Previously on Jake’s Storytime: Jake “I”m Cool” Smythe established himself as an egotistical guy who loves to bowl. We last left him having made the decision that today was the day he would make his crush, Sally, see sense and fall for him.
Jake’s wind was knocked out of sails when he didn’t see Sally behind the counter. How would he make her like him? Everyone else does, why doesn’t she?
Jake sat down at his usual lane – #1 – and began to put on his bowling shoes. As he was slipping into the second shoe he happened to glance up and saw a strike being bowled about 6 lanes over. Jake forgot all about Sally when thoughts of finding a true competitor flooded his brain.
He got up to find out who this fella was that rolled a perfect hook. He wanted to see if the guy was interested in a little friendly throw down. If Jake was truly the best in town, he wanted to prove it.
When Jake arrived at the lane he was surprised to find Sally standing there. Who was she here with? Why wasn’t she working? Was this a date? Where did that guy go? Does she think he is a better bowler than me and that’s why she won’t go out with me?
Jake had never before seen such fury in another person’s eyes when he was finished asking his reasonable and logical questions. Must be typical female hysteria.
But his mouth couldn’t stop from dropping open when she said that it was her that was bowling in this lane and her alone.
A girl threw that hook?! Challenging another guy to a game was one thing; he had never had to challenge a girl. But he knew that was his only option. To be the best you had to beat the best.
Fury in her eyes was replaced by something else, something he couldn’t quite name when he suggested a competition. Whatever it was, she agreed with a handshake.
For every strike Jake threw, Sally would spare and for his every spare, Sally would strike. It came down to the final frame. If Jake turkeyed, he’d win.
He got his first two strikes. He needed just one more. He rubbed down his ball with his towel, let his fingers feel the gentle caress of the fan. With his mind focused, he stood three boards to the left, step, step, arm back, step, forward and release.
It felt like an eternity as the ball rolled down the alley…
one pin, two, three four five, six, seven eight, nine….
the ten pin was left wobbling wavering back and forth…
Jake had won.
And when he turned to look at Sally she was smiling
It was respect he had seen in her eyes. That he, with that huge chip on his shoulder, would deign to see her as an equal and not some girl he could win over with his charm.
to be continued…
© Lindsay M. Hinkle 2007