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Authors: Barbara L. Clanton

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Tools of Ignorance: Lisa's Story






Tools of Ignorance: Lisa's Story




Barbara L. Clanton



Copyright © 2010 by Barbara L. Clanton



All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Parts of this work are fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, or events is entirely coincidental.




ISBN 978-1-935053-99-6 (eBook)



eBook Conversion September 2011




Cover design by Donna Pawlowski



Published by:


Regal Crest Enterprises, LLC

4700 Hwy 365, Suite A, PMB 210

Port Arthur, Texas 7764



Find us on the World Wide Web at



Published in the United States of America





Thanks once again to the great folks at Regal Crest—Cathy LeNoir, Mary Phillips, J. Robin Whitley, and Donna Pawlowski. Collectively, we make a great team. Thanks also to my awesome beta readers Sheri Milburn, Vicky Snyder, and Diana Schnitzer for catching inconsistencies, subtleties, and rough spots. Thanks, as always, to my folks Paul and JoAnne Clanton, my “in-laws” Mamie and Joe Weathers, my brothers John and Paul and their respective families for remaining supportive of my writing. And thanks, finally, to my shelter, Jackie Weathers, who is my sanctuary in a very noisy world.




For Jackie Weathers who continually reminds me not to sweat the small stuff, but who’s always by my side for the big stuff.







Tools of Ignorance: Lisa's Story






Barbara L. Clanton







Chapter One



Just a Catcher



LISA BROWN PICKED up the phone in her room and hesitated. Her fingers hovered over the keypad. With a deep breath for courage, she punched in the memorized phone number.

“Oh, my God,” Lisa fell back against the pillows on her bed. Why was asking Marlee to hang out so freakin’ difficult?


“Marlee? It’s Lisa.”
Duh, state the obvious.

“Lisa Brown, world’s greatest catcher. What’s up?”

Lisa smiled at her pitcher’s praise. “That’s what I was going to ask you. Some of us from the team are going to the Roxy tonight. They finally changed the movie. And, we’ll probably get some ice cream at Stewart’s after.” She held her hand over the mouthpiece and blew out a sigh. She pulled her long dark braid over her shoulder and twirled the end.

“Sounds like fun. But Bobby’s coming over and we’re…well, actually, I don’t know what we’re doing, but he’s coming over, and we’re doing something. Sorry.”

Lisa knew that Marlee had a boyfriend, but Lisa also knew it was only a matter of time before Marlee dumped the boyfriend and looked at her as more than just a catcher. Lisa had really good gaydar, and Marlee shot Lisa’s gaydar to maximum ping.

Lisa tried to hide the disappointment in her voice when she said, “Okay. That’s cool.” She wasn’t sure what else to say, but added, “Just figured I’d try. Maybe next time, eh?”

“Maybe we can play catch tomorrow. I gotta work on my stride for that stupid rise ball. I’ll call you, okay?”

Lisa smiled. All was not lost. “All right. Cool. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. See ya.” She leaned forward to hang up the phone and blew out a sigh of relief as she fell back into the pillows. She only needed one more month’s allowance to finally afford a cell phone, so by mid-May she could call Marlee with complete privacy.

The door to Lisa’s bedroom slowly squeaked open.

“Weesa?” Bridget, Lisa’s three-year old sister, peeked in.

“Yes, Sweetpea?”

“Ki come in?”

“Of course you can. It’s your room, too.” Lisa sat up and patted her bed in invitation.

Bridget ran past her own bed and leaped onto Lisa’s. “Did you finish your ‘portent phone call?”

Lisa smiled at her baby sister. “I did, but my friend doesn’t want to hang out with me today.”

“You can hang down with me if you want,” Bridget offered and patted Lisa’s hand. “Okay?”

Lisa tried not to laugh at her youngest sister’s furrowed brow. “I would love to hang down with you anytime, Sweetpea. In fact, you and I and Lynnie and Lawrence Jr. are going to hang down all afternoon at the playground. Mama has a customer today.”

Bridget looked at her big sister wide-eyed. “Ki ride my bike?”

“Course you can. A bike ride will make it twice as fun, eh?”

“Okay, but I want my hair in a braid wike yours. Mama says she’ll cut my hair off if I tangle it again.”

Lisa laughed. “Okay, one braid coming up. Go get your brush.”

Bridget leaped off the bed and scurried to her dresser. She grabbed the brush and ran back.

“Turn around.”

Lisa began the arduous process of combing out her sister’s tangle of curls. A recent bubble gum incident had forced their mom to cut out the tangles along with the gum. Bridget had cried for days, but since their mother cut and styled hair to make extra income for the family, Lisa knew it must have been the only way to fix it.



“How come your friend doesn’t wike you?”

Lisa grunted. “Oh, she does, I think, but she’s busy today. But you know what?”


“Don’t ever fall in love. It’ll tear your heart up.”

“That would hurt.”

Lisa took a deep breath and said, “Yeah, Tara broke my heart big time, but you know what else?”


“I still have lots of friends. Like Marlee and Julie.”

“Julie’s nice. She’s brown.”

“Yeah, that’s true. Julie’s skin is a lot darker than ours.” Lisa chuckled. “But don’t worry. I have a lot of friends who are happy to hang out with me.”

“Friends are fun ‘cept when they break your stuff.”

“Geez, you’re right about that.”

Lisa’s mother knocked on the open bedroom door just as Lisa finished her sister’s braid. “C’mon, Sweetpea. Let’s leave Lisa alone for another hour. She’s has to do her homework.”

“Thanks, Mom.”

Her mother smiled and then ushered the three year old out of the room. “Thank you for taking them to the playground while I do Mrs. Winfred.”

“Another perm?”

“Unfortunately, but she pays cash, so I’m not complaining. And since your father’s got that big roofing job at the library, he’ll be gone all day and can’t fuss about the smell. Oh, if Lynnie gives you a hard time about going to the playground, tell her she can sit on the bench and read her book.”


Her mother started to back out and close the door, but Lisa blurted, “Mom, can I go to Marlee’s tomorrow? To play catch?”

“After church? Sure.”

“Geez, Mom. Of course after church.”

“Okay, we’ll drop you off on the way home. Bring your softball stuff and a change of clothes with you.”

Lisa didn’t have a chance to answer because Bridget ran back into the room and blurted. “Weesa, don’t get your heart tord up, today.”

Too late, Lisa thought. “Okay, I won’t.”

Lisa’s mother smiled, but raised an inquisitive eyebrow. Lisa shrugged and grinned sheepishly.

As soon as the door closed, Lisa pulled her geometry textbook from her backpack and leaned back against her pillow.

She read the first homework problem out loud. “Prove that the diagonal of a parallelogram creates two congruent triangles.” She drew the diagram in her notebook and tapped the pencil on the paper. She knew it was an easy proof, but she couldn’t focus. With a sigh she slammed the book shut and tossed it on the bottom of her bed. The notebook followed. “Who cares if two triangles are congruent?” she mumbled. She wasn’t in the right frame of mind for geometry. She’d ask Julie how to do it later when they went to the movies.

Lisa opened the drawer on her bedside stand. She reached way in the back and pulled out her journal. Tucked inside was her favorite extra fine blue gel pen, just where she’d left it. She uncapped the pen and began writing.

Tara: The Good Things

1. Tara was my first and only girlfriend.

2. Tara’s hot.

3. Tara didn’t care that I’m a five foot nine sequoia.

4. Tara’s the first girl I ever kissed. (And only!)

Lisa had met Tara at the State Univeristy New York Rockville softball camp downstate in Cayuga County the summer before. Lisa had just finished ninth grade. She hugged the journal to her chest as she remembered.

The drive to the camp in Cayuga County was long–about three and a half hours. She hugged her mother goodbye in the parking lot in the Rockville College campus and instant homesickness squeezed her chest before her mother had even gotten back in the family minivan. Lisa had never been away from her family before. With three siblings under the age of ten, she knew she should have been happy to have a week away from that madness, but she couldn’t help missing her family immediately.

She watched her mother drive away, tears hazing her vision. She jumped when one of the older girls said, “Catcher, huh?”

Lisa nodded and wiped at her tears. When she could finally see clearly, she looked up into the most perfect pair of hazel eyes she’d ever seen.

“Let me help you with your gear.” The older girl picked up the bag of catcher’s equipment.

Lisa’s breath caught in her throat for a second until she remembered her manners. “Oh, thanks.”

“I’m Tara.” The older girl smiled and stuck out her hand.

Lisa grabbed the offered hand. “Thanks. I don’t, uh; I don’t know where I’m supposed to go.”

“Here, let me see your registration form.”

Lisa reached into the back pocket of her shorts and handed Tara the rumpled form. While Tara looked it over, Lisa took in Tara’s tanned skin and perfect shoulder length brown hair. Lisa suddenly felt giant and awkward in front of this hot girl.

“Oh, cool,” Tara said. “You’re in my dorm. Coach Greer’s our resident supervisor. She’s a pushover.”

Lisa walked side by side with Tara and couldn’t help but register the girl’s strong gait and confident manner.
This cute girl would probably die if she knew I was checking her out
, Lisa thought. Up until that point Lisa had only come out to one person—herself. No one else on the planet knew she was gay. She hadn’t had the nerve to tell anybody.

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