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Excerpt From Chapter 17

AWAKENINGS

May 1988  -  Silver Spring, Maryland

“We sat and talked forever. It was good catching up with all the things we’ve each been doing since we last saw each other.  We’ve talked like this on her back porch for hours many times before, but tonight was different.  At this point, I am having trouble actually remembering my lifetime friend who lives next door--the girl who always wore baggy jeans and a plain T-shirt.  The girl who always had short hair and bruised and scratched arms from running into bushes trying to catch a fly ball.  The girl who could drink a whole can of soda as fast as me and then tie, if not win, the belching contest that followed.  This girl was not the girl I was with tonight.  The girl tonight wore tight fitting jeans and an even tighter white tank-top with "Virginia Cavaliers" written across her breasts.  I said breasts.  This girl had breasts!  I never noticed Jennifer having breasts.  Her hair was long, actually cascading down and resting on her shoulders. It smelled like--well, I’m not sure.  It just smelled…perfect.  Her skin was smooth, and flawless.  She was the most beautiful girl I have ever seen.  But it was Jennifer!  This is all very strange.  She is the girl who’s always lived next door for God’s sake.  She is my adopted sister for God’s sake.  What is happening here? We actually kissed--on the lips!  This is Jennifer I’m talking about.  Yet it all felt so natural, so “usual” and so like it was something we’ve always done.  I’ve dated other girls.  I’ve kissed other girls.  This was nothing like that.  This was…I guess it was nothing but amazing!  I have never been in love, I think.  At least I know I have never felt like this before about anybody, never!  We have known each other since we were little kids.  She is my best friend.  Who was she tonight?  I am so confused.  I am so happy.  I cannot wait to see her later today.


Nicholas closed his journal.  He took a final sip of milk and put the empty glass in the sink.  He went back upstairs and flopped down onto his bed and then slowly, finally drifted off to sleep.  His last thoughts were of Jennifer.  What was she thinking?  Did he make a fool of himself?  Or, could it possibly be that she was lying in her bed, merely a few yards away across the grassy path between their homes, experiencing the same sense of excitement  he was feeling.  Indeed…she was.”