The story so far:
Things Not Made To Open - 13 by scryier
The New Year brought some changes. One of Jennifer's well to do sister's, set up a meeting between Jennifer and her neighbors Certified Public Accountant, son. His name was Edward Adam Peltz and I thought he was a real schlub. I'm not even sure there is such a thing as a schlub, but if ever there is, Edward Adam Peltz is one of them.
Edward Adam Peltz was six feet tall. I'm 5' 11" and three quarters. Edward Adam Peltz weighed in the neighborhood of 160 pounds. I can never get my weight to go above 130. He drove a luxury car. I took the bus. His hair was neat and trim. I keep mine long, to hide my big ears. He wore fine tailored clothes. I wore jeans and sweaters. As my father was fond of saying; "he's a mench. You're a bum."
Theresa had a different way of seeing it.
"He works with numbers," she said. "You work with words. He lives in a very neat and orderly world. You create yours. Give yourself a break."
"He a success," I'd say. "I'm not."
"Your day will come."
I'm still waiting.
I didn't like Edward Adam Peltz. He was all over Jennifer. Jennifer was his and Edwardo had every intention of letting the world know it. All of a sudden, the every day, ordinary things in life weren't good enough for Jennifer, anymore. Who needed the Campus Coffee Hut when there was Red Lobster? Who ate in Brooklyn restaurants when there was classy Manhattan dining? Who went to movies when there were Broadway shows to be seen? Who wore Levi's when there was Calvin Klein? Jennifer didn't even like Rock 'n Roll, anymore. Now, it was strictly jazz.
I never saw anybody change so fast in all my life.
"She has a lot to live up to," Theresa would explain. "She was born into money. Her brother forged ahead and struck it rich, on his own. Her sisters married the right men. They both have big, elaborate homes and kids. She wants that. Her mother wants that for her. Besides, if she's running around with Eddie all the time, we don't have to put up with her so much anymore."
It was a good point. Jennifer always walked around with dollar signs in her eyes. Her potential dates had to show proof of income before she'd go out with them. I remember this one guy that drove a Wonder Bread truck. His name was Fred. He was one of the nicest guys Jennifer ever introduced me to. He was polite. He was a gentleman. He treated Jennifer really nice, but as soon as his back was turned, she'd have some nasty remark about him.
"I'm going to marry a guy that delivers Wonder Bread?"
"It might not be such a bad idea," I'd say. "Just think of all the money you'll save, building bodies in twelve different ways."
There were times I just didn't like Jennifer Ellen Hirsch. If she could talk behind the back of the guy she was dating, I wondered what she had to say behind the backs of her friends.
Theresa, on the other hand, was a lot more down to earth. The less time Jennifer spent with Theresa and or I, the more time Theresa and I were spending together. Then, one late February night, it happened. It was during Spring Break. Eddie had taken Jennifer to Cancun and Theresa had gone to Florida with her father to visit her father's brother.
Theresa lasted all of three days. She hated the heat. She hated the food and she hated her father's brother. He was just like her father. He loved to talk.
"Do you have any idea," she asked me. "What it's like to spend a day with two old men who can't keep their mouths shut long enough to let the other one finish what he's saying? It drove me nuts. My father drove me nuts and my uncle drove me nuts. All they did was argue and all they wanted me to do was settle the argument. If I thought my father was right and I said so, my Uncle got mad at me. If I thought my Uncle was right and I said so, my father got mad at me. If I played it safe and offered no opinion at all, they both got mad at me. They never once got mad at each other; only me!"
Mid way through her third full day in Florida, Theresa announced she was going home. She took a cab to the airport in Miami and traded her return trip ticket for the first available flight home. She landed at Newark International Airport and called me. I was out looking for Koa. Lorraine had called to see if I heard from the girl. She hadn't spoken to her since she moved into her Aunt's house in East New York and she could never seem to reach her at the Adult Home.
"Do you think you could go over there and remind her that she has a sister?" Lorraine asked. "We still have Christmas presents sitting on the living room floor for her."
I told Lorraine, I would and road over to the Adult Home where I was a welcomed visitor. I spent the better part of the day, there. Apparently, Koa had traded off her Assistant Recreation position for a lower paying, off hours spot as a kitchen attendant. Seems she came in after midnight, mopped floors, cleaned bathrooms and helped served breakfast.
"What?" I said. "Why in the world did she do that?"
"Those are the hours her boy friend, Melido, works." Tim
explained. "He wanted her on the job, with him. She said if I didn't find a similar shift for her, she'd quit. She's a good worker, Ben. I didn't want to lose her altogether."
"I see," I said, without really seeing at all. "Well, could you have somebody tell her to call her sister?"
Tim said he would and I went home. That's when I found out Theresa returned. She called me again, from her house.
"I finally got you," she said. "Where were you?"
I told her about Lorraine's call.
"Can you come over?"
"Good. Bring a bottle of wine and a pizza. I'll tell you all about my trip."
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