Tuesday, December 13, 2011

TOM SUGERLAND’S LAST MEMORABLE CHRISTMAS / By Ray Ramos / Copyright Ray Ramos / Page 10

Tom laughed. He though she was joking.
“I’m serious Santa baby. Here’s my card Tiffany Shaw, I’m very local… I’m in here a lot.”
Excuse me, your shots are ready for you to choose,” said Yasmine.
 “Let me go look at our pictures, before little missy gets too upset with me. But, write your number down and give it to me before I go,” she said with a wink. Tom watched her prance over to the photo monitor... she left Santa momentarily unable to stand for certain obvious reasons. Tom asked Rockquin for a pen and a piece of paper, it was a good way to end a Wednesday night if you asked him.

Yasmine had asked Rockquin if she could bring Tom to his family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Rockquin was delighted to have another Thanksgiving orphan joining in the festivities. Tom drove his pickup to over to Yasmine place. She lived in an apartment close to the U.C.L.A. campus, but she was currently spending most of her time at her parent’s home in nearby Cheviot Hills while they were away. He found the house and parked; he felt a little weird going up to her front door, so he grabbed his cell and dialed her. It was all for not, Yasmine told him that she wanted him to come in for a minute. As he walked up the brick walkway in his cowboy boots and brown corduroy sports coat, Yasmine opened the front door, a red lab was standing next to her wagging its tail. Happy Thanksgiving,” she said. Yasmine looked lovely, in what he could only describe as some sort of flower print vintage dress. 
“Well ain’t you something to look at, nice looking dog too.”
Yasmine was just too damn cute; Tom had to admit to himself.
“That's Lola, come in, we have a little time don’t we?”
Even though they we just friends, Tom felt just a little weary about being alone with her… especially in her parents home.
“Nice place. You’re folk must do pretty well?”
“Yeah, do you want a beer?”
“Oh, maybe I should have asked you…”
“Asked what?”
“Well… I know that a lot of people your age tend to be in AA.”
Tom couldn’t help but laugh at that.
“You got a point there, but beer for me is just something I use to wet my whistle now and then… the only thing I was ever really addicted to was surfing.”
"That's just so epic!"
She smiled and motioned Tom to follow her.
"I actually had a girlfriend years ago who lived around here... down the street from Ray Bradbury."
"Oh, yeah he lives on the next block.... do you know who Charles Bronson is?"
"Oh course, " said Tom.
" I knew you would; Well this used to be his old house in the 50's, we're told."
Tom followed Yasmine into the spacious kitchen, featuring large stainless steel appliances. Yasmine swung open the refrigerator. “We have a Corona, Heineken and some other weird looking Trader Joe's kinda beer.”
“Heineken, if you don’t mind.”
“Why would I mind? It’s my dad’s beer.”
Yasmine handed him his cold Heineken.
Tom leaned on the kitchen counter and took a drink of the beer.
“Can I ask you a question?”
Yasmine made her eyes big… in a comical way.
“Sure,” she said.
“Don’t think that I don’t appreciate our new little friendship… but Yaz, don’t you have any friends your own age to do Thanksgiving with? Not that I’m not happy, not having to dine alone at Boston Market again this year. But you get my drift; right?”
Yasmine blushed a bit.
“I don’t know? I just find you interesting… I think it’s good to appreciated people of all ages. That how you learn things, right?”
“True, but... ”
“Tom, are you uncomfortable being alone here with me?”
“Well, maybe just a little… you shouldn't invite strange men in your house... besides, I kinda feel like I’m in high school or something?”
“I’m sorry, strange man... ha, ha, I don’t want you to feel weird, and I just thought it would be cool to have a beer with you.”
Tom gave her his Gary Cooper awe shucks look, looking down at his old cowboy boots.
“To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I made a new friend... and many women think I am strange.”
“Looks like you might have made a new friend last night... with what was her name...Tiffany what’s her name?”
“That’s what you call a possible business opportunity,” said Tom.
 “I gotta admit; I was kinda getting annoyed the way she went over the top, pawing you and ridding your knee like she was on a merry-go-round horse.”
Tom just smiled, and that annoyed Yasmine.
“You liked it didn’t you?”
“Santa’s just a piece of the furniture on the set… but sometimes, it’s nice to be the chair… we should get goin’ kiddo. We might miss the deviled eggs.”
Tom put his empty Heineken bottle down on the kitchen counter.

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