Pulp of the Month: Teen Chills and Thrills. Part Two. (True Romance, October 1963)
Suddenly, he was nice. "Oh, come on, Iris," he said, "don't be upset. I'm crazy about you, and we could have a great time." The car slowed down and stopped in front of the apartment. He pulled me to him and kissed me. For a second, I was close to weakening, but I somehow I jerked away, jumped out of the car and rand into the house. I was glad Aunt Edith was out, for I wanted to be alone to think.
The next few hours were pretty hard. I walked up and down the floor of my room. But I finally decided the best thing to do would be to go home. September was almost here, and I could tell Aunt Edith I'd better go home to school. I had to do it. I wanted to be good, and I knew if I kept seeing Barry, where we'd end.
It wasn't easy, leaving Aunt Edith, her apartment, the job, my girl friends, and Barry. My months in Prescottville had been the happiest of my life and I almost cried on the bus home. I was doing the right thing, but it hurt.
I returned to the shabby farm. Mom and Dad were dear, and I did love them, but the loneliness and boredom was unbearable. I stuck it out, for a while. I made myself. I returned to school, but I had lost interest in it. I spent many evenings with nothing to do, without any fun.
Finally, I wrote to my sister Nina, who had been married that past summer, and lived in another part of the state. I asked if I could come live with her. She wrote to come after Christmas. She was going to have a baby and she'd be glad to have me stay with her. So I waited, dreaming of a job, money of my own, new friends, movies, dances - fun. I'd be able to forget Barry.
When I told Mom, she was hurt, "What about school, Iris?" she asked. "Your father ad I want you to finish."
"Oh, Mom," I said sadly, "I'd rather work."
"You mean, you'd rather be in a city," Dad said. "Young people seem to need lots of things they didn't when I was young." I flushed. I knew they could stop me. But they didn't.
When I got to Nina's, I found a job in a laundromat and began to make friends. I wrote to Penny, my girl friend in Prescottville, and told her of my move. Nina was too busy keeping house, and too interested in the coming baby to watch what I did. As long as I helped her with the meals and the cleaning, she trusted me. I didn't abuse this. Not until that March evening when I came back from work. There was just the hint of spring in the air, and I kind of danced along, without a care in the world. I turned at the gate, and there was Barry! He stepped in front of me, and I was in his arms.
"You little devil - why did you run away last fall? I've had a time finding you."
"How did you?" I stammered. Again I felt the quivering of my body close to him.
"I'll tell you while we're having dinner."
"I won't - "
"You will, or I'll camp on the doorstep. Anyway, you can't say no, after I've chased you across the state."
"Why?" I was thrilled.
"Because I'm crazy about you." My head whirled from such flattery. Then he kissed me, and I couldn't say no.
He went with me into the house, Nina liked him. When Barry turned on his charm he was irresistible. I changed into my prettiest dress, and we went out together. I was floating along. The thought of his following me had gone to my head! I certainly must mean a lot to him! When we got to the restaurant he handed me a small package which contained a gold locket and chain.
"For you, honey. Promise that you'll never run away from me again. You never even told me good-by."
"I know. I - thought it was better." I lifted my eyes. "I hated to go," I blurted out.
Barry said softly "You don't need to be afraid of me," and covered my fingers with his.
"How did you find me?" I whispered.
"I went to your aunt's She said you'd gone home to the farm. I was just about to go to your home when I saw your friend, Penny, and she said you were here in Ardmore. The first chance I had -" His fingers pressed mine tighter - "I came. Promise, Iris, you'll never run away again."
I promised. Barry made that promise more binding before he left that evening, by his kisses, by his arms around me, by all the flooding eagerness between us. "I have to go back to my job," he murmured. "But I'll be back for a week end as soon as I can. You'll be waiting?" "I'll be waiting." I knew it was wrong for me to say so, to have promised. But hadn't he said that I didn't need to be afraid of him? Hadn't he said just that? Besides, he had me powerless. I'd never felt toward anyone as I felt for him.
Barry came back two weeks later. He had written he was coming and taking me to a party. I bought a new dress and had my hair done. There was a kid of laughter all through me. He must love me, I believed. And I felt love for him. Someday, we'd be married.
The party was in a vacant house outside Ardmore. There was a band. The crowd was older, and the men had bottles. It was loud, it was noisy. It wasn't pretty, but I was drinking, too, and it seemed like fun. I hadn't had a drink since I'd left Prescottville, and the drinks went to my head. The beat of the music was heavy, the rooms were close, and Barry was always beside me. Everything was soon blurred, except his face close to mine, the feel of his arms around me when we danced. He was flushed with drink, but handsome.
I don't remember what happened next. But before I knew it, we were in some room alone, with the door shut.
I was half asleep in a drunken stupor when he took me home. He helped me out of the car, swaying himself. He got me up to the door and looked down at me. "You're great, Iris," he muttered thickly. "I'll be back in a few weeks." I nodded, then staggered to my room.
I awoke in the morning with a splitting headache, sick with disgust. I tried to shut out the thoughts of the night before and couldn't. I crept from the bed, knelt by it, and prayed. "Don't let anything happen. I'll go home. I'll be good. Don't let anything happen."
Stay tuned for next week's installment!