School was finished for the year, we had about three months off, and I was turning sixteen in July. And to top it off I had a date with Keith tonight. I promised the guys I’d bring him home after a couple of dates so he could meet them. Right now I was struggling between my favorite black muscle shirt and my best black tank top at showed of my figure well. I had about twenty minutes If I was going to be there on time. And I was standing shirtless in my room now.
I was trying to decide. If I wore my tank top I won’t need a bra because there’s one built in, but if I wore my muscle shirt I’d need it.
I had on a more fitted pair of dark wash jeans, black high tops, a black belt, and I was going to wear my black leather jacket regardless. But I was stuck on my shirt. I gave up. I picked up the phone on my bed side table and dialed a number.
“Evie, I need your help.” I said frantically.
“What with?” She asked concerned.
“If you were me and you were going out on a first date, and you were wearing fitted dark wash jeans, black high tops, and you black leather jacket, which shirt would you choose? My black muscle shirt, or my black tank top?”
“That black one you wear all the time, and the one that’s tight on you?” She asked.
“Neither. Go for that white wife beater with the Beatles on it. If you’re going that dark, you need something to balance it out.” She told me.
“You’re a life saver.” I said.
“What are friends for?” She asked, “Let me know how it goes.”
“I will, thank’s again.” And I hung up.
I dug in my drawers for a white bra and that shirt. I finally found them and slipped them on. I grabbed my good blade and put it in my back pocket. I picked up a few dollars, grabbed my jacket and was out of the house yelling later to my brothers.
I kept my hair down because I was told I looked a lot nice when it was down. I wanted to put it to the test.
I walked quickly to the place he told me to meet him at. It was in town. One of those fancy restaurants. Not one of them that’s real expensive but no greaser could eat there regularly.
I walked in. I didn’t see him.
“May I help you?” I looked up and saw what I presumed to be a Soc looking down on me with a sneer.
“I’m meeting someone here, I assume they’re already here.” I told him.
“Name.” He asked flipping open a book.
“Keith.” I said, “Keith Hallaway.”
“He checked in about twenty minutes minutes ago.” He said looking me up and down, “What possible business would someone like you have with him?” He almost demanded.
“Personal.” i replied with a smirk.
“This way.” he said and rolled his eyes leading me through the tables. As we passed everyone looked.
It was like they never saw a girl in jeans before.
He finally lead me to a personal section in the back. Keith saw sitting there looking over the menu when he saw me.
He stood up and smiled.
“It’s nice to see you could make it.” He said as he kissed me cheek.
“Nothing better to do at home.” I told him.
He smiled warmly and pulled out my chair, he helped me in too. I was a little thrown.
“Is something wrong?” He asked when he was seated across from me.
“No one’s ever done that for me since I was four.” I explained, “It’s different.”
“My father would have hit me if I didn’t.” he said, “That’s how I grew up.”
“I grew up obeying the Ten Commandments and the Seven Heavenly Qualities and denying the Seven Deadly Sins.” I told him picking up the menu.
“Do you drink?” He asked.
I nodded, “Why?”
“I was thinking about ordering a bottle of wine but I wasn’t sure since you were a minor.” He explained.
“So are you.” I told him.
“Nothing a fake id can’t fix.” He said.
I fake gasped, “Someone like you using a fake id, when you work in a law office? Keith, I am ashamed.”
He laughed, “And have you done to break the law you want to share?” He asked.
“Easier question, “I said, “What haven’t I done?”
We laughed again.
He ordered the wine and I got a coke with it as well.
“You look very nice I might say.” He said making me blush slightly.
“Thank you.” I said, “You don’t look too bad yourself.”
He was wearing a dark grey suit, white shirt under a coat, and a blue stripped tie. I did feel bad that I was only in jeans and wife beater.
“Besides your religion, breaking the law, and working at a gas station, what else do you do?” He asked.
“How do you mean?” I asked.
“Outside of school, outside of work, tell me about your friends.” He encouraged.
“I have three best friends, four good friends, two girl friends, and quite a few buddies.” I told him, “What about you?”
He laughed lightly.
“I had a best friend at home, but he went to war while I was in collage. He didn’t make it back.” He said.
“I’m sorry to hear that.” He shook his head.
“Where one of your brother’s?” He asked.
“Huh?” I asked.
He pointed to my chest, “You’re wearing a dog tag, was it one of your brother’s?”
I shook my head, “This is my dad’s from world war two. I’ve worn it since they died, it makes me feel like he’s here with me right now. Keeping me in line, best he can, helping me make desicions. I don’t know, it just makes me feel better.”
He nodded, “Tell me about your parents, if you don’t mind.”
“You first.” I said clutching the dog tag.
“My father walked out on me and mother before I was born, I don’t think my mother was much older than you are now. She gave me up for adoption after I was born. My Faust family was nice though. My mother would always make cookies, or muffins, or some sweet thing for us when we got home from school. My father was truck driver, he made good money, we might not of seen him a lot during the week. But weekends it was all for us. I had four older sisters. They adopted me because my mother was no longer fertile so they couldn’t have a boy. My parents were really nice, never beat any of us, never gave us anything to rebel against, always was there even when they were more tired than your could imagine. They loved us all, and still do.” He finished.
“My mama, she looks just like me, other than she’s got both her eyes green. She was always pushin’ my brothers to do better then they thought they could. Every last one of them played an instrument, was on the football team, had straight As. My father. He was somethin’ else. He looked like he could kill you in a second, yet he was the last one to raise a fist in a fight. Taught us about God and what he did, taught us French, Spanish, and Japanese. They were fair, let my brothers run the way they wanted too. There was always so much love with ’em. You couldn’t lie to ’em if your life depended on it. They were good people.” I said stopping there. I was starting to remember what happened.
“If it’s not too much, how did they die?” he asked.
I looked at him, I’m pretty sure my eyes were red, trying not to cry. I shook my head. I didn’t want to talk about it.
The wine came back and we ordered our food. Keith got a steak, and I got chicken pasta.
We talked a little more. We split a dessert, chocolate mousse. We got to a new topic.
“My friends want to meet you.” I told him as I took my last bite of the mousse.
“Why’s that?” he asked.
I shrugged, “Make sure your not gonna kill me or something.”
We laughed a little more.
He payed and we left. We went on a little walk through the streets. He held my hand the entire way.
“You know Kat, I came here for a job. I found something a lot more interesting.” He told me.
I looked at him, “Now, let’s just hope that you can keep that job and that something interesting.” I smiled.
He smiled back and wrapped his arm around my shoulders.
“Has any one ever told you you look breathtaking with your hair down?” He said.
I blushed and looked away. Note to self, leave hair down more often.
We walked a little more in silence. I checked my watch.
“If we hurry,” I started, “You could meet them today.” I suggested.
“Lead the way.” He said.
I took hold of his hand and lead him over to the Curtis house telling him, in detail, about my friends.