Robert and Carrie’s Field Trip (Part I) – A Team PCPB Original Story

Monday afternoon, I was sitting outside of school. Everyone else was filing onto the buses and going home. Meanwhile, I was waiting for Marshall to show up. It was a rare occurrence where I didn’t have band practice, and Marshall had a day off from work. So he agreed to pick me up from school.

We didn’t get together that often so I was trying not to be impatient. I felt like a doofus, sitting there with my trombone. At least two people came up to me and said “Hey Carrie, the bus is here. You don’t want to be late!” (Okay, they didn’t both say the exact same thing, but I’m sure you get the point.)

One of the reasons Marshall and I didn’t see much of each other is he lived so blooming far away. My parents wouldn’t drive me, Lisa wouldn’t drive me, and Marshall said he couldn’t always afford the gas money. That’s why I was trying not to worry even though he was running late. Still, once buses left, that was when I became a little agitated.

As I sat there by myself, I wasn’t worried anything bad might happen. This was a safe neighborhood. Being in band meant I was in school after hours a lot anyway, so I knew the area was nothing bad. The temptation to call my family was lurking. However, I knew my mom or dad would rub it in my face that they were right about Marshall. I could hear them in my head already giving me a speech about how Marshall was a no good deadbeat, how he’s a rebel who’ll never, ever be any good. Lisa, would be more understanding, but she was working.

To tell the truth, I began to worry more about Marshall. What if he had an accident? Realistically, he probably just got caught up in traffic or something like that. I couldn’t text him. “Arrive alive, don’t text and drive” (Gosh, that’s like three rhymes!) That’s what the public service ads always say.

Marshall did eventually show up. I was split between being happy to finally see him and frustrated that it took him so darn long to get here. As soon as I got in Marshall’s car, he was apologizing. “Babe, I’m so sorry I’m late. I forgot how long it takes to get here from my place! I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright” was all I could say. He probably detected the disappointment in my voice.

Marshall drove us to a nearby Dairy Queen. He wanted to take me somewhere he could get me ice cream. But first we were having dinner – Marshall ordered a burger, I got a chili dog, but neither of us said much.

Marshall spoke first, apologizing again. “I’m really sorry. I don’t know how many times I need to apologize.”

We saw so little of each other, and I really didn’t want one of my few meetings with Marshall to be a downer. “You don’t have to apologize.” I said, “I get that you live far away. I just wish we could see more of each other.”

“Yeah, me too. What do you have going on this weekend?”

I sighed because I knew I’d be busy. “I’ve got a big show with the band. That’s funny because that sounds like something you’d say… because we’re both in bands… But I guess that’s why we don’t see much of each other.”

“Yeah, I know…”

In the middle of Marshall talking, I let out a big belch. With anyone else, I would have soooooo embarrassed, but Marshall just rolled with. That’s the level of comfort Marshall and I had with each other. Truth be told, one advantage to not seeing Marshall all the time was that I didn’t need to shave my pits all the time. He never said it, but I had the feeling Marshall wouldn’t mind so much. Maybe I only needed to trim my pits…

“Sorry about that.” I said I was sorry about belching because even if Marshall was cool with me passing a little gas, my mom taught me some manners.

“It’s okay,” Marshall said with a smile. “I just wish we could work something out. I want to see you more than once every two weeks.”

“I think the closest I’m going to come to visiting your neck of the woods is this Wednesday my class is taking a field trip to Baker’s Farm in Bedford Heights, but that’s still kind of far from you, and it’s not like…”

“Why don’t you visit?”

“If I can’t talk my parents into driving me to you, what chance do I have with the school bus? What do you want me to do, tell them, ‘Hey, now that we’re done with the trip, can we swing by my boyfriend’s place?’ They’ll never…”

“Sneak off! Just tell me where you’re going, we’ll find a little place away from it all and have a little time to ourselves.”

That sounded so fun I was awestruck for a second. I felt like a doofus sitting there with my mouth open. That was one of the other things about Marshall, I could look like a doofus in front of him and it wouldn’t be awkward. “That sounds soooo fun,” I said. “But I don’t think I can do that. They’ll bust me for sure. Besides, I don’t get a lot of chances at field trips, and…”

“Aw come on, ‘I can’t’, ‘I can’t’, ‘I can’t.’ How about instead of making saying ‘I can’t’, you just do something? Take a chance! Life’s more fun that way.”

I smiled, “You have a point. If I didn’t take a chance here and there, we wouldn’t even be together. And it could be fun to break the rules a little bit. And…”

“Carrie! You’re babbling again! We’re doing it. We don’t need to talk about it.”

Marshall bought me a chocolate sundae. I made the joke, “Yeah, I’m getting a Sundae even though it’s Monday.” Marshall laughed at that. Gosh, I loved that man. Who else would actually laugh at a joke that corny?

Marshall drove me home. He kissed me and said, “see you Wednesday.”

I smiled sheepishly and said “Yeah, see you Wednesday. I think this may be the best field trip yet.”

Mom spotted me as soon as I got in. My mom, so caring, so loving, so supportive of me otherwise reminded me of her disdain for Marshall: “Was that Marshall dropping you off?” I know that SOUNDS like a straightforward question, but Mom had such annoyed tone in her voice that I could tell she wasn’t happy.

“Yeah, we went to Dairy Queen.”

“That’s nice.” That was a comment that sounded like she was okay, but all I heard in Mom’s tone every speech about how Marshall was too old for me. I listened to a lot of old songs and watched a lot of old movies about girls like me going out with some motorcycle-riding, leather jacket-wearing thug that the parents didn’t approve of. Mom must have watched the same things too. But I guess that’s a given because Mom was the one who showed those things to me.

Either way, that’s not the attitude Mom and Dad had about Marshall. They just didn’t like that I was going out with someone so much older than I was. But more importantly they were worried that Marshall only wanted me for sex. I tried to reassure them that we hadn’t done those things, but they never seemed happy no matter what I told them.

That Tuesday, I have a feeling, most of my classmates were thinking about the trip. I was thinking about spending the day with Marshall. Even better, I’d get to go on the trip AND spend the day with Marshall.

To be Continued…

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