I had a basketball game on Saturday and needed a little fun for a change. By the time I arrived, the party had been on for about an hour. I saw Sandy among a crowd of people that included teen & adult employees and vendors. Sandy grabbed me and turned looking at the corner of the concession stand as a smile radiated from her lips. I turned and stopped as my eyes locked with a man who stood just 5 feet away. He had brown wavy hair just touching his shoulders, dark blue eyes and a body that lacked an ounce of fat, broad shoulders tapering to a narrow waist. I swear to God that time stopped the instant his eyes locked with mine.
Sandy made the introductions and I wished Mike, "Happy birthday" and said, "I heard so much about you that I felt I had known you for years."
He gave me a smile and said, "Thanks, pleasure to finally meet me too."
I told him, "I didn't have a present or card for you."
He laughed saying, "A hug would do." We embraced and I wished him happy birthday again.
The next hour was a blur of drinking, laughing, and music. As it got dark, people started leaving and soon only Sandy, Ernest, David, Mike and myself were left. We all had a good beer buzz and went into Mike's office to wind down. Mike sat in his chair and Ernest pushed me into Mike's lap and proceeded to use duct tape to bind us together. They left the office saying something about us getting to know each other better.
All I know is that I was sitting on Mike's lap with duct tap around the arms of the chair and our wrists. At first we were laughing, expecting them back any moment, then I started to yell, "Hey, come on, please get your asses back in here and let us go."
Mike said very quietly, "Please stop yelling and squirming so much." Although he did note that he enjoyed the squirming part.
I stopped and asked, "What you thought we should do then."
Mike replied, "Tell me more about you."
I said, "There wasn't much to tell, I'm only 16 and going to prison for killing my cousins."
We both laughed and at that moment I thought 'this man is going to be someone special in my life'. That sobered me up quickly.
So Mike and I talked about his family. Later on, my anger with my mother for moving us to Apache Junction to live with our Aunt who had 8 children and 4 bedroom house.
We were deep into conversation when they returned and untied us. Mike offered to drive Sandy and me home. Sandy sat next to Mike and I was silent all the way home thinking. I felt a connection to Mike that was instant and made me feel more like a woman than a teenager. I knew Sandy had a crush on him and would be angry and hurt if I pursued Mike. She would get over her crush, I on the other hand felt pulled to Mike.
The next weekend I got up and went to Park N Swap. I hung out with Sandy at the ticket booth telling her about the game. I was a guard, short by basketball standards, but I moved fast, had a killer 25-foot shot and was dead on at the free throw line. We lost by one point, but I had an amazing game. Most work nights a group would stay after to drink beer and have some laughs. Most times Mike and I would sit and talk about things that were…