Ordinarily the July heat would already be oppressive by mid-morning but, thankfully, we felt a breeze as Donnie opened his truck cab and picked up a small red foil gift bag reminding me of Christmas.
“You may think I’m the crazy one, Beth, but I couldn’t resist buying this for you last week.”
“What is it?” I asked as he handed me the package.
“Well, I was just browsing the internet and happened to Google Christmas in July.”
I lifted a small see-through box from the bag and found a beautiful silver bell with some sort of inscription engraved on the front. Before I could open it, Donnie said, “It’s for our first tree. Look, I know it’s early. I just couldn’t resist.”
I turned the ornament toward the sunlight and read, “Beth & Donnie, Our 1st Christmas Together.”
“Donnie, I . . . .”
“Now don’t go all sentimental on me.”
“Looks like you’re the sentimental cop in this equation, but I love it,” I said. “How is it you do these things when I can’t kiss you.”
“Rain check? Say, if you don’t have too much homework how about a supper date? Besides, even recruits need a little fun.”
“Homework is gonna take two hours at least, yet a girl’s got to eat. What time?”
“Let’s aim for seven, but I’ll call you later. Look, to save you a trip to the locker room, I’ll bring the gift with me tonight.”
I handed the beautiful ornament back to Donnie and waved as he pulled out of the parking lot. Somehow, taking a July jog didn’t seem so bad after all."