Day Dreamer


Chapter I

Laurie and I were first cousins and next-door neighbors. We were both fifteen, though I was six months older, and were in the same grade in school. We were both only children, and not having brothers or sisters, we had grown up close to each other, almost like brother and sister. If asked, we would both characterize the other as best friend.

One main reason we were so close was that we were both afflicted with the same malady-overwhelming, shivering, breakout-in-cold-sweat shyness. I would get tongue-tied around girls of any age and was too quiet to have any boys as close friends. Laurie was the same. She would blush bright red if a boy even spoke to her, and her interests were too different from other girls her age for her to have any close girl friends. We both loved to read and to listen to music, and these shared interests together with our mutually recognized shyness drew us together like opposite poles of a magnet.

Our shyness didn't extend to each other, though, and we were comfortable and relaxed in each other's company, sharing both our happy and our sad times. We shared confidences and told each other secrets we wouldn't tell our parents.

More than anything else, we shared about how miserable we were with our shyness and how much we would like to be different. We tried to bolster our confidences by telling each other how boys and girls felt about each other. I would assure her that boys considered girls somewhat of a mystery and that all she had to do was act confident around boys and she could get along fine. Her version about girls was similar to mine about boys. Even though we could accept the idea intellectually, we simply couldn't put it into practice.

Laurie wasn't plain. To the contrary, she was a knock-out. She had long blonde hair, soft blue eyes, and a voluptuous body that a twenty-year-old would have been proud of. I tried to get her dates, but I didn't know any boys well enough to get the job done. The boys would just make excuses for not taking her out.

Laurie also encouraged me to try to get dates and suggested some possible girls. With Laurie standing right next to me, I called one of the girls. After several minutes of stuttering and stammering, though, I excused myself and gave up. I turned to Laurie and said, "Well, so much for that. I wouldn't even know what to do with a girl even if I did get a date. I don't even know how to dance, and I wouldn't begin to know how to kiss a girl. I'd just end up being a nerd."

"Danny, you're no nerd, and both you and I know it," Laurie shot back. "As far as dancing goes, I do at least know how to dance and I'll be glad to teach you if you'd like for me to."

"I sure would. When can we start?"

"How about Saturday?" Laurie said. "All our folks are going to be in Bridgeport for the day, and we can have either one of our houses all to ourselves and play music as loud as we want."

"Sounds great to me. Why don't we do it here in your house. Your den is bigger than ours, and the stereo is right there where we'll need it."