The Story of Time

The Story of Time

A Story by RoughWaterJohn

Youth and love, and the vagaries of life


 Time found love, and was surprised by how painful it was. From the whispered stories, as well as the bragging, he thought it would have been more fun. He began to wonder why everyone wanted it. Two hours ago he had been knee deep in a muddy pond, frog in one hand and half a sandwich in the other, both soaking wet. He had been having the time of his life, now that was fun. So far, love made him feel a little uncomfortable, like when he was hungry, but didn’t know what to ask mom for. She never made what he asked for anyway, so he spent little time deciding. Maybe it was a girl thing, although he had trouble thinking of his mom as a girl, woman he guessed, or even female. She was mom. This whole thing was beginning to sound like more trouble than it was worth. Darn, he should have kept the frog.

 At 10 years and 9 months, 3 more months!, kids were starting to tease him about his name, even his friends! There was a girl named Sky, which he thought a little odd, but the rest had normal names, names that didn’t make parents look at you strange when you visited after school for the first time. His parents never could explain why they named him Time. The few times he asked, they just looked embarrassed, at each other, at him, then at nothing in particular, before asking what he did in school that day or would he like a snack, which wouldn’t be what he wanted anyway, so why did they keep asking? Maybe he should ask for something he didn’t like, he might end up with something he would actually enjoy. I’ll try that next time he thought.

 Now that Time had found love, he wasn’t sure what to do about it. He didn’t have it, he’d just found it, yesterday actually. He was seldom able to find things he lost, so he was curious how he had found love, without having had it before. Time seemed to lose a lot of things, but he occasionally found them again, long after he lost interest though. He hadn’t been looking under his bed, in his closet, or in the garage where Dad always yelled and told him “don’t touch that”, which only made him want to. He had been sitting outside at lunch with his friends. They were talking about football, and some stupid video game, which was a little boring. He wanted to talk about The Martian Chronicles, which he’d just finished reading, but he’d learned that lesson the year before. You don’t talk books with boys, you talk balls or bikes, frogs ‘maybe’.

 Sitting with his back against the table top, his eyes wandered around the courtyard. They stopped when he saw Effie, which he thought odd. He knew girls existed, they took up half the seats in each class after all, and talked more than two classes of boys combined. They existed, just not in his world. Kind of like the planets Mr. Barrett was always talking about in science. You knew they were there, but you never looked at them, they never gave you tests or food you didn’t want, and they didn’t talk about sports at lunch. Why did he notice her now? He looked up quickly, wondering if the planets were now visible, but no, they were still in space somewhere, not bothering him. For some reason, Effie bothered him, and not in a way he was entirely comfortable with.

 She had breasts now, which made him uncomfortable, just thinking the word. Even though they weren’t his, and he would never have to deal with them, the fact that ‘she’ had them seemed a little unnatural. He wondered where girls went during the summer, the ones that came back to school with breasts like Effie. He made up his mind to ask Spencer where he went over the summer. Spencer had two older sisters, both with breasts. He would make sure his family never went there, wherever it was. Spencer didn’t have them, but he wasn’t taking any chances, he already got enough ribbing because of his name and his love of reading, he wasn’t going to add those to his life.

 Time realized he had been noticing Effie for a while now, but was too ashamed at the admission to think how long. He watched her whenever she tucked her hair behind one ear, watched when she laughed and her nose turned up a bit, had watched when she tucked her skirt under her as she sat down. He’d caught himself several times, picturing her face as he lay in bed reading, the book a forgotten object on his chest. She had green eyes. How did he know that? He couldn’t even say what color shirt he was wearing without looking down. Why? Why Effie, why now? It took him several weeks before he realized he was in love, then a few more weeks before he could say the word in his head. He would ‘never’ say it out loud, he knew that with certainty. Most of the books he read had someone loving someone else in them, maybe that was where he recognized the signs. He would have to read more carefully.

 It was Saturday, and Time decided he was going to talk to Effie. He couldn’t do it at school, not where his friends could see. He wanted to spend time with her, even though he had no idea what they could possibly do together. Maybe she liked frogs. Hey, maybe he could talk about books! Love was certainly a mystery. Time didn’t mind mysteries in the right place, somewhere between page 209 to 342 perhaps, but outside of a book, they gave him a queasy feeling. Effie gave him a queasy feeling. He wondered if Effie had ever thought about him. He wondered if he was handsome, normal or maybe even ugly. How was a boy supposed to know? Mom called him handsome, but then she called Dad handsome, and he had a beer gut and a mustache that was never even. Time pushed his stomach out a little, maybe Effie would think him handsome if he had a gut, even though he’d only tried his Dad’s beer once. It was warm, and tasted like piss. How could Dad drink that stuff? He finally relaxed, letting his stomach back in. He knew there was no way to keep it out for more than a minute, so it wouldn’t fool Effie. Oh well, only a block from her house, no time to worry about it now.

 She was sitting on her porch which made him sigh in relief, then panic. He had never thought about how he was actually going to see her, what else had he not thought of? Thank God she was on the porch, but now what was he supposed to do. Effie’s (green!) eyes watched him warily, and he thought about walking right passed. Making up his mind at the last minute, he stopped then turned up her walk. Effie smiled and he thought damn, what if this is a trap? Trap? Maybe he had been reading too much lately.

 “I was just about to give up on you ever showing up”, Time startled at her words.

“Uhhhh…. Why would you think I would show up” Time asked, hesitation a soundtrack to his words.

“I didn’t know you would, I was just about to stop wondering if you ever would though. We’ve never talked before, and we’re not friends, but I have seen you looking at me at school. There’s only one reason you would be coming to see me”

Damn, this wasn’t like anything he had ever read, What didn’t he know, what was he supposed to do? Time stopped, unsure, and looked down. My shirts blue, he realized. If he’d had the frog from earlier, he would have handed it to her, then ran off. Unarmed and empty handed though, he didn’t know what to do next. Looking up, he saw her nose was turned up a bit, she’s smiling!

“Why am I here” he asked.

“You like me” she said, still smiling.

 Holy crap! How do girls know this stuff? They’re in the same classes I am, they never taught this in school, who teaches them, where? Summer! It must happen when they get breasts. That thought made him cough, then look down. I really need to find out where they go he realized.

“Do you?”

“What” he asked.

“Like me?”

“Uhh….. yeah” he stammered, then, looking up, straight into her green he said “Yes. How did you know that, that I liked you?”

 Effie smiled again. After a moment she said “I didn’t, I just hoped you would. I’ve liked you for a long time now, but boys are stupid and take a long time before they know what they’re thinking. I didn’t know if you would figure it out before I gave up, or if you would admit it once you did.” She patted the step beside her “Sit down”.

 Time walked over to the steps and sat down, about a foot from Effie, but on the same step. He didn’t say anything. In truth, words had left him. They were still standing on the walkway where he had been standing, quivering in fear and about to run. He fervently hoped they would gain some courage and join him soon, he could use them now, if ever.

 Effie was looking at him, still smiling. What now he thought, what do I say? She leaned towards him and he shouted, jumping a little. His words had returned, but not the right ones. Effie laughed and touched his arm with her hand. It was warm (it burned!) and he hoped she would never take it away.

 Time thought for a moment, then asked, “How did you know? How did you know I would be here, that I liked you? Even I didn’t know I was going to be here, how could you?”

 Effie looked straight into his eyes, warming his heart and easing the fear that had been hiding there. She smiled and said, “Time, like love, is never lost, only found.”

Time knew that she was right.

© 2012 RoughWaterJohn

Author's Note

All reviews, good, bad and ugly are welcomed. Really. :-)

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Good story. One thing:

“Why am I here” he asked.(Why am I here?" he asked.)

“You like me” she said, still smiling.("You ike me," she said, still smiling.)

Watch those quotes.

Posted 7 Years Ago


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Added on October 7, 2012
Last Updated on October 7, 2012
Tags: young, love, time, 60's, school, fitting in



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