At several times a day I would go walking down the street just to see what was going on, meeting friends, talking to my old friends. One special day that I walked down there I met a guy. i knew immediately we would become good friends (how good, I don’t want to tell). We started talking. His name was Levi.
“I love that name.” I told him excitedly for no particular reason.
“What’s your name?” He talked so softly it made your (at least mine) bones shiver.
“My name’s Russia.”
“Yep.” I paused a second then said, “My mom loved that name so she gave it to me. Cool, eh?”
“Yeah! My name’s short for Leviticus. I like my name too.”
“Yeah, me too.”
There was a pause until his friends came up.
“Hey Levi, what’s going on? Are you going to the party at Tina’s, or what?”
“I’m not sure guys. Parties sorta pull me down.”
“O.k. If that’s how you want it. You’re gonna miss a heck of a party. Say, who’s this?”
“Oh, this is Russia. We just met.”
“Say, do you want to go? It’s gonna be a lot of fun!”
I kept looking at both Levi and his friends. Levi then spoke up.
“It’s all up to you babe.”
My heart sunk. He called me babe, the b-word. I started to shiver.
“No, I don’t think so. I don’t go to parties.”
“What? What’s wrong with you? Where are you from?”
“Nothing’s wrong with me. I just don’t go to them. There’s gonna be beer there, right?”
Levi looked at me weird, like I did something that couldn’t be forgiven or forgotten. I couldn’t stand it. I was thankful for his talkative friend to answer.
“Yeah. That’s a party in itself.”
“That’s why I don’t go.” Levi’s face calmed down. Sigh!!!
“I’m afraid I’ll be tempted and I don’t want that. See the religion I’m from teaches us against taking harmful things such as beer, and any kind of drug. Illegal, that is.”
“But Russia, do you know what you’re missing out on?”
“Yeah. Throwing up and hangovers. That doesn’t sound like fun to me.”
“You don’t understand what I’m trying to tell you.”
“Oh, yeah, I do. You’re doing the same thing that I’m trying to stay away from. Temptation, or rather, pressure. You see, it’s possible to be a very normal person and go through life without that stuff.”
“O.k. O.k. Whatever you want.” He looks at his watch and gasps. “I’ve gotta get over to Tina’s to help setup. See ya.” Sarcastically he says, “Nice talking to you Rush.”
We, Levi and i, watched him drive away. As soon as Levi got in his car, I asked, “Who was that?”
“Oh, just a friend of mine. He only see’s a person getting drunk every weekend. His name is Brett Canter.”
“So that’s Brett.”
“What do you mean, so?”
“I’ve heard a lot of stuff about him. I can’t really remember everything I heard.” I lied.
“Do you expect me to believe that?”
“No. So, when did you start coming here? I’ve never seen you around.”
“I’ve been here. Even before you. See, I’ve been trying to get the nerve to go over by your friends.”
“Oh!” I blushed.
“What time is it Rush? Is it all right if I call you Rush?”
“Sure. It’s almost 5.”
“Oh. Sorry, but I gotta go. Work. I work for this fashion designer and if you get on his bad side, you’re gone.”
“Fashion design? Really? I want to do that!”
“Yeah? Maybe someday I can bring you over.”
“You mean it? Really?”
“Yeah, sure. Whatever you want.”
Whatever you want. I’ve got to remember that.
“O.k. Cool. Here, I’ll give you my number.” He scrounges up a pen and piece of paper. “Ready?”
“O.k. I’ll call you around 8, o.k.?”
“O.k. It’s settled. See ya.”
He reached over and gave me a light kiss on the cheek. I melted. (I could see that he felt something also.) We waved bye as he drove away. Guess what kind of car he had. A white cabriolet. I melted even further. I couldn’t move. My friends had to come over and take me home. I was full of smiles from then on. Nobody could get anything out of me. All I could think of was Levi and what the last part of our conversation had been. All I could think of was Levi…Levi…Levi…Levi…
(Have you read Mary Ann?)