This was back when I was 16, living in the Los Angeles suburbs, and known as Lorelei--I was a big Styx fan and hated my
real name. I had just gotten my drivers license and my parents had given me a used car for passing the test. I was driving
back alone from the Taco Bell (my friends Elaine and Steve and I had always used to walk the five blocks up Victory Boulevard
before we all started to drive) just a few weeks after I got the car, when suddenly steam started pouring out from under the
hood. I knew next to nothing about how a car worked, so I was terrified, nearly causing an accident in my rush to get out
of traffic and park at the curb. I was only a couple of blocks from my house, but this being the days before cell phones and
me being useless in a crisis, I didnt even look for a pay phone or get out and walk home--just sat behind the wheel and burst
into tears. I dont know how long I sat there before there was a sharp knock on my window. The man standing beside my car was
dark--literally: I couldnt make out any of his features or clothing because the sun was behind him and my eyes were blurred
with tears. But I did see that the hand on my window was large, with long, almost delicate fingers and bronze skin. He was
probably Chicano, I thought, and my parents had instilled in me a distaste for these supposedly lazy people. Still, I was
desperate, so I rolled down my window just a crack and shaded my eyes trying to see the man more clearly.
He laid both
hands on the roof of my car (so that I saw his arms were very long), cocked one slim hip to the side and leaned his head down
a bit. That was when I saw the large, even, brilliantly white teeth and the dimples as he smiled. I still couldnt see his
eyes too well, so I lowered my hand and peered up at him more closely. The eyes were also smiling, huge, almost round and
a very dark brown. His hair fell in almost shoulder-length black waves against his prominent cheeks, touched by the sun in
places so that it was blindingly white, and his sideburns ran all down the sides of his face. There was something familiar
about the face, but I still couldnt see him quite clearly enough to figure out where I had seen him. "Whats the matter, honey?"
he was saying, "Car break down?" His voice was gentle, with a slight lisp, and no Hispanic accent. Maybe I had been wrong
about him, I thought, so I rolled my window the rest of the way down and the man went to his haunches beside the car. His
smile changed to a look of compassion as he reached in and wiped the tears from my cheeks with the back of his hand. His graceful
hand then cupped my cheek for a moment, his eyes locked on mine. Then he looked at the ground as if embarrassed and lowered
his arm back to the window ledge, folding his hands together as if in prayer.
I turned away long enough to take a tissue
from the box I kept on the floor, and after I wiped my eyes and blew my nose I looked back to find that my rescuer was waiting
patiently in the same squatted position. He pointed to the front of my car, from which steam was still belching. "I know a
little about cars--would you like me to take a look?" Touched by his obvious kindness, I said, "Thank you, Mr....Mr...?" His
smile was back now, a broad grin that lit up his whole face, as he replied, "None of that Mr. jive, just call me Freddie."
He held out his hand to shake mine, and as my small hand got lost in his firm grip I said again, "Thank you, Freddie." As
soon as I said his name out loud it dawned on me where I had seen this young man. For my birthday almost six months ago my
parents had taken me to see my favorite singer/songwriter, Paul Williams, and this was the performer who had opened for him--a
comedian named Freddie Prinze! I had heard him refer to the fact that for the past few months he had been gaining fame on
a television show called "Chico and the Man", but I was not familiar with it since our house had only one TV and as I said
before my parents didnt like Chicanos.
I was still marvelling at myself for failing to recognize Freddie immediately when
he came out from in front of my car, wiping the grease from his hands with a linen handkerchief. "Looks like your water pump
busted," he ventured, back down on his haunches beside me. "I can call you a tow truck from my car phone." I nodded dumbly,
amazed not only at his expertise and helpfulness but also at the fact that he would so casually use such an obviously expensive
hankie to wipe off grease. When he returned to stand by my window once again, I thanked him for making the call and offered,
"Please, let me pay for the hankie." Freddie looked down at it, dangling haphazardly from the breast pocket of his perfectly
fitting navy blue blazer; since he was standing I then noticed the grease smudges on his unbelievably tight light blue slacks.
I pointed at the spots and added, "And for the dry cleaning." Freddie looked farther down, then back at me, made a face and
waved his hand dismissively as he answered, "Dont worry about it, honey!" Then he grinned again and asked, "By the way, whats
your name?" I smiled back and said, "Lorelei." His full, rosy lips made an "O" before Freddie said, "What a lovely name--its
German, isnt it?" I didnt have any idea, but I nodded, since I was of half-German descent.
Freddie started to walk toward
the back of my car and I was suddenly seized with the fear that he was leaving. I looked back and watched as he walked around
onto the sidewalk and over to the passenger side, where he motioned for me to unlock the door. I did so and he got in, reached
for my hand and squeezed it as he lifted it to his chest and held it while saying, "Ill stay with you until the tow truck
comes, then I will drive you home." I had glimpsed the beautiful, low-slung blue sports car that was parked behind mine, but
I chose this moment to remember how close my house was, replying, "No, thank you, I dont live very far--I can walk." At this,
Freddie burst into the most melodic laughter I had ever heard, head thrown back and mouth wide open. "Whats so funny?" I blurted
indignantly. "You dont trust me, do you, Lorelei?" Freddie leaned across the seat as he composed himself, so that by the time
he said my name his face was inches from mine and his voice was a sensuous whisper. Embarrassed, I lowered my head, but Freddie
lifted my chin until our eyes met. Still whispering, he put his lips close to my ear and offered, "Just to show you I can
be trusted, I will call your parents from my car phone and tell them what happened and to expect me to drive you home. Give
me your number." I almost started to say something about this being a blatant attempt to get a girls phone number for devious
uses, but the pleading look in Freddies eyes made me take a tablet from the glove box and write it with the pen he drew out
of his shirt pocket. With the paper in hand he was out the door before I could say a word in protest.
I watched as Freddie
once again went to make a call from his car, swivelling around when I saw him hanging up so he wouldnt think I was checking
on him. He got back into my car and closed the door before turning to me with a sad puppy look on his face. "What did they
say?" I asked, discouraged. "Your mother was very understanding, until I told her who I was." My puzzlement must have shown
on my face, for Freddie continued, "I said I was Freddie Prinze, the actor, and she made this noise like she was trying to
stifle a scream. I thought she was just having a typical fan reaction. The next thing I knew, though, she was insisting that
I call you a cab." My mouth dropped open. "What did you tell her?!" Freddie looked me right in the eye and replied, "I told
her I was too much of a gentleman to call her sweet, innocent daughter any such thing!" My mouth dropped open even further,
and Freddie doubled over with laughter. The sight of him made me relax again, and in spite of myself I began to giggle uncontrollably.
"No, seriously," Freddie said when he could talk again, "Its cool, she wont press charges against me or anything." He wiped
his eyes with his fingers and turned to look out the back windshield. I guessed he was looking for the tow truck, but since
he couldnt see around the delivery truck parked behind his car, he got out and walked a few steps into the street past it.
It was nerve-wracking waiting for the tow truck and I began to realize how much I missed having Freddie sitting beside
me. His presence had had a calming effect on me from the moment he walked up to help, but when he had been right next to me
I had relaxed completely. So I was doubly relieved when the tow truck arrived and Freddie came to escort me to his car. He
opened my cars door and bowed like a chauffeur as I exited, then put his arm around my waist to usher me safely the few steps
in the street. His car was a Stringray, and he had to lean far down to open the passenger door for me, farther even than when
he had bowed. He held my hand as I slid into the seat, then made very sure that I was comfortable before closing the door
and going to talk to the tow truck driver. I leaned back into the low leather bucket seat and closed my eyes. The next thing
I knew I was jolted awake by the sound of the car screeching to a stop. To my amazement we were parked in front of my house.
I started to stammer, "How...when... what....?" Freddie smiled gently and pushed my hair back from my cheek. "I guess you
were really freaked out by this whole thing--once it was over you relaxed to the point that you fell asleep!" I looked at
my watch and realized that it was an hour since the tow truck had taken my car, but I only lived two blocks from where it
had broken down.
Freddie saw me looking at the time and explained, "You looked so peaceful I didnt want to wake you, so
I just drove around for a while." I sat up and started to protest, "But what about my folks?" Freddie laid a finger on his
lips and shushed me. "It will be OK, they will never know--unless you tell them!" He smiled conspiratorially and I shook my
head, then reached for the door handle. Freddie reached across me and stopped my hand. "Wait a sec, Lorelei," he said quickly,
"Can I call you?" Can Freddie Prinze, the tall, handsome, chivalrous TV star, call ME?, I thought. To Freddie I said as calmly
as possible, "Sure! And thanks again for all your help." Freddie nodded and winked at me. Then something occurred to me: "Wheres
the bill--for the tow truck?" He made the same dismissive gesture with his hand as earlier when I had offered to pay for the
things soiled when he looked at my car, and responded, "Dont worry, honey, the studio will take care of it for me...for you."
My mouth started to drop open again, but Freddie, his body still across mine, quickly stopped it by placing his lips on mine
and his tongue between my partly open lips. I thought I was going to faint, but Freddies strong arms went around me and he
drew me closer. The heat inside the small passenger compartment of his car was almost unbearable, and by the time I got out--his
"Hasta luego, Lorelei mi chiquita!" still ringing in my ears--I was weak-kneed, sweating, trembling, and hoping I could explain
all this to my mother, whom I could see standing in the kitchen window.
The next day was Monday and all through the day
at school I kept trying not to blurt out what had happened the day before. Several people asked me where my car was, since
I rode the bus for the first time in a while, and it was very difficult not to tell them who had helped me when it broke down.
But I managed to contain myself until I got home and saw that there were two messages for me on the tablet by the phone. The
first was from the car repair shop to which Freddie had told the tow truck driver to take my car, way out in the Hollywood
Hills (and probably very expensive), saying that my car was ready. The second was from Freddie, and had come in just before
I got home from school. I was too excited to be angry that I had missed him, since he couldnt have known exactly what time
I would get home, especially since the bus ride always took longer. My mother came in just as I was jumping up and down in
the middle of the kitchen because the end of the message was, "He wanted to make sure you were OK. He will call back in an
hour". She just stood there with her hands on her hips until I noticed her and regained my composure. "Why was that man calling
you? And why did he call you Lorelei?!" she demanded. "Because he promised he would, Mom, and because I didnt want to give
a stranger my real name," I said simply, walking past her with the two messages in my hand to go to my room and start my homework
while I waited for Freddie to call back.
Mom followed me, hands still on hips. "Well, if he does call again--and I very
much doubt that he will--you are to tell him never to call you again!" With that she closed the door to my room and I stood
there frozen, stunned at her reaction to a kind mans genuine concern for her daughter. I was too distracted by all this to
do any homework, so I turned on the stereo and listened to my Styx album until there was a knock on my door. It was Mom, saying
the phone had rung and I might have heard it if I hadnt been listening to such loud music. I ran past her at full speed to
the kitchen. It was Freddie, of course, and he greeted me with, "Hi, Lorelei, so sorry I missed you earlier." I could feel
myself grinning as I answered, "Oh, thats OK, it takes longer to get home from school when I have to ride the bus." Oh, that
was mature, I thought to myself--he would obviously realize I was in high school, but I didnt have to bring it to his attention
like that! "Well," Freddie was saying, "that wont be a problem very much longer--I got the call from the repair shop while
I was on the set this morning, and I made sure they called you." So he really was taking responsibility for the bill! I wondered
briefly if that would appease my mother, but I didnt think so. "Oh, Freddie," I blurted, "how can I ever repay you?" Get a
grip on yourself, I said in my mind, he is going to think you are a baby! "No problem, chiquita! Glad to help." There was
an awkward silence, then Freddie continued, "There is something you could do for me." My hand holding the receiver was turning
white from my nervous grip as I ventured, "What is that?" Freddie cleared his throat and replied, "Well, this Friday will
be one of my rare days off, and I have nothing at all to do--would you like for me to pick you up from school and we could
go do something? I would be glad for the company."
My death grip on the phone loosened with the shock, and the receiver
went clattering to the floor. My mother came running in as I was fumbling to get a hold on it again, demanding, "What was
that?!" As I straightened up with the receiver back in my hand, I mouthed to her "Nothing, Mom!" as I got back on the phone
and said to Freddie, "Sorry, the receiver slipped." I could hear Freddie laughing and realized he understood exactly why.
"Thats OK," he gasped, "not too much damage to my hearing!" I relaxed as I had when hearing his laughter for the first time,
enough to wonder aloud, "Where would we go?" I could almost hear Freddies thoughts turning in the silence before he responded,
"Oh, I dont know, I hadnt thought that far ahead--what do you like to do? Like whats your favorite restaurant?" Without hesitation
I answered, "Taco Bell!" This brought a fresh burst of laughter from Freddie and I could feel myself blushing, thinking, Oh
yeah, also very mature! "You dont have to say we should go there just because I play a Chicano on TV!" Freddie exclaimed.
"No, seriously, I love Mexican food," I said, adding sadly, "but I have to confess I have never actually seen your show."
Freddie stopped laughing abruptly and I could hear the sound of a reclining chair being brought back to an upright position
and footsteps as he began pacing. "Why not?" he asked softly, as though hurt. I didnt know how to put it so I just said it
straight out, "My parents dont like Hispanics." The silence this time was deafening and long. "Im sorry, Freddie," I said
quietly after several minutes, "I still want to go out with you, and I promise I will find a way." I thought I heard the catch
of crying in his voice when Freddie answered, Gracias, Lorelei mi chiquita." As quickly as the moment of sadness had come,
it was gone as I heard Freddie sitting back down and a newspaper rustling. "Hey, honey, do you like movies?" I was smiling
again as I replied, "Oh, very much!" Freddie chuckled, "What about Shakespeare?" I had studied some in accelerated English
courses and loved it, so I told him that. "Good," he continued, "how about drive-ins?" I had never actually been to one, so
I had to admit that, but Freddie was unfazed. "Well, then, how about if we go to the Shakespeare movie double-feature at the
drive-in Friday night?" I was of course thrilled, but had to wonder what my parents would say. When I told Freddie that, he
said gently, "Dont do anything you think they would not approve of, Lorelei--ever!" Freddie promised to make all the arrangements,
even calling my mother himself the next morning and letting her have the number for the phone in his car. "Oh thank you, Freddie--I
dont honestly know if it will do any good, but you can try!" Freddie laughed softly and asked rhetorically in an Hispanic
accent, "How could your mother resist such a charming young caballero as myself?" On that note, we ended our conversation.
Outwardly I had laughed hysterically, but in my heart I couldnt understand how my parents could have such a deep-seated dislike
for a whole class of people when on the other end of their phone line had been such a shining example of the best of them.
to his word, Freddie did call my mother the next day while I was at school, and by the time I got home her attitude had softened
considerably, to the point where she spoke encouragingly to my father during dinner about the possibility of my going out
with Freddie. She and I together were persuasive enough that he agreed with no argument apart from some displeasure with the
fact that we would be going to a drive-in (he said it was about the lateness of the hour at which I would get home, but I
was not nearly so naive as he always seeemed to imagine). In any case, the next afternoon, when Freddie called me again, I
was able to tell him everything was alright with both my parents. "Yahoo!" he shouted in my ear, apologizing profusely afterward.
"That's alright, not too much damage to my hearing," I answered, echoing his words from the day before when I had dropped
the phone. But Freddie, although he was laughing, challenged me petulantly, "Hey, if you're gonna quote me you could at least
get it right! Yesterday I told you 'That's OK,' not, 'That's alright'!" I was amazed at how much of a little kid he often
acted, but I just knew we would have a wonderful time Friday night, especially after he told me that the movies we would be
seeing were Franco Zefirellis version of "Romeo and Juliet" and Laurence Oliviers version of "Othello", two of my favorite
plays, as I told Freddie. "Good!" Freddie said, "I know they are both tragedies, but you can cry on my shoulder all you want,
chiquita!" I sighed happily at the thought as we hung up, Freddie having promised to call me again before our date.
did Freddie ever call me the rest of that week! Both Wednesday and Thursday when I came home from school there was a message
waiting, saying that I should be sure to be available when Freddie called back in an hour. I thought this was very odd but
then I realized that Freddie couldnt afford to waste time calling every few minutes in the afternoon, when most of the rehearsal
and taping of "Chico and the Man" was apparently being done. When he called back, he always had about an hour free to talk--he
said he was taking his dinner break and I could often tell he had food in his mouth as he spoke. He told me all about his
childhood growing up in New York and his dog King whom he smuggled into the no-pets-allowed building where he lived--only
a few blocks from me! He gave me the whole story of his rise to fame and told me how insecure he had felt auditioning for
his show. "You, insecure?" I asked incredulously, "The way you took charge when my car broke down, I wouldnt have thought
that of you!" Freddie chuckled indulgently, "Ay, gracias, Lorelei mi chiquita, but your Freddie is not really the self-confident
person you saw that day!" I was breathless with the realization that he had referred to himself as my Freddie, but he wasnt
finished with the wonderful revelations: "No, honey, the only reason I saw my duty to help someone in need that day, and felt
I could actually be of some help, was because I was just on my way home from church. I believe you can be close to God anywhere
as long as you read His Word and pray, but I always see things better when I have been in Gods presence among His people.
When I saw your car, I said a quick prayer to St. Christopher for your safety and to St. Catherine of Alexandria to help me
find out what the problem was--she is the patron saint of mechanics, which I didnt know until I started playing one on TV.
I got a letter from a fan telling me that, and she also sent me a medal and a card with the saints picture on it. I treasure
gifts like those from my fans."
I felt tears welling up in my eyes at the obvious sincerity of his faith in God and gratitude
to his fans. I was not Catholic, but Lutheran, and the idea of praying to saints was new to me. But at least they had listened
to Freddie that day! "Gracias, Freddie," I whispered, trying out the second language he spoke so beautifully. "For what, chiquita?"
He was genuinely puzzled. "For praying for me," I replied. "De nada, santita mia," was his answer, and I asked for translation.
"Youre welcome, my little saint!" I was both floored and flattered, and for once at a loss for words. When I could speak again
I asked, "Why would you call me such a thing?" Freddie answered quietly, "Because that is how I see you, as someone who is
closer to God than I will ever be." I couldnt imagine what he meant, and I told him so. He went on to explain, "You give so
much honor to your parents, even though you dont agree with their prejudices. I believe that if they had said you could never
see me again, you would have obeyed them." I started to protest but Freddie shushed me, "Shh, chiquita, you know I am right!
I have always honored my parents as well, but for me it has been easy--they have indulged my every whim. It is much more praiseworthy
to show respect for parents who say no." I could see his point but still didnt think that made me a saint. But it sounded
so sweet when he called me "santita mia" that I didnt say any more about it. Instead, I mostly listened to my Freddie several
more times over those two days, because not only did he call me during his dinner, but after mine, and late at night when
I was going to sleep. Those last calls would always come just as I was drifting off, so that I always thought at first that
I was dreaming. Freddie would always say, "Que suenes con los angeles," which was translated "Sweet dreams" but he told me
really meant, "Dream with the angels." Then he would send a kiss to me and I would do the same for him.
The biggest surprise
that week came when I went with my dad Thursday before school to retrieve my car. Not only had the water pump been replaced
with one that he said was better than the original, but the whole car had been gone over and cleaned inside and out. Not only
that, but the dull, dented, rusting body had been repaired and repainted--in a beautiful mint green, which Freddie had told
me was a favorite color of his. When I pulled into the student parking lot that morning, the stares of my friends went right
through me. So many of them asked my so many insistent questions that I finally broke down and told them everything. As the
rapid flood of my words came to an end, I saw the looks on their faces and realized that not one of them believed me. I therefore
insisted that all of them be with me the next afternoon in the parking lot. During our phone call that afternoon I told Freddie
how I had tried to convince my friends that I had met him and was rewarded with more melodic peals of laughter. "That will
teach you to tell your darkest secrets, Lorelei mi chiquita!" he teased. I ignored this and went on to thank him profusely
for the wonderful job he had had done on my car, and I could picture the face and gesture he made as he once again said, "De
nada, santita mia!"
Friday I took the bus to school, sitting alone and listening to the buzz all around me, because Freddie
would be picking me up. The day dragged interminably but he was there promptly at 3:30 when I came out with several friends
in tow. "Freddie, this is everyone," I giggled, gesturing broadly, "Everyone, this is Freddie!" As I went to stand beside
him and we put our arms around each other, I got my first good look at the gaping mouths and saucer eyes of the crowd that
was getting larger by the second. They all stood rooted in their places until we were in the Stringray and waving good-bye.
Gunning the engine away from the curb, Freddie roared along with it and I joined him in the laughter. When he had regained
our composure, Freddie made sure that I had been serious about going to Taco Bell, and when I nodded he turned the car onto
Victory Boulevard. It suddenly hit me as we were getting out of the car that this could be a big mistake--going to a small
fast food place with a major celebrity could cause problems for all concerned. As Freddie was taking my hand to help me out,
I looked up at him and asked, "Are you sure you wont be mobbed if we go in?" Freddie looked thoughtful, then replied, "Maybe
you are right, chiquita, if I give you the money would you mind getting the food alone? Then we will go eat in that park over
there." I didnt mind at all as long as it meant we would be left alone. Freddie turned over the hand he still held and, after
reaching into the breast pocket of his waist length denim jacket, folded a twenty dollar bill into it. "Get whatever you want,
my dear--money is no object!" he assured me in a flawless British accent. It was tough to spend twenty dollars in a Taco Bell,
but I did my best!
When I came out of the Taco Bell with a box of ten tacos and a cardboard carrier with four large Cokes
(two each for now, two each for at the movie so I wouldnt have to leave the car and wander around in the dark looking for
the snack bar at the drive-in), I saw that the Stringray was still parked there but Freddie was not inside. I felt a brief
stab of panic until I heard a shrill whistle that seemed to be coming from the park across the street. I whirled around, almost
losing the Cokes. There was Freddie, two fingers in his mouth, ready to whistle a second time and waving with the other arm
from beside a picnic table almost hidden by a huge tree. I went to the corner and waited for the light to change so I could
cross. When I reached Freddie, he took one of the napkins I had stuffed in between the Cokes and brushed off the bench and
table for me. "Gracias, Freddie," I said, breathless from trotting across two streets. "De nada, santita mia," he replied
(as usual, I was beginning to think). I really couldnt get used to that, but stopped myself from protesting by taking a Coke
from the holder and having a drink. I put down the remaining Cokes and Freddie took the box of tacos from me, then motioned
chivalrously for me to sit down. He set the box on the table and opened it. Next Freddie laid a napkin on the table in front
of me like a placemat, then placed two of the tacos on it and opened their wrappers. "Hey, I can serve myself!" I exclaimed.
"Hey, I know," Freddie mimicked the rising pitch of my voice, then switched to his Hispanic accent, "I just wanted to hear
you say gracias again, you have reeally such a terreeble accent!"
I laughed with a bite of taco in my mouth, almost spewing
it out. Putting my hand to my mouth I averted disaster, and Freddie laughed at my predicament. When I moved my hand I could
tell I had something in the corner of my mouth, but Freddie was too fast for me--before I could reach for a napkin, he had
grabbed one, sat down next to me with his long legs astride the bench, and was gently dabbing the food from my face. Then
he sat there watching me until I swallowed the taco and took another drink of Coke. His eyes briefly left mine as he reached
for a taco and Coke for himself, then returned to staring at me while he took a bite and a sip. After he had swallowed, Freddie
leaned in and kissed me softly. I tried to lighten the serious look I saw in his eyes as he leaned back by joking, "No more
of that now, Im hungry!" I started to take another bite, but Freddie was leaning in again, and just before his lips met mine
this time he murmurred, "So am I, santita mia!" Then he was kissing me and the taco in my hand fell to the ground. Suffice
to say that I could relate to his hunger for affection, so I tried to keep up with Freddie as he scarfed down his five tacos
and gulped one of his Cokes. In record time we were back across the street and getting in the Stingray.
Once we were settled
in, Freddie took my hand--after turning back the cuffs of his jacket and shirt so that his forearm was also bare on the armrest
next to mine (I was wearing a short sleeved blouse)--and held it all during the ride to the drive-in way out in the foothills,
except when he needed to shift gears. At every stop light he would lean over and kiss me, then flash me a huge grin and a
wink. I found myself thinking back to the first time he had kissed my lips--it had been in this car, and his tongue had gently
explored my mouth, unlike the kisses this afternoon. I felt a longing for more of those open kisses, and resolved to make
sure that I got more. By this time we were pulling into the drive-in, and Freddie drove the car up the exit driveway so that
I would have to get out and walk around to the ticket window alone, rather than him just pulling up to it and being recognized.
The girl in the booth looked at me strangely, but when I silently pointed to the car she simply nodded though she still looked
puzzled. Whew, I thought, she couldnt see Freddie from that angle! I asked for and received two tickets, paying with some
of the remainder of the twenty dollars Freddie had given me at Taco Bell, which I had kept in the pocket of my jeans. With
that hurdle cleared, we drove into the lot and parked in the back. It was still daylight, with at least an hour before the
movies would start, but of course Freddie didnt want to get out of the car since there were other patrons already there as
well. We sat in silence for a while, sipping the other Cokes I had bought. As I watched Freddie watching the sunset, I imagined
the taste of Coke on his lips and hoped I would get my wish to spend much of our time kissing.
As if he had read this
thought, Freddie shot me a sideways look, head down, and his expression was so sweet and inviting that I took my chance and
leaned toward him. But he didnt turn his face to mine, so my kiss landed on his smooth warm cheek just below his eye. Not
bad, but not like his full lips! Suddenly Freddie burst out laughing, and I jumped back, embarrassed. "Ay, Lorelei mi chiquita,
you ARE as hungry as I am!" With that he folded back the armrest, reached for me and kissed me with all the passion I had
hoped for, tongue thrust into my mouth. At the same time, his large hands ran up and down my back and I felt heat rushing
all through my body. After several minutes of this (enough to steam up the windows of the Stingray), Freddie broke away to
remove his jacket, then patted his chest--quite a bit of which showed from his tight dark red shirt--as if to say, "Lie down
here." I turned around, shifted halfway onto his lap and laid my head where his hand had been. Freddies left hand cradled
my head, his graceful fingers tangling in my hair, and his right arm lay across me. We continued to kiss until it was completely
dark and the movies started. I watched them from this position, lying against Freddie with both his arms around me.
first movie was "Othello" starring Laurence Olivier, and its themes of prejudice concerning interracial relationships made
me so tense that Freddie felt it and asked me what was wrong. I just shushed him by covering his lips with mine. Whenever
Freddie wanted another kiss, his left hand would go under my head again and I understood I should turn to face him. Sometimes
his right hand would caress my face or neck, and about halfway into "Romeo and Juliet", when the main characters were waking
up together after their wedding night, his fingers trailed delicately down inside my shirt. This made the back of my neck
uncomfortable as the shirt got tighter, so I undid a couple of the buttons. I looked at Freddie and smiled as I did this,
getting another grin and wink in return. Every time the beautiful love theme "A Time for Us" played in the background, I caught
Freddie humming it quietly, for which I would reward him with a quick kiss on the lips (making a lovely vibration) or a touch
and kiss on his neck or chest.
We both managed to hold back our tears until the end of this second movie, but when Romeo
and Juliet both died, I turned my head and let the tears fall against the soft skin of Freddies chest. A couple of times I
felt his lips on my hair as if to comfort me. When I looked up at him again, there were tears coursing down his cheeks as
well. He realized I was watching and quickly brushed them away. Then he was kissing me with renewed passion as his hand returned
to moving gently back and forth inside my shirt. I was glad he never went any farther than that since I wasnt sure if I was
ready for more, even with someone as handsome, romantic, and generally wonderful as Freddie. It was very late when the movies
ended, and I dozed on the way home. Once in a while I would wake up slightly to feel Freddies hand brush my cheek as he pushed
my hair back from my face, or to hear him singing softly in a bright, clear tenor voice. At first I couldnt hear the song
over the roar of the Stringrays engine, but by the time he had finished the first verse and chorus I thought I knew what it
was, and by midway through the second verse I finally recognized the song--and myself in it: "Her eyes become a paradise,
she softly speaks my name. She brightens every lonely night, no ones quite the same..." It was a song from one of my Styx
albums, the one I had taken my name from. It was "Lorelei."