Promise of Love

Gary Beck

 

Phip hadn't seen Patsy for a week; not since the night when she was baby-sitting. It had been a strange, confusing night.  He had been very calm and quiet and hadn't done anything crazy to amuse the gang. He just leaned against the railing on the Parkway where they hung out, talking to Patsy, not wanting the night to end, so he could talk to her forever.

 

That night, Phip had wanted to run away from the Parkway, the gang, the fights, and all the loneliness and trouble. He had wanted to propose marriage to Patsy. He wanted to say:

 

"Let's run away somewhere, where I won't be crazy Phip, and you won't be Push, the gang-bang girl. Let's live in a little white house, near a blue lake, where all the bugs wake you up in the morning with their funny noises, and where there are lots of kids playing."

 

But he wasn't capable of anything like that. When Patsy said that he could come to her house, if he was nice, all that he could say was: "Gee, Patsy, can I?  I'd like ta." But deep inside him, a gentle flame flickered, and he could hardly wait to be alone with her. Then the Goblins came. 

 

Everything had been so peaceful. Pony and the guys were waiting for some of the girls, and they were going to the beach. Phip and Patsy were just waiting to talk to Jeanie, and then they were going to Patsy's house. But the Goblins changed everything.

 

The Goblins were a fighting gang who were at war with the Counts. When they couldn't find them, they decided that Phip and his friends would do instead. Suddenly Phip had found himself fighting one of the Goblins named Jimmy. He had knocked Jimmy into the waiting arms of Pony, and pulled his knife and threatened to cut Jimmy, if the Goblins didn't let them go. As they left, taking Jimmy with them as a hostage, Patsy had grabbed some boy who had punched Phip during the fight and knee'd him in the groin.

 

Later, when they were going to Short-arm Louie's candy store, their hangout, Pony had sent Patsy home, and made the rest of the guys walk ahead of them. He talked to Phip alone and warned him that he would have a lot of problems if Patsy became his girl, but that Billy, Tommy and he would stick by him if there was trouble.

 

Phip left the guys when they got to Short-arm Louie's, and rushed to Patsy's house. She had been waiting for him, and suddenly everything was different. She was no longer Push the gang-bang girl, who had been straddled by dozens of local hoods. Instead she was a shy girl named Patsy, alone with a boy. And he was no longer crazy Phip, whose mouth sprayed saliva when he talked about girls. Now he was an innocent young boy, falling in love for the first time.

 

Patsy had already put her little brother to bed. She turned off the living room lights and they lay down on the couch. They kissed and held each other tightly, twining together like serpents, as their mouths slowly locked on each other. Their tongues searched back and forth like little waves, lifting them higher and higher. Their bodies melted closer together, until a flash of heat burst upon them, leaving them dazed and silent....

 

Phip left soon after that and walked home slowly, smelling the sweet air of summer, listening to the soft wind caressing the trees, trying to understand what had happened. When he got home, his cousins, Nunzio and Pinto, were waiting for him. They wanted to get drunk and pick up some girls, but Phip didn't want to go with them. He went to bed in a trance, leaving Nunzio and Pinto wondering what was wrong with him.

 

Phip didn't know what to do about Patsy. One minute he wanted to be with her. All he could remember was the way they had talked that night on the parkway, and how they had been together later. But the next minute he would see her being pawed by the Counts, and he would hate her, and himself, for wanting to be with her. He didn't go to school all week, and he didn't go to Short-arm Louie's and he didn't go to the parkway. He just stayed at home, in his tiny room and lit cigarette after cigarette, surrounded by the smoke that was slowly darkening the light-blue wall. 

 

For one week Phip avoided the gang, Patsy, and facing up to how he really felt. Then it was Saturday. That night there was a big party in Tommy's basement. All the Falcons would be there with their girls. Phip had been excitedly waiting for the party and knew that he was going, so he made up his mind to ignore Patsy and pretend that nothing had happened between them. He called Nunzio, told him to pick him up at eight o'clock, and then lay down on his bed to dream the hours away.

 

 

"Phip....Phip....Wake up, Phip."

 

"What is it?  Whatsa matter?"

 

"Its me, ya dope. Nunzio. It's almost eight o'clock.  Get up and get dressed."

 

"Nunzio?"

 

"It sure ain't Cinderella. Come on. Get up."

 

"I been sleepin'."

 

"No kiddin'. Go wash your face. Maybe that'll wake you up."

 

"Gimme a cigarette."

 

"Here."

 

"Thanks. Ya got a match?"

 

"Do ya want me ta smoke it for ya too?"

 

"No, just light it....Thanks. Boy, I been sleepin' all day an' I still feel tired."

 

"What the hell's the matter with you? What have you been doin' all week?"

 

"Nothin'. I just been stayin' around the house."

 

"Your old man asked me if the cops was lookin' for ya, or if somebody was after you."

 

"The bastard would never ask me if anything was wrong, or if I needed help."

 

"Come on. It's getting late, an' I wanna see the new meat at the party before it gets taken. How do ya like my new suit? It's got a fourteen inch peg."

 

"What color is it, Navy Blue or Black?"

 

"It changes in the light. Ain't it sharp?"

 

"Yeah."

 

"Hurry up, an' let's get outta here."

 

"Awright. I'll just be a minute. Hey Nunzio, does this tie go with my grey suit?"

 

"Sure. Dark blue always goes with light grey, an' the red stripes make it stand out."

 

"Let's go. Lemme say goodnight to the old lady....Hey, Ma. I'm going out."

 

"You going out, Phipino?"

 

"Yeah, Ma. I'll be home late, so don't wait up for me."

 

"You take me to church tomorrow, to early mass?"

 

"Sure, Ma."

 

"You have good time, Phipino, an' go with a nice catholic girl."

 

"He don't have time for nice catholic girls, Angelina," his father sneered. "He's too busy running around with those tramps, and being chased by the cops."

 

"You always gotta start something, don'tcha Papa?"

 

"My Phipino doesn't get chased by the cops," his mother protested. "He's a good boy. I just worry about the girls he's with."

 

"You better start worryin' about him," his father continued nastily. "Always hanging around with those candy-store bums."

 

"That's why I hang out with them, 'cause I can't stand it at home with Papa. Come on, Nunzio. Goodnight, Ma."

 

 

"Take it easy Phip," Nunzio counseled when they were outside. "You slammed the door so hard the house almost fell in."

 

"I wish it would on that dirty bastard."

 

"Hey. You're shaking. Calm down."

 

"You don't understand, Nunzio. Every time I'm near him he says  something to hurt me. Jesus. If you can't go to your old man when you're in trouble or feeling lousy, who the hell do ya go to?"

 

"Why don't ya go talk to Father Dominic?"

 

"So he'll tell me to say five Hail Mary's an' go home an' take a cold shower. It ain't that kinda thing, Nunzio. Ya gotta feel that someone loves ya who you can talk to an' go to when ya need help."

 

"Your old lady loves ya."

 

"Yeah, but she don't know what goes on in my head. To her I'm still little Phipino. We all gotta have somebody ta go to, somebody who can know all about you, an' not let it change how they feel."

 

"Well we ain't gonna find anyone like that standin' here.  Let's pick up a bottle and get to the party. Maybe there's a broad like that just waitin' for you, an' I wanna get me a fresh piece of meat."

 

"Stop talkin' about it like that.... Where do ya wanna get the booze?"

 

"Let's go to Abe's. As long as you can carry the bottle out, he don't care how old you are."

 

"Awright. Let's get two pints. I wanna get whacked outta my mind tonight."

 

"Give me three dollars."

 

"Here."

 

"Okay. Just be real casual while we're inside."

 

 

"Hello, boys," the storekeeper greeted them. "What can I do for you?"

 

"Gimme two pints of rye," Nunzio requested.

 

"Are you over eighteen?"

 

"Yeah. I'm sixty-seven," Nunzio replied. "Can't ya tell by my grey beard?"         

 

"I just gotta be sure. The law says no selling liquor to minors, an' I don't want no trouble. Thats $5.05....Thank you, boys.  Have a good time."

 

"That guy's really hungry," Phip commented when they left.

 

"Hurry up, my feet are dancing already."

 

"Hey. Listen. I can hear the music from here."

 

"Yeah the place must be jumping." Nunzio did a little dance step. "I'm gonna have me a ball tonight."

 

"Me too, Nunzio. I'm gonna get bombed."

 

Tommy's basement was bright with light and frantic with moving, yelling, drinking, dancing bodies. The two rooms of overstuffed, ancient couches and chairs were crammed full of thirty or forty boys and girls, moving back and forth across the bare, wooden floor. Two big tables were piled high with sandwiches, potato salad, potato chips, pretzels, candy and bottles of different-flavored soda. The record player was alternately blaring out the throbbing beat of Rock'n Roll, or Cha Cha's, and 45 RPM records were being investigated in both rooms, with many demands to play a particular selection next.

 

Phip and Nunzio paused in the doorway. Phip was intent on not finding Patsy. Nunzio was intent on finding a girl for the night's entertainment. They stepped back outside, peeled the plastic guard off the top of Nunzio's bottle, and swallowed big gulps of strong, sweet rye whiskey. Fortified by the hot glow from throat to navel, and feeling confidence surge through them as fast as the whiskey, they entered the doorway. Nunzio saw a girl who interested him, tugged at Phip's sleeve in farewell and swooped onto the dance floor, a dark, lithe animal of prey. He cut in on the dancing couple, leaving the boy stranded, awkward, self-conscious and alone in the middle of the room. Phip watched as Nunzio danced the girl towards a corner, holding her close, his leg moving between her thighs with hinting insistence.

 

Phip looked around the room and saw Patsy. She was wearing a pink lace dress, sitting on a couch talking to Steve and Joe Shlitz. She looked up, saw him watching her, and waved one thick arm, gesturing him towards her. Phip's face went blank. He stood motionless looking at her, then turned away. Patsy instantly realized that he didn't go to school, or meet the gang because he was avoiding her. She took a deep breath and decided that "Push" Scagliano wasn't going to cry over him, especially in front of the Falcons. She turned back to Steve and Joe Shlitz, talking loudly and waving her hands, but she watched Phip from the corner of her eye, whenever she thought he wasn't looking at her.

 

Phip had stared hard at Patsy, wondering if the fat girl stuffed into the pink dress was the same girl whom he had held close that wonderful night and wanted to be with forever. He stood in the doorway until Billy and Tommy saw him and pulled him into the room, filling his hands with a paper plate of food and a paper cup of soda. They asked him where he had been all week.  He was still trying to think of a good answer when they drifted off. Phip moved into the anonymity of the room full of people.

 

Phip walked slowly through both rooms, saying hello to the Falcons and their girls. He was introduced to boys and girls whom he didn't know, while carefully avoiding Patsy. When Patsy saw Phip moving around the room, talking to people, she got up and started slowly and casually working her way towards him. He joined a group listening to Pony and his girl friend Jeanie describing a movie they saw Friday night. Pony, leader of the Falcons, said hello to him and so did the others, then Pony went on with the description. Patsy moved into the circle and said hello to Phip. He nodded to her and walked away. He found Nunzio and took a big drink from the open whiskey bottle. Patsy sat down unhappily on a couch and two boys whom she didn't know, but who obviously knew about her, sat down on each side of her. After a few words that she ignored they started plying her with little paper cups of whiskey.

 

Billy was dancing with Sandy, but constantly on the lookout for something better, when he noticed Patsy with the two boys.  He saw Phip and realized that he was deliberately avoiding Patsy, but didn't know what todo. He called Tommy and told him about Phip's ignoring Patsy.  They decided to find Pony and talk it over before they did anything. Pony was Cha-Cha-ing with Jeanie, so they had a drink from Billy's bottle, and waited for the dance to end.

 

"Hey, Pony. Me and Tommy gotta talk to you. It's important." 

 

"Jesus. Can't I ever have a good time with my girl without having some kinda problems? I'll be back in a minute, baby.  Why don't you get us a drink."

 

"Sure, honey. Don't be long...."

 

"What is it, Billy? What's so important?"

 

"It's about Phip and Patsy," Billy explained.

 

"What about them?"

 

"Phip ain't goin' near her."

 

"So whadda ya want me to do," Pony snapped in exasperation, "tie them together with a rope?"

 

Billy ignored his irritation. "You're his friend, ain't ya?  Ya gotta talk to Phip."

 

"What am I supposed to do, go to Phip and say, 'Hey Phip, Patsy likes ya, an she's real unhappy because you ain't with her?'"

 

"Don't kid around, Pony," Tommy added. "You said we'd help them and they need help tonight."

 

"Awright.  Let's wait and see what happens.  f they don't get together after a while, I'll talk to him. Okay? Can I go dance with Jeanie now?"

 

"Yeah", Billy agreed. "But don't forget about them."

 

Tommy watched Pony walk away and asked: "Whadda ya think's the matter with Phip, Billy?"

 

"He's a real mixed up guy, Tommy. I guess he don't know whether or not he wants to get involved with Patsy. A lotta guys have messed around with her. I guess it's hard to think of your girl being that way."

 

"Yeah. But I guess if you really like a girl you can forget those things."

 

"Maybe you can, Tommy, but you know it's hard, and it takes time. That's probably what's bothering Phip....Hey. Look at those two guys trying to make Patsy."

 

"Let's go knock their teeth out," Tommy urged.

 

"That won't do any good. Get your girl and I'll get Sandy and we'll dance near them. If they get too rough, or if Patsy gets friendly with them to spite Phip, we'll throw them out quietly. Let's dance near them casually and listen to what goes on...."

 

The two boys hovered over Patsy like famished vultures. "We've been hearin' a lot about ya, baby," one of them said.

 

"Like what?"

 

"Here, have another drink....Oh, that you like a good time."

 

"Where'd you hear that?"

 

"It wasn't in Sunday school."                      

 

"What kinda stories you been hearin about me? Everybody's always making up stories about me."

 

"Nothin' bad.  Just that you know how to take care of a guy."

 

"You mean that I put out? Why don't ya come out an say it?  Ain't ya got the guts?"

 

"Well, I didn't mean that. I was gonna...."

 

"Well, I do put out. But I gotta be good an' drunk first, so gimme another drink....Ya wanna know why I gotta be drunk? It's 'cause all you lousy guys wanna do is screw me. Nobody likes me. All they wanna do is screw me. An' I let them 'cause I don't wanna be alone all the time. I'll put out for you, but you gotta wait 'til I'm real drunk. An' you gotta be nice ta me...."

 

The first boy who had been doing all the talking whispered to his friend: "She's really gettin' plastered. Let's take her into the backyard. You bring the glasses an' I'll bring her."

 

"What are we gonna do with her?"

 

"I don't know what you're gonna do, but I'm gonna bang her."

 

"Where?"

 

"Against the wall or on the ground. What difference does it make? She's a fat pig an' can take it any way. I'm first."

 

"You guys are talkin' about me, ain't ya?" Patsy asked. "I can tell.  Whadda ya sayin' about me?"

 

"I was just tellin' my friend how pretty you are. Let's go outside for a while. The air'll make you feel better."

 

"I don't wanna feel better. I wanna feel worse an' worse. I wanna die. I thought he liked me an' he won't even look at me.  He probably thinks I put out for anyone. Well, I'll put out....I want somebody's arms around me....I just want somebody to hold me."

 

"Come on in the backyard.  I'll hold you," the first boy coaxed.

 

"I want him to hold me....I want him to say, `Patsy, it don't matter ta me what ya done. You're gonna be my girl from now on, an' everything'll be different...." Then she said in despair: "But he don't want me."

 

"I want ya, baby. An' I'll hold ya."

 

"I know what you want....Gimme another drink."

 

"Wait'll we get out the door...." The two boys helped her to her feet and steered Patsy outside. "All right. Here's a good spot," he said to his friend. Then he turned to Patsy. "Isn't it better outside....Let's go over there where it's darker...."

 

Billy saw them go out and followed after them with Tommy. "Awright you guys. The party's over. Take off."

 

"Whadda ya mean?  Who're you."

 

"I said the party's over," Billy growled menacingly. "You're not hard of hearin', are ya?"

 

"Are you her brother or something?"

 

"Punk. Get goin', before I smear your ass all over the yard," Billy threatened.

 

"Leave him alone, Billy," Patsy protested. "Why do you care who screws me, if it ain't your friend?"

 

"Shut your mouth, Patsy. Don't talk like that," Billy turned to the boys and said: "If I have to tell you once more, your friend'll carry you home."

 

"All right," he conceded. "We're going."

 

Billy watched them go, then turned to the distraught girl. "What the hell's the matter with you, Patsy, carryin' on like that?"

 

"Whadda you care. Your lousy friend thinks I'm too cheap, and that I'm a whore. He won't even look at me."

 

"He don't feel that way at all, Patsy," Billy explained. "He's just mixed up. He's a funny guy. He was real upset when he saw you goin' outside with those guys."

 

"Then why didn't he do anything?"

 

"Cause he's confused. Just give him some time, an' you'll see that he really likes ya."

 

"Do ya think so, Billy?"

 

"Sure. Tommy thinks so too, an' so does Pony. An' we know Phip for a long time."

 

"Yeah," Tommy chimed in. "That's why he didn't go to school all week."

 

"What should I do, Billy?"

 

"Just go back inside, an' you'll see that Phip'll come after you. But don't drink so much, an' don't fool around with another guy."

 

"Okay. Thanks, Billy. You too, Tommy. You can be real nice guys when you want to be. I never knew that."

 

"Forget it," Billy said.

 

The mood of the party had changed as the evening wore on.  The lights were turned low in one room and shadowy figures swayed back and forth on the dance floor, bodies pressed together, feet unmoving. Couples necked on the ancient, overstuffed couches. Soft, pulsing music throbbed urgently through the dark room, exciting the couples to more passionate explorations. In the other room, a crap game, with girls shaking the dice for their boyfriends, competed with the sensual mood of the music. Money passed back and forth, and pleas of "get hot, dice," and "baby needs a new charm bracelet," demanded luck's attention.

 

Phip, so drunk that he could barely stand, took his turn with the dice, and after passing them to someone else, kept making sidebets. Patsy watched him with sad eyes, wanting to just pull that thin, curly-black head to her breast, and rub away their problems. But any time she moved near him, he quickly changed his position and refused to talk to her. Others had noticed Patsy moving towards Phip and his ignoring her, so she was starting to feel self-conscious and she resigned herself to just waiting and hoping.

 

People had been coming and going since the start of the party, so when five boys walked in, nobody noticed them at first. They stood just inside the doorway of the lighted room, arrogant and tough looking. Jeanie saw them and signaled to Pony by nodding towards them. He slowly turned and saw them. They were from a small gang of hoods who hung around with the Counts.  Sometimes the Counts would back them up in a fight. Other times they were left to deal with it alone. But they always acted as if they had a large, tough gang to help them if they got into trouble.

 

All of them had fooled around with Patsy at one time or another One of them, Bobby Schacter, had threatened to beat-up Billy. So Pony walked towards them, trying to think of a way to avoid trouble.  he Falcons were always friendly to the Counts, but they were never sure how friendly the Counts were to them.

 

"Whadda ya say, guys?" Pony greeted them in a friendly voice.

 

"How ya doin', Pony," Bobby replied. "We heard you were havin a party an we figured we'd come for a while. Do ya mind?"

 

"No. But no trouble. Everyone's havin' a good time an I want it to stay that way."

 

"We never start trouble, Pony."

 

"No. We just finish it," another boy named Eddie declared.

 

"Well, come on in," Pony said reluctantly. "The Falcons are gonna have a meetin' soon, but you can stay 'til it gets started."

 

"It don't sound as if we're too welcome, Pony," Eddie commented.

 

"It's not that, Eddie. It's just that this was for the Falcons an' their girls. But now that you're here you can stay for a while."

 

"You got anything to drink?" Bobby asked.

 

"Some of the boys got bottles. Ask around an' somebody'll give you a drink."

 

"Hey, Eddie," one of the other boys announced. "I'm gonna get into the game. Any a you guys feel lucky?"

 

"Yeah, I do...." 

 

"Me, too."

 

"Go ahead," Eddie said. "Me an' Bobby are gonna cruise around."

 

After looking around the room, Bobby nudged his friend. "Eddie. Look who's here. Push Scagliano."

 

"Whata ya know. Maybe this party won't be a bust after all.  at least we can all get laid."

 

"I'll go dance with her, an' see what I can set up for later. Why don't you see if you can get a bottle from somebody."

 

"Awright, Bobby," Eddie answered. "I'll find out what the big meetin's all about, too."

 

Bobby made his way through the crowd and approached Patsy. "Whadda ya say, Push?"

 

"Hello, Bobby."

 

"You here alone?"

 

"No. I'm with somebody."

 

"Come on an' dance with me, until he gets back."

 

"I don't feel like dancin', Bobby. Thanks anyway."

 

"Well I feel like dancin', so come on." He grabbed her and pulled her to him.

 

"You're hurtin' my arm," she protested.

 

"Just treat me nice, Push, an' I won't hurt you at all." And he started to run his hands over her body.

 

"Don't do that, Bobby. Stop feelin' me up."

 

"Since when don't you like it?"

 

"I never did. Now stop."

 

"Don't give me that. Remember that night when I was with you in the schoolyard? You liked it then."

 

"Well I don't like it now, so let me go."


"Not yet." He saw Eddie approaching and said loudly: "The boys feel like gettin' laid tonight, Push."

 

"You gonna take care of us?" Eddie demanded.

 

"No," she insisted. "Now lemme alone. Let go!  Phip....  Phip....  He's feelin' me up, an' hurtin' me."

 

Phip rushed to her and confronted Bobby. "Let her go, Bobby."

 

"Beat it, Phip, before ya get hurt."

 

"You dirty bastard," Phip yelled and reached into his pocket and took out his knife. "Let go of her before I cut your guts out."

 

"You shouldn't a pulled that knife, Phip," Bobby warned.

 

Eddie picked up a chair and moved behind Phip. Patsy saw him and shouted a warning. "Look out, Phip!" But it was too late and Phip crumpled to the floor. Pony rushed to them and faced Bobby.

 

"What happened?....What's going on?"

 

"Eddie hit Phip with a chair," Bobby explained indifferently.

 

"Awright, Eddie," Pony ordered. "Get your boys an' get out."

 

"We're not ready to go yet, Pony," Eddie mumbled.

 

"Get going fast, or I'll kick your ass an' let the Falcons stomp the shit out of your boys."

 

"Okay, Pony.  But I ain't forgettin' this."

 

"I'm not forgettin' either, Eddie."

 

Billy saw the confrontation and hurried to support his friends. When the intruders were gone he turned to Pony.


"What happened to Phip, Pony?"

 

"He's just out cold, Billy. Take it easy."

 

"What happened?"

 

"Bobby Schacter started foolin' around with Patsy, and Phip pulled his knife. Eddie hit him on the head with a chair."

 

"Let's beat the shit outta those punks."

 

"I don't want nothin' happenin' that'll get us into a rumble with the Counts. Tomorrow I'll go to their hangout an' talk to Sonny, an' find out if they'll do anything if we take care of Bobby and Eddie. But let it go for now."

 

Billy nodded, then turned to Patsy. "How is he, Patsy?"

 

"He's still out cold. Poor Phip. They really hurt him.  Leave us alone in here please, Pony."

 

"Awright.  Everybody come on into the other room.  Put a cold, wet cloth on his head.  When he wakes up, he'll be all right. He's gotta hard head, Patsy."

 

The others walked away and Patsy tenderly cradled Phip in her lap.

 

"My poor Phippy. All I wanted to do all night was hold you, an' somebody had to knock you out for me to get my arms around you. But now I know that you like me. You were tryin' to protect me. My poor little baby. I'm gonna take good care of you, my Phippy."

 

Phip finally stirred, then moaned in discomfort. "Ohhhhh.  Ohhhhh. My head. What happened?"

 

"It's all right, Phippy. It's me, Patsy."

 

"Patsy! Where is he? Where's that Bobby Schacter? I'll kill him for touchin' you."

 

"He's gone....I don't want ya killin' anybody over me. I just want you to like me."

 

"Ohh. My head hurts."

 

"I'll get you a cold cloth. You just lie there, Phippy."

 

"Where is everybody?"

 

"They're in the other room. Now lie still."

 

She went to the bathroom, wet a hand towel with cold water, went back to Phip and put it on his head.

 

"That feels real good."

 

"You shouldn't have taken your knife out."

 

"I'm all mixed up, Patsy. All week I been thinkin' about you. One minute I wanted to be with you an' the next I hated your guts."

 

"Don't talk now, Phippy. Wait till you feel better."

 

"I don't wanna wait. I been goin' crazy. All week long I didn't know what to do, so I just stayed in my room. It was like bein' in jail. I wanted you so bad it hurt, and I hated myself for wanting to be with you. I decided that I wouldn't have anything to do with you, an' all night I tried to ignore you."

 

"Why, Phippy? After last week didn't you know it was something special?"

 

"I was all mixed up....I kept drinkin' tonight, and gettin' drunker and drunker, but all I could think about was you. And when you called me to help you, I went wild. I was gonna kill that bastard."

 

"Its over now, Phippy. Promise me that you'll forget about it."

 

"You don't want me to get him?"

 

"I don't want you doin' anything if you could get hurt.  Promise me you'll forget him."

 

"All right, Patsy. I promise....Oh, my head is spinning. I don't know if it's the booze or getting hit, but I feel so tired."

 

"Close your eyes an' rest for a while, Phippy. We can go back to the party later."

 

"Will you stay with me, Patsy?"

 

"Yes, Phippy. I'll stay with you."

 

"I'm so sleepy....I can't keep my eyes open....I feel the way I did when I was with you last week....I feel calm....I don't feel like I'm being chased all the time....I feel....Real.... Good...."

 

"Sleep, my little Phippy. Sleep with your head in Patsy's lap....In Patsy's arms....Sleep, my little baby....I'll stay with you, my Phippy, as long as you want me....Forever and ever and ever....And when you're feelin' better, we'll go back to the party....Together...."

 

Gary Beck’s recent fiction has appeared in 3AM Magazine, Fullosia Press, EWG Presents, Nuvein Magazine, Vincent Brothers Review, The Journal, Short Stories Monthly, L’Intrigue Magazine, Babel Magazine and Bibliophilos. His poetry has appeared in dozens of literary magazines. His plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes, and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. He is a writer/director of award-winning social issue video documentaries.

 

Photo Courtesy of 123rf.

 

 

Previous  Home  Table of Contents  Next

 

Fiction Copyright © 2007 Gary Beck. All rights reserved.