Pushed to the Limit
by Bonnie Gibson
|Table of Contents|
Part 3 appeared
in issue 183.
Brenda helped her mother to get the washing and ironing done. They cleaned up the house and had everything neat and in place.
“Anything else you need me to do now, Mom?” Brenda asked.
“I guess not,” said Judy. “That should do it. You two go ahead and get your new clothes. I know you are having a fit to get to the mall.”
Brenda and her father headed for the mall. She looked at everything. Finally after what seemed like an eternity to Archie, he said, “Brenda, my legs aren’t what they used to be. You need to find something pretty soon.”
“Okay, Dad, I’m trying,” she said. Finally she spotted an outfit that took her breath away. It was a royal blue blouse with white pearl buttons and had a pair of slacks to go with it.
“Oh, Dad, this is it,” Brenda said. “Don’t you just love it?”
“If it suits you, honey, it’s okay with me. It will go well with your pretty blue eyes.”
“Thanks so much, Daddy,” she said, giving him another big hug. “What about shoes?”
“You never mentioned anything about shoes,” Archie gasped. “You can wear what you have at home.”
“Okay, Dad,” Brenda said.
Archie paid for Brenda’s things. “You hungry?” he asked.
“Starving,” she replied.
“Let’s go down to the Snack Shack and get a couple of burgers,” he said.
“Good idea,” she said rubbing her tummy.
After eating they left the mall and began looking for the car. “Where did we park?” Archie asked. “We’ve been in there so long I can’t remember.”
“Oh, Dad, you’re not that old. You can remember better than that.” They continued walking toward the parking lot. It had begun to drizzle a little. “I hope it doesn’t rain tonight,” Brenda said. “We parked over there, Dad. Let’s walk up this sidewalk and then go down to the car.”
“I sure hope you know what you are doing, because I can’t remember where in the world we parked.”
“I do,” Brenda cheerfully said. “I always look for something to go by when we park. See the yellow sign over there? We are parked about six cars down from it.”
“I see it now,” Archie said.
They made it to the car and headed for home. Brenda couldn’t wait to get into her new outfit. Finally they reached the house and she ran to tell her mom about the shopping trip. “We had a great time,” she told her mom. “Dad couldn’t find the car though when we started out of the mall. I had to tell him where we parked.”
Brenda went into her room to get ready for her date. She tried on her outfit and it was a perfect fit.
She looked in the mirror every few minutes to see if her hair was in place. She looked at her new clothes, turning from side to side to see if everything looked neat. She wanted to look just right for Billy. She was a little nervous about her mom and dad meeting him. She wanted them to like him as much as she did.
Finally the time came for him to arrive. She looked out the window and saw him pulling up.
“Oh, Mom and Dad, I didn’t tell you that Billy has a new Mustang, did I?” Brenda said. “Look out the window and you can see it. It’s bright red.”
“Well that’s nice, honey,” her father said, but there are lots more important things in life than a new car.”
“I know, Dad,” Brenda said, “here he comes to the door.”
Billy rang the doorbell and Brenda hurried to answer it. He was right on time. It was six o’clock sharp.
“Hi, Billy,” Brenda said as she opened the door.
“Hi,” Billy said, “am I on time?”
“Right on the money,” Brenda said.
Brenda looked over at her parents that were seated on the sofa and said, “Billy, this is my parents, Judy and Archie Patrick. Mom and Dad, this is Billy.”
“Nice to meet you both,” Billy said as he walked over and shook hands with Archie. “I met Brenda at the ball game last night and wanted to get to know her better. I hope you don’t mind me coming on such short notice.”
“I guess not,” Archie said. “All I expect is you to be good to her and respect her. If you mistreat her you will definitely answer to me.”
“Dad,” Brenda said sharply as she looked over at Billy to see his reaction to what her father had said.
“That’s all right, Brenda,” Billy said. “I respect you dad for saying that. I know he is just trying to take care of you.”
“You got that right, and I do expect her home by midnight,” Archie said.
“Yes sir,” Billy said, “I’ll have her home, you can count on it.”
It was time to go and Billy walked over to Archie and shook his hand again. “It was nice meeting you, and you, too, Mrs. Patrick,” he said as he glanced over toward her.
“Okay kids, y’all be careful now, and drive safe,” Archie said.
“We will, Sir,” Billy said, closing the door behind him.
Brenda loved Billy’s car. She could be proud as they pulled up to the parking lot of the café where all the kids gathered. Brenda’s family never had a new car. They always bought a second-hand car to make it easier to pay for.
“Hi Brenda,” someone yelled.
Brenda looked out the window to see Cindy waving at her from another car.
“Hey Cindy.” Brenda yelled back. “Billy that’s my friend Cindy, you probably remember her from last night. She’s a cheerleader too.”
“Yeah, I remember her,” Billy said. “Who’s that she’s with?”
“Looks like Brandi, another friend of ours,” Brenda said. “I believe that’s her mom’s car anyway.”
The two girls got out of the car and went up to the window of the café.
“Yeah that’s Brandi,” Brenda said. “They probably will just ride around or go to a movie.”
“What do you want to do?” Billy asked.
“It really doesn’t matter to me,” Brenda said. “It’s a pretty good movie on tonight if you want to go.”
“What’s the name of it?” Billy asked.
“Ah, I can’t remember the name,” Brenda said, “but everyone is saying that it’s a good movie.”
“That’s good enough for me,” Billy said as he got out of the car to get something from the café.
Billy shut the door and then leaned back in the window of the car and said, “What do you want?”
“Just get me a burger and a soda,” she replied.
“No fries?” Billy asked.
“No, but if you get some we’ll share; I’m not very hungry,” she said.
“Okay, sounds good to me,” Billy said as he walked over to the window to order.
Just then Brandi and Cindy walked over to the car where Brenda was sitting.
“Wow Brenda, what a car.” Brandi said. “You are so lucky.”
“What a car?” Cindy exclaimed. “You mean, what a man.”
All the girls laughed at what Cindy had said. “We’d better get something to eat,” Brandi announced. “The movie will be starting soon.”
“What’s on the movie tonight?” Brenda asked. “Billy and I might go but I forgot what was on.”
“You know, that vampire movie, the one where the vampire finds a couple out parking, and he, you know, bites them.” Brandi said.
“Oh yeah. I want to go see that,” Brenda said. “I’ll tell Billy and we’ll come too.”
“See you there then, bye,” the girls yelled as they were going up to the café to order something to eat.
The night went great for Billy and Brenda. They both enjoyed the movie and he got her home on time, just as her dad had told him to do.
Billy and Brenda dated many more times. It seemed things were getting pretty serious between the two.
Brenda’s older sister, Janet, came for a visit. She and her husband, Chad, had one child, a three-year-old boy, Johnny. Chad was in the Marines and had to go overseas for a few months and she Johnny were coming to live with Brenda and her parents for those few months.
Brenda was excited about having her big sister back home for a while. She was really busy with her new boyfriend though, and didn’t have a lot of time for her sister. Janet was lonely back at home without her husband and wanted more of Brenda’s attention.
“Are you going out again tonight?” Janet asked Brenda. “I thought we might do something together for a change, maybe go to a movie or something.”
“Janet I’d love to go with you to a movie but I have a date with Billy. Can’t we go through the week or something when he isn’t here?” Brenda asked.
“I guess we could, but it’s just not the same as a weekend. It’s so lonely here without Chad.” Janet grumbled.
“I know it must be but I can’t bear not going out with Billy,” Brenda said. “Janet, I think I may be falling in love with him.”
“Brenda, you are too young to get too serious now,” Janet said. “You and Billy need to cool it for a while. You still have another year of school after this, you know.”
“I know Janet, I’m going to finish school. Don’t worry about that,” Brenda said. “But I can’t let Billy go. Not for anything.”
“I didn’t say to break up with him,” Janet said. “I just said to cool it down some and maybe see other boys. That way you will really know if you love him or not.”
“I don’t know, Janet,” Brenda said. “Sounds like a bad way to find out to me. I believe Billy loves me, too, and I don’t want to hurt him by seeing other boys.”
“Well if he really loves you, he’ll wait for you, even if you do see other people.” Janet said.
“I’ll have to think about that one, but in the meantime I’m going out with Billy tonight. We’ll do something together soon, I promise.”
Brenda and Billy dated every weekend. Soon they couldn’t bear to be without each other all week so Brenda asked her mom if Billy could come up on Wednesday nights.
“What? Wednesday nights? Don’t you two see enough of each other?” Judy said. “You act like you’re married already. You had better slow down now, girl.”
“Mom I tried to tell her,” Janet said, “she is too young to get that involved with Billy.”
“I know, Janet, but you and Chad were pretty tight at that age too, remember?” Judy said. “I remember having this same conversation with you. It seems it worked out good for you two.”
“Yeah, that’s right Mom. How can I know if I want to spend the rest of my life with someone if I can’t see them?” Brenda growled.
“Can’t see them?” Janet said loudly, “you see him all weekend, every weekend.”
“But Mom, you know my Friday nights are almost taken up with cheerleading,” Brenda said. “Billy takes me to the game but I don’t get to be with him all the time.”
“I know Brenda,” Judy said. “Your sister and I are just worried about you spending so much time with Billy. You know we want the best for you. Billy seems like a very nice boy, good manners and all the makings of a good provider for you. We don’t want you to make a mistake. Billy can come on Sunday if you promise that both of you will go to church with me.”
“Well if he can’t come on Wednesday night then Sunday will have to do,” said Brenda. “I’ll tell him tonight.”
“Football season will be over soon and then your Friday nights won’t be taken,” Judy said.
“Yeah, I used to think cheerleading was so important until I met Billy, but now it’s not so important anymore,” Brenda said.
“Men have a tendency to do that to women, don’t they, Mom?” Janet asked.
“Yes they do,” Judy answered. “When we fall for them we’d give up moon and stars just to make them happy.”
“Now I know I love him,” Brenda said, “cause that’s just the way I feel about Billy.”
All three of them chuckled at what Brenda had said.
Billy came on Sunday and went to church with Brenda and her family. Brenda’s parents became quite fond of Billy. He became like part of the family already. Judy and Janet got off their soapbox about him. Everyone seemed to take to him, even Archie.
Archie took Billy hunting often. Brenda never liked hunting but tagged along because she just wanted to be with Billy and she did get to spend extra time with her dad.
Stanley Sims gets a call at work. “You need to come to the school at once,” the voice said.
“Why, what’s wrong?” he asked.
“Your son is in a little trouble and we need to talk to you.”
Stanley, after saying a few choice words, climbed in his car and headed for the school. I can’t imagine what that kid has done now, he thought. Looks like he’d learn to behave. I’m too busy to be running down to that damn school every few days.
This was the fourth time the school had called Stanley this month. First, Billy wasn’t doing his homework. Then he and another 6th grader had gotten into a fight. Billy was suspended for a week. His father had given him such hard licks with the belt that he brought blood from Billy’s legs. The third time he had cursed a teacher that was trying to make him behave. Now, the fourth time, he had taken a knife to school and threatened a teacher.
“Young man it’s a good thing I’m being transferred again,” Stanley told Billy as they were going home. “You may think you are going to get out of going to school but you’re not. If you don’t get yourself together and start doing right; I’m sending you away to school. The school I’m talking about will make your butt mind.”
“Whatever, Dad,” was Billy’s answer.
Football season was over. It was still very cold outside. Brenda and Billy were still very much in love. Billy began talking about marriage to Brenda.
“Gosh, Billy, you know that I love you, but Dad and Mom would never let me marry you now. I haven’t finished school, and I am only sixteen.” Brenda said.
“I just want to be with you every day, Brenda,” Billy said. “I want you to be there when I come in from work in the afternoons.”
“Billy, how can we live?” Brenda said. “You have your car payment and you’re still living with your parents. How can we pay for a house and all the bills?”
“I have been saving for quite a while, Brenda, I could rent us a place and then you could go to work and help out.”
“What about school?” Brenda asked. “I want to finish school.”
“Well, what is more important to you, school or me?” Billy asked.
“Of course that goes without saying, Billy,” Brenda said. “You are, you know that.”
“Then just ask your Mom if she will sign for you,” Billy said. “You never know until you ask.”
“All right, Billy I will,” Brenda said.
When Billy took Brenda home that night she crawled right into bed but she couldn’t sleep. She was so overwhelmed about what Billy had asked her to do. She loved Billy and knew that he was probably the one that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with, but she hadn’t planned on it starting so soon; anyway she knew her parents would not go for it.
How in the world am I gonna ask Mom? Brenda thought as she lay in bed. I’m not dead set on finishing school but I’d like too. If I marry Billy and go to work I’ll never get to finish.
Brenda continued to go over and over this in her mind. She really didn’t like Billy’s tone with her. He had never sounded like this before. It scared her somewhat. It’s probably because he loves me so much, she thought. She decided that the next morning she’d ask her mother about marrying Billy. She finally fell asleep.
The next morning came and Brenda awakened to the sound of birds chirping outside her window. She could pick the sound of the little sparrows out of the rest of the birds. She had awakened early, probably because of all she had on her mind. Her mom and dad weren’t up yet. Brenda sat up on the side of her bed and reached for her slippers. She had a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. She felt nauseated. She ran to the bathroom and began throwing up orange colored fluid. Over and over she heaved as she sat on the floor in front of the toilet.
Oh no. What is the matter with me? she thought. What day of the month is it? She sat there heaving for what seemed like an hour to her. Then she got up, washed her face, and went to look at the calendar in her room.
Oh no! No! No! No! It can’t be! I couldn’t have missed my period, she thought.
Brenda had heard her sister talk about morning sickness when she first had gotten pregnant. She couldn’t believe this was happening to her. She forgot all about asking her mom if she and Billy could get married. Her mom and dad would have a fit if they knew she might be pregnant. Brenda crawled back under the covers still nauseated. They would be very upset if they knew that she was having sex with Billy.
Copyright © 2006 by Bonnie Gibson