First Love is a romantic suspense for younger readers. There is some language, but the situations aren’t specifically adult. This story is appropriate for readers 16+. Set in 1975, it is a story from another, simpler time. I hope you enjoy First Love.
Somewhere in Eastern Colorado, July 1975
Heat waves radiated from the pavement glittering like silvery-black puddles in the air. The ribbon of road stretched ahead of them, unending. The landscape hardly varied, one dusty brown mile after another. Here and there a cactus, scrawny tree or tumbleweed added some variety to the monotonous hued backdrop.
“Cows!” Brad yelled, breaking the silence. “Must be a hundred at least.”
“Dude, they’re like four,” his friend, Clayton, said in a bored tone.
“I’m estimating. That gives me 4,361 cattle.”
“That gives you five,” Clayton persisted. “And I have—what? Five.” He pointed to a lone bovine on his side of the car.
“Creative cattle counting. One is one—two is—” Brad tipped his head, closing one eye. “Fifty?”
“Then by that logic, my one cow is worth twenty-five.”
“No. One is one. Ask anybody. Isn’t one cow just one cow?” He appealed to the other six people in the station wagon.
“One is one—two is two,” Madison Reynolds pointed out. “But creative counting is accepted practice in Bury the Cows. He’s right, though, Brad. If two cows is worth fifty, one cow is twenty-five.”
“Fine. I concede that. But I’m still ahead.”
“You can’t count the billboard for the dairy, man. We discussed this.”
“Okay, but I’m still ahead.”
“You mean you were ahead,” Maddie pointed.
To their left, on Clayton’s side, there was a field of 100 actual cows.
“Who’s ahead now?” Clayton punched Brad in the shoulder.
“Shut up!” Richard yelled. “Some of us are trying to sleep.” He pulled his cap lower on his brow.
“Not my fault you’re hungover, Dick.” Brad nudged him sharply in the ribs.
“I’m going to kill you if you don’t stop that,” Richard warned. “I’m not hungover. And don’t call me Dick, that’s my dad’s name.”
“Oh. Okay. Your dad seriously goes by Dick?”
“And you’re okay with that?”
“Yeah.” Richard pulled off his cap, glaring at them. “What?”
Clayton and Brad laughed loudly.
“Boys,” the driver interjected. “This is a church youth group, not a men’s locker room. Behave!”
“Yes, Miss Polly,” they intoned.
She waved away their comment, knowing how completely insincere they were.
“Seriously, though. Dick?” Brad couldn’t let it alone.
“Miss Polly, can I change cars at the next stop?” Richard begged.
© 2015 Dellani Oakes