Who wears cowboy boots anymore?

I wrote a fiction book called Riding Waves in 2014. Sometimes I like to read all or parts of it and try to imagine what I would think about it if it was written by someone else. Writing is an interesting concept because I am often too critical of the words I write, but other times, I wonder where the words and ideas came from. I hope you enjoy one of my favorite chapters.

“Hi,” I say as I slide into Dan’s truck giving him a kiss.

“What’s that smell and what are you wearing?” he snaps.

“The perfume that you gave me for Valentine’s Day, and what is wrong with my outfit?”

“Who wears cowboy boots anymore?”

“I don’t know. Lots of people.”

“Well they look stupid,” he hisses.

lakeI am not sure what is wrong, but I know that I didn’t do anything. I don’t dare ask Dan or he will just blame me.

I am quiet as Dan drives. I didn’t eat dinner since it is only five and he knows that my dad doesn’t come home to eat until six-thirty. I want to ask him where we are going, what we are doing and what is for dinner, but I just purse my lips closer together. We pull up at a huge house that I have never been to before. Without a word, Dan gets out of the car and walks around to the back of the house. I follow a few steps behind him. When I round the corner of the house, I am in awe by the sight of the lake behind the house. I mean the house is spectacular too, but the sun just glistens across the water. I have never seen a lake in someone’s yard before, a little pond maybe but not a lake. There is an in the ground pool probably twice as big as my grandparent’s pool, a brick patio and hot tub with a few people in it. The patio looks like a hotel.

Dan seems to know one of the girls in the hot tub who yells, “Dan! You made it!”

“I did Emma.”

“Hope you brought your swimsuit.”

I don’t even know what to say. Who is Emma? Why are we here? Did he bring a swimsuit? Is he going to introduce me? What is going on?

After Dan hands me a drink, a gorgeous blond guy walks over. He is tall and has on dark blue swim shorts with a long sleeve light blue button up shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He looks a little older than Dan.

“Love your boots,” he comments as he pours himself a beer.

“Thanks,” I reply.

“Hi Jon. This is my girlfriend Harper,” he says as he wraps his arm around my waist.

“That’s too bad,” Jon winks at me as he walks back to his friends.

“I met Jon when I went to help Patrick move last weekend. Patrick shares an apartment with one of Jon’s friends,” he explains.

“So who is the blonde in the hot tub?” I ask.

“Emma is Jon’s sister. This is their house. She came to Patrick’s with Jon. She was there checking out the school. I think she is going to be a freshman there in the fall,” he finally offers.

“Huh,” I say.

“Don’t start that. I didn’t do anything wrong, and I answered all of your questions,” he says as he sits down.

I think about what he told me about last weekend and he certainly did not mention perky Emma who seems so happy to see him. I don’t tell that it would have been nice to know where we were going tonight; come to think of it, it would have been nice to know that we weren’t eating dinner either.

“I’m hungry. I’m going to eat some chips.”

I hear him mumble, “You could stand to skip a meal once in awhile,” as I walk towards the table of snacks.

I will not let him bait me. It is a beautiful night. Finals are over. I think that I look cute and apparently so did Jon.

After some chips and a bottle of water, I am standing by the lake when Emma comes up behind me, “I didn’t know Dan has a girlfriend. I’m Emma.”

“Hi. I’m Harper. Dan didn’t tell me to bring a swimsuit. Sorry.”

“That’s ok. It is really chilly when you get out anyway, but I could loan you one of mine,” she offers although I highly doubt that I would fit into one of her swimsuits. She looks even more pretty up close. She put on a green dress over her swimsuit that clings to her body. She is a little taller than me I notice as we talk.

“Thanks, but I think that I’ll skip the hot tub,” I answer without explaining why.

“How long have you and Dan been together?”

I can’t tell if she is being friendly or if she is interested in Dan. He seems to have that effect on girls, especially younger ones. I remember how charming and sweet he can be.

“Since July. Almost a year,” I respond then ask, “What high school did you just graduate from?”

“Oh, I was at a boarding school in London,” she replies slightly embarrassed even though I think that is so cool.

“You are so lucky. Where are you going to college?” I say even though Dan told me where she was going.

“I am going to University of Harrisburg, so Jon can keep an eye on me or at least that’s what my parents think. Little do they know that he promised to invite me to all of his parties,” she laughs.

She pauses momentarily lost in thought and then adds quietly, “But I’m changing my ways. No more trouble for me.”

“That’s smart,” I reply like I am older and wiser.

“You should come see me at school. Where do you go?”

“I go to Layton Community College now. Just finished freshman year,” I reply wanting for some reason to tell her that I am thinking of applying to two schools for this fall, one of them being UH, even though I signed up for classes at Layton.

“Your house is so beautiful. I love this lake.”

“Follow me,” she blurts out as we start moving closer to the lake. She shows me a tree stump that looks like seat.

“When I was little. I could sit out here for hours and just look at the water.”

“It’s so peaceful.”

“I’m glad Dan brought you. You seem really nice.”

“You do to,” I say and mean it.

“Want to go back to the party?” she asks.

“Not yet. I’m just going to sit here a little longer if that’s ok with you?”

“Sure. See you later.”

I get lost in the ripples and reflection in the water thinking about what to do with my life. I am not sure how long I sit there, but then I hear Dan laughing loudly…

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