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Setting Friday Free (A Buzby Beach Novel) Chapter 09


DW is a veteran, a father, a husband, and a teacher. He's published 9 YA/NA novels thus far. The story you're reading might be next.


Calvin and Mariah flanked Garrison. Delaney walked along behind them. When they got to class, Delaney took her seat behind Garrison.

"Garrison," she said in a voice barely above a whisper. "I'm sorry. Can we please start over?"

Garrison straightened up in his seat before turning his head and asking over his shoulder, "Are you sorry because of how you made me feel yesterday and the day before, or are you sorry for embarrassing me in front of Laurel this morning?"

Delaney leaned farther forward. "Both. How can I make it up to you?"

"If Laurel still wants to go out with me when I see her tonight at Denver's, there won't be anything for you to make up," Garrison told her. "If she doesn't, I don't know how you could make up for ruining any chance I had with her."

Delaney leaned forward until her forehead was nearly touching Garrison's ear. "What about you and me if Laurel says yes? Will we still be friends?"

Garrison stifled the laugh rising from within, swallowed it down, and said, "If you want to be friends, then, if Laurel says she'll still go out with me, we can be friends."

Delaney let out the breath she'd been holding and sat back in her seat with a contented smile. Garrison turned to face the front of the room as Professor Cortez entered and greeted the class with a hearty Buenos Dias.

As the class progressed, Garrison found himself wishing the time he'd spent caught between Laurel and Delaney had been spent studying Spanish. The boy kept up with what the Professor was teaching but just barely. By the end of class, Garrison promised himself to spend time over the weekend, making sure he was ready for Spanish the following Monday.


Flatz for Lunch

Garrison and his friends had ten minutes to get from Spanish class to History class. This was not a challenge since Spanish was taught in Leutze Hall, and History was in Morton Hall. The two buildings were next door to each other. Garrison had been impressed with Professor Richardson on the first day of class. The man got Garrison thinking he might try and add a history minor to his degree.

Their history class lasted until lunchtime. Garrison, Calvin, and Mariah chose to eat in the University Union for the first two days of classes.

"We've tried Green Spot and Jole Mole," Mariah reminded the guys. "Which one should we try today?"

"I vote for Flatz," Calvin declared. "It's kind of like a pizza place."

Garrison glanced over his shoulder and saw Delaney following several paces behind them. "Should we ask Lani if she wants to have lunch with us?"

Mariah snorted. "She's probably going to eat with some of her tennis team friends."

They reached the breezeway between the Student Center and the University Union, turned left, and entered the Union. Garrison noted Delaney walked on past and out into the courtyard.

"See," Mariah said as they headed in the direction of Flatz. "She's not even coming in here for lunch."

Upon reaching Flatz, it was decision time.

"I want a big slice of pepperoni pizza," Calvin informed the associate working the counter. "And sweet tea, a large."

The associate filled Calvin's order. Calvin inserted his combination college ID, meal plan card, and debit card into the chip reader. When his total came up, he hit the green circle icon to accept the amount. The chip reader beeped. Calvin withdrew his card and turned to Mariah.

"Your turn next," he told his girlfriend, oblivious to the look of annoyance on her face.

"My turn, right," Mariah said through tight lips. She ordered a slice of pizza with mushrooms and a diet Pepsi. Calvin repeated the process with his card.

Once the two of them had their food and drinks, they moved to find seats while Garrison placed his order.

"The asiago flatbread with the tomatoes, spinach, and feta cheese looks good to me," he told the associate. "And I'd like sweet tea to drink, too, thanks."

The associate filled Garrison's order. Garrison paid with his card. He was about to take his order and move to join Calvin and Mariah when someone said, "Buy me lunch, and all will be forgiven."

Garrison turned and saw Laurel standing behind him, smiling.

"Uh, sure," he stammered. "Order whatever you want."

Laurel told the associate she'd like the same thing Garrison ordered.

"I guess that's another thing we have in common," she joked as Garrison figured out where to set his flatbread and drink down so that he could retrieve his wallet and pay for Laurel's order.

"I wasn't expecting to see you until tonight at Denver's," Garrison stated as he pulled his card from the chip reader.

Laurel took her food and drink from the associate and said, "I took a chance on you coming to the Hawk's Nest for lunch and got lucky. Here you are." She averted her eyes and gnawed at her lip. Then she added, "I didn't want to have to wait until tonight to see you."

"I'm glad you came," Garrison told the pretty copper-haired girl. "Now, I won't have to wait to tell you there is nothing between Delaney and me but a barely-there friendship. Like I said before, Laurel, you are the girl I want to spend time with and get to know."

"I feel the same way about you, Garrison," Laurel replied. "At the moment, though, we should join your friends before our food gets cold."

While the four of them ate lunch, Garrison and Laurel brought Calvin and Mariah up to speed on how they'd met the night before at Denver's on Buzby Beach. Laurel told them how she'd noticed Garrison looking at her while waiting for his order and how she thought he looked cute standing there trying to pretend he wasn't really watching her.

"I thought he looked like a boy it would be nice to talk to, so I asked to sit with him while I took my break and grabbed a bite," Laurel explained. "I almost blew it, though, by inferring I thought he was a spoiled rich kid living off daddy's dime."

She reached over to Garrison and touched him gently on the cheek. "He forgave me, though, and we made a date to meet this morning for breakfast. Everything was going great until you-know-who showed up."

Mariah shared with Laurel the story of how she and Calvin met. Laurel was suitably impressed about the two of them staying together all through high school and then coming to college together.

They finished their lunches. Calvin went back for a second slice. After clearing their table, Mariah suggested they go to the library to get their homework done.

"If we do it this afternoon, it won't be hanging over our heads all weekend," she reasoned.

The others agreed - Calvin reluctantly - and they spent the rest of the afternoon at the Randall Library.

Garrison's story continues in Chapter 10

© 2020 DW Davis


DW Davis (author) from Eastern NC on December 16, 2020:

Thank you, RoadMonkey.

Like you, I learned to appreciate the college library much more when I went back to school after a hitch in the military.

RoadMonkey on December 16, 2020:

Working in the library is useful when you are at College, something I never learned very well until I went back after retirement to finish my education!

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