After hockey practice was over, Rick called Misty.
“Hey, are we still on for lunch today?” Rick asked.
“You bet,” Misty answered. “Where shall we go?”
“I really like the chili and fries at The Red Top.”
“And I love their burgers and onion rings. So, we finally agree on something,” Misty teased.
“Yeah, miracles still do happen, I guess,” Rick said with a chuckle. “So, we’ll leave right now. I’m getting hungry after a gruelling hockey practice. Just meet me at my car.”
“Just what I always wanted. A man who takes charge,” Misty said.
In under five minutes the two neighbors arrived at The Red Top Restaurant. They were greeted by one of the weekend staff.
“What can I get for you guys? Do you want a menu?”
The waitress’s name was Marlene. She also attended Maplewood Collegiate. She was in Misty’s chemistry class. Many of the students at Maplewood held part time jobs in the evenings or on the weekend. Rick had passed Marlene in the halls several times. Rick found Marlene to be attractive, but he wouldn’t put her in the same league with Misty.
“Hi, Marlene. I’ll have chili, fries and a hot chocolate. And what will you order Misty?”
“I’ll have a Red Top burger, some onion rings and a Coke.”
“I’ll get your hot chocolate and Coke right away.” Marlene said.
“So does Sasha know that we’re having lunch together?” Rick asked.
“Oh yeah. I told her this morning at breakfast. She’s cool with it. She just started seeing this guy called Cole. He’s not as good looking as you Rick, but he’s very intelligent like you are. I think Cole might be a socialist or even a communist. He looks like one too. He is tall, skinny and has a black goatee and if I remember correctly, he wore a badge on his sweater that said Young Socialist Party of Canada. Cole brought over some books for Sasha to read. One was Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book and another one was The Communist Manifesto. Sasha hasn’t shown much interest in politics before, but I think she’ll read his literature just because she likes Cole so much.”
“Well, I’m happy for her. I hope Sasha’s found herself a nice guy. And I’m relieved to hear that she’s not upset about us having lunch together,” Rick said.
“No, there’s no need to worry Rick. Sasha’s over you.”
“So, Rick. How was your practice this morning?”
“It went very well. I am actually enjoying playing hockey for probably the first time in my life,” Rick answered.
“How long have you been playing hockey?”
Before Rick could answer Marlene had brought over Rick’s hot chocolate and Misty’s Coke. The sun shone brightly through the window highlighting the beauty of Misty’s face. Misty appeared so ravishing to Rick that he found it hard to focus on his answer to her question.
“Since I was seven years old,” Rick managed to get out.
“And you haven’t liked playing hockey until now?” Misty asked looking baffled.
“It’s what you call the power of peer pressure. My teammates wouldn’t let me quit. I was the only kid who wasn’t afraid of getting hit by the puck, so I was the only goalie they had,” Rick explained.
“So what’s changed it for you this year?”
“There are several reasons. For one thing we have a different coach this year. Our former coach developed heart trouble and his doctor ordered him to quit coaching hockey. So now we have a new coach, Brad Keenan. He goes to university and he’s a really cool guy. He’s taken most of the pressure right off me. Plus, I’m the oldest guy on the team this year and the younger guys look up to me.”
“Wow, I never would have dreamed I’d be having lunch with a jock,” Mindy said.
This made Rick laugh. “Yes, but a very enlightened jock.”
“I always wanted a guy with a good sense of humour,” Misty said, starting to laugh.