The Haunting of Norville Rogers
A/N: STOP! If you like happy endings, stop reading here. Most, but not all, high school romances fail. Why do they fail? There are many answers to that question but the main answer is "life happens".
This chapter is from Shaggy's POV and brings Shaggy and Velma's characters more in line with the "sdway" original series. Not canon necessarily but closer.
Chapter Five: Misery Loves Company
Life is good! I did make the track team; first as an alternate then as a regular member of the team.
Velma and I found that where there is a rule, there is a way around the rule. The rule was we couldn't 'date' until she turned 16 but nothing was said about after school activities, taking Scooby for a walk in the park or meeting surreptitiously at the malt shoppe, holding hands under the table while Fred and Daphne pretended not to notice.
The school year ended and we found a new clandestine place to meet---Daphne's pool. Sometimes it would be crowded with friends; sometimes just the five (including Scooby) of us. We usually could find time to be alone for a kiss or a walk, holding hands and talking.
Summer was quickly coming to an end with September and a new school year just around the corner. Fred headed for football practice and I followed to work into shape for the track season. With my regimen for track, new school year I had a lot going on. It was Velma's Freshman year and with me busy with practice maybe she was feeling left out and technically she was starting a new school again, either way when she was invited to join the science club, she accepted.
Soon after she joined the science club, the mysteries began; with the five of us right in the middle. After the second mystery, Fred got the idea of creating Mystery Inc and we began to be famous, at least locally. I was busier than ever. I guess we all were.
If I felt something was wrong, I was too busy to notice or maybe I didn't want to. Velma began coming up with excuses; either she had a science club meeting or working on a club project. I'm not excusing myself either, I had come up with a few excuses myself. Later in the year I had a track meet and Velma had a science faire, both on the same weekend. We'd both put in a lot of work and neither of us wanted to miss the weekend.
I'd done exceptionally well at the meet and wanted to share my excitement with Velma and hear how the science club had done; I knew she would be excited to tell me. It nearly killed me to wait until I was fairly sure she'd be home before I called. There was no answer the first time I tried. The phone rang four times before she answered an hour later.
"Hello?" Her answer questioned.
"Hi Velma, it's me. How was the faire?"
"It was great! We placed third but I thought we would do better." I didn't like what I was hearing (or not hearing); it wasn't dead-pan but there wasn't the excitement that should have been. The silence that followed hung thick in the air; I felt there was something more, I waited for her to continue. I didn't have to wait long.
She continued after taking a deep breath, but her voice had cracks in it, "I don't know how to say this...I think we should see other people."
I felt like I'd been sent to dreamland by Little John. "Other People" she's said, did she have "other people" in mind? Worse, was he there now, listening or had they been together an hour ago when there was no answer when I had called? I didn't want to ask, I didn't think I'd like the answer, but I had to ask myself if not her. I felt like I was lost in a cul-de-sac, one way in, one way out: the phone.
We did a wonderful dance. A dance of words. Words that never quite said what needed to be said; only words that asked if we could be friends. Maybe we could be friends but it would be a guarded friendship at best after what had passed between us.
School was no problem with her a Freshman, me a Junior; we had no reason to run into each other unless planned, which we had done in the past. After school would be no problem either, at least during track season. The problem would be the malt shoppe. Even that was no problem as long as there was no mystery. I had stopped going to the malt shoppe during training and I hoped the mysteries would take a vacation. They did but I knew they wouldn't stay on vacation forever.
High school has it's own form of telegraph and if you listen you can hear whatever you want. You want drugs? Just listen. What kind? Just listen. Alcohol? Listen to who will buy if you are underage or will sell and look the other way. All you need is the money. I was not interested in either but I heard something about two weeks later. What I heard was that Velma was becoming friendly with a guy from the science club. Funny, by then I didn't want to know the guys name. I went to the track instead.
What I had been dreading was meeting Velma face to face. After hearing about her and her science club friend through the high school telegraph I didn't want to see them together either. So I spent a lot of time at the track. I was at the track about two weeks later; I was tying a shoelace that had come loose when I heard a voice and looked up.
"Mind if I run with you?" The voice came from a blond just a shade smaller than Daphne I guessed. She had blue eyes and a runners body. "Not at all," I replied, tightening the offending shoelace and straightening up, "Shall we?" I indicated the track.
We started to run, testing each other. Testing, not in a competitive sort of way, but testing each others style of running. I guessed there would be more; she didn't have to ask to run with me. I was right, she asked her second question only after we had passed the 400 meter mark.
"I heard you and Velma weren't seeing each other...true or false?"
"I wanted to pick your brain...about running but didn't want to cause a problem if what I heard was false," The telegraph sometimes got information wrong, not often, but sometimes. I appreciated the fact she'd ask first, "interested?" she added.
"Maybe." I wasn't going to commit to anything until I knew more.
"I'm interested in trying out for the girls cross country team," we were coming up on the 800 mark, half way around the track, "800 meters, loser buys ice cream. We can talk over the ice cream. Deal?"
"Deal, as long as it's not vanilla."
"My name is Katherine...but I go by Kate."
She immediately sped up, cutting in front so I'd have to go around. I wondered how she'd look in a tutu and how she'd react to my ballet style of cross country. I increased my pace, moving to the outside.
There was more than one malt shoppe in Coolsville.
It was the sweetest ice cream I've ever had; the first of many. I wondered how long those honey and cinnamon eyes would haunt my dreams.
A/N: I had just broken up with my high school sweetheart when my mom said something. She said, "You may love many times, but you'll only have one true love." I didn't understand then but over time I think I do. I've fallen in love many times, but it's my high school sweetheart's honey and cinnamon eyes that haunt me to this day, forty five years later.