“Bjørn, Tom isn’t any different than the rest of us, he needs a little on the side, too. Just because he’s rich, and he’s a jock doesn’t mean he doesn’t respect your sister. He’s with Jenny the way I’m with Delores. Now about him and Lydia, he’s covering for us, man. Her folks don’t give her no shit about going out with him. Her father beat her ass for just wanting to be with me. So my buddy Tom here, gave her a ring, and they make eyes at each other in front of their folks. It gets her out of the house. Big deal.”
“Yeah, Bjørn, nobody in the world means as much to me as Renée. I not only love and respect her, I want to marry her. Lydia and I have been friends since our nanny’s used to push us in our prams through the park. As for Jenny... well, like Animal said, even I need a little on the side.”
“That had better be the truth. Seems there are a lot of lies within this web. My family is poor, and it is hard to believe that someone like you would even give my sister a second look.”
“Second look? Look, man, I’ve only had eyes for Renée from the first look. The memory of her stepping off the bus on the first day of school is etched in my mind forever. Trust me, no harm will come to Renée as long as I have a breath of life in my body. If I could marry her now, I would, then there would be no need for Jenny.”
Meanwhile out in the car, Lydia was filling Renée in about the reason Tom was with Jenny, and why she was wearing Tom’s other ring. “Renée, it’s a mess, I know, but Tommy and I come from a different world. It’s sometimes a world of phony’s, and I hate it. Seems no one in our social class really believes that ‘all men are created equal’. You aren’t any different than me, except my parents are loaded, and yours aren’t. We both have boyfriends that we love, and want to date openly. Tom and I are faking out our parents to get out of the house, so I can see Animal, and Tom can see you.”
“But Lydia, do you know why my Tommy was with Jenny Verona? I know that my brother Bjørn has had his kuk in her, and he has said that many others have had theirs in her, too. Why would Tommy want to be with her?”
“Renée, a guy usually has two girls. One, like you to Tommy, and me to Animal, they keep as their good girl. The other is for well, as you said, to put their kuk in. Once we all get married, there won’t be any reason for them to have the other kind of girl.”
Renée was silent. She knew what she and Tommy had done, so more of what her brother told her was beginning to make sense. If the “other” kind of girl was the kind that boys put their kuk in, then she wondered what that made her. “Lydia, do you and Animal... pule? My brother used English word... fuck?”
“Oh no Renée! Only whores do that! I won’t do that with Animal, or anyone until I get married.” Lydia paused a few moments. “I do dream about it though, wondering what it feels like.”
“If you wonder about it, then why do you not do it? I do not understand, why not if you are in love.”
“Just the way I was raised I guess. Chloe, you don’t know her, she’s gone all the way, and says it hurts. I don’t know, I just know that when I do, I want it to be with Animal. I hope he asks me to marry him.”
“Yah, Tommy asked me to marry him on New Year’s Eve. I need to talk more to Tommy about Jenny Verona. In my culture some things are different than in America. I was born in this country, but we are not so closed minded about our bodies. I want to be with Tommy, too, and I would rather he be with me that way than be with Jenny Verona.”
“You mean you would go all the way with Tommy even though you aren’t married?”
“Yah, I would. Yes, for sure, I would.” Renée chose not to tell her that she already had.
Back inside Patsy’s, sitting with the boys, Renée and Lydia turned heads as they appeared to be on better terms than when they left the pizza parlor. Only their table knew there was no problem to begin with. Lydia once again started pumping nickels in the juke box. Tommy couldn’t sit still. “Bjørn, may I dance with your sister? You don’t mind do you Lydia, dear?”
“If Renée would like to dance with you, it is fine with me.” Bjørn lightened up about Tom somewhat. Renée was on her feet.
“Why certainly not Tom, I’ll sit here, and visit with your buddy Animal. Or, perhaps we could go in the back room, and shoot some pool?”
Everything was falling into place nicely. Tom and Renée joined several other couples on the floor, and just as what usually happened, one by one others dropped out and formed a ring around the couple just to watch them dance. With his athletic ability, and her gracefulness, they were a sight to see.
“Tommy, we need to talk.” Renée whispered in his ear while dancing cheek to cheek during a slow song.
Tom led her by the hand out to his car where they sat in the parking lot. “Baby doll, I think I know what it’s about. I love you Renée. I think of you, and my heart wants to burst with joy. Just try to understand that whatever I’ve done, I’ve done for us.”
“Tommy, I wouldn’t let another boy put his kuk in me... for ‘us’. That is a stupid excuse to be with Jenny Verona. What we have done makes me a whore in this country. Since I am now a whore, I want to be your whore, and I don’t care who knows about it.”
“Stop it! You are NOT a whore. A whore sells her body.”
“Yah, and what do you call it that you give me money for this, and give me money for that? There is no other reason except that I let you put your kuk in me.”
“Renée, there is another reason and that reason is I love you.”
“My brother told Marsha Hendricks that he loved her, just so she would let him put his kuk in her. He does not love Marsha.”
“Renée, I didn’t tell you that to get you to let me do anything to you. Neither one of us knew what we were doing when we did it just a few nights ago. I told you I loved you after we did what we did. I feel like a new world has opened up since that night. All I think about is you, all I want to talk about is you. I want to spend every waking moment with you and if I could, I’d marry you so I could spend every sleeping moment with you, too. You want to know why I was with Jenny Verona? I’ll tell you why. Bjørn, that’s why! He has it in his head I only want to use you, and that isn’t so. I figured if he saw me with Jenny, he wouldn’t think I was getting it off you, and he would lay off of me. Every time he opens his mouth all he talks about is how rich I am, and wonders what a rich kid wants with his sister. Doesn’t he have any concept of love? Renée our cultures are different, but face it, neither of us knew what we were doing. Knowing what I know now, we probably shouldn’t have done what we did.”
“I think that is mostly right, but Tommy, I do not feel bad, or guilty at all for what we have done. I feel love in my heart for you, and want to share my love by giving myself to you for desires we share. I was sad today when I could not give you a ståkuk. I thought perhaps you no longer had love for me, if you needed Jenny to give you ståkuk. I, I was more jealous, not so much hurt.”
“I don’t know what happened today... why it didn’t... work. I can’t imagine not doing it with you again. If I can’t do it with you, I don’t want to do it at all. What we do is our business, and no one else needs to know what we choose to do. Let them think I do it with Jenny, you are my baby. You are mine alone, and I cherish you.” Tom and Renée kissed in the car. “Renée...”
“Renée, you’ve given me a ståkuk...”
Renée moved her hand down to check. “Yah, Tommy, that I did. And there is nothing that can be done in this parking lot.” She giggled.
“Come on baby doll, let’s go back inside. We’ll do it tomorrow somehow, somewhere, some way.”
Everyone was having a good time celebrating the last party night of Christmas vacation. Tomorrow was the last day off, so tomorrow night would be a school night. Tom and Renée danced until Pasquale closed the place, and basically cut off the music. The kids hung out in the parking lot trying to figure out who would ride home with whom so that no one got in trouble.
Tom’s eyes met the glare of his father’s. He already had the belt in his hand. “Get out to the carriage house, boy.” Tom knew. The minute he walked in the house, he knew something was going on. His heart was in his throat, knowing he was going to get it, but for what this time was anyone’s guess. Tommy knew it was going to be a rough night.
“Dad, can I know what this is for?”
“Can’t you tell me?”
“No, Dad. I’ve done a lot of bad things, but I did not disrespect Lydia.”
“That’s correct, you did not, and you better not.”
“I know that if you feel it was severe enough to come out back, it has to be something really bad. I just don’t know what. Please Dad, just tell me. I don’t want to do bad things, I just don’t know any better sometimes.”
Ralph gave Tom a shove into the carriage house. “You remember Debbie Worthington? Do you remember Jenny Verona? Anything about the two of them ring a bell?” Ralph got three snaps of the belt in before Tom could answer.
“Not really Dad. Debbie is the girl that you made me date the other night before Lydia and I started going steady. Jenny Verona is... a whore.”
“So what were you doing with Jenny tonight off Rattalee Lake Road?”
“Doing what you told me to do Dad. You told me to get a whore. So that’s exactly what I did. What’s Debbie got to do with this.”
“Didn’t you take her there the other night?”
“Yeah, but Dad, it was her idea. How did you find out that I was there with Jenny?”
“Debbie Worthington called, and said you were there with Jenny Verona.”
“Dad, I mean no disrespect here, but have you wondered about what Debbie was doing there that she would see me with Jenny? Come on, think about it Dad. Debbie is fast... I mean real fast Dad. She’s been way past back seat bingo since she was about fourteen.”
“Yeah? You aren’t shittin’ me, boy?”
“Dad, why should I? I mean, you raised me better than that. I know she’s in our social class... not riff raff, I mean. And yet, she’s out there as much as Jenny, and she doesn’t need the money.”
“Old Doc Worthington’s daughter is a trollop! Well, well, well, I guess you don’t deserve the strap after all. So, how far did you get with her?”
“Who Jenny, or Debbie?”
“Dad! She was disgusting. She barely took the gum out of her mouth to kiss.”
Tom knew his dad was fishing for the goods. “I wouldn’t touch that one with a ten foot pole, Dad. Too much mileage. She played a little pocket pool with me. Then I wanted out of there. She’s what made me see the light about Lydia. You know, realizing what a fine young lady she is.”
“So, you got it off on Jenny?”
“Oh, yeah, no sweat. Never any doubt about that one. Just deciding where and when.” He could tell his father was enjoying this conversation. Tom thought it was weird, but most anything was better than the beatings his father could wield with that belt in his hand.
“Tell me about Godiva.”
“She’s a beauty. Her parents are deeply in love. They raised their children with the traditions and values of people in Norway. She is modest when it comes to dress, but she does not view nudity the way we do. I know you saw me holding her breasts. I just couldn’t help myself. You noticed, she’s not ashamed of her body.”
“Well she’s got a beautiful one. She’ll use that as her money maker if she has half a brain in that light head of hers. She’s natural, blonde down below, too?”
“Dad! Just because she’s not ashamed of her breasts doesn’t make her Jenny Verona.”
“Well, for once you’re right, but if she isn’t putting out already, I hope you keep after it. Hell, I’d cheat on your mother for a piece of that one.”
Tom was seething mad, yet never let it show across his face. He wanted to hold Renée close to his heart, and protect her from all the meanness and evil in the world. She was already the wife of his heart, and he could hardly wait until he was eighteen to make it legal.