Topanga Chapter 4

Don Bajema Issue: Section:

4. Sissy

I knew the old guy from next door, Abner, had seen me go in. And he was talking to the clueless looking guy who lives one door over with his wife and the little girl with the kittens so he'd seen me too. I wondered if Abner would think he should just go over to my dad's and let him know where I was, he was protective and all that. Or a busy body. Probably both, so I was surprised when he knocked on the door and Junior called him to wait a second.

Junior was wiping his nose and lining out a pile of coke on the coffee table. Then he looked at this movie star like, 'well, go get the door', pretty disrespectful if you consider it something important to be a movie star. Real handsome this guy. I knew he'd be a star when I saw him playing a solider who got killed saving a farm girl against orders in the early part of this war movie Dad dragged me to. They built him up so that you missed him. And then pretty soon in the next movie he was the guy the story was about, and now, he's this big movie star. First one I'd ever been around and I wasn't that impressed. Junior either, I guess, because he just flicked his chin without a smile or anything  and Richard Hemmings, big star, got up to answer the door with all his handsomeness just melting all over the floor.

There was two of them, stars. The other guy had a pompadour and was a son in a western on television for years and after that played a detective in the mean streets of Los Angeles. They had a high school girl with them who was interested in theater and kept kidding about the interview she wasn't getting for her school paper. She was pretty nervous with the coke in the pile and the big assed gun beside Junior. You could tell the way she ignored everything but Richard who she kept staring at like he was a life preserver and couldn't bring herself to look at hardly anyone in the room.

I'd sat beside her on the couch and knew how scared she really was by the way my being there offered her some kind of relief.

Though, she stayed nervous because Junior never really took his eyes off me.  I had to toss off his glances a few times before he settled down and realized I wasn't just going to fall at his feet or something. But I kept him interested.

I turned my hips around to face this girl who was almost dumb with fear,

"So, where'd you meet Richard Hemmings?"
"School. Theater group got to go to a rehearsal."
"Oh..are you an actress too?"
"No, but..."
Feeling eyes on me I looked over my shoulder at Junior and sort of took a breath that was in the territory of 'get lost.'  He leaned into the pompadour and started talking about girls.
I waited for her to finish her sentence.
"Oh..yeah, no, but I've been an extra in some movies.."
"Yeah..what ones?"
"Lost Nights."
"You were in Lost Nights? Really?"
Counted myself lucky to have seen it at the drive-in last summer.
"In the grocery store when they came in and robbed it I was.."
"Running for the door!"
"No..I ran for the door after she ran for the door."
"Oh..right you were one of the girls that ran through the door and..."
She was warming up, the color was coming back to her face a little and she'd smiled a couple times.
"You want to take a walk outside or something?"
She looked around for Richard Hemmings who was standing in the door to the kitchen drinking a beer talking to Abner who all but ignored me, which I appreciated, while glancing at the pile of coke, his pile of money and the gun on the table.
She got up and kind of took tiny steps up to Richard, lowered her shoulders until she was under his gaze and said something and he nodded, "..Yes, he thought that would be alright." His eyes shifted to Abner signaling amusement at the power he held over her. Abner didn't bite though, he looked at the floor and started a new topic with a wave of the beer in his hand.
Meanwhile she beelined for the door. I got up to my feet, smoothed the back of my capri's with my hands and without noticing who was looking went to the door and fumbled with the locks, no matter what you turned something was locked.
Junior did some kind of sexy manly chuckle and walked over, leaned himself on my back, put his arm over my shoulder and snapped them in order and pushed the door open with a little touch of disdain,
He asked me if I was coming back and I said I might be later.

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