5: End of The World
Come mid-June the school year came to an end, finally something to look forward to.
Summer vacation at last.
Boarding school was behind me if I managed to stay out of trouble!
I remember that first day back home like it was yesterday,
I had gone an entire school session without spending any quality time with Marcel. We saw each other for an hour or two a couple of times but nothing beyond that. We were able to write back and forth, but couldn't say much as I had been warned that the nuns read all of our mail before it was given to us and advised our parents of the content.
It was a Thursday night, it was also the official Provincial holiday, La Fete de St-Jean, (like your Canada Day or July 4th for the US folks) and I was going to the watch the fireworks at the ball park!
I left home super happy, ticket in hand and anxiously waiting to meet Marcel in the parking lot.
His brother Mike showed up first, he kindly advise me that the plans had changed, he would be accompanying me to the firework display if I permitted him to do so. Dumbfounded I ask, why him and not Marcel. Well it appeared that Marcel didn't have the courage to tell me that he had dumped me and was now dating one of my friends.
Strange how one's mind works, to this day I cannot remember her name, but I know where she lived and what she looked like, I also remember how I hated them both, I remember trying not to cry in front of Mike.
Mike was such a nice guy, he took my hand and said they weren't worth shedding tears over.
I'm sure the firework display were beautiful, unfortunately Marcel and his new girlfriend were seated about three or four rows directly beneath ours; I couldn't take my eyes off them, the way he wrapped his arm around her shoulders, the way she snuggled into him. All I wanted to do was to go home and die!
Mike walked me home, and told me that if I ever wanted to go to a movie or sporting event it would be his pleasure to accompany me.
I never took him up on his offer, instead I locked myself in my bedroom for the next couple of weeks, refused to eat, spent my time crying and playing Skeeter Davis’ song ‘The End of The World’ over and over again to the point that Mom threatened to break the bloody record over my head if she heard it play one more time.
I suppose the positive turnout of my very first rejection was that I
lost the forty-two pounds I’d acquired while being in boarding school.
Other that going swimming and to a couple of movies with some guy by the name of Roy (I couldn't stand the guy, not only was he a total wimp, he wasn't into sports, but he really liked movies, and his Mom was friends with mine, they both hoped that Roy and I could become really good friends).
I’m pretty sure that my Mother felt that he was “safe”, he was such a nerd. He might have been a nerd, but he was a boy with raging hormones, and I couldn't stomach him.
Throughout the summer I managed to stay out of trouble, so I was permitted to go back to public school. May I stress the point that having stayed clear of trouble for an entire summer was in it’s self was a major accomplishment!
September arrived school started up as usual, I hooked up with some of my old friends and made a few new one. Theresa and Manual came from Portugal and were really cool. Anita came from Russia and her father taught Algebra, she was a very homely girl and was often made fun of. Patty was the teacher’s pet and got away with murder, she cheated on every exam so always had high scores. She was also sleeping with one of the 11th grade students and made a point of filling us in on every detail. She managed to flunk the final exams, she couldn't cheat!
My friend Janis lived just down towards the end my street, her parents were very liberal, like I mean, next to no supervision. I loved going to her place, we had a ball, she was really into Elvis, me not so much, I had discovered the Beatles.
One night she introduced me to this extremely handsome dude, I mean like knock out handsome. He was known to be one of the bad boys, he also lived in the not so great part of town. Damn, I can’t remember his name at the moment. It wasn't Jamie, or Larry, anyhow, maybe I’ll remember later on.
To make a long story short, he asked me out, and of course I said yes. I knew that every girl in school wanted a date with Mr. Handsome, and yet he’d asked me out.
I knew my Mom would not approve of me going on a date with a kid with a reputation who also lived in the rough part of town, so you know what that meant, yup, having to lie about my outing.
The lie was, Janis wanted me to go with her to see this movie, it was something to do with Jesus, Mom said yes, but to be careful on my way home and not to use the shortcut down by the railroad tracks.
Yes, yes Mother, I'll be careful and I promise not to use the tracks.
Of course I wasn't going to use the tracks, I wasn't going to the movies. It was understood that we were going to the waterfront for some fun. What kind of fun, I had no idea, but I quickly learned!
Fun started off by having to blow out street light with a rifle, then
climb the fence to the military academy, which was strictly off limits
to all non-military folks. And then take off your clothes and go skinny
I never had to remove my clothing, cause once I got over that fence the security lights came on, and those teeth baring guard dogs were barking up a storm. I ran for my life.
To this day I do not know how I managed to get back up over that fence without being caught. I did managed to tear the lovely skirt Mom made me, it got caught on the barbed-wire as I was climbing back down, the wire also gave me a nasty gash on my left knee. But I didn't get caught !
I went out with Mr. Handsome (still can't remember his name) a few more times, but seeing that I was still a virgin, and he didn't want to be my first, he called it quits. Good thing I think, I managed to remain a virgin a bit longer.
With the arrival of the cold weather, the staking rinks were open and that's where I met André. Well I knew André as a baseball and hockey player, he used to be friends with Marcel, but I didn't really know him.
One Friday night around closing time as I was trying to get the knot out of my laces, my hands were freezing cold and I was having a hard time, it just so happened that André was sitting directly beside me and offered to help.
He lived on Frontenac Street, (108 to be precise) and I on Dollier, which was easy walking distance. He walked me home and we said we’d see each other next Friday at the Rink.
And that my friends was the beginning of three year romance….
Oh yes, I just remembered Mr. Handsome’s name, it was Jackie, actually it was Jacques, but everyone called him Jackie ............... <Next>