h2>Dating : My Little Bombshell
A scifi/horror/romance story about Relationships during wartime
I sprayed rose perfume on the Forever Roses Boquet Chase Nash gave me.
My name is Cheryl Dixon. In 2003, I was 19 and in my senior year of highschool. I played on the TP Kaka High girls’ basketball team in Retroville,IL. I was about 6’4. I had blonde straight hair with bangs. I always put my hair in a ponytail during games. The girls on the team nicknamed me “Cherry Bomb.” So during games the cheerleaders would shout the lyrics to Cherry Bomb by The Runaways, after I dunked the ball in. On October 14th, 2003, a tall boy with a buzz cut and broad shoulders came over to me. He was wearing a camo jacket, with a white shirt under it and cargo shorts. His skin was a little bit tan. I had such a pale complexion compared to him. His friend next to him was a pale skinned boy with a buzz cut, he had blonde hair and was wearing a black Super Mario Hoodie and blue jeans. “Hi…” He said. “My name is Chase, this is my buddy Cass. We got a little challenge for you ladies.” “What’s the challenge?” I hesitantly inquired. “This might sound a little douchey, but, we challenge you two girls to a two on two game, girls vs boys. If we win, you gotta let me take you out, one night, either this week or next week.” I looked at my teammate Shayna and laughed. “What if we win?” Shayna asked. “Name it…” Chase confidently replied. “If we win, you let me dress you up in women’s clothes, put makeup on you and a wig. I take a Polaroid, scan it and make copies for everyone to see. Fair?” Shayna responded. “I dunno, man!” Cass said, laughing and shaking his head. “Since we challenged y’all like this I’d say it’s fair!” Then Cass shrugged and nodded. “Great… Then we’ll see y’all tomorrow night at Rollins Park? 8pm?” “You’re on!” Chase said, holding his hand out for me to shake. My hand was sweaty, as was the rest of me, I’m surprised he stood near me so long.
The next night, we went to Rollins Park with a couple girls from our team and my brother came, to make sure I got there and back safely. My brother Lee was 25. He was a short chubby guy with dark fluffy hair. He worked at Rupert’s Garage down the road, fixing cars. Then Chase and Cass walked over to us at the basketball court. “I see you brought an audience!” Chase shouted from a distance, before coming over to us. “A’right, listen. I’m not gonna play referee or nothin, but if you boys get too rough, the game is over. Understood?” Lee declared. “Understood. Your sister’s safe with us, man. Let’s go, first to twenty!” Not sure why he assumed Lee was my brother, but he was correct. We let them have the ball first since we were on a team. Chase had the ball, but I swooped in, ran back and shot a 3 pointer for the first 3 points of the game. Then Cass took the ball back and maneuvered around us until he shot the ball on the left side of the hoop for two. Shayna had the ball, Chase knocked it away and ran with it, scoring a three pointer from the three point line. From that point on, I would swat away the ball every time they had it and I would score 3 pointer after 3 pointer until we hit 21. The boys dropped down breathing heavily in disbelief. “So, what time are you picking me up after practice, on Friday?” I said, as I laughed. “Funny girl…” Chase replied. “No, seriously. I think it’ll be fun!” “Does that mean we don’t have to play dress up?!” Cass asked excitedly. There was an excited and hopeful expression on his face. “Deal’s a deal.” Shayna answered. “She might be letting you off the hook, but I’m still holdin’ you both to it! Shall we proceed to my house for this evening’s entertainment?” Shayna asked. Shayna was a 19 year old girl with frizzy, curly dark hair. She was a muscular girl who was about 5’8. “Where do you live?” Chase asked. “Oh its only 4 blocks from here, off Smith Street.” Some of the girls from the team had to go so we said our goodbyes. Since there were a couple girls from the team still joining us, I told Lee he could head home. My parents trusted my judgement. That’s why I asked Lee to come with me, just in case.
That Friday, we went on our first date. He picked me up in his 2001 Chevy Silverado Pickup. He shook my father’s hand and said “I’ll have her home by 9.” Then he offered his arm and led me to the passenger door. I was wearing a red cashmere silk sweater and a red silk skirt, I also had black heels on. He opened the door for me and helped me up. A few minutes later off we went. He said “I didn’t want to say anything in front of your parents, in case they got the wrong idea, but you look really beautiful, tonight!” I looked down and blushed. “Thank you… You look pretty handsome, yourself!” He was wearing a black button down shirt with short sleeves and black jeans.
When we got to Steak and Shake. He pulled out my chair for me I smiled, thanked him and sat down. It was pretty crowded that day but we got seated right away. The waitress came and we both ordered Oreo shakes. “I love me some Oreo shakes!” He said. I smiled “Me too! They’re my favorite!” “I got an idea, you got a pen on you?” I opened my little black satchel bag and handed him a black pen. He pulled out a napkin from the holder and handed me one. Then he put up his menu up so I couldn’t see and wrote something down. He flipped the napkin over, put his menu down and tossed my back to me. “Put your menu you up and write down your favorite music artist. Then when you’re done, we’ll trade napkins and reveal our answers to see what we put.” I pulled a mini notebook out of my purse and then I wrote down my answer on a sheet of paper I pulled out. “I don’t want to waste their napkins…” Then I flipped the paper over and slid it towards him, he slid his napkin over to me. When I flipped the napkin over, I realized we both put the same music artist, Rascal Flatts. I opened my mouth and eyes in surprise. “Wow! First we have the same favorite shake, now we have the same favorite artist! I’m going to put the menu back up and write my favorite Rascal Flatts song. Then I’ll give you a page to write your answer on. This is interesting!” We both wrote our answers down and traded papers. We both flipped them over and revealed Life is A Highway was our favorite song by them. Even though it was a cover. I left the menu up and wrote down my favorite movie. Then I handed him the pen and a sheet of paper and he wrote his down. When we traded, we both revealed we had the same favorite movie as well, Saving Private Ryan! “Oh my god!” I laughed and shook my head. “Okay, it’s getting weird now! Write down your favorite food!” We wrote down our favorites foods and traded. This time our favorites were different. He wrote BBQ Ribs and I wrote Pizza. “3/4 aint bad!” I replied. Then the waitress came and we ordered our food.
Two weeks later, he took me to a Halloween party! He bought me a boquet of Forever Roses with rose scented perfume on them. We both went as Storm Troopers in these Storm Trooper costumes he bought for us the previous week. I’ll always remember that night. He introduced me more of his friends. We had a Halloween bonfire in the back and one of his friends started playing Where Is My Mind by The Pixies and we sang along.
After the party, he drove me home and walked me to my door. “I had a great time! Your friends are a lot of fun!” I said. “I had a great time too. We were definitely Storm Troopers tonight, everyone else was taking shots and we missed that.” “Do you ever drink with them?” I asked. “Nah. I prefer to keep a clear head so I can remember if I did anything stupid!” He told me. I laughed. “Me neither.” We smiled and looked into each other’s eyes. I set my Storm Trooper helmet down and went to hug him. We embraced. It was the warmest feeling in the world. Then we pulled back a bit, our eyes met and we kissed for the first time.
One year later, we graduated high school. He went to serve in Baghdad to fight in the Iraq war. Those were the two scariest years of my life. September 08, 2006, he was coming home. I sprayed rose perfume to keep the scent on the Forever Roses fresh. I looked around at my white walls that were covered in the letters he sent me. I sent him letters but he wrote me multiple letters a week just to let me know he was thinking of me. Aside from a week or two, when things got intense over there, but I understood.
I slipped on my sleeveless white lace dress, put on my makeup, combed my hair and headed to the airport with my parents to meet Chase. Chase’s parents got divorced. Shortly after, his dad died of a heart attack and his mother moved away with her fiancée. They didn’t come to see him return, so my family let him stay with us for his leave. I remember walking into the airport, smelling the autumn smell in the air. The breeze gently blowing at me. It wasn’t too cold, it wasn’t hot, and it was perfect. We waited for him at the gate. I felt so anxious, wanting to see him after two years. The seconds felt like hours.
Then he walked through the gate and walked over to us. His skin was much tanner than it was before. He also looked more built than he was two years ago. I embraced him and kissed him for 5 seconds. Then he groaned and put his hand to the side of his head. “Are you okay?” I asked. “Yeah… Just a headache, beautiful, it comes and goes. I’ll be okay. The doctors checked me out and told me it was just stress…” He sighed. I couldn’t imagine the trauma and pain he’d gone through out there. I couldn’t even imagine stepping foot in a war-zone. I admired him for his bravery.
On the car ride home, I put my head on his shoulder and held his hand. It felt so nice to have him physically close again. Long distance is really hard to go through, when it’s with someone you don’t want to go a day without. The car pulled in to our driveway. He got out and stared up at our two story white house with black window shutters. He put his duffel bag over his shoulder and we headed inside.
We found a spot right across the street from the Sears Tower on South Wacker Drive. You could hear little kids all around asking “Where’s daddy?!” Waiting for their fathers to pass by. There were American flags waving everywhere. The barricades in front of the sidewalks had red white and blue banners hanging across them with the message “Welcome home, soldiers!” in red.
A few minutes later, we heard the marching band play, as the band turned the corner of Randolph and North Upper Wacker Drive. The crowd started cheering and showing their support, while waiting for the floats to pass by. They had all different designs and colors for their floats, which I found interesting, considering some floats weren’t as patriotic as others. They had soldiers on green dragon floats, biker floats with bikers riding around the float, floats designed as pirate ships and floats designed as tanks.
About 20 minutes later, Chase was standing on his seat inside a jeep with the driver of his float heading towards us. His was a more patriotic red, white and blue float. He smiled at me from 100 feet away. I smiled back. He seemed to enjoy the sound of the crowd. He laughed when he looked around. When he got close to the Sears Tower, he grabbed his head, looked down and crouched over the windshield. I shouted out his name, hoping he would tell me he was okay. The driver stopped and checked on him, but he wasn’t responding. Then he started staring at his hands, He stood up and his arms stuck straight out. His palms opened like an electronic door and his fingers folded back onto his arm. The driver proceeded to get up and tackle him when he fired two missiles into the Sears Tower, causing it to tumble, killing hundreds inside. As soon as the soldier speared Chase to the ground, a bomb set off inside of him. Metal shards, blood and body parts splattered everywhere, from both Chase and the soldier who drove. The explosion sent us flying back. My father caught a metal shard in his throat. My mother had a shard in her eye. I had a few in my arm. We were all sprayed with blood. It was horrific.
While I was in the hospital, the president claimed the enemy got a hold of Chase and planted a bomb inside of him without his knowledge. He said his medical records showed no signs of any device in his body. So it was possible the device hacked their machines. Even after that press conference, one side of the news claimed Chase was in on it all along, while the other side claimed he was cloned and that he was an android. I’d like to believe Chase died over there and this was his soul’s way of saying goodbye to me, before all the chaos occurred. My father came in my room to visit. I was so happy to see him. Tears fell from my eyes as we embraced. I didn’t get hurt much. Just had metal shards in my arm that they had to remove and I was in shock for a bit. He didn’t talk much because of his throat injury, but he was alive. He said my mother survived too, she was just getting surgery for her eye.
But other lives were lost and hearts were broken, that day. I will miss Chase, he was my first love. I never met anyone who was so dedicated to making me smile.
After I got home from the hospital, I went to my room, shed a tear on the Forever Roses bouquet he got me and sprayed them with my rose perfume.