Friday had finally arrived and what seemed like all of Llanview had been looking forward to the highly anticipated, conference title football match-up between the Llanview High Warriors versus longtime conference rival, the Pine Valley High Knights. Kiko was in a better mood; she’d held her feelings in for a long time and her emission the night before had been good for her. Odessa was relieved for her Kiko, but the day was going by way too slowly for her liking. While the night before, she had been thinking about her friend, but eventually she drifted back to thoughts of The Boy, still curious in wanting to know what he was going to say to her before Tamzin’s interruption. Unfortunately, he hadn’t come to school, further frustrating Odessa. She’d gone to the spot where they usually met before going off to lunch together, but he didn’t appear, nor did she see his motorcycle in the senior lot section. He didn’t have a mobile phone and usually kept his room phone unplugged, but she’d managed to convince him in keeping his phone plugged for, at most, an hour from 7PM. If he needed to be reached any other time, the person would have to leave a voicemail, which he would check at some point. Odessa called his room phone, in case he was at home, but he didn’t answer and she left a voicemail; she ended up eating lunch with her usual crowd. She’d asked them if either of them had seen The Boy, but they all said ‘no’. Well, at least I didn’t get stood up for lunch, I think… she thought. It wasn’t until a couple of minutes before her 5th period computer programming class started, when Odessa received a brief phone call from The Boy. He was calling her from the auto shop and said he had some time to spare, asking her if she wanted to stop by after school, assuming she was free. Gleeful and relieved inside, Odessa accepted the invite, even though she knew she’d be missing the afterschool pep rally. Unfortunately for her, that would no longer be an issue. The call had been brief but she lost herself on cloud #9 again. That combination caused her to miss just beating the school bell, officially making her late to class. Her teacher, Dr. Walker, was also strict with his class rules, though not as harsh as her English teacher when it came to his punishment. Still, he’d assigned her to detention for 30 minutes. She protested, using the pep rally for her pleading, even though she wouldn’t have attended anyway, but Dr. Walker didn’t budge. She pouted going to her seat, knowing she’d lose some valuable time with The Boy. Fan-freaking-tastic!!
After her lockdown in detention, Odessa practically sped like a demon to the auto shop. She was eagerly anticipating her meeting The Boy there, especially she hadn’t returned there ever since she first saw him.
“…Would you believe, baby, I've been looking for a Sun
That feels like you for some time
Excuse me while I see if the gypsy in me is right
If you don’t mind…”
The vocals of Jimi Hendrix combined with pulsating guitar-funk was oozing from the opened garage section of the building, as she went inside the main customer service section and inquired about The Boy to a man behind the counter. He informed her that he was in today, and was actually in the garage. Odessa thanked the man and went to the garage. She entered, knocking on the wall. “Hello? Tim? Are you here?” she called out.
“Ah, there she is! I wasn’t sure if you were going show,” greeted The Boy, emerging from a corner closet and carrying a container of brake fluid. He went over to the stereo to turn down the volume. He was a bit sweaty, wearing a black, sleeveless muscle shirt and a mechanic’s jumpsuit that was half worn with some oil streaks on it, the top half hanging off his waist. His black hair was tied back, showing off a silver-hooped earring near the top of his ear.
Odessa sucked in her breath. Good grief! Does this dude know how truly FINE he is? “I, uh, had to do time in detention for being late to one of my classes,” she said sparing the ‘why’ part. “Um… that’s definitely a different look from that first time I saw you here… I never noticed you had a piercing.”
“Hehe, yeah… I pierced it myself a couple years back.” He smiled when he saw her grimace. “Stupid, I know… but I don’t wear the hoop as much as I used to. It’s strange though because my hole hasn’t closed up yet.” He went to an open-hooded car and bent over to examine the contents. “But as for these duds, it’s only for today to look more ‘shop professional.’ But it was getting so freaking hot in here, and I had to shed a little, ya know?” He started pouring in the brake fluid into the car’s hydraulic system. “So did I miss anything exciting today?” Odessa didn’t respond; she was too busy checking out The Boy’s rear-end. He looked back at her. “Odessa?”
She snapped out of her scope-mode and played it off. “Huh? Oh… um, no, not really... Just everybody getting hyped up for the football game tonight. There was also a pep rally after school, not really your thing I’d bet.” The Boy chuckled and agreed with her. “So you were at work all day then?”
“Uh-huh, since 8 AM and I’m getting off at 5 or so. The ‘Bossman’ left me a voicemail yesterday evening, which I didn’t check until really late last night. He was begging me to see if I could cover for one of the regular mechanics today. I guess the poor dude suffered a seizure last night. Supposedly, he’s alright now, but is under doctor’s orders not to work today.” He closed up the bottle of fluid after he finished pouring the liquid.
“That’s cool he trusts you to fill in like that. But doesn’t that conflict with some child labour law or something?”
“Nah, I’m not a minor remember? But my boss was feeling guilty ‘coz it was such short notice. There are only a few of us that work here, and he was afraid he’d be interrupting my ‘educational studies’. I told him not to worry about it. So, I dropped off my homework and picked up assignments really early this morning. Besides, missing one day of school ain’t gonna kill me,” he said returning back under the hood.
Odessa agreed, “Nah, you’ll be alright.” She was observing the garage and glanced out the back window, seeing The Boy’s motorcycle stationed outside. Though the volume had been muffled a classic tune by The Rolling Stones playing on the radio caught her ear. “Oooh, I know this one,” she said and began singing along to it, doing an impersonation of Mick Jagger’s “rooster” jig:
“Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you, is the nature of my game…”
The Boy stopped working and watched her, clearly amused.
“What? What are you looking at me that way for? Don’t you ever get the urge to do that whenever you hear a Stones track?” she chirped.
“Hehe, No… I can’t say I have, really. That track is one of my favs from them, but from now on whenever I hear it, I’ll forever hold the image of you doing the “rooster.”
Odessa gave him a mock, appreciative curtsy. “Thankee, thankee… I owe it all to my old man for torturing me with his corniness.
A faint frown appeared on The Boy’s face and looked away from her. “Giving credit where credit’s due, huh?” he said softly. “It’s getting a bit stuffy in here. You want to step out back with me for some fresh air?” he asked.
“Would your boss be cool with that?”
“He’d better be! I sacrificed an entire school day for him!” he joked. “But seriously, he’s alright… no worries. In fact, he’s gone to get a shipment of parts, at the moment.”
“Okay, if you say so.”
“Hang on a sec,” The Boy said as he walked over to a small table, picked-up and wore a pair of thin-wired, squared glasses, giving him an endearing look.
“Aww, you wear glasses? They look so cute on you!” she gushed.
The Boy cringed. “I never wear them and don’t really need them much. But my vision is very sharp and I get little headaches every now and then, when my eyes start to hurt.” Odessa gave him an odd look. “It’s nothing serious though. For today, it’s to make me look ‘older’ so clients don’t look at me sketchy for working on their cars,” he winked.
They walked outside to the back of the building, where there was a picnic table near the exit door. As they sat down, Odessa noticed the tattoo on his shoulder she half-spotted weeks ago, under the oak tree. “That’s a slick-looking mark on your arm. Are those birds’ wings?”
“Yea, sort of… an eagle actually. It’s based on a gold, two-headed eagle from the Coat of Arms of a small Dutch town. I remember seeing it in a book somewhere, when I was a kid.”
“That’s cool. You must really like eagles, huh? Because I can see there’s an outline of an eagle’s head on your chopper’s body.”
“My bike isn’t a chopper… those are referred to more American custom-styled motorcycles like Harley-Davidsons,” The Boy gladly corrected. “Mine’s a sportsbike though, and there was no way I was going to ride it until I had an eagle somewhere on it.”
Odessa chuckled. “It’s that serious?”
The Boy looked at his bike with a glint in his eyes. “Of course…eagles, all types, are my favourite animals. I don’t know… They seem so free with a keen sense of observation, taking off and soaring up in the sky the way they do, and seeking their prey… it’s got to be a kick-ass feeling.” He smiled, “This may sound cheesy, but I’m actually a bit jealous of them. I admire what they represent: intensity; strength; independence—”
“Beauty,” Odessa subconsciously whispered. She’d been engrossed in watching him, appreciating his enthusiasm over the majestic bird.
The Boy looked at her, “What was that?”
She smiled. “No… I don’t think it’s cheesy at all… Tim, is it alright if I ask you something personal?”
The Boy gave her a wary look for a moment. “Shoot…”
“Well, with you mentioning ‘taking off’ and independence, I’m just wondering -- I mean -- I know I asked you something similar before, but… where were you before you came to Llanview?”
The Boy looked away from her, leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees, giving his bike a long hard stare. He took off his glasses, wiped the sweat from the bridge of his nose with his arm, and put them back on again, before finally answering. “Enough places…” he drifted off absent-mindedly, with a hint of both glum and anger in his voice. “I was in my hometown San Francisco, but things got fucked up…” he was barely audible but his expression was cold.
Odessa only looked at him, not knowing what to make of his sudden change in mood. “And you came all the way from there straight to here?”
The Boy’s face was now blank. “Not exactly, I made a stop or two along the way, even in Port Charles for spell, where I worked at a motorcycle shop, as you see I ended up leaving. I guess you could say I just wanted to go where the wind was blowing…”
Odessa was now perplexed. “Hmm, well I don’t know how or why anyone could want to come from a place like San Francisco to boring ol’ Llanview, not that I’ve been to San Fran or anything.”
The Boy then grew a slight smile and looked back at her. “Well, I never really anticipated coming to Llanview… but then one can’t really control fate, right?”
“I guess not, that’s if you believe in fate… So you’re a believer of it?”
He leaned back and rested his elbows against the table, looking at his bike again but seeming pensive. “I’m still trying to figure that one out myself. I guess it’s just a force foundation that lets people choose what road to take in life, if given the opportunity. But I do know good and bad things happen to all kinds of people, regardless if they’re good or bad themselves. It’s up to people on how we make conscious decisions.”
Odessa stared at him, drinking in his deep, brooding sight. “Sounds like you’ve figured it out already, to me.” All of a sudden she was starting to feel bold without realising it, inching her body closer to him. “What about fate between two people?” she asked, her voice lowered. He blinked and slowly turned his head towards her. Odessa then proceeded to slowly remove his glasses.
The Boy was still, a twinkle in his green eyes while returning her look of fixation. “I think there’d need to be a stimulant between the two for fate to be effective,” he said softly. Odessa swallowed her throat in response.
“Hey Tim! Can you come here for a sec?” boomed a man’s gruff voice.
Odessa flinched at the voice, but The Boy was still looking at her. “That’d be my boss... I’ll be right back,” he said and trotted back in the garage.
Odessa continued sitting at the picnic table wondering what had just passed between the two of them, but something on top of one of the crates near her, caught her attention… It was a thick sketchpad; the very one she’d seen The Boy carry before. Curiosity was taking over her psyche, and with The Boy’s glassed still in her hand she set them down, couldn’t help but to look through the book. A little peak won’t hurt. She arbitrarily flipped through a few pages and was amazed at what she saw. They were a variety of impeccable charcoal sketches of still-lifes, landscapes, and portraits. These are amazing!! And he only draws off the top of his head!? There’s no way!! She continued looking and saw a detailed-oriented but mesmerising eagle, drawn to look directly at the person seeing it. “This is gorgeous!” she awed under her breath. Then she was started to get a sudden and eerie feeling the longer she looked at the drawing… she shivered. She quickly flipped to another page and saw a sketch of a half, balded-headed man with a stoned-face and scary eyes. She flipped to the next page and saw a silhouette of a woman with light, long hair, but her face was only half-completed with her eyes missing. Hmm, I wonder who they are and why he didn’t finish the woman’s face? She flipped again to another random page, and saw a drawing, also completely detailed, that made her gasp softly. It was her, from a faraway point-of-view, snapping photos of the ducks at the hospital pond, just like that particular day sometime ago… even the outfit she wore was drawn to a tee. She noticed that this one, unlike the other sketches, had a date and it was marked for that very same day. Odessa was puzzled and intrigued by this. She then noticed a torn-out page that was slightly sticking out of place in the book. She took the page out with her finger in place of its spot. This time her jaw hit the ground at what she saw… It was another drawing of her, but this time it was a completed drawing of her. All of the depictions she’d already seen looked life-like, but this portrait of her looked so magnificent and so surreal, it was almost unnerving. At the bottom of the page, there was a caption: “La Bella Fifi.” She, again, saw a marked date; it was the same date she saw The Boy for the very first time, in the auto shop’s garage. “Oh my Lord…” was all she could breathe out since she was feeling beyond flushed. She heard The Boy’s voice call out to her and quickly put the sketchbook, just before he came back out.
“Babes, I’m sorry to keep you waiting like that, but I have some inventory I need to go over with the ‘bossman’.”
She was trying to recover from her recent state-of-shock. “Oh, uh, okay, I’d better leave you to it, then.” Wait a minute… Did he just call me ‘babes?!’ Eeeeeeeh!! She quickly remembered, “Hey, are you going to the big game tonight? It’s Pine Valley against us, you know.” She knew it was a long shot, especially with a potentially massive crowd expected to attend, as well as the fact she’d never seen him go to any of the games all season long.
“I doubt it. I’ll probably be really tired by then.”
“But it’s the big game! You can’t miss that! At least you’ll be hanging out with friends.”
“I’m serious, I’ll be completely useless. I don’t want to fall asleep in the stands like a chump or something. That’s not very ‘school-spirit-like’,” he jibed.
“Oh booooo!” Odessa mockingly heckled, and The Boy grinned at her. “I understand though... Well, I guess I’ll see you later,” she said not really wanting to leave.
“Uh, wait!” The Boy hesitated, “About yesterday, after school…”
Wow! I can’t believe I completely forgot about that! She gulped and blinked rapidly. “Yes?”
“I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a jerk, but… I’ve been wanting to--”
“Tim, let’s go buddy!! I’d like to get this stock check organized and finished before we close up!” his bossed bellowed out from the backdoor.
Arrrrgggh! You have got to be freaking kidding me!! I just had to get detention today!
The Boy shook his head and laughed, in spite of himself. “Not again.” Then he looked at her intently and said “To be continued…” He waved a quick goodbye and dashed back in the garage.
“Indeed…” Odessa sighed.
Partial lyrics taken from The Jimi Hendrix Experience song, Little Miss Lover
Partial lyrics taken from The Rolling Stones’ song, Sympathy for the Devil