Sam didn’t know what had gotten into him. He would never act on something as bold as pursuing a girl. Even one he’d known all his life like Eunice. To boldly go where he had never gone before just wasn’t his style. He was shy and rather square.
If it wasn’t for Pa asking him, “Son, run over to the air force base and pick up a part for me will you?” Sam would never have thought of going to the Mimosa Road area.
The street signs spoke to him, gently directing him toward the music camp as if Eunice had left a breadcrumb trail. Or maybe he was lead there by something else.
Directed by one of Grandma Hood’s ‘meant to be’ things. She said you had to slow down and listen before you sped up. Don’t be afraid of the bogeyman Sam. It might just be fear talking. Follow your destiny.
As hokey as it sounded something led him to Eunice.
His feelings had developed over time. As children he’d been protective of her. Was it shady to take advantage of her being away perhaps missing home? He would never lay a hand on her if she didn’t allow it first.
Where were her girlfriends? Where were Jaxon and Terrence? Who was taking care of her? His opinion had definitely changed in his opinion of her. He had no doubt he was smitten with Eunice Johnston in the man woman sense.
His drives home were laced with imaginings of spending his life with her and waking up beside her. It was like a hole in his chest only she could fill. At home he stood in front of his open fridge, only to realize it wasn’t food he needed. Those hours spent with her filled him with enough he couldn’t eat.
Aside from his older brother Otis up and moving to Atlanta ostracizing himself from the family or Rory gone a few years probably high as a kite, Sam had grown up ordinary. The family had maintained reliably modest since he could remember. There was never a spike in spending on check day for the Hoods. Sam was never the kid to say, ‘remember that Christmas when I got everything I wanted?’
At 12 Sam was able bodied enough to work. Harpo would harass him to get a job, “Sam, ya lazy good for nothing shit! What’s that job paying? With all that public schooling, why can’t you invent something useful. No one’s thought up everything yet! I seen this guy on TV who invented a new kinda car wax that takes away imperfections. That clown is rich!” Harpo said.
Sam thought him a harmless bitter asshole much of the time. “Pa it’s not like I’m going to NASA. I’ll try my best,” Sam said, without fanfare.
“You soft in the head boy? You queer?” Harpo antagonized.
Sam thought the idea of inventing a gimmick for a quick buck was cheap and classless, “Sure Pop let me pull an idea outta nowhere. I’ll get a better job after high school,” Sam said, to pacify him.