The Island (Part One)

The Island (Part One)

A Story by Stanley R. Teater
"

A young man discovers love for the first time.

"

My father was an attorney in Chicago. His ethics were considered suspect, even by Chicago standards. Nevertheless, he was successful enough that he bought a vacation home on an island off the coast of  Georgia, and we spent our summers there from the time I was twelve until I went away to college. He said he liked the island because it was as quiet and calm as Chicago was loud and brash. I suspect he also liked it because there was no one there who knew his shady reputation. It was a place he could relax and enjoy himself, without looking over his shoulder or answering uncomfortable questions from judges, clients, or the bar association.

 Like an old photograph after too many years on a sunny wall, my memory of those days on the island has faded. The colors have been bleached away and the sharp lines separating each moment from the next have blurred, leaving behind an image so faint that I could almost believe it belonged to someone else’s life. Almost. There is one image that is still firmly etched in my mind, as vivid today as it was then, rendered unforgettable by its beauty and regret, its joy and pain. The image is that of a face. Her face.

I was sixteen. I knew nothing of love, little of life, and my excessive supply of teenage hormones had made me very difficult to live with. That summer I avoided my parents and they avoided me. They contented themselves spending time with each other and with my six-year old sister who was cute, cuddly and not yet giving any hint of the troubled young woman she would eventually become.

It was the 4th of July. In an effort to draw visitors from the mainland and other nearby islands, the local Chamber of Commerce was having a fireworks display that they billed as “The Biggest Bang on the East Coast.” As the sun began to set hundreds of people started appearing on the beach. Soon the sand was littered with blankets, ice chests, picnic baskets, and bodies that still glistened with suntan oil. I had staked out my spot early on a sand dune very close to the water. I lay down with the ocean in front of me and the hordes of people behind me. Except for the cries of children and the scolding shouts of their parents I could almost believe I was alone, just me and the sky where an eruption of magical lights was about to take place for my private enjoyment.

“May I share your blanket?”

I turned toward the voice and saw her for the very first time. She had hair the color of a moonless night, exotic almond-shaped green eyes, and lips curled up in a mischievous smile that hinted at many possibilities.  A white cover-up was draped over her shoulders. She wore a crimson bikini that displayed a great deal more than it hid. Wow, was what I thought. “I guess so,” was what I said. She lay down beside me, so close I could feel the heat of her body.  I sensed a strange stirring inside me.

“My name’s Margaret,” she said. “Since you’re cute you can call me Margie.”

Cute!  Suddenly, I could feel my heart pounding. “I’m George,” I said. “George Arledge.”

“What can I call you?”

“Uh, George. I guess.”

She giggled. “I think Georgie Porgie. Or maybe Gorgeous George. I’ll let you know which one I decide on.”

I suppose they had fireworks that night, but I didn’t really see them.  The fireworks in my body blinded me to anything else. Finally, as the other people on the beach began to fold their blankets and go away, Margie reached over and poked me in the ribs. “Let’s take a walk, Georgie Porgie.”

We walked and talked for more than an hour. Actually, she talked; I mostly listened and nodded.  She was an older woman - 18.  Her last name was Franklin and she lived on the island all year long. Her family owned a small amusement park that operated only during the summer months when the island was taken over by “the Yankees from up north”.  She and her parents lived in a cottage tucked behind the Tilt-A-Whirl.  There had been an older brother who fought in Vietnam. She told me that one day she hoped to go to Washington and visit the Veterans Memorial so she could touch his name and say goodbye.

Our walk ended at the amusement park. We stood beneath a gaudy flashing sign that read Franklin’s House of Fun. Loud, happy music and the sound of squealing children danced on the air which was rich with the smell of buttered popcorn. “I’d invite you in,” said Margie, “but as soon as my dad sees me he’ll make me change clothes and put me to work. We do a lot of business on Independence Day.” So it was time to say goodbye. I looked at her, longing to fold her in my arms and hold her so tight our two warm bodies would melt into one. I must have had a pretty pitiful look on my face because Margie giggled, patted me on the cheek, and said, “See you around, Georgie Porgie.” Then she turned around and was gone.

It was to be a long night. Drunk on the memory of her my mind wheeled and soared.  I cursed myself for not trying to kiss her, not even trying to hold her hand.  I imagined a dozen possibilities for our next meeting. I made many promises to myself. Next time I would be assertive, manly, taking charge. I would look into her eyes and say meaningful heartfelt things to her. My voice would be deep, a baritone hopefully, and it would not quiver.  When I held her in my arms I would impress her with my strength. Around dawn I sobered up and the timid doubts returned. She was two years older than I was.  Why would she be interested in a punk kid like me? I sighed. At last I dozed off into a fitful, edgy sleep, and I dreamed dreams of lonely despair.

 

                                              TO BE CONTINUED

                         

 

                                     © 2016 Stanley R. Teater

                                          All rights reserved


© 2016 Stanley R. Teater



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Reviews

Me after every night out XD

Posted 8 Months Ago


I enjoy your writing. the poetry is good, the prose is brilliant

Posted 1 Year Ago


Stanley R. Teater

1 Year Ago

Thank you for your kind words.
"Hair the color of a moonless night" That is probably one of the most interesting descriptions of hair I've ever read. I'm excited to see more.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Memories of youth and lost opportunity haunt us all. You've captured this very well, I almost felt like I was there, feeling George's anxiety, and remembered a few of my own teenage faded memories. I look forward to the next installment.

Posted 1 Year Ago


This story really takes you and puts you right there on the island. I could vividly imagine all of this with no effort at all. well done!

Posted 1 Year Ago


another excellent read, I love the characters you have so cleverly brought to life... look forward to hearing how there friendship evolves, well done, best wishes

Posted 1 Year Ago


Interesting story! Looking forward to part two!:)


Posted 1 Year Ago


I am looking forward to part two. Can't wait to see what lies ahead.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Hope they get to see each other on the island. It sounds like a fun place to visit. Valentine

Posted 1 Year Ago


wonderful story stanley,reminded me of a lot of stories from the fifties era

Posted 1 Year Ago



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Added on September 23, 2016
Last Updated on October 10, 2016

Author

Stanley R. Teater
Stanley R. Teater

Cedar Park, TX



About
Writing fiction has always been a dream. After 36 years working in television station marketing and advertising I grew tired of writing 30-second commercials and promos. I retired and I now write fict.. more..

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