Zach is cool. Barret is another kind of cool.
Zach was the typical young man who was considered a ‘jock’ by his fellow classmates or a ‘dream come true’ to coaches of several sports in the high school that he had attended. When he graduated, he had scholarship offers in three different sports, from three different universities.
The girls at high school and college saw him as six foot five inches, light brown hair, green eyes, and muscles that could carry anyone off into the sunset. His voice was warm and friendly. He dressed like a man from a big time magazine. He had a smile that could make a girl swoon. And he opened doors for ladies, along with other manners that could make even older ladies blush.
Coaches saw Zach as six foot five inches of athlete. His great body BMI made him look like Heracles. He had the best 100 yard time in the city. He had an arm that could throw a baseball, football or basketball with incredible precision. In volleyball his reflexes earned the team top places in finals many times. Added to this, he also made the dean’s list a few times. Zach, the complete student, had visits from coaches and alumni from universities out of state.
To the disappointment of the out of state coaches, Zach decided to go to college in the same city that he lived in. To the bigger disappointment of the girls, Zach wanted to stay at home to use the money he had earned to pay for a car. He used his mother or sister as a message taking center when he was not home. He tried to keep his cell phone number private, but Arlette owed a big favor to a girl’s sister and she accidentally let his number slip out in a conversation. He had twenty messages or calls the first day and many more the next day.
Zach and Barret enjoyed the beautiful day as they were driving to the store. It was so cool that there was no need for air conditioning. Each boy had their window down and reveled in the pleasant breeze that came into the car. The traffic was next to non-existent. The conversation started out to who would win this weekend’s football game.
When a small silence began, Zach took the opportunity to begin a subject that Barret knew was coming.
“I guess that I should warn you, but, my younger sister Arlette looked at you as if she would strawberry shortcake.”
“Oh yes. I noticed.” replied Barret with a chuckle.
“I believe I heard that a dance at her school is coming up and someone stole her intended escort.” Zach slowed down for a red light and gave Barret a slight glance.
“Well she is a pretty girl. She shouldn’t have any trouble getting a date or escort.” voiced Barret. He nervously looked at his watch.
“I hope so, but she has a problem in that she aims very high in the standards of acceptable men.”
The light turned green and a police car with its lights on and the siren roaring went through the intersection chasing after a creamed-colored SUV with tinted windows. Zach slammed on the brakes. Barret put his hands out to brace himself. Luckily there were no cars behind them to cause a rear-end collision. A young man had to run across the street to keep from being hit.
“Are you okay?” Zach asked. He looked at Barret to see that his friend had settled down again.
“Oh man, yeah.”
“I didn’t even see it coming.” Zach looked both ways and then headed across the intersection carefully.
“Well don’t feel bad. I didn’t see it either.”
There was a ringing sound coming from the pocket of Barret’s pants.
“Excuse me.” He pulled the cell phone out of his pocket and opened it up. “Oh hello, ah, granny. I didn’t expect you to call now.” He covered his mouthpiece with one hand.
“You need me home?” Barret’s face went from pleasantly calm to one of concern. He listened and was shaking his head in acknowledgement to the message he was receiving. “Okay, I’ll be home.”
He pressed ‘end’ on the cell phone and closed it up. “Gosh, this is embarrassing, Zach. I’m going to have to ask you to take me to the car repair shop so I can get my car and go home. Duty to family comes first.” he said with an apologetic smile.
“No problem. I can take you home if your car is not fixed yet.” offered Zach. He turned at the next corner to begin the return trip. As he did, he saw three of his friends from one of his classes who waved at him. He waved back and continued to go on.
“Gee that is nice, but I really need the car, and hopefully, the state inspection and alignment should be finished. I got in early so I would have been about first or second in line.” Barret smiled and started tapping the door part of the car. He gave the address to a service repair center that was a couple of blocks from the gym.
The trip took only about ten minutes and Barret hopped out.
“Thanks a lot. I am sure that granny is okay, but I might have to miss the next practice if she needs to…go to her doctor.”Barret turned to walk into the office of the repair shop. He pointed to an old, small car in a line of cars and gave a thumbs up sign to Zach.
“Yea. We’ll be okay. Our second string needs practice too.” Zach watched his friend go into the repair shop. He noticed that the car had a rental sticker on it. He thought it was odd that Barret didn’t take it back to the rental place but then some companies had unusual policies.
Zach turned the corner to go back to home to get a small lunch and then get some of his reading done for one of his classes. He did not see Barret walk out of class and be picked up by a car with a woman driver in it.
“You know, I really must get a car too.” he told the driver.