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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Breaking the Rules (08/16/04)

TITLE: Lovers of Pleasure
By Teresa Lee Rainey
08/17/04

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May, 1986. Our junior year in high school was ending soon and we were restless. This was no time to be in a classroom. This was Florida in early May. This was time for Panama City Beach. Why were we stuck inside when each day beckoned sun-starved students to come out and play? We needed a junior skip-day (completely against school rules) and we needed it bad!!

Our dilemma begged for a solution. How could we pull this off and not be caught? The answer seemed simple enough to Lisa Kay and me. We would invite only one or two other people, meet in the east parking lot before our first class, go have a blast at the beach, get back by the closing bell and no one would be wiser.

The next morning we made roll-call for homeroom right on time. We stood, pledged our allegiance to the flag (thankful for the freedom we were about to cherish), and impatiently sat through Terri Jo’s morning devotion which rang meaninglessly through the loud speakers before our escape. I think she quoted something from 2 Timothy 3.

As the bell rang, everyone pushed their way through the halls and to their classroom. Well, not everyone exactly. Lisa Kay and I met at our shared locker, shoved in our books and tried to contain our excitement as we crept to the east parking lot where Stevie met us at my car.

I was fortunate enough to drive my cherished 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera that morning. The alternative was dad’s embarrassingly big, blue, three-pew van typically used to haul twelve (or more) screaming teens to church on Wednesday nights. My friends called it “The Blue Bomb”. That wasn’t cool, but we were.

Panama City was only one hour away. I drove. Lisa Kay rode shot-gun and played the seek button radio game (her pointer finger never tired) and Stevie, the movie trivia king, quoted every line from “Breakfast Club”. Time flew along with me and suddenly the beach was before us.

We quickly found a public parking lot and ran through beautiful white dunes to embrace the Gulf and enjoy the. . . Rain? OK, who forgot to check the weather? No worries. This was a only a minor setback to our day. We could go to the mall instead.

We simply packed up our beach bags and sloshed through the white dune puddles to the parking lot. “Who has the keys?” Panic began to set in as I spotted them dangling from the ignition. However, we would not be overcome. Lisa Kay waved down a very nice, young police man who graciously came to our rescue.

The sky was still cloudy, but the rain subsided on our way toward the mall. Stevie decided to roll down the back window and let the cool mid-day air blow-dry us. We sang Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” at the top of our lungs as we rolled into an available parking space in front of Panama City Mall’s main entrance.

I made sure the keys were in my hand and asked Stevie to roll up the window in case it started to rain again. My precious Ciera didn’t need her back seat washed. Stevie made the motion of rolling up the window, but nothing happened. The window had fallen and would not get up!

So much for the mall. To make matters worse, the rain returned in fury. We had to get home. I drove. Lisa Kay sat sideways in the passenger’s seat and used her pointer finger to scold as she shouted instructions to Stevie. Poor Stevie said nothing and merely followed orders by holding the driest towel to the loud, gaping, rain channel in a feeble attempt to keep the back seat from being saturated. How would we explain a wet seat when it wasn’t raining at school?

We made it back to school just before the final bell. No one questioned where we had been. It was as if we had never gone. My parents seemed to buy into the story we concocted about the window and life returned to normal.

****

June, 1986. I had a suspicious knot in my stomach when Mom and Dad called me to their room the night my report card came in the mail. “Teresa”, Dad spoke as he studied my charted development, “this says you were absent three full days last quarter. Mom and I can only recall two.” BUSTED.


Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight08/23/04
How fun is that? God seemed to be having a little fun with weather and other circumstances as well.
Al Boyce08/23/04
Could it have been 2 Timothy 3:2?
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Sylvia Spielman08/23/04
You kept me engaged from beginning to end. There are always consequences, heh? -- either now or later. Good job! Sylvia
Teresa Lee Rainey08/24/04
Oh, PLEASE don't think that I am glorifying this event. When I reread it just now that is the way it struck me. I simply was writing the way I felt at that time. Of course I haven't a clue what the devotional that morning was, but the scripture I inserted is the way I feel about what I did NOW. Thank God for His grace!!! I did get punished. Couldn't remember how while I was writing (I was not the best child & always in trouble), but my dad reminded me Sunday that I had to ride the bus for the first 6 weeks of my senior year.
Lucian Thompson08/24/04
Oooh…a senior riding the buss was a big punishment. Great job here! I knew when I saw your name I was in for a good read and it sure was!
Sheila Boyd08/26/04
It did not seem that you were glorifying the event. It captured the excitement of a young person who thought they were on an adventure without cost. Good story, well written.
Roberta Kittrell08/26/04
Excellent dramatization of what happens when we practice to deceive. What seems like eons ago, there was a radio show called "The Shadow." It always began with this comment, "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts and minds of man. Heh! Heh!...the Shaaaadooowww knows!" Though I wasn't necessarily aware of it back then, God knew.
L.M. Lee08/26/04
isn't it amazing how our parents always found out!
Mary Elder-Criss08/27/04
Well written article. Didn't seem like you were glorifying your disobedience...just sharing the consequences of it..and yep, our parents always seemed to find out!! Good article. Thanks for sharing! Mary