How to Love

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album one, track two -- memories

Downtown Timber

October 5th, 1977

Sometime after 8 am

Despite having the whole town laid before them, the duo had no idea of a place to go.

Scott persisted in suggesting they go back to her house despite Corrina's constant rejection of that idea. He refused the Lunch In because he hanged out there perennially after school with his ragtag group of "misfits" as Heather continued to dub them despite Claire's objections. If word ever got back to her father, the town sheriff, she hung out with misfits, it would be her last day in Timber.

Even on the days Scott ditched school, he found himself bored and at the restaurant. They may serve hella good food, but it wouldn't be right for today. Too basic. Too everyday. He wanted exotic. Just like Corrina. An exotic hangout paired with his exotic vixen. Well, not his yet per say, but he hoped so. Soon.

"Movies?" Corrina suggested, popping the fresh mint gum in her mouth, continuing to walk side by side with the curly haired boy down the desolate sidewalk. From the beginning of their venture towards paradise, Corrina laced her fingers with his. Sparkes flew (they still do) and it took everything in Scott to not lead the girl into the woods for a round of animalistic euphoria. He gulped it down, hiding the fantasy in a crevice of his mind no one would dare to uncover.

"Drive-in isn't open 'til after sundown."

She swung their hands up and down. He gave up long ago on trying to let go of her hand, her grip almost deathly like she refused to loose him. Besides, he didn't mind it. Her hands were soft. And it's an excuse to be near her. All his stress floated away, like if he smoked a blunt or two. Except she smelled more like vanilla than weed. And without the dangerous coughing fits that soon follow.

Scott took a deep breath, the crisp autumn air soothing his internal inferno, busy scouring his brain for a way to keep her satisfied. 'Cause just like one of her favorite songs when they were younger, she can't get no satisfaction. At least not easily, he suspected. "We could always go to an actual theater."

Corrina popped a large, minty bubble. The wind flew through the sticky substance, pushing some of it into her face. But it soon all fell back into her mouth, leaving only the sticky residue in its absence. "Drive-ins are more fun."

Sighing, she gave up on that argument. Despite the fact it was her more so than him creating the intense difficulty. No doubt it wouldn't go any farther than that. She knew his type of stubbornness. Extreme, quite like her own, which proved her instinct to be correct. Better to stop while she's ahead rather than waste time arguing. Neither would concede. And Corrina can not wind time forward for the drive-in to open. No matter how much she wished and prayed.

"Tell me again why can't we just go back to your house." Scott stopped in his tracks in front of an antiqued, Mom and Pop bakery. His hazel eyes glistened in the sunlight, the flecks of gold more prominent now than under the pale, harsh lighting in the school hall.

Corrina's heart skipped a beat, her blood heating up. Suddenly, his touch against the skin of her hand burned like someone lit a fire atop her olive skin, sorching her finger tips. His curls flew to the side with the wind, snaking through the dark sky covering up most the sunlight. There was enough space between them for Jesus to sit, a phrase her middle school and high school principal coined when discussing couples slow dancing, but that was a person too much in between them for her. She craved his body against hers. Even in the middle of public. But she didn't peg Scott for the type. When they were kids, he refused to show his inner emotions, so out of fear, she let the image dissipate into the background.

Scott swung their joint arms, a mere contrast to how he originally acted towards the beginning. Corrina's heart fluttered, cherishing this moment as if it would never happen again. Then, he flashed her a bright smile, no doubt his mind dancing with scenes from the previous night in the bed of her cherished cherry red pick-up truck. "It would be much more fun. And we could finish what we started last night."

Giggling, she reciprocated his striking grin, her's softer and gentle. A contrast to Scott. "Can't."

"Can't or won't?"

"Can't," she repeated once more, tone firm, unwavering. "Otherwise I'm going to get shit for ditching my first day back."

They continued rambling on down the street. The crisp autumn breeze blew through the air. Trees swaying. Leaves falling. The wind soaked through Corrina's deep violet hair, sending it in rippling waves behind her, dancing in the air. Everytime it would fall, the wind picked it back up and continued the dance. The dance of the century, elegant and poised. Fit for the ballroom. Though, an audience of none. Corrina and Scott absorbed in their own thoughts. Missing the beauty unfolding around them. Leaves basking in the sun, vibrant shades of yellows and oranges and reds. Same as the fire burning bright against their clasped hands, swaying in the distance. Neither notice the fall decorations. Distracted by each other. One would smile and the other would reciprocate. Other than that, they enjoy the confortable silence together. A stark contrast to their rowdy selves over a decade ago.

Timber hasn't changed much since she left. The same stores in the same spots. Same restaurants. Same graffiti. Same everything, really. Like it was frozen in time. It never seemed to change. Ever. The only thing to change is the year and people's ages. No one new ever arrives in Timber. Truthfully, Corrina wondered if people even knew their town existed. Stuck in the middle of nowhere. Where trees and forests populated more land than the people do depending on the area. The nearest city sat miles away from their existence. Perhaps they were alone, aliens in their own country. No one in all her other homes knew of a town called Timber in northern Wisconsin. No one knew Corrina Jackson, except for the girl in their class. All they knew about Wisconsin was cheese and the Packers.

And despite craving the recognition of her hometown in other areas, she liked it the way it was. Even if she always wished to leave this town and never look back. She tried that, but it's so hard to forget Timber. The spell it casted over its citizens.

"What's your excuse going to be this time?" Scott asked, the irises of his hazel eyes flickering from the sidewalk ahead, back to the long road ahead. A sign creeked ahead, swinging along like a child in a park. Back and forth, higher and higher until it can't reach any greater. Corrina flinched walking under it, fear coarsed through her veins. And then, poof. She survived.

Corrina shrugged, shifting her body so their hips collided in a playful manor. Giggles escaped her lips, soft and sweet. A small smile shifted over Scott's kissable lips. Boy did Corrina enjoy that smile. "I'm thinking Elvis."

"What did Elvis do to you?"

She gasped. Feigning horror, Corrina broke their hands and scurried on ahead, checking behind her every few steps to see if Scott started to follow her or even pick up his pace.

"Wait up," he shouted behind her, pushing his pace to a slight jog. Even if his tattered jeans do not in anyway support such an action. Internally, he cursed her name through a mirage of scenes. Dreams he so desperately wished would play through reality soon.

Corrina shook her head. The teasing grin twisting the edges of her lips up said othwrwise. "I can't be seen with someone who doesn't keep up with the King himself."

I'm so going to regret this. Scott took one final deep breath and broke out into a swift dart. He zoomed down the open sidewalk, lessening the gap between them. Reaching his hand out, he rejoined his and his desire's hand together, whisking her away. Corrina squealed in delight, keeping pace with him despite her constant tripping. They traveled in the wind, a blissful song in the distance. Paired with the dancing, they were on Broadway. All they needed was a showstopping kiss fit for Hollywood glamour. They twirled around, half dancing in a hold while allowing the remaining speed play out. Giggles and chuckles filled the air. The aroma of freshly baked cookies and pies and even bread danced out of the nearby bakery, swarming around them in an invisible circle, intertwining the two in a harmonious union.

Corrina's giggles toned down, raising her hand to her side and wiping off a few stray tears with the side of her hand. "I can't believe my rock n roll buddy doesn't know about Elvis."

"I can't believe my gorgeous sidekick is using the death of an icon as an excuse out of school," he retorted, voice teasing and light. Well, light for Scott, whose voice held a sarcastic tone more times than not with a husky rasp a times.

She rolled her jade green eyes into oblivion. "It's valid."

"Whatever you say."

They picked their pace back up, still no destination in sight. But they were together. As of right now, neither really cared. Both seemed too enthralled with the other to focuse their attention on a restaurant or even in graffiti, one of Corrina's favorite pastimes back in Chicago.

Stores were either opened or preparing to do such. Eight in the morning approached, or even pasted. Not that either knew. No watches or clocks in sight left them to chance, to guess and hope for the best. The day fresh, full of promise. Yet the sun raised itself high in the sky, soaking the ground with its warm rays. A coat of brisk air coupled with a warm sun made for a chill autumn day. Corrina loved days like this, even though the brief rainstorm already ruined her hair for the day. A few clouds lingered above, readying itself for round two.

"Why don't we just go back to your place then?" Corrina piped up, gaze still off in the distance, basking in her surroundings. The town still new to her despite having spent a few years of her young life there. But, that was a decade ago. All anew, fresh now.

"Completely forgot about that," Scott admitted in a hush voice, still in a slight daze. Shaking his head, the rebel pushed all his dreams and thoughts onto the back burner. Focus fresh on the here and now. What mattered the most. "Gotta pick up food on the way though. Unless you enjoy beer and expired Chinese leftovers."

☆●●☆

"Strawberry is so much better than vanilla, Scotty," Corrina argued as Scott grabbed an all vanilla box of popsicles out of the freezer in the local grocery store. The same one she used to shop at all those years ago with her parents.

He shrugged. "Just really want a vanilla one for some reason."

While Scott closed the freezer door, Corrina hopped in the basket of the cart. Walking the whole way to the store in her platform boots really began taking a toll on her poor feet. She regretted not wearing sneakers or even her cowboy boots she loved so much. The things she puts up with to look cute. Before anyone noticed, she snuck into the neighboring freezer section, plucking the final box of strawberry and cherry popsicles and set it inside the barren basket. Arms crossed over her chest, her knees snuggled up against her chest no matter how much it might end up hurting her boobs. The things she put up with to stay warm.

"Childish much?" Scott joked, pushing her and the cart further down the freezer isle. He threw a few frozen meals into the cart along the way. Other than fhat, he kept his attention fixated on the girl in the cart.

"Judgmental much?"

"I was just kidding."

"Sorry," Corrina sighed heavily, feeling like shit. Her heart ached, mind cussing her out like a sailor. To her, she deserved it. "Really used to people giving me shit for no reason." With a pause, she glanced back up at Scott, remorse written all over her soft features. Her looks comparable to that of a hurt puppy. "I didn't mean to snap. I promise I can take a joke."

Scott veered into oncoming traffic towards the perishable isle, ducking down for some milk, yogurt and other things. A soft chuckle left his parted lips. "I vaguely remember you kneeing me in the balls for telling you what 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' is really about."

She lightly slapped his arm with a grin, giggling once again for the gazillionth time. It felt so foreign to her. Usually, she doesn't hear this light, airy tone in her voice. Scott must have that effect on her, she concluded. Not a bad thing, though. "Stop. That's a bad example."

"Why you say that, CoCo?"

Corrina pouted for a second, recovering as quickly as her demeanor fell. "One: you don't mess with the Beatles, ever. It's like an unspoken rule. And two: I thought they were talking about my dog. That she was in heaven with diamonds and happy stuff. Her name was Lucy." Hurt struck her for a brief moment, leaving before Scott or anyone around couod question it.

Scott held his hands up in defeat, allowing the cart to roll until the moment passed. Eyes twinkling, it reminded Corrina of two stars plucked from the sky. A perfect fit for his hazel irises. She loved it. They emobided warmth and joy. "Okay, bad example. I'll concur."

"Thank you."

"Aren't you cold?" He asked, pulling up to the juice section of the isle. Parking the cart, a single eyebrow raised in the violet haired girl's direction, where she sat, shivering in the cart. Not that she would admit it. "That sweater doesn't look very warm."

"I'm fine." Told you.

"You sure?"

Before she managed to conjure up another witty rebuttle, Scott shrugged off his flannel and threw it into her face. A melodic chuckle left his lips, watching her peel the warm fabric from her face. It left the hair to the sides in completr disarray. Flying everywhere in a frizzy frenzy. Corrina cursed the cold air, the cause of her now ruined good hair day. Better than being cold. While Scott reached over for a packet of decorative, Halloween themed cookie dough plugs, Corrina shimmed the flannel on through her arms and over her shoulders. The oversized fabric blanketed over her goosebumps, loving every inch of her frozen state. A warm fire on a freezing day, it warmed her up in a blanket of holiday joy. Fall had begun, and it became painstakingly clear.

"Thanks." She smiled up at him, and he returned the favor, setting a jug of orange juice in between her legs and dropped the cookie dough in the seat. The last time he left Corrina alone with cookie dough when they were younger ended in her eating half of it by herself. But the thing about Scott Thomas, at least the one she knew back in elementary school, it proved hard to tell whether it was genuine or not. This one, however, she deemed genuine. And it warmed her heart down to her soul. She basked in the glory, riding the high she felt, squeezing every bit she could out of it.

Scott continued down the isle, taking two steps before he found himself met with a staccato of calls begging for him to stop. Which he followed. Eyeing her with confusion, he tapped his foot against the linoleum floor beneath them, arms crossed over his chest. "Why did you do that."

Corrina pointed at a jug of juice stocked catty corner to the orange juice he recently plucked from the shelves. Glistening in delight with her bottim lip jutted out enough for it to be cute. "Grab that one." No response. "Please."

Scott rolled his eyes, obliging to her request. "What's up with you and red? Huh, Cocaine? First strawberry popsicles and now," he shiftef the jug around in his hands to catch sight of the dampened label. Condensation dripped into his palms, freezing his skin, "fruit punch."

"Red is the color of love," she said dreamily, bouncing once in the cart, causing it to shake about. Her arms reached out, hands motioning for him to pass it to her. "Something about a nice strawberry popsicle and glass of spiked fruit punch that really gets a girl grooving."

Scott rolled his eyes, grin creeping back up. Though it really never left. Every moment with his silly little devil kept him on his toes, smile omnipresent for the first time in what felt like forever. He may have an oxymoron on his face, but he'd do anything to spend time with her. "Reminds me of your 'Summer of Love.'" Corrina swiped it off, sneaking into a bag of chips she found on the end of an isle. "You wanted to be Janis Joplen and sang into a microphone you designed out of a toilet paper roll, a collection of cotton balls and some tin foil. You were quite the hippy back then with your large, round sunglasses and perennial flower crown."

Light pink dusted over Corrina's cheeks. A scarlet began to rise to the surface, the heat of the oncoming blush more than obvious. Hee hands snuck further down into the sleeves of her sweater, covering both cheeks before she thought Scott would notice.

And then he began to laugh at her.

"Stop," she squealed at him, ducking down into her knees. It didn't stop him though. "Gosh, I was so embarrassing."

Scott leaned over and ruffled her soft hair. "I think it was adorable."

That single word hung in the air, screaming through the silence. Corrina's face still stuffed in her knees. Scott strolling on through the store, careful to pull a twelve pack of coke from the shelf, knowing damn good she already snuck vanilla extract in because she always wanted to add vanilla to almost anything when they were younger.

Adorable. He called me adorable. Corrina's internal voice squealed and screamed. A happy dance ensued. Just like she was the little kid again who used the excuse of the Summer of Love to convince her teacher Scott had to sit by her at all times throughout the school year. The same one who slow danced with him to Elvis's 'Teddy Bear'.

Man, those were some times. Corrina couldn't wait to make new memories like those with Scott now, all these years later.

"I meant it, you know," Scott piped up, setting a sleeve of cookies into the cart next to the bag of grapes she snuck in. "The part about you being cute."

No words left her pink lips. But they didn't have to for Scott to know she believed him. Her sunny disposition and cheek splitting grin said it all to him. Something funny fluttered about around his heart. It didn't bother him though. A welcoming feeling he accepted with open arms. Something about her did this to him, and he didn't know what. One thing he did know was he wished he could have been able to warm her up rather than simply relinquishing his flannel. The one time he managed to walk down the isles of an unusually frigid store and she chose the cart over him.

Not that it bothered him.

Despite what happened at the concert the previous night, he remembered Corrina as this sweet yet unpredictable girl. One who could look and act like an angel one second, and then the next she's swiping some guy's prized cosmic brownie because he made fun of her boots. Or breaking into the cafeteria to swipe some free snacks for her and her friends. Better yet, lunging at a guy on the playground because he pushed another kid off the monkey bars.

The kid who got pushed off was Julian Ray. The one she beat up was Scott Thomas. Because he promised to be nice to Ray for a day out of the year, and he backtracked on that. Little did she know, he did it because Ray destroyed her art project about Janis Joplin.

Somethings seem to never change.

"You remember that day when we were six and we stole paint from the art teacher to painted random shit all over the school?" Corrina asked with a laugh, snatching a box of her favorite graham crackers she used to make her version of Scooby Snacks from the shelf before Scott pushed her out of reach. She hugged it tight to her chest, sticking her tongue out at him.

Scott chuckled, picking up his pace out of the snack isle, down towards the checkout line before either of them further endulged to the point neither could pay for it. "I explicitly remember writing 'fuck school' across the wall near our classroom. Our teacher," he snapped his fingers again and again, in search of what left him.

"Miss Bitch Face!" Corrina shouted a ligtle too loud. Some passerby adults shot them disgusted stares. A few cover their childrens' ears.

"Miss Anderson. Yeah, she ended up having a whole discussion about 'bad words' and what we can and can't say."

A giggle fit soon took over Corrina like before. She wiped a few tears from her eyes. "Oh shit, I remember that. The teachers talked about it in the teacher's lounge for weeks after that." She cleared her throat, finding her best teacher voice to match her impersonation. "Wondering 'how such a young child knew such a vulgar word.'"

"Man, we were little shitheads back then."

"We were such bad kids," Corrina agreed with a nod, spying on some of the unsuspecting parents who seemingly couldn't stand the pair. Not that it bothered her.

"You still are," Scott interjected. A fresh fire kindled in his eyes. Corrina noticed a hint of suggestive flare behind his words. Then, he wiggled his eyebrows, the icing atop the cake for her.

"So are you."

"Maybe we can raise some hell again today," Scott suggested, parking the cart behind another in line for the only available checkout lane. He perched his left foot against the railing beneath the kart, propelling his upper body forward over the handlebar. A comfortable distance remained between him and his fantasy. As he soon suspected, she would scoot further. For she knew how to test him, how to kindle his fire.

And so she does. "One of the few things I'm good at is raising hell." Her voice reminded him of Marilyn Monroe, so smooth and seductive. The cold air around heated up, as if her words were a calling card. A signal to attack. A sauna broke out around him. Any longer and Scott may loose it. Too much for him to handle.

"Lets." Their lips inches away. Any second and. . .

"Next customer!"

Guess it will have to wait until another time.

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