Knights of the Hill Country

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

Book: Knights of the Hill Country by Tim Tharp Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tim Tharp
over that one. If Rachel Calloway was Kennisaw's top beauty queen, then Misty was first runner-up.
    “Misty Koonce?” Darnell said. “I thought she was dating some guy from over in Lowery.”
    “That's right,” I said. “She never dates guys from our school. I think it's like a rule she has.”
    “She dumped that Lowery guy,” Blaine said. “Yes sir, this is perfect. I guarantee, this Saturday night, Hamp, it's gonna be me and Rachel and you and Misty Koonce on a double date.”
    “I don't know,” I said. “Misty Koonce?”
    Blaine leaned back in his chair, real satisfied with hisself. “It's as good as done.”

    After football practice, I had just enough time to heat me up a couple of leftover hamburger patties and some macaroni before making the long walk over to Sara's. Mom was either still working at the dollar store or out somewheres with Jim Houck, the hotshot car dealer. She didn't leave a note, so I didn't know for sure. I wasn't even sure if she'd gave old Jim his walking papers yet. That was her usual routine. Dump the guy before he had a chance to dump her like my father done. Sure, she'd put on a good act for a while, but an act's all it was. Sometimes I wondered what would happen if she ever run across a real good guy, someone just right for her, if she'd even be able to tell the difference.
    I sure wasn't someone to judge on that score, though. The more I studied on what Blaine said at lunch, the more confused I got about which girl I ought to go out with. Maybe hewas right. Maybe Sara wasn't the one for me. To hear Blaine tell it, you'd think I was letting him and the whole football team down just by liking her. And anyone would have to be crazy to turn down a date with Misty Koonce.
    Misty was blond and popular and cute in that official way girls was supposed to be cute. You sure didn't have to guess about how much her body had filled out neither. Wasn't a guy at our school that hadn't spent a good chunk of time running pictures of Misty through his head, especially if he ever seen her out at Lake Hawkshaw leaning up against Buddy Shiff's bass boat in that little macramé-looking bikini.
    It was a sure thing if I had me a girl like Misty on my arm, my buddies would have to stop giving me a hard time about being backwards in the sex department. I didn't know how the hell they got so educated on the subject anyways. They was my age. I'd grown up with most of them. How did they turn into sex encyclopedias all the sudden? Course, I couldn't ask them about it outright. You never admit you don't know anything about a subject like that even if it's the most obvious thing in the world you don't.
    Misty or Sara. Sara or Misty. Them two girls kept rolling around in my head like dice in a leather cup. On the one hand, Misty was just the type you'd think a football player ought to go out with. While on the other hand, Sara, well, she was just Sara. If there was a high school book of how things was supposed to be, the way I felt about her wasn't likely to be listed. And you could bet old T. Roy Strong never dated someone folks called Bush Girl neither.
    The whole long walk over to Sara's house, I run these ideas through my head back and forth and every which ways, but I still didn't have it sorted out by the time I stepped up on herporch. Even after I rung the doorbell, I felt about like jumping over the banister and sprinting down the street for home. Then she opened the door and shined them soulful-sad brown eyes out at me, and I remembered why she was different from Misty Koonce.
    “Hey,” she said, brushing her hair back from her face.
    “Hey.” I looked down at the green welcome mat and told myself to forget what anybody else said about the subject of girls. “Hope I'm not late.”
    “No, you're right on time. Come on in.”
    Soon as I stepped through her door, things was different from what I was used to with my regular friends. For one, it smelled like rocks in there. And they

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