A Chapter by Peter Rogerson

Waiting for the girl in the tennis dress


What did you make of her, Rick?” asked Taylor as the girl disappeared from sight.

Who?” asked Ricky in his most disinterested voice, one he was famous for at school when he was daring to be insolent to teachers.

The girl!” exclaimed Taylor, “the one who took the photo!”

Oh. I think she plays tennis,” yawned his friend, “from what she was wearing,” he added, “all white and stuff, and the bat she was carrying.”

But … she was … beautiful,” explained Taylor, using that phrase for the first time in his life. “And it’s a racquet,” he added.

You’re not going to get all dizzy over a girl, are you?” asked Ricky, “oh, I suppose there are some who might think she was pretty in a girly sort of way,” he added when he saw the expression on his friend’s face, “but I don’t like girls much. I never did, not since I was in juniors and they stood in silly circles chanting rhymes at playtime, and jumping and stuff. They’re not like … us. Anyway, she said she was going later this evening, with her folks, back to whatever nest of vipers they come from, and good riddance.”

I thought,” murmured Taylor, “I actually thought she was the most beautiful creature I have ever seen!”

So you are going to get all dizzy, then!” scowled Ricky, “well, you can keep it to yourself. I didn’t much like girls when I was a nipper and I still don’t.”

I don’t think I ever thought about it much,” confessed Taylor, “about whether I like girls, I mean, but I’m not talking about girls in general, but this one girl. The one whose hands held my camera. The one who took the photograph of us. I tell you what, let’s wait for her to come back and see whether she really is going or not.”

She is,” smirked Ricky, “see her folks,” he pointed, “those two grown ups must be her folks, and they’re taking their tent down even as you go into raptures about the girl who must be their daughter.”

Taylor looked, and true enough a largish man and his rather small wife were busy packing their tent away, doing it as if they were used to doing it in their sleep, laughing as they worked.

She’ll have to come back, though,” muttered Taylor, “that must be their car that they’re putting stuff into. It must be good to have a car. I’ll get one soon as I can drive.”

My dad says they’re more trouble than they’re worth,” advised Ricky, “always breaking down when you need them to keep going. I’m okay with my Raleigh.

Still, one that’s always breaking down’s just got to be better than not having one,” grunted Taylor, “come on, let’s sort the inside of the tent out and keep an eye out for that beautiful girl coming back. I might ask her what her name is.”

Well, my name’s Ricky, and it’s me you’re with,” said Ricky, “come on then if you want to be all domesticated. Which side to you want to sleep?”

They crawled back into their tent. The sun was already low in the sky and shining directly into it until they tied the entrance flaps shut.

That’s better,” grinned Ricky, “we won’t be dazzled now!”

But I won’t be able to see when she comes back,” protested Taylor, trying to open the flap enough to see out.

Smitten. The fool’s smitten,” gloated Ricky.

Just you shurrup!” growled Taylor.

The girl’s tent was soon completely packed away, and stashed neatly into the boot of the car, and the adults were seated in their seats, apparently waiting for their daughter to return. There was no girl, though, just the two they assumed must be her parents.

I want this side,” said Ricky when he was becoming annoyed by his friend’s obsession with a girl he’d probably never get to know. “When we sleep. I want this side.”

Okay,” responded Taylor, absently.

That way I’ll know where to crawl back to if I need to get up for a wee in the night.”

Okay,” repeated Taylor, then: “She’s coming! I’m sure that’s her!”

He ripped open the flaps to the tent, ignoring the sun, and pointed. Sure enough, a girl in a tiny tennis dress and with glorious long hair was making her way onto the camp site, waving her racquet at Sam Grossman who grinned back at her, as she skipped past the scruffy man’s hut.

I’ll ask her what she’s called,” decided Taylor, “I need to know her name, so that when I remember her I’ll be able to to myself I remember Josie or Rosie or Molly rather than I remember what’s her name.”

You’re sad,” groaned Ricky, “and to think I thought it would be just us two having fun!”

Wait! The car’s going!” gasped Taylor, “he’s started the engine and he’s going!”

He tried to drag himself out of the tent, but the car he’d been watching pulled across the field before he could squeeze out, then it paused by the tennis-skirted angel, and she climbed in.

I need to know her name,” moaned Taylor.

If you did it would be no good to you now,” almost gloated Ricky, and Taylor looked at him suddenly, as though he might be seeing him for the first time.

When you get out for a wee in the night, which part of the hedge were you thinking of using?” he asked.

Anywhere,” replied Ricky, nonplussed by a drop in the temperature of their friendship, “does it matter?”

It does to me,” grated Taylor, “because when I’m pissing I want to make sure it’s as far away from you as possible!”

© Peter Rogerson, 05.08.19

© 2019 Peter Rogerson

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Added on August 5, 2019
Last Updated on August 5, 2019
Tags: unpacking, returning, tennis dress, racquet


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 77 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..