Character Guide (Those Years)

Characters in “Those Years”…

Grady Arden-16 year old sophomore to whom the series centers around.

Kylie LaCroix-19 year old terminally ill senior and Grady’s girlfriend.

Sgt. Vilmont-34 year old school resource officer.

Dolores Douglas-61 year old school bus driver.

Ishmael Brown-17 year old football player and bully.

Lester Ewing-68 year old busybody neighbor of the Ardens.

Coach Roland Kidde-65 year old head football coach, also Grady’s P.E. teacher.

Margaret Villerie LaCroix, DVM-49 year old veterinarian, Kylie’s mother.

Alan Lacroix, Pharm. D.-53 year old pharmacist, Kylie’s dad.

Ryan LaCroix-59 year old grocery store owner, Kylie’s uncle and Dylan’s dad. He owns the store which also houses Alan’s pharmacy.

Phyllis Guthrie Arden-48 year old hospital lab technician, Grady’s mother.

Donald Arden-51 year old freight train conductor/engineer, Grady’s dad.

Dylan LaCroix-27 year old grocery store stocker, Kylie’s cousin.

There may be more characters as the series progresses…

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The Next Morning (Those Years)

It was now morning and Grady woke to the splashing of rain and the rumbling of thunder. He slowly got out of bed and then realized it was time to get ready for school. He then got dressed and made his way to the kitchen. His mom, Phyllis Arden had just got in from work. Grady began to eat a strawberry NutriGrain bar and drink a bottle of vanilla NesQuik.

He looked at his watch and was about to leave the house when his mom greeted him.

“Mr. Lester tells me you had a girl over here yesterday. Is that true?”

“Yes, mom, it’s true.”

“We cannot afford a grandchild right now, so I don’t want you alone with her or any other girl in this house.”

“But we didn’t do anything.”

“You would have done something if Mr. Lester hadn’t stopped you.”

“Maybe so, but she is the only one in the whole school who likes me. Therefore, I want to do all that I can to make her happy. I’ll also have you know that I am in love with her.”

“Who is this girl that has you head over heels for her?”

“Kylie LaCroix.”

Grady’s mother took a long breath. She then choked up but caught herself. The reason being is that she had run many tests of Kylie’s at the hospital, many of them indicating her terminal illness.

Phyllis finally spoke, “Do you really love her Grady?”

“With all of my being!”

“Then I suppose it’s all right for her to come over here, just keep your Crayon in the box.”

“I’ll try.”

“How about you will. Now you need to get to school.”

Grady nodded and went outside in the rain to catch the bus.

After he boarded the ride was long and sad. The thought about Kylie’s illness kept going on and on in his mind and it wouldn’t relent. Grady was soon fighting back tears. He pulled out his iPod touch and began to listen to music until the bus arrived at school.

When the bus pulled up to the unloading area, Grady looked through the window and saw Kylie standing there waiting for him. A smile returned to his face as he walked off the bus and they ran up to each other and hugged.

Happily, they walked over to the cafeteria, entered and sat together.

Grady asked, “You like to listen to music, right?”

“I sure do!” Kylie replied.

“Well, I have some songs on my iPod.” Grady continued, placing the earbuds, one in Kylie’s right ear and one in Grady’s left ear. They listened to the beautiful music until the morning bell rang…

*TO BE CONTINUED*

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At the Park (Those Years)

Grady and Kylie looked at each other happily as they approached the park entrance hand in hand.

Grady asked, “Would you like me to push you on the swing?”

“Sure. That would be very sweet of you.” Kylie replied.

“Say no more,” Grady told her as they walked to the swings.

Kylie perched herself on a swing and Grady began to push. She giggled with pleasure as Grady pushed her higher and higher.

Finally, she said, “I think I’m getting a little dizzy, but that was fun.”

Grady stopped the swing and sweetly kissed Kylie. In return, she held his face and played with his hair.

They went sit down in the grass as Grady held Kylie. She sat with her back to his stomach and he put his arms around her waist.

Kylie giggled and told him “I like it when you hold me like this.”

Grady kissed the back of her neck and buried his nose in her hair as he said, “I wish we were cuddling in my bed right now, but this is just as good.”

Kylie held his hands and replied “I’d go anywhere as long as we could be together. Soon they began to doze off in the afternoon sun.

After some time had passed and the mercury started to fall, they woke up.

Kylie had a very dry mouth and she told Grady, “I’m so thirsty.”

“Could I get you a drink from the vending machine,” Grady asked.

“I shouldn’t drink soft drinks or anything sugary, they make my condition worse.”

Grady became distressed once again. Tears started to fill his eyes.

Kylie hugged him and said, “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to upset you.”

Grady kissed her and ran his fingers through her hair as he said “Don’t be sorry, I’m just torn to pieces over the terrible fact that you don’t have long to live. ”

But then Kylie said “At least you make me happy. I pray that you always will.”

“I’ll surely try.” Grady said, then continued, “Is there anything I could get you to drink.”

“I can have all the water I want. In fact, my doctors want me to drink as much water as possible.”

“Then I’ll buy you a bottle of water from the machine and I’ll drink one too. I don’t want to tempt you into drinking soft drinks if you’re not supposed to have them.”

“Thank you, Grady. I love you!”

“And I love you, Kylie.”

With that, they walked to the vending machines. Grady inserted his debit card and selected two twenty ounce bottles of water. Then, he and Kylie went sit at a picnic table and drank their water in happiness.

The sun was starting to set. Suddenly, they heard yelling and cursing. Both became nervous.

Kylie then said “I have to use the bathroom. The water went right through me. Could you guard the door, so no one attacks me?”

“Sure thing.”

“If you hear me peeing, I hope it doesn’t gross you out.”

“It won’t. It will just make me think more of when we will become intimately known to each other.” Grady blushed strongly after saying that.

Kylie kissed him, smiled brightly and said “Hopefully that will be very soon. Oh, I love you so much, Grady!”

“I love you too, Kylie.”

With that, she went to the restroom and Grady guarded the door.

Kylie then came out in extreme sadness and distress, saying, “You know when my illness gets into more advanced stages, I won’t be able to use the bathroom on my own. I’ll need you to help me. I hope you won’t leave me when that time comes.”

Grady hugged her and said “I won’t ever leave. In fact, helping you use the bathroom will just be another chance for me to see you naked.”

“But sometimes you might have to clean me up,” Kylie said with tears in her eyes.

“That doesn’t matter either. I promise that I’ll be gentle.”

“God, Grady I hope you truly mean that.”

“Of course I do. Anyway, I’ll be yours no matter what. No one else wanted me before but you want me. Not to mention you are so sweet to me and you accepted me for who I am. I’ll do everything in my power to keep you and to make you happy. I just wish I could have more time with you.”

Tears of happiness filled Kylie’s eyes as she spoke “I love you, Grady Arden. Even after me telling you all of this, you still want me. My dreams and desires of having someone to love me are all coming true!”

Grady threw his arms around her and kissed her, causing her glasses to fog up in the evening fall air.

Kylie giggled as she wiped the lenses with her uniform skirt.

Grady hugged her and kissed her forehead.

Moments later, Grady’s watch alarm went off. Sadly, they headed to the bus stop, knowing their date was over. All too soon the bus arrived and they boarded. Grady and Kylie sat together until the bus came to Kylie’s stop.

Sadly she kissed Grady and got off. Grady felt a sharp pain seeing her go but knew at least they would see each other the next day at school. The rest of the bus ride was slow and miserable for him. Finally, it came to his stop and he got off, then walked into his parents’ house. He quickly did his homework then showered and went to bed…

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Ride to the Park (Those Years)

As they were riding in the bed of Dylan’s truck, Grady asked Kylie “Could you tell me the time on your phone?”

“Sure.” Kylie looked at her phone and said: “It’s 4:14.”

“Great. That’s what my watch says too. It keeps time really well.”

“Why did you need to know that?”

“Because we need to know when 6 o’clock gets here so we can catch the bus and I don’t want to bother you to keep looking at your phone.”

“That’s thoughtful of you, Grady.”

“Yes, I can set my alarm for five fifty. That way we can have enough time to walk to the bus stop by the park.”

“Good idea.”

Grady began to set his alarm and Kylie watched him smiling.

She then said, “That’s a manly looking watch you have.”

“It’s a Casio G-Shock. My dad gave it to me. He also gave me my iPod Touch.”

“My parents only give me gifts for Christmas and my birthday.”

“Well, I guess my dad gives me gifts year round because he is always working and never gets to spend time with me. He usually only gets one day off during the week and he sleeps most of that day. He tells me that when he retires he’ll spend time with me.”

“Money isn’t everything.”

“You’re right. What’s money if you never have time for anything else?”

“Speaking of time, come hug me and give me a kiss. We’ve only got a little while together.”

Grady crawled across the truck bed and came to Kylie. She then playfully grabbed him and held him as they lay down on their sides. They looked deeply into each other’s eyes smiling but then Grady became distressed. Soon he was fighting back tears.

Kylie wiped his eyes with her shirt and asked, “What’s the matter?”

Grady replied “It just cuts me like a razor blade that we won’t have a long life together. God, I love you so much, Kylie.”

“I love you too. Just try not to think about it and instead let’s focus on making each other as happy as possible.”

“You’re very brave, Kylie.”

“I may seem brave but I’m actually scared to death.”

“I wish there was something I could do.”

“There is, just hold me closer.”

“Sure thing.”

Grady tightened his arms around her, kissed her mouth and petted her hair as they lay against one another with tears in their eyes.

Finally, the truck stopped.

Dylan stepped out and said “We’re here. Both of you try to have a good time.”

Grady and Kylie crawled out of the truck bed then walked hand and hand into the park…

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That Afternoon/Bus Ride (Those Years)

Grady felt on top of the world as the dismissal bell rang. He had found new happiness with his feelings for Kylie LaCroix and she had felt the same way.

Though their relationship had only begun hours before, it had already become very strong. Kylie had already rescued him from a dangerous bully which made him greatly desire her. Then he discovered that she too enjoyed watching skits on YouTube. And what made him even happier is that while he and Kylie watched those skits on his iPod during lunch she cradled his head in her lap. He had never felt so content in his life until she held him like that.

As Grady was walking through the halls, Kylie rushed up and hugged him.

She then asked, “What would you like to do this afternoon?”

“I’m up for anything,” Grady replied.

“Would you like to come over to my house?”

“What would your parents think?”

“They won’t be home until eight or nine tonight. What about yours?”

“Well my dad is out of state right now and my mom won’t be home until after seven o’clock tomorrow morning.”

“Then we could go to your house right?” Kylie asked with a wink and a bright smile.

“Sure, I guess,” Grady replied awkwardly.

“Awesome. I’ll just get on your bus instead of mine.”

“I wish I could drive you, but I never had the chance to get my license.”

“That’s alright. I cannot drive either, my doctors don’t want me to.”

“Well as soon as I can get my license, I’ll take you everywhere you want and need.”

“Kylie kissed Grady and said, “You’re so sweet!”

So hand in hand they sat and waited for Grady’s bus to arrive. When it came, they entered just as quickly as the doors opened. Quickly, they found a seat.

“The ride takes a while to get to my house,” Grady said.

“It’s fine. All that means is that we can hold each other until we arrive. Then we can do even more!” Kylie said rubbing his face.

Grady sat by the window so he could see when they were near his stop and Kylie leaned against him, resting her head on his chest. Nervously he kissed her forehead.

She smiled from ear to ear and told him, “I like when you kiss me.”

They faced each other and their lips met. Awkwardly there was a meeting and pressing of each others’ mouths.

“That was wonderful! I hope there is more to come!” Kylie said.

“There is much more, as long as you’re okay with it. If you ever want me to stop, just say so.” Grady replied.

“I’ll never want you to stop any affections towards me!” Kylie said kissing him once more.

The bus driver then shouted, “Um, Grady Arden and whoever that girl you brought on my bus is, cut it out right now or I’ll the cops on y’all.”

“Jeez, sorry Miss Dolores. We didn’t mean any harm,” Grady said.

Kylie pouted and whispered to Grady, asking, “Why did you apologize?”

“Because this is my only ride to and from school.”

“I guess you’re right. But, I cannot wait until we get to your house.”

Grady smiled and simply held her hand.

“Get in separate seats now!” The bus driver shouted.

“But why?” Kylie asked in distress.

“Don’t question me, little girl, just do as I say or I will call the cops and you will be charged with engaging in lewd conduct.”

Kylie sulked then moved to a different seat, catacorner to Grady’s. They stared at each other in distress.

The bus ride was going seemingly fast up until that point. Now it seemed to drag on since Grady and Kylie’s affections were cruelly and abruptly halted.

Finally, the bus stopped at Grady’s house and both he and Kylie got off.

The driver looked at Kylie and said: “Just remember your actions have consequences, you little brat.”

“Lay off of her Miss Dolores, she’s the only one in the whole school who is nice to me.”

“Shut your mouth, Grady. Furthermore, don’t bring her on my bus again, if you’re going to act like that with her.”

Grady and Kylie stepped off the bus.

“At least we’re alone now,” Grady said as he retrieved his house key from the lanyard around his neck and unlocked the front door. Little did they know they were being watched by Grady’s hateful neighbor, Lester Ewing…

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Grady and Kylie’s Lunch Together (Those Years)

Grady sat in the class filled with different emotions. He was in much physical pain after the assault on him by Ishmael Brown. However, he was also feeling much comfort because of his new friend Kylie. The latter emotion was more present in his being. And while those two feelings were cycling throughout him, he was also slightly nervous about having lunch with her. It was the fact that he was not much of a social person and didn’t feel as if he fit in. Grady was very surprised that someone wanted to come into his life and it made him very anxious that he would eventually push her away. Ultimately there was much excitement that someone of the opposite sex was paying attention to him.

Grady began tapping a mechanical pencil against his desk. The teacher ordered him to stop. For a while, he stopped, but then unconsciously started tapping again. The teacher threatened to send him to the office if he did it one more time. Grady then picked up his writing instrument then looked at his G-Shock wristwatch. It was still half an hour until the period was over and the lunch recess began.

He lapsed into a trance daydreaming about Kylie. He also thought about the user created skits he enjoyed watching on YouTube. This made him wonder what Kylie would think of him when he told her that was what he spent all of his free time doing. He wondered if she would make fun of him like so many others did.  He decided to give Kylie the benefit of the doubt and continued to daydream of her.  He did so until the bell rang.

Grady walked to his locker and put his backpack away. He then retrieved his iPod along with his wallet and walked to the lunch line. Soon enough, Grady was served his food. It was a pork stew and rice with a garden salad, bread roll and marble cake for dessert. He also bought a pint carton of orange juice. Grady took his tray and walked to the art building.

Kylie was already sitting there, with her home-made lunch, smiling. He walked up to her and she hugged him.

“I’m glad you decided to meet me here for lunch,” She sweetly said.

“How could I not have?” Grady replied with a slight tremble in his voice.

Kylie giggled and winked at him.

Quickly they ate their meals together and afterward, they began conversing.

“What do you do for fun?”

“Well, I mostly watch videos on Youtube.” He replied with a bright blush.

She smiled and asked “What kind of videos?”

“Mostly skits that people perform. They’re something like short stories, just made into videos.”

“That’s neat.”

“You really think so? Most people make fun of me for watching them. I wish I could somehow prove them all wrong and write the scripts to some of those videos. Imagine the money I could make off of it.”

“I won’t make fun of you at all. In fact, I’m sure you could create some wonderful skits.”

Grady smiled and then asked her, “What do you like to do for fun?”

“I could spend hours listening to powerful music or reading a good book. I’ve tried visual art, but I’m no good at it. God how I wish I could be.”

“Is that why you like to sit by the art building?”

“Yes. When I think that of all the creative energy that has transitioned through this building over the years, I just wish that I could tap into it and use it.”

“That’s very profound,” Grady said.

“Thanks,” Kylie replied, then asked, “What are your parents like?”

“My mom works the night-shift at the hospital; she’s a lab technician. My dad is a freight conductor for the railroad and is sometimes gone for days at a time. I don’t get to see them too much.”

“Do you get along with them?”

“Oh, yes. It’s not hard to get along with them when they’re never around for me to butt heads with. What about yours?”

“My mom is a veterinarian and my dad is a pharmacist.”

“And do you get along with them?”

“For the most part, but they push me a lot though.”

“What do you mean?”

“They want me to focus on the math and science courses, but I much prefer the literature and arts.”

“My parents don’t push me that hard, they simply make me go to school only because I am legally required to. But, if I dropped out, they’d expect me to go to work full time and that can’t happen for another two years when I turn eighteen.”

“So you’re sixteen?”

“Yes.”

“I’m nineteen. I had to take time off for health reasons.”

“So you’re a senior?”

“Yes.”

“I hope you don’t think I’m too young to hang out with you.”

“Not at all.”

“Good because I think you’re wonderful.”

Kylie smiled brightly and then she said “Hey. I know this is off the topic, but why don’t you show me some of those skits you like to watch?”

Grady replied, pulling out his iPod, “If the WiFi signal is strong enough right here, we can watch them.”

“That would be nice.”

“All right, say no more.”

Grady pulled up Youtube’s app and they watched several videos. Soon they saw the link to a short romantic skit.”

Kylie pointed to it and said, “Let’s watch it.”

“I don’t know, those romantic ones depress me.”

“Why is that?”

“Because I don’t have anyone.”

Kylie looked at him directly and asked, “Do you want someone?”

Grady blushed and replied “Sure, I do believe that no one should be alone. If only I had someone I could love and love me in return.”

She then placed her hands on his and smiled at him and then asked, “Do you really mean that?”

“Yes, of course.”

Kylie placed her hands on his face and asked: “Grady, How do you feel about me?”

“My God, Kylie, you are sweet and smart and not to mention beautiful. But what do you see in me?”

She hugged him tightly and said “I see plenty and I want you! Do you want me?”

“Yes.”

“Then ask me.”

“What do you want me to ask you?”

“If I can be your girlfriend, duh.”

“OK, Kylie LaCroix. Will you be my girlfriend?”

“Yes, of course, I will. Do you know why?”

“Why?”

“Because you’re sweet, you’re honest and you are as cute as a newborn Collie. That’s my answer as to what I see in you!”

She then threw her arms around him and their lips met.

After sharing their kiss they hugged tightly and Kylie asked, “So how now do you feel about watching one of those romantic skits?”

“Let’s watch ’em,” Grady replied.

“Good.”

Kylie then cradled Grady’s head in her lap while they held hands and watched. Unfortunately, the bell rang a seemingly short time after.

“I guess we better get to class,” Grady said.

“I suppose. Let’s meet up after school.”

“All right, that sounds awesome!”

“It’s a date!” Kylie said, kissed him and then they walked to their classes…

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Pilot (Those Years)

November 201x…

It was a sunny and brisk November morning as Sophomore Grady Arden was walking into the locker room at the end of his P.E. period. After finding a spot to get dressed, he quickly did so, then waited for the bell to ring. While waiting, Grady removed an iPod Touch from his backpack and began to watch videos on Youtube.

Suddenly Ishmael Brown, his classmate, grabbed the device from him.

“Give it back right now, you idiot! My dad gave me that as a gift,” Grady shouted with anger.

“What you going to do about it?” Ishmael tauntingly asked.

“How about tell the Officer Vilmont and have him beat you to a pulp.”

“If you try that, I’m going get my boys to take you out.”

“Whatever,” Grady said, then tried to take it back.

Ishmael held it over his head until Coach Kidde intervened “Do you want me to cut your ass from the team?” He asked Ishmael with anger.

“No Coach,” Ishmael replied.

“Then give it back to him. You will also do suicides for the first half of practice this afternoon.”

Ishmael sulked, handed it back to Grady and said: “This ain’t over, boy.”

“Oh, it definitely is over if you know what’s good for you. Now step!”

Ishmael walked away.

Grady shook Coach Kidde’s and said: “Thank you, Coach, I don’t know what I ever did to that jerk.”

Coach Kidde replied “It’s just the mentality some people have. If he ever does something to you again, let me or Officer Vilmont know.”

Soon after the bell rang.

Everyone left the locker room and went into the commons area for recess. Grady sat down on the bench near the library entrance door.

He was about to pull his iPod out again when suddenly Ishmael approached him, once again. Quickly, Grady picked it up.

Ishmael said with anger “It’s your fault I have to do suicides at practice today. I’m going to make it worth it!”

Instantly, he punched Grady in the stomach causing him to double over on the cement. He then proceeded to stomp on him.

Suddenly, a girl who had just witnessed the event came running and screaming “Stop! Stop! Leave him alone!”

“Bitch, get out of here!” Ishmael said, dismissingly.

“I will most certainly not! In fact, I will make a bigger scene until the SRO comes and deals with you.” The girl replied, then continued, “We need help. Please, someone. There is a student being assaulted.”

Not long after Sergeant Vilmont came out and pulled Ishmael off of Grady. He then held the teen to the ground and arrested him.

The girl walked up to Grady and asked him, “Are you okay?”

“Yes. I think I’ll be,” He replied.

There was a silence, but then Grady said, “Thank you for helping me.”

She sweetly hugged him and replied “Oh sure. No one deserves to be treated like that. I’m Kylie LaCroix, by the way.”

“I’m Grady Arden.”

Kylie giggled and said, “Pleased to meet you!”

“Likewise.”

The bell rang and Kylie said, “Why don’t you come eat with me during lunch. I’ll be by the entrance to the art building.”

“That would be awesome.”

“Great. I can’t wait to see you,” Kylie said with a wink. She hugged him once more and then they went to class.

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Confrontation and Confession (Those Years)

Grady and Kylie entered the house together alone. There was, at first, an awkward silence, until their hormones began to get the better of them.

“Finally, we’re all alone!” Kylie said with excitement as she teasingly lifted up her uniform skirt in front of Grady.

“I’m all yours; Your wish is my command!” Grady answered as his voice shook a little.

Kylie giggled then began to undo Grady’s belt and unzip his uniform pants.

They lovingly began to remove each others’ clothing until Kylie paused said in distress, “I do have very deep feelings for you and I only hope and pray that they are mutual. And, yes, I do want to make love to you, Grady Arden, but I must first tell you something important.”

Grady paused from unfastening the buttons on Kylie’s oxford uniform shirt, held her hands and said, gently “We don’t have to sleep together, but I definitely would if you indeed wanted me to. If something is bothering you, then please tell me; what is it?

“It’s about my health and it is serious. I only hope and pray that you will still want me.”

“I doubt there is anything that can change how I feel about you, especially any health condition.”

“Well, here goes:” Kylie said with a slight reluctance.

Suddenly there was a banging on the back door.

Both hurriedly fixed up their clothes.

“Grady, open this door now. I know you’re alone in there with a girl and if you don’t answer, I’ll call the cops on both of you.”

“Durn it, busybody Lester Ewing is here.”

“Who’s that?” Kylie asked.

“My jerk of a neighbor.”

“If he calls the cops, they’ll find out our age difference and I’ll get in so much trouble,” Kylie said with great anxiety.

“What should I do?”

“Stall him I guess.”

“Okay, I’ll try.”

Grady then walked to the door and said: “Don’t you have anything better to do Lester?”

“I do, but I don’t want my tax dollars supporting any children you produce.”

“But that is none of your business.”

“I’m making it my business and it will also be the cops’ business if you don’t send her home right now.”

“Please don’t call the cops; if you do I’ll never be able to see her again.”

“Not my problem, so I suggest you make her leave right now.”

“How do you expect me to do that? Neither of us drives a car.”

“Then you tell her to get on the phone and have someone pick her up.”

“This really isn’t fair.”

“I’ll tell you what isn’t fair, you getting her pregnant and having us taxpayers support the child.”

“Okay. I’ll go talk to her.”

“You better make it quick.”

Grady walked back to his room where Kylie was sitting on his bed. In distress, he asked her, “Is there anyone that could pick you up and take you home?”

Kylie sobbed, asking, “Why? I want to make love to you.”

“And I want to be intimate with you just as much, but busybody Lester will call the police if you don’t leave. I can’t risk you going to jail because then I’ll never see you again.”

Kylie hugged him and said “I can call my cousin Dylan to pick me up. I hope he accepts you because he’s very overprotective.”

“What other choice do we have?” Grady said.

Kylie nodded then pulled her cell phone out of her backpack.

Lester banged on the door again and shouted, “Both of you come wait outside on the patio, or else.”

They came out and Kylie called her cousin.

Soon he arrived at the house.

Lester saw Dylan and said “I hope you’ve come to collect the girl. I don’t want her making babies and society having to support them.”

“Get lost, you dumb old windbag,” Dylan shouted

“Or what?” Lester said with anger.

“Or I will beat the crap out of you then call the police because you’re trespassing.”

“I know the police chief. His officers won’t touch me.”

“Maybe not, but I will. So unless you’re willing to lose some teeth, get gone!”

Lester spit on the ground then went home.

Kylie then introduced Dylan to Grady.

Dylan said sternly, “I hope you’re not trying to use my baby cousin and then dump her because she already has plenty of pain in her life.”

Kylie interjected, “He isn’t trying to use me. Coming here was my idea. Anyway, I think he’s a virgin.”

Dylan looked at Grady in the eye and said: “I want to hear it from you.”

Grady replied “She’s right, I’m a virgin. And I truly mean her no harm. Yes, we were about to sleep together. But I want you to know I would have waited however long for her. I have deep feelings for her and I can only pray that she has the same feelings for me.”

Dylan looked at Grady and asked with great seriousness “Will you be committed to her and her only?”

Grady nodded and said “You have my word. I’ve known no other and want no other. I only want Kylie, period.”

“You seem to be telling the truth. I can tell when someone is lying and I’m almost sure you’re not.”

“I’m honest as a robin.”

“Then, I want you to know that there’s something you must know about her.”

“I’ll tell him. I was about to tell him anyway.” Kylie interjected.

She then held Grady’s hands, looked directly into his eyes and said with a heavy heart, “I am terminally ill. The doctors tell me that I have at best three or four years to live.”

Grady broke down and tears filled his eyes as he spoke “My God, Kylie, I’m so sorry and there are no words that can express it. It’s just not fair. It’s not fair to anyone. You are beautiful both body and soul and I was truly hoping we could have been together forever.”

“Do you still want me now that you know this?”

“Of course I still want you, nothing will ever change that. I just now want to pray for the ability to always make you happy and comfortable.”

“Oh, I love you, Grady! Do you love me too?”

“Yes, Kylie, I love you! And I am greatly honored that you have chosen me to live out your last years with.”

Dylan looked at his Timex Ironman watch and told Kylie “I have to get to work now, which means I have to take you home first.”

“Could you take us to the park. Isn’t it on the way to your job?”

“It is. But how will you get home?”

“I have a bus pass and can take the 6 o’clock bus home. There is a stop right outside the park.”

“What about you, Grady?”

“I have a bus pass as well. I definitely need one since I don’t have a license yet and both of my parents are always working.”

“Okay then, I’ll take both of you to the park. Keep a close eye on the time though, so you don’t miss the bus.”

“Will do,” Grady said, pointing to his G-Shock watch.

“Let’s get going then,” Dylan said.

“Could we ride in the bed of your truck?” Kylie asked.

“Sure. Why not?” Dylan replied.

So, with that, they walked out of the house and Grady locked the door behind him. Then they climbed into the bed of Dylan’s truck and were driven to the park.

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Back to “Those Years”