"Where's Miss Baggie?"
"I don't think she's here today."
"No, wait, here she comes."
The class exploded into laughter at the entrance of "Miss Baggie." In the doorway stood Micky Dolenz, which wasn't funny in and of itself. But Micky was wearing an ankle-length green and orange plaid skirt and a long silver wig.
"Miss Baggie! Miss Baggie! Where's your boyfriend Micky?"
"Oh, he'll not be here today," Micky proclaimed in an effeminate voice.
"Too tired from last night, huh?"
"Oh, yes, very, and I told him too many songs in a set will kill you!"
"Tell us about your war years!"
"Yeah, remind us about Iwo Jima!"
Micky leapt into the role. Literally. He landed on the floor on his stomach. He began to crawl across the room, hauling himself along the floor by his forearms with some assistance from his feet.
Before he could talk about Charlie & Gilfried, foxholes and bullets whizzing over head, and grenades and machine gun fire, there came a sharp rebuke from the doorway.
"Mister Dolenz!" Micky knew he was in for it. "I certainly hope you aren't busy for the next two weeks, because you'll be serving detention with me." Micky groaned with the rest of the class. "And the rest of you can join him if you keep that up. Mister Dolenz, get out of the ridiculous outfit." Miss Baggie was wearing an outfit that was only marginally better than Micky's.
Micky reached behind him to unzip his skirt, but he didn't take it off. His eyes grew wide. "It's stuck! I can't get it off!"
"That may be just as well, Mister Dolenz," replied Miss Baggie coolly. "Sit down." Micky did as he was told. Miss Baggie leaned over and picked up the silver wig which had fallen off Micky when he jumped into his WW II game. She threw the wig away.
"Today, class, we'll be learning about the War of 1812."
Autumn couldn't help but set up this one. "When did that happen?"
"Nineteen-thirty-two," replied Micky to the class's pleasure and laughter.
"Would you like to make it three weeks, Mister Dolenz?"
Micky managed to keep his mouth shut until just after the bell.
"So you see, if the Aramaic speaking people had just remembered the Alamo, the War of 1812 wouldn't've happened way back in 1932."
"Out, Mister Dolenz! Get to lunch!"
Micky escaped into the hallway and hurried to the library. He found who he was looking for leaning against the card catalog, reading a magazine. He'd hoped she'd be here.
"Autumn," Micky whispered urgently. She looked up from her magazine. "Can you help me out of this thing?"
Autumn glanced around. Probably doesn't want to be caught dead around some dorky musician, Micky thought with uncharacteristic cynicism. It was the second month of school, and already Micky knew Autumn was one of the richer kids in the school. He'd heard that her parents had designs on her marrying Jon Kildarby the moment she graduated. As far as Micky could tell, Autumn didn't seem to have any qualms about it, but he'd never asked her, either.
Autumn pointed to a free standing, but low, shelf of reference books that separated the entrance & lobby area of the library from the researching tables. "It won't look so indecent behind there." She put the magazine with her books and followed Micky behind the shelf. Autumn knelt down behind Micky and began to work on the zipper of his skirt. Micky's shirt had been caught in the zipper, and that had prevented him from getting the skirt off in History. It took Autumn all of two minutes to free him of the skirt.
"It always works better when you can see what you're doing," she said as Micky turned around and stepped out of the skirt. "Where'd you get that hideous thing?"
Micky laughed softly. "A thrift store, I think."
"It's really awful. That was a hilarious stunt you pulled in Baggie's class."
"Thanks. Your set up on the War of 1812 was pretty good, too."
Autumn smiled her thanks.
"Would you like to come to lunch with me?"
"I would, but I forgot my money."
"I'll get you something."
"Would you? That would be great!" Autumn picked up her books and followed Micky to the cafeteria.
"I'm gonna be sitting out side, third table from the left. Don't worry about getting two seats, I'll take care of that." Autumn smiled at him again and headed outside.
Autumn found a seat across from and to the left of two overtly gregarious girls. They introduced themselves as Jan and Kim, respectively. On Autumn's left said a laconic boy. The girls referred to him as Jim.
"So," began Kim, "What brings you to this part of the table?"
"My feet, mostly. I did a cartwheel or two, so just a little on my hands."
Jan and Kim were quiet for a brief second before realizing she was joking.
"Why haven't we seen you before?" asked Jan.
"Because I've spent my lunch anywhere but here trying to dodge my parents' friends' kids since the beginning of school."
"Oh. . . . Well, why are you here, now?"
Autumn didn't get to answer that question. Micky walked up behind Jim and tapped him on the shoulder. Jim got up and moved to another seat.
"Hey, Mick," said Jan, her voice taking as much of a sultry twist as Jan could muster. It was all Autumn could do to keep from laughing hysterically. Micky set Autumn's food down in front of her. Kim did her best to match Jan's greeting. Autumn had to put something in her mouth, anything. This was just too funny!
"Hi, girls," Micky said lightly and turned to Autumn. "Hey, Autumn," Micky said to Autumn, mimicking the girls' "greeting" tone.
Autumn could restrain herself no more. She covered her face with her hands and leaned forward over her food, shoulders shaking.
"Oh, hey, I'm sorry," Micky said, putting his arm around Autumn's shoulders. "I didn't mean anything by it."
Autumn was able to stop laughing just long enough to look up at him with a mock-hurt look in her eyes. "You didn't?!"
At that, they both threw their heads back and laughed. Jan and Kim joined in after a minute. They still hadn't grasped the fact that Micky had previously been mocking them.
After school and detention that day, Micky found Autumn in a very unexpected place. She was three blocks from his house, just sitting on a street corner, playing her flute.
"Hi, Autumn," he said when she finished her song.
"Oh, hey, Mick."
"Why don't you come see my band tonight?"
"I'd love to! Who and where?"
"Sometimes we call ourselves Micky and the One-nighters, sometimes the Missing Links. It'll be down on the corner of 5th and Main Street."
"Inside or outside on the street corner?"
"Well, I think they'll let us inside this time."
Autumn laughed. "I certainly hope so. I'll be there."
Micky dropped a quarter in her flute case. Autumn laughed again. Micky was going to walk on, but decided to stick around to see what was so funny.
"Hold out your hand," Autumn instructed. When Micky did so, Autumn placed not only his quarter in his hand, but a ten dollar bill as well. "I'm only practicing, and I have more than enough of my own, thank you."
"I . . . I couldn't take this."
"Why not? Consider it insurance."
"Seeing you again. After all, you owe me ten dollars." They laughed. "But really, keep it. I owe you for lunch."
"If you insist—"
"And I do."
Micky and the One-nighters, or the Missing Links, had already played two songs. In between songs, Micky was scanning the crowd for any sign of Autumn. He had no idea why he was so excited he hadn't really known her until today.
"Who are you looking for?" asked the drummer.
"Just a friend," Micky said distractedly.
"Third table back, right side. Mick's chick!" 'Mick's chick' was a running joke with the band. They would pick any average to good-looking girl in the crowd. None of the girls Micky dated ever purposely came to a gig because Micky didn't invite them. Mick had to have a chick somewhere in the crowd, and it was now up to the band to choose her.
Micky looked at the indicated table. There was Autumn.
"Autumn!" Micky called. She looked up at him. Micky waved, and she waved back.
"You mean we got one right?" said the drummer.
"Yep, looks like you destroyed a perfect record," said the bass player.
"You guys, the crowd's getting a little restless. Shouldn't we play something?" said the "percussionist."
"How about 'She'll Be There?'"
"Okay . . . whose tune is that?"
"Gee, if we had that policy, we'd own half of RCA and EMI."
"Sounds like a great idea. Come on! One, two, three, four."
The applause in the room was enough to bring the house down. Autumn was surprised. She didn't known Micky was so talented.
"'Midnight Train,'" Micky announced. This song was a song he'd written, and was one of their few original songs. Again, they were met by thunderous applause. Their original songs tended to be received much better than covers. Too bad they didn't have more original songs.
The next day in school, Micky avoided annoying Miss Baggie any further, and succeeded in getting his sentence reduced to one week, which meant Micky could now go to the dance on Friday. So he asked Autumn to go with him. She accepted on one condition that Micky guarantee she wouldn't have to dance with anyone else. Of course, Micky agreed to that.
It was a strange turn of events. One day, a simple prank had led to an unplanned meeting, the next they were dating, and by the next week, even the teachers recognized them as a couple.
They were one of the more serious couples as well. By prom time, they school paper's gossip column billed them as the school's "Most Likely to Get Married."
Micky was going to extremes to give Autumn the most memorable senior prom she'd ever dream of. The big day came. Micky was supposed to meet Autumn at school so it would be even more of a surprise. But Autumn never showed.
on to Part Two--I'll Bet You Didn't Go to Your Two Year Reunion! Yes, I know they are unusually long titles!
on to Part Two--I'll Bet You Didn't Go to Your Two Year Reunion!
Yes, I know they are unusually long titles!