C H A P T E R     S I X T E E N
THINGS JUST CAN’T STAY THE SAME*

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       “There you are.” Cassandra turned around to see Isaac running up to her and calling her name.

       “Good morning.” Isaac looked Cassandra up and down. He wanted to make sure she wasn’t sporting any new bruises. When he didn’t find any he pulled her into a hug and kissed her.

       “Umm.. Isaac?”

       “Yeah?” He looked down at her.

       “What are you doing?” She choked out from his strong hold.

       “I’m not letting you go.” He declared.

       Cassandra thought it was cute of him. “Well, your going to have to. The bell just rang.” She slightly pulled away from him just so she could look in his eyes. They were sparkling with concern and uncertainty.

       “Nope.” He pulled her closer again.

       “Ike,” She laughed. “I’m going to be late and its going to be all your fault.”

       “Fine, if you don’t want to be with me.” Isaac stepped away, a telling smile contradicted his words.

       “Stop that.” Cassandra jumped on him, her arms around his neck.

       “Mr. and Mrs. Hanson didn’t I hear the bell ring?” Mr. B interrupted them.

       Cassandra let go of Isaac. “I don’t know. Did you? And were not married.” Cassandra sneered.

       “Yet.” Isaac put in.

       Cassandra eyed Isaac. “Did he just say yet? Whooa!”

       “Could have fooled me.” Mr. B taunted as he walked off.

       “I’m going to go now.” Cassandra chorused.

       “No, don’t leave me.” Isaac nagged.

       “Buh-bye.”

       “Hope I see you again.” Isaac teased as he went the opposite way.

       “I hope not!” Cassandra turned around and ran. What she didn’t expect was Isaac coming after her. He charged her and made the two of them fall to the soft grass. “Ahh!” Cassandra screamed as the hit the ground. Isaac saved Cassandra’s fall but she quickly rolled off of him onto her back. They both went in a fit of laughter. “That was fun.”

       “Now that I have grass stains on my butt I can go to class.” Isaac stood and helped Cassandra up. “Are you looked at me bottom?” Isaac watched Cassandra’s eyes looking at him.

       “I was just checking if you have grass stains and you don’t.”

       “I don’t believe that was your sole purpose.”

       “Okay, I’m leaving you, you pervert.”

       They both were late for their home room class.

       By the time the fifth period ended Isaac walked off campus. There was still sixth period class, word processing, but if he wanted his plan to work he had to skip it. He walked down the streets finally coming to a brightly lit building. He pulled open the heavy wooden door and slipped passed the bouncer. He made sure his mother was out of sight before he made his way to the bar.

       “Hey Steve!” Isaac took a seat at one of the many bar stools.

       “Hey Isaac! Haven’t seen you in here in a while.” The bar tender walked over to Isaac.

       “Yeah well, I’m not really supposed to be here, remember?” He was in “Electric T’s”. He was only able to come in because his mother worked there and if any one from the police department knew about his little illegal visits they would surly be in deep trouble.

       “That is true. True, true, true.” Steve sang.

       “I’ll be right back. I have to go to the bathroom.” Isaac stood up.

       “No need for descriptions.” Steve laughed.

       Isaac walked to the back of the bar. There sat Dale at one of the tables chugging down a beer. “I knew you would be here.” He whispered. Isaac hid his face as he saw his mother walking to Dales table. he quickly entered the bathroom. “Just like clock work.” Isaac smiled to himself as he pulled out a five dollar pill from his pocket. He then left the restroom and went back the bar.

       Isaac’s eyes wandered to the back of the room at Dale. “That is the last time you hurt Cassandra.” Isaac mumbled to himself.

       “What was that?” The bartender asked.

       “I said that man over there,” Isaac pointed to Dale who sat at the back of “Electric T’s”. His face was engulfed in a mug full of foamy beer. “said he wanted the number three combo meal.” Isaac ordered for Dale. “Here’s his money.” Isaac handed over his own hard earned five dollars. He knew the Menu well from his many visits as a kid to his mothers work place.

       “Okay, thanks Isaac. I’ll go tell the cook.” The bar tender left from behind the bar for not more than thirty seconds. “You want something to drink, buddy?” He whispered nudging Isaac’s arm.

       “No, that’s okay.” Isaac gave him a side way glance as he kept his eye on Dale.

       “Son, here give it a try.” The bar tender filled up a mug and slid it to Isaac. “Its on the house.”

       “Ahh, thanks but no thanks.” Isaac pushed the glass away. He wasn’t even tempted. Why would he be when all the male roll models he knew where drunken slobs that hurt their families? He wasn’t going to turn out like that, no way.

       “Your the first young man that has refused a free brew from me.” The bar tender shook his head and pulled the drink away from him. “Your sure?”

       “Yes, I’m positive Steve, geeze.” Isaac was becoming impatient with not just Steve but with the combo meal that was taking so long to get to Dale’s table.

       “All right man.” Steve left for the other side of the bar.

       “Your goin’ down man.” Isaac whispered as a smirk spread across his face. Mrs. Hanson placed the plate of food in front of Dale.

       “I didn’t order anything.” Dale looked down at the steaming hot Chinese food.

       “Why, yes you did.” Mrs. Hanson pushed it closer to him. “And you better eat it because your paying for it.” She handed him a fork and took off for the kitchen.

       Dale was so out of it already that he didn’t even notice what he was eating chines food. He picked at the heavily flavored food and eventually licked the fork clean. All the food was in his rumbling stomach. He scooted the plate away from him and guzzled his booze.

       Isaac wasn’t smiling by now, in fact he was confused. “Why isn’t it working?” He hit his temple with the palm of his hand. “Maybe it wasn’t enough.” Isaac leaned on the bar top as he continued to stare at Dale.

*****

       Mrs. Hanson came back to Dales table when she was he was finished with his food.

       “Can I get you anything else?” She asked him.

       “He can’t have her. I’ll shoot us both before he can have her.” Dale mumbled in drunkenness.

       Mrs. Hanson ignored him and took her answer as a no. She handed him the bill. “I’ll be right back.” She walked off again.

       Dale dug in his pocket for money, finally pulling out a fifty dollar bill. He waited for the waitress to come back and he stood up as she picked up the money.

       “I’ll be right back with your change.”

       Dale shook his head. “He’s not going to get her.” Dale muttered as he started walking away.

       “Thank you.” Mrs. Hanson called after him for the hefty tip.

*****

       “It has to work.” Isaac started to panic. He saw Dale stand up and head his way. Isaac dropped his head further covering his face in his arms.

       Dale walked out of the bar, full.

       “I don’t get it.” Isaac cursed under his breath.

       “What don’t you get son?” Steve was back wiping the counter with a damp white rag.

       “Nothing.” Isaac stood up. “Oh, Steve?”

       “Yeah?”

       “Don’t tell my mom I was here. She doesn’t really want me coming in here anymore.” Isaac looked at the stage. A half-naked woman was swinging from a pole that was in the middle of the stage.

       “You mean since your a big boy now.” Steve laughed. “You can trust in me.” Steve twisted the rag in his hands.

       “Thanks.” Isaac blushed a little. He walked out of the bar and started heading to his new work. It was only ten more minutes until school was over so he just decided to skip it all together.

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[Chapter 17] [Index] [My Stories]
[Green Eggs And Hanson]


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© 1999 Alana Gustafson