Arlette's brother has an interesting friend.
|Connor Richard Vaughn was the middle child of the family. He felt that life was totally unfair to be stuck in the middle of the birth order. He did not get the privileges of the first born, such as Haley. He did not get the TLC of the last born child as Arlette did. He just did what he was told until he became a high school senior. Then he started to explore his life as a number one when he was a senior of high school. He could make his own rules up to a point.
Iceman, as Connor was nicknamed, continued to be a friend of Roger Bentley. Roger was happy to come over to the Vaughn house under the pretext of tutoring Connor in Spanish, but Roger was more interested in getting to know the beautiful Arlette better and perhaps, ask her out.
“Hey, Iceman, how are you?” Roger asked with a slushy in his hand.
“Not much. And you?” Connor was looking over some of his text books that he would use to study for semester finals.
“Just getting ready to bag some dirty clothes for my mother to wash for me.” He said as he downed the last slurp of his drink.
“You still don’t know how to use a washing machine?” Connor asked as he opened his closet to get some shoes to change into.
“Well mother loves to do it because it means I return home from dad’s house.” He threw the cup at the trash can and missed. Roger’s parents were divorced for a few years and his father still insisted on having visits from his son and daughter.
“Yea, how is she? Does she like her new job as translator?”
“Oh si senor.” Roger laughed. “Why wouldn’t a company want a native speaker to translate? She does it in her sleep.” He laughed again. “In fact when she talks in her sleep, it is in Spanish.” A final laugh.
“Yea.” Connor picked up his wallet and put it in his pocket.
“Say, how about letting me stop by to visit you.” Roger held his breath.
“Well I guess so. Maybe for a little while. I have to study a little for a big test next week.”
“Great! I’ll just be there long enough to give you a small Spanish lesson and say hello to that sister of yours.”
“Well I don’t know. She’s in her going to the prom dance mode.” Connor tossed one of his books on his bed and put the other one in his backpack.
“Well, I might just be her man.” Roger walked over to his dresser mirror and looked at himself in the mirror. He turned sideways and looked at his very skinny profile. He smoothed back his long black hair. Then he leaned forward to check his face. He knew that a pimple would kill any chances he had with most girls, especially Arlette.
Connor walked out his room and continued his conversation on his cell phone. “Gee Roger, I don’t know if she has already got a date. She plans things in advance and keeps some things a secret.”
Roger walked to his window when he heard a car horn blare. He saw that it was his father getting ready to take him back home early because his sister was sick. “I am the king of cleverness. I can get girls to tell me their deepest secrets and not even know they did it.”
“You wish!” Both boys laughed. “But I can show you the assignment you missed last week and you can help me with the last chapter of the book that our Spanish teacher asked us to read. I think I did okay but who can lose when a pro is backing you up.”
Roger picked up his clothes bag and walked out of his house. His father pointed to his watch as Roger walked up to the car. “Ah, I got to go but I’ll be there in about an hour.” He ended the conversation and put his cell phone quickly in his pocket. “Sorry dad.” In the back of the car was his younger sister who looked like she had a fever.
Connor pressed ‘end’ on his cell phone and started walking out of his room. That is when he heard his father walk into Arlette’s room and begin the conversation with “Arlette, I need to talk with you.” Connor knew by the tone of that voice and the intro that Arlette had a situation that would be earth shaking and life changing all in one discussion.
Before Connor reached the kitchen, the earth did shake and something sounded like a murder had been committed in Arlette’s room. And it might have been because that was the time that her father had told her that she would not go to the dance. He entered the kitchen and saw Zach and their mother getting lunch ready. Both people looked like they were in suspended animation because of the scream that they heard Arlette give. They also knew that Arlette had a pain that no doctor could cure.