Edited by the incomparable “Wires”. His assistance improves my work drastically. I appreciate all he does for me.
Jason Lowery IV moved quietly down the hallway that connected ‘the children’s wing’ to the rest of the house. He snorted when he thought that. Both of his parents liked to put on ‘airs’ as his grandmother called it. They did live in a somewhat nicer house than some but it was still a house, not a mansion. It had a split bedroom design with the master on one end of the house and the other three bedrooms on the other side. His parents always made out as if the house was much more pretentious than it actually was. After all, they were the city’s (actually a small town of just over 10,000) bankers.
Jason was dressed in old faded jeans and a threadbare blue chambray shirt. His athletic shoes showed signs of hard use and age. Just as he reached the door to his sister’s room he heard the door thump and the lock clicked. He froze a moment in fear of discovery. He was just about ready to run for it when he heard his sister Chastity say, “Wait Tiff. I don’t like this gown either. Can you help me find something else to wear?”
Tiffany sighed and pushed the door until he heard the latch catch once again. He heard steps moving away from the door deeper into Chastity’s room as Tiffany said, “Come on Chas, you look fantastic in that outfit. You’ll knock them dead in it. We’ve tried almost all our gowns on already. We’re going to be more than fashionably late if you keep dithering around. What’s the problem anyway?”
“I just want everything to be perfect. Donald’s going to be there and I want to make the right impression. He’s not dating anyone since he and Amber broke up. I need to snare him before those other bitches get their claws in him.”
Tiffany laughed and said, “Oh, take it from me sis. When he sees you he’ll never notice anyone else. All you have to do is play your cards right; maybe show a little tit or thigh, and you’ve got him in the bag. Now come on, let’s go.”
Jason was moving once again as his sisters discussed their dress. He barely heard the end of the conversation and knew he had to exit the hallway fast or they would come out of and catch him before he got away. He had to be out of sight when they and his parents made it into the main part of the house. He was supposed to accompany them to the Country Club for a dance and that was the last thing he wanted to do. His dad and mom were always trying to fix him up with the daughter of one of their friends or business acquaintances and, frankly, none of those bitches interested him in the least.
When he got to the end of the passageway he slowed down even more. He was almost creeping by the time he got to the end of the hallway. He stopped and strained his ears for the slightest sound but heard nothing. Quietly, carefully, he moved so he could see into the main part of the house. He saw no one; nor did he hear a sound indicative of anyone’s presence. He heaved a silent sigh of relief and moved like a wraith toward the door that would take him first into the large lavishly decorated dining room and, ultimately, the kitchen of his parent’s huge home.
Jason knew he would catch hell when everyone got home that night but he just didn’t care. If he was lucky he might put off the ass chewing until Saturday morning but he was sure he would receive one. His father had his life planned out for him and refused to consider what Jason wanted. His father had selected his college, his course of study, and was even trying to select his girlfriends and future wife. Jason did want to go to college but he had no desire to study business and finance. His father insisted on that because he intended for Jason to take over the family business. The family owned a chain of three small banks. His father was president of the holding company, and his grandfather was the chairman of the board. Other family members worked in various positions in the holding company or one of the individual banks. At least gramps wasn’t a total asshole about Jason’s future like his father was. Gramps said there was a position in the company for Jason if he wanted one but he didn’t insist Jason go into the business.
Jason managed to move through the dining room and kitchen without getting caught. He closed the outside door and moved rapidly toward his old Ranger FX4 and freedom for another night. He had a date, just not with a girl his father would approve of. Oh, there was nothing wrong with Jody except her parents had no money or social standing in the town so she wasn’t ‘right’ for Jason.
Just as Jason started his truck his father came boiling out of the house. He could hear him yelling as he drove down the driveway. “Jason,” he screamed. “Get your ass back here right now. I told you you’re supposed to meet Melissa Tamerlain at the club this evening.”
Jason continued driving as his father yelled but he didn’t slow down. He had escaped and wasn’t about to return for a confrontation or to accompany the family to the club. He could see his father in his rear view mirror. He was still yelling and his face was red.
Ten minutes later Jason pulled up in front of Jody Franke’s home. He jumped from the truck and went to the door to collect her for their date. When he rang the bell Jody opened the door. Her father was standing behind her with his hand on her shoulder. He glared at Jason but stepped back when Jody asked him to come into their house. Jason entered the nicely decorated home and followed Jody into the living room. He saw her mother sitting on the couch and said hello to her.
Jody’s father followed them into the room and took a seat in the chair he normally used. Mr. Franke sat looking at Jason for a moment then sighed. He said, “Jason, this has gone on long enough. I don’t want you seeing Jody any more. I don’t know where you get off thinking you can treat girls like you do, but I do know I’m not going to let you treat my daughter this way.”
“What do you mean, sir? I’ve always treated Jody like a lady. I don’t understand.”
Jody took his hand just as her father answered. He said, “I’ve just been on the phone with your father son. He told me what you’ve done to these girls and I just don’t approve. Just how did you plan to manage two dates for the same evening anyway? He says you have a date with Melissa Tamerlain as well as Jody here. What were you thinking? Well, it doesn’t matter what you were thinking. You need to go on home and dress for your other date. We don’t want to see you hanging around Jody again.”
“Daddy, it’s not like that. Jason doesn’t-”
Her father cut her off saying, “Yes, it is like that. Mr. Lowery told me Melissa was supposed to meet Jason at their club this evening at 8:00 p.m. for the dance. I suppose Jason was going to be with you for a while, then dump you and go to his other date. Well, that just doesn’t cut it here.”
Mr. Franke interrupted Jason and said, “That’s enough. You need to leave now.”
Jody was crying and said, “No, Daddy, Jason told me about this. It’s not what you think. His father wants him to date Melissa and made the date for him. He and I have always planned to go out together tonight. His father is trying to break us up because he thinks I’m not good enough for Jason.”
Jason said, “That’s right, sir. I don’t have two dates tonight. I only have the one with Jody here.”
Mr. Franke sighed and said, “Well, that’s not the story your father told me. Be that as it may, he doesn’t want you dating Jody and I’m not going to be responsible for trouble in your family and I certainly don’t need your family angry with me. I do too much business with your banks to take a chance by angering your father. Now, you need to leave son.”
A crying Jody saw Jason to the door. She stepped outside with him and gave him a hug and kiss before she disappeared into her house. Jason stomped down the walk to his truck. As he drove away he thought he saw his parent’s car turn onto the street down the block. Jason spent the rest of the night driving around hanging with his friends. It was almost three a.m. when he returned home.
When Jason entered the house his father met him at the door. He grabbed his arm and pulled him the rest of the way into the house and down the hallway to his office. He pushed Jason onto the couch and stood in front of him breathing heavily. “This is the last straw young man. Give me your keys. You’re grounded until you decide to obey me. Your graduation ceremony is in two weeks. You will escort Melissa to the graduation and festivities associated with it. You will work in the bank this summer before you go to college and you will take the courses we have agreed on. If you don’t, you are finished here. I’ll stop the money and you can find a way to support yourself. Do I make myself clear?”
“Perfectly. Goodnight, father,” Jason said as he got up and headed for his bedroom.
.... There is more of this story ...