It started as a perfect day. Gino called my house and I got to the phone first, knowing he and his roommate drove down together. Kathy and I met up with them at the park. We listened to a tape from the band he’s playing with now; we talked, we kissed, and it felt great to be with him again. I didn’t want to leave, but I had to make an appearance at home, so we agreed to meet back up later.

Kathy and I arrived on time, but they weren’t there. I thought maybe they got lost, so we walked and walked and walked and walked, looking all over the place in both Scotia and in Schenectady. It got dark and we still didn’t find them anywhere. I don’t know what I would have done without Kathy. My eyes were red and swollen from crying so long and so hard.

Finally, we gave up looking, and stopped at the Schenectady side of the bridge to rest before making the rest of the trek home. It was late, we were exhausted from the miles we had walked, and I didn’t want my mother to see me upset, so I used a pay phone at the YMCA and called the only friend I knew with a car to ask for a short ride home. Lou came right away, and we squeezed into a Corvette he had just repossessed.

The next day, I called Gino’s apartment in Canada and was shocked when he answered the phone. He said that his roommate wanted to go back home, so they did. When I explained that I looked for him for hours, he apologized, and promised to borrow a car and come back by himself in a few days. We’ll see if he actually follows through.

Lou called my house a little later, asking to talk to me in person, and quickly arrived in the Corvette. He made it clear that he was totally pissed about everything I had done: not going to the picnic with him, seeing Gino, and then asking him for a ride. I could see his point; it was obnoxious and insensitive for me to go out with someone else, and then call him for transportation after I got stood up, and I apologized for that. But feeling sorry quickly turned to feeling scared, because while we talked, he drove like a maniac down a wide-open stretch of Route 5. There was no traffic to slow him, and between the speed and his attitude, it felt like neither he, nor the car, was in control. I braced myself against the dashboard and screamed at him to stop the car and let me out, even though we were near a spot along the river that freaks me out, where a girlfriend of mine had been raped and murdered when we were in grade school. He did not stop, but took me home, and peeled away after I got out without a word and shut the car door. Gino will be glad to know he doesn’t have to worry about my date from now on.

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