What Is Love, Charlie Brown?

It was summertime and that meant three things-baseball, Ace's and summer camp. Peppermint Patty was especially thrilled for the summer and all its glory. She smiled as she rested by the ol' oak; not sleeping, just resting her eyes.

"Room for one more?" asked Charlie Brown as he stood in front of her. She opened her eyes to see him there.

"You know the drill, Chuck-o." Peppermint Patty smiled, pointing at his usual spot by the oak.

Charlie Brown smiled and ruffled her hair playfully before sitting on the opposite side of her. "What's on your mind?"

Peppermint Patty shrugged. She didn't have much on her mind, to be honest. She soon caught herself humming a song she sang to Charlie Brown years earlier. He noticed and decided to burst into song. She stopped him by speaking up.

"I still don't understand love."

Charlie Brown shrugged. "Who does?"

Peppermint Patty sighed as she rolled over to face him. "We're thirteen now. From your experience, explain love to me, Chuck. Please?"

The lovable loser chuckled as he decided on what to tell her. "Well from how Frieda and I got together, we let our love grow organically and actually went out a few times after our first date. And our love grew stronger. Kind of like you and Franco. Your love grew overtime and now you two are inseparable."

The tomboy smiled in agreement before commenting back playfully. "At least you didn't say love is seeing a cute girl walk by, or that story about your dad and his car."

Charlie Brown laughed as he remembered the story of his dad and the car he once owned and how he told the story once at the carnival, over pink cotton candy. He smiled and looked back at her. "Well, I am starting to mature a bit, Patty."

"No wonder, Chuck, that you got a sweet gal like Frieda." Peppermint Patty said with a yawn. "Sorry, Chuck. Didn't sleep well last night."

"Were your dad and step mom on a late night date?" Charlie Brown asked.

Peppermint Patty shook her head. "Actually, I had something on the brain. Remember all those ball games you lost?"

"Yeah. Why?"

"Well, you kept losing and losing and losing. Why didn't you ever throw in the towel for good?"

"You see, Patty, no matter how many new managers come along, it's not the manager that's the problem. It's the players. They need motivation! They need compassion! They need someone who understands them and their individual desires! They need someone to set aside quarrels and help them with their weaknesses."

"And?"

"And my team wasn't as mature as before."

"You know, Chuck, I could've really whipped your team into shape; but instead, I'm still teaching Marcie the proper terms of baseball."

"Yeah. Nothing beats baseball; except romantic dates, family and feeding the dog."

"Chuck?"

"Yeah?"

"They say a kiss on the lips is romantic. Is that true?"

"As true as all those freckles on your cheeks and the smile on your face."

"Oh. Just curious. They also say life is like a box of chocolates. What chocolates have you gotten?"

"Coconut and the really sweet ones."

"Same here. Even those bitter ones with no sugar. How do people like them?"

Charlie Brown chuckled at her comment. This summer looked pretty amusing already. "You know, Peppermint Patty, that reminds me of some-"

He was gonna ramble about something he learned from his dad, but was cut off to the sound of raspy snoring. He leaned over to find Peppermint Patty sound asleep, back against the tree bark and oblivious to the sun beaming down on her skin.

"Sleep well, Patty. Sweet dreams." Charlie Brown whispered as he waited for Frieda to arrive for their date at Ace's. he smiled as he saw her arrive towards the oak tree. "Hi baby."

"Hi honey." Frieda smiled happily, decked out in a crop top and short jeans with holes in them. She had a sunhat on and her naturally curly hair was pulled back in a ponytail. "Ready for our date? Linus and Eudora are awaiting us."

"I sure am." Charlie Brown smiled as he got up from his spot and followed her to Ace's. "Have I ever told you the story of my dad's car?"

"No." Frieda shook her head. "But do tell me."

Charlie Brown smiled. "Well, Frieda, years ago, my dad owned a black 1934 two-door sedan. He told me that there was this really cute girl, see? She used to go for rides with him in his car. And whenever he'd call for her, he would always hold open the car door for her. After she got in and he had closed the door, he'd walk around the back of the car to the driver's side, but before he could get there, she would reach over and press the button, locking him out. Then she'd just sit there and wrinkle her nose and grin at him. I once told Peppermint Patty that that's what I think love is."

Frieda smiled. "If we ever own a two-door sedan, Charlie Brown, can I lock you out of it and then wrinkle my nose and grin at you before letting you in again?"

"All the time, Frieda. All the time." Charlie Brown smiled as he wrapped her in his arms, kissing her on the lips.

THE END