|02-11-2008, 10:07 PM||#1|
Out fart the hottie!
Location: I have super gonorrhoea
Is this a balls-out fuck-all adventure, or is there something deeper?
At Arnold's, Al had loaded the jukebox with Christmas records so the boys could have a night off from playing. The place was crowded with people dancing, and Al ran from table to table delivering his special Christmas burgers and milkshakes. After he served Richie and Potsie, who were sitting at their regular booth, he pulled up a chair and sat down with them.
"You guys are running me ragged tonight," he said, wiping his forehead with a handkerchief.
"Good crowd," said Richie. He took a sip of his milkshake.
"Where's Ralph?" asked Al. "He hasn't been around much lately."
"He's got a girlfriend," said Potsie. "He doesn't have time for us anymore."
"Is that so?" said Al.
"Oh, Potsie doesn't know. Ralph's just been busy, I'm sure," said Richie.
"He's been busy, all right. Busy watching the submarine races, I'll bet," said Potsie.
"In December?" said Al. "Isn't it a little cold for that?"
"It's never too cold for that," said Potsie, and they all laughed.
"Well let me go back to the kitchen. I've got a lot of hungry people here," said Al, pushing his chair out of the way. As he threaded his way through the crowd of dancers, he saw Fonzie dancing with a girl. The two were swaying so slowly they looked motionless. As he passed the couple, Al sighed to himself. "Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep," then disappeared into the kitchen.
A slow song was playing on the jukebox when Ralph appeared at the door, holding Mary's hand. She was wearing a blue dress with a white shrug over her shoulders, and her dark brown hair was curled loosely down her back. Ralph wore a blue shirt and slacks with a white jacket. Mary had tucked a bit of green and red tinsel into his jacket pocket, and they looked very festive together.
"Well, here we are," said Ralph. "Are you ready to meet my friends?"
Mary looked up at him and smiled. "I can't wait," she said.
"But first..." said Ralph, "...look up."
She glanced up and saw a sprig of mistletoe above them. "Ralphie..." she giggled as he pulled her into his arms.
"I still got it," he said, leaning down and kissing her.
Potsie spotted them across the room. "Hey, Rich," he said, "look, it's Ralph."
Richie turned around. "I guess we finally get to meet the new girlfriend."
His arm wrapped protectively around Mary, Ralph guided her toward the table where his friends sat. "Hi, guys," he said. "I have someone I want you to meet. Mary O'Connor, this is Richie Cunningham..."
Richie said, "Hi, Mary, nice to meet you."
Ralph continued, "And Potsie Webber..."
"Hi, Mary. I'm glad to finally meet you," said Potsie.
"Pull up a chair and sit down," said Richie.
"I think we'll have a dance first. Mary?" said Ralph, gesturing toward the dance floor.
"It was nice meeting you all. I'm sure I'll be seeing you later," said Mary.
"Yeah, we'll see you later," said Richie.
Ralph and Mary headed out onto the dance floor. Ralph put his arms around her and pulled her close, and she rested her head on his shoulder and wove her fingers together behind his back.
Richie and Potsie watched them from the booth.
"Ralph looks pretty happy," said Richie.
"Yeah. I wonder how long this one'll last?" said Potsie.
"They look pretty serious."
"Too soon to tell, I guess." Potsie slid out of the booth. "I'm going to find someone to dance with. Comin', Rich?"
"Naw, I'll just sit here for a few minutes," said Richie. "You go on."
"Right, Rich." Potsie went off to look for a partner, leaving Richie sitting there idly stirring his milkshake with his straw.
After a few dances, Mary looked up at Ralph and smiled, and he pulled her closer and said, "Are you having fun, honey?"
"It's wonderful," she said. "I just wish we could be alone for a few minutes."
"We could sit in the car for a while."
"It's just so cold out. I wish it was summer, and we could go for a picnic. But anywhere's nice, as long as you're there," said Mary, leaning against him again.
"We could go to my parents' house. They're out of town," said Ralph tentatively.
She pulled back and giggled. "Why, Mr. Malph, I'm not that kind of a girl," she drawled.
"No, no, of course you're not! I didn't mean...I mean...I just thought...Never mind!" said Ralph quickly, backing away until he bumped into the jukebox.
"Oh, don't be silly, Ralph, I was teasing. I know I can trust you," she said, leaning against the jukebox and holding his arm.
"Oh, yeah? Oh, yeah! You can trust me. I would never... I mean..." he stammered, blushing.
Mary kissed him on the cheek. "You're so sweet, Ralphie. We can go to your house. Maybe watch some television or something. Okay?"
Meanwhile, part of him was thinking, "What is wrong with you, Malph? This is your chance! Take it! Take it!" And another part argued back, "Don't blow it, Ralph. This one's special, and you need to be very, very careful." He was giving himself a headache, so he squeezed his eyes shut and rubbed his temples.
Mary looked at him with concern. "Something wrong, Ralph?"
He opened his eyes quickly. "How could anything be wrong when I'm with you?" he said, taking her arm and wading back into the crowd with her. "Let's say goodbye to everyone and head out of here."
They made the rounds, got their coats, and headed for home.
When they got to his house, Ralph helped Mary with her coat, then took off his own coat and the white blazer. She took off her shrug and handed it to him, and he placed it carefully over the back of a chair. "Would you like to sit down?" he asked, gesturing toward the couch.
"Sure," she said, smoothing out her skirt and sitting down. Ralph turned on the television set and sat down next to her. He stretched his arm out behind her, and she leaned against him and snuggled into his shoulder. "You sure smell nice, Ralph," she said.
"Thanks," he said, enjoying the feel of holding her close. The television flickered softly, bathing them alternately in bright light and darkness as they watched. Whenever a commercial came on, they turned to each other and kissed until the show came back on. Then the kisses got longer than the commercials, and soon they had forgotten the television was even on.
They came up for air when the phone rang.
"Don't you think you should get it?" said Mary.
Ralph lifted his head. "I don't want to," he smiled, leaning over to kiss her again.
She kissed him back, but the phone kept ringing, until finally he pulled away and groaned, "I'd better get that. It might be my parents."
"Come back soon," she said, flipping her eyelashes at him.
"Won't be a minute," he said, kissing her cheek, then going to the phone table.
While Ralph was on the phone, Mary got up and looked around the living room. There were lots of family pictures sitting around, and Mary examined them closely, smiling at a picture of Ralph and his father wearing funny glasses. "So that's where he gets it from," she thought. She heard Ralph hang up the phone, and she picked up the picture and took it over to him.
He put his arm around her and looked at the picture. "Oh yeah, this is a good one. That's my father and me. He's an optometrist; that's why we had the glasses," he laughed.
"You're so funny. I love looking at pictures and stuff. I feel like I get to know you even better," said Mary.
"Yeah, well, you can meet my parents when you come for Christmas. I'm sure they'll love you just as much as I do."
"I can't wait." Mary walked back over to the couch, then said, "Could you tell me where your bathroom is?"
"I can do better than that; I'll show you." Ralph guided her up the stairs, then said, "Second door on the right. I'll wait for you."
"Thanks, Ralph." She closed the door and he went into his room and sat on his bed.
A few minutes later, he heard Mary open the bathroom door. "Ralph?" she called. "Where are you?"
"In here," he said. He got up and headed for the door, but she had already come into his room.
"Your room," she said, looking around at everything, then walking over to a shelf full of trophies. "What did you win these for?"
"Softball," he said. "We won a few league championships."
"That's great," she said, then walked over to his bookshelf. "Some interesting books you have..."
"The really good ones are under the mattress," he said, winking at her.
"Ralph! You are too funny!" she said, swatting his arm, then pulling his yearbook off the shelf. "Show me your picture," she said, then plopped down on his bed. He sat down next to her, leaning over to turn the pages to his senior photo.
"You're so handsome!" she said.
He made a face. "What can I say, Mary, you have strange taste in men."
"Stop insulting yourself! I have great taste!" She glared at him and turned her head when he tried to kiss her.
"What's wrong?" he asked softly.
"I'm mad at you," she said.
She crossed her arms. "You're always putting yourself down."
He looked down. "I'm sorry. I just...haven't had the best experiences."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, people think I'm funny."
"You are funny, Ralph."
"Yeah, I am," he said, leaning back, "But there's more to me than that." He sat up straight and looked at her intently. "I can be serious. I can be lots of things. I can..."
Mary put her finger over his lips. "I know you can," she whispered. "I know you, remember? I love your sense of humor, but there's so much more. Sometimes I do feel like you're trying to stop people from getting too close to you by making them laugh. If someone has hurt you, well, all I can say is I feel sorry for her, because she really missed out on something special. But it was lucky for me, because I get to be here with you now, and I think you're the greatest thing ever."
Ralph looked at her, smiled briefly, and shook his head. "I don't know what to say, Mary. Thank you."
"You're welcome, Mr. Malph." She smiled at him serenely, then glanced down at the yearbook again.
He gently took the book from her hands and placed it on the bed. Then he pulled her into his arms and kissed her hard.
She felt heat rise up through her as she returned the kiss, matching his intensity. Tangling her fingers into his hair, she pressed her body as close as she could get to him, and he responded by wrapping his arms around her and pulling her tightly against him.
Eventually he looked at her with a question in his eyes. She nodded, and they sank back onto the bed together. The yearbook fell, unnoticed, to the hardwood floor.
It seemed like hours had passed when they finished and Mary finally lay with her head resting on Ralph's bare shoulder, her arm draped across his chest. With his fingers, he traced gently along her cheek, his thoughts flitting aimlessly from pleasure to guilt and back again. "Oh, Mary," he murmured, "I love you so much."
"I love you, too, Ralph," she said, turning her head to kiss the side of his neck, which was beginning to roughen with new stubble.
"I'm sorry," he said. "I shouldn't have..."
"Don't say that!" said Mary. "It was wonderful. I wanted to!"
"I've never felt this close to anyone before," said Ralph.
"Me neither," she said, eyes wide. "I hope you still respect me."
"Always." He folded her into his arms and listened to her breathing for a while, then he slowly closed his eyes and drifted into sleep.
Downstairs, the phone jangled and woke them both.
Ralph jumped up and pulled his trousers on. "I'd better get that! What time is it?" he said, running for the door. "I'll be right back!"
"Okay, Ralph," she said. Then she unwound the sheets, found her clothes, and got dressed.
Ralph thumped back up the stairs. "It was my parents," he said, sitting back down on the bed and picking up his shirt. "They wanted to make sure everything was okay." He buttoned his shirt, then stood up and tucked it in. "Is everything okay?"
"It's perfect," said Mary.
He put his arms around her and held her tightly as she gazed around his room one last time.
Toward the end of January, they were sitting in the car at Inspiration Point with the motor running and the heater on full blast. Ralph was telling a funny story, but when he got to the punch line, Mary didn't laugh. Ralph repeated the punch line and made a "ta-da" face. Mary looked over at him and gave him a small smile, but her eyes looked tired.
He said, "I guess I don't got it anymore!" and grinned at her.
"Oh, it's not that. I'm sorry. I'm just tired," said Mary.
Ralph put his arm around her, but she didn't fold into him like she usually did. Instead, she closed her eyes and leaned back against the seat.
He looked at her more carefully. Even in the dim moonlight, he could see dark circles under her eyes, and she looked paler than usual. He wondered if she'd been crying.
"She's going to dump me tonight," he realized, with a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. "That's what it is. I knew this was too good to be true. Why should I think anyone like her could love me so much? I've been stupid to think that. Stupid, Ralph, stupid!" He felt like smacking himself in the forehead, but he settled for moving closer to his door and leaning his head against the window.
"Ralph?" she whispered. "Where did you go?"
He turned to her, a guarded expression on his face. "I'll just make this easy for you, all right? It's okay if you want to see other people. I understand. I know I'm not exactly James Dean or anything. More like Howdy Doody, really. And who loves Howdy Doody? He's just a goofy puppet. So don't worry, I won't bother you or anything, it's really okay. I..."
Mary opened her eyes and looked at him like he had suddenly sprouted two more heads. "What are you talking about, Ralph?"
"You're dumping me, right?" His voice caught halfway through, and he gripped the window crank tightly.
A tear rolled down her cheek. "No, no, Ralph, why would you think that?" She turned toward him and took his hands in hers.
He held on for dear life. "I just thought...I mean...obviously something's wrong," he stammered.
"Something is wrong," she said, biting her lower lip, "but that's not it. Not anywhere near it. If anything, you'll be dumping me."
Ralph looked confused. "Why would I do that? I love you, Mary. Please tell me what's the matter."
She began to cry. "Would you hold me, please?"
"Of course!" He scooted over next to her and took her into his arms. Her tears turned into sobs that shook her whole body. Wondering what on earth was wrong, he held her as tightly as he could and whispered sibilant comfort into her ear.
"Sssshhhh, it's okay, Mary, don't cry. Tell me what's wrong, and I'll fix it. Please? It'll be okay. Everything will be okay," he murmured.
Eventually she began to calm down. Ralph stroked her face slowly and gently, still whispering softly to her, and finally she sat back a little bit. He took out a handkerchief and dabbed at her face with it.
"Now come on, you can tell me," he said, lifting her chin with his finger. "Please?"
She sniffled. "I don't know how to tell you this..."
His eyes were kind. "Just say it."
"Ralph..." She closed her eyes again. "Do you remember that night at your house? In your room?"
"Of course. How could I forget?"
"And do you know what happens sometimes when two people...um..."
Fear squeezed the pit of his stomach again. "I think so."
She buried her face in his neck. "Ralph, I'm late. Very late. I think you're going to be a father."
For once in his life, he didn't have anything to say.
They sat there quietly, Mary crying again, Ralph's mind racing crazily through his options. He even briefly thought he could deny everything. But then he thought about she'd looked at him that night in his room. How she laughed at all his jokes. How much he loved her.
Then a wave of calm washed over Ralph, and he realized that for once, the thing he wanted to do and the right thing were exactly the same.
He took her face in his hands and kissed her gently. "Mary, it'll be okay. Please don't cry."
"Ralph, you do understand what I said, don't you?"
Ralph nodded. "Yes, yes I do. Don't worry. I love you. We'll get married, is all. It'll be okay. I promise."
"You're not going to leave, Ralph? You really mean it?" Her voice was hopeful.
He pulled her close again. "I'm not going anywhere. I've spent too much of my life running away from things. And I don't want to, anyway. I love you."
"Oh, Ralph," she said, "I was so scared."
"Well, you don't have to be scared anymore," he said, stroking her hair.
She looked up at him. "I love you, Ralphie."
"I love you too, Mary. Always." He smiled, then leaned down and kissed her.
The next day, Ralph phoned Mary and invited her to a picnic that night.
"A picnic? Ralph? You do know it's the middle of winter, don't you?"
Ralph laughed. "Don't worry, I've got it all planned. I'll pick you up tonight."
"Should I bring anything?"
"Just yourself. I'll take care of everything," said Ralph. "I'll see you tonight."
Later on, he picked Mary up and told her to close her eyes. "It's a surprise," he said, his eyes twinkling, as he parked in the lot at Arnold's.
"Where are we?" she asked as he helped her out of the car.
"You'll see," he said as he led her into the restaurant and put his arms around her. "Okay, you can open your eyes now."
Mary opened her eyes and smiled when she saw what Ralph had done. There was a red checkered blanket in the middle of the floor, surrounded by potted plants. A picnic basket sat on the blanket, along with two plates, flatware, napkins, and glasses.
Ralph helped Mary sit on the blanket, then dropped down beside her. "Lemonade?" he asked, producing a pitcher and pouring some into one of the glasses.
"Please!" she giggled, holding out the other glass. Ralph smiled and poured lemonade into the glass, then opened the picnic basket.
"How did you do all this, Ralph?" she asked as he pulled out fried chicken, potato salad, and cole slaw.
"Al let me use the place after he closed. I told him it was a special occasion," said Ralph, spooning potato salad onto her plate.
"Well, this is wonderful," she said, taking a bite of chicken. "I can't believe you did this for me."
"You're eating for two now," he said. "We need to keep your strength up."
"Does that mean I can have seconds?" she smiled, taking more cole slaw.
"Seconds, thirds...whatever you want," said Ralph. "Your wish is my command."
Mary hugged him. "I can't believe how lucky I am," she said.
"I'm the lucky one," he said, leaning down to put his ear against her belly. "Hey, I think I can hear him! He says he likes the chicken! And that he has the most wonderful mommy in the world!" said Ralph.
"So you think it's a boy?" said Mary, smiling down at him.
"Of course! Ralph, Jr. And here, I got him his first present," said Ralph, leaning over and pulling a package out of the picnic basket.
"What is it?" said Mary. She took the package and shook it.
"Open it and see! He won't mind!" said Ralph, lying down with his head in her lap.
"Okay." Mary pulled the wrapping off the package, opened it, and pulled out a small pair of glasses with eyeballs dangling by springs from the lenses.
"It's his first pair of funny glasses!" said Ralph, laughing.
Mary laughed too. "Oh, what am I going to do with two of you?" she said. She gave Ralph a playful smack, then leaned down and kissed him.
Ralph kissed her back, then pulled her down beside him on the blanket and wrapped his arms around her. She rested her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. "You're really adjusting to this fast, Ralph," she said.
"The more I think about it, the more I realize how lucky I am," he said. "I love you, Mary. I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you. In fact, I'd marry you tomorrow. Do we have to wait?"
"I love you too, Ralphie," she said. "And you know I just want to get through the first three months first, for luck. It won't be long. I can't wait to be Mrs. Ralph Malph."
"It has a nice ring to it. Mrs. Ralph Malph. Yeah, I like that a lot," said Ralph.
She put the little pair of glasses against her belly and wiggled them around, and they both laughed.
It was easier to make plans with Mary than to tell his friends about his situation, so he kept it a secret as long as he could.
Arnold's was draped with red paper hearts and white frilly streamers as Richie, Ralph, and Potsie unpacked their band equipment the afternoon of the Valentine's dance.
"How are things going with Mary?" Richie asked Ralph. "I haven't seen you two around much lately."
"Fine, just fine," said Ralph. "She's staying home tonight. She's not feeling well."
Potsie unwound some wire and plugged it into the guitar amp. "You sure she doesn't have another date? It is Valentine's Day," he teased.
"I'm sure. What are you talking about, Potsie? Why would she have another date?" Ralph said quickly.
Potsie held his hands up. "Hey, calm down Ralph, I was just kidding."
"Well it's not funny," said Ralph, turning away.
Potsie shrugged his shoulders at Richie, who raised his eyebrows at him and shook his head.
"You seem a little tense, Ralph," said Richie.
"Tense? Who's tense? How am I tense?" said Ralph, pacing around behind the piano. "I'm not tense. Not tense at all."
"Okay," said Potsie, backing away a little.
"I'm going to go wash my hands," said Ralph. He turned around and stalked into the men's room.
"What was that all about?" Potsie said quietly.
"I'd say he's tense," said Richie.
Fonzie walked into Arnold's wearing his leather jacket and a red-checkered scarf. "Heyyyyyy," he said.
"Hi, Fonz," said Richie and Potsie.
"You don't sound very enthusiastic," said Fonzie.
"We are, Fonz, it's just...well, we think there's something wrong with Ralph. He's not acting right," said Richie.
"Does he ever?" said Fonz, smirking.
"This is different," Richie said. "Fonz, would you go talk to him?"
"Certainly," said Fonzie. He swaggered over to the men's room door, pushed it open, and went in.
Ralph was leaning on one of the sinks with his head down. When he heard the door open, he looked up, then quickly looked down again.
"Is that any way to say hello?" said Fonzie.
Fonzie walked behind Ralph. "So what's up? I hear something's wrong."
Ralph straightened up. "Nothing's wrong, Fonz, nothing at all."
"Then why are you standing in the bathroom hanging your head over the sink when you're supposed to be practicing with the band?"
"Well maybe there's something a little bit wrong..."
Ralph spun around to face Fonzie. "Okay, okay, you forced it out of me," he said. "I got Mary in trouble and now we're going to get married and my parents are going to kill me!" He grabbed his forehead with both hands and leaned over the sink again.
Fonzie was careful not to show any reaction to Ralph's news. "I see."
"Do you see, Fonz? Do you? How did this happen? How did I get into this?"
"Well, Ralph, I can explain. Sometimes a boy bird and a girl bee get together and they..."
"...I got that part," said Ralph quickly.
"Good," said Fonz. "Are you sure it's yours?"
"And what did you say to Mary?"
"I told her everything would be okay and we'd get married. I love her, Fonz. I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I'm just...worried about what people will think. Especially what my parents will think. I just want to do the right thing."
Fonzie laid his arm across Ralph's shoulders. "You're doing the right thing, Ralphie. I'm proud of you. You didn't run away and you took responsibility for yourself."
Ralph sighed. "Then why am I so scared?"
"Everyone gets scared, Ralph. The difference between the cool and the cowards is that we do the right thing anyway. Cowards run away."
"We, Fonz? You think I'm cool?"
Fonzie gave him the thumbs up, and Ralph smiled.
"Now why don't you get yourself together and get out of my office," said Fonzie, as he opened the door to go back into the dining room.
"Sure thing, Fonz," said Ralph. He splashed water on his face as Fonzie left.
Richie and Potsie were sitting on the stage waiting, and when Fonzie came out, they jumped up and surrounded him.
"So what did he say?" said Richie.
"What happened?" said Potsie, at the same time.
Fonzie held up his hands. "Whoa, take it easy," he said, sitting down on the piano bench. "I'm sure Ralph will tell you when he's ready."
"Is he coming out?"
The door to the men's room opened, and Ralph slowly came out. Richie and Potsie started to run over to him, but Fonzie snapped his fingers and they stopped.
Ralph walked over to the stage and sat down on the edge. Richie and Potsie sat on either side of him.
"I'm sorry we were teasing you before, Ralph," said Richie. "If there's something wrong, we'd be glad to listen. Or not. You don't have to tell us anything if you don't want to."
"Yeah," said Potsie. "What he said."
Ralph drew up his knees and wrapped his arms around them. "Thanks, guys."
They sat there for a few minutes, then Ralph looked over at Fonzie, who nodded at him. Ralph drew in a big breath, let it out, and told them everything.
"So you're getting married?" asked Potsie. "Congratulations."
"Yeah," said Richie, "Mary's a real nice girl."
"You don't think badly of me?" asked Ralph.
"No! Things happen. I'm sure you guys will be really happy," said Richie.
"Yeah," said Potsie. "Hard to believe there's going to be a little Malph running around soon. I sure hope he looks like his mother."
Ralph swatted him. "Gee thanks, Pots."
"So when's the wedding?" asked Richie.
"She wants to wait three months," said Ralph, "for luck. To get past the danger point. Then we'll tell our parents and get married right away."
"Sounds like a good plan," said Fonzie. "You're using your brain now, Ralph."
"Yeah." Ralph put his head down on his knees.
"And now you can get some action whenever you want," said Potsie, nudging Richie, who glared at him.
"Nope," said Ralph. "We're going to wait until we're married."
"Isn't it a little late for that," said Potsie to Richie, who shook his head at him to hush him.
"Why don't we get some practice in before the dance tonight," said Richie, standing up and picking up his saxophone.
"Good idea, Rich," said Ralph, going over to the piano.
Later that night, the band was playing at the Valentine's dance when Mary walked into Arnold's. The dance floor was packed, and she made her way around the edge of the room slowly, smiling as she watched Ralph play the piano.
Fonzie, who was dancing closely with a redhead, politely excused himself and intercepted Mary. He pulled out a chair for her and seated her where she could get a good view of Ralph. Then he brought her a glass of soda pop and sat down across from her.
Ralph hadn't spotted her yet. As she sipped her drink, Fonzie leaned over and said, "Are you feeling better now?"
"He told you, didn't he," she said, looking down at the table.
"Yeah," Fonzie said gently. "Congratulations. Ralph's a lucky man."
"Thanks, Fonzie," she said.
Ralph looked over and grinned broadly when he saw her sitting there. She smiled back at him. As the song went on, he mouthed the words to her as Potsie sang. When the song was over, he told the others to take five, then came over to her. Fonzie stood up and gestured toward his chair, and Ralph thanked him and sat down with Mary.
He took both her hands in his. "What a nice surprise! Do you feel better, honey?"
She nodded. "A little. I just didn't want to miss your gig. I love to watch you play."
Fonzie made a fist and carefully hit the jukebox. A slow, romantic song began to play, and Fonzie nodded meaningfully at Ralph.
"Would you like to dance, Mary?" said Ralph, standing up and offering her his hand.
"Yes," she whispered, taking his hand and rising to her feet. She laid her head on his shoulder and he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her as close as he could. He rested his cheek lightly on top of her head and closed his eyes. Swaying slowly to the music, the two wove their own little paradise out of nothing but a jukebox and a dance floor.
Fonzie sat back down, and Richie and Potsie joined him. As they watched Ralph and Mary dancing, Potsie said, "They're so lucky. I've never seen anybody look that happy in my life."
"Yeah. I'm glad Ralph found someone," said Richie.
Fonzie just looked on and nodded his approval.
On the dance floor, Ralph stroked Mary's cheek with the back of his hand and sang softly into her ear along with the love song playing from the jukebox. She looked up at him with longing in her eyes, and he looked down at her with such passion that she felt her insides quiver. Then he leaned down and kissed her, and their tongues met for a lazy, smoldering tango.
As they danced even more closely than before, Mary opened her eyes to find Ralph looking at her with an expression halfway between love and desire. She widened her eyes at him and ran her fingertips languidly down his back.
"Mary..." said Ralph, his breath on her neck sending shivers up her spine.
"Yes, Ralph," she whispered.
"I love you," he said.
"I love you, too." Mary pulled him tighter..
Ralph leaned down and rubbed her nose with his. "I can't wait to marry you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I can't believe how lucky I am."
Mary smiled. "And here I thought I was the lucky one, to have someone so handsome, so funny..." She ran her fingers through his hair, then hugged him so tightly she could feel his heart racing.
"It won't be long, and we can be happy forever," said Ralph.
"Forever," she echoed, blinking back tears of joy.
It was just two days later that Ralph got the phone call.
"What happened?" he asked, cold terror squeezing his heart.
"I lost the baby," Mary said flatly.
Ralph could hardly breathe. "You lost the baby...where are you? I'll come get you. Just tell me where you are..."
"I'm at the hospital. You can't come get me. My parents are here. They know everything. I started bleeding and I fainted, and now they know, and they're so mad at me..."
"I'll come anyway," he said.
"No! No, Ralph, darlin', that's not a good idea. I think my father would kill you right about now. If they knew I was talking to you...and they might come back any second..."
He felt faint himself. "Well, call me when you get back, and I'll come pick you up, and we'll talk..."
"No, Ralph. You don't understand. My parents are taking me back to Kentucky. They never liked it here anyway. They don't want me to ever see you again."
"But you're old enough. You don't have to go. We can still get married. I love you, Mary, don't do this!" Hot tears fought their way out of Ralph's eyes, and he swiped them away roughly with the back of his hand.
"I love you too, Ralphie. I wish I could. I love you so much...but they're not going to let me. They'll disown me. I don't think I can make it on my own. I'm so scared! I don't know what to do!"
"You won't be on your own! We'll be together! Together always, just like we said!"
Mary began to cry. "But now you can have your life back. You have a second chance; you won't be bogged down with a wife and a baby. You can finish college and go on your comedy tour and make something of yourself, Ralph. You can have everything you always dreamed of."
Ralph dropped weakly to his knees. "But you're everything I always dreamed of, Mary. Don't leave...please!"
He heard a loud noise on the other end of the line, then Mary's father said, "Is that you, Malph, you son of a bitch? Listen and listen good. We're taking Mary back home, where she belongs. Where the boys have respect for girls and don't take advantage of them. She's going to start over and try to forget any of this ever happened. Don't you dare try to contact her, or I'll kill you. Do you understand?"
In the background, he could hear Mary scream, "I love you, Ralph!" and then the phone went dead in his hands.
He ran to the bathroom and got violently sick.
Things were never the same for Ralph after that.
He spent the first two weeks in his room with the lights off. Richie, Potsie, and Fonzie tried to cheer him up, but Ralph was having none of it.
Finally he showed up at Fonzie's apartment one cold evening. A light snow was falling as he knocked quietly on the door.
Fonzie opened the door. "I'm glad to see you out and about again, Ralph," he said. "Come on in; it's cold out there."
Ralph entered the apartment. "Thanks, Fonz," he said.
"Why don't you sit down and stay awhile?" said Fonzie.
Ralph shook his head. "I'll just stand," he said. His eyes were empty.
"Come on, Ralphie, take a load off," said Fonzie, pulling out a chair for him. Ralph absently sat down, and Fonzie sat down facing him.
"How are things going?" Fonzie said. "Better?"
"Maybe a little," said Ralph. He pressed his lips together and looked down at the floor. "Maybe not."
"It might take a while, but things will get better. They always do."
"Not this time, Fonz." Ralph gave him a sad look. "I loved her. I don't care if we had to get married; I would have married her anyway. Now I've lost everything: Mary, our son..." He choked up and fresh tears shone in his eyes, but he fought them back.
"I know. I know. But just listen to me, Ralphie. Every day, the pain will hurt a little bit less, until one day, you'll feel better."
"No. I don't want to feel better. I don't want to forget them, Fonz."
"Of course you're not going to forget them. But you'll be able to go back to living your life, and when you think about them, you'll remember the happy things." Fonzie put his hand on Ralph's shoulder. "Trust me."
Despite his best efforts, tears ran down Ralph's face. "One day, everything's perfect, and the next day, it's all gone. I just don't think I can stand it anymore." His voice was rough.
"You can. You will. You just hang in there, Ralphie."
Ralph closed his eyes. "I'm trying."
"That's all anybody can do," said Fonzie.
|02-11-2008, 10:18 PM||#5|
Out fart the hottie!
Location: I have super gonorrhoea
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