At the time, twenty-one year old Fisher Amelie was but a mere bank teller for Wells Fargo Bank, though a veteran at that. Settled inside a local grocery store in Arlington, Texas, she was one of five college attendees, working toward their degree. Her branch was known as ‘The Barbie Branch’. Five nineteen to twenty-two year olds, all thin, all beautiful, all goofy as hell. These girls would do outrageous things and handle outrageous customers day to day but at the end of those days, they were but normal girls looking to date nice boys and build nice lives.
Tom Thumb, an upscale market that catered to a wealthier crowd, would have given anyone the impression that these young, beautiful girls would have the pick of the litter, so to speak, and, for the most part, this was true but these girls were deeper than most incorrectly assumed. And as each one fell into a genuine love, a year would pass and each would begin an engagement, trudging toward a path of families and homes. All except one.
Yes, she was a bit rougher around the edges than her Barbie-esque counterparts. She didn’t sport the blonde hair that most of her colleagues did, save for Sheria, the funniest, most beautiful African-American woman to grace her presence but that was okay. She fit in with everyone despite her Led Zepplin tees and black bracelets, her torn jeans, and scuffed Converse. She was Fisher Amelie, friend extraordinaire but also the girl who pined away for ‘Shaggy’.
The girls would tease and joke with Fisher about the stock boy who not only looked like Shaggy from Scooby Doo but walked like him as well, his arms swinging droopily with each hurried step he took. “Here comes Shaggy, Velma,” they’d josh, prodding her in the ribs. Fisher would go red in the face every single time he walked by with a two fingered salute toward the ladies she shared a teller line with but he seemed unaffected by her, too busy with his job to bother getting to know any of the girls better. To him, she assumed, they were but ‘the wave by’ sort, making her stomach drop at the mere thought.
As you can probably guess, working in a grocery store, the girls would take turns day to day getting amazing snacks to share across the teller lines. They were teenagers. They could eat cupcakes by the dozen and it wouldn’t even make a dent. Jerks.
One day, after months of ‘waves’ and a stinging face, Fisher headed toward Dairy. It was Yoplait Whips day and Fisher was the retriever. So, she grabbed her debit card and made way to the yogurt aisle.
But no! It can’t be! He’s there! Just there! Stocking the very yogurt she was assigned to purchase. Score! She thought.
Fisher stood a bit taller than her usual five foot eight. She straightened out her black skirt, combed her fingers through her black hair, and patted everything that had a possibility of being out of place back into it. She was ready.
“Hi,” she said cheerfully as she made her way to a stocking Shaggy. She smiled at him as she approached the section but he didn’t respond, just stared at his hands as they lifted tiny yogurt containers and placed them on shelves. She lingered by him a moment. He’ll look, she thought. Any second now, he’ll acknowledge her. He’ll look up in just a moment. But nothin’ doin’. Fisher felt a sting of hurt drop to her stomach. Rejected.
Surely, he’d heard her. There was no way he couldn’t have. He was choosing to ignore her! Fine, she thought. What a jerk! Fisher snatched her yogurts and made way for the check out lines. Mortified and too embarrassed to tell her girlfriends and teller-mates, Fisher pretended nothing happened. Weeks, months, passed and she was resigned in forgetting him. She needed to stop obsessing about the boy who couldn’t even bother saying hello. She knew he wasn’t mute, she’d seen him talking to a few of his own colleagues, that idiot.
On Friday and Saturday nights, as musician or aficionado, Fisher either played with the bands in Dallas’ Deep Ellum or listened to their shows. She lived and breathed local music.
Never in the practice of walking alone in a sketchy part of Dallas, if Fisher wasn’t riding with friends, she would ring a pal and they would meet her and walk her to whatever club she planned to attend. But one particular weekend, her cell phone had died and she was forced to walk from her parking spot alone without a friend to escort her. She’d decided that since it was the weekend of the biggest Dallas music festival that year, coupled with the sheer number of police presence, she’d be okay. She just had to get to the club. She’d also heard somewhere that when you walked with purpose, people tended to leave you be so that’s exactly what she did. She walked with naive fury to The Curtain Club and refused to stop for anyone.
“Hey!” He said but she didn’t hear. She was focused. “Hey!!” He said, louder, chasing after her a bit but Fisher only walked faster.
Doesn’t she know it’s dangerous to walk by yourself in this part of Deep Ellum? Shaggy thought, as he watched her make a beeline for Curtain. Don’t I know her? She looks so familiar.
Fisher made it to Curtain, met her girlfriends and walked over to the parking lot of Blind Lemon, where the festival’s main stage just happened to be.
“Hey,” she heard behind her. “Hey,” a guy said again, demanding her attention. She whipped her head around and saw the unmistakable form of Shaggy the Stocker. Tall, long, lean. Hello, jerk, she thought.
“Hey, I know you, right? You work at Wells Fargo?”
“Yeah, that’s me,” she said, barely struggling with the smile she was forcing.
“I work there, at Tom Thumb.”
“Yeah, I’ve seen you around,” she confessed.
“I saw you walking alone earlier. I tried to get your attention but you didn’t hear me, I guess. It’s dangerous out here, ya know.”
“Yeah, my phone is dead. Usually Brian would come get me.” Like he knew who Brian was.
“That’s cool,” he admitted. “Who are you here to see?”
“I’m here for The Feds. I used to date the bassist.”
“Oh, that’s cool. That’s my brother’s band on stage, the drummer,” he said, pointing toward what was now blindingly obvious was his brother. He opened his mouth, ready to ask her something but someone grabbed his shoulder. There was a guy, standing beside him, seemingly seven foot tall and uninterested in bothering with her. “Oh, this is my friend Nick,” Shaggy offered.
“You ready to go?” Nick asked, barely noticing her.
“Yeah,” Shaggy answered. “See you around?” He asked her.
“Sure,” she said, not being in the least bit honest.
“I’d offer my cell but since yours is dead…Anyway, if you need someone to walk you to your car, I’ll just be at Trees,” he said, pointing across the street. “Come find me.”
“Okay,” she said to appease him but she had no intention of doing so.
She wanted nothing to do with him. Yet something about him struck her as kind and down to earth. She didn’t want to think of him that way. She wanted to hold on to the fact that he snubbed her. She didn’t want to think that she might have been, probably was, a tad bit oversensitive and perhaps he hadn’t heard her after all in Dairy, just as she hadn’t heard him earlier that night.
Fisher didn’t think about him again…at all…that weekend. She didn’t obsess over his gentlemanly offer or the fact that he seemed too laid back to have truly snubbed her. In fact, she didn’t think about him that following Monday either when she discovered he wasn’t at work. Or that Tuesday, when he was missing as well.
But come Wednesday, she was done attempting to convince herself that she wasn’t thinking about him. She embraced her newly found obsession and handed over control to her heart. That’s the day he showed up with his two-finger salute. He was going to talk to her today, she just knew it. Two hours had passed, three, four, five and she was approaching the end of her shift yet he still hadn’t come over to say hi.
“Oh well,” she thought. “Time to come to terms with it.”
That weekend, she met her friends again in Deep Ellum, saw a few amazing bands and wouldn’t admit to anyone just how much she was shocked to see Shaggy in the streets yet again.
“Fancy meetin’ you here,” he joked.
“Hello,” she offered, her heart beating wildly in her chest. Traitorous heart.
“What are you doing right now?” He asked her.
“I’m going to Franzini’s with my friend Karen and a few others.” (Hilarious story but for another day)
“Oh, that’s cool. Well, if you want, we’ll all be at the Velvet Hookah, if you want to join us later.”
“Uh,” she said, taken aback, “That’s cool, maybe next time?”
“Yeah, see you around,” he said, squeezing her shoulder, sending an unbelievable warmth cascading down her arm.
And it was like that every time she ran in to him, he was always busy, always surrounded by friends, and always inviting her to tag along. She refused him repeatedly, got over her crush (kind of) and moved on (sort of).
Until one day…
“Fisher! Come with me! What are you doing right now?”
“I’m off to Trees.”
“No, you’re not! You’re coming with me. You always blow me off,” he joked. “It’s time you saw my brother’s band again, really see them.”
So she caved and joined him at The Curtain Club to see his brother play.
There, he introduced her to a girl with a tattooed chest plate that would rival Kat Von D and the girl made no effort to conceal how much she liked him but, surprisingly, he brushed her off like he’d done so many others so many times before. The next night, on the way to Blind Lemon, a girl jumped into his arms in greeting, sending Fisher walking toward their club without him. He said nothing of it.
That’s when she realized, she was Shaggy’s friend. Just his friend.
And that seemed to be okay with her. She was seemingly over her crush. She was Shaggy’s friend. Yeah, she was okay with that.
At the movies, there was no hand holding, no touching, just hilarious conversation. When he introduced her to his mom, it was ‘Mom, this is my friend Fisher’ and when she met his friends, the same, ‘Guys, meet Fisher’.
The Friday Night
Things were no different. Fisher and Shaggy would retreat to his room, his door left open because she wasn’t that kind of girl, *wink, wink*, something was blasting on the stereo, probably Staind, because their musical taste seemed lacking in retrospect, and they began their millionth conversation since their friendship began, one that would keep any one in stitches.
They were lounging on the floor, Fisher on her back, her ankle on her knee, twisting her hair in circles and Shaggy, flipping through one of his school books, complaining about one of his professors. It was business as usual in Shaggy’s room and Fisher was comfortable with where things were at…maybe, sort of, not really.
Fisher opened her mouth to offer Shaggy some sort of encouraging support regarding said professor or perhaps she had a question. She doesn’t remember but she does remember being forced to stop mid-sentence…when Shaggy’s lips met hers.
Surprised, she sat up and pushed Shaggy off. “What are you doing!” She asked, shocked.
“Kissing you?” He said, shrugging his shoulders, his face painted the brightest red. His hands sat beside him, unsure what to do.
“But I thought – I thought we were friends!” She stupidly blurted. Her heart pounded. Her mouth, dry.
“We are,” he offered coolly. avoiding eye contact. His fingers threaded the carpet beneath him. “But I’ve wanted more.” He told her, meeting her eyes again. “Since I first laid eyes on you, months ago.”
This couldn’t be, she thought. After all the heart ache, all this obsessing over whether or not he was into her, then deciding he wasn’t, then accepting his friendship. After all the confusing, let’s hang out but I won’t give you a clue as to how I really feel. After wanting so badly for this very moment…she was botching it up!!!!!!!
Everything she’d locked up those last few months came spilling out at her feet. All her true feelings came back in a rush. She grabbed his face and finished what he’d started.
She was in love with Shaggy and he was in love with her.
Later, Shaggy would tell her that he’d been biding his time. That he wanted her so badly he wasn’t willing to mess it up by moving too fast. He told her he thought her the most beautiful girl he’d ever met….that she still was.
Nine years later. A ring. A house. A dog. A fish…And one very, very beautiful little boy later. She sits here. Telling you a very small tip of her wonderful story.
To Shaggy. My hand fits perfectly in yours…because God put it there.
we’ve got time left to be lazy
All the kids have bloomed from babies into flowers in our eyes.
We’ve got 50 good years left to spend out in the garden
I don’t care to beg your pardon,
We should live until we die.
We were barely 18 when we’d crossed collective hearts.
It was cold, but it got warm when you’d barely crossed my eye.
and then you turned, put out your hand,
and you asked me to dance.
I knew nothing of romance, but it was love at second sight.
I swear when I grow up, I won’t just buy you a rose.
I will buy the flower shop, and you will never be lonely.
Even if the sun stops waking up over the fields
I will not leave, I will not leave ’til it’s our time.
So just take my hand, you know that I will never leave your side.
It was the winter of ’86, and all the fields had frozen over.
So we moved to Arizona to save our only son
and now he’s turning to a man, although he thinks just like his mother,
he believes we’re all just lovers he sees hope in everyone.
And even though she moved away,
we always get calls from our daughter.
She has eyes just like her father’s
they are blue when skies are grey.
And just like him, she never stops,
Never takes the day for granted,
works for everything that’s handed to her,
Never once complains.
You think that I nearly lost you
When the doctors tried to take you away.
But like the night you took my hand beside the fire
30 years ago to this day
You swore you’d be here ’til we decide that it’s our time
Well it’s not time, you’ve never quit in all your life.
So just take my hand, you know that I’ll never leave your side.
You’re the love of my life, you know that I’ll never leave your side.
You come home from work and you kiss me on the eye
You curse the dogs and say that I should never feed them what is ours
So we move out to the garden, look at everything we’ve grown
and the kids are coming home
I’ll set the table
You can make the fire.
So many first kisses…so little time. Visit these wonderful Plumes and hear their lovely stories.