Chapter 1: The Song Lyrics
Pretty woman, walkin’ down the street
Pretty woman the kind I like to meet
Pretty woman I don’t believe you, you’re not the truth
No one could look as good as you, mercy
Pretty woman won’t you pardon me
Pretty woman I couldn’t help but see
Pretty woman that you look lovely as can be
Are you lonely just like me
Pretty woman stop awhile
Pretty woman talk awhile
Pretty woman give your smile to me
Pretty woman yeah, yeah, yeah
Pretty woman look my way
Pretty woman say you’ll stay with me
‘Cause I need you, I’ll treat you right
Come with me baby, be mine tonight
Pretty woman don’t walk on by
Pretty woman don’t make me cry
Pretty woman don’t walk away, hey, OK
If that’s the way it must be, OK
I guess I’ll go on home, it’s late
There’ll be tomorrow night, but wait
What do I see?
Is she walkin’ back to me?
Yeah, she’s walkin’ back to me
Oh, oh, pretty woman.
B. Dees, R. Orbison
Chapter 2: The Story
I’m Eric Sloan. I graduated college and was drafted by a major league baseball team. I am rapidly going through their farm system. At Thanksgiving, I was asked by a local sporting goods store in my hometown to make a personal appearance. I accepted. It would be a chance to return and see a few people.
I really wanted to see Christine Shores. We had started going together in middle school and continued to be each other’s steady date through high school and college. When I was drafted, I didn’t ask her to accompany me for two reasons. First, she was enrolled for summer semester to begin her master’s degree. Second, we were drifting apart.
I had simply graduated college while she made it through with honors. I knew she wanted to be a college professor. I thought that silly. She wouldn’t need a job or a degree as my wife. We would have plenty of money. My signing bonus was over a million dollars. Playing baseball would provide plenty of money for fine houses and cars plus any other toys we might want.
She didn’t agree. Over the summer, she had begun to date the center fielder on the college team, Julian. He’s a good guy who had gone to high school with us. He was an honor student like Christine. However, I didn’t see him as a rival. At the end of summer, I returned to town to spend a week before fall ball. I saw Christine and told her I wanted her to come with me. She still wouldn’t leave school. I got a bit man-dominate and she didn’t like that either. When I left, I told her I loved her and wanted her with me.
She said something curious. She said that she loved me and would have liked us to be together. I really didn’t understand.
I enjoyed Thanksgiving with my folks.
It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving and I’m making my personal appearance. I’m at the mall entrance to the store and attracting plenty of people. I’m signing autographs and talking with people. Most of them are female.
In the distance, I see Christine. She’s walking with Julian but I only have eyes for her. I’m tall and can see over most crowds. I do this time. I walk toward her and the crowd parts. Christine is lovely and my mind remembered why I dated her for so long.
I said, “Christine!”
She looked up at me and smiled.
I continued, “I didn’t know you would be here. I’m making a personal appearance. Stay around, I’ll take you to lunch. I’ve missed you.”
My ears then heard a statement that shocked me to my soul. “Thanks, Eric. I’m with Julian and will stay with him if he will have me.”
She took his hand and pulled him away back down the mall leaving me standing there alone though women were on both sides of me hanging on.
I shook my head and went back to my fans. It took a while but the day finally ended and I went to my parents’ home.
My mother said, “Did you see Christine?”
“Yes, Mom. She’s with Julian now.”
“Julian Hornsby, the principal’s son?”
“Yes, they seemed happy. I let it go. I think I’ve lost her for good. What’s worse, Julian’s a good guy. I hope they will be happy.”
Nothing more was said. I did miss her particularly since I knew she was gone now. She had told me that she didn’t think I wanted her but I had sloughed those words off as meaningless. When she said that she was with Julian, I saw his body jerk and his face light up. He would take Christine seriously. I wish I had rather than taking her for granted.
The holidays ended and I dated but met no one who intrigued me like Christine always had. I realized that I would compare women I met to her. In my mind, I knew the day would come when one would compare favorably or even better. It hadn’t occurred yet.
Winter passed in an instructional league and I did well. I would start the new year in AAA. I would be a member of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. It would be a new area for me and I was looking forward to a new city and new challenges. My mother told me of Christine’s engagement to Julian. I let it go. There was nothing for me in that relationship other than memories.
The team arranged for me to have an apartment. I hoped that I wouldn’t be here more than a year before being called up to the majors.
I arrived just over a week before the season began, I wanted to get moved in, find places, and determine my living situation. It looked like a pretty place to live. I thought that, even though it wasn’t a major league city, I might plan to live here. Nothing changed my appreciation for the city as I got to know it.
In my apartment complex, there was a pool and recreation area. There were many young and beautiful women my age who were there. I found out quickly that they were available knowing that ball players lived in the complex. I took some of them out. It was fun and they were easily sexual. Christine and I hadn’t “gone all the way” while we dated. I lost my virginity quickly.
I went shopping one afternoon after a practice. There was a particularly stunning female who was also shopping in the store. I noticed her. It was easy to notice her as she walked down the aisles. I thought it was cute when I first came to the store that the aisles were named as streets. I guess that was more distinctive than just numbering them.
It was Pickle Street when I realized that I would like to meet her. She was gorgeous and didn’t seem to have a look about her that she knew it.
She came down the aisle toward me and I said, “Pardon me, but I would like to get to know you and, well, I, uh.”
She had a beautiful, low laugh. I looked her in the eyes and was lost. Her eyes were a shade of blue that were captivating me. She said something that I, in my shock, missed.
“Pardon me, I missed that.”
“You should listen when you ask a question. Otherwise, you will miss the answer.”
I grinned at her. “I was looking you in the eye and was captured. What did you say?”
She smiled at me flashing perfect teeth with dimples in her cheeks. “I said that I wouldn’t mind meeting you at church. Bible study is tonight at seven.”
“I’ll be there. Where? I would be glad to pick you up.”
“No, it’s at the First Methodist Church. Do you know where that is?”
“No, but I will find it. Miz Garmin will help me. She wouldn’t let me miss meeting you there.”
She laughed again. “We’ll see if you’re serious. Tonight at seven, then.”
“I’ll be there.”
I cleaned up though wasn’t dirty previously. I grabbed my Bible. I had it and read it. I found that my faith had been a mainstay for me, particularly since no longer being with Christine. We had always gone to church together when we went though I hadn’t been much of a churchgoer in high school or college. Going to church was another thing I had started since I no longer was around her. Until that moment, I never thought of the connection but that might have had something to do with our breaking up or falling apart. That was a new thought.
I pulled into the parking lot at ten minutes before seven. I didn’t seen the pretty woman from the grocery store but did see another there who looked at me. “Eric?”
“Yes, I’m Eric.”
“I’m Sheila, Claudette’s friend. She asked me to wait for you while she made sure there would be a seat for you and me. Let’s go inside.”
Sheila was a good-looking woman. Had I not met Claudette, she would have easily been a choice. Claudette, I thought, what a cool name for a pretty woman.
We went inside to the fellowship hall and I sat down next to Claudette with Sheila next to me. Claudette looked at me and smiled. She whispered, “You even brought a Bible.”
I smiled back. I don’t know if I could do anything but bask in that wonderful smile. “After all, it is a Bible study.” I managed to say.
The leader was before us and opened with prayer. There were about thirty of us there all younger adults, some appeared to be married and some were not.
The study started and I demonstrated that I knew where Romans was located in my Bible by quickly turning to it. The leader went through chapter six with everyone listening. Claudette looked on with me though she had a Bible with her. Sheila, on my other side, did the same. I felt wonderfully enclosed. The study was over and the leader closed with prayer inviting all the participants to stay for coffee and light deserts.
I hoped Claudette would stay. I was very willing. Claudette placed her Bible and purse on a chair and stood. I placed my Bible on my chair. She said, “Let’s get some coffee.”
“That sounds great to me.” Sheila followed us over but was quickly caught up in a discussion with a couple and another guy.
Claudette looked a little wistful. We had poured our coffees. I said, “You looked a bit wistful at Sheila talking with that group. What gives?”
She grimaced slightly. “I’ve been lonely here. Sheila is my only real friend thus far. She knows everyone. That’s her guy with his brother and wife. They double date a lot. I think he will ask her to marry him soon.”
I said, “You are gorgeous. I would think that guys would be around you. I know I’m proud to be here with you.”
“Thanks.” She chuckled ruefully. “You’re the first who responded to my invitation. Most shy away from going to a church.”
“Most don’t have good judgment.”
“Are saying that you do?”
“That hasn’t always been true but I’m trying to improve my thinking and direction. I learned a tough lesson last fall.”
“You don’t look like you need any lessons. You are a very good looking guy. I’m sure the girls just hang on you all the time.”
“Not the right ones. I ignored one until she went away. I won’t make that mistake again. I’m trying to do those things that are good for the long-term rather that any short term solution.”
“Do you see me fitting that longer term?”
“Yes. You are uncommonly beautiful. You seem intelligent. I have seen that you have values. I am trying to get my act back together. It was easy to lose my way but I’m trying to think rather than just ‘go with the flow.’ Sometimes, it easier than other times. I think the type of ‘flow’ helps.”
“Is this a ‘flow’ to you?”
“Claudette, every interaction is a flow of some kind. Flowing down a creek in a canoe without a paddle is a flow. On the other hand, talking with you in the fellowship hall of the church is also a flow though much more pleasant though maybe no more safe.”
Claudette looked a little perplexed. “How can talking to me be dangerous?”
“Being in the canoe could be dangerous to one’s physical health. Talking with you and looking at you as I do it, can be dangerous to my emotional health.”
“What on earth do you mean?”
“I could lose my heart. However, it’s a risk I’m prepared to take.”
Claudette looked at me sharply. I liked the look in her eyes as she looked my way. At that moment, Sheila and her guy came up to talk and, unknowingly, to break the mood.
Sheila said, “Eric, I want you to meet Tommy, my guy.”
“Hi, Tommy. I’m Eric Sloan. Good to meet you.”
“Good to meet you, too, Eric. I’m Tommy Rowe.” I grinned. He said, “I know. Tommy Rowe goes out with Sheila.”
“Well, I’m glad you have a sense of humor about it.”
“We might as well. After all, it’s irresistible if you know old rock and roll.” I nodded. Claudette was looking at me with a curious look.