Monday 31 October 2022

Young Love by Phyllis Souza, ice-cream soda



It's 1952. I'm fifteen years old, and I'm in love with Johnny.


Johnny is sixteen. Every day around four o'clock in the afternoon, he drives his dad's old green pickup down Pioneer Boulevard past my house.


Sitting on the front porch, I have on jeans, not any ol' pair of jeans, boys' Levi's, legs rolled to just below my knees. My feet are bare, nice, except for my toes. They're long, 'piano toes.'


It's 3:45. My heart's beating fast. I have a red scarf tied around my ponytail—a signal for Johnny to stop.


"I love you," I murmur.


Here he comes. I can see the pickup. I feel a leap in my chest.


Johnny honks.


I'm oh, so thrilled.


He keeps going. "Come back. Come back."


I walk into the house. "Next time, he'll stop. I know he will."


A couple of weeks later.


I pick up the telephone on the table next to our rose-colored sofa. We have a two-party line. I listen. It's some stupid woman talking to another stupid person. It makes me mad. I slam down the receiver. Doesn't she know that somebody else might want to use the phone?


Five minutes later, again, I pick up the phone, and the ladies are still yacking. Then, I hear, "Goodbye."


The phone line is clear. So, I lay on the couch and pray. "Please, God, let Johnny call."


The phone rings. It's Johnny!


He asks me, the girl with the long toes and hair pulled into a ponytail with a red scarf, for a date to go to the show. Not to a theater, but a drive-in movie. That's where couples make out.


"Hold on. I'll have to ask," I say.


I put down the receiver. I can't stand it. I'm so happy.


I run to the kitchen.


My mother is crying. Not really. She's peeling an onion.


"Johnny's on the phone. He asked me to go to a movie. Can I? Please. Can I go?" I clasp my hands. "I'll wash the dishes. Fold the clothes. Please. Anything."


"Yes, but only if you take your cousin, Sally, along."


Sally's my buddy, and I think it's okay.


A few seconds later, I'm back on the phone.


"Great. It's a date," Johnny says.


Saturday evening rolls around. 7:00.


Johnny drives his black and white Ford into the driveway. He gets out of his car—knocks on the front door. Takes one look at Sally.


"Wow!" Johnny's in love.


I hate Johnny. And I'm not too fond of my cousin, Sally, either.

About the author

 Phyllis Souza lives in Northern California. After she retired from a long real estate career, she took online writing classes. Her stories have been published in: The Drabble, The Raven Perch, Spillwords, Scarlet Leaf Review, and Friday Flash Fiction

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