The packages arrived.
There was a slim boy all of maybe sixteen who brought them out on the porch. He'd driven out in a black pickup. He kept his heavy curly black locks under a feed cap.
"Ben sent me out," he said with a quick grin. "Lonnie, Lonnie Love." He offered a handshake. It was a clumsy handshake, Ellie supposed on her part, but she was beaming that her birthday had arrived in two boxes. She hoped he didn't think she was that happy just to see him.
"Thank you, " she said, but then had to know."Your last name is really Love?"
"Yeah, afraid so." He shrugged.
Of course, he was still on the porch when Aunt Maggie came to the screen door and snapped at Ellie, "You haven't gotten Lonnie any iced tea yet." So Ellie went to fetch it. Ellie sighed thinking she'd have to wait after lunch before she could open any of the boxes.
But he didn't stay long after the iced tea. "Ben says he'll be over after five. He's got something planned. I guess I'll see you then."
Ellie stared back at him as he was leaving. See him then, she thought. Had Ben set her up on a blind date?
She went to the boxes in her room and opened the one up from Eric first. First thing she found in the box was a picture of the two of them before the concert. He'd framed it. She smiled. As usual he's sent her copies of Cd's and even a CD player. There were all sorts of treats. Even the chili flavored Frito's. He'd remembered. Then there were skeins of yarn in all sorts of fresh colors.
"You know, you never have crocheted anything for me," he said in a note. She sat down then on her bed and read his note again and again. He'd sent her a locket and it was picture of them together like the one he'd framed.
She didn't hesitate to put it on. She held on it to the longest time. Ellie couldn't wait to call Eric.