Pushed to the Limit
by Bonnie Gibson
|Table of Contents|
Part 1 appears
in this issue.
Man he is good-looking, Brenda thought as she approached him. Sorry Skip, but I gotta get to know this boy.
“Well hello again,” Billy said. “I’m looking forward to the dance.”
“Yeah, me too,” said Brenda, “but there is something I have to clear up with you.”
“What’s that?” Billy asked.
“I kinda already have a date for this dance. Skip is expecting me to dance with him. We really aren’t going together and I want to get to know you, so if you don’t mind just go on to the dance and I’ll save a dance for you. We can talk and get to know each other.” Brenda said.
“Okay, that’ll be fine.” Billy said. “I couldn’t imagine you not having a date for the homecoming dance. I’ll be glad to wait my turn to dance with you.”
“Thanks for understanding,” Brenda said. “I have to go and change now for the dance. The gym is over there. See, right where that open door is?” Brenda pointed toward the gym. “I’ll see you there.”
“Sure thing,” said Billy.
Brenda went into the girls’ locker room to change into her regular clothes for the dance. Cindy was there along with the other cheerleaders.
“How did it go?” Cindy asked.
“So far so good.” Brenda said. “I told him that Skip was expecting me to be with him, but I wanted to get to know him too, that Skip and I aren’t really going together, and that I would save a dance for him.”
“He was okay with that?” Cindy asked.
“Yeah,” Brenda said. “He said he couldn’t imagine me NOT having a date for the homecoming game.”
“Wow. That’s cool.” Cindy said.
“We’d better hurry, the boys will be waiting,” Brenda said.
“That’s easy for you to say,” Cindy said. “I don’t even have one and you have two waiting for you.”
“You can help me with Skip,” Brenda told Cindy. “I’ll need some time to get to know Billy.”
“Gee thanks, but I think I can handle finding one on my own,” Cindy said laughing.
The girls were off to the dance, all excited about what was about to take place. As they entered the gym, Brenda spotted Skip over by the punch bowl. She hurried over to talk to him but the music was so loud from the band that she had to yell for him to hear her.
“Congratulations Skip, on the win,” Brenda yelled.
“Thanks, I was worried there for a few minutes. I didn’t know if they were going to get the extra point or not.” Skip yelled. “I sure didn’t want to loose our homecoming game and I really didn’t want it to go into overtime.”
“I didn’t either,” Brenda yelled as she leaned over to Skip’s ear for him to hear her better.
The music stopped for a moment.
“That music sure is loud.” Skip said.
“It sure is but isn’t the band great?” Brenda replied.
“Yeah, we were fortunate to get these guys,” Skip said.
Just then Brenda saw Billy walking over to them.
Oh no. Not now Billy, Brenda thought as she saw him approaching. Here he comes, think Brenda, think.
Brenda smiled as Billy approached.
“Hi Billy,” Brenda said in a shy voice.
She looked at Skip and said. “Skip, this is Billy, Billy, this is Skip. Skip, I met Billy earlier at the game. We chatted for a minute and I promised him a dance or two. I hope you don’t mind.”
“Would it do any good if I did?” Skip asked in an angry tone.
“Oh Skip, please don’t be that way,” Brenda said. “We are good friends and I hope to keep it that way. Let’s just see how tonight goes, okay?”
“I guess I don’t have a choice do I?” Skip remarked.
The music began again and Skip pulled Brenda out on the dance floor, hoping to get her away from her new acquaintance. Skip was never really a dancer. He was overweight and very sensitive to his problem. Any other time he probably would have just stood around and talked, but tonight he knew he had competition.
You would think that Brenda, being a cheerleader and all, would have boys all around her but it wasn’t that way. Brenda was brought up poor and didn’t have the clothes and things that all the other girls had. She had somewhat of a complex about that. I guess that kept her from getting involved with most of the jocks in her school. She didn’t think she fit in with them and they never showed her any attention, even though she was cheerleader.
The only way she had gotten to be cheerleader was hard work. She had practiced day in and day out doing cheers. If the kids in school had voted for cheerleader she was sure to loose, but a committee of women and men voted for the best team of cheerleaders and Brenda was on the team. She and three of her friends worked hard and had won. It was a dream come true for Brenda and she was going to try to make the best of it.
She and Skip had had several dates but it wasn’t anything serious as far as she was concerned. Skip being overweight, was not exactly what Brenda wanted in a date, but she didn’t want to put him down because of it, neither did she want to lead him on and hurt him. She had tried to make it clear that she was his friend. Now she had to let him down gently, being very careful not to hurt him. She could feel this Billy was going to be something special.
Stanley Sims drove up to his house. He was very tired. He had had a long day. He couldn’t wait to get something to eat and get in his recliner and rest. He hoped that his wife had something good cooked to eat. As he drove into the driveway he could see that Henrietta wasn’t home. I wonder where she is now, he thought.
Tom heard Stanley’s car approaching and walked out into the yard. As Stanley got out of his car, Tom had almost reached him. Several hours had passed since he had gotten Billy out of the house.
“Evening Stanley,” Tom said.
“How are you Mr. Weaver?” Stanley replied.
“Well I’m fine, Stanley but your little boy isn’t.”
“Billy, what’s wrong with Billy?” Stanley asked with a worried look.
“Well he’s okay now, but he wasn’t earlier,” Tom replied.
“What happened Mr. Weaver, where’s Henrietta?”
“I don’t know where that wife of yours is, Stanley but she left Billy at home by himself. She locked him up in the bedroom closet. I figured she had left him when I saw her leave. I got my ladder and went through a window when I heard him crying inside. The doors were locked. Luckily a window was unlocked where I could get in. This isn’t the first time, Stanley. You need to talk to that wife of yours. I’m going to call the police if it ever happens again.”
“Thank you Mr. Weaver for everything. I’ll talk to her. Please if this ever happens again, just call me. Please don’t call the police.” Stanley handed Tom a card. “You can reach me here at all times. Don’t hesitate to call me. I’ll come right home. I’m sorry for the trouble. I’ll come right over and get Billy.”
Henrietta Sims stepped out of the shower and carefully put on her bathrobe. “I’ll be damned if I’m staying here another minute by myself,” she said. “I’m tired of housework. I’m tired of being here with this brat all day by myself with no one to keep me company. Stanley isn’t home most of the time and he never takes me anywhere.”
She went over to her closet and picked out a light blue blouse. She searched through all the clothes until she found just the right skirt to go with it. It was a navy blue miniskirt. This is it, she thought. She got dressed and fixed her hair. She was careful to put on just the right amount of make-up, which was too much for most people.
Admiring herself in the mirror she saw her son looking in through her bedroom door. “What do you want?” she asked.
“Mommy are you going somewhere?” He asked.
“Yes, I’m going out. Your dad will be here soon to stay with you.”
“Please don’t go Mommy,” he begged.
“Shut up!” Henrietta yelled. Just shut your mouth if you know what’s good for you. I’ve got things I need to do.”
“Please let me go with you,” he begged.
“No; You can’t go. Now go away and stop bothering me.” She yelled.
“But Mommy, I’m scared to stay here by myself. Please let me go,” he continued to beg.
Henrietta jumped up from her seat in front of the mirror. “I guess if I’m going to get out of here I’ve got to shut you up one way or another.” She dragged him by the shirt collar, screams coming from him, and threw him in the bedroom closet. “Now if I hear another peep out of you I’m coming back and you’re gonna get it kid.”
Billy was scared of being left alone but even more scared of what his mother was going to do to him if he didn’t be quiet. He tried to stop crying. He tried to think of something good that would make him feel better. He thought of his dad. My dad will come and get me out, he thought. He thought about the dog that his dad had promised to get him. I’ll name him Charley, he thought. He heard the door slam. He knew that his mom had left. He couldn’t hold it any longer. He began to cry. He was so scared. He couldn’t understand why his mommy had left him home alone.
The music was very loud. Skip and Brenda were dancing. Brenda kept looking over at Billy. She knew that she wanted to be with him. She leaned up close to Skip’s ear and said, “Skip, you know I like you as a friend but it hasn’t went any further for me. I think maybe there might just be something taking place here with Billy. I know I just met him tonight but I want to dance with him. I don’t want to hurt you Skip; I value our friendship, and you know that. I don’t want this to end our friendship. Would you mind if I just spent some time with Billy tonight?”
“Brenda, I like you a lot, more than you know, but if you don’t feel the same way, I can’t do anything about that. Go ahead and spend your time with him. I’m here if you need me.” Skip said.
Brenda leaned over and gently kissed him on the cheek, “Thanks Skip, I’ll never forget this.”
The music stopped and Brenda hurried to find Billy in the crowd. He was standing over by the doorway drinking a Coca-Cola. Several girls were gathered around talking to him.
“So you didn’t like our punch?” Brenda asked as she approached him.
Billy smiled and said, “ I thought you’d never get through dancing.”
“I had to talk to Skip. I didn’t want to hurt him and I had to smooth things over with him. He’s a good friend and I want to keep it that way. We’ve known each other since kindergarten.”
“You must not have moved like I did growing up.”
“No, my parents were pretty stable,” Brenda said. “We moved a few times but I stayed in the same school.”
“I wish I could say that,” Billy said, “We moved all the time. My dad was in the military and we had to move a lot.”
“I guess you had to change schools a lot then.” Brenda said.
“Yeah, I remember changing schools two times in one year.” Billy replied.
“How did you ever keep up?” Brenda said. “It was hard enough for me to keep up going to the same school all my life.”
“It was hard. Just as I got used to one school, we’d move again and I had to start all over. Every school was different. We had different books.” Billy said. “But it was okay, I got to meet a lot of people that I wouldn’t have met if Dad weren’t in the Marines.”
The music began again and Billy gently reached out for Brenda’s hand and led her onto the dance floor. Tingles went down her spine as Billy touched her hand.
Woe, I knew there was something special about this boy, Brenda thought as she glided to the dance floor, holding on to his hand.
Billy reached up and put his left arm around Brenda’s waist and locked his right hand into her left. Billy was a good dancer and he was showing it. Brenda was on cloud nine. She looked over to see if any of her classmates could see her dancing with this cute guy. Sure enough, she was getting a quite a few looks from the other girls.
“You’re a good dancer,” Brenda told Billy.
“You’re not so bad yourself,” Billy said.
Brenda and Billy danced every song. It seemed they were inseparable for the night. Brenda kept looking over at Skip. He was dancing some but seemed unhappy. She hated that she had hurt him but was so happy with Billy that she couldn’t do anything about it.
Brenda looked at her watch and realized that it was almost time for her to be home.
“I have to be home by midnight. My parents are pretty strict. I came with my friend Cindy, I guess I need to go back with her.”
“I would love to take you home. I want to know where you live.” Billy said. “I hope we can continue to see each other because I have enjoyed myself tonight.”
“Yeah, me too,” Brenda said. “Let me go talk to Cindy and see what she says.”
Brenda found Cindy and began to explain the situation. Cindy was happy for Brenda but seemed a little jealous of her.
“Go ahead and go with him Brenda,” Cindy said. “It’ll be okay, I don’t mind, but are you sure he is okay? I mean are you sure you’ll be safe and all? You know you just met him.”
“Yeah, I’m sure,” Brenda said. “I’ll be okay. He is going to be something special; I can feel it. Will you smooth it over with your mom? I don’t want her to go to my house or anything. Since I came with you she may feel that I need to go back with you.”
“Oh yeah, I’ll fix it with Mom, don’t worry, just have fun,” Cindy said.
Brenda gave Cindy a big hug and went back over to Billy. He had sat down on a bench in the corner of the gym talking to some of Brenda’s classmates.
“You ready to go?” Brenda asked in a perky voice, smiling from ear to ear.
This just made her day to be leaving with such a nice looking boy as Billy, in front of her classmates that always looked down at Brenda. Some of them failed to make cheerleader although they were very popular with the other kids in school. Having judges’ pick the cheerleaders had helped Brenda to become cheerleader because of her talents, not popularity.
“Yep, I’m ready, waiting for you,” Billy said. He stood up and reached for Brenda’s hand. Brenda quickly took his hand and smiled at the other girls.
After getting out the door of the gym Billy asked, “what was that all about?”
“What?” Brenda asked.
“You know, the voice.” Billy said.
“Oh that,” said Brenda. “I was just rubbing it in.”
“Rubbing what in?” He asked with a puzzled look on his face.
“Rubbing in the fact that I am leaving with you, silly,” Brenda said. “They treat me pretty bad sometimes. They are the girl jocks, so to speak. I’m not really popular. I got to be cheerleader because of my abilities to cheer and not on popularity. So if you’re looking for a popular girl, I’m not it. I’m just a common person, nothing more.”
“I’m not looking for a popular girl. I wasn’t a jock when I was in school. I played football in Jr. High some but I wasn’t popular either. I’m just a plain old boy.”
“Then I guess we are alike,” said Brenda. “I was always taught to treat everyone the same, but I guess everyone didn’t grow up like I did.”
Billy and Brenda reached the car. Billy opened the door for Brenda, helped her in the car and shut the door.
How did I get this lucky: good-looking and manners, she thought as she waited for Billy to come around and get into the driver’s seat.
“This car is great.” She said. “You must get paid pretty good on your job.”
“Well, I still live at home with my mom and dad,” Billy replied. “It doesn’t pay enough for me to be out on my own and have this car. I hope to get a raise soon though.”
“So, what do you do?” asked Brenda.
“I’m an insurance salesman,” Billy replied, “I sell life, burial, you name it I sell it.”
“Sounds like a good job.” Brenda said.
“Well I don’t intend to sell insurance all my life. I hope to get to go to college and become an accountant. I’ve always wanted to do that. I’m trying to save money so I can go to college. My parents said they would help me if I would work for a year and save some of it myself,” Billy said. “They could pay it all but they want me to help. They said I’d make better grades if I had some money invested in it myself.”
“I live on Narrow Point road. If you turn right at the next road it will take you there, and then it’s just a few miles to my house.” Brenda said.
Billy and Brenda chatted as they went toward her house. They talked about jobs, college, their likes and dislikes. Brenda was really happy about meeting Billy. She couldn’t wait to tell her parents about him, although she wasn’t sure of how they would handle her coming home with him without getting to know him first.
Copyright © 2006 by Bonnie Gibson