What shall we call it?
This is the first chapter in a continuing story written by the Freelancer staff.
April 3, 2017
Filed under Fiction
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Stella Jackson and Tyler Parker had known each other for as long as they could remember. They grew up together making mud pies in the summer and stealing hot chocolate in the winter. Tyler would tease her about her unruly hair, and she would tease him about his big ears.
Tyler, now 17, was a slim tan-colored boy, with black, unkept wavy hair, hazel eyes, and a smile that could melt ice cream. Instead of going to school, Tyler was a trumpet and cornet player in a jazz parlor on the other side of town. He was a boy with the warm and relaxed tone of Chet Baker and the daring talent of Louis Armstrong combined. Everyday since he was 12, his uncle would pick him up in a beat up 1956 Chevy Bel Air, and drive down the street while Tyler would stick his trumpet out the window and play “Hello Dolly,” making sure to be extra loud when they passed Stella’s house, and to this day, it remained the same.
Stella was known as the most good-looking girl in all of town, “a face pretty enough to be in the pictures with Jayne Mansfield” as her mom would put it. Stella was a pear-shaped 18-year-old girl with long golden brown hair, and eyes the color of a rain cloud, a small button nose, and rosy pink lips. She, opposite to Tyler, loved rock ‘n’ roll. She had all the records of Elvis, Little Richard, and her personal favorite, Johnny Cash. Her walls were covered in pictures and newspaper clippings about any rock ‘n’ roll player she could think of. She attended an all-girls school that was two blocks down from the parlor Tyler played at. She was a relatively smart girl, earning good remarks from her teachers, especially her music teacher, and was a good kid. Her mom hated anything that was not gospel music. She especially hated “that jazz music” and told Stella to stay away from it (Probably because it reminded her of her late husband, but whatever.) But every so often, Stella would find herself “accidentally” walking by the parlor, walking slower and glancing inside.
Everyday around 8 am, Stella would do the same routine: brush her teeth, put on her uniform, do her hair, and around 8:15, run outside to a swing attached to a tree, secluded from sight, waiting to hear Tyler’s horn. Waiting for the familiar engine roar to come down the street.
And pass her house.
But today was different.