Gloria had approached me a few days before to call my attention to Kay Mertz. Gloria had a good ‘view’ in her job as waitress at Carr’s Corner. I had a crush on Pat Mahoney so everything else was a blur.
I did consider what she said…Kay was definitely ‘mooning’ over me. I started thinking about her. She was a beautiful redhead. Her Camden Catholic HS jumper appeared to be custom tailored, but it was just she was so shapely.
We were all at Carr’s Corner, as we were every day after school. There were two booths and a number of stools at the counter.
The booths were full, as was the custom. There was a lot of chatter. Gloria was delivering an order to a booth when she eased up to me at the counter.
“Be discrete. Look over to the phone booth”
The phone was behind me over my right shoulder. I tried to catch a quick glimpse and caught the gaze of Kay. She really could not look away. I caught her.
We were friends..part of the same gang. We went to all the dances and regularly danced together. We even danced some slow songs where you are holding each other close. We always managed some small talk during this time. That’s what we all did. None of us was a great romancer. This was high school, after all.
Seeing her today was different. She had also caught me.
I did not make a conscious decision. I just slowly got up and moved toward her. She watched as I approached. I could see on her face how she felt.
My hands went first to the top of her hips, then slid up to her waist. I leaned in to whisper but she thought I intended to kiss her cheek.
She had moved her arm up around my shoulders and as I whispered I felt her fingers, gently, at the back of my neck and head.
I joked, softly in her ear,
“I seem to be under a spell. It came over me when I looked at you just now.”
She had always been kind of shy but was quick to joke back.
“Then it’s working..”
This unusual whispering embrace, in full-view of all, pitched the chattering din to sudden silence…
And then, everyone erupted! All at the same time, so it was difficult to make it all out.
“Way to go, you two.”
“We’ve been waiting forever.”
“She’s been waiting forever.”
We were both kind of shy. We couldn’t speak over the exclamations, but she had a beautiful, embarrassed smile.