"Gerald, Is that you?" a familiar female voice asked from somewhere behind me.
Turning, I just barely recognized Jenny Wolf. She had been one year behind me in High School. She was also one of the prettiest girls in the Junior class the last time I had seen her. Now all grown up, she was, in a word —stunning!
The last time I saw Jenny was over two years ago. Since then, I had been half way around the world. At the moment, I was home on leave from the Navy. With my leave almost over, I had decided to come out to my old familiar haunts one last time to spend a quiet day fishing on the old Peach Run Creek.
However, it was more than that. I wanted a chance to reminisce, a last chance to remember all the fun times and all of my friends—now gone their separate ways.
During my whole time home on Leave, I had felt as if I was surrounded by ghosts. The old familiar places were the same; but, the friends I used to know were gone. That part of my life was over. Feeling melancholy, I had begin to almost look forward to returning to my ship. At least there, I would be with people I knew.
"Hi Jenny, I hardly recognized you. What are you doing out here on Peach Run Creek?" I said.
"Oh, I walk here sometimes. I like it out here. It's quiet and peaceful and not too far from my folk's place." she said, smiling that old familiar smile that I remembered so well.
"I heard you were in the Navy," she said. "Are you out now?"
"No... ," I said, smiling back at her, "my leave will be up in a couple days so I'll be heading back to my ship."
"You know," she admitted in a rare moment of candor. "After you graduated, I really missed seeing you around school. Do you still sing and play the guitar?"
Yeah, I have a guitar aboard ship with me. A couple of my shipmates and I have a little 30 minute radio show we do just before the ship's movie a couple nights a week."
"Looks like you picked a bad day to go fishing," Jenny said, pointing at the sky overhead which was getting darker by the minute."
"Yeah... , looks like... ," I said. "I have a long walk back to my car, so I'd better put my fishing gear away and start back."
"I recognized your car as I was walking in. Would you like to walk back together?" she said.
"Best offer I've had all day," I said. "Hey... , walking you back to my car is more fun than fishing anyway."
"I hate to tell you this, Gerald, but I'm afraid we aren't going to make it back without getting wet," Jenny said, giggling like a teenager as we both looked up at a sky which was looking more angry by the minute.
Within moments, the first few heavy drops of rain started to fall. I hated it. Jenny and I would have to run. I had hoped to spend more time with her.
As Jenny and I ran down the old Porter Lane with her hand in mine, the rain kept getting heavier.
"Hey, there's the Wyman's old rickity barn," I said. "Want to try for it?"
"Okay," Jenny said, almost out of breath.
Within moments we ran in out of the rain through the open door of the sweet smelling old barn. It got its smell from the hayloft that was full of hay. The smell was heavy and musky.
As Jenny and I stood looking out the barn door, we watched the rain get heavier.
I don't know—there is always something about getting in out of the rain that is so cozy. Jenny must have also felt that way. She affectionately slipped her slender arm through mine. I don't mind admitting—I was darned near in heaven!
"Gosh, Gerald," she laughed, "We may be stuck here for a while."
Laughing down into her warm brown eyes, I said. "Jenny, there's no one I'd rather be stuck with, in a barn on a rainy day, than you."
"Hey, I know what we can do," she said, laughing up at me.
"Oh, yeah, what's that?" I asked.
"Why don't we find the ladder and climb up into the hayloft. There's an open door up there. We can sit... , look out, and watch it rain."
"You're a strange girl, Jenny Wolfe," I said, teasing her.
A few moments later we located the ancient wooden ladder that lead up to the hayloft.
"Maybe I had better climb up first," I said. "You're wearing a dress."
"Always the gentleman," she said, laughing at me. "What's the matter—guys in the Navy aren't allowed to look up girl's dresses?" she said, with a little laugh, enjoying my discomfort.
"Or... maybe you just don't want to look at my legs," she said, pretending to pout, still teasing me.
"How 'bout, maybe I just don't trust myself," I said, giving it right back to her. "You know I spend a lot of my life out at sea. Sometimes I don't see a woman for weeks at a time."
"Are you saying there's a possibility you might be tempted to come on to me?" she said, a little coquettish smirk playing on her beautiful lips.
"Jenny... ," I said, totally serious. "I have to be truthful—there is nothing in this world I would rather do," I said, laughing, trying to hide my true feelings.
"So... , here we are in a hayloft, on a rainy day, with no one around except the two of us," she said, smiling up into my eyes. "Don't you think this is nice?" she said, with a happy sigh.
"Yes... it is," I said, basking in her sweet smile that washed over me, like a gentle ocean wave. "It's so beautiful. I love rainy days..."
"Now that you got me up here in the hayloft, aren't you suppose to ask me to take a little roll in the hay with you?" Jenny said, still teasing me. "In case you still don't get it... , Gerald—I'm trying to flirt with you," she said, interlacing her warm fingers through mine.
Although Jenny was no longer that pretty little Junior I had known back in High School, she had still—in many ways—remained the same beautiful little female.
The truth was, I wanted her in the worst way. Jenny represented to me all that was clean, nice, and wholesome. I was totally aware of her nearness, to the sweet way she had about her.
Rushing back from out of the past was the memory of the many times—back then—I had secretly wished she was my girlfriend. Now, like a wished-for dream—here I was, alone with her at last.