Jennifer giggled as she ran to the door, the doorbell chiming for the third time in a row.
“Hold your horses, I’m coooooooooooming!”
Jennifer yelled with a high-pitched, yet good-natured squeal. As she reached the door, she could see the silhouette of a tall man with very straight posture behind the security-mesh door. She opened the door to find him, clouded in a bouquet of “Brut For Men”. He had his signature crew cut with the top spiked toward the sky and he was wearing a faded black t-shirt with a “Hootie and the Blowfish” print, bright blue boot cut jeans with faded thighs and beige snake-skin shoes, curled up at the toes. He was holding a box of Cadbury Favourites.
“Oh you came! You shouldn’t have!”
Jennifer took the Favourites.
“What to bring when you’re told not to bring a thing! Ha ha!”
“Ha ha, of course, of course.”
As they continued to exchange pleasantries, Jennifer led him through her house to the backyard where the rest of her guests had gathered. Jennifer was holding a barbeque to celebrate friends, summer, life and her recent divorce from her prick of an ex-husband.
Jennifer was a Senior Associate at the firm and she had recently taken him under her wing. She was a very friendly, caring person with a sharp wit and a good sense of humour. In line with her good nature, Jennifer had decided to invite him along to the barbeque to break the ice.
Once they arrived in the backyard, Jennifer got distracted by another guest and left him to become acquainted with the crowd, which he did with ease.
About half an hour passed after his arrival before another new person joined the party. She was a young girl, 17 years of age, with thick, curly brown hair, thick red-rimmed glasses, a lime green dress which fell below her knees, and an infectious smile which was complemented by her rosy, freckly cheeks.
Jennifer ran over to the girl and gave her a big, warm hug above the girl’s elbows so that she could not break free from the embrace. The girl laughed and tried to wriggle free.
“Where have you been?!”
“I was over at Theresa’s studying.”
“Good girl. I’m so glad you’re here now though! Come on, I want you to meet someone.”
Jennifer put one arm over the girl’s shoulder and walked her over to him.
“I want you to meet Janey, my daughter.”
Janey smiled and extended her hand.
“Nice to meet you!”
He took her hand and shook it gently.
“Nice to meet you too.”
Somebody in the background yelled at Jennifer. Jennifer looked over to a blonde woman who was carrying a bottle of champagne and a cheeky grin.
Jennifer ran over to the woman and left Janey with him.
Two, three, four hours past and the party continued, with people slowly trickling out as the day became the late afternoon. By the early evening, most people had left, however Jennifer found him in the corner of the backyard, in deep conversation with Janey. She stumbled her way over to investigate.
“You two are still chitter-chattering! Have you had a good time?”
“It’s been great. Thank you so much for inviting me.”
“Oh it’s my pleasure. I am so glad you have had fun. So what have you too been talking about?”
Jennifer raised her eyebrows, pursued her lips and shook her head from side to side, shifting her glance from Janey’s face to his and back to Janey’s, like a hypnotic trance. Janey had an awkward, crooked smirk on her face. He was beaming.
“Dunno mum. We just talked about stuff.”
Janey seemed uncomfortable, but Jennifer put it down to her adolescence.
“We were talking about her Tertiary studies and how stressful it is studying for exams.”
“Oh isn’t it! But Janey is like mum. She is very serious about her studies.”
“Anyway, I suppose it is time for me to go. Thank you again for having me.”
“My pleasure, my darling. My pleasure!”
Janey took the opportunity to retreat.
“Nice meeting you. Seeya!”
Janey ran inside and Jennifer led him back through the house to the front door. She gave him a kiss a the cheek, closed the front door behind him, turned back toward the hallway with her back against the front door and sighed. A wonderful day, soured by the awful task of cleaning up that was before her. Jennifer decided to maintain her drunken bliss and think about the cleaning in the morning.
* * * * *
Jennifer awoke to a loud banging. She had an almighty headache. The banging continued and she squeezed her eyes shut, hoping she could wish the pain away.
Bang, bang, bang.
She sat up, bleary eyed, and held her head.
BANG, BANG, BANG.
Jennifer opened her eyes.
BANG, BANG, BANG.
Jennifer was confused. What was happening? She knew she drank a lot the day before, but she had never experienced a hangover of such proportions.
Jennifer shook her head. The banging was not her head. It was coming from outside. She got out of bed, put on her dressing gown and went out into the hallway. Janey zoomed passed her, her attention on the phone in her hands.
“That freak’s at the door, mum. I’m not dealing with it.”
Freak? What was she talking about? She turned to ask Janey, but she already escaped into her bedroom, slamming the door behind her. Jennifer rubbed her eyes and walked to the front door. She looked through the peep-hole and saw him. Did Janey know it was him? Jennifer became concerned. She opened the front door.
“Hi, what are you doing here so early in the morning?”
Jennifer looked at her watch. She stood, corrected.”
“Oh. So it is. Sorry, but I’m a little hung over. Is everything okay?”
“Everything is fine. Thank you again for yesterday. I had a wonderful time.”
“Of course, no problem.”
They stood there for a moment, without speaking. Jennifer was waiting for him to explain himself.
“Soooooo, how can I help you? I’m sorry, but I haven’t really started my day, so…”
“Oh that’s okay. I just came here to see Janey.”
Jennifer suddenly became alert. Had something happened at the party? What did Jennifer miss? Was she so drunk that she left her 17-year-old daughter unprotected with a stranger.
“Look, Janey isn’t free at the moment. She needs to study. Can I pass a message?”
“I actually just came to give her something. To help with her studies.”
“Oooh. That’s sweet.”
He passed Jennifer a book. She looked at the cover.
DIANETICS: THE MODERN SCIENCE OF MENTAL HEALTH.
“She’s under a lot of stress. I thought she could do with some help. This has really helped me out over the years.”
“Where did you…”
“From Church. It has made me the person I am today.”
Jennifer was outraged. What had she exposed her daughter to? Who was this man she let into her home? She handed the book back to him.
“Look. We are not religious and I don’t want my daughter exposed to this kind of thing.”
“It’s not just a religion. It’s more than that. It’s a way of life. It could help you too. We are all ignorant until we are enlightened.”
“Ignorant?! I’m sorry, but it appears that you have made a terrible mistake. I am a very successful woman and my daughter is very bright. Yes, she is stressed, but she will get through her studies with flying colours. Let’s forget this ever happened and I will see you at work.”
Jennifer turned to head back into her house.
“I’m sorry you feel that way. I just thought I could offer you some help.”
“We don’t need any help. Now please get the hell off my property.”
This is the Chronicles of Creepy Pants.
Stay tuned for Episode 20: Frat House Follies – Part III