Tag Archives: Sally

A Question and A Short Story

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Hello everyone. I hope all are well today. I’m staying close to the airconditioning with this 112 degree heat today.  We need rain here in Oklahoma as well as surrounding states. Put your prayer caps on and place it before God. Besides that I have a question concerning your Spam folder. Do you consider everything that goes to spam as bad? When I read some of it, it sounds sincere. I’ve been deleting all of it without responding. Please let me know what you do with your spam.

Since I’m so slow with my next chapter of Sally’s Warning, I am posting a short story called Be Care of What You ask. As I have learned personally,  you may not really want it.  Enjoy

Be Careful of What You Want

Downtown Atlanta

Rebecca Jenkins gets off the bus and begins her block long walk, grumbling with every step.I don’t know why that had to be in the tallest building in Atlanta. I don’t like elevators and I sure don’t like heights. The gynecologist is on the fiftieth floor of the Bank of America (BOA) Building. I don’t know why he didn’t go to the top since it’s only fifty-five floors to start with.

Finally arriving at the BOA building, she goes though one set of six revolving doors. The temperature outside is in the upper nineties, so getting through those rotating doors into the lobby felt like heaven. Her natural curly, chestnut colored, hair is fuzzy because of the high humidity. Looking around the lobby, she spots the bank of elevators. I didn’t know one building could have this many elevators.

She pushes the up button on the elevator and stands back to see which door might open. Five other people are standing, waiting for an elevator. Rebecca always thought herself good at sizing people up. I wish I had more time to talk to these people and find out if my first thoughts of everyone are accurate. Well at least right now, I know there’s a nun in the group. She’s hard to miss in that black habit, Sally thought.

The elevator bell goes off and all six of the people began looking at the arrows at the top of the elevators to determine which one is ground level. The door to the middle elevator on the right side opens and the six walk on with the door closing behind them. Sally stood next to the buttons, so she asks what floor the other want. The Nun and a teenage girl say fifty and a woman holding a white tip cane whispers, “Forty-five, please.” The two men are going to fifty-three and fifty-five.

The elevator begins its climb with a bell sounding at every floor. Sally feels her anxiety building as the elevator climbs. I should be grateful this isn’t one of those glass elevators that go up the outside of the building. I know I couldn’t handle that kind at all. The silence is thick in the elevator. Everyone has their head down, but raises it with each ding of the bell.

The elevator ding sounds at the thirty-eighth floor and continues climbing. The elevator begins to shake and stops. “What happened?” Rebecca asks.

The mousy looking man with the black rimmed glasses begins talking “I can’t believe this shit. Excuse me, Sister. for my language. This isn’t acceptable. Lady, get on the emergency phone and get us some help. I have to pick up my son’s medication at his doctor’s office. They close at 4:30 pm.”

The nun speaks up, “Everyone please try to stay calm. I know we’ll be getting help very soon.”

“Did God tell you that information, Sister?” The teenage girl says in a sarcastic tone.

“Not this time, but he’s never failed me, so I’m not worried.”

Rebecca backs into the right front corner of the elevator. Gosh, I hope this thing hangs tight. At least we have a light. It would be completely terrifying if it were totally dark inside this thing.

The others don’t notice that she’s hung the phone up, except the good looking man that looks so angry. “Hey, what did they say? When will they get us out of here?” The good-looking man asks Rebecca.

“No one answers the phone, sir. I’ll try again in a couple of minutes.”

“Here, let me try”, the mousey man says. He pushs Rebecca aside and picks up the phone. It rang and rang, with no answer on the other end. He slams the receiver back onto the hook. “What a crock of shit this is, first we have a jacked up elevator and now no one will answer the emergency phone.”

“Let’s please stay calm,” the sister says. “Why don’t we talk and tell each other some details about ourselves and time will pass a little faster.” Everyone looks at her as if she no longer has good sense. “I’ll start. My name is Sister Margaret. I am with the Sisters of the Rosary, at Saint Michaels Convent. I have been a nun for almost twenty-six years. I certainly never thought I’d be in an elevator this afternoon with five other people. Okay, young lady, why don’t you take your turn.”

The teenager looks at Sister Margaret, “Okay, Sister, you got it. My name is Angie and I’m fifteen years old. God ain’t done one thing for me, so he’s done nothing but let me down.”

“Oh Angie, you just can’t see what he’s done for you, but I assure you he loves you and is with you every step you take,” Sister Margaret says.

“Is that a fact, Sister? Then I guess he was with me the night those three thugs raped me and left me for dead. In addition, to top that off, now I’m carrying a bastard baby. I’m sure God was right there with me the whole time.”

You can hear everyone suck in their breath when she speaks. Sister Margaret, gets down on the floor next to the young girl and takes hold of her hands. “I’m so sorry, Angie. I don’t know why bad things happen to good people, but they do. I know you’re angry at the world right now, but know I will help you any way I can. What about your parents, how do they feel?”

“That’s another good thing. My parents are dead. I live in the home for Girls on Piedmont. Yep, I can sure see where God is with me every step. Get up, Sister, and don’t worry about me. I can take care of myself.”

Sister Margaret continues to hold Angie’s hands. “Remember, I will help you. You don’t have to go through this alone. In fact, the convent has a very nice home for unwed mothers. It is a big improvement over the state run home on Piedmont. Just think about it and let me know when we get off the elevator.”

Letting go of Angie’s hands she stands and then bends over and touches Angie’s hair. As soon as Sister Margaret’s hand strokes her hair, Angie begins to cry. Tears run down  her cheeks, falling onto her pink blouse.

Everyone stands quietly for the next five minutes while Angie cries.

“I hope you feel better, dear, now that you’ve cried. It always helps me,” says the woman with the white tipped cane.

“When are they going to fix this elevator? I’ve only got twenty minutes to get to my son’s doctor.” The mousy little man  shouts out. Sister Margaret looks at him and asks, “Why don’t you tell us a little something about yourself.”

The mousy little man is shaking, agitated, and seems to have problems standing still. When he first begins to speak, you can hear his voice shaking. “Ah, my name is Arthur, and I work in this building for BOA as an accountant. I’m married with a six year old son who has been diagnosed with ADHD. That’s the reason I’ve got to get to the doctor’s office.”

“Mister, you look like you’re strung out. Are you sure you not taking your son’s drug.” Angie looks him straight in the eyes. “Your eyes are even twitching. Don’t bother lying, because I can recognize the symptoms. A couple of girls at the home are always strung out on something.”

“Shut your mouth you little bitch! You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“That’s what you think,” Angie says.

“Please tell us more, Arthur,” Sister Margaret says.

“I don’t have anything else to say. I’m going to try this phone again. Maybe they’ll answer this time.” He picked up the phone, but still no answer. He slams the receiver down again, and begins screaming help.

The good-looking man steps over to him and places a hand on his shoulder. Leaning in, he whispers in
Arthur’s ear. Author immediately backs up into the corner and nothing moves except his quivering eyes
.
The good-looking man steps back. “Since I have everyone’s attention, why don’t I tell you about me? My name is Stephen Taylor, and I’m a Federal Supreme Court Justice taking a few days off to take care of some business. I’m married right now, but won’t be for long. I now have evidence my wife of twenty years is having an affair with my best friend.”

Sister Margaret spoke up. “Mr. Taylor, I’m so sorry for your troubles. I know it has to be hard on you right now, but don’t be too hasty in what you do. Give yourself some time to cool down before you make any decisions. I’ll pray for you and your wife.”

“That’s very kind of you, Sister. I can use all the prayer I can get. I’m afraid my wife has already made my decision for me. She left for Vegas this morning for a quickie divorce and plans to marry Martin as soon as possible.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, but you both will still get my prayers.”

The woman with the white-tip cane spoke up. “I guess I can take my turn now. My name is Candy Cross. As you can see, I’m blind and have been since birth. I was very angry about my blindness for a few of my teen years, but I got over that. Actually, I’m doing good. I own my own braille printing business and do very well. I’m not married and I do live on my own not too far from here. I’ve got a good life.”

Everyone speaks their congratulations, except Arthur. He’s still standing in the corner twitching. Then it is Rebecca’s turn.

“Hi, my name is Rebecca and I don’t like tall buildings or elevators, but here I am. I’m twenty-two years old and I’m working on my master’s degree in psychology. My home is in Lubbock, Texas, but I’ve been here for almost five years. I have to tell you that before I got on this elevator, I wished I’d had more time to spend with you, so I could find out about you. It’s my thing to try and figure people out. You surprised me, except for Sister Margaret. I’ve learned a little about each of you and a lot about myself. I don’t read people as well as I thought,and also be careful for what you ask for, because you might get it.”

The elevator lights flicker and they feel the elevator start down the shaft. Everyone cheers and pats each other’s back. They know their rescue is happening.

Recognized

Sally’s Warning Chapter 3

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Background
Sally is a senior in high school, dealing with an alcoholic father and a young man who once was married to her best friend. The story takes place in the late 1960’s.

 

It was 7:00 p.m. and Sally’s father still wasn’t home. She knows what it means and so does Mona. “Sally, put the dishes on the table. Your father can eat when he gets home.”

“Mama, when I get done eating, I’m going to take my shower and go to bed. I’m reading a really good book. It’s called, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.”

“I’ve heard of that book. Aren’t they making a movie from it, or something?”

“Yeah, I think so. Oh, speaking of movies, that reminds me. Linda and me want to go to the show Saturday afternoon. Is that all right? There’s a good movie on with Bette Davis.”

“Yes, you can go, but you have to get your ironing done first.”

“Okay, I’ll iron Saturday morning while it’s cool. I might even do some on Friday night.”

Sally and her mom talk while they eat their supper. Then Sally gets her shower and crawls up on the top bunk to read. Her room is in the middle of the house without any windows. She keeps a box fan blowing on her all the time. That’s the only way she can stand the oppressive heat.

Her dad comes in about 8:00. She can tell by his speech he’s been drinking. Mona finishes the dishes and sits down. She looks at her husband and asks if he wants something to eat.

“No I don’t want anything to eat. I’m not hungry. Besides, you know I don’t eat when I’m drinking. Me and a couple of the guys went to the Hilltop when I got off work.”

“I figured as much.”

“Where’s Sally? It’s too early to go to bed.”

“She’s in bed, reading.”

It isn’t but a couple of minutes after her dad arrives in the house she hears him yell her name.

“Sally, come out here. Sally, come out and see your ol’ dad.”

She jumps down from the bunk and walks into the living room. “Hi, Dad, you wanted to see me.”

“I sure did, do you want to drive my truck tomorrow?”

“Sure, I’d like to.” What’s going on? He never lets me drive his truck. He even has a hard time with mama driving it sometimes.

“If I drive your truck to school tomorrow, what will you drive to work”?

“I didn’t say a damn thing about you driving my truck to school. You won’t set foot in my truck tomorrow.”

“Oh, ok. I thought that’s what you meant, that I can drive it to school.”

“No, I didn’t mean that. You have your own damn car to drive. Get out of here, I don’t want to look at you anymore.” Her dad says in a sarcastic tone. Sally tucks her head and leaves the room. I wonder what that was all about. I can’t win with that man.

Sally climbs up to her bunk and tries to get back into her book wanting to forget about her father. She can hear his voice getting louder and louder as he talks. She turns out her bedroom light so her father will think she is asleep. Maybe he won’t wake her. It’s not going to be easy to go to sleep with his yelling, and it’s so hot in here.

Sally is suddenly woke by her father’s turning the room light on. “What did you just say to me? I told you, you are not driving my truck.”

“Daddy, I’ve not said anything. I was asleep until you woke me.”

“Yeah right. I heard you, so don’t bother lying.”

“Please, Daddy. I won’t drive the truck tomorrow. I want to go back to sleep.”

“You’re damn right you won’t drive the truck. Ungrateful kid.”

He walks away from her door, and Sally has to crawl to the foot of her bunk to turn out the light. She has a difficult time getting back to sleep, but she finally drifts off.

Friday finally arrives. Sally has it all planned to get the ironing done this evening so she can sleep in in the morning. Mona is in the kitchen preparing to start their supper. Some of the family is coming over, so it will be a good dinner. Sally calls out to her mom, “Mama, I’m going out front and sit for a little while and let it cool down more before I start my ironing”.

“Okay,” Mona says as she stands at the sink peeling potatoes.

Sally wasn’t outside ten minutes when Bill pulls up. She groans inwardly and waits for him to walk up to the bench. “Hi, Bill, what are you up to?”

“I stopped by to see if you want to go to the drive-in with me tonight.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Mama won’t let me. I have to do my ironing.”

“Where is your mom?”

“She’s in the house starting supper. Why?”

Bill didn’t answer her because he was already through the screen door. He’s inside about five minutes. Sally can’t stand the suspense of wondering what he is up to, so she went inside. Bill is standing in the kitchen talking to Mona.

Bill gets a big smile on his face, “Your mom says you can do your ironing in the morning and go to the show with me. Isn’t that great?”

Sally’s eye’s cut to her mama’s and Mona’s head is bobbing up and down. Oh, god, I’m done for. Now what am I going to do? “Oh, that’s wonderful.”

“I’ll pick you up at 7:00. You should’ve eaten by then. The movie called Adam and Eve is on at the drive in. Your mom told me you’d wanted to see it.”

“Yeah, I wanted to see it, but I was going to wait until it was inside at the Okla.”

“Well, now you don’t have to wait. I’ll see you later.” He walks from the kitchen and out of the house.

“Mama, why did you do that?”

“I got tired of him asking me to take you out. So now, he can take you out and leave me alone. Now little girl you either shit or get off the pot”.

“Mama, what a thing to say.”

“You know exactly what I’m saying. You haven’t ever told him no. You keep making excuses. Now you can’t make any more excuses.”

Oh, my life is ruined.

***

Sally’s date shows at straight up 7:00. Her mom answers the door when he knocks. He comes into the living room and waits for Sally to finish getting ready. He and Mona have a nice conversation. Finally, Sally comes out. Bill’s eyes brighten when he sees her. “Wow, you look nice.”

“Thank you,” Sally says as Bill stands and they walk to the door together. He opens the door for her and she steps through. She walks down the walkway towards his car. He hurries and gets to the car door just as she reaches for it. “Here, I got that.” He opens the door and she slides in. Since this is a date, I guess I shouldn’t hug the door like I did last time. She consciously tries to relax.

Bill walks to his side of the car and gets in. He’s all smiles as he takes them to the drive-in in McAlester. He’s talking the entire time he’s driving. Sally smiles and nods her head a lot. She’ll answer his question if he asks one, but never starts talking.

Once he gets to the Drive-In and parks, he looks at Sally and asks. “Would you like to go to the concession stand and get a Coke and some popcorn?”

“Sure, can we sit on the swings until time for the movie to start.”

“You like to swing, do you?”

“Yes, I do. I like to go up high and let the wind blow my hair. It’s fun.”

“Okay, I haven’t been on a swing in a very long time.”

The two of them sit on the swings and drink their Coke. They decide not to get popcorn until the movie starts. Bill pushes Sally on the swing and she laughs.

“That’s a nice sound to hear. I haven’t heard you laugh since me, you and Jackie were running around together. I’ve missed your laugh.”

“Bill, isn’t it time for the show to start? We’d best get our popcorn and another drink and head for the car.”
Braking herself with her feet, Sally gets off the swing. They walk to the concession stand and then back to his car. He opens the door on his side of the car and Sally slides over. Bill gets in beside her and puts the speaker in the window.
***

Sally wasn’t enjoying the movie at all. “I thought this would be a good movie, but it isn’t. It’s really overrated.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty bad. Do you want to go get something else to drink?”

“No thanks, let’s just go home. I’ve got to get up early in the morning to get my ironing done while it’s cool.”

“Oh, all right, home it is.” Bill removes the speaker and leaves the drive-in.

Pulling up in front of Sally’s home, Bill kills the engine on his car. He turns to Sally and takes hold of her right hand. Looking directly in her eyes, he says, ”Sally, I love you.”

Sally felt as if her lungs lost their air. She sputters “what!”

“I said I love you.”

“No you don’t!” Sally starts scooting to the passenger door and grabs the handle, opens the door and begins to get out of the car.

“Sally, don’t tell me how I feel. I love you and I have for a long time. Just think about it for a few days. You don’t have to say anything now.”

“Goodnight, Bill.”

“Night, Sally. Think about what I said.”

He starts the car and pulls away. Sally is speechless and doesn’t know what to think. This event is a total shock. Now what am I going to do?

Chapter 2 Sally’s Warning

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Background Sally is dealing with an alcoholic father, a young man’s unwanted attention and her senior year in highschool. She leans on her only true friend, Linda.

First day of school finally arrives. Sally was ready for the bus when it stops in front of her house at 7:30. Mr. Bowen was the driver and had been since she started to school at Stuart. When Sally’s foot hits the first step-up, Mr. Bowen speaks to her. “Good morning, young lady, how was your summer?”
“Fine, Mr. Bowen. Did you have the summer off?”
“Sure did, but I still had to work the farm. I’m ready to get back to driving so I can get a rest.” He chuckles and closes the door. The kids are excited and everyone is sitting next to someone talking ninety miles an hour. Sally finds an empty seat and sits next to the window. She likes looking out the window as they drive the five miles to Stuart School.
The Bus only makes one more stop before it gets to the school. They pick up the Wood and Kirkland kids. No one sits beside Sally. She pulls out her library book and begins to read. Whenever she wants to escape, she does it in books.  Withdrawing into her reading is Sally’s way to escape all the fighting and problems caused by her dad’s drinking, or anything else that might bother her. When the bus stops in front of the school all of the kids get off. Sally’s first class is Study Hall, so she has forty five minutes that she can read before she has to start her classes.
Linda is waiting inside the front door, grabbing Sally as soon as she enters the building. “Are you ready for this? I can’t believe we’re seniors. I’m excited, but I’m also wondering what’s going to happen.”
“Hi, Linda, you are wound up this morning. I can tell you’re excited. There’s no point in worrying about any of it. We’ve got everything handled. I’m just ready to get this year over with. Come on, let’s go get our seat in study-hall before everyone else gets there.
The two girls walk to study hall, which is actually the school library and pick out a couple of desks  next to the windows. Since the school is not air-conditioned, they want to feel the air coming in, if it does. The middle of August can be a killer when it comes to the heat. The temperature outside this morning is already eighty-two degrees, so they know the afternoon will be a scorcher.
Mr. Chambers, who usually teaches the sciences, is the homeroom teacher this morning. “Ok, everyone, welcome back for your last year at Stuart High.” A big round of applause and cheering erupts out of the class. “You’ve almost made it through. Since this is the only class where you’re together, this morning we are going to nominate for Homecoming King and Queen. I know basketball season hasn’t started but it will be easier if we do it now and get it out of the way.” Sally moans to herself because she knows what is about to happen.
“Let’s hear the nominations for Queen.” Mr. Chambers says.
Three hands go up in the air. Amanda nominates Brenda Jones, Ronald nominates Cassie Smith and Janice nominates Sally.
“All right will the three nominees leave the room and we’ll call you back when the voting is over.” Mr. Chambers waits while the girls leave the room.
I’ve been through this every year and I know my nomination is just meanness. I’m not going to give them the satisfaction this year. “Excuse me, Mr. Chambers.” Sally said, as she stood up by her desk.
“Yes, Sally, what is it?”
“Mr. Chambers, I’d like to respectfully decline the nomination for Home Coming Queen.”
“Thank you, Sally. Please be seated. Would the other two nominees please leave the room?” Mr. Chambers smiles at Sally when he sits down at his desk. He knows some aggrevating fun for the class snobs went the wrong direction.
Cassie Smith wins the nomination as she does every year. She is bright, beautiful and built very well. The boys call her, hot stuff.
Sally feels relief. That one act of standing up for herself was six years in the making. After study hall, Sally and Linda head to their next class. Linda pokes Sally with her elbow. “I can’t believe you did that.”
I’ve gone out to the hall every year knowing I was too fat and not liked enough to be Homecoming Queen. I decided this year I wasn’t going to let them do that to me again. I can’t help that I’m not built as good as the other girls, but they’re not going to rub it in anymore.”
***
The school day over Sally returns home on the bus. She goes in the house and immediately picks up the phone to call Linda. Neither of her parents are home, because the workday isn’t over for them. She or Linda  call as soon as they get in the house. This ritual has gone on since the first time they met.
“Hi, has Linda made it home yet?”
“Yes, Sally, she’s here. Hold on and I’ll call her to the phone. I don’t know how you girls can talk so much. You just left her after being with her all day.”
“I know but we didn’t have the chance to talk about some things.”
“Hold on.”
It took Linda a couple of minutes to get to the phone. “Hello”.
“What took you so long to get to the phone?”
“I have to go to the bathroom sometime, silly.”
“You can take care of that when you know I’m not going to be calling you.”
“Oh, dry up. There’s times that are forced on you. You should know that very well, Miss Run Over By Her Own car,” Linda said laughing.
“Okay, you made your point. What are you doing this evening?”
“Just all that home work that we got today. Oh, I want to ask you if you’ve heard from Bill.”
“Not since he took us to get those Coke’s. Maybe he’s decided he’s tired of me being rude to him. I sure hope so.
“I heard Floyd tell one of the guys that his brother was at Ft. Sill.”
“Bill is still in the Army. I don’t think he has much longer in his enlistment, maybe a month or so. He’s come home every weekend to his mom’s place since he has been in Lawton.”
“Maybe he will leave you alone. Time will tell.”
Dark Shadows will be on in about ten minutes. Give me a call after it goes off so we can talk about what we think is happening.”
“All right Sally, I’ll call you. Bye.”
“Bye”
Sally hangs the phone up and starts on her chores. I hate sprinkling those starched clothes. I don’t know why daddy want’s his pants so starched anyway. They will stand by themselves. At least I don’t have to iron the stupid things. Mine is bad enough without having to do his also.
The washtub is in front of the couch and the clothes are on the couch. Sally has the TV on channel 10 when the eerie music begins letting her know Dark Shadows is starting. She sits sprinkling the clothes, rolling them up, and completes the process by placing them in the tub. She’s through in fifteen minutes and then covers the tub with a couple of towels, to keep the clothes from drying out. Now she sits back and listens to Barnabas chide Angelique about causing trouble at Cottonwood. Before she knows it, the program is over and the phone rings.
“Hello Linda, what did you think? No, I think Angelique and that other ghost will do something with those two kids. Have you noticed how much their behavior has changed? I think it will get really interesting before it is over. Oh, ok, I’ll see you in the morning. Don’t let your dad work you too hard. Bye.”
Sally hangs up the phone and goes to the kitchen table to get her homework done. She keeps losing concentration thinking about her dad. Wondering what time he will get home and how drunk he’ll be.

Writing A New Book

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I have begun a new YA book called Sally’s Warning (Temporary). I’ve decided to post the chapters here as I finish them. I would like to have your feedback. If you find something that you think needs changed please let me know. I can always use help with editing. I hope you have a great weekend and I will post chapter 2 on Monday.

 

 Chapter 1

 

 

It’s a beautiful summer evening as Sally walks down the dirt road behind her home. The katydids are singing in the trees. She can hear the deep croaking of the bullfrogs talking to one another in the pond. The aroma of fresh cut hay fills the air. This would be a perfect life if it weren’t for my father. I’ll be glad when school starts. I can’t believe I’m a senior. I didn’t think I’d make it to my senior year, but here I am. I have another week to wait.

When the road turns towards home, Sally spots Bill Grundy’s car sitting in front of her house. Bill’s sitting under the portico talking to Mona, Sally’s mother. Oh, God, he’s here is again. I can’t get rid of him.

Bill shows up two weeks ago, and she’s been unable to get rid of him. Three years ago, he marries her best friend Jackie, and the three of them spent a lot of time together before he goes into the Army. Jackie leaves with someone else, and they divorce. Why he’s shown up on her doorstep, she doesn’t know.

When she gets close enough, Bills face lights up, with a big smile. “Hello, how are you this fine day?”

“Hi” Sally says, as she sits down on the bench. “I’m doing okay, just been too hot. We need rain terribly bad to cool things down.

“Guess what? Your mom says you can go to the show with me tonight.”

“She did, that’s great. Did you think about asking me first? I already have plans with Linda. We’re going to the Attic.”

“What’s the Attic?” Bill asks, with a sad look in his eyes.

“It’s a dance place for teenagers. I’m picking her up at seven and heading to McAlester.” Since he is six years older than Sally, she knows he won’t be able to get into the place.

“Mom, I’m going to take my shower and get ready.”

“Ok, honey.” Sally barely hears her. Sally gets up from the bench and goes into the house, leaving Bill sitting and talking with her mother.

Sally knows she has to hurry, so she can leave before her dad comes home. I know he’ll be drinking, and I won’t argue with him today. I don’t know why he has to pick fights with me.

Bill remains in front of the house and Sally can’t understand why. She’s has done everything to get rid of him. It’s as if he’s oblivious to all of it. She kisses her mom bye and doesn’t speak to Bill as she walks past to go to her car. She climbs in the black, 1954 Ford and heads to her girlfriend’s house.

 ***

  After the dance is over, Sally and Linda walk outside. Linda sucks in her breath and says, “Sally, isn’t that Bill’s car sitting there beside that red Chevy?”

Sally turns her head and looks, catching Bill’s eye when she does. She walks to the car and asks, “Bill, what are you doing here?”

“I thought I would take you two girls to the A&W.” Bill said

Sally turns around and yells for Linda to join them. When Linda gets to the car, Sally asks, “Bill wants to take us to A&W to get a drink. Do you want to go?”

“It’s still hot out here so a cold drink would be good.” Linda said. Sally has her back to Bill when she asks, and the whole time is mouthing “no”. Linda ignores her. She is stuck. Sally climbs in the front seat, and Linda gets in the back. Sally sits so close to the door, if it opens she’ll be on the ground.

Bill drive Main Street a couple of times. That’s the thing to do before going to the A&W. Bill and Linda talk the entire time. Sally only spoke with a direct question. I’m going to kill Linda when I get her back to my car.

They get their drinks. Linda and Bill are yammering away. Bill turns to Sally and asks. “Sally, are you mad at me?”

“No I’m not mad. I just don’t have much to talk about. I’m tired after dancing so much. Would you mind taking us back to my car?”

“No I don’t mind. Thanks for letting me take you to get a cold drink.”

Linda speaks up, “Oh, you’re welcome. It’s always hot in there with so many bodies.”

“I’ll be glad to get home and get these shoes off. My feet are killing me. I’ve gone through the summer without wearing shoes most of the time. When I have to put them on, they kill my feet. I wish I could go barefooted to school,” Sally says.

They arrive back at Sally’s car. Sally jumps out first. Turning to Bill she says, “Thank you again. See you later.” By that time, Linda is out of the car. Sally digs her keys out of her pocket and gets in the car. Bill sits and watches them until Sally pulls out of the parking lot.

She wasn’t on the road a minute and a half before she confronts Linda. “Okay, do you want to tell me why you made me go with Bill? You of all people know how I feel.”

“Look, we’re both thirsty, and you know it. Besides that, it didn’t cost us anything. Since neither of us has a dime, I thought it was a good opportunity.” Sally accepts her answer and drops the subject of Bill. They’ve been friends since Sally began school at Stuart. Both of them are the outcasts of the class and don’t fit in with the elite. They stick together like glue. They  can always  find something to talk about.

The drive home is uneventful until Sally receives an extremely loud call from Mother Nature. “Crap, I have to stop and go to the bathroom. My bladder is about to bust. We’re almost to Arpelar (pronounced Are pay lar). I’ll pull off and go.”

She quickly pulls onto a dark road, jumps out of the car, runs around to the front, and squats. Sally feels the car bump her down and is amazed it rolls over the top of her. The 1954 Ford that Sally drives is a standard shift. If you don’t put it in gear, it rolls.

Sally is face down in the dirt as the car slowly stops, leaving her underneath. She crawls out from under the car, with Linda asking if she is okay. Just as soon as she determines Sally isn’t hurt she begins to laugh, hysterically. “Wait until I tell the kids you got run over by your own car.”

“Dang you, Linda, why didn’t you put on the brake?”

“When I realized it was rolling, I couldn’t get to it in time. You’re certainly looking good now”, as she continues to laugh.

Between the dirt and mud, Sally’s clothes are a mess. She climbs back into the car and tells Linda, “You’d better not mention this to a soul or I’ll never speak to you again.”

“All right, I won’t.”

“Do you promise?”

“Yes, I promise.”

Sally takes Linda home  before her midnight curfew. Since it is a Friday night, her mom and dad will be up. When she pulls into the drive, she can see the kitchen light on. She knows her dad will be drinking. Seeing her dad drunk has gone on for as long as she can remember. She’s conditioned to all of the stages he goes through. I hope he doesn’t try to pick a fight.

Sally walks through the front door and calls out, “I’m home.” She is hoping she can go to her room without talking, but that’s not the case.

“Come here, Sally and tell me about the dance”, her dad calls out. She gets the sick feeling in her stomach, as always, when he wants to talk to her. She walks into the kitchen, and her dad is sitting at the table with a bottle of Crown Royal sitting in front of him and empty Coke cans.

“Hi, Daddy, has mom gone to bed? I’m really tired. I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Oh no, you’re not going to bed yet. Tell me about the dance.”

“We had a good time. A lot of the kids from school were there.”

“How much have you had to drink?”

“Daddy, I only drank Coke.”

“Sure you have. Look at your clothes. I know what you been up to. Don’t bother telling me any lies.”

Her dad’s voice is getting louder and louder with every word. “You lie to me, and I’ll make you wish you hadn’t.”

“Daddy, I swear, I haven’t been drinking. Call Linda and ask her. I want to go to bed.”

“I ain’t calling Linda for something I can see with my own eyes.” About that time, Mona walks into the kitchen.

“What’s going on here? John you woke me up with your yelling.”

“This damn girl came home drinking, and I’m not going to put up with it.”

Sally had tears in her eyes. “Mama, I haven’t had anything but Coke to drink, I swear.”

“What happened to your clothes?” Mona asked.

“I fell down. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow. I just want to take my shower and go to bed.”

“All right, go to bed. We’ll talk tomorrow.”

“Night, mama.”

Sally takes off for her room without another word. Relief is the only emotion she’s feeling. She can hear her mother trying to go back to bed, but as usual, her dad wants to talk.

Why does he do this? As many times, as I have come home drinking he’s never said a word and suddenly tonight, he decides to make an issue of it. I haven’t had a drop. He’s crazy. I can’t wait to finish school and get out of here.