“I told them you were Catherine’s cousin. Was that okay?” I asked anxiously.
“That’s great, Jim, but have they never wondered why you aren’t dating Cheryl?”
I nodded. “Mom’s been hinting that she’d like to actually meet Cheryl.”
“I think she should,” she said. She grinned at my startled expression. “Pick Cheryl up at seven, Jim, you have a date!”
My heart leapt. “Great!”
I was prompt, in my best casual garb, anxious over my choice. It was silly, I knew I was acting a part and that Catherine was too, but I had all the conventional anxieties of a young man on a date. She must have seen me coming, because she opened the door as I walked up the path, greeting me with a smile. The blonde hair was drawn back into a simple ponytail and she was wearing a dusky pink blouse and cream jeans, snug cream jeans, and I realised almost with shock that Catherine Shillings had a beautifully shaped ass. My greeting was unrehearsed.
“Cheryl,” I said, “you look great!”
She smiled in what seemed genuine pleasure. “Thank you, Jim. Just a moment until I get my purse.”
Two minutes later, we were off. I was unsure of what to do, but she took my hand in hers with a smile. “I think we should hold hands, Jim, it looks more natural.”
I wasn’t arguing, as it was the first time I’d held a girl’s hand for ages. I headed automatically for home.
“Where are we going,” she asked, with a half smile.
“Home,” I said. “Dad said I could borrow the car if I took you to meet them first.”
“Ah,” she said. “Jim, this could be awkward. I think your mom will see I’m an older woman. I’ll have to pretend to be about twenty,” she said, smiling. “Have you said anything about me in school terms?”
“No,” I said, shaking my head. “Only that you’re Catherine’s cousin and that you’re staying with her for a little while. I sort of hinted that you’d already graduated.”
She squeezed my hand. “Good thinking.”
Five minutes later I was introducing Cheryl to my parents. Dad was the gracious host and Mom was her usual friendly self. We only stopped a moment or two. Dad passed me the car keys with only a token protest and Mom managed to whisper “she’s lovely” as we said our farewells.
“Where do you want to go?” I asked as I started the car.
“I’d like me to be a surprise at the Prom,” she said, “so let’s go somewhere we won’t meet anyone from school.”
I thought for a moment. “Most of the kids go to the diner first on a Saturday, then to a movie or something.”
“How about Green Lake?” she asked, her eyes twinkling.
I laughed. “Not in daylight.” Green Lake was a popular place to go and make out, usually after dark.
“I haven’t actually been to Green Lake,” she said. “I think I’d like to see it in daylight.”
“Green Lake it is,” I said, and headed out that way. When we arrived, we were the only ones there. After I’d turned off the motor we got out and just listened to the stillness for a while.
Catherine breathed deeply, and I tried not to look at the tantalising swell of her breasts, and then she said, “Come on, let’s walk a little,” leading the way off along the path. As I caught up with her again she took my hand.
We were there for about an hour, just walking and talking, with her quizzing me again about my plans for my future, and me telling her how I wanted to work with computers. There was another thing, too. “I’ve enjoyed the extra tutoring in English,” I said, “I’m getting a much better idea of how to use words, to put them together to tell a story, or to describe something.”
She smiled at me, and for a moment lapsed from the Cheryl persona she wore so convincingly. “It shows,” she said. “The work you’re producing now is much better than when you started.”