Fearing Myra would start on him next, making a mistake he quickly, and always thereafter regretted—because Walter truly loved Marsha—“Yes! For God’s sake,” siding with his wife, turning on the girl, “that’s not too much to ask! Why in hell can’t you just do it?”
Tears coming to Marsha’s eyes, she felt she’d been assaulted by Myra and betrayed and abandoned by Walter—whom she’d truly considered as a friend rather than her father-in-law—and now, trapped, having no means of leaving this house, her eyes shifting from Myra to Walter and back, standing lost and terrified, not knowing what to do, what to say…
The phone rang...
November 4, 1955
“I’ll get it!” Looking at Marsha, stepping out from behind the table, “It’ll give you a chance to calm down.” Going to den, “Hello.”
Surprised his father had answered the phone instead of Marsha. “Hi, Dad. How are you?”
“Fine, Mitch,” he said a little too quickly, a little too loudly as he looked at Marsha, who had followed closely behind, then at Myra, who was standing in the doorway. “How’s everything with you?”
“I’m not overjoyed at shoving off tomorrow, but there’s not a hell of a lot I can do about it… How’s mom and the boys?”
“Fine.” Looking at Myra, “You want to say hello to your mother?”
Still wondering why Marsha hadn’t answered or been put on the line by now, figuring he’d just as soon get the conversation with his mother over with before speaking to Marsha, “Yeah, sure, put her on.”
Not trusting herself to speak calmly, shaking her head, Myra whispered, “Tell him I got sick and went into the bathroom.”
“Mitchell, your mother’s not feeling too good tonight, and she’s in the bathroom… Here, here’s Marsha. Bye!”
Handing the phone to Marsha, holding his forefinger vertically in front of his lips, “Shhh!” he warned her.
Taking the phone from Walter, “Hi, baby,” breathing deeply, trying to sound as natural as possible, “how are you?”
Sensing something was wrong when Marsha hadn’t answered the phone, and now, by the tone of her voice, “What’s wrong?”
The family would usually give Marsha privacy while speaking to Mitchell, now though, they were all in the den, listening, waiting to see what, if anything, she’ll say about what had happened.
Still having a hard time believing that Myra had actually thrown a cup of hot coffee at her, finding it hard to converse, “Everything’s just fine,” she said a little too quickly, a little too loudly. “As a matter of fact…”
Mitchell believed there was a problem, but if there was, Halfmoon was sailing tomorrow morning and there was nothing he could do about it anyway, so, Really, he thought, I’d just as soon not hear about it.
“….I’ve got some good news, some really good news!”
“Good news, eh? That would be nice for a change.”
Ignoring the comment, “My uncle Willy…” she said, forcing what earlier had been barely contained excitement, “you’ve never met his friend, Myron, but he owns a used car lot, and guess what?”
Catching her feigned excitement, “Yeah, what?”
“Uncle Willie told me that he told Myron to be on the lookout for a real nice car that he can give us as wedding gift.”
“No kidding? A car! Your uncle Bill’s getting us a car?”
“Yeah!” Attempting to match Mitchell’s excitement, “He asked if we’d like one, and I told him that we were planning on getting one with some of our wedding money, and he said there’s other stuff we’ll be needing, and that Myron had been keeping his eyes open for a ‘cherry,’ and that he found one.”
“Marcie, I can’t believe your uncle is giving us a car! What is it?”
“Uncle Willie won’t tell me what make it is, only that it’s beautiful and that we’ll love it!”
This being the last conversation they’d have in over a month, holding her hand to the mouthpiece, “I won’t say anything!” Marsha said to Walter through clenched teeth. “Let us talk!”
Glancing at his wife, motioning to the boys, Walter, Myra, Larry and Morton left the room.
The moment their conversation ended, Marsha asked Walter to take her home, and…
Marsha never again entered the home of Walter and Myra without Mitchell.
Before this evening, Marsha had sincerely felt:
When the tension of the wedding was past…
When Mitchell’s enlistment was through…
When they returned to Chicago…
When their lives were normal…
Marsha felt certain that her mother would revert to her old ways, and that Myra would be the mother figure she had so desperately wanted all of her life, but…
She knew then that Myra would never be a mother to her, and Marsha felt a great loss because of this…
And because of Walter’s cowardly betrayal, Marsha never again felt the warmth… the love she had felt for him, and to her he was no longer “Skipper” and she would never again address him in that way, or in any way.
Marsha did not tell Mitchell about the events of that evening, but…
The stones of thoughtlessness, once thrown, made everlasting ripples that reverberated throughout a lifetime.
And the gossamer threads of unwanted acts spun into an everlasting, ever-thickening, unbreakable cable that stretched into the future, binding Marsha and Mitchell from their youth to… forever.