July 13th 1970...
The heat of Glass Shard Beach is sweltering. The sun looms over the small area of woods, and beats over Stanley Pines and Carla McCorkle as she sets her stance up firmly with her guard. Keeping her fists up, she nods at him to do something other than a left hook for once, and his right fist comes close towards her jaw, but he wouldn't hit her unless she explicitly said to. The shot is sloppy because of his weather-induced haze, and she grins happily. He's doing really good. She lunges at him, and her fists batter on his fitter chest but doesn't damage him much at all. He chuckles at her efforts, glad to see he's really losing weight like she'd said and getting into a shape other than round. In the year since they've met each other again, she's done something stunning with helping him go down from a hundred and ninety pounds to one hundred and fifty-five. He was husky and could afford to stay at his current weight, but they'd both agreed his set goal was only ten pounds away, so here they are practicing his boxing, and they're finishing up for a break.
“Great, Stan, but don't be so afraid of me. I'm not a flower or anything. Living with Tony, Pop, and four other brothers really teaches you how to get yer mitts dirty, that muggin' was a fluke and I'm a lot more formidable than I look. Got it?” His eyes never leave hers because she's been his fixation since they caught up at the Bijou this time last year. They're going to start high school together, of all things, and Stanley is totally sure that with Carla by his side, that these four years will definitely be the best of his life. He nods, a goofy grin spreading on his face like a plague, and she waves her hand in front of him, wondering if he paid her even a squint of his attention rather than stare at her like a puppy focused on its treat. Seeing that snaps him back into reality and he nods at her, nervously cupping his chin as he stutters up a reply.
“Yeah, and Tony lifts all the meat for your dad's butcher-shop. Kenny's a pro boxer, Jules is a construction worker, Tommy plays college 'ball, and Vinnie's a baby. Ya need to be careful with all those meatheads runnin' around, is just what I'm saying. Look, summer is gonna be gone soon, how 'bout we go down to the wat--” Stanley tries to muster himself a decent explanation, and finishes buttoning his the shirt that goes over his tank-top. He starts to to mess with his bow-tie, attempting to get it on, but watching him hopelessly fail because it isn't a clip-on, makes Carla giggle girlishly, and she looks up at him, telling him to watch her, so he can finally learn how to get a hold of it, knowing he never will, but she doesn't mind, because secretly, she's getting fond of doing this. He's almost like a cute dorky older little brother when she helps him, and he flusters to the same pink of her shirt every time she does it. He puts his glasses on, and she realizes even if he was watching her, it wouldn't have done much good because he's farsighted. She avoids mustering a sigh of frustration and grabs her canteen from the knapsack she brought along for the day. There's also trail-mix, turkey and cheddar on sourdough, her canteen of water, and two tangerines with sweat-rags and a spare change of clothes with Stan's nestled beside hers, a gift for losing so much pudge, and so he wouldn't swim in his eldest brother's hand-me-down scraps. Grabbing its cap, she fills it to the brim with water and puts their lunch and things aside as she begins to set a prank into motion.
“What? Waters? Sure would be a shame if you got splas- Oh, my god Stanley, what's that?!” She interjected, pretending she couldn't hear him, her head cutting sharply as she looked over to the right. Noticing that she caught her best friend off guard as he squinted, she giggled harder as he murmured that he couldn't see or hear anything. She had to put the effort into calming down as she knew he was too gullible to actually believe her crappy acting skills, and held onto her canteen cap as she smiled to herself for being ingenious. “You kiddin' me Stan? You didn't see that? I swear it was as big as yer head, there was a kraken right there, and it- it used its tentacles, and- soaked ya with a splash attack!” Carla cackled as she chucked all of the water in the cap at Lee and got a little more out of her canteen to his face. His face was priceless; he looked like a drowned rat as she howled, pealing over in her laughter. Stanley groaned dramatically but pretended it wasn't funny because it was hard to stay mad at his crush when she was so damned adorable. He stood there in the heat as the water trickled down him, rolling down to his new jeans as he tried to glare at Carla, but couldn't with his glasses being doused.
Finally trying to dry himself, Stan took his glasses off, and shook them as he grumbled: “Carla, that wasn't funny.. I was talking about heading to the beach. Ma said she'd drive down to a nice one where all the huge shells are, and Pa would be here and away from us. It'd be you, me, Stanford, Ma, Sherm, Fiddleford and even Tony if he wants to come! I know it's a buncha guys and all, but 'nyways, I thought you'd love to get out of this tiny town for a few days if your folks said it was alright 'cause I know Ma don't mind you comin' at all...” Carla lost Stan as she watched him with a sudden fixation like a spell had been cast upon her. She'd never really seen the Pines boy as anything but a neighbor, best friend or even like another brother, but something in her guard dropped as he rambled on about a last minute vacation. He'd rolled his short shirt sleeves up, and she watched the biceps she'd helped shape along ripple as he held his glasses with one hand, running the other through his chocolate curls, pushing them back in desperation. Two wide-set pale blue eyes fluttered at her curiously as he blinked to glimpse at her, his face abuzz with surprise. His face is handsome even with his huge schnoz and strong jaw...; he's covered in peach fuzz, and her mind is playing sequence after sequence of her tearing her fingers through those slick-backed curls, and holding herself close to him and those pert pectorals, pressing her mouth on his pouty one like it was oxy....Oh. No.
“ Oh mio Dio, cazzo Cristo. He's hot.” Carla mused calmly, all of her emotions screaming at her as she stared. Well, no shit, he's hot, Captain Obvious! How long did it take you figure out your best friend was hotter than your Nonna's spicy tamales? But you just wanted to stay “Best Friends Forever”, remember? Why don't you make a move on him before someone like Sandy or Ruby take him from ya? Gee whiz, get a grip on yourself- it's just a realization that you have the hots for Lee and have been as discreet at hiding it as Jules is hiding his crush on Mrs.Pines. Oh no, he's staring, listen to him, moron!
“...And yeah, I thought you'd like to head with us, maybe you can talk more with it when we head home, huh? Yeesh, my shirt's all wet, thanks a ton, Carla. Ma will kill me, getting my new shirt this drenched or fer gettin' the carpet wet either, I know she just shampooed and cleaned the thing. And I'm screwed, I'd just changed. Guess I'll have to stick with it, and pray I dry up before we get home, huh? Can you hand me my rag, I need to dry my glasses off.” His eyes focused on her intensely and it's almost like he can see her body glowering a blush pink. Her hands fly to hide her face because she's beyond embarrassed with the situation and she plays it off as easily as she can.
“No, no Stan. You're okay... Better yet, you look like hell, all sweaty an' all, you should really take your shirt off... wouldn't want yo--- Dio, smettere di essere caldo... I-- I, I mean stop being so hot already!” Fanculo, fuck, fuck, fuck! Carla made some incomprehensible noise that she couldn't tell if it was either a squeal, yipe or whine of sorts but she should've died on the spot then and there. So instead she just brought herself up to look at him as she stood on the balls of her feet to get close to his height as he laughed at her confusion.
“Is it really that hot out? Calm down, I put on sunscreen, and threw some in my stuff if ya need it, or do you want to go home now? You're starting to speak in Italian and I sure don't know what it is, but you sound real upset and look super burnt...” She could've died right there as she stared at Stanley's watery eyes, noticing he still hadn't put his glasses back on or away as she groaned. How could he not notice what she was feeling?! Was Lee that oblivious, was she really that hard for him to read? Carla almost snarled with her frustration at the situation, and decided she had to make her move now. That's when she pressed her hands to his broad shoulders, and planted a smooch right up on his huge bandaged schnoz, watching him blink as she tried to not mortify herself further. His ears turned the color of her grandmother's famous spaghetti sauce, and she couldn't see he'd gotten her message as he continued to yammer on about doing what she wanted or getting home, and so, Carla decided, she was going to really get his attention and he'd be quiet when she was finished with him. She looked him down once more, watching him turn into a putty of confusion and heat, her hazel eyes searching his face before she went through with it. A big ol' noggin, slightly bushy brows, those huge baby blues, one big and busted nose, and that damned irresistible mouth held on his big head where she could see a sharp jaw that would be perfect to just trail kisses down forming. It was then Carla's thoughts interrupted: Shut up and stop daydreaming, just kiss him already! Her heart fluttered as her mouth brushed his, her gaze never leaving him. His lips were dry and soft, and warm, and the sensation electrifying everything inside of her as she watched his eyes widen, and his whole face heated, burning red. She ghosted her mouth away as she smiled, and he was still, barely reacting or able to process what had happened, and their neck of the woods stood completely silent.
“...I-I, uh...wow. I didn't know you felt that way Car', may- Y'know what? Screw it, and c'mere, so I can kiss you.” It's how he pulls her to face him, and he's kissing her before she can bat an eyelash. He's all gentleness, but teasing, and a fast learner as he nibbles her mouth with his teeth, and she could faint. Her head is dizzy, and the moment escalates as his lips find her neck, and they firmly graze a tender spot between neck, and shoulder-blade; a low moan escapes Carla's mouth, and the moment is over as soon as it had started. Their breath is heavy, and they were hot as sin as they stared at one another, her lip-gloss smeared, his shirt rumpled, and the small ordeal completely anti-climatic. She slyly smiles to herself, and he manages to undo the tie, and undoes the buttons on his shirt as he smooths it out, nervously laughing. He tugs a curl of her hair, and sheepishly smiles while trying to untangle himself from Carla. Between the two of them, there's something there that wasn't there before.
“...So, the beach sounds really, really nice. I think Nonna and I will go look for a new swimsuit downtown at the shops this week. But wanna get a malt shake and go dance at The Boogie? I think we can make it safe to say we're dating. But I'll have to go to church, and pray...” Stan stares at Carla as he twiddles with his last two buttons on his shirt, then tries for the bow-tie again, but continuously fails before shoving the wad of fabric into his pockets as he infectiously grins. Date Carla McCorkle? What'd I ever do to deserve this? I'm the luckiest guy in the world, ain't I? Stanford's gonna be souped for this news!
“Heh, yeah, it does, doesn't it? It'll be all us for a week or two; you, me, the clean white sands of Belmar Beach and lazy waves. Wanna tell Ma when we get back? She'll be thrilled 'cause I think she's wanted us together since we were kids. And why do ya need to pray, Car'? You don't even go to church!” He laughs, putting his specs back on as he plucks a wild daisy, and puts the the flower in his new gal's hair as she winks at him. He quickly pecks her on the cheek as she turns pink yet again before she responds to him:
“Well, maybe my kin and I ain't church folks, but I think I'll pray we stay together forever, hows about that? Kidding, kidding- we have what it takes, I know it. C'mon, why don't we sit down, there's grub waiting on us.” He returns her enamored gaze, and she laces her fingers in his. The day is fading out, and the couple hold onto one another as they walk over to lunch, their hopes for the future together is limitless like the sky and the couple holds each other as they fall.