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RUN AWAY FROM LIFE

      Here I was, having a nice, peaceful dream, when the alarm clock, set for 6:00 rang. "Man," I thought, "if only the six o'clock alarm would never ring." Then I laughed, realizing I was paraphrasing a song of my husband's band. I looked over a Micky to make sure the alarm didn't wake him up. He was fast asleep. I hurried and put on one of his shirts and a pair of jeans, then put on my waitress apron. I looked at Micky again. We had only been married six months. We lived in a beach house the other three members of his band, the Monkees. I went and gave him a goodbye kiss, which woke him up.
     "Hey! Good morning," he said and smiled at me.
     "Gotta go," I told him.
     "When are they gonna quit making you work the morning shift?"
     "At least they don't make me work the day shift. This gives us more time together"
     "I guess you're right. But you have to get up so early! I wish you had the night shift. Then you could be there when we play AND be home all day." I had gotten the guys a regular gig at the place I worked. "I know. Tell them if they don't give you the night shift, you'll quit!"
     I laughed. "Oh, Micky. We can't afford that. Though it would be nice to be a lazy bum all day like you and the guys," I answered playfully.
     He put a hand on his stomach and fell back in the bed, "Oh, that one got me in the kidneys!"
     I laughed and said, "When will you grow up?"
     "Never," he replied.
     "Good. That's why I married you." Just then, there was a soft knock on the door.
     "M.G.?" Peter whispered. "Time to get up." I should have known who it was. Peter was ALWAYS the first one up.
     "I'm alrady dressed. I'll be down in a second," I told him.
     "I'll come visit you today," Micky said.
     "Only during my break," I warned. "If you come during my shift one more time, my boss'll probably fire me. He says I pay too much attention to you and not enough to the customers."
     He made a really sad face. "Fine. If you can't stand to look at this ugly face. . ."
     "That's the problem. I can't stop looking at that ugly face."
     He threw a pillow at me and said, "Get oudda here."
     "Fine," I said, pretending to be mad. Then I kissed him bye and went downstairs. I was quiet because Davy and Mike were still sleeping. Davy had had a hot date last night, and Mike was up late writing new songs for the band. Peter was eating cereal and milk at the table. I grabbed a bowl and had the same.
     "M.G.," he said, "don't forget dinner." The days I had the morning shift, I usually brought something from the resturant for later that night. Otherwise, I cooked, and boy were the guys happy about that! They were still not recovered from the cream of root beer stew Peter had made a while back. And I must say I'm a pretty good cook. I was born and raised in Louisiana before we moved to Los Angeles, where it is a crime to NOT know how to cook.
     "Of course," I responded. "So, what are you and the guys going to do today?"
     "It's gonna be a perfect day for the beach. Plus, Mike has a few leads on gigs. We're gonna ride around and check them out."
     "Great!" I said. Besides the resturant gig, the band hadn't worked in over a month. We talked for a few more minutes. I finished eating and put my bowl in the sink. I told Peter goodybe, then went to work.

     Around nine, a skinny girl about my age walked in and sat at one of my tables. She wore ragged clothes and an old beaten up overcoat. "Can I get you something?" I asked here.
     "Oh, uhm, can I have a ham sandwich?" She asked.
     "Sure. I'll be right back." I got her the sandwich and watched her from a distance. She was trying to be delicate, but she acted like she hadn't eaten in days. When she was through, I brought her the check. She paid in nickles and pennies. I felt something wasn't right. I thought I knew what it was. I went up to her and said, "You're a runaway, aren't you?" She jumped up and looked like she would bolt. I grabbed her arm and said, "I understand. Please, come to the back with me. I'll get you some more food and we'll talk." I took my break and lead her into the back room.
     Gradually, she told me her story. It sounded eerily familiar. She also ran away when her parents broke up her relationship with a guy. Unfortunantly, the guy dumped her a few days later. She told me, "I just couldn't face my parents after that. So here I am."
     I told her how, if it hadn't been for Micky, I'd be in her same situation. He stopped me from running away the day before we got married. It scared me to death to think how close I came to being her. I silently gave thanks for having a guy like Micky. Just then, he showed up. I gave him a tight hug and almost started crying. "What's wrong?" he asked.
     "Nothing. I'll tell you later," I said. I introduced him to the girl, whose name was Wendy. "I think it'll be best if she could stay with us for a few days."
     "Uhm, sure, I guess. The guys won't mind."
     "Take her to the pad. She'll fit into my clothes. Get her some from our closet.
     "Sure."
     "I'll be home around noon. We'll take it from there." I looked at her. "When was the last time you slept? You look exhausted. After you shower and change, take a long nap in our room."
     "Thanks," she said gratefully. We said goodbye and they left.

     Wendy was sleeping when I got home. Davy and Mike were on the beach. Davy was talking to a girl and Mike was writing furiously on paper. Business as usual, I thought. Micky and Peter were at the table talking about Wendy. "She told you the story?" I asked.
     "She told Peter and he's filling me in," Micky replied. I understood. Besides Micky, Peter was the person I confided in most. He had this easygoing, innocent manner that made you trust him.
     "How long has she been aslep?"
     "About an hour," Peter said.
     "I guess I should fix lunch, then wake her up." Peter and Micky stood up and started applauding at the mention of lunch. I got two slices of bread and threw them at the guys, then set to work fixing hot dogs with macaroni and cheese. When all was ready, I called Mike and Davy to lunch, then went upstairs to wake Wendy. The two of us were coming down when Mike and Davy walked in.
     Davy looked up and said, "Hello, luv. Who are you?" I realized that he and Mike had not known she was here. I introduced them and said she would stay for a few days, if they had no objections. "Course not," Davy replied.
     "Make yourself at home," Mike added.
     We started to eat. A minute later, Wendy jumped up and ran out the back door. I started to get up to go after her when Peter said, "No. Let me." I sat back down and Peter went out the door after her. A half-hour later, they walked back in.
     "Are you all right?" I asked her.
     "I'm better," she replied, then she went into Peter's room. I looked at him questioningly.
     "She just got a little upset because us sitting around the table reminded her of her family. She told me all about them. Bye the way, I told her she could use my room and I'd sleep on the couch." I started to ask him a few more questions but he said, "Gotta go" and went out the door.

     Later that night, when Peter and I were alone in the living room, I asked him "What is going on?"
     "Nothing" he said.
     "Peter, I can't believe you'd lie to me! Now tell me, where did you run off to after you talked to Wendy this afternoon?"
     He waited a few seconds, then said, "To talk to her parents."
     "What?"
     "Well, she really wants to be with them again. And I thought they would be more than happy to have her back. I was right, for once." He smiled, then got a sad look on his face.
     "You're not very happy about it," I said. I paused, then added, "And I think I know why." He looked at me. "You don't want her to leave, do you?"
     "No," he admitted. Just then Wendy and the rest of the guys came in. They had gone shopping. I gave Peter a look that said we'll talk later. Micky noticed and frowned. I gave him the same look.

     Later, as we were all in the living room watching television, there was a knock on the door. "Wendy, could you get that?" Peter asked.
     "Sure," she said. When she opened the door, she got a look of shock on her face, then said, "Mom! Dad!" and gave both of her parents a big hug. The rest of us silently went upstairs and to our rooms.
     As soon as we got into our room, Micky said, "So what's going on between you and Peter?" I told him about our conversation. He laughed. "Gosharoony. The whole time in the supermarket, everything from Wendy was Peter this and Peter that."
     "Wouldn't they be perfect together?" I asked him.
     "How would I know?" He shrugged. "I'm just a lazy bum, remember?" He teased.

     An hour later, Wendy knocked on our door. "Can I talk to you downstairs?" When everyone was assembled in the living room, Wendy said, "I appreciate everything all of you have done for me, but I'm going home." Everyone started talking at one, saying congradulations and good luck. Everyone except Peter. Wendy walked up to him and said, "Peter, you've been so wonderful to me. Will you, uhm, come visit me?"
     I'd never seen such a big smile on Peter's face before. "Nothing I'd like better," he said. Then Wendy and her parents left.

     Peter was walking on air the rest of the night. I knew he'd never be able to sleep tonight. I felt sorry for Mike, who was at the kitchen table tring to write. Peter kept bothering him, talking about Wendy, but who could blame him? Davy didn't have to deal with it. As usual, he was out on a date. Micky and I went to bed early. I kept thinking how much had happened and how our lives had changed (especially Peter's) in just this one day. It made me almost afraid to ask what would happen tomorrow.

THE END

by M. G.

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FanFic | FanFiction by Autumn Trenton