"Mary!! Pho-one!!" Mary's mother called out from downstairs. Mary jumped up and ran down the stairs, nearly tripping on the entry rug in her rush to the phone.
"Hello?" she said breathlessly into the receiver.
"Hey," Billy answered. "You ready to go?"
"Yeah," Mary answered. "Of course."
"Alright then, I'll be there in a couple minutes."
Mary hung up the phone and hurried to the bathroom to check her face and hair in the mirror one more time. She adjusted her snug green t-shirt under her black hoodie, made sure the zipper was up on her jeans, and pulled her long auburn hair into a pony tail, leaving just a few strands to dangle down the sides of her face. She looked into her grey-green eyes in the mirror and told herself to calm down.. Just breathe.. what the heck are you so nervous about anyway?
Mary went back to the living room and sat on the couch while she laced up her black boots. The door bell rang and she could see through the window beside the door that Billy was waiting for her. She jumped up and walked toward the door tugging nervously at her clothes as she reached for the door knob. She pulled the door open and was greeted by Billy's usual smirk.
"Hey," he said casually.
"Hey," she said back.
"Well, let's go then." he said as if he'd been waiting around for her all day.
Billy drove a beat up old 57 Chevy pick up. He had wanted one since he was a kid and had been saving up for the last two years so that he could buy one by the time he turned 16. He had big plans for that rusty green truck. He was going to fix it up - paint, new seats, the works.. but now, it just looked more like an old junker. The kind of truck that you questioned whether or not it even ran let alone if it was safe. He walked several steps ahead of her to the curb and then around to the driver's side. He opened his door and hopped in and was shutting his door by the time Mary reached hers. She pulled the heavy door open and climbed in, smiling at Billy.
"Nice truck." she said.
"Yeah, I know." he replied. "She'll look better when I finish fixing her up though." he said smiling proudly as he put the key in the ignition. The truck roared and rumbled as he turned the key. He sat back, enjoying the sound. Running was obviously not a problem for this vehicle. He put the truck in gear and off they went, bouncing and jostling down the street.
Mary felt awkward and a little uncomfortable. She was happy to be with Billy, but just didn't know what to say as they rode along. He was so quiet, and she was no good at small talk. She looked around at the truck's interior - it was worn, but clean. The vinyl seats had lots of rips and tears in them, white stuffing sticking out here and there, and the dash had many scratches along with a couple missing knobs. There was a pair of pliers bouncing on the threadbare carpet floor. She could see him glance at her now and then out of the corner of his eye.
"So," Mary said quietly, "do you play pool often?" They were on their way to have a game of pool before going to the dance at the school.
"Yeah," Billy answered. "Well, we have a pool table at home.. actually, I have one in my room. So, I guess I play quite a bit.. You play much?"
"Not really," Mary said. "I go out with my brother and his friends now and then.. you have a pool table in your room??"
"Yep," he said, looking at her and smiling. "Maybe you can come over and see it sometime."
"Sounds like fun," she said, smiling back. "I could sure use the practice, I'm not all that good."
"Well, I'm sure I could help you with that." he said, smiling bigger. Mary blushed a little.
Mary just wasn't sure what to expect from this boy at all. She knew that he went to church with one of her friends from band, she'd heard he was in Boy Scouts, and she knew that he hung out now and then with her brother and his girlfriend. Half the time, when he would talk to her, she wasn't sure if he was just being friendly or if he had some alterior motives.. For the most part, she just assumed he was being friendly.