I scanned the college bulletin board, trying to find the specific item I was searching for. It was filled with pinned-up job offers, students selling books, folks offering services, announcements for meetings, and people looking to share rides home after classes were over for the summer.
The last item was what I was looking for. I had my truck, but wanted someone to share the eight-hour drive. Most did it to split the cost of gas, but I wasn’t really concerned about that. I was just looking for good conversation for the trip. There were a lot of offers, but none going to Portland, Oregon. I would have even been willing to drive out of my way just to have someone to go with. I kicked myself for not checking the board earlier in the week. Even the ones that were still up had most of their phone number tabs torn off. Damn.
I was just turning away when I noticed one flyer that was almost completely covered by the ones around it. Just a little triangle of yellow peeking through. My first thought was to ignore it, and just resign myself to driving alone. It probably wasn’t even a request for a ride, let alone one to Portland. But something made me stop and check.
I peeled the other pages away, and pulled it off the board. When my eyes focused, they widened in surprise. In big bold letters, it said, NEED RIDE TO PORTLAND OR, JUN 5-10. Looking at the bottom edge, none of the phone numbers had been torn off. Yes! It must have been covered almost as soon as it went up.
Under the headline, in smaller letters, it read, WILLING TO SPLIT GAS. CALL CHLOE.
I whipped out my cell phone and called the number.
“Hello?” It was a woman’s voice.
“Um, hello. Is this Chloe?”
After a long pause, another female voice came on the line. This one seemed younger.
“Hello, this is Chloe.”
“Oh, hello. Um, I just saw your note on the Student Union posting board, about a ride to Portland?”
“Yes?” She sounded hopeful.
“I’m planning on driving up there this Saturday. Would you like to join me?”
“I would love to. Thank you so much. I was worried I was going to have to take the bus.”
I grinned. “My truck is much more comfortable.”
“What’s your name?”
“Jamie, thank you so much. And like the note said, I’m willing to split the gas.”
I waved my hand, as if she could see it. “Don’t worry about that. I got it covered.”
“Well, let’s save that argument until we get underway, ok.”
She laughed softly. “Ok.”
“Where are you located?”
“I’m staying with my aunt.”
“You’re not a student?”
“Not here. I just need to get to Portland.”
“Give me the address then.”
She did, and I wrote it on the back of the flyer.
“Ok. How does Saturday morning at ten sound?”
“Perfect. I’ll be ready.”
I pulled up in front of the house at 9:59. It was a nice neighborhood, which I was glad to see. I was getting out, when the front door of the house opened.
My eyes went wide. She was still over fifty feet away, but she was definitely stunning. I wasn’t sure what I expected her to look like, but it wasn’t this. She was tall, about four inches shorter than my six-foot-two, with a body that was incredible. She wore a pleated skirt that was a few inches short of her knees, and a tight t-shirt that showed off her midriff. Her hair was long and light blonde, and as she approached I saw a set a pretty green eyes. She was smiling widely, and I got the feeling she was as impressed with me as I was with her.
I grinned. “You expecting another guy to show up at your front door with a truck?”
She laughed, and it was light and happy.
“Hi Jamie.” She held out her hand.
“Hello Chloe.” I took her small hand in mine.
“You’re very prompt. My mother told me that’s a quality to look for in a guy.”
“I need you to talk to my History professor. He’s always riding me for turning in late assignments.”
She laughed again.
An older woman came out of the house, carrying a pair of suitcases. The similarity was obvious.
“Speaking of your mom, is that her?”
“No. That’s my Aunt Marilyn. My Mom’s sister.”
“Cool.” I walked to the older woman and took the bags from her.
“Thank you Jamie. I’m Marilyn”
I stashed the suitcases behind the seats.
Marilyn pulled a notepad and a pen from her back pocket. “Jamie?” she asked.
“I’m sorry if this seems rude, but can I ask you for a favor?”
“Can I see your driver’s license?”
Chloe interrupted. “That’s not necessary, Aunt Marilyn.”
I smiled. “It’s ok. You can’t be too careful these days. I understand completely, Marilyn.”
I took my wallet out of my back pocket and removed my license, then handed it to her.
“Thank you Jamie, for being so understanding.” She took my license and held it to the pad as she copied the information. After she finished, she handed it back to me.
Chloe and her aunt hugged for a long moment, then pulled apart.
“Have a nice trip dear. And tell your mother I said congratulations.”
Chloe looked at her curiously. “For what?”
Marilyn gave her a mischievous grin. “You’ll see.” Then she turned her attention to me. “Jamie, you be careful driving my niece now, you hear?”
I grinned. “I certainly will.”
I helped Chloe up into the truck, then took my place, waving to Marilyn as we drove away.
After we were on the road, I asked, “What was that about?”
“Your aunt’s congratulations for your mom?”
“I have no idea.”
“Not even a clue?”
She shrugged. “Mom said she had a surprise for me when I got home, but I thought it might have been that she was getting a new car and letting me have her old one.”
“Hmm, that doesn’t sound like it needs to be congratulated.”
“I agree. Now I’m wondering what it is.”
“Maybe your Mom’s pregnant.” I grinned.
She made the yuck face. “Ewwww! Don’t even joke about that.”
“Besides,” she continued, “she would need a man to pull off that feat.”
“Oh,” I said, a bit chagrined. “I’m sorry. Your dad…?”
“He died when I was eight. Since then, it’s just been my mom and me.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“I can relate though.”
“What do you mean?”
“My Mom died when I was twelve.”
“Aww, that’s so sad.”
“Yeah, the first few years were rough. I really missed her.”
“Did your dad remarry?”
I shook my head. “No. I don’t think he ever will.”
“I don’t know. He just doesn’t seem to be interested.”
“I find that hard to believe. A guy not interested?” She was grinning.
“Well, if he is, he hides it well. He hasn’t even been on a date in four years.”
“So, he did try?”
“Yeah, but then it just dwindled off. How about your mom? Any interest?”
“She goes out on dates occasionally, but nothing serious. Although, lately when I’ve tried to call her on Friday nights, she’s never home.”
“Uh oh, Mom’s getting some.”
She pulled out her yuck face again. “Ewwww, gross!”
I laughed hard.
“On more mention of my mom screwing, Mister, and I’m jumping out. You won’t even have to slow down.”
I was cracking up now.
“Besides,” she continued, “maybe your dad is ‘getting some.’”
My laughing stopped. “Please, don’t even joke about that.”
This caused her to smile wide. “What, you don’t like to think about your dad lying between some woman’s legs, giving her the stiff one?”
I made a yurping sound in my throat, as if I was going to throw up. This set off another fit of giggles between us.
When I could catch my breath, I said, “Ok, new rule. Neither of us will discuss the other’s parent having sex. Deal?”
She laughed and stuck out her hand. “Deal.”
I shook her hand for the second time that day, and it felt just as good as the first. After a moment of silence, I said, “By the way, ‘giving her the stiff one’? Where the hell did you come up with that one? A Mickey Spillane novel?”
She laughed again, and said, “No, my friends use that all the time.”
“Are your friends from the Fifties?”
She swatted my arm. “No, they’re not.”
“Gee Wally, I think Dad gave Mom the stiff one last night. Yeah, Beaver, I heard her. She was screaming like a whore on payday.”
We laughed together, and she said. “Ok smarty, what do you use?”
“Yeah. Let’s hear it.”
“I just use sexual intercourse.”
She giggled. “No you don’t.”
“Yeah, as in, ‘Pardon me Miss, would you like to partake in some sexual intercourse with me?’”
Laughing, she said, “How’s that working out for you?”
“I’m still a virgin.”
We both laughed hard, then she said, “That’s not true, is it?” We both cracked up again.
“No, it’s not Miss Nosey. You?”
“How old were you?”
“Now who’s nosey? Fifteen.”
“It was pretty good. We were both virgins.”
“It was. How about you?”
“Was it her first time too?”
“No, she was my piano teacher.”
“Yeah. Actually, it’s not as bad as it sounds. She was nineteen, and gave piano lessons to earn extra money for college. She came over one day for my lesson, and my dad wasn’t home, and one thing led to another.”
“Did you enjoy it?”
I grinned. “Of course.”