At the sound of the front doorbell ringing, Jed shouted down to Mum to open up for him. He knew it was Jim and he knew Jim wouldn’t mind waiting while he finished getting ready. Jim was a good sport like that, he never moaned or anything.
He left the record player out and pulled on a pair of tight jeans, a white short sleeved t-shirt and the fake leather jacket his mum had found at the weekly market. It was a little battered, but it looked good in the dark and he loved it. He grabbed a jar of Brylcreem and rubbed a dollop between his fingers, smoothing it on his hair. He styled his hair with a pocket comb using a picture of Jed Parsons for guidance. It took a couple of attempts, but finally, he had his hair slicked back and a single loose curl in the middle of his forehead. The comb went into his back pocket and he checked out the total package in the full-length mirror on the wall, another purchase by Mum from up the market. He grinned at his reflection; he could pass as the son of Jed any day. He attempted a hip roll and decided he needed a bit more practice before he would demonstrate that particular move in public.
Mary opened the front door. “Hello, Jim. Oh hello, Jessie, I didn’t expect to see you here.”
“Hello,” they both sang out.
“Is Jed allowed out tonight?” Jim said.
“And why wouldn’t he, Jim?” Mary said. “Something I should know about is there?”
Jim swallowed the last of his Milky Way chocolate bar, and offered his biggest smile, exposing the extensive gap between his front teeth. “No. I meant, is he ready to come out.”
She wasn’t sure she believed him but decided to let it go this once. For some reason, Jim had that effect on her. In years to come, she had no doubt Jim would be a womaniser of note, even with the growing girth, that is. She turned her attention to Jessie.
“Jessie, nice to see you, dear. Your mum OK? Haven’t seen her at work for a couple of days.”
“I think she’ll be missing a few more days,” Jessie said, as she chewed her bubble gum and began to blow a pink bubble.
Mary scowled. She couldn’t help noticing a bra strap poking out from beneath Jessie’s sleeve. She was about to remind Jessie that nice girls didn’t reveal their underwear and that a safety pin might restore her dignity when Jessie’s bubble burst. Jessie grinned and pulled the sticky mess from her face, twirling it around her finger and poking it back in her mouth.
“Oh dear, nothing serious I hope?” Mary said, purposefully turning her attention back to Jessie’s mum.
Jessie shrugged, “Could be. The police were around and I heard one of them saying something about doing time for stealing. After that, I went out, and when I got home, me dad said we’d visit mum on the weekend.”
Mary would have liked to know more but was prevented from further questioning when Jed came bounding down the stairs and dashed out the door with his friends.
“Don’t be late,” Mary called after him.
End chapter 3
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