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When we last left Richard and Leslie…
It had started to rain while Richard drove me home and parked in my parents’ driveway. As he leaned over to kiss me someone started wildly pounding on the passenger side window.
I looked up and saw Jeff’s face. The rest of his head was covered by a blanket he’d also wrapped around his shoulders. His clenched fists held the two sides of the blanket together at his chest. The rain began dripping down his face and from the blanket. All he needed was a hatchet to complete the look.
Jeff and I had broken up. I hadn’t seen or spoken to him in months. I thought he had moved back home. I was so shocked to see him my shoulder pads deflated.
I didn’t know what else to do so I locked the car door. “Great idea,” I thought to myself, “that’ll help.”
I looked over at Richard who was staring at Jeff.
This had to be the worst end of a first date ever. EVER!
I had to do something. I wasn’t going to let Jeff ruin whatever chance I hoped I still had with Richard so I took a deep breath, unlocked the door, and started to reach for the handle.
“What are you doing?” Richard said. I told him I was going to tell Jeff to leave. I said that I wasn’t afraid to stand up to all 6-feet, 4-inches of him, and that I didn’t want him to feel obligated to get involved.
But Richard The Brave refused to let me face Jeff alone. It was a rather romantic moment, well, as romantic as a moment like that could be.
I had no idea what the proper etiquette and protocol was for a that kind of situation, but since we were on my driveway, I was technically the hostess.
My parents had raised me to be polite in all situations, and, even though I’m sure they would have let this one slide, I felt compelled to introduce Richard to Jeff, and Jeff to Richard. I also thought it would help diffuse the situation, whatever the situation was, if we all appeared to be as calm and cordial as possible. I can’t remember, but I think they shook hands.
I don’t think any of us knew exactly what to do, so we just stood there in the rain. Richard and I looked like soggy, well-dressed parents taking their giant son Trick-or-Treating in his serial killer costume.
Richard offered to stay, and even though I wanted him to, I didn’t want him to be any more involved in this drama than he already was. I told him I could handle the situation. I really didn’t want to talk to Jeff, but I had to. I told Richard I’d call him later that night. I just hoped he’d answer the phone.
Richard watched me walk to the door with Jeff. I rang the doorbell, instead of using my keys, because I knew my father would answer the door. My parents were happy I was no longer seeing Jeff, and were thrilled I was out on a date with Richard that night.
My father looked a little perplexed when he came to the door and saw me standing there with Jeff who looked like a tall version of “Igor” from Young Frankenstein, minus the hump.
As soon as Richard saw that I was safely inside I heard the screech and smelled the burning rubber of the Duster’s tires.
My father told Jeff he could stay and talk to me for ten minutes after which he would call the police.
I found out later that my father, who was the funniest person I’ve ever known, walked into the bedroom and said to my mother, “I don’t understand. Leslie left with Richard but came home with Jeff.”
Jeff and I walked into the den. He was soaking wet so I didn’t let him sit on my parents’ furniture. I had so many questions, but decided not to say anything. I just stood there, looking at Jeff, waiting for an explanation.
He said he wanted to try to patch things up, so he came to the house. He didn’t ring the bell because he “had a feeling” I had gone out on a date. He had parked his car around the corner so I wouldn’t see it. He was cold so he wrapped himself up in a blanket he just happened to have in his car and hid in my parents’ bushes waiting for me to come home.
I said, “That’s called stalking.” I asked him to just leave me alone once and for all. He promised he would and left before my father had to call the police. I never heard from him again.
I went into my bedroom to call Richard. I was relieved when he answered the phone, and happy to hear his voice.
I never even thought to tell Richard about Jeff because there was nothing to tell. I wouldn’t have blamed Richard if he didn’t want to be my date for the dinner dance the next weekend, but he said he wanted to honor his commitment. Not the most romantic sentiment, but understandable.
I told myself that everything had to go well the next weekend at the dinner dance. No surprises! I put myself on double secret probation because I knew I’d never get another chance with Richard if anything went wrong.
Nothing terrible happened the night of the dinner dance. However, my front-loading bra burst open causing a “Girls Gone Wild” situation, my mother ran after The Chicago Bears to say hello, and all the cocktail waitresses knew my father and called him, “Normie Baby.” After witnessing all of that, I think Richard was quite amused, and seemed happy with what he had gotten himself into. But I’ll tell you more about that in the next chapter.
Related posts at lesliejochase.com:
Do You Shave?
The 2018 All About Richard Calendar (part I)
There he Stood in the Doorway
The 2018 All About Richard Calendar, April
Katz! The Musical!