Louis Dumkowski decides to face the loan shark to whom he owes money, and surprisingly is forgiven and hired, along with his friend Cleatus Washington. He even gets a girl friend for the first time, and that’s when his troubles really start.

     Clara Lee turned to Louis.  “You said you had something to tell me?”

     Louis looked at his mother who looked at his feet. He looked at Cleatus who looked at the ceiling.  He looked back at Clara Lee who stood looking at him with an expectant look on her face.

     Louis didn’t like having to make decisions.  He was faced with one of the biggest decisions he’d ever had to make.  His stomach began to bubble.  He had trouble breathing.  Then, he took a deep breath and looked Clara Lee directly in the eyes.  “I was gonna ask you to marry me,” He said.  “You bein’ pregnant and all.”

     She leaned forward and kissed him on the tip of his nose.  “Louis, that’s so sweet of you,” She said.  “I mean, really sweet.  Most guys would be looking for the door.  Anyway, since I’m not pregnant, and I don’t think either of us is really ready for marriage, let’s talk about it later.”

     Suddenly, Louis could breathe again.  He could feel his legs under him.  “Uh, yeah, sure, Cara Lee,” He said.  “I guess you right.  Maybe we oughta see how we feel later.  Yeah, that’s what we should do.”

     “Mrs. Dumkowski,” Clara Lee said.  “I’m sorry if I caused you any trouble.  I hope you can forgive me.”

     “Oh, hush, child,” Ruby said.  “You ain’t the first girl made a mistake like that.  Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing.”

     “Okay,” Clara Lee said.  “If you folks don’t mind, I need to go home and shower and get out of my work clothes.  Louis, we going to the movies tonight?”

     “Sure,” Louis said.  “That new double feature.  I can pick you up in two hours.”

     And, just like that, she was out the door.  Louis’s mother, looking not a small bit disappointed that she wouldn’t be a grandmother after all, returned to the kitchen to fix his father’s supper.  Louis and Cleatus said goodbye and left.  As the door closed behind them, Cleatus clapped his friend on the shoulder.

     “Louis, dawg,” He said.  “I never thought I’d be sayin’ this, but, you the man.  You done manned up; and I’m proud to be your friend.”

     Louis puffed out his chest, and walked on down the sidewalk, occasionally bumping shoulders with his friend.

 

 

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