchini gross.”

She laughed and laughed at this. So much so that Drew smiled.

She said, “Eat it, it’s good for you!”

“No,” he said.

She laughed more and said, “Just cover it up with your mac-n-cheese!”

“No,” he said.

She laughed more, but then she gave up on that age-old vegetable battle.

Then for a time she just watched him eat. He was almost done now. He said, “Mac-n-cheese good.”

She smiled at this, he was charming the socks off her and she felt wonderful.

He killed her completely when he ate his zucchini too. Then his plate was empty

“There’s lots more? Want more?” she asked him quietly.

He shook his head no.

“Alright,” she said. ‘I’ll tupperware the rest and you can have more later tonight or tomorrow.” Then she just enjoyed sitting with him at the table for a moment.

She thought he kind of looked sad for a moment, but soon he said, “Thank you yummy food.”

At this she tried not to lose it, but she failed, and a slow tear ran down her face.


A few minutes later she looked at the mess in the kitchen. She looked at Mr. Wezell’s old clock on the wall and it said - 6:30. She did some math. Time was getting tight.

She said to Drew as he put their dirty silverware in the sink, “Can I use your phone?”

“Of course,” he said.

She chuckled and picked up Mr Wezell’s extremely old fashioned phone. She spun the rotary thing round again and again until she dialed home.

After about eight billion rings her grandmother finally answered the phone.

“Hello?” her Grams squawked.

“Hi Gram, it’s me,” she said.

“My word, Valerie!” her grandmother said. “Where are you?”

She smiled and said, “I’m still down the road, at Mr. Wezell’s…”

“When are you coming home?” she asked. “You need dinner…”

She said, “I had dinner here. Listen, I’m helping over here. Unpacking and all. The boy is pretty new at all this moving in stuff. This may take a while. I might not be home until after dark. If I’m not home before dark, don’t worry, OK?”

Her Grandmother said, “Oh, that’s nice of you. But you can’t walk the road after dark.”

“I’ll have the boy walk me home if it’s dark when I leave,” she lied.

“Oh, Ok,” said her grandmother.

“OK, Gram, thanks. And don’t worry, and don’t wait up.”

“Oh, OK sweetie. You be careful,” said her grandmother. Then she hung up.


That bought her some time, but not much, so she started whipping around the kitchen and cleaning this all up, as fast as she could get her fat ass to go. She was getting pretty tired.

“Help clean,” said Drew as he watched her.

“No,” she said. “Listen, take a seat at the table. You can watch me, and then you’ll get a sense of it for when you have to do it the first time by yourself.”

He nodded his head. He sat down at the dinner table and he watched her.

She instantly felt self-conscious at this. Again, she was not used to people looking at her for very long.

“Why don’t you tell me a story while I do the dishes?” she suggested.

He looked at her and he seemed confused.

She thought, I am such an idiot. How the hell is he going to tell me a story? Then she thought about him. She asked him quietly, “So where exactly are you from? Point to it, please...”

She half expected him to point up, like to some faraway planet in space.

But once again he surprised her. He did point his finger, but he pointed it in the direction of further down their road.

She shivered at this. She asked, “Do you mean the woods?”

Drew said, “Yes, and no.”

“But you do mean like another world?” she asked softly.

“Yes,” he said.

“What do the people look like there?” she whispered. She now expected him to start describing ugly, horrific giants.

He said, “No look people. No look Wezell, Drew now. Be light. Be bright.”

She was stunned by this. “Do you mean like lights, or the sun or stars?” she asked in fascination and fear.

“Yes,” he said.

“But then how do you look like a person now?” she asked.

“Wezell make,” said Drew.

Valerie asked softly, “He made you look human?”

“Yes,” said Drew. “And he Wezell too.”

“So you and him are bright lights there too?” she asked.

He said, “Yes, and no.”

“What do you mean?” she asked.

He sat there quietly for quite a while, and it was oblivious to her he couldn’t explain this like he wanted. Meanwhile, she continued to work on the dishes, there were a lot still so she began to kick it up a notch.

She noticed it was starting to get a little dark in the kitchen, as night was rolling in. She flicked on the kitchen’s light so she could see better.

And as she flicked the light on, she flicked Drew on as well. He stood, walked over to the light switch, and he looked at it.

“What that?’” he asked.

“It’s a light switch,” she said. “They’re all around the house. Go look for yourself if you want.”

He walked out into the living room, and he found one. He flicked it up and the light above him illuminated. Then he walked over to the hallway and he flicked that on too. Then, of course, the hall’s overhead light went on too.

“Valerie,” he said, and this froze her in mid furious scrub.

“What?’ she asked softly as this was the first time he said her name, which she liked a lot.

“Stop clean, leave clean dishes, another day clean dishes. Show light switch more,” he said.

She was chilled by this. She put the soapy dish she had down in the sink and she took off her gloves. She hated a dirty kitchen, but she had to admit he was right. There was toothbrushing to introduce, and lord only knew what else. She didn’t even want to think about what his whole going-to-bathroom situation might be. And obviously he hadn’t been sleeping in the bed, as the new clothes had been laying all over it. He needed to be shown how to use the bed, and she wanted to personally tuck him in before she left, to make up for the shameful neglect she had shown him over the last many days. So she abandoned the stupid dishes for tomorrow, and she walked over to him. He was standing next to one of Mr. Wezell’s lamps.

“OK, so that’s a lamp, for instance,” she said, “They light up too.”

“Show,” he said to her.

She put her hand under the shade and she turned it on by twisting the knob.

“You can turn them off by this knob too,” she said, but when she went to turn it off it only got brighter. She didn’t realize it was a three way lamp.

“Opps,” she said as she clicked it up once more and then clicked it again to turn it off.

Drew slid his hand under the lamp’s shade and he found her hand on the knob. She went to remove her hand, but he said, “Sorry grabby Valerie, no move hand lamp knob, please.”

With his fingers gently over hers, he said, “Make lamp go.”

Slowly, she turned through the lamp’s cycle and Drew left his fingers on hers as she did so.

She went to remove her hand again, but Drew kept his fingers around hers to keep her fingers on the knob. And then he looked into her eyes as he said, “Valerie, we bright lamp Wezell Drew world.” Then he turned her fingers above the knob one click, and the lamp turned on to its lowest setting.

“Now lamp light Drew be world.,” he said. She was totally transfixed by this, by his tone, by his touch and by his closeness.

Then he gently made her fingers twist the knob one more click and it brightened to its middle setting. “Lamp light others, most others.”

Then he made her fingers twist the knob again to its brightest setting. “Lamp light few there, few, very bright, Wezell be.”

She was very moved by all this, and she was fascinated and intrigued by what he said as well.

Then she awoke from this delicious stupor and cried, “Wait! Are you telling me you aren’t very bright there?! That you’re low, your status, or your position, or power, is low there?”

“Yes,” he said.

“Most…”people” there are brighter than you?” she asked

“Yes,” he said.

She said softly, “That is hard for me to believe.”

“Believe,” he said..

She asked in a hush tone, “Mr. Wezell’s bright there? He has a lot of power there?”

“Yes,” said Drew. “A lot power. Very bright.”

“Is he the brightest?” she asked in a hushed, husky tone.

“No,” said Drew. “Few be same bright, one very, more bright.”

“Who’s brighter,” she asked in quivering anticipation.

“Queen,” he said. Then before she could ask him something else, he said, “Queen old. Sick. Die in time. Wezell help Queen now. Why Wezell no help Drew. Why Wezell go world fast.”

She could not move a muscle at this and she could not speak now. Drew simply looked into her eyes and his eyes were expectant. Finally, she said as her voice shook, “Why are you telling me this?”

“Valerie Queen after Queen die,” he said.

She felt her heart clench hard in her chest. She asked, “I’m supposed to be the next Queen of your world?”

Drew nodded his head.

She whispered in total fear, “And if I refuse to take that opening position. What if I say no?”

Drew’s water blue eyes looked straight into her eyes. He said, “Drew Wezell World…” He paused for a moment, then he moved her fingers a little and the lamp clicked off.


A few moments later she came to on Drew’s couch again.

Once again he was crouched next to her, and once again he looked alarmed and concerned.

“Did I make it over here on my own?” she asked weakly.

“No,” he said. “I grabby you air, like football.”

This made her warm inside. She said, “And after you caught me, then you carried me over here too?”

“Yes,” he said. She looked at him in awe. He must have seen this because he said, “No hard do.”

“It is very hard for me to believe you aren’t bright, in your world,” she said.

“Believe,” he said again.

“Drew, I don’t want to be the next Queen of your world,” she said in terror, and if she could have stood, which she couldn’t right then, she would have bolted out the door.

“No make Valerie. You choose,” he said.

“Wonderful,” she said. “That’s comforting.”

He said, “No worry now. Queen more time. You no ready.”

“That’s comforting too,” she said.

“Valerie, I help...you,” he said.

She said, “Nothing you say, or do, is going to make me want to go there…wherever it is. I’m no Queen, for God’s sake! Plus, I’m completely frightened by such a thing. I’m surprised I haven’t peed myself about all of this yet.”

Drew was still crouched down next to her, and he was very close to her. She liked this a lot. He was truly comforting. She thought she was practically three quarters in love with him now as he was so sweet and charming - and fascinating.

He said, “I help you. Wezell pick.”

She froze and she asked, “Mr. Wezell choose you to help me?”

He said, “Yes,”

She said, “He did a great job.”

Drew said, “You think. Wezell think. Others no think. No want Drew help Valerie, no bright. Wezell want Drew. He go mad. Shake world, very mad others, all scare, he pick.”

Valerie thought and said, “When his mind was made up he was one to stick to his guns.” She thought some more and then asked, “But if others thought you not “bright” enough to help me, why didn’t he just send ten of you guys to help me?”

“No do,” he said. Then he thought for a time, but after a while it became clear to her that he didn’t yet have the words to express what he was thinking.

She said, “Nevermind that for now. So, just so that I know I have this right, these others, they didn’t want you to help me?”

“Yes,” he said.

She said, “They didn’t want you because you weren’t powerful.”

“Yes,” he said. “Pick always more big bright.”

She tingled and she said, “This has happened before? Someone is sent here, like you, to help usher in your world’s new queen.”

He said, “Many times, all times. Always from here.”

She shivered as he said this. She asked quietly, “And these “others,” are these others like some kind of council?”

“What council?” he asked.

“A small number of people who have a lot of power,” he said.

“Yes,” he said.

“How many of them are there?”

“No know numbers,” he said.

She was just about to ask him if he didn’t know his counting numbers or if he didn’t know how many were on this council, when she took notice of the dark circles around his eyes and how exhausted he looked. Her endless questions, right now, weren’t helping.

She was finally able to gather enough strength to stand up.

She said, “I won’t ever want to be your world’s Queen…And thinking about that right now makes me feel like throwing up.”

“Why?” he asked. “Valerie love Drew-Wezell world. All love you world. Valerie highest, brightest.” Then he said almost angrily. “Here, Valerie nothing.” Then he said as he smiled, “Drew-Wezell world, Valerie everything.”

She said, “I won’t go. I won’t do it.”

Drew said, “All say so, all go. Think Valerie go.”

“Why did they go? Why did those women leave here, to go there?” she whispered, “And why do you think I’ll go too?”

Then he said as if this was completely obvious, “Because you kind.” He pointed to his clean clothes. He pointed to the food in the refrigerator and he said, “You go, because you kind.”

She smiled wanly at this and she said, “Hey, that reminds me.”

He said, “Remind you what?”

She said, “In a couple of minutes, and if I don’t vomit, before I go, I want to show you how to brush your teeth.”

He asked, “What brush teeth?”

“Exactly,” she said. And then she smiled a little at him.


Sometime later they both stood at his doorway. She turned the porch light on, as it was now eight o’clock and night had fallen.

“You’ll be alright here tonight?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said.

“You don’t have to walk me home,” she said. ‘It’s not that far.”

Drew said, “Want walk.”

She smiled at him and then they left out the door. Once out of the walkway and driveway, she realized she could see fairly well, as the moon was about three quarters full.

They walked up the road together. The tree creepers were peeping and the breeze was warm for mid September. She couldn’t help think how romantic this all felt, especially with Drew insisting he walk her home and all.

She ruined the mood and she said, “I have about eight billion questions I want to ask you tomorrow.”

“OK,” he said.

They walked a little further and she said, “I’m so exhausted. You have to be near dead from...everything.”

Drew said, “Valerie sleep soon...in castle.”

She shivered as he said this. She said, “Drew, when you get home I want you to get in bed right away, like I showed you, and try to get some sleep, OK?”

“Yes,” he said.

They walked some more quietly, and soon enough the lights from her house could be seen. Tired as she was, she wished their walk had been a little longer.

And before she knew it, they were at the edge of her yard and standing at the beginning of her driveway.

“I grabby you tomorrow truck. No bus,” he said.

“But we’ll be going to school, right?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said.

She said very quietly, “Drew, I don’t suppose I could get a goodnight kiss from you now?” She hoped the shadows were dark enough so he couldn’t see her face burn.

He said, “Not supposed to.”

She practically felt her heart break. But then he kissed her. It was sweet and nice.

He said through their kiss, “Want grabby Valerie.”

She whispered back, “Go for it.”

He put his arms around her waist and then he pulled her into him. They kissed more. Then he surprised the hell out of her when he gave her some tongue action. She absentmindedly noticed he did a good job brushing his teeth, and then this idiotic thought instantly left her, and she got super warm inside, and even down there, and she got a little whoozy from it all.

He stopped before she was ready for him to. He let her go of her.

She said dreamily as her knees felt weak, “I thought you weren’t supposed to do that.”

He said, “So?”

She laughed at this a lot. She said in a happy daze, “Drew, thank you so much. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me. You are the best. Good night.” And then she walked up her driveway to her house.

Then he did a funny thing. He peppered her with talk as she slowly made her way to her house.

“I grabby you up tomorrow, Wezell truck, no bus,” he said.

She laughed like an idiot and said, “Yes.”

“Lunch tomorrow, Drew, Valerie,” he said.

She giggled and said, “Yes.”

“No bus home. Drew drive,” he said.

Now she was on her porch, so she turned to him and she said, “Yes.”

It was hard for her to see him now, as the lights of her house were behind her and he was in the shadows of the edge of the yard. Nevertheless, she could make out that he hadn’t moved, and he was just watching her.

“Kiss good?” he asked.

She immediately said, “Ssshhh!” as she shot a hurried look back toward her house.

Then she turned around and she whispered-yelled him a very enthusiastic, “Yes!”

Drew just stood there for a time looking at her, and she became shy and embarrassed by this. Eventually he said, “Good night, Valerie.”

This gave her a shiver and she said, “Good night, Drew.” Then she went inside.
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