Pulp of the Month: Teen Chills and Thrills (Part One). True Romance, October 1963
This month, I'll be featuring this juicy story from the October 1963 issue of True Romance.
I left home. I had a gay fling. I had his child. I kept asking myself, what's wrong with a way-out party? What's wrong with taking a drink like the others? What's wrong with Barry's kisses? But the big question was - what's wrong with me?"
I was lucky to have "modern" parents, two wonderful sisters, and close, wholesome friends. But by the time I'd finished my freshman year at high school, I was sure I lived the most miserable existence possible. For sixteen years now, I'd lived on a small, run-down farm and viewed the love and security surrounding me as drudgery and slavery. I longed for the privacy of my own room, my own clothes and lots of pretty things.
I didn't openly fuss because because I loved my folks. But by the spring, I'd made up my mind tp get a job. I wanted to earn some money so that I'd be able to buy nice clothes. And I was restless. I longed for some real fun and a chance to be free for a while from the endless boredom of farm life.
Mom and Dad agreed. Mom said, "That's a good idea, Iris. I'll writeyour Aunt Edith in Prescottville. She'll find you a job, and I'm sure she;d like to have you with her for the summer. She's been lonely all alone."
So I went to Prescottville, excited and thrilled. I was crazy about Aunt Edith's modern apartment, and the job she found for me helping a friend of hers who owned a novelty shop. I liked Aunt Edith, but above all, I loved the young people she arranged for me to meet. I had money of my own and was able to buy new dresses and go to the movies, and treat my new friends to sodas. It was wonderful!
I was sixteen, and for the first time in my life I was happy and carefree. When you feel like that it shows. My dark curls shone, and my eyes seemed bigger and brighter. I was pretty, and I knew it by the way the boys in our crowd looked at me.
I was on top of the world, ready for fun, and the Fourth of July dance at the Community Center seemed like the chance for it. My girl friends - Lois, Penny, Merry and I, talked it over and decided to meet some new dates. I never guessed it would be the beginning of something sweet, dangerous and tempting - too sweet, and temping for a kid like me.
Strains of the orchestra and chatter floated toward us as we stood along the side of the room. We were looking for someone new and different in the crowd of boys across the room. They were watching us, too.
We picked him out. A stranger with black hair and blue eyes which revealed a devil-may-care-attitude. My heart began to beat faster as I wished he'd ask me for the next dance. The music started, and he crossed the floor toward us. I held my breath. He stopped directly in front of me, and the next thing I knew, I was dancing with him.
I was so proud. How different he was from the boys I'd known. Imagine the best looking man in the place picking me out. The other girls would give anything to be in my shoes, and I was sure they'd do what they could to get him away from me. But I vowed they wouldn't. I'd keep him.
"What's your name?" I asked him, smiling.
"And I'm Iris. Iris Rodgers."
"A pretty name, but not as half as pretty as you are."
"You're a fast worker---" I did my best to keep my voice steady, for my heart was doing a tail spin.
"When it's worth it," Barry said. His penetrating glance sent my blood racing and made me afraid I might be letting myself in for something I couldn't handle.
"I'm twenty-one. Does it matter?"
I shook my head, but I blushed. He was a man, not a boy, and he'd picked me out from the others! I wanted to see more of Barry.
I didn't have to try, for Barry must have felt the same way. We danced together again and again, and then he took me home. He grasped my hand before I went into the apartment house where Aunt Edith lived and asked for a date next Saturday.
"You mean it?" I couldn't hide my delight.
Barry worked nights during the week, so I only saw him on week ends. He introduced me to his crowd, but I didn't particularly like them. They were wild, older and they drank heavily. I was afraid Barry would laugh at me, so I played along with them. I was afraid he would get tired of me if I didn't play the game, and I didn't want to take a chance on losing him.
I'd sit at the bar at some roadhouse with him and the crowd and sip cocktails, laughing with the others. To have him beside me, to feel his hand over mine, was all I lived for. And yet, there was something inside me that warned me. Still, I couldn't give him up. The boys I'd gone with before seemed crude and stupid - after Barry.
The moon was like a golden boat in the sky, the evening he first kissed me. We were driving home from a roadhouse, and Barry stopped the car along a back wooded lane. Almost before I knew it, his arms were around me, and his lips were on mine. I was shaking a little after he kissed me. He laughed. "Iris, you never kissed me back."
"Didn't --I--" I stammered, aware of a new feeling.
The truth was that I'd never felt a man's lips on mine, or felt what they did to me. Then "Let's try it again," he whispered, holding me close.
I lifted my face, my lips yielded under his and, then, suddenly asked for more. All the vague, strange yearnings, the restlessness within me, seemed to be finding release. His arms around me, and I wanted them. And yet I was afraid.
Go home, a voice inside me seemed to be saying. You know right and wrong. You know it won't end with just kisses. But I didn't want to go home. My body was telling me lies because it wanted to stay near Barry. I could always stop if he got too demanding.
I didn't go home. I drank more and laughed more often, living for those Saturday and Sunday evenings when I was with Barry. It was dangerous, yet sweet. I knew it was wrong, letting Barry kiss me and hold me the way he did. I'd been brought up by fine, decent parents who took it for granted I'd be the same. I wanted to, but the laughter of Barry's eyes, and the thrill of his nearness, was stirring something within me that I knew was dangerous, and yet I couldn't fight. Some nights, I'd cry over the conflict within me and I'd determine to stop seeing Barry. But when he came to the apartment, or spoke to me on the telephone, I said, "I'd love to go out."
I couldn't make myself break up with Barry no matter how hard I tried, until that August night, when he took me to dinner - not with the crowd tis time, but just the two of us.
We went to The Glass Slipper, outside of Prescottville. We drank and Barry's blue eyes grew eager, and his hand kept crushing mine. I was quivering with pleasure.
"You're the loveliest girl I ever knew, Iris," he said. "And you've got me hooked. We could lots of fun, couldn't we?" I started to nod. Then, I don't know how it happened, but I didn't nod. I looked away, out through the window at the night. The music had stopped, and the sudden silence my thoughts turned to my folks. I didn't belong with Barry. I wasn't the kind of girl to follow his suggestion.
Shaking, I stood up and said, "Not the kind of fun you mean, Barry. I shouldn't have kept seeing you. Will you take me back to town, Barry? Please." Tears began running down my cheeks.
"Hold it, Iris," he exclaimed, quickly. I guess he was afraid of a scene. It wouldn't have been very pleasant for him if there had been one. I was under age, and he'd had me drinking. "Go on out to the car," he ordered. His voice was rough. "I'll be with you in a second."
I hurried to the car, got in and huddled in the corner of the seat. I didn't look at him when he got in and started driving. I didn't dare. I knew what he meant by "fun." The way he had held me and kissed me showed me that. He must have thought I'd led him on. :Look here, Iris," he exploded at last, "what's got into you?"
"Don't let's talk," I begged.
"Fine!" He gave a short laugh. "You'll just quit on me, and I'm to take it?"
He was driving fast. We'd soon be in town. But I couldn't leave him like this. I said, "I like you so much - " I couldn't go on.
Will Iris give in to Barry's smoldering blue eyes? Find out in next week's installment!