Speak up! I'm a little deaf in that ear...or, is it both ears?
A Character Study by Rod Lindsey
Ezra Hooten and Donna Messenger were a perfect fit for each other. Not the same – far from it – but a perfect fit nonetheless. They’d been friends since grade school. Their mothers were friends through the Pleasanton Assembly of God church, both choir members. Then there was the Bayside PTA, Pine Point Garden Club, and the list goes on, making it inevitable Ezra and Donna would see a good deal of each other. By the time they got to middle school they were inseparable.
Ezra became Hoot the summer after seventh grade thanks to Donna. He took her sailing in the brand-new/secondhand fourteen-foot dinghy his father gave him for his birthday that year, just the two of them on a windward tack up the coast a couple miles and then back, Donna sitting close at the tiller and helping him with the sheets.
“This is a real hoot,” she told him, ducking the boom and snuggling in closer against the chilly breeze. “In fact…you’re a real hoot, Ezra Hooten.” She gave him a kiss on the cheek, said, “Hoot Hooten…I’m going to call you that from now on. Hoot – the boy more fun to be with than anyone else I know.”
“Best friends?” Hoot said. “How ‘bout boyfriend and girlfriend?”
“Forever,” Donna agreed with a long, soft kiss – on the lips this time.
She allowed him to slide his hand underneath her sweatshirt and touch her puffies on the return leg of the trip, a priceless memory. Donna had no breasts, yet, only puffy promises of things still to come turning stiff at the touch of Hoot’s cold fingers. It was all the adolescent sex either of them needed at the time. Enough to keep Hoot’s bedclothes a mess the rest of that summer and well on to Christmas.
Norman Carpenter started school with Hoot and Donna three weeks later.