Knights of the Hill Country

Knights of the Hill Country by Tim Tharp Read Free Book Online

Book: Knights of the Hill Country by Tim Tharp Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tim Tharp
it'd be over at Sara's later on.
    The way I pictured it, the two of us would be setting thereon the couch, leaning in close so we could read each other's Civil War worksheets. Our hands would touch every time we went to turn a page in the history book. For good measure, I had us down in a basement that Sara's folks converted into a TV room or something. Seemed like a lot of my friends had stories about girls and places like that. I never knew so many people even had converted basements.
    Down on the imaginary couch, I was confident and smooth as old James Bond hisself. I knew just what to say. I pulled back that hair of hers and stared into her soulful-sad brown eyes and told her there wasn't no one else anywheres in the world like her.
    “Hampton,” she'd tell me. “I've had a crush on you since all the way back in junior high.”
    “What if your parents come downstairs?” I'd ask.
    “Oh, they never come down,” she'd say with a playful little glint in her eyes.
    We wouldn't need no more words then. She'd know me, and I'd know her, and there wouldn't be no holding back anymore.
    Just then, Darnell laid his lunch tray down on the table. “So, Hamp,” he said. “Looks like you have yourself a date with Sara Reynolds tonight.”
    If he'd set my hair on fire, it couldn't have been any worse than saying that right in front of Blaine.
    “A date?” Blaine rocked forward with a thud. “With
    Usually, he didn't like his stories interrupted, but this news was too big to pass up.
    “It's not a date,” I said. “It's just some history homework we gotta finish up.”
    He shook his head at me like I was just a real pitiful specimen.“Surely you can get someone better to copy your homework off of than Bush Girl.”
    “I ain't copying off her,” I said. “And don't call her Bush Girl.”
    “Uh-huh, so you
like her.”
    I looked down at what was left of my meat loaf, but I could feel Blaine staring at the top of my head. “Sure, I like her. She's nice. But that don't mean—”
    Blaine slapped the table so hard the silverware rattled. “No way. I ain't gonna let you get hooked up with some little bushy-headed geek like that.”
    “She ain't a geek,” I said.
    “No, you're right. She don't even qualify as a geek. She's just a pure nobody.”
    “Hey now,” Darnell cut in. “Everybody's somebody. Besides, what's the big deal? Hamp's too backwards to try anything with her anyways.” He gave me a playful punch in the shoulder the way guys always done when they was putting me down on how bad I was with girls.
    “I never said I was gonna try nothing with her,” I told him. “All we're gonna do is finish up a history worksheet. So let's just drop it, okay?”
    Blaine wasn't about to let it loose, though. Not for a second. He had to go on and lay out a whole sermon on how he couldn't let his best friend and the best defensive player on the best football team in the state start tagging around with an inferior product like Sara Reynolds. “Hampton,” he said, “don't you know we're like the damn royalty at this school? You gotta step up and act like it, son. I'll tell you what, I'll get Rachel to hook you up with one of her friends.”
    “I don't need you doing that,” I said. Rachel Calloway wasBlaine's girlfriend and probably the best-looking girl in our high school, which was saying something at our school with all the good-lookers we had around. Most of them was Rachel's friends too, but I didn't have the least thing in common with a one of them, as far as I could see. Besides, truth was, they about scared me to death.
    “How about Kim Hunt?” Darnell suggested.
    “No, we tried her already,” Blaine said. “Hampton spilled a bowl of chili on her.”
    “Hey,” I said. “I tripped and she just happened to be setting right there.”
    “Wait a minute.” Blaine snapped his fingers and grinned a jackpot-winner grin. “I got the perfect candidate. Misty Koonce.”
    I about choked on my meat loaf

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