Status: On Hold

Wild Thing

Chapter Two

We had bought a brand new house when we moved here. Dad actually picked it out before we even arrived. It was a nice little tan ranch styled home with a few bushes in the front and trees speckled here and there. In the neighborhood we lived in all the houses were pretty much new. A contractor developed the land only a year or two ago. I was almost afraid that I would walk up to the wrong one since they all looked identical but I quickly remembered that ours was the only one that had ‘sold!’ stuck to the for sale sign.

Opening the front door I was about to call for mom, telling her I was home, but quickly stopped when I heard unrecognizable voices. Walking forward I peeked around the wall and was met by my mother’s smiling face.

“There you are dear, I was wondering when you were coming back home.”

In my living room sat five people, looking highly uncomfortable with glasses of lemonade in their hands.

Pulling my arm my mother tugged me in front of her. “Dot, these are the Jordan’s, they live next door.”

Nodding my head I sent them a little wave. A middle aged woman sat on one of the arm chairs by the front window. She had warm brown eyes and plenty of laugh lines on her face. On the couch sat two girls, one about my age and the other looked like she was still in grade school. By the fire place stood two boys, the taller one was probably my age at the least, if not older and the other one looked like he could be around the same age as my younger brother Jay.

“It’s nice to meet you.”

Walking back to the other arm chair my mother began to chatter. “They stopped by to welcome us to the neighborhood, isn’t that kind of them? Tess over there is in your grade at school.”

“Oh, well that’s nice to know.” I glanced over to the older girl on the couch and she gave me a light smile and shrug. She had the same eyes as her mother and the color matched seemed to be the same shade as her hair.

“Peter graduated last year and finished his first year of college, while Will is in Jay’s grade and Judy over there is starting middle school.” My mom pointed to each of the other children. They all had brown hair and eyes except for Judy who was blonde.

Peter walked over from the fire place and offered me his hand. “It’s nice to meet you Dot.” A southern twang was noticeable in his voice and the sideways smirk was completely different than the one the greasers had earlier. It would be an understatement to say he was good-looking. Peter was extremely handsome.

I shook it and smiled, “You too.”

“Dot?” I pulled my attention away from Peter’s warm brown eyes and looked over at my mother who was perched on the edge of the arm chair. “Why don’t you show Tess your room?”

Quickly I turned my head over to Tess who was starting to rise from the couch. “Well, only if you’d like too.”

“Oh I wouldn’t mind.”

We walked down the hall, around all the boxes that cluttered the hallway, and into my room, where even more boxes were stacked. I’d noticed her twang wasn’t as noticeable as her brother’s. Then again she looked kind of different from him anyway. They had the same looks genetically but their style was quite different. Peter is dressed more modestly in a light blue button up t-shirt and a pair of slacks. Tess is wearing a light green camisole and pair of matching shorts, a little more revealing and less conservative than the girls I used to know. I assume Mom will have something to say about that later.

“Wow, I guess you guys really did just move in here,” Tess remarked, looking at all the boxes with big eyes. “From out in the living room you wouldn’t have been able to tell.”

Setting my purse on my bed I turned towards her, “Yeah, Mom made sure that the living room was the first to get settled.”

There is something that you must know about my mother, she’s a housewife. I know that a lot of other people’s moms are too but when I say housewife I mean textbook, dishwasher advertisement lady, apron wearing, Betty Crocker wanna-be housewife. Sometimes it’s not even like she’s a real person but instead a character in some TV sitcom; Happy and smiling with flawless makeup and perfect curls in her hair. Of course this side of her is really only present when we have company over. During the day she does spend much time preparing meals, taking care of housework, and cleaning and such but the whole persona becomes full blown when other people around. I swear if she really wanted too she could be an actress and pretend to be a perfect housewife for a living. She’s already got a movie star name, Nelly Riker. Doesn’t that sound like someone who’s staring in the next Bond film? Well any way, when she starts to turn into Emily Post I rather not be around, it gets annoying rather quickly.

It’s this perfect housewife complex that caused her to situate the living room first. She couldn’t bear the thought of someone entering our house and having to sit around stacks of boxes, it wasn’t very ‘proper’ of her to do so. Instead she rather just push them all in the hall, out of eyesight.

“You guys moved here all the way from New York, huh? That’s a long ways away just to come out here.”

I shrugged, sitting on the bed. “I guess so, but it’s kind of fun to be somewhere new.”

She shook her head, “Oh no, I get that, what I just can’t wrap my head around is why you would want to move to Tulsa out of all places. The first chance I get I’m leaving here.” She giggled a little and sat next to me.

“I guess everyone says that about their home town though.”

“I guess everyone does.” Tess looked out the window and at the passing pickup truck that was rumbling by. “Say, you don’t know anyone here yet, do you?”

I shook my head. “No, well except you I guess.”

“A friend of mine is having a party tonight,” she nudged my arm with hers, “Why don’t you come with? Maybe you’ll get to know some more people.”

I thought about it for a brief second, trying to picture who Tess was friends with. Were they other middle class kids or greasers? I knew she wouldn’t be going to a Soc party, something about the way she looked and acted told me otherwise.

“Sure, sounds like a gas.”

“Well it doesn’t start until seven, why don’t you come over to my house to get ready?” I agreed and she stood up and put her hands on her hips, “Cool! To pass the time why don’t we unpack some of these boxes?”

Looking at the few piles I had left I shrugged, “I guess we could. You don’t have to help me though, it’s nothing I can’t handle myself.”

She hauled one of the boxes over to my bed. “It’s no big deal; I have nothing better to do anyway.”

We started opening boxes one by one. Tess would place all of their contents on my bed and I would walk around trying to figure out where everything should go. It wasn’t exactly the funnest thing to do when you first meet someone, but Tess made it worth while by putting on the radio. For the past week I’ve been trying to find good stations to listen to so I asked her to write some down for me. Turns out, she loves music as much as I do. We couldn’t go five minutes without breaking into song and dance or talking about the latest celebrity gossip.

“Eight Days a Week” was just winding down when we opened the last box. Tess quickly started pulling out picture frames and little nicknacks.

Looking around my room I noticed there was barely any surface space to put the pictures. “Do you think these would look nice on the wall?”

She looked up from the box and then scanned the room. “Yeah, I think they would! Try hanging them in between those two windows maybe?”

“Oh, that would look nice. Let me go get the hammer and some nails.” Walking out my bedroom door I told her I would be right back.

As I walked back through the hall I looked at the labels on all the boxes, hoping that Dads tools kit would be in one. Not seeing one I went to the living room. Mom should know where they are.

To my surprise all of the Jordan’s were still in the living room, and my brother Jay had joined them.

Jay was really tall for just turning fifteen. He was approaching six feet and almost taller than Dad. He really likes to play sports so his height was a major advantage. Back at home he made both the varsity football and basketball teams as a freshman. My family was real proud of him for that. Jay’s a really good kid but he’s not exactly the smartest. I don’t mean he’s a spaz or retarded or anything like that, he just needs a little help with his school work. It’s hard for him to stay focused a lot of the time and takes him a bit longer to do things. At our old school not all of the teachers realized this and Jay often got detentions for not paying attention and not handing in homework on time.

Regardless of his school work, Jay was a big hit with the ladies. I think it was because of his blue eyes and freckles. It’s almost laughable though because he doesn’t have a lot of interest in them. Last year he got asked by three different girls to the Junior- Senior Prom, and turned down each one of them claiming that he didn’t want to go because he didn’t want to get all dressed up. I think it’s because Jay’s still young though and hasn’t really gotten into girls or the dating scene yet, but I have a feeling he might be soon.

We used to butt heads a lot, me and Jay. When he was younger he used to tell on me for everything I did, even little things like talking to a boy. I think he used to think he was being funny, busting me in and embarrassing me, but really it was annoying. Recently though he’s gotten a lot less devious, I’m thinking he might be maturing some. Or at least I hope.

I politely waited next to Mom’s chair until she finished discussing whatever it was her and Mrs. Jordan were talking about. “Mom, do you happen to know where I can find a hammer and some nails?”

The look on her face was one of mock horror. It seemed that everyone in the room had heard me ask because all other conversation stopped. “A hammer and nails?! What on Earth would you need that for?”

I felt everyone’s eyes on me and a blush quickly rose on my cheeks. I absolutely hate when she gets like this and over expresses everything. It was part of the whole ‘housewife complex’. “Well I was going to hang up some picture frames on my wall, thats all.”

A look of disapproval crossed her face and she pursed her lips. “Now dear, I don’t know about that. Why don’t you wait until your father gets home. He can do it for you.”

I refrained from rolling my eyes but couldn’t help thinking about how much of a ‘Housewife Nelly Riker’ statement that was. She can clean an entire house while also managing to make a five course meal for ten and sew herself a new dress all in one day but putting a nail in the wall is far too complex and suddenly a mans job.

“I don’t understand why-“

“I can help her Mrs. Riker, if you would like.” Peter had stepped in and interrupted us. Though this wasn’t exactly the solution I was looking for I was thankful for his offer.

“Why thank you Peter. The tools are in the garage on the work bench.”

After a short detour to the garage, Peter and I headed back to my room where Tess was still going through the last box.

“Mom apparently doesn’t trust me enough to do this on my own so I got Peter to help.”

She looked up from the box and smirked. “Oh really? Well did my brother tell her that he’s never hammered anything in his life?”

I turned and looked at Peter, “Then why did you offer?”

He leaned his shoulder against the door frame, “Well by ‘help’ I was thinking more of a supervising type of job.”

I shook my head and walked over to the windows. “Let’s just hope that she hasn’t already pegged you as our new handyman.”

“Yeah lets hope for the sake of your new house.” Tess picked up a frame from the bed and brought it over to me. It was a picture from the community picnic last year. Jane, one of my closest girl friends, and I were situated on a blanket, laughing about something.

“Hey! I’m sure if I really wanted to I could learn all that stuff but it never really appealed to me.” Peter joined us by the windows, handing me a nail.

Lining up it up I looked at him quick, “What does? Appeal to you I mean.”

He shrugged and his eyes lingered to the other side of the window. The sky had cleared up since I’ve been home and the sun was now peaking out from behind the clouds. “I guess you could say art. I paint.”

“Oh really?!” I turned my attention onto him fully, removing the nail from the wall and losing my place.
“He’s really good too, except he doesn’t like to show off his work for some reason.” Tess rolled her eyes at her brother who so kindly returned the gesture. Maybe they weren’t exactly opposites.

Focusing my attention back to the wall, I relined the nail. “I would love to see some of your paintings sometime.” I placed the hammer on the head of the nail and took a deep breath. I had helped out Dad a few times when Jay wasn’t around and learned a few little handy skills, but not enough to really call myself a professional. Hammering nails was of course part of the covered material but I’ve only done this once.

I started to tap the hammer against the nail lightly, adding more pressure as I got more and more comfortable. Soon Jane and I were hanging proudly in-between my two windows. As Tess went to get some more pictures I couldn’t help but smile at my accomplishment.

“Wow Dot, you did a good job. I was almost expecting you to miss and put a hole through the wall.” Peter chuckled and I shot him a look.

“If that had happened my mother would never let you ‘supervise’ me again.”

“I wish I could say that you did me a favor, but I’m not entirely sure what this job entails.” Tess handed me a picture of my parents and I picked up another nail from Peter’s hands. “Now if I had to supervise this little devil I don’t think I could last a day.”

Tess’ eyes squinted as she glared at him, “Oh c’mon I’m not that bad!”

“Oh I’m not saying you're the problem, its all those boys you hang out with. Steve Randle and that Curtis boy, Cal and Zap. They’re all a bunch of troublemakers.”

She rolled her eyes in response and I stood in the middle, trying to mind my own business nailing the pictures to the wall. “They’re nice people, and for your information, me and Dot are going to be seeing them all tonight. Steve Randle, Sodapop, Cal, Zap, Evie, Sandy, Two-bit, Kathy, Morales, and maybe even Tony Cat.”

Peter grew more angry with every name that Tess listed. “Oh thats just wonderful! I hope you don’t mind hanging out with hoods Dot, because thats what you’re gonna to be doing tonight.”

My head was starting to spin. Only a few minutes ago we were all getting along just fine. I guess I had one thing straight though, Tess sure didn’t hang around with the Soc crowd. Not that I knew any of the people that she listed but Peter even said it themselves, they were hoods. I was almost thinking about taking back my invitation to go to this party. Mom’s head would blow off if she knew who I was going to be hanging out with. Then again she did want me to find friends. Although I’m sure this isn’t who she had in mind.

Tess was nice and all but after my run in with those greasers in the diner, I’m not sure I could hang out with kids like that. I wasn’t tough or cold or any of that. My eyes wandered over to Tess’ face and her raised eyebrow and frowning mouth only made her look tough. She certainly wasn’t cold at all. Maybe I had the wrong impression of greasers. If Tess hung out with them they certainly couldn’t be that bad.

Before she could respond there was a knock at the door. We all turned around and saw Mrs. Jordan and Mom in the doorway. Thankfully they didn’t look like they overheard Tess and Peter’s conversation.

“I just wanted to let y’all know I’m heading home.” Mrs. Jordan had a soft, quiet voice, one that greatly contrasted with my mothers loud, articulate one.

“I’ll come with you Ma, I think Dot has a handle on this.” Peter handed me the rest of the nails and smiled warmly at me, “It was nice to meet you. I’ll be seeing you around.” He had turned on his previous charm, the one that was present when he was out in the living room.

I returned the smile, “I’m sure you will. It was nice to meet you too.”

He exited my room and disappeared with his mother down the hall, leaving my own to linger in the doorway.

“I’m going to start making dinner, will you be around or do you girls have something planned?”

“Tess offered to introduce me to some of her friends at seven, but we were planning on getting ready at her house. If thats alright of course.”

My mom’s face lit up like a christmas tree at the mention of friends. “Oh of course dear! Dinner will be done in about twenty minutes if you girls want something to eat before you leave.”

“Thank you Mrs. Riker, I would love to stay for dinner.” Tess replied, giving her a smile. I guess charm ran in the family along with those brown eyes.

“Oh no problem Tess, anytime.” She turned to leave but held herself back. “Your father should be home in ten minutes Dot. Make sure you greet him.”

Turning back to the wall I picked up another photo, “I will.” And she was gone.

Tess and I turned back towards the wall, ready to start hanging up photo’s again. I had only gotten two of them up. After I hammered in another nail she handed me another group portrait. As I hung it she broke the silence between us.

“Who’s this? Is he your boyfriend?”

I looked over and saw that she was holding the picture of me and my friend Paul at the Junior-Senior Prom last year. My heart broke a little seeing him there smiling. Paul was probably the person I missed the most from back home.

He was tall and handsome with a strong jaw and green eyes that you never wanted to look away from. Something about boys with green eyes just gets me, let me tell you. He was well liked by the entire school, teachers included. The teachers liked him because he was smart and was generally quiet in classes. Kids like how nice he was to everyone, regardless of if you were a senior or not. He played football in the fall and baseball in the summers. Paul was one of the best center fielders Union Springs had seen in a long while. He was a year ahead of me in school and we had know each other since we were young since he lived next door to my grandparents.

Paul was one of the six boys in my town that were drafted after they graduated. Ever since the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution last year, more and more boys were drafted, especially those who were planning on going to work after high school and not college. Paul was one of them.

“No, but he was. His name is Paul, he was my date to the prom last year and we went together for a little while after that but had to end it.”

“Oh because you had to move?” She asked curiously.

I shook my head and started to hammer in the next nail, “Not entirely. He got drafted into the war and went off to bootcamp about the same time that we were moving so we decided to call it quits.”
Tess was quiet as she looked at the picture. “He sure is a good looking guy. Do you ever write to him?”

She handed me over the picture and I hung it on the wall, right next to the one of Jane and me. “Not frequently, but once in a while we do.” Truth is I hadn’t written him a letter since we got here. He left for bootcamp two weeks before we left for Tulsa so only a handful of letters were exchanged. I still hadn’t given him my new address.

We were quiet again, the only noise in the room being the radio and the thump of me hammering in the nails. After Tess handed me the last photo she walked over to my closet and started to flip through my shirts and dresses.

“What are you looking for?” I hung the last frame and walked over to her. I didn’t really mind that she was going through my closet, I just wasn’t sure why.

She laughed a little and paused looking at a blue shirt dress. “You need something to wear for tonight, don’t you?”

I looked down at my outfit I was wearing already, a white sleeveless blouse and light yellow skirt. I didn’t really give any thought to changing but I suppose I could. “I thought this would be alright but if you don’t think so…”

She knitted her eyebrows together, “It’s not that I don’t like what you’re wearing, it just gets cold here at night and changing into a new outfit is fun. I was planning on changing too as soon as we got over to my house.”

“Oh.” I felt kinda stupid for questioning her, she was only trying to help me out and have a little fun. “I have some sweaters in my dresser, you can look through those too if you’d like.”

Her face lit up and she pointed at the drawers, “Which one are they in?” I told her the second one and she went to town looking through them. “Sorry if I’m being a complete dork going through your stuff, I just love fashion.”

Quickly she pulled together an outfit for me. “I thought that this sweater was so cute with the line pattern and all, and I figured that pants would go better than a skirt since you never know what we’re going to end up doing tonight with that group.” She handed me my creme colored sweater with thin navy lines going horizontally and vertically, creating large boxes on the shirt, and paired it with my navy capris. I could barely get in a thanks before she started talking again.

“Would you mind if I did your makeup too, and maybe your hair? We can do it back at my place, I have been dying to do someone’s makeup for the longest time. Judy won’t let me near her face, she always ends up running away. I don’t know why though because I’m really quiet good at it.”
I giggled and nodded my head. “Sure, why not?”

Already I could tell that Tess was going to be a good friend of mine. The only thing that was bothering me was what she said about her friends, “You never know what we’re going to end up doing tonight with that group.” For some reason I couldn’t tell if that was a bad thing or good one.
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So here's chapter two, chapter three should be up soon! A big thanks to my three subscribers already and to JurassicLover for your encouraging comment! Don't be afraid to comment and let me know what y'all think of it and forget to subscribe :)