Chapter 19

Henry took Jane home and made sure she was resting before he took off again.

“Where are you going Henry?”

“I got some errands to run Jane. Don’t you worry about nothing. I got it all under control.”

“You aren’t going to go see that Kurt guy are you?”

“Now what makes you think that doll? Like I said, don’t worry.”

He gave her a peck on the forehead  and then turned around and went to find his mom.

“Mom will you keep an eye out on Jane? She fell out of one of the swings today. She says she isn’t hurt, but I would feel a lot better if you checked in on her while I was gone.”

Carol asked,”When you coming back? I don’t have time to be babysitting her all day.”

“I won’t be gone that long Mom. Just do it for me because you love me.”

He walked over and gave her a kiss on the cheek and she smiled at him and said,”Alright, but just for a while.”

“Thanks Mom, you’re the best.”

Henry left, he was on a mission. He was going to find out what in the world this guy Kurt was after. He went back to the lake. He glanced around the parking lot but didn’t see the creep’s car. Upon leaving there he went back into town.

Driving past the garage he saw the car. He slammed on his brakes and backed up, and pulled in. He went inside and didn’t see Kurt at first. His buddies waved and motioned him to come to where they were. A few of them were under one car checking out the brakes.

“Where’s Kurt? I don’t see him anywhere?”

Tom pointed towards the bathroom.”He’s been in there about half an hour. Must be really having some issues this morning.” All the guys laughed and asked Henry, “What ya looking for him for? Did he do something again?”

“What you mean again? Has he been in trouble before?”

“Ya a little but nothing ever came from it. Some high school gal called the cops on him. Saying he tried to force himself on her. He denied it, said he didn’t even know her.”

Kurt came walking up and Fred asked, “Did you spray back there? Smells like a skunk died in here.”

“Very funny and ya I sprayed.”

Henry turned and looked Kurt right in the eyes and before Kurt could say a word, Henry punched him right in the face. Kurt’s head took a right turn and he touched his face. When he looked down at his hands he saw blood.

“Hey, what gives? Why in the hell you hitting me? What did I ever do to you?”

“This is a warning Kurt my friend. Stay the hell a way from my wife. She isn’t yours to glare at or talk to. She belongs to me. If I see you around her again, blood isn’t the worst thing you will see. You will see your head twisted around your ass.”

“I never touched her Henry, I swear. What ever she is telling you, she is lying. These guys here can vouch for me. I never touched her.”

“Well, don’t even be looking her way, got it? Just stay a way from her. This is your one and only warning.”

Kurt walked a way with his tail between his legs. He got in his car and sped off.

“What was that all about buddy? Did Kurt do something to your gal too?”

Henry explained, “Jane said that when she was in here last time with me, Kurt made her feel funny. She said he wouldn’t take his eyes off of her.”

“Yeah, I remember that creep following her all the way to the bathroom. Said he didn’t want her to get lost.

A woman giving a man a kiss on the cheek

Gee, how big is this place anyways?”

Henry and Tom had a good laugh over it but Henry asked Tom, “Can you just keep an eye on that guy? Something about him I just don’t trust.”

“Sure Henry, sure, I got your butt covered.”

Henry continued to watch the guys for a while longer and then he said he was leaving. He went over to the bowling alley to check his schedule. He drove around town for a while just thinking about that guy Kurt. Feeling confident that he had made his point very clear he finally decided to go on home.

Pulling in the drive-way he heard screaming. He ran into the house and found his mom laying on the floor. He raced into his bedroom and there was Kurt, wrestling with Jane.

Chapter 13

Hair rollers

While Jane was home rolling her hair for the wedding the next day Henry was hard at work. The pins were acting up and weren’t falling into their slots like they were supposed to. He was constantly running from one end to the other replacing them.

He only stepped out twice to take a quick smoke and then back to work. The bowling alley was noisy tonight. He could hear lots of laughter coming from out front. It sounded like a bunch of drunks were bowling. He thought that explains the messed up pins and the gutter balls in the return lane.

Jane painted her fingernails and toenails. She had her prettiest dress lying on the bed. She stared at it imagining how she was going to look while her nails dried. She and Henry were getting married in Henry’s parents home. Carol insisted on this. She had commented about getting married in front of strangers.

Carol was home and had spent half the day cleaning and the other half putting ham on pretty party plates and cutting up cheese. She had bought some fancy crackers and had bought some orange sherbet and some 7-up for something to drink. She laid the buns on the table so they would be easy to open. She sat out the plates and plastic cups and napkins. She had splurged and picked up some nuts and mints. Everything was ready.

She was exhausted. She didn’t remember when she had worked this hard in a long time. When she was finished she gazed at her kitchen and living room and thought this is it. This is as good as it gets.

After she turned out the kitchen lights she went in and soaked her tired body. George had not lifted a finger to help her and yet there he laid on the couch fast asleep with the newspaper half covering his face.

The night finally ended for Henry and he clocked out. Well wishers said words to him as he left the building. As he got to his car he noticed Jane was not standing near by. Where was she? I told her to meet me here after work.

He got in his car and drove over to her house. After a couple of knocks Debbie answered the door and said, “Well tomorrow is the big day almost son-in-law. Are you ready for it? It’s not too late to back out if you want to”.

“I don’t want to back out. I love her. Where is she by the way”?

“She’s been locked in her room most of the day. She has been primping all day and getting her last-minute things together. You can go on back and see her. You are almost married now”. She laughed as she closed the door behind him and went to sit in the living room and watch some television.

“Hey babe, you in there”? Henry asked. Jane answered the door trying to cover up her rollers. “Is this the worst I am going to see you doll? If so, I think I can handle it”. Jane slapped him on the arm and said, “You aren’t supposed to be seeing me this soon to the wedding. What are you doing here”?

“Hey you were supposed to meet me after work. When you didn’t show I figured I would come over and see what’s going on”.

“I had so much to do Henry. It just took a lot more time than I figured. I am sorry I wasn’t there. Can you ever forgive me”? She planted a big kiss on his soft lips and then chuckled. “Soon enough we won’t have to say good-bye at the door anymore. We can be in each others arms all we want”.

Henry had already thought plenty about this and he took her and tossed her back on her bed. She let out a gasp and said, “Hey what about my hair? You knocked one of my curlers out”.

Henry ignored her as he lay on top of her and played with her rollers. He tickled her and she wiggled so much two more rollers came out. He leaned over and picked them up from the floor and handed them back to her.

He kissed her lips and then reached his hand under her skirt. “Hey, I already had my bath Henry. I don’t want to take another one. Let’s save it for tomorrow night. By the way, what if my mom tried to come in”?

“Yeah, you are right doll. I guess I can hold off for now. But I am telling you tomorrow night is another story. You are not going to be able to have any excuses then. I have a surprise for you too Jane. A very special surprise”.

“Really? What is it? Tell me”. Henry rolled off of her and said, “Nope I am not going to tell you. I said it is a surprise. I know you are going to just love it though”. Henry walked towards the door to leave and she followed him.

“I love you Henry. I can’t wait to be your wife”.

“I love you too doll. We are going to have a great life together”, Henry told her. With this he gave her a quick kiss and then disappeared. Jane stood staring at the door still being able to feel his lips on hers. She thought, we are the luckiest people in the world. She patted her belly and whispered, we are going to give you a good life little baby. We both love you very much and tomorrow we are going to make this all legal.

She put the rollers back in her hair and played with her make-up deciding exactly which colors she was going to use. She had light pink nails so she decided on the pink lipstick. Her mom had let her borrow the gold necklace that she herself had worn on her own wedding day.

She went over mentally at all she had done and double-checked to make sure she was missing nothing. She went out to the kitchen and got herself a soda out of the fridge. Her mom saw her and laughed at her hair. Debbie commented, ” You did a good job. You didn’t ask for any help. You are going to be fine”. With this Jane nodded and then went back to her room

Chapter 12

English: Pin setter boys at a Pittsburgh bowli...

Life looked good from the outside. Henry had two jobs. He bagged groceries through the day for a few hours and then he went to his full-time job in the evenings at the bowling alley. He was ready for the next step.

Tomorrow he was going to get hitched. Jane and him were doing what was right. They were going to have a kid and that kid deserved two parents. He thought about his own parents and how he wished that things were different in some areas but at least he had them both.

After breakfast was finished, he hopped in his car and went over to Jane’s house. She opened the door before he even had a chance to knock. “What you doing doll? You packing up some of your clothes? I wanted to come over and see if you had anything ready that I could take to the house before I went to work”.

Jane led him to her bedroom and he looked at the bags laying on her bed. ” I guess you have been the busy beaver. Look at all this crap. Are you sure you really need all this stuff? Aren’t I enough for you to live on”?

Jane laughed and said, ” I must have clothes silly goose. You don’t want me walking around naked in front of you parents do you”?

Henry snickered as he thought of Jane scampering through the house with a big belly. “Nope, I don’t want you showing yourself to anyone but me baby. Your body is just for me. Besides, I was just playing with you. I guess I will start loading up your precious clothes and then get to work”.

Jane gave him a peck on the forehead and helped him carry the bags to the front door. He loaded them and then kissed her goodbye. They planned to meet after his final shift at the bowling alley. He started to leave and turned back to her and asked,”You do have your blood test right babe? You know the big day is tomorrow”.

“Yes, quit worrying, get to work or you will be late. You got your test, and I got mine. Now get going”. They both laughed and waved at each other and then he took off. It took him longer to get her stuff in the car so he would just take care of it between jobs.

He went to work at the grocery store. He really did like his job, he was thinking. Lot of people coming in and out. Some days good tips for loading up their cars. He was bagging one lady’s  groceries and when he was finished he took them to her car. After making sure the cart was empty he turned to leave and she called out to him.”Hang on there Henry. I got something for you”.

She got in her purse and pulled out a card saying,”I found out you are getting married tomorrow from some of the ladies that work here. Hope you don’t mind them blabbing your news. Anyways, I wanted to give you this card”.  Henry looked at the card and started to place it in his apron and she said, “Wait, don’t leave. Open it now. I want to see your eyes”.

Henry gave her that special grin that showed two dimples. He tore open the card and saw it was a congratulations  card. Inside was a check for one hundred dollars. He started to say something but she interrupted him by saying,” Now don’t you go and say anything Henry. You are a good boy and you work hard. Take this money and use it for something you two can use”.

Henry leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He said,”Gee’s Mrs. T, I just don’t know what to say. All I can think of is thanks”.

“That is all I wanted to hear. Now go back to work before I get you in trouble. Have a good day tomorrow”. She turned and got in her car and he waved to her as she was leaving. He tucked the money into his billfold and went back to work whistling. He knew exactly what he was going to do with this money.

His four-hour shift ended in no time and he punched out and drove home. He took the bags two at a time and took them inside. Placing them on his bed, he opened each of them to just take a peek at what she had brought. Dang do all women need this many clothes? I don’t even have half this much. I better make some space in my closet for her and empty out a couple of drawers.

Henry spent the rest of his free time getting the room all in shape for his new wife. He changed the sheets, rearranged his dresser and closet. After he finished he heard his stomach rumbling so went out to the kitchen

His mom was sitting there working one of those crossword puzzles. ” Got anything good to eat mom? I’m starving”.

“There should be something there Henry, just take a look. I noticed you bringing in all those bags. Are those Jane’s belongings”?

“Yeah mom they are. She sure does have a lot of stuff doesn’t she”?

“I hope that is it. You won’t have any room to sleep if anymore is brought. She can just leave the rest of her stuff at her house. When you two get your own place then you can crowd up your own home”. The two laughed and Henry started pulling out left-over chicken and some of his mom’s home-made potato salad.

“Tomorrow is the big day Henry. Are you sure you want to go through this? Just because she is going to have a baby, doesn’t mean you have to marry her”.

“Mom, I love Jane. I want to marry her. Sure I wasn’t expecting some kid right a way, but I want to do what’s right”. Carol got up and went over and ruffled his wavy hair. The two smiled at each other and then she left him to eat.

Henry cleaned up his mess and then changed clothes and off to his other job he went. Clocking in he went to the back and Carl was waiting for him. “I hear that you’re getting hitched tomorrow Henry. I hope you will be very happy. Here is a card from all of us here at work. Good luck kid, and by the way, I heard you did a really good job last night, keep it up”.

“Thanks boss, and thanks for the card. I am sure we are going to do just fine. When you find a girl like Jane you want to snap her up before someone else turns her head”. With that being said the two laughed and then the boss left him to do his job.

Henry opened up his second card and it was signed by everyone. There was also a fifty dollar bill laying there. Wow, I feel so rich. One hundred and fifty dollars. He tucked it a way with the other money and went to work.

Chapter 11

English: The first bowling alley in kabul, Afg...

Henry listened to some music on his radio before getting ready to go to his new job. He laid on his bed staring at the ceiling, thinking about him and Jane and the new baby. I wonder if it will be a boy or a girl. I wonder if it will look like me or maybe her. As long as it’s healthy, that’s all I care about. Ten fingers ten toes as they say.

He almost drifted off in to dreamland and then without thinking looked at his alarm clock. Oh crap, where did the time go. He jumped up from the bed and put a clean shirt on. All finished and checking his hair out in the mirror, he closed the door behind him and went and told his parents he was leaving.

At the bowling alley, the smoke was thick. Sounds of balls hitting the floors and laughter echoed from the padded walls. He saw Carl and walked towards him. Carl said,” This here guy standing beside me is the one that is going to train you Henry. Say hi to Bud”. The two shook hands and then Bud led the way to the back.

It looked like a complicated mess. Lots of metal and pin holders. A real mechanical set-up. It was cold back here. No padded walls, no nice paint on the walls. The floors were supposed to be white but were yellowed from years of being neglected.

Bud went to the pin drop machines and explained. ” Your job kid is to stay back here and watch all of these machines. If all the pins don’t drop, you put one in manually. If a ball doesn’t return out front, catch it here and slide it down the return rack. This isn’t a hard job at all. In fact on a good night, it can be down right boring.

If you are going to smoke, make sure you step out that back door there”. He pointed towards the rear door. ” You got any questions kid? What did you say your name is”?

“Henry, that’s my name. No Bud, I don’t have any questions. You going to be hanging around in case I do run into a snag”?

“Sure, I will be here until the joint closes. You see that black wall phone over there? Dial 0 if you run into any problems. Well, I gotta get back up front. Good luck kid, I mean Henry”.

Henry found a chair and thought the best thing to do was place it right in the middle of the machines. He sat down and started watching. Man, they move fast. It seems like when one is returning another one is coming.

He had been sitting there for about an hour when one of the pins didn’t drop. He had missed it but soon heard buzzing sounds. He saw a red light on one of the machines and found out it was a speaker. He could hear pins didn’t drop. You asleep back there at the wheel?

He grabbed a new pin and as he placed it in the empty slot, he pushed the red buzzer and said,”sorry folks, new here tonight. I will try to watch better”. He heard clapping out front, and he knew all was alright now with lane number nine.The night went pretty smooth from then on. He went out back on his break and took a couple of drags off his smokes. He thought to himself, wonder what Jane is doing. No one has let me know if she is here.

Before he knew it, the shift was over. The bowling alley became quiet. He walked back out front to punch out on the time clock and saw the janitor sweeping the lanes. He waved to him and punching the clock, checked his schedule and then told the boss goodbye and walked out the front door.

He had parked his car in the very back of the parking lot, boss’s orders. Supposed to leave room for the paying customer.  He got in the driver’s seat and was about to put the key in the ignition when a pair of hands covered his eyes from the back.

At first he was shocked then went in to attack mode, then he recognized the words guess who. He turned around and the first thing that came out of his mouth were, “geesh Jane, I could have hurt you real bad. You scared the crap out of me”.

Jane said,”Well come back here in the back seat baby, and I will show you how sorry I am”. Henry wasted no time in getting to the back seat. He kissed her on her lips and then started tickling her. She started screaming and laughing and he placed his hand over her mouth saying, “don’t scream baby, you want the boss to call the cops? How would it look if the cop tapped on the window and saw us doing this”.

“Doing what? All we are doing is laughing and having a good time”, Jane said. Henry pulled her to him her head falling to rest on the arm rest. He lifted her skirt and slid her panties off. He felt her warm flesh. He felt where the baby was growing. He was thinking, this is all mine. My baby, my woman.

Her leaned over her and kissed her lips and then moved down her neck, letting his tongue find its way through every delicate piece of flesh. He smelled her perfume and ran his fingers through her hair.

He ran his hand down her legs. They were so soft and as he re-visited her woman hood, she raised to him and a soft moan came deep within her throat. Henry wasted no time in taking her. It was quick but they both were satisfied.

Helping her to get dressed, he zipped up his pants and gave her a quick peck  and got back in the front seat. He asked,”What you waiting for doll? Get your cute little rear up here with me. You know I don’t like driving alone”. She grinned at him and hopped over the front seat. Putting her one arm around his neck and the other arm between his legs, he started the car and drove her home.

Chapter 10

Cline at WSM studios in Nashville, Tenn. in 1963

Henry pulled into the bowling alley parking lot. He had been here a few times. Went bowling with friends, but bowled so bad he never went back. When he walked inside it was pretty quiet.

He could smell coffee coming from the little cafe on the side. He head a few pins being knocked down. As he looked out over the lanes, he saw one family sharing some time together. He thought, that could be me and my kid some day.

Other than the family of bowlers he didn’t see anyone else. He walked over to the cafe and grabbed a cup of coffee and put his dime in the money cup. He took it over to the red table and sat down. Wonder who runs this place. They on vacation?

A bald man came out of the back office. He had a big gut and the bottom button was left undone. Probably too fat to get it buttoned. The guy noticed Henry sitting there and walked up to him.

“Can I help you kid”? Henry stood up and extended his left arm out. Shaking hands Henry said, ” I  heard you are looking for a set-up man. I came right over when I heard about it. Are you still looking for someone”?

Carl, the owner said, “Ya, I am still looking, who’s interested”?

“I am. I need some more money. Got a kid coming on the way and I need more hours. I work over part-time at the grocery store bagging groceries. It is an ok job, but won’t do enough for me”, Henry said.

“You got your girl knocked up huh kid. Pretty stupid thing to do if you ask me, but who’s asking? This job pays every week. It is a late-nite job. You come in around 7 and you work until we close at midnite. It pays sixty cents an hour. You interested”?

“I sure am sir. When can I start”?

“How about tonight? My name is Carl but you can call me boss”. Henry reached out his hand and shook on  the deal with Carl and putting his hat back on he turned and left, yelling back at the guy, “See ya tonight and thanks”.

Henry was smiling and whistling his way to his car. He had done it. He had landed himself another part-time job. With these two jobs he now had a full-time job. Wait til I tell Jane and the guys.

He got in his car and took off a little faster than he should. Dirt scattered in the parking lot. He saw a cop sitting on the next corner but he must have been eating his donut as he didn’t do a thing.

He went over to Jane’s house and jumped out of the car and raced to the house. Banging on the door, it wasn’t long before it opened, with Jane standing there. Henry grabbed her by the waist and picked her up and swung her around. She started giggling and telling him,” put me down Henry. Right now”. Henry ignored her as he continued to swing her.

“I got another job doll. I am going to be working over at the bowling alley. Going to be a night job. I am going to bag groceries through the day and then go set-up pins at night”. Jane’s face went from giggles to frowns.

“When we going to have time to see each other Henry? If you work day and night when you going to fit me in”? Henry let her down and tried to think of the perfect answer. He didn’t want any fighting to start. He knew what he was doing was the right thing.

“Oh doll, you know I will be with you every minute I can. You know how much I love you. We are going to have to help mom and dad out when we start staying there. We can’t expect them to feed us every meal can we? This way we can have time together alone. We can go to the restaurant and get a burger, then we can go to our special spot and be together”. He winked at her and she recognized that wink. Sex, is that all men ever think about? Isn’t that how I got myself in this position, by having sex?

Jane smiled at him. She knew in her heart that he was right, but she was going to miss him. “So, when you going to start this new job”?

“Tonight at 7. Maybe you can come over and see me on my break. I got to get going doll. I have to be at work in in a few hours and I’m starving”. With this, he reached down and squeezed her real hard placing a hard kiss on her lips. She gasped for air, but when he turned around to wave as he was leaving he saw that smile. Her smile melted his heart every time he saw it. “Remember, next Saturday, you and me, getting hitched”. Jane had no time to respond as he climbed in his car and spinning his tires took off.

He drove home with his radio cranked. Patsy Cline was singing Crazy, and Henry thought to himself, ya crazy, crazy for you doll. He pulled in the drive and went inside. His mom was washing dishes and she smiled at him as he entered the room. As he was getting some ham out of the refrigerator, he said,”I got a job mom. I mean I got another job to go along with my baggers job. You won’t have to worry about me and Jane living here as much now mom. We won’t be any problem. We will try to find our own food to eat so you and dad won’t have to worry about your budget”.

He got the bread out and the ketchup and made himself two sandwiches. He poured himself a tall glass of milk and sat down at the table to eat. Carol remarked,” Honey you aren’t going to be any problem. It’s that girl you are going to have living here. I worry how she and I are going to get along. Does she talk much? You know I have my own routine and I don’t want someone yakking in my ear all day”.

“Ah mom, don’t worry. Jane’s quiet. She will stay out of your way. She will probably sleep a lot being pregnant. You won’t even know she is here”. With that his mom came over and tugged on his ear and smiled down at him. Then she turned and left the kitchen, the dishes being done.