The Chasity Pledge
The joke among them was that they were like the characters from the television series Friends - "only without the sex."
The six teens made a 'Chasity Pledge' between themselves, vowing never to be tempted to fall in love or fool around with each other so that they could maintain a safe and nurturing bond as a friendship group.
The Chasity Pledge worked because there was no fear of sex and that made for a strong and trusting friendship and the six coed friends maintained their bond well after their high school graduation.
It helped that four of them attended nearby Green College which allowed them to continue their friendship rather easily. Violet's Dad was a Green faculty member and his status helped the four students establish quick roots on the campus.
The friends enjoyed local jobs in the summer. Dave (Syracuse) and Jenny (Emerson) came home to work locally during the summers which allowed the gang to reunite in total.
Timothee and Matt played in the local amateur Serguci League Baseball League and the six friends often gathered in The Bullpen Tavern after games for drinks and socializing.
But eventually life got in the way. Jenny landed a job in DC and moved away and Dave joined the military and was also gone. Lisa married and soon removed herself from the mix. Then Matt stopped playing ball at twenty-seven and he eventually accepted a job transfer to Albany.
That left only Violet and Timothee from the original Chasity Pledge Friends group to carry on the traditions of the original friendship bond. Violet continued to show up for most of Timothee's games. She was a real estate agent now, living in her own apartment after her latest relationship went south.
Timothee and his brother Tommy went into business together, buying a struggling car dealership in Greenville with hopes of turning the business around by emphasizing a local community philosophy and friendly customer service attitude.
Violet and Timothee were true pals who stood by each other through life's trials and tribulations, challenges and disappointments. Violet lost her Dad when she was twenty-two and Timothee's fiancé passed away from a fast moving form of Leukemia a few years later.
The two friends considered themselves survivors and they were grateful to each other for their mutual support and continued friendship. They had long ago stopped talking about the Chasity Pledge but somehow that original concept stayed with them as their friendship continued well beyond those innocent formative years.
"How long are you going to keep playing?" Violet asked Timothee after he left a late-season Serguci League game with a sore hamstring. He was thirty-three years old and had been playing in the league for seventeen summers.
"I don't know," he sighed with resigned frustration. "I love this game so much."
"You can't run anymore," Violet pointed out as they sat in The Bullpen Tavern like they did so many times in the past on a summer's evening. There used to be six of them in a booth - now there was just the two.
"Bumper Clark told me that I'm about forty-nine in baseball years," Timothee admitted.
"Maybe it's time to give it up," Violet suggested with sensitivity.
"My life is lonely enough as it is," Timothee protested. "What am I going to do in the summer without baseball?"
"Thee, sooner or later we all have to grow up and move on," Violet gently reminded him. "You could always coach."
"I suppose," he sighed with disappointment.
"Or find a new hobby," Violet suggested when she sensed he wasn't thrilled with the coaching idea. "Fishing. Kayaking. Volunteering or something."
"I guess I could put a few more hours in at the dealership," Timothee shrugged.
"You're already working too hard," Violet admonished. "I mean doing something good for yourself. Fun."
"I don't know what fun is anymore,"Timothee remarked.
"You have fun with me, don't you?" She pouted.
"Of course," he said sardonically. "You're the light of my life."
She smiled as she took a sip of her beer. "Did you ever think we'd still be doing this after all these years?"
"I'm glad we are," he grinned in reply.
"So, tell the coach and your teammates that this is it for you," Violet ordered. "You're done."
"In more ways than one," Timothee sighed.
"Oh, cheer up," she laughed. "You still have me!"
He stared across the table at her. She still looked remarkably the same from their Chasity Pledge high school days. Her black fluffy hair sat on her shoulders looking like she had just blown-dried it five minutes earlier. Her dimples still glamourized her cute round face. She hadn't gained a pound and her smile was still as infectious as ever.
"So, I like that new radio ad you guys have running," Violet let him know.
"That's all Tom," Timothee said of his brother. "He's the brains of the outfit. The public face. He's the one who's always out there brown-nosing and hand grabbing. I'm perfectly content staying in the shadows running the day to day business. Let him do the public relations stuff."
"Well, he is funny," Violet said. "And that ad works. Where'd he find that laughing kid?"
"It's not a kid," Timothee said, revealing a trade secret. "It's actually an adult woman who can throw her voice to sound like a little boy."
"That's amazing," an impressed Violet replied. "I never would have known."
"But Griffin Brothers' Motors does seem to be doing pretty well lately," Timothee said with relief. "It took a couple of years to build the reputation and establish ourselves but I think we're going to be okay."
"Good," Violet said. "See, life is turning out okay after all."
"I'm going to miss baseball," Timothee sighed.
"Thee," Violet said sternly. "There's more to life than baseball."
"Are you okay with your life so far?" Timothee challenged.
"Yes," she said honestly. "I like my job. I'm doing okay."
"You aren't lonely?" He wanted to know.
"Loneliness is a state of mind," she reasoned. "I have friends. I like my co-workers. I have you."
"What are we doing, exactly?" Timothee asked with interest. "You and me?"
"We're having a beer together," Violet answered easily.
He wanted to ask her if there was a Statue of Limitations on The Chasity Pledge but he thought better of it as he gazed into her eyes.