Fancy apartments, exclusive lounges, and nightclubs dotted the territory that was the city of Bridgeport. The western hills were home to the richest of the rich, the most famous that lived in the city. But such was not the home of Glenn and Felicity Scroggins. They met in high school and dated after graduation, and before Glenn joined the armed forces. The young couple married shortly before a long deployment overseas near Egypt, and it was then their only child, a baby boy named Clinton Adam Scroggins, was born.
Glenn would never see or even meet his young son. When the boy was only 13 months old, Glenn was killed in action, devastating his surviving wife. Felicity had never gone past high school, and after Clint was born, she had little time for studying or even work. But rather than starve to death, she worked in town at a dive bar, often late nights for little money and even worse tips, to support her baby son and herself. It wasn’t much of a living, but it paid the bills and put mostly nourishing food into her son’s mouth. There were many times Felicity went without so that her son could eat, though even as he grew older, she never told him so.
Their house was run down in the poor section of town. The gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ was enormous in Bridgeport. The family home wasn’t much to look at, but it kept rain and snow out and provided shelter from heat and extreme conditions. Clint had an old, worn spring mattress that sat on the floor in his bedroom, while Felicity normally slept on the couch, or as Clint got older, at the homes of her male callers. It was then that Clint’s mother discovered she could make more money by turning tricks than by waiting tables. But even that wasn’t enough to cover the upkeep on the old house.
Clint had few friends in town and was a painfully shy, though exceedingly intelligent and tech-savvy young boy. Despite his intellect, he had little to no motivation to do well in school and struggled through grade and middle school. When he wasn’t getting beaten up by schoolmates, he was usually hanging around at the library or the computer lab, teaching himself basic computer languages and commands.
When he was 10 years old, his mother sent Clint to dance classes at the community center. He found a new passion, something he could do well, and suddenly his ambition was to become a professional dancer. But, a serious ankle injury two years later squashed his dreams of dancing as a career. But, because he loved it so much, he continued with dance lessons into his later teen years, up until he went away to Sim State University.
“Clint, honey, can I talk to you,” his mother asked one evening as he washed dishes in the bathtub. The faucet in the kitchen sink had been broken for months, and there was no money to fix it.
“Sure, Mom,” he said, scrubbing the last pan and setting it down behind him on the floor. “What’s up?”
“Honey, I want you to take your dad’s wedding ring and wear it. Promise me, Clint, promise me you’ll never get wrapped up in this… whatever it is I’m doing.” Clint had been aware of his mother’s indiscretions for a few years, and he had seen her come home bloodied and bruised, with little to nothing to show for her evenings of abuse. “Please, Clint. Please take this ring and promise me you’ll wait for marriage to have sex. I wouldn’t wish this hell on anyone.” She broke down crying, and he held her, too young to deal with the emotional scars this woman bore.
“What do you mean, Mom? What hell?” Clint wanted to understand, but at the same time, he didn’t.
“No pleasure at all. Nothing!” she begged. “Promise me, Clint. You’ll be better off if you don’t know what you’re missing…” her words were choked out by sobs.
“I promise, but why Mom?”
She took her son by the shoulders and shook him. “Promise me!” She yelled. “Promise me you’ll wait.”
She was beginning to scare him, and he dialed emergency. The paramedics came and brought her to the hospital, and Clint rode behind them on his bicycle, crying all the way there, blinded by tears and headlights from oncoming cars. It was eleven-thirty at night.
Hours later, the doctor came out to Clint and informed him of the news on his mother. She had been brutally assaulted by several men that evening and had injuries that were too horrible to share with him. But, the good news was that she would live, thanks to his quick thinking and action.
“Mom, you need to stop whatever it is you’re doing, and get a normal job. You scared me tonight,” he said, weeping. “Isn’t there something else you can do that pays better than hooking?”
“Clinton!” she gasped. “How dare you talk to your mother like that!”
“Sorry if the truth hurts, Mom. But isn’t that what you’re doing, night after night? How much of that money do you actually see? Or does your pimp take the lion’s share of it?” Clint was disgusted with her. Seeing her like this made his decision to keep his purity promise easier if this was what sex was all about. He was repulsed by her lifestyle choices, and by the very act that caused her injuries. “I don’t want any more of your dirty money, Mom.”
“You won’t have a choice, Clint, if you want to eat.”
“I’d rather pick my meals out of a dumpster than let you buy food with that… filth.” He turned to leave her at the hospital, spitting mad. “I’ll see you tomorrow. I need to sleep for school.”
The next morning, he showered in the same tub where he had scrubbed last week’s dinner dishes, bits of pasta still lingering in the bottom of the tub. The water was barely warm, so his shower was brief. He dressed in the only clean clothing he had and rode his bike to school in the rain.
In his language class, Clint was distracted, extraordinarily tired and his attention span was short. His teacher knew he had problems at home, so usually, he was willing to look the other way. But on this day, he was worried about the boy. His face wore a sadness he hadn’t seen before in the troubled young man. After class, the teacher took him aside.
“What is troubling you, Clint? Is everything alright?”
“I’m okay,” came the insincere answer. “My mom…” Clint choked back a sob.
“Is she okay?” Nick Pellegrino knew she was the only family he had, and her life, since her husband’s death, had fallen apart.
“She’s in the hospital,” Clint admitted reluctantly. “She came home last night pretty beat up.”
“Do you need a place to stay? Are you safe at home?” Nick pressed him.
“I’ll be okay,” Clint insisted. “I have chores to do.” He looked down at his clothing, wet and dirty from the rain, and shivered.
Nick looked the boy up and down and made a decision. “Nope, you’re coming home with me tonight, Clint. When was the last time you had a warm meal?”
Clint thought back to the dirty pot he had scrubbed the previous night. It had been soaking for well over two weeks, and he figured that was probably the last time his mother had prepared a meal. “A week, maybe two.”
“Yeah, that settles it.” Nick knew his wife wouldn’t mind an extra mouth to feed. For years, he had been ministering to the city’s underprivileged kids, offering them food and shelter, and his wife welcomed the kids into their home warmly. “Come back here after last period, and I’ll bring you home.”
“What about my bike?” Clint asked. It was his only form of transportation, other than the subways. He had been solicited down there once and it frightened him, and he swore he wouldn’t go back.
“I have a pickup. We’ll stick it in the back.” Nick was not going to take no for an answer. Clint was going home with him. Period.
Clint wiped tears from his eyes. “Thank you, Mr. P.”
After classes, Clint walked to Nick’s classroom and took a seat. He was outside the room talking to another student and motioned Clint inside. A few minutes later, he walked into the room and noticed Clint was shivering violently. “Have you been this wet all day?” Nick asked, touching the boy’s shoulder. Clint nodded, his teeth on the verge of chattering. “Oh, you poor kid.” Immediately he felt awful. I should have seen this before, he thought. He handed Clint an old sweatshirt he kept in his coat closet and held his hand out to take the wet one from him. “Here, put this on, son.” Clint took the dry shirt and placed it on the desk, removed his wet clothing and slipped into the sweatshirt. The dry shirt felt like a warm hug, and immediately tears filled his eyes.
“Oh, this feels so good,” he said, and closed his eyes. Resting his head on the desk, he cried softly into the nook of his elbow. Nick’s heart broke. This boy was the child of a hero killed in action. Neither he nor his mother deserved to rot away. Surely, he thought, the military should be taking care of them.
Nick had a quick meeting with the principal, mainly to let him know the arrangements for the night. When he got back to the room, Clint was sound asleep, his head resting comfortably on his arms. Nick figured Clint couldn’t have weighed more than 90 pounds, so he picked the boy up and carried him to his truck, buckling him into the passenger side seat. Surprisingly, Clint did not wake, and Nick tried his best to not disturb him.
On the ride home, Nick called his wife. “Hey sweetie,” he greeted her. “I’m bringing home another one.” The truck hit a bump and woke Clint, and he looked around for a moment, not realizing where he was.
“What size?” Trisha Pellegrino had a small wardrobe filled with clothing that she kept for the kids her husband brought home. “I’ll lay out some warm, dry clothes for him.”
“Small. He’s fifteen, tiny. About ninety pounds soaking wet. Literally soaking wet.” Nick had the boy’s wet clothing in the back of the pickup. “His shirt was medium, but it hung off him.”
“Okay, love,” Trisha said. “I’ll make up the extra room for him.”
“Thanks, Trish,” Nick replied. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
Clint stayed awake for the trip back to the Pellegrino home, which was halfway into the hills across the bridge. He had never been on the other side of the bridge, and he looked around at the homes in the neighborhood, amazed.
Nick pulled into the driveway and walked to the other side of the truck, opening the door for him. “It isn’t much, but it’s home.” Clint took his backpack and followed Nick into the house.
“This is beautiful,” Clint remarked. Though the neighborhood was lower middle class, the house looked like a mansion to him. Bright, pastel paints coated the walls, and flower arrangements sat on tables. The furniture wasn’t brand new, but it looked comfortable and clean. Nick brought him to a spare bedroom, furnished with a single bed, a dresser and a closet with clean, dry clothing. He walked in and looked around. “I don’t have to sleep on the floor tonight?” was his first question.
Nick’s heart sank. “No son, you don’t. You can stay here as long as you need to. Until your mom gets on her feet again.” He knew that without this assistance, the boy would be doomed to ride the foster care express, in and out of shady places until he was the age of majority. Clint was a smart kid. He just needed someone to invest in him, in his life. Nick hoped that he and Trisha would be able to provide that investment.
Trish cooked a hearty meal of chili and fresh bread, and Clint ate like he hadn’t eaten in weeks, because truthfully, he hadn’t. With his belly full and fresh, clean clothes waiting for him, he took a hot shower, and excused himself to go to bed early.
The next morning was Friday, and Clint awoke to a heavy, raspy cough and body aches. Trish, who worked from her home, took care of him that day. And he felt so terrible, he let her. She let him sleep as long as he needed, and brought him soup and tea when he was hungry.
At lunch that afternoon, Nick looked on his laptop for programs that could help the mother and son, benefits that she qualified for as the widow of a combat veteran. And although he couldn’t complete the applications himself, he prepared a packet of information and paid a visit to the hospital to see Felicity. He knocked gently on her door, and a weak “Come in,” summoned him.
“Mrs. Scroggins, my name is Nick Pellegrino, and I’m your son’s language teacher at the high school.”
“My gosh, is he okay?” She looked at him, terror on her face.
“Yes, he is fine. He is with my wife right now. I brought him home from school yesterday. He was wet, cold and hungry.”
Felicity’s eyes filled with tears. “I can’t thank you enough, sir, for looking after my boy. Life hasn’t been easy for him, and I’m afraid I’ve made it harder.” She lowered her eyes. “I know he’s ashamed of me. I wish I could provide for him better, but…”
“Well, don’t worry about Clint. Just worry about getting better. He’s cared for, and he’s welcome to stay with Trisha and me until you’re back on your feet.” He opened the folder of information he found online, dozens of programs dedicated to helping families of soldiers killed in the line of duty. “I took the liberty of looking into some things for you. Resources. Maybe you qualify for some of them, maybe you don’t. But it’s worth looking into, for your sake, and for Clint’s.”
“Is this military?” She gazed at the paperwork. “I thought I had exhausted every benefit after Glenn was killed.”
“Well, there are new programs and nonprofits that help with this sort of thing. Obviously, no one who serves the country should be left behind, and neither should their families.” He closed the folder and slid it to her. “If you need any help with this, I’ll be happy to assist you in any way I can.”
She sniffled, feeling overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for her, but mostly for Clint. He was only a child, and he didn’t ask for any of the terrible life he’d been living. “Thank you, I’m sorry, I don’t remember your name.”
“Just call me Nick. Don’t worry, Mrs. Scroggins. Clint is in good hands, and he will be cared for until you’re ready for him.” He tucked his business card into the folder. “I meant it. If you need help with any of that paperwork, let me know. You have my number.”
He left the hospital feeling good. She had a rough road to recovery, but it was obvious she wasn’t aware that anything was available to her to help. With any luck, he thought, she’ll be on her feet soon, and Clint’s life can go back to normal.
Clint was up early and took the stack of newspapers from the end of the driveway. Carefully, he pulled it into the garage of the Pellegrino house and began to fold them. He was lucky to get a paper route in the affluent section of Bridgeport, where the tips were generous and the customers happy to see him each morning. He was hoping to get a new bike, but in the meantime, he had his old, rusted bicycle that he rode on his route each morning. He knew he had to be back at the house by seven to catch a ride with Nick, so he knew he had to hustle.
By six-thirty, he had delivered the last paper, and he coasted down the hill, enjoying the feeling of the wind through his hair. Five minutes later, he parked his bicycle in the garage, and went inside to grab a quick breakfast.
“There’s our little man,” Trish greeted him. “How was your route this morning?”
“Good!” Clint was excited. The next morning was collection day, which meant payday. “I’m so close to getting that bicycle, I can almost taste it.”
Trish smiled at him. “Here, sweetie, have some juice.” She handed him a glass of apple juice, and he drank it happily.
“Thanks, Trish,” he replied. “I need to get changed for school!”
Nick waited downstairs for the boy, smiling at his wife. “He has come a long way in just a few months,” he stated. “It shouldn’t be much longer, and he’ll be back with his mother.”
“I’m not looking forward to that, Nick. I kinda like having him around. He’s polite, hard-working and smart as a whip. I’ll miss him when he goes home.”
“That reminds me, we’ll be home later tonight. I told Felicity I would help her finalize that paperwork for the new house. She’s doing very well in her new job.”
“Very well,” Trish replied. “I guess I’ll see you when you get home, then.”
In the months since Felicity’s incident, Nick had worked tirelessly to help her back on her feet, assisting her with a job at the school, down payment assistance for a new, better home, and benefits available to her through the military that she hadn’t exhausted. Though it still wasn’t a high paying job, it would be enough to keep the lights on, the small mortgage paid, and food on the table for her and her son. The old house was condemned shortly after Clint moved in with the Pellegrinos, and was slated to be demolished within the month. The new house was in a slightly better neighborhood and was new construction.
The Pellegrinos sat with Felicity during the closing on the new home, and with the help of a few nonprofit organizations and a fundraiser at the school, the house was furnished modestly with new beds, living room furniture and a small table with chairs.
“I can’t thank you enough for all your help,” Felicity wept as she took the key to the house from the realtor. “You’ve really helped me get a fresh start, a respectable start. Now, I just have to make it up to my son. I’ve robbed him of so many good years. I hope he can forgive me.”
“Well, in the months he’s been with us, Felicity, he has been a delight. He says he can’t wait to go home and start over, too. He’s missed you. And we will miss him.” Trisha held her arms open and embraced the young mother.
“Thank you again. I will never forget your kindness and generosity.” Felicity hugged them each one last time and walked to her car.
Clint was at school when his mother rang his phone. “Clint, baby. It’s time for you to come home. I closed on the house. It’s all ours, sweetie.”
“Oh, Mom!” he replied, tears in his eyes. “I can’t wait to come home. There is so much I can’t wait to tell you.” She gave him the address of the new house, and he rode his brand new bicycle home.
“Clint, can I talk to you for a minute,” Felicity asked her son. Though it had been a year since she had given him his father’s wedding ring, she wanted him to renew the promise he’d made.
“Sure Mom. What’s up?”
“I’m so happy to see you still wearing your Dad’s ring, Clint. I know the night I gave it to you, I was going through some things, but I wanted to know, to be assured I guess, that you’re still willing to stand by your promise.” Felicity fingered the hem of her work blouse nervously. She hated to have that talk with him, but since she was both mom and dad to him, no one else was around to do it, though she briefly considered asking Nick.
“I’m still willing, Mom. Every bit of it. Complete and total abstinence. I really have no interest in dating. Most of the girls at school won’t look at me twice anyway. There are no prospects at all.” Clint had put on more than a few pounds over the past year, and he used his weight as a shield to protect him from uncomfortable interactions with girls.
“Good boy,” she said, almost praising him like one would praise a dog. “Are you going to dance class today?”
“No, not today. I have exams coming up, and I need to study.” Even though he was only going into his junior year in a few months, he was looking at colleges. Every good grade would only help him going forward, and he knew he had to work at it.
“Are you going to apply for those scholarships when it’s time?”
“I am. I’ll need every penny I can get,” Clint said. “But I’ll be working my way through school. I’m looking into part-time work on campus. I want to graduate with as little debt as possible.”
“That’s very smart, son,” Felicity complimented him. “Are you going to get a job this summer, too?”
“I’m thinking so, yes. The spa is hiring for a front desk clerk, and I know the tips are shared. Some of those people pay top dollar for spa services, and if I can manage that, I’ll be in good shape.”
She hugged her son. “I’m so proud of you.”
“Thanks, Mom. That means a lot to me.” Clint opened his history book and began studying.
Clint got the mail that snowy winter day on his way home from school, and there was a letter from Sim State Admissions. He opened the letter eagerly to find he had been accepted into the technology program. He was so thoroughly happy, he cried out with joy. The neighbor looked at him funny and went inside his house.
He dropped his book bag at the door. “Mom, I made it in!” he squealed, almost making himself cringe. She was standing at the counter making dinner. “Mmm, what are you making? It smells delish!”
“Nick and Trish are coming for dinner tonight, so I am making lobster thermidor. It’s really the only thing I know how to make well.” She laughed and wiped her hands on her apron. “Let’s see that letter!”
Clint handed her the envelope and smiled as she read it. “Oh, now this is something worth celebrating!” She embraced him tightly. “I’m so proud of you, son! And I know your dad would have been, too.” He stopped and looked at her. She seldom spoke of his father. And he smiled.
The Pellegrinos arrived at the family home for dinner, with Clint’s good news and good company, Felicity was excited. “I know you couldn’t have possibly heard the latest from my son, but you’re looking at a future Sim State student!” Felicity beamed with pride, and Nick patted him on the back.
“Way to go, Clint! I knew you could do it.” Trish hugged him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “I know how hard you’ve worked for that.”
“Thanks, Trish and Nick. I have worked hard, but none of this could have happened without your help.” Clint was very humbled, and he adored his teacher and his wife. “I owe so much to you.”
“It was nothing, really,” Nick said. “We were honored to be a part of your life. We’ll miss you when you go off to college, but you’re bound for great things, son.”
The four of them sat and feasted together, laughing and talking like old friends that had known each other forever. Clint excused himself early to his bedroom, so he could study.
“Trish, Nick, I have something I need to tell Clint, but I don’t know how he will react,” Felicity said as he shut his bedroom door. “I need some advice.”
“I’ll try to help in any way I can,” Trish replied.
“There is a man I met in town, and he’s very interested in me. In fact, we’ve been out on a date a few times. I figured it’s time to move on with my life. I’m not getting any younger.”
“Well, that’s fantastic news!” Trish beamed. “You were widowed so young. I don’t know how you raised that boy by yourself, without a partner by your side.”
“Well, you know it wasn’t easy. But now, I’m doing better. I will be lonely after Clint goes to college, and I don’t suppose he will want to come back here afterward. There is too much world for him to see, too much opportunity to be stale and limited to one place.”
“Why do you think Clint will have a problem with you dating?” Nick asked.
“Well, back in the day, I had plenty of men hanging around, but no one I was dating, if you catch my drift. I’m just not sure how he will handle the news.”
Nick nodded. “He’s a big boy. I think he’ll be okay with it now. Certainly, you’ve made big strides in your life. I have to give you some serious credit. Not everyone could do what you’ve done.”
“Why don’t you tell him while we’re here? That might soften the blow?” Trish suggested.
“That’s not a bad idea,” Felicity agreed. “Clint? Come here please,” she yelled to him. A few minutes later, he was standing at the dining room table.
“Clint, I have something I want to tell you. It’s nothing bad, in fact, I think it’s good news.” She motioned for him to sit down. “Honey, I have been seeing someone, and I mean really dating him. He likes me and wants to know more about me. Your dad has been gone a very long time, and I’m ready for a romantic relationship.”
She watched his face. Clint really had no idea what he thought about it, but he did have one burning question on his mind. “Are you going to keep a purity pledge for yourself, or is that only for me?”
Felicity was embarrassed by the question, but she decided to answer him anyway. “If you’re asking if we’re having sex, then the answer is no. We’re taking that part of our relationship very slowly. I would look like a hypocrite of the highest order if I told you no, but I was saying yes.”
Clint seemed satisfied with her answer. “When do I meet him?”
“Any time you want, honey,” she smiled. “Thank you for being okay about this. You will like him, Clint. He’s a good man.”
“I can’t wait,” Clint answered, and he meant it. Again, he excused himself to study.
“Wow,” Felicity remarked. “He took that better than I thought he would. I’m sure that was your influence on him, Nick. You’ve been a much-needed father figure to him. I know he adores you.”
Nick blushed. “I love your son, Felicity. He’s a good kid. I will miss him when he moves away.”
She reached out for Nick’s hand, and Trish’s as well. “Again, his successes are all yours. I had very little to do with it.”
“You’re his mother. That’s a role I’ll never be able to fill,” Trisha said. “While I’m proud of him, and I think of him as a son, I know he’ll never be my son. I’m okay with that.”
Nick looked at his watch. “As much as I hate to do this, I do have exams beginning tomorrow morning at eight o’clock. What do you say, Miss Triss?”
Nick and Trisha thanked Felicity for a wonderful meal and a great time, and they left for home. As she cleaned up the dishes and kitchen, she felt better than she had in a very long time.
Clint stood in the living room of the house, in his cap and gown, posing for a picture with his mother. Felicity’s boyfriend, Walter, took the photo and showed her the image. “One more, but this time, Clint should smile,” she teased as she walked back to where her son stood. With one arm wrapped around his waist and the other on her hip, Felicity posed with her son before his high school graduation. “There, that’s better! No scowl this time.” He saw the picture and rolled his eyes.
Together, the three of them drove to City Hall for graduation. Clint graduated near the top of his class, but couldn’t quite make the Valedictorian spot. That was okay for him, though. He wasn’t much for speeches anyway. Walt and his mother took him for dinner after graduation and brought him back to the house, where he finished up packing a small car he had gotten as a gift from the Pellegrinos for graduation. “Clint, I know it’s not a fancy car, but you’ll need something on campus,” Nick told him when he handed the keys to Clint. “Be careful on your drive up, and let us know if you need anything.” He smiled at the memory as he packed a suitcase, his laptop and a few other things he would need into the small sedan.
He would leave in the morning for Sim State, an eighteen-hour drive from Bridgeport to the north and east. Clint had gotten a significant scholarship from the military and one nonprofit organization that helped children of soldiers killed in combat. With most of his tuition paid, he only needed to cover room and board, which he could easily do with a part-time job on campus.
Clint woke early, before the sun was up, and grabbed one last cup of coffee from the pot. His mother and Walter were already awake and wanted to see him off to school. Before he left, she pulled him aside. “Clint, honey, I’ve accepted that you’ll probably never come back home, so I have something I want to give you.” She handed him a small black, silk box. “This is the engagement ring your daddy gave me when we got engaged. I want you to have it. Keep it in a safe place until you need it. And when you find the right girl, I want you to give her that ring. It’s my last gift to you, honey. Please, take it.” She closed his hand around the box and wiped a tear from her eyes. “Now go, sweetie. Go live your life. Find your adventure and chase your dreams. Only come back if the opportunity brings you here. There is so much life to live, and no one deserves the chance to be happy more than you do, Clint.” She hugged him close and kissed his cheek. “I love you, baby boy. Never forget it.”
Clint was crying, suddenly resigned to the hard fact that he might never see his mother again. “I love you too, Mom. I will live my best life, and I swear, I will keep the promise I made to you and Dad.” He toyed with his father’s wedding ring that he wore on his left hand. “I’ll call you when I get there.”
Felicity and Walt stood on the sidewalk outside the family home, waving at Clint as he drove away, his future awaiting him at Sim State University.
Four years later, Clint was graduating with his degree in technology. His mother and Walter, who were now engaged to be married, attended the ceremony, along with the Pellegrinos. Clint was so happy to see his second family, he could have cried.
“So, what are you doing after this, son? Are you going somewhere else? Coming back to Bridgeport?” Nick asked him.
“I’m going to stay here for a while, I think,” Clint answered. “I have a decent job, and it won’t take me long to get on my feet. And when I’m ready to move, I’ll let you know where I end up.”
“Fair enough, son,” Nick said, proud of him. “Look, if you need anything —”
“Yeah, I know,” Clint interrupted him. “Just call you.” He hugged Nick. “Thank you, for everything. I love you.”
Nick couldn’t speak, choked up with emotion. Instead, he hugged the boy tighter as tears poured from his eyes. Finally, he took a breath and spoke. “I love you too, son. Go get ‘em.”
Two months after graduation, Clint was invited by an old classmate to a party at a dorm near the house he rented. He almost didn’t go, figuring it would be nothing but freshmen attending it. But, free beer is free beer, he thought. It was a luxury he couldn’t afford for himself, and anytime he could get something for free, he went. He never drank to excess anyway, but a beer never hurt anyone.
The party wasn’t really much, just a few people sitting around chatting when a young lady caught his eye across the room. Immediately, he was dazzled by her beauty, and he got up the courage to say hi. He hadn’t dated much through college, and not at all in high school, but somehow he thought of something slick to say to her.
“Hi, I’m Clint,” he said, trying to sound smooth. “And you’re drop-dead gorgeous.” Inside, he cringed. That sounded better in my head, he thought, but he smiled at her anyway.
The young girl blushed a deep red. “Hi Clint, my name is Darcey,” she said timidly, and smiled at him.
To be continued….
Up Next: Anduin Rowan Murphy
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