“Let’s get together and have some fun tonight!”
Richard Vanderlan was the accepted leader of the troop of high school students and they’d gathered at their customary meeting place after school sports were over. It was their way to unwind after trying to absorb some heavy subjects during class time and a good workout during football practice and other school sports units to be completed each semester. Good grades translated to the best universities later so those with ambition tried their best and the rest thought of fun, graduation and a job.
Patsy felt privileged to be part of the group. Her parents had recently transferred to the city where her father occupied a high corporate position in his new job. She’d had so many transfers like this as her Dad climbed the corporate ladder and it was always difficult to fit in with a new social grouping. It had taken her months to break into a new social group and she was in depression each time her Father announced another transfer.
Richard, known as Richie to the kids at school had noticed this stunningly beautiful girl on her first day of the new semester and encouraged his troop to urge her to join their group. He’d done some private background study on her family and found they met the stringent conditions of association his parents set being counted as the upper class of the town. In a sense career wise Patsy’s Father outranked his own.
Many of the girls at school were after Richie and Richie knew it and took advantage wherever he could. Most of them would never fit into his parent’s social circle but they were unaware he was taking advantage of them. The competition for his favour was intense and Richie played the game like a violin player played his instrument.
Patsy was of a serious nature wedded to a love of books and the arts and excelling in her studies. She was relieved when invited into the inner circle of school elite from the first day of school. This transfer was obviously going to be different. She was happy to be part of a wide social circle, and while honoured to be part of this group went out of her way to be friendly to anyone she met in the corridors of the school. In a short time, she was getting the nod of approval from teachers, staff and the wider body of students. This did not fit with Richie’s way of thinking and he determined to draw her into the exclusive arms of his group, and end plan, his own arms.
So, when Richie invited members of the group gathered at the fast food joint for an evening together a few of them shouted their approval, but Patsy shook her head. Richie was disappointed but in that Patsy was a good social catch he determined to hasten slowly.
“It would be nice if you could come too Patsy, can’t you make it? It won’t be the same without you along too.”
Richie tried to look nonchalant about it but was inwardly pained he was not making it to first base like he usually did. This girl was obviously not overpowered by his good looks and social position and he was not used to that. It made the contest even more urgent. His ego was at stake. He’d made a commitment to the rest so he had to go through with the invitation even though his heart was not in it now.
So that evening Richie went to his Father’s den and found him in front of his computer watching the stock market while he spoke to business associates on his cell phone. His mother had waved to him as he drove in after school. She was entertaining her friends by the pool and motioned him over.
“Want to join us Richie, your Dad will be on the phone all night as usual and you may as well enjoy a swim and some food here.”
Richie groaned inside, he hated the gossip sessions though sometimes it gave him insights about the parents of his inner circle friends which he sometimes baited them with to their distress.
“No Mom, I’m going out with the gang!”
Maria Vanderlan smiled. “Don’t want to spend the evening with the girls, then have a good time Richie.”
He rushed upstairs. “Dad I’m going out and need the keys to the seven-seater.”
Josef Vanderlan grunted and motioned Richie to be quiet as he was in the middle of a big transaction. He pulled out the top drawer to his desk and tossed the keys to Richie who caught them in the air. Joseph gave him a thumbs up and returned his gaze to the computer screen. Richie stood for a moment looking at his Father and then turned to leave. Sometimes he felt an emptiness inside, it was if he were a ghost in the house whose presence was acknowledged but was somehow not real. In his lonely hours he wondered why he’d been born. It seemed his parents were not excited about being with him. He’d noticed the parents of kids who were not social climbers were there to cheer their kids at competition sports events and wished his were. Would they even bother to be at his graduation? He guessed it depended on whether he shone academically as was expected of him.
Richie loaded a carton of beer from the garage and sped to the appointed pick up venue where the kids were assembled waiting for him. They piled in, Denise who’d customarily been most favoured climbed into the front passenger seat and Richie motioned her to move to the back. She studied his face in shock and looked around to see who her rival for the night was, but all were looking equally surprised. They were all completely under his spell, so she shrugged smiled her most winning smile for him and moved back wondering who’d occupy that seat tonight.
Richie had been thinking on the way to the venue. They’d go over to Patsy’s home and invite her again. Perhaps he could work his charm on her Dad. He’d had a lot of practice at that and could fake respect and innocence. Soon they were driving down to the upmarket suburb where Patsy lived. Richie had found the address on the internet and checked it out driving past several times to take in the property. Now he confidently turned into the driveway and parked near the garage. There were four vehicles parked there, he recognized Patsy’s little red convertible and took in the Mercedes, the BMW and a six-seater van beside it. In a separate garage he could see their big boat and trailer. The property showed social status and included the pool, courts and gym. Four people were engaged in a volley ball match and they stopped to stare at the visitors, Patsy moved to the elder man in the group and pointed to Richie’s vehicle while speaking to him. Good she was introducing them. The older man jogged to the vehicle, he was obviously in good shape, not like Richie’s Dad with his beer belly and stooped frame from too much desk work.
“I see you bought your team for a ball game, want to play?”
Richie put on his charm face and got out of the vehicle, “Hi Mr Sommerville, actually we just dropped by to see if Patsy would like to come with us, we’re going to the county fair just out of town. Thought it may be good to include her as you have recently transferred to the city and are getting to know people.”
Jason Sommerville looked at each of the students carefully inside the vehicle. They were overwhelmed at being in this unfamiliar place and were on their best behaviour nodding respectfully to him. Jason turned his gaze back on Richie and studied him carefully.
“That was very thoughtful of you Richie,” he looked at his watch. “We have a rule in our house Patsy will be home by 9pm so she’s wide awake for school next day. Let’s see what Patsy says. We’ve had quite a work out on court, so she may not want to go.” He jogged back to the court and spoke to Patsy while they all watched for the outcome. Patsy shook her head and her Dad talked with her further. The county fair sounded innocent enough and it was nice the group had thought of including her in their plan for the evening. Patsy shrugged and headed for the house to change her clothes, emerging after ten minutes looking resplendent in her casual clothes. She moved briskly to the waiting group.
“I need to be home by 9pm to do a final check on my homework for tomorrow. If you can make it back by then it’s OK but tell me if you can’t make it back and I’ll stay home rather than spoil your fun.” She smiled at the group she was now becoming familiar with. She’d rather have stayed home but was happy they thought of including her. So different to transfers to other cities. The others looked at each other and smiled. She had a lot to learn about Richie.
Richie motioned her into the front passenger seat and she moved in quickly and shut the door. He drove carefully down the driveway while Jason watched them go, then out on the road he sped up.
To be continued
“© Copyright Ian Grice, ianscyberspace 2018 All rights reserved”
The above image is property of zastavki.com