Have you ever entered a pub or a bar for simply a cold beer to quench your thirst and down the other end of the bar was a small group of people, all huddled around one man who was telling a story. The words he used were mesmerising even though all there knew there wasn't a truthful word being spoken. It was the rhythm and narration technique being used, which drew you in. He'd swear on his honour, that every word he uttered was true, may God strike him down if they weren't.
The following story, I swear on my honour, is true, may God strike me down if it isn't.
Seventeen year old Clare was screeching at the top of her lungs at her mother, "What do you mean I've got to take the brat with me. Are you trying to completely ruin my social life! I wouldn't be caught dead with a baby following me around. You're not being fair, Mum!" her voice went off the Richter scale with frustration.
"After breaking curfew three nights in a row, you're lucky we let you go out at all. Anyway, there's no point in screaming at me. It was you're father's decision, not mine. He told me before he left for work, this morning, to tell you. If I had my way, you wouldn't be allowed out again for a month, and then still would have to take Beverley for the rest of the year. One more word from you, young lady, that's exactly what will happen."
Her mother voice was quiet and reasonable, but very firm. She remembered very well what she used to get up to, before Daryl was repatriated. There was no way she was going to let her wild daughter take the risks she used to take. She was lucky, Clare may not be so lucky. She had done a wash this morning and she saw the state of the child's underpants.
Clare groaned, and headed back to her room. Mum's tone of voice and her playing the 'Dad card' had screwed up this night completely. But she was stubborn and she would out-stubborn them.
Monday afternoon, in front of school, she could hear the Harley bikes almost a block away. What else could go wrong today? The three bikes stopped in the middle of the road then were pushed backwards, side by side angled to the gutter. Six girls met the bikers there and they were all saying how good a night they'd had in the city the night before.
Clare realised they were all tramps, but she still joined them when black eyed Davis gestured to her.
"Your parents still have got the ban on?" Clare nodded, looking about as down as a girl could feel. "Okay, this is how we will handle it. Friday night, bring the kid and Digger and Brandon will keep her occupied. You can keep me happy and I won't drop you. Be at the milk bar at seven and it will be up to you how often you keep all three of us happy. You do understand, this will be your last chance, don't you? If you've got the keep the kid happy, that's the way it must be."
Keep the kid happy, and I get to keep Davis, went through her mind. The things she had done to 'keep Davis happy' made her flinch. He was twenty years old and a better looking version of Marlon Brando. His hair was slicked back with Spruso, which he once also used to grease her bottom, when she was on her rags. It had felt better than good, even if she didn't walk properly again for two days. Mum had been very suspicious however decided to accept, the 'hurt my back from sports, ' excuse. Her little sister hadn't believed her for a second and just shook her head at how naïve their parents were.
This was this last year of school for her, and then Clare could stop relying on her parents for money. Then she could do what she liked at night. The question being, would she still have Davis by that time?
When she was sitting in the homeward bound bus, she reminded herself to buy condoms this week. She'd almost gotten over her embarrassment at going to the chemist in the next suburb over and asking for Wetcheks. If she didn't buy them he'd do her anyway, and the last thing she wants was to become pregnant and being forced to get married ... well, maybe, but one way or another.
She's 'got a lot of living to do', like the song says, and babies were not a factor in her plans. Little Bev would be with her Friday night and she's not getting to use her condoms, and those boys don't take no for an answer as Clare knows well.
Beverley was the smartest person in the Virgil family and that's not what she thinks, it was simply a fact. The trouble was that intelligence in girls wasn't valued in this day and age. Beverley understands maths up to Leaving Certificate level already, including Algebra, Calculus, Trig, and English was so easy it was boring. She found Geography annoying, as they don't place the landforms into perspective with the local environment, but this could be simply bad teaching from a disinterested teacher. Mrs Hamilton even had her marking year's one and two, English exam papers.
Some of the sciences tend to stretch her imagination a little, like organic chemistry for instance. If it hadn't been for them, she would probably be like her idiot big sister, Dumbo, and screw anything for something to do of interest. Bev could see the dumb bitch seated ahead of her in the bus.
She'd seen her talking to Davis while they were waiting for the bus, and had already worked out the probable scenario. Animal Davis, the so called leader of the pack, had told his come-slut, slave, Clare, to turn up and have sex with him or else lose him.
Order one would be bring baby sister, order two would be to let his two hairy apes take 'care' of baby sister. Meanwhile big sister gives him what he wants, whatever that that may be, literally. She knew about sex, she just didn't know the minutiæ. What virgin would?
Okay, I understand what the opposition will do. Now, what are the time limitations, and how do I counter the problem before Dumbo asks Mum? It will be guaranteed for Friday night, as there was no likelihood of her grounding ending before then.
Her condom box is empty because I've removed two extra condoms a week myself without Dumbo realising it. She will have to get more, and do that at Sutherland, two suburbs over. Our local chemist, Mr. Abernathy, would dob her into Mum so fast it would make her head spin. Also, his twin daughters are in her year, and he wouldn't let them associate with a slut who would buy condoms.
Yep, Friday night it would be! So what could I be doing Friday night that would be acceptable to Mum for me to be doing, and not be with Dumbo on Friday night? Five minutes to get off the bus and ten minutes to walk home.
My lack of a social life has to be remedied in fifteen minutes! Hold it! Scottish dancing! Almost all the girls in English are going to it at the Jannali Congregational Church Hall beginning at six. Lots of adult supervision, and all I have to do is ask before Dumbo asks. Make that five minutes home, the exercise is bound to be good for me. I wish that everything was as easy to work out as Dumbo and Greaseball. I like these new Beatles hairdos but the surfies are neater though that bleached hair bit looks stupid. The surfy girls are as thick as two planks but ... sigh ... at least they have boyfriends.
Tactic: Kiss Mum on cheek, which lets her know I'm going to suck up to her about something. Dumbo goes straight through to her room, so she'll leave it until Dad gets home or 'till tomorrow. She will have to buy condoms yet, and she didn't do her chores last weekend, so won't get her pocket money this week. I didn't have anything better to do, so I did the ironing and vacuuming, which took two hours ... and Mum knows. I made sure Mum knew. So I'm a scheming little bitch? Tell me something I don't know.
"Okay, Little Miss, what have you got on your mind?"
Tactic: place visibly fake, obviously guilty, chagrined expression on face.
"On Friday night, starting at six, is a Scottish dancing thing that all the girls in my English class are going to. It's on at the Jannali Congregational Church Hall, and goes until ten. It costs sixpence, and I will be able to wear that square-dancing dress that Clare has never used. If you wouldn't mind, you may have to pin the bust and the waist in a bit but the length is about right. May I go, please?"
"Yes, I think you have earned it. What boys will be there?"
Tactic: Give sarcastic, rhetorical reply to cover truth.
"To Scottish dancing, Mum? I don't think so, and if they were there, I wouldn't be going."
Mum muttered under her breath, "At least we won't have the Miss Hot Pants problem with you," out loud she said, "You had better go and get that dress. Do you know where it is?"
"In my wardrobe, where most of Clare's clothes are kept." <gotcha!>
"Ah yes, you may like to bring that subject up with your father, as it is a bone of contention at the moment. He listens to you."
The master of the house, Daryl, was repatriated from Changi POW camp in 1945 and had worked in old man Walton's stores since he got out of repat hospital, stayed when they became Walton-Sears and he had ever since and had been delivering furniture. Now it's become Walton's again, and he had been given a management position which had less hours, less manual labour, and more money. His body had never gotten over the hardships from the railway they all suffered through, though his mind was both alert and strong of will ... and he's alive.
.... There is more of this story ...