Silver Candy Story Time
Coaches, Kisses and Silver Linings
"Raise your glasses to the finest lady I know, and the man who has been my father for the past 25 years." Raphael Garcia smiled, instantly removing two decades from his features."He raised me from a horrible teen-aged boy""
"Really horrible!" Max interrupted, to the amusement of guests nearby.
"- to the man that I am today." People throughout the dining hall raised their glasses, joining the salute to the couple. As friends and family drank in their honor, Max leaned forward to gently kiss Anna"s full lips."Intoxicating," he whispered.
Anna smiled at him."Back at you, Coach." She hadn"t called him that in years. Doing so now took her back to their first meeting. He"d been Raphael"s coach during his freshman year in high school. Every sentence Rafe" uttered was peppered with"Coach says"" A struggling single mom, Anna developed a love-hate relationship with"Coach" before she ever met him, appreciating his positive influence on her son, but hating that his opinion seemed to overshadow her own. "Want to chaperone the freshman dance next month?" Raphael chewed a bit of pizza as he awaited her answer. As she thought, he added,"Coach is chaperoning."
"How could I pass a chance to meet the world-famous coach?" Anna smiled to soften her jealousy, and marked the date and time on her calendar. Prom night came. As Rafael opened the double doors for her, she"d stopped, blinking in the shimmer of it all. The gymnasium was draped in silver fabric, and foil-covered stars and disco balls hung everywhere. A man stood beside the entrance."Want a kiss?"
"What?" She looked away and back, shocked at his question.
He held out some foil-covered chocolate candy."Hershey"s Kiss. Want one?" Raphael laughed."Mom! This is Coach. Coach, this is my mom. She said she"d chaperone tonight. I wrote her on the list, okay?"
Coach smiled, glancing at his student."Well" if she"s on the list."
"That was a long time ago." Max said now, pulling Anna to the present."And through good and bad, Anna"" He ran his fingers through the soft luster of her hair."You are my silver lining." Max pushed a dish of York Peppermint Patties to one side, dug into the glass beside it and retrieved a foil-covered chocolate."Want another Kiss?"
Anna did. The chocolate dropped to the table.
- by Debora Dyess