Kennedy opened to the classified page. The first item leaped at him: "Jim Kennedy: are you available?"
"Terri will kill me," he said.
Terri Matheis is little more than half Jim Kennedy's size. She has black hair and eyes so liquid brown they appear to be black, too. Her manner is retiring; she does not take charge of conversations. Terri is a psychology major, a year ahead of Kennedy in school. They have been "close" since high school when, he likes to remind her, she used to drive down from her Catholic school to pick him up for lunch at his Catholic school. Though they are not engaged, there is a proprietary interest, mutually held. Kennedy's mother thinks of Terri as "part of the family" and takes her side when Jim gives her a hard time, "which I do" he admitted. "But the fact is, none of the other girls I've met ever measured up to her."
"We had one class together in accounting," said Kennedy. "I had her sit in front of me because her shoulders are narrow and I could read off her papers. Trouble was she'd turn her head and her chin stuck out so far I couldn't see."
"At least my hair's not falling out," said Terri. "At least I'm not getting bald."
"Massage," he said. "Massage is the answer. My father's hair was thin. Why do you always talk about my hair?"
"You started on my chin," said Terri. "You always start it."
They were having celebration lasagna at La Cantina d'Italia in downtown Columbia, Kennedy in a jacket without a tie, Terri strikingly pretty in a black dress and earrings and high heels. The occasion was her 22nd birthday. She celebrated with a wine cooler, he with draft beer.
"How does it feel to go out with a younger man?" he said. He told how at the last game she sat behind the bench and he didn't know it until he heard a voice crying, "Do it for me, Jim, do it for me! It's my birthday."