Harold watched after the Ford 150 drove away. He stood and stared at the young woman and started to think what he was going to do about her. Harold didn’t even consider calling the police. Instead he opened the front door of his house and called loudly to the girl in distress.
“Come here young lady. You need to get out of the cold or you’ll freeze to death!”
The young female looked towards Harold with a confused and frightened look. She wiped the snowflakes off her hoodie and walked awkwardly towards the door that Harold was holding open for her.
“Thank you so much Mister. You may have saved my life. May I come in your house?
“Step into the living room and make yourself at home,” Harold replied.
“Thanks. Hey, I should introduce myself. My name is Whisper,” the strange young woman said as she found a place to sit on Harold’s yellow and orange patterned sofa. Whisper admired the brass antique lamp to the left of the sofa. The full décor of Harold Peyton’s living room had the ambiance that could only come from a man who appreciated fine art.
“Could I interest you in a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee or perhaps a mug of hot chocolate?” Harold asked. “By the way, Whisper is a beautiful name. Who gave you that name?”
“My grandma came up with it if I remember correctly,” Whisper replied.
While standing in the hall, Harold now had a good opportunity to observe Whisper. Her hair was blonde highlighted by orange streaks. It presently looked wet and tangled. There were still some snowflakes in her hair. Whisper’s make up was smudged and smeared from her tears. Harold thought that Whisper resembled a naughty, terribly neglected little elf. She was not very attractive and was slightly overweight giving her a pudgy look.
Linda Saunders arranged a meeting with the hockey wives one hour before the Cougars game against the Norberry Knights. She had a difficult time keeping it together as she made her speech in front of the other girls. Her hands appeared to be shaking and she was very red in the face.
She began her statement by telling the other girls that she had been very mean to both Rick Miller and especially Misty Roberts.
“Girls, I am ashamed to say that my behaviour towards Misty Roberts has been both hurtful and cruel. She doesn’t deserve to be talked about the way I have recently been talking about her. My cousin, Rudy is not the most trustworthy individual that I know. I should not have used him as a source when spread those horrible rumours about both Misty and Rick Miller. I’m very sorry and ashamed about hurting Misty. With that being said, from now on we are going to take the high road where Misty is concerned. I ask that all of us will do our best tonight to be friendly and loving towards Misty. We need to make her feel that she is one of the girls. I will be the first one to greet Misty tonight and I will offer her a very sincere and heartfelt apology.”
The girls were all sitting on the long benches in an empty dressing room. They were all quite shocked by Linda’s speech. Most of them shook their heads in agreement as Susan, Eric Coswell’s girlfriend said, “Let’s do it.”
As Linda Saunders left the meeting she went out in the parking lot to clear her head. She was very angry with Miles for making her give this speech to the girls. Linda was starting to re-evaluate her relationship with Miles Meyers. She thought:
If Miles was a real man, wouldn’t he have taken the beating from Godzilla to protect his girlfriend’s honour and credibility?
If the circumstances were different and she didn’t value being the leader of the hockey wives Linda would probably have broken up with Miles on the spot. The problem was the Linda Saunders enjoyed her prominent position in the hockey wives circle. If she dumped Miles, there wouldn’t be any more players on the Cougars that she could date. Linda sat down and thought about her alternatives after tonight’s game was over. She knew that she was a smart girl if she waited patiently a good idea would come to her.
All went as Peyton Ramparts had planned. Godzilla had his little meeting with Miles Meyers behind the 7-11, and as instructed, Godzilla gave Meyers a good working over and let him know in no uncertain terms that if his girlfriend, Linda Saunders, didn’t stop tormenting Misty this would be just a small taste of what was in store for Miles’s if his girlfriend didn’t comply with the instructions.
Godzilla also reminded Meyers that a public apology from Linda was non-negotiable. Right after the Miles Myers incident with Godzilla, Miles phoned Linda Saunders and told her what had transpired.
“I can’t do that!” was Linda’s initial response. I would be totally humiliated and would lose all credibility with the other girls.”
“It will be a lot worse for you if you don’t comply.” Miles told her. If the rest of the team and the girls find out that you are the reason I got beat up, they would blame you. Think about it. Linda. If Godzilla gives me a much worse beating than I took tonight, I could be out of the lineup for weeks, just when the team needs me the most. Then what are the Cougars going to do? They only have two goalies and we will both be out with injuries.”
“You’re putting me very tough position, Miles. It’s like being between a rock and a hard place,” Linda said.
“But I’m right. Aren’t I Linda? And anyway. whose idea was it to spread those nasty rumors about Misty and Rick in the first place?” Miles responded.
“Okay I’ll do it! I’ll call the girls together for an emergency meeting just before the game tomorrow.”
“You have a very nice home, Roger. It’s a little cluttered and could use some cleaning, but, then again, this house is quite small,” Glenda said. “I noticed that you have four bookshelves and possibly a couple of hundred books.”
“Actually, I have a lot more book than that. My eyesight is not as good as it used to be so I now purchase all my books in the Kindle format. That way I can adjust the fonts and the brightness levels so that reading the text is comfortable for me,” Roger explained.
“You certainly are a well read man.”
“For sure. I’ve been that way since I was a kid. I also like listening to audiobooks when my eyes need a break.”
“You are right though. This house is a bit too small, but it was even more cramped when my wife was still alive. We accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. I still haven’t given away much of Beatrice’s belongings. I get too emotional when I’m around her stuff.”
“I’m sorry to hear that your wife passed away. How long has it been now?”
“Over a year.”
“Are you over your grief now?” Glenda asked moving a little closer to the front of the couch. Roger was a little uncomfortable with how Glenda made him feel. He wished that less of her skin was exposed. As much as he hated to admit it to himself, Roger did find this strange young woman in his house to be somewhat attractive. It couldn’t be a sexual attraction. That was ludicrous. After all, Roger was sixty-five years old and this girl was only twenty-two. He was not a dirty old man. Roger had not even been sexually active with Beatrice during her last few years as she was too exhausted from her cancer treatments to have sexual relations with him. There was something else going on.
“Are you still grieving, Roger?” Glenda asked.
“Yes, it’s getting better with time, but at certain times of the day I still get very sad and will start weeping. Sometimes an old song that we both loved will be playing on the internet radio. That will have the same effect upon me. Beatrice and I had a very happy marriage. I can’t say that we did a lot of exciting things together. We didn’t do much travelling as we didn’t have much money. Beatrice was not healthy enough to work so we mostly relied upon my income. As we both liked our creature comforts and I have several hobbies we ran up a lot of debt. I had to take out a second mortgage on this house. This caused a great deal of stress in our lives, but we both enjoyed each other’s company in a quiet sort of way.”
“Did you see that guy push me out of the truck and throw my duffel bag in the snow?” Glenda asked.
“Yes, are you alright?” Roger asked.
“Yes, I think so. Beezer pushed me pretty hard out of the truck though. I’ll probably be sore for awhile and have some nasty bruises,” Glenda answered after taking a sip of her hot chocolate.
“That’s probably true. Look, I know its none of my business, so you don’t have to tell me your story,” Roger said.
“No, that’s not a problem,” Glenda said. “You let me in your house, Roger, and maybe saved my life, so I should be honest enough to tell you what all went down. First, I need to give you some background information about myself. My real name is Glenda Jackson, but I’m known by several aliases as you’re likely to find out. I’m twenty-two years old and I’m essentially homeless right now,” Glenda said as she stretched out and made herself more comfortable on Roger’s well worn blue and gold patterned couch. Roger sat in his brown Lazy Boy chair and smoked his pipe as he listened to Glenda’s story.
“It sounds like you are having a very rough time of it right now,” Roger stated.
“Actually, my whole life has been a rough time, man. My father left when I was two years old, so I never really knew him. My mom and dad got married too young and the only reason that they got married was because Mom was pregnant with me. My parents never really wanted me. I was an accident.”
The young woman’s hair appeared to be blonde with red streaks running through it. It appeared to be brittle and tangled and probably hadn’t been shampooed for several days. Her black mascara was now smeared as the result of her tears. Roger noticed that the girl had several piercings, one through her left eyebrow and two round piercings in her nose.
As it was rather warm in Roger’s house, the young female took off her dirty grey hooded sweatshirt. Underneath she was wearing a black mid riff tee-shirt with Black Flag printed on it. Roger noticed that she also had a belly button piercing. She starting pulling off her black boots revealing two different colored striped socks.
I should introduce myself. My name is Roger Fontaine. Would you like a cup of coffee or some hot chocolate?” Roger asked his guest. He thought that the girl could be attractive if she didn’t look so dishevelled and improved her personal hygiene.
“Oh, that would be awesome sir. I would actually prefer a hot chocolate if it’s not too much trouble.”
“That’s not a problem. By the way, what’s your name?”
“My real name is Glenda Jackson, but my street name is Streak. I also use a few aliases when I need to.”
“I’m pleased to meet you Glenda. Oh, by the way you don’t need to call me ‘sir’. Just Roger will be fine.”
“Why did you call Misty his slut girlfriend?” Cindy demanded.
“Because she is. I got that information from Rudy too. He told me that he saw Misty with some freak called Gypsy at The Lake Mariposa Rock Festival. Rudy says that Misty loves drugged out hippy guys. She’ll sleep with anyone she meets. Before Rick, Misty was dating this grease ball called Jim. Jim is such a slime ball that he used to beat up Misty regularly.”
Just then Miss Redding, the gym teacher, broke in on the discussion and ordered the girls to hurry and get on the gym floor before she started handing out detentions.
As soon as Miss Redding’s back was turned Misty escaped through the back exit door of the girls’ locker room. With tears streaming down her face, Misty ran to her favorite local park about three minutes from the school. She used one of her green gloves to wipe some snow from a park bench. Once a spot was cleared Misty sat on the bench lowered her head and began to cry. She was still very upset by the way Linda Saunders had been talking about her. When Misty looked up there was a bright sun out that enhanced the beauty of the snow covering the branches of the trees. Misty was startled when she felt two hands on her shoulders. She turned around to see Peyton Ramparts and Sabrina Davis.
“Are you skipping gym class too?” Sabrina asked.
“I tried to go to gym class but I’m very sorry that I did,” Misty said starting to weep again.
Peyton looked Misty on the eye and said, “So tell us what happened.” He started using one of his black gloves to clear enough room for he and Sabrina to sit down.