My great aunt noticed my stare and just shook her head.

Darlin' don't you bother yourself with a boy like that, he ain't nothin' but trouble. Boys that good lookin' think they run the world. They could talk a girl into givin' up church or robbin' a bank. Don't you even think on it...

The boy that led to the stare that lead to the speech was one Michael Henry Thompson. Of the Jackson Thompsons. He was a senior-to-be, captain of the football team, class president and possessor of the eyes that melted the hearts of many girls in the little town we called home.

Great Aunt Ethel knew from whence she spoke. She had lived in our little town for 83 years and had seen more than a few instances of good girl gone bad. It was alleged she had been tempted down that road once herself by some dark-haired prince with a Buick convertible, but I didn't have the nerve to bring it up, then or ever.

Now, what's important to say is that Mr.Thompson did not, in fact, acknowledge my existence. We were both entering the last of our high school years, and we attended the same school. Apparently we shared the same oxygen. If that were true, these were the only things we had in common.   If I moved out of the way fast enough, and I usually did, he would pass by me at school without us ever coming into physical contact. Eye contact was completely out of the question. My friends and I were destined to complete school in a totally different orbit from the M. Henry Thompsons and Missy Hendersons of the world (Miss Henderson being the cheap hussy pom pom girl/girlfriend of the month). I really expected that our paths would never cross, but they did, and for all the wrong reasons.


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