“ You’ll pray for proof, I’m probably making this up
It’s true, I’m probably making this up…
Because my body is your body, I won’t tell anybody…
…I’m not just anybody, if you want to use my body
Go for it, yeah”
From “Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt” by We Are Scientists
She’d been both excited and dreading for the day to come: Sunday, the day her parents would finally meet The Boy. The McBains had arrived a little early for their noon reservation at The Palace. As she was extremely nervous, Odessa was desperately trying to calm herself down.
Her parents took notice. “’’Dessi-baby, are you alright?”
“Yes, Mom, I’m cool.” She closed eyes and let out a little exhale.
John reached out and rubbed his daughter’s shoulder, with an impish smile. “Don’t worry, Fifi, I won’t be too rough with him.”
Odessa cringed at his all-around comment. So you say, Papa Dearest… She took one of the rolls on the table and started to munch on it. Moments, later she heard little gasps coming from people at nearby tables. She looked in the direction they were looking at to see what the small commotion was, and in doing so she almost choked on her roll. The Boy had entered the room wearing a black trench coat, with his hair tied back, and what looked to be a helmet and gloves in his hands. Interestingly enough, he was wearing glasses, confusing Odessa. Hmm, I guess that wasn’t him who saved Rosie yesterday, then. For some reason, she hadn’t remembered to phone Starr to see if she was able to get Rosie to say something more about the person who saved her. But, most likely, Starr would have gotten in touch with her if it had The Boy, as surely Rosie would have said something. Nonetheless, he looked very chic.
The Boy handed his gear and coat to the hostess, who’d given him a once-over. His outfit consisted of a nice but expensive-looking charcoal dress shirt tucked into black trousers, supported by a leather belt with a silver buckle, and on his feet were leather casual shoes. The way he was carrying himself was well-executed in such a mature manner, that Odessa could not believe how The Boy could continue to amaze her with his sex appeal. Odessa wasn’t sure why other people in the room reacted the way they did, but it had to have been for the same reason she did: The Boy very easily looked like he was a male print model. She looked around the room to see other customers’ reactions, and she spotted a few women, young and older, delightfully ogling him. Even some of the men in the room seemed enchanted with his appearance. Odessa was started feeling slightly overwhelmed by their behaviour, but managed to snap herself out of it. Hell, it’s not like I can blame them. My man is one fine piece of art… and he’s all mine! she proudly smiled to herself.
John and Evangeline had looked over at his direction and immediately knew it was The Boy. “Well it looks like you and Tim already have something in common when it comes to dress sense,” Evangeline quipped. John merely grunted whilst looking intently at The Boy.
As the hostess was prepared to walk him over to their table, Odessa beat her to it by getting up and grabbing his attention. I refuse to give her the satisfaction!
He walked gingerly towards their table with grace, causing a few people to turn heads as he walked by. “Hey, I hope I’m not late,” he said as he gave Odessa tried to give him a hug. He resisted, however, giving her a peck on the cheek, instead. John and Evangeline had stood up, as well.
“Nope, you’re right on time and you look great!” said Odessa, picking up on his resistance.
“So do you, as always." The Boy then turned to her parents to shake hands. "Hello Mr. and Mrs. McBain, it’s a pleasure to finally meet you. How are you this afternoon?”
“Lovely, thank you. I’m glad you could join us this afternoon,” Evangeline warmly welcomed back.
John wasn’t as cordial. “Hello Tim, and you can call me Commissioner,” he simply said.
Odessa tensed up. Please, be good Dad, pleeeeeasse be good… She cleared her throat. “Uh, Daddy, do you remember Tim from the auto shop a few months ago?”
“A little bit…There’s something about you that looks different, though…” John was inspecting him. “That’s what it is… it’s the glasses. You weren’t wearing them in the black and white photos Fiona took of you.”
The Boy looked puzzled. “Black and white photos?”
“Yes, the ones Fiona submitted for her assignment a while back. Don’t you remember?”
Odessa nearly choked, again, this time on a sip of water she’d taken. The Boy looked curiously at Odessa. She was avoiding his eyes. “Ah, the photos, right… I remember now,” he covered. “Yeah, she did well with them.”
John watched them. “So who’s grave were you visiting then?” he asked; The Boy’s face went blank.
“Uh, Dad… I only asked him to go to some random grave, all I needed was something of that nature for my project,” Odessa quickly answered.
John was still observing the two. “So you weren’t following him?”
Odessa wanted to kick her father under the table, but luckily Evangeline quickly changed the subject, giving John a stern look. “So Tim, Odessa’s told me quite a bit about you. You’re from San Francisco, correct?
“Yes Ma’am, that’s right.”
“And when did you move to Llanview exactly?” John enquired.
“During the summer, Commissioner. Late-July.”
“Hmmm, sunny California to Llanview. You must miss it there, huh?” Evangeline asked.
The Boy paused for a second. “Being there was okay, for a while…”
John was watching him carefully. “I understand you live on your own though. Do you mind telling me why that is and why you went from one coast to another?”
The Boy was quiet for a moment. “Some things happened at home Sir, and I couldn’t be there anymore. I wanted to go to another area in the country.” Odessa looked at and felt for him. She didn’t know his whole story yet, but still she could sense his sadness.
Alas, John was now in cop-mode. “What exactly is that supposed to mean? Where are your parents?”
“Daddy, please?!” Odessa protested.
The Boy looked at Odessa. “It’s okay,” he told her, before clearing his throat. “My parents are not in my life, Sir.”
“Do you care to elaborate on that? How is it you can afford to live on your own, anyway?” John asked as he watched The Boy squirm somewhat.
By now, Odessa was more than uncomfortable. “Dad, can I talk to you for a moment?” They both went to the restaurant’s outdoor patio. “I asked – no, begged – you all week not to be like this. Why do you keep drilling him like that on the spot?”
“Fifi, you’re my little girl. I just want to make sure that you’re aren’t getting involved with some shady kid, and from what I’m seeing I don’t know if I like this ‘Tim’ guy already. Something about him seems a bit out of place…”
Odessa was exasperated. “What the heck are you talking about? He’s just met you and Mom! I don’t understand what your problem with is him. And if he seems ‘off’, maybe it’s because he’s had a rough life and he’s not really up for sharing it… or maybe he’s just trying to cope with your shit!” A groundskeeper nearby looked in their direction.
“Hey, HEY! You watch your mouth young lady! I will not tolerate such disrespectful language and behaviour!” John reprimanded.
Odessa sighed. “I’m sorry... I just don’t like you going all Kojak on Tim… Look Daddy, I really like this guy, and I don’t want you to go scaring him away. I understand you’re looking out for me and all, but please… I’m begging you. Don’t mess this up for me.”
John could see the sincerity in his daughter’s pleas. He then sighed himself. “Alright Pumpkin. I’m sorry. He seems to be holding his own against me, so I’ll lay off of him… for now!”
Odessa gave him a big hug. “Thanks, Daddy!”
As the two went back to their table, Evangeline and The Boy were happily conversing with each other. “John, Tim here was telling me about how he’s spent some time in Europe with his mother. Can you speak any other languages? I can only speak French and a bit of Spanish”
“Oui, Madame… L'Italien, français, et hollandais. Je peux comprendre quelque espagnol et latin, aussi.” (“Yes, Madame… Italian, French, and Dutch. I can also understand Spanish and Latin.”)
Evangeline was impressed. “Ah, très bon! Comment vous l'aimez ici dans Llanview, jusqu'ici ?” (“Very good! How do you like it here in Llanview so far?”)
The Boy took a quick glimpse at Odessa and smiled. “En fait, je l'aime ici beaucoup.” (“Actually, I like it here a lot.”)
Odessa didn’t know what he was saying, but it sounded real good coming from him. She could feel her face flush immensely, whilst Evangeline tried to hide her smile.
John, however, was not impressed and became slightly annoyed, especially since he didn’t understand what they were saying either. “Alright, enough with that Paris talk, please… I just hope you aren’t using your language skills to lure women to your hotel room.
It was now The Boy’s turn to choke on his water.
“What?? I was just kidding.” John shrugged before taking a sip of his water. “Sort of…”
Things went a bit more smoothly after that, as the quartet were having their meal. The Boy mostly asked questions about Odessa and Evangeline delighted in telling a couple of embarrassing stories about her. John had asked him about classic cars and seemed impressed with The Boy’s knowledge, especially foreign cars. Time went by, and their lunch was finished. After all was paid for they all left the restaurant and were heading back to the parking lot. Odessa and The Boy were walking behind her parents, hand-in-hand, but he seemed to be walking unusually slower.
“You alright? You’re walking a little funny,” she asked him.
“Huh? Oh, I’m fine… just a little bruise near my ribs. It’s nothing really… Oh wait, hang on for a moment.” The Boy went back inside the restaurant and returned to the parking lot with his helmet and riding gloves.
John took notice of. He looked around the lot and saw the only motorcycle present. “You riding a motorcycle, Tim?” His question made Odessa groan and realise that she’d completely forgotten to inform her parents about his mode of transportation.
“Yes, Commissioner, I am.”
John was silent for a moment, studying him. “Don’t you think you’re a little too young to for that? It is a dangerous vehicle, afterall. I hope you haven’t been riding around with my daughter on it.”
Odessa was exasperated. “Oh my goodness!” she said shaking her head and lightly slapping her forehead.
The Boy looked at him straight in the eye. “As long as they aren’t illegal, and I’m old enough to ride them, I think they’re fine. As for Odessa, I would never intentionally put her in any situation I think is dangerous,” he calmly stated though he was clearly offended.
John got closer to The Boy’s face. “Well, I hope not… because God help you should anything happens to my little girl,” he coldly warned.
“Tim!” cried out the voice of a little girl. They all turned and saw Rosie run up and hug The Boy, who flinched again with pain. “Hi Odetha!” she said as she also waved to John and Evangeline.
“Rosie, I hope you’re not bothering The McBains,” said a voice after her. It was Rosie’s father and Starr’s husband, Ricky Chavez, a professional boxer, who once held the World Middleweight Champion title. He came over to claim his small daughter, greeted everyone else.
He looked at The Boy and extended his hand. “Hi, I don’t think we’ve met before. I’m Ricky Chavez.”
The Boy rose and shook hands and smiled, “Tim Ganddonn, Sir… and it’s an honour to meet a solid knock-out king.”
Ricky chuckled, “Thank you, but that was back in my early days.’
“Daddy, he’s the one who saved me when I fell out of the tree, yesterday!” Rosie eagerly disclosed. The Boy sharply looked at the little girl.
Huh? So it was him! Why didn’t Starr call me? Why didn’t he say something before? And what about the glasses? Odessa wondered, suspiciously narrowing her eyes at The Boy.
“Oh really! Why didn’t you say something earlier!” He frantically shook The Boy’s hands. “I can’t stress enough how grateful I am for keeping my girl safe from harm. I don’t know how I can ever repay you.” Ricky looked over at Odessa’s parents. “Did you know that this young man saved my daughter’s life by catching her when she fell high from a tree at Victor Lord Park. Apparently, he made an amazing dive to catch her.”
“No, I didn’t. How valiant, Tim! Well done!” Evangeline happily complimented. Even John gave him some acknowledgement.
“Why didn’t you mention it at before?” Odessa repeated Ricky’s previous question, purposely putting The Boy on the spot.
He looked at her while answering, “Really, Mr. Chavez, as long as Rosie’s alright, that’s good enough for me. Telling people what I did isn’t necessary.”
“But Starr said you took off quickly through the crowd… why?”
The Boy was didn’t respond immediately, so Odessa took pity and spoke up for him. “Mr. Chavez, Tim’s not really a big fan of crowds.”
“What about crowds?” said another man’s voice from behind the group; it was Todd Manning. “Hello, Family McBain,” he said as they returned his acknowledgement.
“Grandpa, this is Tim Ganton and he’s Odetha’s boyfriend. He fell and broke his glasses when he catched me, yesterday,” Rosie went on.
“That’s caught, not catched, sweetheart,” Todd corrected. He looked at The Boy. “So you’re the one who saved my granddaughter’s life. I apologise about the glasses, but allow me to personally express my gratitude for your heroics, although I don’t think saying ‘thank you’ is enough…” He extended his hand to him. “Todd Manning…”
The two shook hands. “I’m Tim, and it’s actually Ganddonn. But I’m just glad Rosie’s alright. As for the glasses, it’s don’t worry about them. I have a spare one in my cabin.”
“Cabin?” John asked with his eyebrows raised. “Fiona, didn’t mention anything to us about you having a cabin…”
The Boy realising his gaffe laughed it off and quickly corrected himself. “My fault, I meant my medicine cabinet. Freudian slip, I guess… Anyway, Mr. Manning, saying ‘thanks’ is more than enough.”
“Grandpa, where is TeTe coming?”
Todd, ever-so stoic, was staring at The Boy, before glancing down at Rosie. “She’s still at the car, sweetheart, but she’ll be here soon.” He returned his attention to The Boy. “At least accept my offer to replace your other pair, I insist.”
Odessa noticed The Boy blush again for the second time. “Really, Mr. Manning, it isn’t necessary. I can get them replaced myself. I rarely need them anyway,” he said.
Then why are you wearing glasses right now, you big chameleon?
Just then Todd’s wife, Téa, came over to join everyone else. “Why hello--” she stopped, shocked when she saw The Boy. “Oh my god…” she barely whispered.
Odessa and everyone else included-- accept for The Boy, who was now expression-less --were taken aback by Téa’s reaction. “Ma’am, are you alright?” The Boy asked.
“TeTe, what’s wrong?” asked Rosie.
Their questions seem to shake Téa out of her mode. “Oh, I’m sorry, how rude of me! I thought I knew you from somewhere, for a split second.’ Nevermind, it must be my old age,” she laughed off. “Hello John, Evangeline… And Odessa, how have you been? It’s been a while since I’ve seen you.”
“I’m well Téa, thanks. And you?”
“I’m fine, as well, thank you.” Téa than took a quick glance at The Boy. “I’m Téa Manning,” she introduced.
The Boy’s face was still blank. “Tim Ganddonn, Mrs. Manning.”
“Just out of curiosity, Tim, how do you spell your last name?” Todd asked. The Boy was cautious but quickly spelled it out for him. Todd then noticed the helmet and riding gloves The Boy was holding.
Then Rosie, out of the blue, commented. “Grandpa, Tim rides a motorcycle,” she said tugging on her grandfather’s arm.
“So I see,” Todd said playfully patting her head. “So that’s your sports bike out there I take it? Very nice, if I should say so myself.”
‘Thank you, Sir,” The Boy blushed once again.
Odessa was astonished. Good Lord, I gotta get use to this! Why can’t I make him blush like that?
“You know, I’ve been collecting motorcycles for several years now.”
“Yes and you need to stop!” Téa added.
“I know, Sir, your son Jack told me.”
“Did he now? So you’ve met Jack?”
“Yessir, Odessa introduced me to him and Rose a few days ago.”
“Ah, fair enough…”
“Actually, Todd, we should all go inside now and get to our reservation. Let’s allow them to be on their way,” Téa said. “I hope you all have a nice day, and Tim… thank you so much for saving Rosie’s life. It was a pleasure to meet you.”
“You’re welcome, Mrs. Manning. I’m just glad she’s alright.”
“Please call me Téa…” She looked at her party. “Okay all shall we scoot?”
“You haven’t been to Llanview before have you?” Todd asked The Boy.
Todd was now eyeing him, before a tiny smile play at the corner of his mouth. He patted The Boy on his shoulder. “At any rate, thank you again for Rosie. I’ll be glad to repay if you ever need anything.”
“Not necessary, Sir, but I appreciate your gratitude.”
Ricky graciously thanked The Boy again and Rosie gave him another big hug; he grimaced as she did so. The two parties said their goodbyes and went about their ways. As The McBains were preparing to leave together, Evangeline turned to The Boy. “Tim, once again I’m so glad you’ve joined us this afternoon. I’m sorry about my husband’s behaviour… he can be a bit of a bully at times.” John rolled his eyes.
“That’s fine Mrs. McBain. I can understand why.” He turned to John and offered his hand.
“Commissioner, we should do this again sometime.”
“Oh I’m sure we will,” John responded.
A sly smile formed on The Boy’s face. “Then I look forward to it.”
“Um, Tim, can I talk to you for a second?” Odessa suddenly asked. She pulled him over to the side. “Look, about the pictures…”
He put a finger to her lips and gave her a crafty smile, also. “Shhh… I knew you took photos of me all this time.”
She looked at him, shocked. “You did? But you never said anything.”
“Likewise…” The Boy smiled at her. “Anyway, I just never knew you turned them in for a project.”
“Yea…I know it’s too late now, but are you okay with it?”
He didn’t answer immediately, but then he shrugged it off. “It’s only an assignment. When do you get them back? I’d like to see them.”
Odessa was close to saying that she had the one with him looking at the camera, but she felt strange when thinking about that particular photo.
“Um, I don’t know actually… Soon, I would assume.”
The Boy shrugged. “That’s cool.”
“Sorry, I’ve kept it from you. But I did forget about them for a while.” She chuckled. “I swear, I think you know too much sometimes.”
The Boy removed the glasses he was wearing and put them in a case he pulled from his coat pocket. “Hehe, what I know tends to work against me, sometimes… We all have out little secrets, Odessa. But no matter how hard we try to keep them, the truth almost always comes out doesn’t it?”
She looked at him quizzically. What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Before she could say anything, The Boy took her hand and kissed. “I’ll talk to you later, okay?” Then he started his bike up.
“But what about your ribs? You should get that checked out! Why didn’t you tell anybody about Rosie?” Odessa said loudly over his engine.
“Look Odessa, I told her Rosie not to say who I was because it’s not important. As long as she didn’t get seriously hurt, I could care less about people giving me accolades.” He put on his helmet. “Anyway, it’s no biggie… my bruise will go away, eventually… I’ll see you later, Babes.“ And like that he took off, leaving her completely dumbfounded by his reservations.
Moments later Odessa climbed into her father’s ’68 T-Bird to join her parents. “Well, Odessa, he seemed like a nice young man, aside from the motorcycle, I definitely approve. He kind of reminds me of a younger version of a handsome man I know,” Evangeline insinuated about John.
“Uhh, way disturbing, Mom, but I’m so glad you like him! He’s so amazing and I’m glad you finally got to meet him properly.” John was silent as he pulled out of the parking lot. “Dad, what about you? What did you think of him?” she knew she’d regret asking, but she needed to know.
John remained silent for a moment longer. “He’s okay, if you like that type.” This time Odessa rolled her eyes. “What was the deal with Téa, though?… Actually, didn’t she once live in California?”
“Dad, California is a big state where loads of people use to live, and she’s also lived in New York, so what’s your point… Anyway, I don’t know why, but he said once that people had been giving him strange looks when he first came into town. Maybe because he’s so hot!”
John grumbled at her comment and Evangeline chuckled. After a few moments of silence, John spoke up again. “Well, I’m glad you’re happy with him Fifi, but just be careful. There’s something really familiar about him that doesn’t sit well with me.”
Odessa sighed. “Whatever, Dad… you’d probably say that to any guy that’s my boyfriend.”
“Maybe, but please just watch yourself, Pumpkin. I’m serious…”
“Alright, alright, I got ya, sheesh!” Although she was a bit annoyed with her father, she couldn’t help but agree that Téa’s reaction to him was a bit unsettling, though she’d never admit it aloud. Odessa then thought back to R.J., Vicki, as well as The Boy’s comments about Alec’s grandfather reacting strangely to him. She also recalled her father’s initial reaction when he saw her photographs of The Boy. She didn’t notice anything strange from her mother or Todd, but then Todd is usually stoned-faced. Téa’s was the strangest though, since she’d moved back to Llanview from California, only a few years after Blair left. Then there was his behaviour when he saw Hugh Hughes, who she knew was specifically from San Francisco. But she let that go since The Boy had said that he mistakenly identified Hughes for someone else, but still his reaction upon seeing him had resulted in a lethal expression crossing The Boy’s face, nonetheless. And then there was the incident with Starr and Rosie… Odessa felt like chuckling to herself. This is crazy and I’m tripping!
But she still couldn’t help but to wonder…