My plan, if you can call it that, was to try to write about 17,000 per day on the blog, creating a form of accountability. Don't know if it will work, but here is day one...
They were young when they met. He was 17 and she was 16. They both came from just your Average Joe homes, nothing extraordinary or special about either of them. But in the end, they touched a great many lives, in ways that they never dreamed of.
When Amy Johnson was little, she thought the world revolved around her. As a child this is not that unusual, but in her case it continued into adulthood. It wasn’t an attitude of ‘the world owes me’ but one of ‘I am the world”. Some people found this to be an endearing trait, but most just thought she was a bit arrogant and selfish. That was ok with her; most of them were not people she wanted to know anyway. She was just gliding thru life, enjoying the wonderful opportunities it was presenting her, when she met him. 17 year old Bret Howards was tall, at least 6 feet, and had wavy dark hair that he wore neatly, but a little on the longish side, with brown hazel eyes and a ruggedly handsome face. Kind of chiseled in fact, but it had no hard edges. He was leanly muscled and quite attractive overall. He was the type of guy that girls looked at and ended up becoming friends with. He had such an easygoing way about him that it was hard not to like him.
They were both invited to the movies by friends, who were going as a group. They both accepted, knowing that it would be fun with the whole crowd there. The movie was the all time favorite scary movie of the day, Jaws! They had never met before, not formally anyway. They had seen each other around school and had shared a class in 7th grade, but he had had a crush on the teacher and never even noticed any of the girls in the class. So when they joined this group outing they were essentially meeting for the first time.
And he was immediately smitten with her. He maneuvered the folks around to ensure that he was sitting next to her, and tried to make it look like an accident. She noticed, but really didn’t pay any attention or give it any special significance, after all, who Wouldn’t want to sit with her? Mind you, this wasn’t a conscious thought, but somewhere down under all that real world stuff, there it sat. There was another girl sitting on the other side of him, Joanna, and when the movie got really intense, she grabbed his arm and hung on for dear life. Amy was bound and determined to put a brave face on things, she wasn’t a squeamish, screamy kind of gal, but Jaws won and she ended up hanging on to him too. He loved it.
When they all walked out of the theater the entire group was hyper. They were all talking fast and making corny jokes and laughing almost hysterically. An onlooker, not knowing what movie they had just watched, might have thought they were high. But unlike most of the youth of their generation, this group didn’t do drugs. They felt that drugs took away too much of their lives without giving enough back in return. But the truth was, the movie had hyped them all because it was so intense. They needed some way to work off all that adrenaline, so they arranged to meet at the beach in a little bit for some volleyball.
They had to arrange to carpool, because not all of them had vehicles yet. Bret had a car, and so did Amy, so they both offered to load them up for the trip. They managed to get all the kids in those two cars amid a great deal of laughter and squirming around. Being as they all lived close by and most of them spent a great deal of time in this group, they ran by the homes of a few and ended up with enough bathing suits to go around without having to all go home. It didn’t take long to get to Haulover Beach; it was only about 20 minutes away on the Expressway. They drove well, but they were kids, so there were several times they raced side by side or played leap frog on the highway.
They were all laughing and joking when they arrived and piled out of the cars, running for the sand with the energy that happy teens display. The sky was clear and the water was so blue you would almost think it had been faked. There were only small waves and a light breeze blowing. All in all it was a perfect afternoon to spend at the beach. They quickly choose up sides and got into position to play. Bret had, of course, picked Amy for his side. None of them played all that well, but the enthusiasm kept the game going for over an hour. Then, hot, sweaty and getting tired, the group ran down to the water to cool off.