Random Thoughts

Chapter 26 – Raking Leaves

“Yeah, it’s not like it’ll take us that long to fix it,” Callie said. “Besides,
it looked like fun.”
Callie then dropped her rake, turned around, and fell backward into what
was left of the pile.
Boof!
Another explosion of oranges, yellows, reds, and browns hit the air. Callie
lay amongst the scattered leaves, giggling like one of the frac-brats.
“Oh, Perfect! That’s just perfect!” Matt scoffed as he threw his hands in
the air.
Not to be outdone, Gill followed Callie’s lead, finding her own pile of
leaves not too far away.
Boof!
While the girls laughed and started making leaf angels, Matt and I stood
over them—me smiling, shaking my head, and laughing to myself, and
grumpy Matt mumbling to himself.
Lighten up, dude. They’re just having fun!
As Callie looked up at me with her beautiful smile, the world around us seemed to melt away. Suddenly, I was very turned on. All the colors mixed
with her beauty and playfulness . . .
What are you waiting for, idiot?
I dropped my rake and leapt in next to her.
Boof!

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My Favorite Flavor

The Captain and The Queen

“Hey, Captain?” she whispered.
“You know you can call me by my first name, right?”
“I know, but I like calling you Captain. Don’t you like it?”
Sweetheart, you would call me Shithead, and I wouldn’ t complain.
“No, not at all. I mean, no . . . it’s fine. I like it.”
Hopefully, one day soon, I won’t be so tongue-tied around her.
“Okay, good.” She sighed and snuggled closer. “Thanks for showing me around.”

“Sure.”

“And for not, you know . . . pushing me,” she said. “You’re very sweet.” She leaned in and kissed me softly on my cheek.

Feeling her lips against my cheek, ignited every nerve-ending in my body. “It’s okay,” I whispered. “I’m not that type of guy. You know, the kind who pushes.”

She pulled back and stared up at me with her dazzling blues. “Oh, really? What type of guy are you?” Her tone was flirtatious.

“I, uh . . .”

The way she looked up at me with her electric-blue eyes, shapely arched brows, and flirtatious smile damn near blew me off the bench.

“You, uh . . .”

And just like that, she leaned in closer, smiled, tilted her head slightly, and planted those pillowy lips onto mine.

Kissing her felt like I was caressing a velvet mitten or something. Her lips were full, rich, silky soft, and smooth, with a hint of Raspberry Snapple Iced Tea.

I knew it was my favorite flavor for a reason.

She was…magnetic

The headmaster’s words continued to haunt me. I couldn’t help but feel like he’d been talking directly to me. I couldn’t let go of the idea that there was something more for me to do than what was already on my roadmap.

After practice, instead of grabbing a ride home with Matt, I took the bus. I needed time to think. I greeted the bus driver, who gave me her usual kind smile, and hopped up the steps, found a seat, and settled in. My head pressed against the cushiony back of the bus seat, while my eyes gazed at the parking lot.

That’s when I spotted Callie. She was alone, coming out of the auditorium with a book in her hands. Man, she was beautiful. She was . . . magnetic and didn’t even know it.

A Vulnerable Elegance

The Captain and The Queen

As we walked toward the gym, I couldn’t stop looking back at this beautiful girl.

Designer suitcase in hand, she wore a navy-blue overcoat over a pleated blue-plaid skirt, crisp white shirt, white headband, white socks, and shiny black patent-leather shoes. She looked like a prep-school poster child.

There was a vulnerable elegance about her. She must have felt me staring, because she turned and looked right at me. She arched a shapely eyebrow and smiled. It was subtle. One of those beneath-the-lashes smiles, with a slight upturn of the sides of her mouth.

At that moment, my heart melted. I literally gasped for breath.

Then, a man, who I assumed to be her father, pulled up beside her. He followed her gaze and was not happy to see me standing at the end of it.

“Calista! This way. Come!” he barked.

She frowned immediately, faced the building, and followed the man inside.

“Calista,” I whispered with a smile.

I had her first name. And a smile. That’ s a helluva start.

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Losing Track Of Time

You ever completely lose track of time? You look down, get caught up in something, and look up and hours have passed. That’s been my weekend. My wife and I traveled around hitting a few festivals in our area. As we walked around, sampling the various goodies available, time seemed to melt away. 

Before we knew it, the morning transformed into the late afternoon, and soon became the early evening. After putting groceries away, I slipped into my office to write a few chapters or two. 

Two hours later, my wife slid to my side, and told me dinner would be ready soon. After dinner, we sat and had a pleasant evening, watching the latest Netflix had to offer. 

Fast forward to today. After breakfast, I slipped into my office to review yesterday’s work and write some more. The next thing you know, it’s 6:15 PM, and I just finished writing close to 7,000 words. 

Where’d the day go? And how is it possible that I wrote close to 7,000 words in twenty-four hours? 

The Lord is Good, folks! The Lord Is Good!

How was your weekend?

5-Star Review by Readers’ Favorite For The Captain & the Queen

“Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

The Captain & the Queen is a young adult coming of age novel written by Phillip Vega. Mateo Nelson expected that his senior year of high school would be relatively smooth and predictable sailing. His grades were decent; his SAT scores were respectable, and his colleges and safety schools were selected and approved by his college counselor, with all the applications ready to go. Senior year would be football practice and parties and, of course, working part-time at the diner. Then something amazing happened on the first day of the semester. He had been with his best friend, Matt Salvatore, and they were on their way to football practice when he saw her. Unlike Mateo and Matt, who were both day students, she was a boarder and her father’s Mercedes had stopped outside her dorm building. As she left the car, Mateo was spellbound by everything about her; her looks, her air of vulnerability, her blue eyes. He watched as her father brusquely called out to her, mentioning her name; Calista. Mateo repeated it to himself. Knowing her name was a start. Maybe senior year wouldn’t be as predictable as he had thought it would be.

The Captain & the Queen follows the improbable romance that springs up between a middle-class Latino boy and the worldly yet sheltered daughter of a Greek tycoon. I was enchanted as Calista accepts Mateo’s initial clumsiness with humor and growing fondness, and I loved seeing how the two of them bring out the best in each other. And while there’s the growing suspicion that this young love might be doomed because of Calista’s dad’s expectations for her, watching as they attend school, perform in A Midsummer Night’s Dream together and share a close and loving relationship is grand fun indeed. Vega addresses class issues as well as shining a light on bullying and physical abuse which, sadly enough, does occur even with teen couples. Vega’s characters are credible and well defined, and his plot is a winner on all counts. And the setting in Long Island’s lovely Stony Brook community is perfectly suited to the story. The Captain & the Queen is most highly recommended. An awesome read!”