Chapter 18 The Dreamers
“Come on in, Mom,” said Chris trying to hold back as much surprise as she could. “What are you doing out so early?” Her Mom came in and set down two, tall, but slender boxes on the floor.
Liz Milton moved toward her daughter and grabbed each the other with their hands at the upper arms and faked kisses by brushing each side of their cheeks against one another. How’s Rodeo Drive I thought.
“I could be asking the same of you,” questioned Liz. “Oh, I didn’t realize you had company.”
“Mom, this is Bill Alan and Gloria James from Connecticut,” said Chris. “They’ve come out to see me from Connecticut.
“That’s nice,” answered Liz half heartedly. “Where’s Doug?”
“He’s off to work already. Some important meeting or something,” Chris continued.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were coming out to see Doug and you could have made this trip for me,” asked her Mom? “I hate getting up this early.”
“You are a very handsome couple,” compliments Liz Milton. “Have you been married long?”
“We’re not married,” Mrs. Milton. “Just very close friends,” I add.
“Chris, you should have called me,” said Chris’s Mom, still upset at having to get up so early.
“I didn’t know until yesterday,” said Chris. “Bill and Gloria came to talk to me a about Jon.”
“What about Jon?” “Is he alright,” asks Mrs. Milton?
“Yes, Maam, he is fine. I play with Jon on the Monarchs team in Connecticut,” I add.
“Oh, another ball player,” she adds. “I’ll bet you’re good too, aren’t you?”
“Yes,” chirped in Gloria right a way. “He is and has really made a difference on the team already, they are 6 and 0.” Gloria is beaming.
“That’s nice,” said Liz Milton. “I’ve never been one much for sports. Too sweaty I think. Too barbaric for me.”
“Mother, listen, this whole thing with Jon is just a big mistake. I should have believed him,” stated Chris. “Bill and Gloria came out to tell me that the phone calls and letters were all lies about Jon just to get back at him for that college prank thing with his sister Cheryl. He was telling me the truth all the time. He was not going out with that Beth girl at all.”
“You’re kidding,” said Liz Milton with a real tone of amazement in her voice. “Well I have to admit I believed it all along myself. I guess I wasn’t being very fair either. I wanted Chris to marry some lawyer not traveling baseball player, although some of them do make quite good money, don’t they,” asked Liz?
“Yes Maam, we can,” I add, “but you can’t think about the money while you’re playing. It will make you crazy. You just need to play and the money will take care of itself.”
“I guess that makes sense,” said Liz. “How long are you out here for?”
“We need to get to the airport for a 6:40am flight back as I have a game tonight,” I add.
“You came out here all this way for one day just for Chris and Jon’s sake,” Liz said quite amazed. “Well, I am impressed.”
“Thanks,” said Gloria knowing that Chris had just saved her a ton of embarrassment by not spilling all the beans. “It was important for this to be done and fixed. I…we were glad to do it, weren’t be Bill?”
“Yes we were,” I add with a big smile to Gloria.
“Well, what are your plans now,” asks Liz?
“We need a ride to the Airport and I guess Chris needs to make some plans to come out to Connecticut as soon as she can, I guess,” I offer. “Don’t you think, Chris? Can you give us a lift?”
“I wish I could come today,” she said with great excitement. “Mom, could you watch the baby for me?”
“Sure I could,” offered Liz Milton. “But I have a better idea if I can convince Gloria?”
“What is that Mrs. Milton,” asks Gloria with great curiosity?
“Gloria why don’t you stay our here for a couple of days, we can do girl stuff together. Have you been to California before,” Liz asks?
“No,” said Gloria wondering what she was about to get into?
“Chris why don’t you fly back with Bill and I’ll be happy to buy Gloria a ticket and send her back on, say, Friday.” She turns to Gloria. “I’ll take you downtown and show you where all the upper-crust shops and I know some swell easting places. You can stay out at our house. It will be fun. What do you say,” she asks as if this is the plan of the century?
“Would you be willing to do that for me, Gloria,” asks Chris? “It would really mean a lot to me.”
“Yes, why not,” said Gloria knowing that was the least she could do for all the trouble she had caused. “It would be fun to stay out here for a couple of days.”
“Gloria, thank you,” said Chris and she when over and they embraced warmly. “Thank you so much. I hope we get to be great friends.”
“Me to,” replied Gloria. “Me to.”
“Well that’s settled,” said Mrs. Milton. “Move those lamp boxes over to the plants over there, will you Bill,” she asks? Doug can deal with them when he gets home. Now you two go get your things as we have stuff to go, and Chris, you and bill have a plane to catch.”
With that Gloria and I go fetch our things. I reach into my wallet and take out 10-one hundred dollar bills and give them to Gloria. She is shocked and refuses them at first. I remind her that she just might need some money traveling with “Mrs. Rockefeller” and that I did not feel right leaving her here with little or no money, and besides I said it is really a bribe to make sure she came back to Connecticut. She kisses me warmly and puts the money in her purses.
“Billy, thanks,” Gloria offers warmly. “I do love you, ya know.”
She head out with Liz and puts her bag in the trunk as Chris grabs mine and throws it in the back seat of her Saab. I go over to Gloria and give her a warm, tender kiss, reminding her to have a nice vacation. I told her to take advantage of her good fortune, but I expected to see her on Friday or Saturday at the latest. She agreed and kissed me warmly again.
“Have fun at the Lollars and have a great rest of the week,” she adds. “Tell Dave Bolton thanks for me, will you,” she asks?
“No problem,” I reply. “See you soon.”
With that Chris checks Doug’s front door and make sure it is locked and we follow Liz Martin’s Mercedes down the drive and out onto the road. We can see she and Gloria are just chatting away. Chris said that Mom would have Gloria knowing where all the stars lived and show her the time of her life. I just might not see Gloria again she kidded. That I assured her would not be funny. I think she already knew that.
Chris said that they would probably end up back here at Doug’s place for part of one the days to help him decorate. Liz seems to think that most men are decorating-challenged. I think most are I thought.
Chris called the University and told someone about her plans and asked them to reschedule her events through Friday. They seemingly agreed as she hung-up quickly.
This whole trip was turning out better than I could have ever hoped. We still had a big hurdle with Jon, but how could he ever be mad over this turn of events? I thought to myself that I would be glad when today’s over and I know Gloria and I are finally in the clear. I would know by the time tonight’s game started, that was for sure.
Chris called Doug on his cell phone and told him of the remarkable change in plans. She also let him know about the lamps Mom had brought out to the house and how all ended well with her, surprisingly. He was surprised as well.
He said he would try and make sure Mom didn’t drive Gloria totally crazy. I was more worried abut the look Doug gave Gloria at the airport. Who needs all these complications and worries, I thought. Don’t these people know I’ve go ball games to win? Really important stuff! Really!
The ride to the airport was one of the most excruciating trips I had known. Just when Gloria and I had come to an understanding of our true feelings about each other, we were separated. I was disappointed to say the least, even though I knew it was for a good cause. If I had been driving I would have probably chased Gloria and Liz down and called the whole thing off. It is a good think I was the passenger.
“Bill, are you alright,” asked Chris? “It’s you and Gloria, isn’t it?”
“It’s OK,” I reply in a somewhat rejected tone. “It’s just that…well…we…we’ve just begun to be totally honest with each other. With all the Lollar baggage that has come with this relationship I guess were doing quite well for knowing each other for all of less than a month.”
“Getting Gloria to come out here was a big step for her,” I add. “I hope you know that.” “It was important for you and Jon, and just as important for Gloria to make this right, own up to her mistake.”
“Bill, do you want to go get her,” Chris offers? “I can turn this Swedish machine on and we can catch them, if you want?”
“No, Chris,” I offer emphatically, “that is not necessary. This is your day, Jon’s day. It is important for this to be done now. I’ll see Gloria on Friday or Saturday. I’m fine.”
Chris is quiet for a moment. I can’t imagine all the things going on in her head, Jon, the baby, her Mom and Dad, school? This had to be tough on her too, but a very exciting time a well to put all of their lives back together.
“Bill, I do love Jon very much,” she started. “I never really stopped loving him. Not seeing him seemed like the right thing to do, but it still hurt. The baby is his too, you know. I jumped back into school so fast, mostly to fill my time and try and help me forget about it. How could I? Baseball kept him captive so there was not much he could do about coming out here to see me, either. Maybe he thought it was futile coming out here after how I talked to him. I don’t know?”
“I wish I knew how he was going to react when he sees the two of us when we get back,” I asked? “I know he has no clue what Gloria and I have been up to. He might have been very mad at me sticking my nose in his business.”
“Bill, the worst thing that can happen is that he can tell me to catch the next plane back to California,” said Chris as a point of fact. “If he did we wouldn’t be any worse off than we are right now. I really don’t see that happening. He was really hurt by want I did and by what Gloria did. I think he stills loves me and wants to be a part of our lives, me and the baby. It would be worse to sit here and wonder, what if?”
We arrived at the airport with little time to spare and rush through the terminal to our gate. We had just 10 minutes to spare. That was cutting it way to close. We did make it. That was all that mattered.
As we sat in our seats I called the Lollar’s home to check in.
“Hello,” said the voice at the other end. It was Mary.
“Mary, this is Bill, I’m calling from California!”
“Billy, what are you doing in California,” with great surprise in her voice? “You’ve got a game tonight, you know! Bill, what’s going on?”
“I’ll fill you in when I get back. Is Dave there by any chance?”
“Why yes he is. He and Becky are sitting right here at the kitchen table having breakfast,” she added. I forgot it was 9am there.
“Can I talk to Dave, Mary,” I ask? She agrees and hands the phone to Dave.
Dave answers, “Billy you better get back here on time. Is everything alright?”
“Everything is great. I have Chris Tavy with me right now; she is flying back with me on Gloria’s ticket. So far so good. Is Ben still on to pick us up at LaGuardia,” I ask?
“Ya, I talked to him already today. I’ll call him again when were done just to reconfirm with him your still on time. That was nice you giving him a little something for his trouble, too bad he lost most of it to me in the card game.”
“I told him not to do that,” I said laughing. “You guys.”
“Listen, I’ve go to go as we are about to taxi out for take off. Find out where Jon is going to be about 5-6 tonight so we can drop this bomb on him when we get back, OK?”
“No problem,” says Dave. “See you soon.”
With that we both hang up. Chris asks if everything is OK and I assure her it is. I apologize to Chris for being so tired after spending a night in Doug’s recliner listening to music. She understands and tells me to sleep as much as I need. She brought the nicest leather attaché I had ever seen and began looking at some paper she brought with her. I felt relaxed and relieved at how this had worked out. As we got airborne I fell fast asleep and didn’t wake up until we were two hours from NYC. I slept through the noon meal and everything. The flight attendant came back when she saw I was awake and asked me if I would like my meal now. I thanked her and said that would be very nice as I was starving. Chris just smiled at me. She just went back to her papers. We had about three hours until D Day.