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JUST A LITTLE CRUSH

CHAPTER 1

Tamara could hear her alarm going off and didnít want to answer it. She sighed, reached over and turned it off. She slid out of bed and grabbed her bathrobe. She went to the bathroom and took a shower. After her shower she went to her room and picked out a dress to wear to church. She picked out a blue and white dress.

"Tamara," her mother called. "It is time to go."

"Iím hurrying," Tamara called. She put on a little lipstick and some eye shadow. Tamara bounced downstairs and got a quick glass of orange juice. She finished her juice and went out to the car. It was a quick drive to the United Church on Riverside Dr., across from the river. Tamara liked watching the ducks on the water. She turned and followed her parents into the church.

After the service they went to Dennyís for breakfast as they usually would on Sunday. Sitting on the bench outside the restaurant was Charles. Tamara sat down beside him. "Hi, Charles. How are you today?"

"Iím . . . well, uhmm, Iím fine, thank you. How are you?"

"Iím good. Iím here with my parents. We always go to Dennyís after church. Do you come here often?"

A woman came out of the restaurant. "Charles, our table is ready."

"Just a minute Mom, I was talking with Tamara. Sheís a friend from school," Charles said.

"Hi, Mrs. Jones," Tamara said.

"Nice to meet a friend of Charles," Mrs. Jones said, offering Tamara her hand.

"Charlesís a very nice guy," Tamara said, shaking Mrs. Jones hand. Mrs. Jones grip was loose. "Bye Charles."

"Bye, Tamara," Charles said, getting up and following his mother into the restaurant. Tamara looked out at the autumn changes. The leaves were changing color and falling to the ground. Except for being a little cold, autumn was Tamaraís favorite time of the year. She liked all the colors of the leaves. It was breath taking when they would travel to her grandparentsí farm outside of Renfrew. She loved all the cats that lived in their barn. If it wasnít for her allergy to cats, she would have at least one at home.

Tamara looked in the restaurant. The restaurant was really full. Her parents were sitting waiting for the hostess to take them to their table. She went back to the bench to wait for her mother to come and get her. After fifteen minutes Tamara was getting a little cold and went inside the restaurant. Just as she opened the door the hostess called for them. The hostess was probably in her late teens or early twenties. She had a nice smile and caring blue eyes.

"Right this way," The hostess said, leading them to a table. The Hartlands took their seats. "Your waitress will be right with you."

The waitress came to their table. She was petite, just barely five feet tall. Her face was framed by long red hair. She was older than the hostess, probably in her mid twenties. "Iím Ginger. I will be your waitress. Can I get you something to drink?" She asked.

"Two coffees and orange juice," Mr. Hartland said.

"Iíll be right back to take your order," Ginger said.

Tamara read over the menu. Usually she would get a Belgian Waffle but didnít feel like that today. She decided that she would get an Ultimate Omelette. It was about five minutes later when the waitress returned with their drinks.

"An orange juice here, coffee here and coffee here. Are you ready to order?" Ginger asked.

"Yes, I will have a Grand Slam," Mr. Hartland said.

"I will have the Belgian Waffle with blue berries," Mrs. Hartland said.

"And I will have the Ultimate Omelette," Tamara said.

"Okay, Iíll be back with your order shortly," Ginger said, writing down their orders.

"So how are you today, Tamara?" Mrs. Hartland asked.

"Iím good, Mom. I was going to rent a movie tonight and maybe invite Steve over?"

"You know we donít want you dating until you are sixteen," Mr. Hartland said.

"But Dad, that is a year from now. All of my other friends are dating," Tamara pleaded her case, hoping that he would allow it. She looked at him with her big eyes trying to sway him.

"What do you think, Ellen? Is she ready to start dating boys?" Mr. Hartland asked.

"Well, I was only fifteen when I started dating. There will have to be some rules though," Mrs. Hartland said. "Like your homework must be done before you can go out. Also, you will have to be home by ten."

"Thank you, Mom," Tamara said. "Iíll follow your rules."

"And you will have to keep your grades up too," Mr. Hartland said.

"I will, Dad."

"Do you have any movie in mind?" Mr. Hartland asked.

"No. Iím thinking of a nice romance or a scary movie that will make me hold him tight." Tamara said.

"How is school?" Mr. Hartland asked.

"It is good. English is a bit of a challenge though. I didnít realize how difficult grammar was. I canít wait until next semester and all the new classes."

"It is a little daunting. There is a lot to remember," Mr. Hartland said. "Iím sure that you will do well, as always."

"Iím liking geography. Even though Mr. Faris isnít the greatest teacher but the subject matter is really interesting. Iím learning a lot about Canadian geography. We are going to work from the east coast to the west coast."

"How is your math?" Mrs. Hartland asked.

"It is good. It is a little difficult with the trigonometric identities but I am managing."

It wasnít long before Ginger came back with their order. Tamara was stuffed by the time she took her last bite. "That was great," Tamara said.

"Happy that you like it," Mrs. Hartland said.

The waitress came back with the bill. Mrs. Hartland and Tamara went out to the car. A few minutes later Mr. Hartland joined them. They drove home and Tamara ran up the stairs to her room, when they got home. She picked up the phone and called Steve.

"Hello," Steve answered the phone.

"Hi, Steve, it is Tamara." Tamara said.

"Hi, cutie. Just got home from breakfast?"

"Yes, I was wondering what you would like to do today. I was thinking of renting a video later on. Maybe go for a walk."

"That would be nice. Is it okay with your parents? I know they said you canít date until you are sixteen."

"They just caved and said that I can start dating but there are going to be rules, like curfew and keeping my grades up."

"That is great news. How would you like to go for a walk to celebrate?" Steve asked.

"Iíd like that, Steve."

"Iíll be right over."

"Bye, Steve," Tamara said, hanging up the phone. She was so excited. She had a huge crush on Steve, since he moved to the area back in July. His mother and he made the journey to Canada from Scotland. She loved his accent. She loved the way he smiled when he saw her.

Tamara changed into some jeans and a t-shirt and washed off her make-up. She went downstairs, grabbed her leather jacket and waited on the stoop for Steve. She smiled as he turned up the walkway. Tamara stood and walked over to Steve. She felt like running but didnít want to appear too excited. When she got there, she hugged him.

"Nice to see you," Tamara said.

"You too," Steve said.

Steve took Tamaraís hand and they walked to the curb. "Where would you like to go?" Tamara felt giddy, lightheaded, joyous all of it at once. She didnít want the moment to ever end. She wanted it to continue forever.

"How about we take a walk along the river?" Tamara suggested. "We can watch the ducks or see the falls?"

"I would like that."

They started on their way. "What do you think of Canadian weather? It is probably very different from the weather in Scotland."

"So far I donít mind it but Iím not looking forward to winter. I hear that it is quite chilling. The weather in Scotland can be cold."

"Itís not so bad, especially if you have a fireplace to sit in front of with a roaring fire. Also, it is nice to have somebody to snuggle close too."

"That sounds like a good idea. I havenít sat in front of a fire. We didnít do any camping and we didnít have a fireplace," Steve said. "We did have an antique coal stove that we would use to keep the house warm over night."

"Iíll have to initiate you then. It is very nice. I think that you will really like it," Tamara said. She liked the thought of being next to Steve in front of a fire on the shaggy rug that lay in front of the fireplace. It would be so nice, the heat of the fire, Steve being nice and close.

They walked all the way to the river. It took the better part of an hour to get there. They stopped across the street from the church. They sat and watched the ducks on the water. After a while, they followed the river to Blackís falls. "These falls are impressive," Steve said, over the roar of the falling water.

"I really like the falls. I used to come here when I was sad or confused. It makes me feel good listening to the water and feeling the spray of the water on my face. But these falls are nothing compared to Niagra falls. Iíve been there and took a boat tour on the Maiden of the Mist," Tamara said. She liked the sound of running water. It calmed her. She could watch the water for hours.

"It is very nice," Steve said. He took Tamaraís hand in his.

Tamara put her head on his shoulder. "I hate to say this but we should probably get going back, it is pretty near three oíclock and I know that your family always eats at five," Steve said.

Tamara pouted. She didnít want the afternoon to end. She looked at Steve and drawn into his deep brown eyes. She pursed her lips and pressed them against his. Tamara felt electric. Her body was tingling. It was a feeling she didnít want to end.

"What was that for?" Steve asked, when she pulled away.

"Just because. You are right. We should be heading back home. Do you want to stay for dinner?" Tamara asked. She hoped that it would be okay with her parents and Steveís mom too. She crossed her fingers in anticipation. She liked the feeling that she got when she is close to Steve.

"Iíd like that," Steve said. They walked back along the river to and walked down the street to Tamaraís house. They got to Tamaraís place, pretty close to five.

Tamara opened the door and Steve followed her in. "Mom, can Steve stay on for supper?"

"If he would like to. We are having ham with scalloped potatoes," Mrs. Hartland said.

"Sounds delicious," Steve said. "I will have to call my mom and see if it is okay with her."

"The phone is in the kitchen," Tamara said, showing Steve to the phone. "Can I take your jacket?"

"Just a moment," Steve said, taking off his jacket and kicking off his shoes. He went into the kitchen to phone his mom. Tamara took her jacket and hung it up with Steveís jacket and hung it up.

"It is okay with my mother," Steve said.

"Steve, why donít you go and sit in the living room with my dad. Heís watching football," Tamara said.

"Okay," Steve said.

Tamara went to the kitchen where her mom was busy putting the finishing touches on dinner. "Do you want me to set the table?" Tamara asked.

"Please," Mrs. Hartland said.

Tamara took out the plates and set them on the table. After that she went and got the silverware and placed it on the table. "Dinner is ready guys," Mrs. Hartland said.

They sat around the table. Mrs. Hartland brought the ham and put it at the head of the table for Mr. Hartland to carve. She went back in the kitchen and returned with the potatoes and put them in the middle of the table. Mrs. Hartland sat at the table, then she dished out dinner.

"So, I hear you are from Scotland. Is it much different?" Mr. Hartland asked.

"It is quite different. Already it is a little colder than Iím used to. Iím not looking forward to a full-blown Canadian winter. That and you have a strange concept of what football is," Steve replied, smiling at Tamara.

"Thatís right," Mr. Hartland said. "You call football what we call soccer."

"What brought you to Canada?" Mrs. Hartland asked.

"My dad died last winter and my mother wanted to get away from the pain she felt at his loss. We decided so start over in a new place," Steve said.

"Thatís terrible. Does your mother have a job yet?" Mr. Hartland asked.

"Yes, she is working at Stats Can as a computer consultant. This is delicious. I donít think Iíve ever had potatoes like this."

"Thank you," Mrs. Hartland said.

When dinner was over, Tamara took Steve to the family room. "Do you want to go grab a movie?" Tamara asked.

"Iíd like that," Steve said. "We can watch it in the basement at my place." It was the answer that Tamara hoped to hear. She didnít want the day to ever end. She never felt so happy as she did at that moment.

"Mom, can I go over to Steveís to watch a movie?" Tamara asked her mother.

"As long as you are back by ten," Mrs. Hartland said.

"Thank you."

Tamara and Steve went to the front door. They put on their shoes and jackets. "Bye, Mom," Tamara said.

"Bye, Tamara," Mrs. Hartland said.

Tamara took Steveís hand in hers. They hurried across the busy street to the video store. They walked through the store looking for a movie. None of the new releases caught Tamaraís eye. They walked around the older movies. "What do you think about The Princess Bride?" Tamara asked.

"Iíve never seen it. Have you?" Steve asked.

"I must have seen it a hundred times, no kidding. It is a very good story and is a little romantic," Tamara said. She practically knew the whole movie line by line.

"How about an suspense movie or a thriller?" Steve asked. That is what Tamara wanted hear. She wanted a movie that would make her snuggle up to Steve. A movie that would make her scared.

"You just want me close to you," Tamara said, taking Steveís arm. She liked being close to him. She made her feel a little light headed, almost intoxicated.

"How about the Sixth Sense? I hear that is good."

"I never saw that. I hear that it is very good, too."

"Letís get it."

They went to the check out. The girl at the check out put the movie through. "After this do you want to go to the Baskin and Robbins get some ice cream?" Tamara asked. "

"That would be great."

They walked down the sidewalk to the Baskin and Robbins. Tamara looked at the flavors. She decided on chocolate and Steve chose strawberry cheese cake. They sat down at a table and ate their ice cream. When they were done they went to Steveís house.

They walked hand-in-hand down the road to Steveís house."Mom, I brought Tamara home to watch a movie," Steve said.

"It is nice to meet you, Tamara," Mrs. MacIssac said. "Steve has told me a lot about you."

"A pleasure," Tamara said, taking off her jacket.

Steve took Tamaraís jacket and hung it up. They took off their shoes and went down stairs to the rec room. Tamara went to the couch and sat down. Steve put on the movie and went and sat next to Tamara. She cuddled up beside to him.

Tamara stayed stuck to Steveís side while the movie played. Several times she jumped and hugged Steve tight. When the movie was finished it was near nine. Steve looked at Tamara. "Did you like the movie?" Steve asked.

"It was great. But the company was better," Tamara said, holding him tight. She didnít want the moment to end. She felt like she had never felt before. If this was love, she wanted to die of excess.

"I liked spending time with you as well," Steve said.

Steve looked at Tamara and kissed her. After the kiss Tamara put her head on Steveís shoulder. "I should be going home." Not that she wanted to go home but she didnít want to lose her dating privileges now that she was with Steve. She wanted to spend as much time as she could with him.

"I look forward to seeing you tomorrow."

"Me too. I hope that you have a good night."

"I will walk you home."

"Good night," Steve said, kissing Tamara again.

"I better go," Tamara said, kissing him back.

They went upstairs and put on their shoes and coats. Tamara held Steveís hand as they walked Tamara home. They stopped at the porch and kissed. "Good night, Steve."

"Good night, Tamara." Steve said, turning and walking away.

Tamara went into the house and hung up her jacket and kicked off her shoes. "Is that you, Tamara?" Mrs. Hartland asked.

"Yes, Mom," Tamara said.

"Did you enjoy your movie?"

"It was a little scarey but I really liked it. But I liked being close to Steve the best."

"What movie did you get?"

"The Sixth Sense," Tamara said.

Tamara floated up the stairs to her room. She picked up the phone and called Jewel. "Hello," Jewel said.

"Hi, Jewel. It is Tamara."

"How are you? I thought I would have heard from you long before now."

"Iím good. My parents gave me permission to start dating. I called Steve and spent most of the day with him. We had a great time. We walked and talked. Had dinner here and then we got a movie and some ice cream at Baskin and Robbins." It was a perfect day that Tamara didnít want to end. She wanted to go back and stay with Steve, be close to him. Time seemed to drag on and on when she wasnít and raced by when she was with Steve.

"Sounds like a good day. Iím so happy for you," Jewel said.

"It was a very good day. I canít wait until I can spend time with him again," Tamara said.

"It must be nice to be in love."

"Iím not in love. At least I donít think Iím in love. I just canít see enough of him. Maybe it is love. If it is, it is a wonderful feeling. I canít wait for you to find somebody."

"I hope I find somebody like Steve. He is such a good guy."

"I hope so too. I will talk with you tomorrow."

"Good night, Tamara."

"Bye," Tamara said, hanging up the phone.

She turned on her computer and put on her nightgown. She went over to the computer and checked her email. She was about to turn it off when her phone rang. She wondered who would be calling her so late at night on a Sunday?

"Hello," Tamara said.

"I...I think...I think you are beautiful."

"Who is this?" Tamara asked. Before she got an answer the phone was hung up.

Tamara put down the phone. She went to her bed and climbed under the blanket and turned out the lights. She stared at the glow in the dark stars on her ceiling. She hoped that the way that she felt would never change. She still wasnít sure if it was love or not but she was willing to find out.