Chapter 9, Driver’s License Kiss
With puberty, boys tried to talk to me but shy, I avoided them, embarrassed of my back ground, full lips, big teeth, skinny body and enlarged breasts. I assumed they stared because I was all of these plus my long neck. They wanted to mock me. My siblings already ensured my low esteem. I would never accept being insulted knowing I was better than them.
Mom and I rode the bus to work and school in the morning catching the 7:15 AM and rode back together in the afternoon if we met at the downtown bus stop.
On a cold January, 1966 afternoon we walked home from our Story Road bus stop and met my future husband. He was 21, I, 16.
His family, in a step down, had just moved next door. They were white. He
was washing his car, a 1957 Chevy hardtop, in his driveway and smiled as we
passed. I assumed his smile was a smirk about my appearance and pretended not
to notice him. Mom smiled back.
The next day, walking alone from the bus stop, I saw him on his front porch. It was again a blustery cold January day with a few discarded Christmas trees along the curb waiting for pickup. I wore a hand knitted sweater over my school uniform blouse and held my books and Pee Che folder in front and pretended not to see him. I hoped to pass unmolested.
Instead when reaching his house he boldly stepped on the sidewalk, blocked my path and asked.
"What school do you go to where you need to ride the bus?"
Who does he think he is to speak to me without introduction?
I hugged the books and Pee Che, my breast shield closer and looked down at
my feet then back up to face him.
He knows where I go to school by my uniform and why I rid the bus. What makes him think he can block my path.
His hair’s cut short, not a crew cut,
just short with a little wave in front. He’s just short of 6 feet, not a lot taller
than me. Crystal blue eyes, he has crystal blue eyes.
Glancing away responded meekly.
Wishing I said.
"It's none of your business!"
"I go to San Jose State in the morning. You know, its downtown, near
Norte Dame, I'll give you a ride in my car."
More affronts, asking me to drive with
him and not even asking my name then admitting he knew about Norte Dame.
"No, I can't. I ride with my mother."
Relieved I had an excuse to get away.
"I'll take both of you".
"I know her answer, no."