The girl behind the counter had waves of long, copper-colored hair beneath her Dairy Queen cap, deep green eyes, and a smile that made me want to grab her pale hand and run as fast as we both could from this suddenly unsavory establishment of fried meat and peanut parfaits. I could tell she was new––instead of forcing me to dance for my food or catch the boxes as they sailed through the air, she placed them on a tray and thanked me for my order.
I stood frozen in place, heart pounding in my ears and fingers tingling. The electrical zing quickly spread over my entire body, but this was due to the application of a stun gun to my backside by an elderly pensioner who had low blood sugar and desperately needed a large strawberry sundae. I didn’t know that at the time, but like all secrets in life read it in the police blotter the next day.
The squeal of tires woke me in time to see an ambulance and squadron of police cars disappear into the distance. Apparently the application of justice and proper medical care meant dragging me across the street to the next jurisdiction and phoning up the neighboring police department like giggling schoolgirls. Before a new battalion of civil servants could arrive with similar pleasantries, I stumbled across the street to my car and drove home.
The red-haired girl behind the counter had created strange emotions inside me; an elated, nervous excitement that I had never experienced before apart from the first time I heard the Knight Ryder theme song and saw K.I.T.T. rocketing across the desert with a drunk Michael behind the wheel, twelve supermodels and a bottle of Wild Turkey under his belt and the day still young. Michael, wake up!
I sideswiped the slow security gate and sped into the garage, unfortunately forgetting to open the door first. Mother knew something was up, either from the gigantic crash that had shaken the house or the beatific grin on my face.
“Is this love that I’m feeling?” I asked her, after explaining the situation. “Is this the love that I’ve been searching for?”
Like a deft aboriginal warrior, Mother took off a high heel and flipped it across the room at me.
“No, it’s not!” she screamed. “And stop quoting Whitesnake!”
I retreated to my room like a gigantic wallaby who’d just had a shoe chucked at his head, panicked that Mother would turn off the power before I could make it to my computer. I slammed into my chair and googled “love.”
“A feeling of strong or constant affection for another.”
I searched through hours of Haddaway and Ace of Base videos and found absolutely nothing about running away together and joining the Legion Etrangere. I have to find out if the red-haired girl feels the same as I do (just maybe about chocolate or cats or trumpets or whatever it is that girls like).