Today’s story is a continuation of Party of One.
A rap on the window drove Becky’s heart rate even higher. She rolled down her window. “Tapper. Thanks for coming. Get in the car.” She watched as he went around the car and dropped into the seat next to her.
“What do you want, Becky?”
“Tapper, I need your help.”
“My help? Since when do you need my help?”
“Yeah, I need your help. You have to help me get Matt —”
“Becky, Matt don’t want a girl like you. He likes dimwitted women with no substance.”
She thrust the door open and stepped out of the car. “You’re so mean, Tapper. Always have been.” Becky stomped across the parking lot and sat on the bus bench on the corner. Stupid Tapper. She should have known better than to call him.
Tapper got out of the car and followed her over to the bench. “Becky, I’m just trying to help.”
“By calling me fat. Is that your way of helping? I wanted your help, but not by telling me why Matt won’t ever like me. I wanted you to kill him.”
“Whoa, slow down. Kill him? I can’t kill him. What are you thinking?”
Becky turned away as tears poured down her face. “No, you’re right. I can’t kill him. I love him.”
Tapper scooted closer to Becky and touched her shoulder. She looked over her shoulder at him. He handed her a hanker chief which she took and wiped her nose.
A lone car on the dark street sped by, kicking up water from a puddle on the street. As droplets pattered down around them, Tapper cleared his throat. “Becky, why do you love him. He’s not good enough for you.”
“What do you care? You think I’m fat. Look at you. The only six pack you have is in the fridge.”
He shook his head. “No, I never said that.”
“You said Matt only likes women who have no substance like the girl at the party. Fat women have substance.”
Tapper put his hand on her arm. “She has no substance meaning she has no personality. She’s thin and pretty, but there’s nothing behind the veneer.”
She turned to look at him.
“You, Becky, you’re beautiful. And smart. And funny. And loving.” He raised his hand to her chin and lifted it until he was looking into her blue eyes. He inhaled a deep breath. “Becky, I know how you feel about Matt. Because I’ve felt the same way about you since high school.”
A smile played at Becky’s lips, her heart fluttered. “You do? Why — Why didn’t you ever tell me? I always thought you were mean because you never talked to me.”
“You were always so hung up on Matt. And I’ve always been just Tapper. I didn’t think you’d love someone like me.”
Lightening split the sky and thunder roared as fat rain drops soaked the pavement. Tapper grabbed Becky’s hand and pulled her to her feet, dragging her toward the car. “Run before we get soaked.”
Wet and dripping, they sat. Quiet filled the car. Tapper cleared his throat. Becky peeked at him from behind a lock of hair covering her eyes. “So, if you still want to kill Matt, I don’t blame ya, but I can’t do that. It’s not in my nature.”
“No, I guess that was a dumb idea.” She whispered barely audible over the rain pelting the car.
His hearty rumble danced with her dainty giggle as they held hands and looked at each other.
“What’s your real name, Tapper?”
Tapper brushed the wet lock of hair out of her eyes. “It’s Randy.”
“Randy. I like that. Can I call you that instead of Tapper?”
He nodded his head. “Yes, I hate Tapper.”
“Why do they call you Tapper?”
“In high school, freshman year, I went to a party. I heard a bunch of the guys making fun of me as they tried to get the tap into the keg. I hated being the butt of their jokes, but I knew how to tap a keg, so I went over and did it for them. It was a valuable talent to have and they kept me around. They still make fun of me, but they let me hang out, so I ignore that.”
Becky put her palm on his cheek. “We both should have been braver sooner.”
Randy brushed a soft kiss across her lips. A sigh whispered her approval.
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.