Chapter 17


English: Morning mist on Lake Mapourika, New Z...

Henry and Jane went out into the kitchen where his mom was writing a grocery list.

“What don’t you like to eat Jane?” Carol asked as she looked up from her list.

“Oh don’t worry about me. I eat about anything except liver and spinach. Those two things just give me the shivers thinking about them.”

“You don’t have to worry there. We don’t eat that shit either.” Everyone laughed and this relieved the tension a little. The two ladies put their heads together and picked out food choices everyone liked. Henry stood in the background listening and chomping on an apple.

“Are you eating again?” his mom asked him.

“I’m a growing boy Mom, give me some slack.”

“You are no longer a growing boy. You are a man with a wife and a baby on the way. Get used to it.” Henry and Jane exchanged looks and then asked if Carol if she needed anything else.

The conversation ended and Carol got ready to go to the store. Henry and Jane went out back and sat on the porch. They talked about when he had to go back to work.”You have to go back tomorrow already?”

“Yeah baby, we gotta have some money. Going to cost to feed us and the new kid coming.”

The two fiddled with each others fingers and started poking each other making laughter ring in the air. Carol came out and said, “See you kids later.” After she left Jane slid her hand down her new husband’s leg. He did the same to her. Soon hands were being placed and the two got up and walked in the house. Once inside their bedroom he slid her blouse off and then her skirt. He laid her back on the bed and for the next half an hour time slipped a way from them.

Getting dressed Henry asked her,”What ya want to do today? Anything special?”

“I don’t care. Whatever you want to do is fine with me.”

He grabbed her hand and led her out to his car. Giving her a smack on her butt she got in and the two took off. They parked at the garage where his buddies worked and they both went inside.

“Hey guys, look who I brought with me. Guys meet Jane. She is now my wife” Whistles were heard through the garage as his friends gave their approval. Once again they gathered around the famous table and talked.

“So you’re the gal we always hear about.”

“He never told us you were so darn pretty. Guess he was afraid to? Everyone laughed. One of the workers there couldn’t seem to take his eyes off of Jane. Jane could feel his stare burning into her flesh. She pulled her shirt collar a little closer to her neck and when she glanced at him he smiled at her.

“Is there a bathroom I could use?” Jane asked.

Kurt, the guy who couldn’t take his eyes off of her jumped up from his seat and said, “Ya back in the corner. I will be glad to show you where it is.” Jane glanced down at Henry but he missed her look and she ended up being led by Kurt.

When he stopped they were standing in front of a tall narrow door. Kurt said,”Henry never told us how gorgeous you are. You sure are a looker. Don’t worry I won’t try anything. There’s a lock on the other side of the door.” She looked at him and then went through the door and immediately locked it.

When she opened the door there he stood. “I thought I better walk you back up front. In case you forgot how you got back here.”

“I would have been fine. I think I know my way, but thanks for waiting.” The two walked back up to the group of guys. Before sitting down Jane tugged at Henry’s shirt. “My stomach feels a little funny. Do you think we could leave?”

“Sure baby. Well guys I will catch ya all later.” The two left the garage and when they were in the car Jane turned in her seat and asked Henry,”That guy Kurt, is he a good friend of yours?”

“Why do you ask? I don’t know him that well. He works here and he always hangs with us during break times. I don’t think he has worked here very long. Probably about as long as I have been at the bowling alley.”

Jane didn’t say anything. “Did something happen Jane? Did he make a move on you? By God he better not have. You are my wife and I would hate to have to show him who’s boss.”

Jane didn’t want anyone fighting, especially over her. “No, no nothing happened. I thought he just looked familiar to me. I must have run into him somewhere, maybe the grocery store or at the burger joint.”

If her voice sounded unsettled or strange, Henry didn’t pick up on it. “Hey, about going down to the lake for a while. The lake should be pretty quiet now. The weather is beginning to change. Maybe it will just be us. Wanna have some fun?”

Jane looked at him with that special smile and Henry pinched her cheeks. “Come on, let’s go have some fun.”

Chapter 14


The next morning Henry popped out of bed. He was ready to start the day. He got dressed

English: Old-School Barber Shop. Defiantly ana...

and then went to the kitchen for breakfast. He was surprised to see his mom standing over the stove.

Carol said, ” I thought I would give you a little something extra for your big day and cook you breakfast”.

“Wow mom, this is a real surprise. You sure aren’t going to hear any arguing coming from me”. Henry said. His mom smiled at him and turned back to her fried eggs. She made it a little extra by adding a thick slice of fried bologna. She put the finished plate in front of him and Henry grabbed a glass of milk. “Sure smells good mom. Thanks a lot”.

He dug in and she left the room. After eating he went in and did his hair and yelling bye to his mom he left the house. He drove to the opposite side of town until he saw a nice looking motel.

After parking he went in and asked for a room. ” I need a special room for tonight. I am getting married today. I have cash”. The clerk smiled and had Henry fill out some paper work. He took the groom’s money and then handed him the room key.

Henry decided he better check the room out. He opened the door and flipped the lights on. Nice big bed and looks clean. He turned around and walked out feeling satisfied this would work.

He drove back into town and stopped at a small jewelry store. Once at the counter he asked, ” Do you have any plain bands? I need a gold band”. The clerk showed him a few styles and Henry decided on one that had engraved flowers on it. ” I will take this but first, how much is it”? The clerk told him and Henry smiled. “Yes, I will take this one. Do you have one of those boxes to put it in”?

The salesman smiled and after collecting the money he placed the ring in a black box and put it in a sack. Handing it to Henry the clerk smiled and said, ” Good luck son”.

He decided to go hang out at the garage for a little bit. He still needed to get a hair cut but that wasn’t going to take long. The wedding was at four. He had some time to kill. He walked in and his buddies said, “Where ya been? We haven’t seen you lately”? ” Hey Henry, we thought you went and died or something”.

“Nah, I have just been busy. Between the two jobs and spending time with Jane my time just slips by too fast”, Henry said. The guys stopped what they were doing since it was almost lunch time

and they each grabbed a bottle of pop. Sitting down at the bench they played catch-up.

“You all know I am getting married today don’t you”? Henry asked them.

“What? You’re getting married”? “Well you old dog you. You are going to go and get yourself hitched up”. ” Are you crazy fool? Getting married”?

They all laughed and asked about the details. Henry explained and then their break was over. For awhile Henry followed them to the cars they were working on. He watched until a customer came in and then said, ” Well I guess I will be getting out of here. I have things to do and people to see”. All the guys yelled bye to him and wished him good luck.

He felt his pants pocket making sure the box was still there. He looked up at the courthouse clock and decided to go ahead and get his hair cut. The barber shop was one of two in town. Both of them were small. His mom had always brought him to this place so he just continued to come. He remembered always being so fascinated with the barber shop pole. The red stripes going round and round.

He walked in and there was only one customer a head of him. He waved hello with his hand and the barber said, ” Hey Henry, nice to see you. You are next bud. Just have a seat”.

Henry sat down and picked up one of the few car magazines and sifted through it. He was about through all the photos and heard his name being called. ” So what you been up to since the last time I saw you Henry”?

“I have two jobs now Al. I still work at the grocery store. I also got a part-time job over at the bowling alley setting pins”.

“Well you know what they say. A busy mind stays out of trouble”, Al said with laughter.  Henry relaxed as his hair was being cut. The barber finished and was brushing talcum powder on his neck when Henry said, ” I am getting married today. Today is my last day for being a single guy”.

As Al was taking his money for the cut he wished Henry a good life. Well, everything was done now. He drove home and decided to take a bath and just hang around the house. He thought about taking a nap.

He was pleased to see his dad was mowing the yard when he pulled up. His dad waved at him and Henry waving back went on into the house. His mom was napping on the couch. The house smelled clean. He went to the refrigerator and got him a cold pop and saw that the kitchen table was set up for the wedding food.

He walked quietly passed his mom and went and started running his bath water. He shaved while his water was filling and then went and got some clean clothes out. Locking the bathroom door he sunk into the tub and thought, this is it  Henry. This is the big day. Today the girl I love will become my wife. I am the happiest guy alive.

Chapter 9


As Henry got into his car, he sat there thinking about his mom. Wow, what a load of crap

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she had carried all these years. No wonder she was so grouchy all the time. She has never forgiven herself. Well, I am not going to let this happen to my woman and me. I will work and take care of everything. I am not running away and leaving her to hang.

Henry started the car, not knowing where he was headed. Last night he had racked his brain trying to think of someone who was hiring. Nothing hit him though, so he was just going to drive around town until he saw something.

He drove by the filling station and saw a couple of his buddies trucks parked there. He pulled in and went inside. He found them in the garage side. They were working on a car that belonged to Tom,  his friend.

He walked over and patted Tom on the back and said with a grin,”Hi ya buddy, how’s it hanging”? Tom turned towards him with a jerk and said,” Hey there, you scared the hell out of me coming up and slamming me on the back like that. I am fine. We’re just messing around with Fred’s car here. He says he heard some kind of knocking sound when he was driving around last night”.

Henry walked under the car where it sat up on the rails and looked at the hoses. He didn’t see any drips. He thumped the tires and got out from underneath the car. The two buddies went back to work trying to find where the sound may be coming from. Henry watched, and then soon started for the door. Fred hollered out, “Where ya going buddy? Ya don’t have to leave. Stay around and keep us company. You haven’t got any better place to be”.

Henry turned back towards them and walked back towards them. ” Well, I have to find a job. I need some extra money”. Tom asked, ” What’s wrong with the job you have over at the grocery store? Aren’t you bagging enough ladies groceries”? Tom and Fred started laughing and elbowed each other. Henry said, “No, I need more money, more hours”. The friends both piped up and asked, ” Ya got your eyes on another baby to fix up”? Henry hung his head and then looked back at the guys and said, “Well you are half-right. I am looking for a baby, but not a car or truck, a real baby, my baby”.

The two men looked at him and Tom dropped his wrench while Fred dropped his mouth. They came out from under the car and walked closer to Henry. Fred said,” Come on over here to our little break room and pop a squat. Tell us what the hell you are talking about”.

Henry followed them over to the picnic bench and the three of them all lit a cigarette. Silence followed as they each tried to out do each other with smoke rings. Tom looked at Henry and commanded, “Speak, what the hell are you talking about”?

Henry replied with, ” It’s my woman Jane? She, well, she and I , well we’re gonna have a baby”. His two friends asked, ” How did you get yourself in that kind of spot man? Don’t ya know about the rubber? You do carry one in your wallet don’t ya”? Fred reached for his wallet and pulled out a  condom saying, ” Hopefully one day I will get to use this, but I keep it here for all emergencies”. Tom snickered and under his breath said,” Yeah, that will be the day when that thing gets used”.

The three started giggling and went back to puffing on their smokes as they digested what had been said. After putting their butts out in the ash tray the smiles left and Tom asked Henry,” Sounds like you have decided to keep this kid if you are out looking for more money. Got any plans? Have you told your parents yet”?

Henry came back with, ” Ya we told our parents. Fred asked, “We? You both told your parents? Oh wow, how did that go man? Did they want to beat you up and spit you out”? With that Henry stood up and pulled some change out of his pants pocket. He walked over to the pop machine and bought an orange pop. (In those days, orange pop, red pop, and root beer were the favorite sodas). The two followed his actions, getting one for themselves too.

They all sat back down and popped the caps and took a nice big swig. Burping and laughing they got serious again waiting for Henry’s reply. Henry said, ” Both parents took it better than I thought they would. Mine offered for Jane to move in with us until I can find more work”.

You could stick a fork in the silence it got so quiet. All three were pondering on how that was going to work out. Jane living with Henry’s mom. Fred was thinking, this should be better than any movie I have ever watched on the big movie screen. Tom was saying to himself, this is never gonna happen. Henry’s mom is way out there, a real nut case. Henry was thinking, mom may do a turn-a-round. Now that I know what she has been going through, she just may understand.

So, have you looked anywhere yet”? Tom asked. Henry told him, “No I haven’t. I have thought and thought but can’t think of a  place that is hiring”. “Well you’re in luck my friend. The bowling alley is hiring. They are looking for someone to set up pins. It is a shit job but it’s money, and money is what you’re after, right”? Henry thanked him for the tip and turned to leave saying, ” See ya all later. Gonna go over and check this job out”, and with this he walked out the door closing it behind him.

 

Free Write Friday, August 4th, 2012


When I was a small child, my brother and I were taken from our mother and placed with our father, and his mother and father to live. We lived here for what it seems for about one year.

We lived in a two-story house, which is white and had a wrap-a-round porch on the front. It had very little yard space to play in, and an alley ran on the side of the house, so for children it was not a safe play area. I believe when my mind goes back in time, we must have been between three and four years of age.

The upstairs of the house was where the bedrooms were placed, and although, I do know I was the age of being out of a baby bed, I can still have visions of sleeping in the same room where my father slept, in some form of a baby bed or maybe it was a toddlers bed.

I can remember waking up in the mornings and my father holding my hand as we walked safely down the long flight of stairs. It is strange how we can remember bits of pieces of our young days, but even today, all the pieces are not connected. The puzzle looks put together, and the cardboard waiting for the missing puzzle pieces has turned brown from old age and sitting empty.

It was at this house that I remember much chaos. I can remember a lot of yelling and fighting. I can remember getting strange feelings that I was in the way. It seems like there was words of I am doing what I have to do, not because I want to, but you put me in a position of being a mother again, said by my grandmother.

My father worked the evening shift at the local bowling ally, and his parents cared for us while he was at work. We were not allowed to make sounds, and we could only play with one toy at a time, but very quietly. I can remember seeing my brother laying on the floor, and rolling some sort of car, maybe the size of a hot wheels, back and forth on the floor, never making a noise.

My brother and I never had any bonding when we were young. One reason was for the lack of using our voices. Another was my brother didn’t talk much. His vocabulary was very limited due to  lack of being  taught, or communicated with in any other way than was necessary.

My brother was kept captured in a high chair for a good part of each day, so he would not get in to anything, and I can remember tears and crying from him. I don’t know what I did with myself for most of my days, but I can see now where I am in my own life and Al’s life, that how we were treated as young children definitely helped mold us into what we are today.

I still cling to being accepted. I go over board to try to please others, even when I know I am being used. I hear my brother’s words when he is upset,  saying no one has ever cared about him.

This is not true, but the molding that was formed when very small remains in his mind today. Our stepmother did her best to raise us, and I am pretty sure she loved us in the best way she could. There was never bonding between mom and us kids, in the times that are most important, but there was a love.

I do remember when we lived in the white house by the alley, there was an elementary school that sat right across from our house, and if I was very good, or our father was sleeping  later than usual, or our grandparents felt they needed more quiet time, they would tell me to go to the school ground across the street and swing on the swings. They showed they cared somewhat, because they would always point to the yellow warning sign with the children on the front, this is where you play and this is where you stay. If I look out my front window, and I don’t see you, you will get a licking when we find you.

I would go over and sit on the swings and swing alone. My brother would not be allowed to go with me, because of his age, I think. Sometimes, a little girl about my age would come to the school grounds and swing with me. I am sure we chatted or laughed or maybe we swung in silence, I can’t remember.

One day many years later, when I was grown, or thought I was grown, I worked at a local restaurant burger joint. There was lots of teenagers who worked there. A quiet, taller than most girls, worked there also, and mainly worked my shifts in the evenings. Eventually, she and I became friends, and we got close enough that we even started to stay over at each others houses on the weekends. Remember those slumber parties? This is what we had. Sue, her name, introduced me to one of her friends, and so the three of us formed our little circle of friends.

One night on one of these over night stays, conversations drifted to when we were young. I have no idea of what was really transpired, probably silly things, like cute boys! I do remember one thing though, and will never forget it.

Sue talked about where she lived when she was little and how she used to go to the school-house near her home and she would swing with a little lonely girl. Her mother would see the young child sitting all by herself, and would ask Sue to go over and keep her company.

Sue and I discovered we were each the little girls that swung together when we were very small. She lived one block from the school. I find it amazing how God brought us together once again, after all these years. We were like lost sisters come together once again.

Now, even years later, she lives in a town near by, and I see her once in a while, and we always stop for a moment or two to hurriedly catch up with what is happening in our lives now.

So many times when I go by a school today, and I see the yellow sign warning children at play, I go back to my youth, and try to choose the memories of the little girl on the swing who sat with me, and turn my back on the sad memories of confusion of wondering whether I was wanted or not.

 

Thank you Kellie for offering me another chance to write for your writing exercise prompts!

http://kellieelmore.com