One [(thousand)] word(s)

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I picked the picture up out of the small cardboard box. It was old and faded, but I remembered the day well, like it was just yesterday. It had been then hottest day of the year in 2003. My high school senior class and I threw together a last minute car wash as an attempt to stay cool while having fun. Business had been slow because everyone would had rather been home then driving around in this 100 degree weather. We were all just sitting around the electric fan, sighing when it turned towards each of us. Why weren’t we playing in the hose? Well first of all it was so hot that the water was slightly warm so it didn’t cool us down much. Second, our science teacher had been the only teacher to volunteer to supervise us, and she thought we should be conserving water, not wasting it.
It was around three o’clock and we hadn’t had a car to wash in the past hour. The best thing that had happened so far that day was another customer arriving, giving us a chance to spray ourselves more than the car. But everything was quite now, and everyone was at home, enjoying the air conditioning. Just then an old truck rolled into the gas station parking lot where we were set up. A young guy, about my age of 18, jumped down and glanced at us before walking into the gas station. We all did a big sigh, this one wasn’t a customer. However old his car was, it was spotless, so there was no use asking him if he wanted a car wash. I had noticed that he was partially good looking, and I had recognized him from somewhere.
As he walked out of the gas station, instead of heading for his car he walked over towards us. Everyone just kind of glanced at him then turned their attention back to the fan, but not me. I got up and greeted him as he arrived.
“Hey, need a car wash?” I asked half heartedly, already knowing the answer.
“No, sorry, I just wanted to ask… well… have we met before, because you look really familiar.”
“I don’t know. I’m Holly, Holly Everett.”
“Well nice to meet you, wait, did you said Holly Everett? I know you! We used to be neighbors. But I didn’t talk to you much because that was back when I still thought girls had cooties. I’m Jake Kneeley.”
“Oh! I can’t believe I forgot! Yeah I remember you. Not the nicest of a neighbor were you. Always putting worms on me.” I shivered remembering the feeling of slimy soft worms sliding down my arms as Jake would run away laughing.
“Sorry about that. Well it’s nice to see you again! You look good, how are y-“
“JAKE! Lets GO!” another guy’s head was sticking out of the trucks window.
I laughed, “You better go.”
“See you later, maybe.”
“Maybe.” I watched him walk away, catching him glance over his shoulder now a couple times.
After he left I returned to my spot in front of the fan.
“Pst! Who was that hunk of man candy?!” my best friend whispered over my shoulder.
“Just an old friend, and for sure not a hunk of man candy.” I half lied. I did think that he was attractive, and he was kind of an old friend.
“Riiiight.” She said sarcastically.
“Right” I ignored her sarcasm.
About ten minutes later another old truck pulled into the gas station, it was the same color of jake’s, or what you could see of the color through all the mud.
A person stepped out, also pretty dirty. It looked like… it couldn’t be… but it was!
“Jake?” I said standing up with the others as they marveled at the incredibly dirty car.
“Hey again, on my way home I accidentally drove through a giant mud bank and got stuck. So I had to get out and push it out. Then I remembered about the conveniently located close by.” He winked at me.
“Are you sure you didn’t get in a mud ball fight with your car at the conveniently located creek?” my best friend said, again, sarcastically, grabbing the hose and spraying him.
“oh no, I’m kind of bummed about my car and could really use a hug. Holly, would you like to do the honors?” he asked with a fake look of sorrow on his face, and holding his arms open.
“Don’t you dare.” I said, glaring at him.
“Oh come on, Please?” But he didn’t wait for me to respond, and charged at me. I screamed giggly as he picked me up in a tight bear hug and spun me around, while my best friend sprayed us both.
In all of the confusion my science teacher had grabbed her year book camera and snapped a shot of the muddy Jake, holding me tight in the air, while my friend sprayed at us in the background. This was the picture that I now held in my hands, that I had received a copy of from the year book committee.
Just then I heard the garage door open as my husband returned home from work. I got up, sticking the picture in my jean pocket, and met him at the door. He picked me up and spun me around, just like he did had so many years before.
“Good afternoon Mrs. Kneeley. Happy twenty fifth birthday to you!” He smiled, setting me down.
“Good afternoon, and thank you. Now let me down before you crush Jake junior.” I teased him as he let me go, letting my hand fall protectively to the small bump between my hips.
“And what have you done today? Besides come up with the idea that the baby is a boy.”
“Oh I know that it is a boy; it’s called mother’s intuition. And I was just going through some old things. I found this in one of the boxes in the attic.” I took out the old faded picture, handing it to him.
“No words can describe this picture.” He laughed as he looked at it, the memories returning.
“But a picture like this is worth a thousand words.” I smiled, wrapping my arm around his waist. And it was true.





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