by Tim Young
Amy's red hair curled like a corkscrew down her back. She squinted from the
sunshine and sat in the middle of a park bench. Bicycles and runners made their
way past her on the cinder path. It was three o'clock. She was waiting for her
friend Thomas. They often met at this time for an ice cream and conversation
on this particular bench. Amy was thinking about a vanilla ice cream with
swirls; her mouth grew moist. Amy heard the gravel slip and slide and there
Thomas in his forest green running shorts, buzz cut and AC/DC t-shirt.
"Great jog today," he said, "but the entire length of the run I'm thinking about
cream and how good that is going to feel."
Amy stood up. She enjoyed watching the perspiration run down Thomas's face
he began to cool off. "Are you having the usual chocolate today?"
"Yep. A double dip if you don't mind."
"Double dip it is."
Thomas watched the fine way the muscles in Amy's legs collaborated to move
her over to the ice cream vendor. He had met Amy on a day quite like this one,
after a run, as he stretched out the muscles in his legs. Amy had been running
day too. She was just letting her hair down revealing all those gorgeous
curls and happened to turn her head to see Thomas in mid stretch. "Nice legs,"
she said. "Hair like a goddess," he said, and the next thing they knew they were
on the bench together discussing how wonderful it was to have the run be over
the relaxation time begin.
She returned with the frozen confections. She passed the double dip
chocolate to Thomas and held on to her single cup of strawberry. "I am so
disappointed, " she said, "No vanilla with caramel swirls. I was forced to
this vastly inferior strawberry. I'll probably never have satisfaction again in my
life. And the creepy ice cream man tried to take me for an extra buck. I feel like
going over there and pushing this strawberry cup right into his chubby little
Thomas laughed and looked up to see a flash of lightning followed immediately
by a terrific crack of thunder; the storm had rushed in unannounced. The pink
ice cream was running down Amy's fingers and hand. As the rain
drops began their descent she tossed the cup onto the gravel and started to
dance around it as if she were doing a native American rain dance. By the
time she had once circled the cup the rain was thick and stinging. Thomas
said, "What do we do now?" Amy laughed and continued her dance. Inspired,
Thomas threw his remaining chocolate into the now quite thin strawberry
mess and decided to join Amy in her dance. They joined arms and began to
chant in what sounded like a native American tongue. The park was now
deserted, even the creepy ice cream man had run off leaving his cart behind.
The rain continued. The dance now complete, Amy and Thomas went back
to the bench and let the rain soak them to the bone. Amy's tight red curls
now long and straight.
When the rain stopped Amy heard a bird sing. She slid a finger through those
long red tresses and turned to Thomas who was nowhere in sight. She smiled
and thought about the ice cream dance and how the rain had washed everything