Lucky Dalton pushed down on the accelerator a little more. She was late, as always. Her mother was expecting her to be home for 6 and it was already 5:30. She hadn't been back to her home town in nearly 4 years. She had always flown her mother out to see her for holidays. Now, she was returning for a reunion and an impromptu job interview, not that anybody would really care what she was doing now.
Lucky had not been one of the popular girls, or a cheerleader. She had gone, did her work, and then graduated. Now, at 26 years old, she had a teaching degree.
For the last few months, she had been supplying but nothing permanent had come up yet. It was one of the reasons why she was moving back home. Her mother had mentioned that they were in need of an 11th grade English teacher in Laughlin. The only problem was that the football coach of Laughlin High school was her old crush, Walker Coulson.
Walker had never paid her any attention. He was always dating a new girl every week. She was surprised when her mother had said that he had taken on the coaching position when Elmer Stanwood had retired. Where had he gone to school? He hadn't gone to the college she had.
A truck was stopped in front of her and she had to slam on the breaks. There was a yelp from the backseat. She looked behind her to see her little Brown and tan Dachshund.
"Sadie, are you okay?" Not that she expected that the dog would answer her. The dog was strapped in with one of those 'doggie seat belts'. Lucky couldn't bare to keep Sadie in a carrier for hours.
She had told her mother that living with her would only be temporary. She would look for a place of her own once she was settled at her new job. Her mother as always had told her that she could take as long as she needed.
When she had come home from school that first time and said she needed to be alone, she had said "take as long as you need love."
When she had told her mom she needed the kitchen to make bake sale items, her mother had stated, "take as long as you need and clean up after yourself."
When she had had her heart broken, watching Walker taking another girl out to the prom, her mother had said "Let your heart take as long as it needs to forget him."
Most importantly, when her father had passed away and she had come home, her mother had said sadly, "It will take a long time; take as long as you need."
It was the sort of mantra that ruled her mother's life. She never did anything too quickly. She was always slow and steady.
The part that killed her about Walker was that she had actually thought at one point that he was interested in her. She had bumped into him once after school. They had just talked on a park bench for hours about stupid things that 17 year olds talk about and then, without warning he had kissed her. Monday at school, he had acted like they had never spoken, let alone kissed. Every day she would watch him date another cheerleader or popular girl. He never gave her a second glance, so she had started to treat him the same way. She wondered if he had even noticed that she never looked his way again after that first month and then not again for the year and half that was left of school.
She had really thought she was over him and then when her mom mentioned the faculty, her heart that started racing again. Damn him. She would just do exactly the same as she had in high school, just act like she didn't see him.
She didn't end up getting into town until 8 and knew her mother would be sleeping. She decided to stop at the old diner for something to eat, so she dropped Sadie off at her mothers and then walked down to the place.
When she came in, a feeling of nostalgia came over her. Maybe she had missed this place, even if she had only 2 really good friends growing up.
"Why if it isn't Lucky Dalton." The waitress commented.
"Hi Mel, how's it going?"
"Got arthritis something fierce now, but I'm surviving. How about you? What are you doing back in town?"
Mel whistled. Her graying hair was tied back in a bun. They had changed the uniforms since she had been there last. They were blue polo shirts and grey pants. When she was a teenager, it had been the silly pink dresses that you often see in old diners. She assumed that it was under new management.
"Teaching at the high school." Lucky said.
She saw a head rise in the back of the diner and recognized Walker's blonde nest of hair. She kept her attention on Mel.
"Well good for you Lucky. What will you have?"
"Got any of that roast beef left?"
"Sure do. I'll bring you the special. Have a seat."
Lucky sat at the counter. Walker was openly staring at her now and she didn't meet his look. Good. Let him stare.
She had lost about 50 lbs, dyed her hair. She had gotten a new wardrobe. She wasn't the same mousy Lucky Dalton from when they graduated.
"Here you are." Mel brought a platter over to her. "You still like your coffee black?"
She kept Walker in her line of vision while she ate. She still hadn't stopped looking over at her. Once she was finished, she downed what was left of the coffee and put a 10 on the counter.
"Thanks Mel." She yelled to the back.
"See ya 'round" she yelled back. Lucky picked up her purse and started out the door.
"Lucky?" She tried not to let his voice send shivers down her spine.
She took a deep breath and turned around. "Hey, Walker…long time no see."
"Yeah, you look great." She looked him over. He still looked the same. His blue eyes were still the colour of the sky before a storm. His face was still handsome. The only difference was his hair was longer and his arms were twice the size she remembered.
"Thanks. Well, gotta go." She started to turn but he kept talking.
"I heard you were going to be teaching."
"Yeah. Grade 11 English." She turned back only half way.
"Oh, well I'm Phys Ed and the football coach."
"That's great, I'll see you around then."
"Yeah, sure." He paused. "Good to see you again Lucky."
"Yeah, you too." She exited the diner and walked a little quicker than she probably should have. Her heart was beating twice as hard as normal. Served him right, didn't want to give her the time of day in high school and now she was hot and he wasn't going to get anything from her.
She smiled to herself as she put the key in the lock again. Sadie barked and then calmed down when she saw it was Lucky.
"Lucetta Dalton, couldn't even wake me before just dropping off your dog and your baggage?" Her mother appeared in the kitchen doorway. She had on a fuchsia robe and matching fuzzy slippers. Her hair was in curlers.
"Hi mom, I'm sorry. I didn't want to make noise making something to eat."
"Yes, well Sadie decided to jump in bed with me and start licking my nose." She smirked.
Lucky looked at Sadie's big brown eyes. "You snitch." The dog titled its head before jumping up on her leg for attention.
"It's alright; I know you had a long trip. Your room is all ready for you. Have a good sleep." Her mother kissed her cheek before walking up the stairs.
Lucky lugged her suitcase up the stairs. Her furniture had all been put into storage for now, until she found a place to live. When she clicked on the light in her old room, feelings she hadn't felt for years bubbled up in her stomach.
Her mother hadn't changed anything. The wall paper was still ballerinas in pink tutus. There was her dresser with the large dressing mirror above it. There were even still posters from the late nineties stuck on the walls. She supposed she should help her mom out by redecorating this into a suitable guest room, but for now, she needed to sleep. The 10 hour drive was starting to take it's toile on her now.