Chapter 4: Part I, Chapter 4

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 183


Chapter 4

  The big day had finally arrived!  Her plan was to primp all day and to make sure that she looked as beautiful as she could.  Her sisters did her hair and nails as they promised, while teasing her all along about going on her first date and maybe having a first kiss.  Sisters could be cruel.  They were full of all kinds of advice.  Mercy was just too nervous to listen to any of it and let it go in one ear and out the other.

  Mercy's sister was going to take her over to her aunt's, where Benton was going to pick her up.  She had passed Benton a note at school the day before of where he should pick her up.  Her aunt lived near Clifton in a little nicer house than they had.  Mercy didn't want her mother to know that she was ashamed for Benton to see where she lived, so she told her mother that Benton was picking her up at her aunt's because he lived closer to her, which was true.  That was okay with her mother after all, because her mother wasn't feeling well and wanted to go to bed early. She knew that her sister would check this boy out. She asked her sister to take pictures of them.  Her mother reminded her that she had to be back from her date by midnight. She kissed and hugged her and said, “Honey, I hope you have the time of your life tonight.” Mercy replied, “Thank you again Momma for making this night so special for me. I love you so much!”

  Benton was picking her up about six thirty.  It was four thirty now and Mercy decided that she better get going.  She wanted to take her time because she didn't want to get all sweaty and her hair to fall by getting ready too fast.  Her oldest sister dropped her off at their aunt's house about five thirty.  Mercy put her dress and new sandals on.  She put a little bit of hair spray on her hair and a little dab of her aunt’s perfume on her neck.  She looked and felt like a princess.

  At exactly six thirty, Benton knocked on the door and her aunt let him in the foyer.  Mercy hurried to the foyer before her aunt could give him the third degree.  Benton looked at her and told her how beautiful she looked.  She told him he also looked very handsome in his black tuxedo.  Then, from inside his tux jacket, he pulled out a wrist corsage.  It was a gorgeous pink carnation with a little bit of baby's breath with long, pink and white ribbons hanging down.  He opened it for her and put it on her wrist.  Mercy's aunt insisted on taking a few pictures before she would let them leave.  She said they made a very cute couple, which embarrassed Mercy and her cheeks turned red.

  On their way out the door, her aunt told Benton that Mercy's mother wanted Mercy to be home by midnight. Benton assured her aunt that he would have her back on time.  Benton had his Mustang all washed and waxed for the occasion.  He opened her door for her just like a perfect gentleman.  Mercy could see her aunt watching them from the side window of the door and she knew her aunt would approve.

  They were going to meet Benton's friends at the restaurant in downtown Cincinnati.  Their conversation on the way to dinner seemed light and easy.  Benton already knew that Mercy was beautiful, but she looked especially beautiful tonight.  Benton’s friends, the two other couples going to the prom, already had a table for them.  Benton's friends had all bet on who he would bring to the prom.  His friends were all shocked when they saw who he was walking through the door with. His friends weren't even sure who Mercy was. They had seen her at school but none of them knew what her name was.  When Mercy and Benton got to the table, Benton introduced her.  His friends just starred because they knew that Benton could have gone to the prom with anyone he wanted and didn't know why he came with this poor white trash. They thought that maybe it was a bet or something.  They sat down, and the waiter took their drink order, which was all soft drinks since no one in the party were twenty-one.  They ordered a couple of appetizers, one of which was escargot.  Mercy didn't know what that was and didn't want to sound stupid asking, so she declined an offer to have any.  Besides that, she thought it looked disgusting.  They all ordered dinner.  There were things on the main menu that Mercy didn't even know how to pronounce.  She just ordered some soup and salad like her mother told her to do.  She told Mercy that a lady did not to go out and eat like someone starving to death.

  The two other couples and Benton talked about school, college and sports.  Mercy contributed very little to the conversation, sensing the other two couples didn't like her or approve of Benton's choice for the prom.  All three of the guys split the bill, and finally it was time to go to the prom.  The prom was being held at a very lavish hotel in downtown Cincinnati, called The Kingsley Manor.  They pulled up in front and were met by valet parking.  Benton jumped out of the car and came around to Mercy's side to open the door before the valet guy could.  They walked up the steps and he held the door for her again. Under the big, beautiful chandeliers, were photographers taking prom pictures.  Benton asked her if she'd like one and she said, “Yes!”, while the line wasn't too long.  They had their picture taken on a make-believe swing with a garden background.  Benton was smiling but Mercy had a big grin on her face.  They walked into the large banquet room to look for the table where all of Benton's friends were sitting.  None of Mercy's friends were there.  Benton pulled the chair out for her and they sat down.  The girls at the table started giggling behind their hands while looking at her.  She heard one girl whisper loudly, “Why did he bring her here?” Another girl whispered, “I can't believe that he would bring someone like her”.  The way that Benton looked at them, they got the point that they had better be quiet about his prom date.  They all sat and talked while the DJ played the music, no one talked to her, they just looked the other way when she caught their eye. After what seemed like forever, Benton asked Mercy to dance.  The dance was a slow dance and she was thrilled that he would be holding her in his arms.  He put one hand around her waist and held her other hand in his, then he pulled her closer.  She could feel him slightly trembling, then she realized that he was nervous about bringing her here also.  She could feel his warm, sweet breath on her neck as they danced.  They didn't talk while they were dancing, but locked eyes a couple of times.  The dance was over way too soon!Maybe he would ask her to dance again.  They went back to the table and sat down.  Benton asked her if she'd like a drink, she said, “Yes” and he replied, “I'll be right back”.  One of the more popular girls at the table, named Amy, looked Mercy straight in the eye and said, “Where did you get your dress?  I gave one to the Goodwill just like that one last year.”  The girls at the table laughed out loud.  Mercy's face turned red and no words would come out of her mouth.  Her eyes started to fill up with tears at the meanness of the girls.  When Benton returned with their drinks, he took one look at Mercy's face and he knew something was going on.  Benton gave Amy a look of disgust and suggested to Mercy that they leave the prom and go to a party on his street, at a friend's house.  She said okay but she needed to go to the restroom first.

  While she was in the bathroom stall, she heard the bathroom door open and familiar voices of the mean girls came in.  Mercy came out of the stall to wash her hands.  While she was rinsing her hands, one of the girls said, “What are you doing here with Benton?  You know you don't belong here.”  Another said, “You can wash your hands all you want but you will still be poor white trash when you are finished.”  Mercy ignored them and left the restroom as quickly as possible to find Benton.

  She met him outside, where the valet had already retrieved his car, he opened the door for her and got in himself.  He could tell she was upset and he apologized for the girl’s behavior.  He didn't know what was going on inside the restroom.  Mercy tried to make light conversation with him, on the way to his friend’s house. 

  Mercy found out that Benton would be leaving for college August 25th.  He wouldn't be home until fall break, right around Thanksgiving time, and hopefully, she would see him then.  She knew that when he went off to college, he would only be interested in sorority girls, not young, high school girls like her.

Benton and Mercy arrived at his friend’s house and there was a big party going on inside.  The adults of the house had gone out for the night.  It looked like half of the school was there.  They made their way back to the den, where there were other kids lying around on couches, drinking beer and eating snacks.  Mercy was drinking coke, she knew her mother wouldn't approve of her drinking and she didn't want to go home drunk when her mother trusted her to go out this one time.

  As they lay back on the couch together, Benton turned her way and gently kissed her lips.  She had often dreamed about this first kiss with Benton and what it would feel like.  What a thrill that was, just the way she imagined it would be!  Soft and tender and sweet.  Benton was drinking one beer after another.  With each beer, he kissed her a little harder and a little more demanding.  She really didn't care for how he was kissing her.  She tried to tell him to let up on the beer a little bit and he told her she was acting like a prude.  He said she should lighten up a little bit.  This hurt her feelings and made her feel very uncomfortable.

  Benton put his arm around her and tried to feel her breast and she brushed off his hand.  Next, he was trying to go up her dress and she had to keep him at bay.  It was hard to contemplate what his next move would be, but she kept up with him.  She could feel that he was starting to get angry with her.  She was starting to get angry with him, and finally told him. “Please, just take me back to my aunt's house.”  She wanted to get back to her aunts before Benton became too drunk to drive her.  It was also 10:30 and she promised her mother that she would be home by midnight.  Benton just kind of laughed at her and said, “I'm not leaving the party now, I'm having fun with my friends, you need to just let go a little bit.”  She tried to fit in by making conversation with the other kids while Benton just kept drinking and getting louder.  Finally, she decided that she would just get back to her aunt's somehow, without Benton.

  As she was walking down the steps of the house, Benton came unsteadily after her.  He said, “Why are you leaving when we are just starting to have fun?”  She replied, “Benton your drunk and I don't want you to drive me so I'm just going to get a ride back to my aunt's house.  Benton looked at her funny and then replied, “Go ahead then, you are not going to ruin my night, my friends were right, I shouldn't have brought you.  I'll find another girl who would love to be with me and give me what I want.”  Benton went back into the house like he didn't have a care in the world.

  Mercy got herself under control, wiped her eyes with a tissue she had in her purse.  She'd have to go back in and look for a phone.  She found a phone in the kitchen of the huge house.  She didn't know who to call.  She couldn't call her house or her sisters or brothers because if her momma picked up the phone, she'd never let her go out again anytime soon.  Her brothers and sisters all shared one car between them, which they purchased with their own money and they were always fighting over who was going to drive the car, where.  The car was probably in use and it wouldn’t be there anyway.  She would call Travis.  He may be a little angry with her because she didn't go to the prom with him when he’d asked, but she didn't have anyone else to call to make sure she got home before midnight and it was already 10:45. She called Travis's house and let the phone ring about a dozen times with no answer.  She waited five minutes and tried again, still no answer.  She told herself that she would try one more time.  On the third ring, Travis himself picked up.  He said, “Hello” in his wonderful, southern drawl.  She said, “Travis, I'm in Clifton at a after prom party and it's not going so well, could you come and pick me up and take me home?”  He told her he would borrow his dad's pick-up truck and be there within thirty minutes.  Mercy crept back outside without anyone noticing her, to the front steps.  She stood over to the side, kind of behind a bush, to watch for Travis.

  It was almost thirty minutes on the dot when she saw Travis's red pick-up truck pull up the drive.  She ran down the drive to meet him and hopped in the truck.  Travis said, “What's wrong, are you okay?” Mercy said, “I'm okay and I don't want to talk about it, can you please just take me home?”  Mercy had told her aunt that she may go on home after the prom instead of back to her house. The night came

rushing back to her and she started crying these huge, uncontrollable tears.  Travis pulled over to the curb and scooted over next to her and put his arms around her for comfort.  His embrace was so warm, his arms were well muscled but soft at the same time.  She felt comfort in his arms.  He held her forever it seemed, letting Mercy cry on his shoulder for as long as she wanted.  Travis told Mercy, “If Benton had done anything bad to her that he would just go right in there and kick his ass.”  Mercy said, “Please, no Travis, there's been enough drama for one night.”  She assured Travis that she was fine.  Travis started driving her home and neither one of them spoke all the way to her house.  The porch light was on and she knew that her momma would still be awake in bed, waiting for her or waiting to hear from her about her big night out.

  Travis stopped in front of her house.  It was exactly 11:55. Mercy thanked him for all that he'd done for her tonight and said one day she would return the favor.  Travis kissed her on the cheek and told her not to worry about anything, everything would be okay.

  Mercy walked on their little walk around to the back of the house and went to the back door, trying not to wake anyone up.  Her momma was sitting at the kitchen table, reading a newspaper and eating a piece of cake.  When Mercy walked in, her mother's eyes were beaming.  Her mother looked at her face and asked, “What's wrong?”, “Nothing”, Mercy replied.  Benton got a bad headache and Travis had to bring me home.  Her mother said, “Well, it looks like you have been crying, if that boy harmed one hair on your head, I'll kill him.”  Her mother could be so dramatic sometimes.  Mercy assured her mother that she was fine and told her mother what a wonderful time she had tonight and repeatedly thanked her for letting her go to the prom.  Mercy told her mother that she was very tired, and she was going to bed.



  Mercy crept up the back stairs to the girl’s bedroom, so she didn't wake anyone up.  She pulled off her beautiful dress and hung it in the closet and put on her pajamas.  She climbed into bed.  She laid there thinking about what had gone wrong tonight.  She guessed it was the drinking.  She had no way of knowing that Benton liked to drink since she never really talked to him before.  She also thought about what the girls at the party said to her and the humiliation and shame covered her just like a blanket she was laying under.  It seemed like it took forever to fall asleep.

  The next day, she went over to Madison's house and she told Madison everything that had happened.  Madison already knew from what her other friends had told her.  Mercy thought that she was going to die.  How could she go to school on Monday morning and face all those people that were at the party?  She also found out that, after she left, Benton got together with Gloria, another popular girl at school, and took her home later that night.

  Later that afternoon, Mercy went home and when she walked in the back door, her Momma and sisters were standing next to a big, long, white box.  They said “Mercy, it's for you.”  The box held two dozen, long stemmed, red roses, along with a card.  The card said, “Mercy, please forgive me, please let me take you out again.”  Mercy was angry and thrilled at the same time.  Mercy's mother said, “That's an awfully expensive present for a date that went that well.”  What does that boy need to be forgiven for?”  Mercy just said that he probably felt bad because he had such a bad headache, he couldn't drive her home and assured her mother that everything was fine.  Mercy cut the end off the roses and arranged them in a big jar that they had in the kitchen. 

  Monday morning came too soon!  When she walked down the hall at school, it seemed like everyone was staring at her.  She spotted Benton coming out of the classroom as she was passing by.  Benton caught up to her and said, “Did you get the roses?”  Mercy answered, “yes”.  Benton asked if he could take her out again to make up for their disastrous date.  Mercy said she would think about it, but she wasn't sure.  One of Benton's friends was standing nearby, and Mercy heard him say, “Poor, white trash, she should feel lucky if anyone asked her out.”  Benton gave him a look that said, “You better shut up.”  Mercy told Benton to call her in a couple of days and she would tell him her answer then.

Days turned into weeks, then school was out for the summer and Benton was graduating.  He never did call Mercy for a second date.  She waited, thinking that every day was the day that he would call but the phone never rang for her.  She just figured that he listened to all the bad things his friends had to say and changed his mind.  Oh, how she still loved him, even after all of this.  She wished a million times that her prom night would have turned out differently.  She wished that Benton could have been more of a gentleman, like Travis.

  By lunch time, news had gotten around school about the girl named Gloria.  Gloria is a girl that you don't take home to mother.  Benton spent the rest of the night with her after the prom, Gloria was pregnant!  Mercy didn't know how far along she was, but she almost started crying when she heard the news because she thought that it was Benton's baby. It felt like someone had punched her in the stomach, she couldn't breathe.  Madison pulled a small brown bag out of her school bag, which held her lunch and told Mercy to breath in it.  After a few minutes, she was better.  No one seemed to know who the father was, since Gloria didn't really have a boyfriend, at least none that anyone knew of.  For the rest of the day, even in the restroom, Mercy listened to all the other girl’s conversations to see if they knew who the father of Gloria’s baby was.

  When the bell rang at the end of the day Mercy walked out the door and as she was walking, she heard one of the more popular girls say, “I know the baby belongs to Benton.”  Mercy started crying and cried as she walked all the way home.  Oh, how she hoped it wasn't so.  She still loved Benton and she wanted more than anything, to be the one to have his baby, not some stranger she didn't even know.  She still hoped for a life with Benton.  She was sure that he would ask her out again before he went off to college and then they could have settled their differences about prom night.  Mercy knew he still had feelings for her by the way he looked at her when they had passed each other in the hall.

Submitted: July 07, 2018

© Copyright 2021 jctolliver. All rights reserved.


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