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chery gillmore

You’ve Got a Friend…

Excerpt from A Friend Request…sequel novel to Uncommon Bond  

There were a lot of kids I knew from high school attending Illinois State. There were also a lot of new kids from surrounding Illinois and out-of-state towns that I didn’t know. That was one of the reasons I was going to the Battle of the Bands “mixer” at the Student Union tonight. But the main reason was Jerry Parker.

I met … Jerry the first day of classes last month. He was one of those new kids. We both had Psych 101 at 7:20 a.m. in the huge, tiered lecture hall. He came strolling into class that first Monday morning 15 minutes late! The professor had already taken roll and was explaining the syllabus when Jerry stopped by his desk, pointed to his name on the roster and then headed for the nearest empty seat…right next to me.

Tall and thin with long dark hair almost to his shoulders and sporting wire-rimmed glasses, Jerry wasn’t that clean cut, all-American preppy kid that I was used to seeing in Macomb. Instead he was dressed in faded bell bottom jeans, an army jacket with a black t-shirt underneath and sandals. Somehow it all worked. He had that hippie look. Whatever it was he had working for him, it was working on me. I liked him the minute I saw him. Jerry was 19.

He appeared a bit disheveled and disorganized as he slid into the desk chair next to mine. He shoved all but the psych book underneath the chair and then picked up several cigarettes he’d dropped, shoving them back into the pack he kept in a pocket of his army jacket. Once he was settled he looked over and checked the page number I was on, turned in his book to that page and then flashed this wide, friendly grin at me and said quietly, in almost a whisper…

“Hi! I’m Jerry Parker and you are?”

And with those few words…my friendship with Jerry Parker began.



James Taylor & Carole King – You’ve Got a Friend