Couch Matinee: "ROGERS BAY" Episode 2

Written by Vinny "Bond" Marini Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Though she had apologized, Elizabeth Stevens was feeling particularly chipper on Tuesday morning as she got ready for school. To make things better, the local station was playing her new favorite song...

Though the “Bay Babes” were seen as a tight-knit group by outsiders, and even by its own members, in truth Elizabeth Stevens had always hated Mary Alice Silber.

Elizabeth hated Mary Alice for the warm family she had had their entire friendship. She hated her because her house was one of the nicest in Rogers Bay and she especially hated her because Mary Alice always had the most fashionable clothes available in the small town.

2 Chili Dogs, Large Fries and Large Drink



Though she had apologized, Elizabeth Stevens was feeling particularly chipper on Tuesday morning as she got ready for school. To make things better, the local station was playing her new favorite song...

Though the “Bay Babes” were seen as a tight-knit group by outsiders, and even by its own members, in truth Elizabeth Stevens had always hated Mary Alice Silber.

Elizabeth hated Mary Alice for the warm family she had had their entire friendship. She hated her because her house was one of the nicest in Rogers Bay and she especially hated her because Mary Alice always had the most fashionable clothes available in the small town.

Elizabeth’s home life was not pleasant. Though some may have suspected, no one knew the extent of her father’s violent behavior, especially after he came home from a night of bowling and drinking at the Bay Bowl & Bar (or Triple B, as the locals knew it). Until she was 15, her father had never hit her, but then one night soon after her 15th birthday, Elizabeth tried to get between her father and mother during a particularly nasty argument and she felt the back of her father’s hand and found herself flying across the room.

He had apologized the next morning upon sobering up, but the “genie was out of the bottle” and Elizabeth knew life at home was never going to be the same. A good dose of makeup kept anyone from seeing the bruise his hand had caused, so her secret stayed safe.


When Liz J. had mentioned the situation at Mary Alice’s home on Saturday, Elizabeth had nearly jumped with joy. The “perfect girl” had a blemish. Even her parents still stayed together with all of their problems, not letting the town see behind their curtains. She could barely contain herself until they got to King’s Burgers and had to bite her tongue more then once waiting for additional people to show up. It would have been no fun to have pushed Mary Alice’s secret into her face without an audience.

Elizabeth did not expect the reaction she received, did not expect Mary Alice to come flying at her, so it caught her off-guard. This resulted in a small gash at the back of her head and scratch marks across her neck. No, she did not expect to be injured. What she wanted was for Mary Alice to run out crying in front of all of the kids that day.

No matter, what were a few scratches and a bump in comparison to the total humiliation Mary Alice had faced on Monday? Why she even had to eat by herself at the end of a table populated by the “short-bus” students. That was pure joy for Elizabeth.

The other “Bay Babes” had all bought Elizabeth’s “sincere” apology and were a bit put off by Mary Alice’s refusal to even consider speaking to Elizabeth. When Ann had turned and said “WELL, Mary Alice is sure acting like a little princess. Like none of us have any problems in our lives. If she can’t forgive one of us for a silly remark, well maybe she wasn’t ‘Bay Babe’ material after all,” well, Elizabeth almost yelped with pleasure.

Yes soon, she - Elizabeth Stevens, would be the leader of the “Bay Babes” and would have her chance at Travis Kelso, the quarterback on the County High Falcons football team. She had noticed Travis checking out Mary Alice the last few weeks and knew it was only time before he asked her to the junior prom. Well now, with the Silber family scandal the talk of the town, Travis would never ask Mary Alice. Elizabeth knew how to get his attention. She had heard the whispers from the junior girls, about how Travis liked to be touched just so. She had a plan for next Saturday at the movies and knew if she could pull it off, she would be one of the few sophomore girls at the Junior Prom in May.


As Mary Alice turned from the headstone, she absent-mindedly dropped the soaked tissue on the ground. A gush of wind took the discarded wad and blew it down the aisle made by the headstones until it came to rest at the base of one of the taller oaks on the property.

A gloved hand scooped down from behind the tree and grabbed the tissue before it could be taken away again. The hand placed the tissue in a small baggie and then into the pocket of a dark blue coat as the eyes of this watcher followed the receding figure of Mary Alice Silber.

Shock was the initial reaction when he saw the old Dodge Colt moving slowly down Main Street. It had been 20-years, but the car was one he would never forget. Sitting in his patrol cruiser he was certain the occupant had not noticed him parked in an alley four stores from where Silber’s Diner had once been. Travis Kelso, former star quarterback of the high school team, now deputy sheriff for Bay County had no doubt the woman behind the wheel of the car moving slowly past him was Mary Alice Silber. Though 20-years older, her face had not changed enough to make Travis think twice. The girl who had left town in the cover of darkness and with many questions swirling around her had made her way back to Rogers Bay, and Deputy Sheriff Travis Kelso was going to find out why.

He had pulled out and stayed back to not cause her to notice. When she made the left turn up “Cliff Road” Travis stopped and waiting. There were only so many places one could go driving up that road, so no use being noticed.

When he saw her car in the parking lot of the Overlook, he drove up another 50 yards and slipped out of his cruiser. Walking through the woods he watched as Mary Alice stood overlooking the Bay. At one point he wondered if, just maybe, this woman had returned to Rogers Bay to drive up to this overlook, walk to the edge and take one last step forward resulting in a straight drop to the waves and rocks below. When she turned from and began walking back to her car Travis realized he had been holding his breathe. After everything that had occurred, that was a strange reaction, he thought to himself.

Hurrying back to his car he saw Mary Alice drive by and knew immediately where she was headed. He passed the main entrance to “Blessed Eternity” and pulled down the service road and turned the car around so he was facing the main road. Stepping out of the car, he also knew exactly where Mary Alice would head and knew the large oak would provide cover for him.

Watching the scene in front of the headstone unfold, Travis was surprised as he saw Mary Alice wiping tear after tear away from her face. He supposed she would not come here to laugh, but the amount of tears surprised him.

When she dropped the tissue he had planned to collect it after she left. The gust of wind blowing it right to his feet only made his job easier. He was glad the weather was a bit chilly and that he had worn gloves that morning.

Mary Alice made her way back to the Colt and slid into the front seat. Blowing on her hands she wished she had packed a pair of gloves. ‘Did you think it was still going to be summer here? Twenty years is not long enough to forget the chill that always descended upon Rogers Bay in October,’ she silently scolded

Slipping the key into the ignition Mary Alice was startled when the radio blared out of the tinny speakers. Hadn’t she turned the volume down before turning the ignition off?

No matter. What did matter was the song being played. A shiver ran up and down her spine. Did the DJ know she had slipped into town on this day? Was he someone who knew all about her past and what songs would cause her to be unnerved most?


Shaking her head, she caught a glimpse of herself in the car mirror. She really had not changed that much in 20-years. Sure her face was more mature and the first strands of gray were appearing in her auburn hair, but time had treated her kindly. She laughed at this thought. Not a ha-ha type of laugh but a dark, sad laugh of someone who knew that she should have looked so much older. That time should have aged her for all she had gone through.

After that Monday 20 years ago, Mary Alice had decided that Elizabeth Stevens was just a total bitch and she was not going to let her ruin her life. That evening she made a call to Ann and talked to her with an open heart. “Ann, I am so sorry for the way I reacted Saturday, but Elizabeth just had no right to throw that in my face. I am shocked Liz J. even said anything. I thought we were all friends. Look, I want to let this all move past and just go on. What my stupid mother and father do is not going to ruin my life.”

Ann, while still harboring a feeling that Mary Alice was playing the ‘princess’, could not turn from her oldest friend and by the end of the call the two girls were crying tears of friendship. When they hung up Mary Alice called Mary Beth and then Lee Ann and had similar conversations with both of them. These two girls were the followers of the group and once they had hung up, they each called Ann to get her reaction. When they found out that Ann was going to welcome Mary Alice back in the group, they committed to doing so also.

Next for Mary Alice was a call to Liz J. This conversation went a bit differently with Mary Alice first apologizing as she had with the others, but then going on the defensive to a point regarding Liz J’s lack of confidence. “Gee Liz, I had told you two, didn’t you think I would tell the rest? It really wasn’t YOUR place to talk about my personal business, especially with me being no more then 10 feet away.”

“Mary Alice, I don’t know why it came out sweetie. We were just talking and I blurted it out. I didn’t mean to hurt you girl. We are ‘Bay Babes’ and we are always loyal, please forgive me?”

Mary Alice did so and another round of tears flowed. After that, she turned off the light in her room and fell asleep. Not soundly, but better then she had slept in a few nights. The next day everything would be back to normal, except for one last conversation she needed to have. This one would not take place on the phone in private, however…this one was going to be special.


At 8:32 the next morning Mary Alice walked into her homeroom. She looked around and smiled at Travis Kelso. She knew from one of his friends that Travis was thinking of asking her out and was hopeful that her parent’s situation would not change his mind. Looking across the room she saw Elizabeth and Liz J. chatting and she waved at them. Internally she was pleased to see the look of wonder on Elizabeth’s face and then watched as she whispered something to Liz J. When Liz answered her back, Elizabeth’s mouth dropped open and her head snapped back in Mary Alice’s direction.

Step One, Mary Alice thought. Then she walked straight up to Travis and put her hand on his shoulder. Her tiny fingers began to massage his shoulder slowly, just as she had heard from the girls in gym. As she did so, Travis looked up at her with big puppy dog eyes. Mary Alice turned and smiled back at Elizabeth, her eyes saying, ‘Watch who you mess with.’ She may have fired the first shot, but Mary Alice was not retreating from this battle.

When Mr. Dixon walked into the room and greeted the students, Mary Alice quickly leaned down and put a soft peck on Travis’s cheek. His face went red, but the smile on his lips told her it was a good blush that had caused it.

At the end of class Mary Alice practically jumped up and moved to Travis’s side. As Elizabeth and Liz J. came over, she cooed “Travis, how about we check out the new movie on Saturday?”

She could practically see the steam coming out of Elizabeth’s ears.

At lunch, all of the talk between the “Bay Babes” was of the impending date on Saturday. All of the other girls were thrilled for Mary Alice, all but Elizabeth who sat there fuming the entire time.

The rest of the week went on without any major events. Mary Alice and Elizabeth slowly slipped into a cool, but agreeable relationship, but of course all the ‘Babes” knew that something was off with their group.

Each tried to speak with the two and get them to resolve their differences, but the only responses they received was that “everything was just fine, no worries.”

That Saturday was the first date for Travis and Mary Alice, but it was not the last. They became THE couple at County High. Of course Mary Alice was still a “Bay Babe” and she even got Travis to talk to some of the other players on the team and got them to notice the sophomores. Each of the “Bay Babes” began dating a football player. And this became the ultimate power clique.

All seemed to be going along smoothly, with even Mary Alice and Elizabeth warming up to each other over the next month and a half.

Plans were made for the Junior Prom and it was decided that the 12 would all go together, even getting permission to add two chairs to the normally ten person table.

The theme was based upon the Chicago Song from the year before.


The girls all shopped for dresses together and giggled on the phone about the ‘big day.’ In the end, they were the only sophomores girls invited to the junior prom and that made the “Bay Babes” ‘immortal’ in their minds.

In the meantime, Mary Alice was still dealing with her parents and the fighting that went on in the restaurant even when there were customers present.

Mr. Hill stopped making deliveries to their place, instead sending his partner, but Mary Alice knew this was just so he didn’t have to face her father. She had noticed his car down the block from the restaurant in the evenings when she left with her dad, and knew that he was waiting for her mother up in the apartment.

One day in May, with less then two weeks before prom, she finally confronted her mother. They were alone in the restaurant on a Saturday morning. Her father had gone to deliver an order for a party the next town over.

“Mom, how could you do that to dad and me? Why would you want to be with that Mr. Hill anyway? He always smells of cheap cologne.” This came out of no where. Mary Alice was not even ready when the words cascaded from her lips.

“Dear, there is so much you still have to learn. You dad and I haven’t been happy for years. It has nothing to do with Mr. Hill. He just happened to be there when I needed someone. He really is a nice man, and if you would just give him a chance and talk…”
“MOM, I don’t want to give him a chance! I don’t want to talk to him. Do you know how tough this is for me??? DO you know dad cries at home some nights??? Do you know that everyone in town is talking..”

“Now, look here young lady. I could give a rat’s ass what people in town say. DO they talk about the Steven’s and how he slaps his wife around? And yes, he has hit Elizabeth too. I heard Harriet Stevens talking about it at the beauty parlor about a year ago. Did you know that? Did you know he was an abuser??? And what about your friend Ann? Did you ever wonder where her brother disappeared to? What was it three years ago, when he was 17? All of a sudden, one day he was gone, did you ever wonder?”

“Yes, he joined the army and is stationed overseas.” “No dear. He is serving time in the state prison for molesting a little girl over in Shreive City. She was only 11 years old. How do you think her life is going? You see every family has their little ‘situations,’ yours could be a lot worse.”

Mary Alice sat there stunned. Jeremy Murphy, a child prison??? Mary Alice had a crush on him when she was 11 years old, 5 years ago, when he was 12, how could it be? A shiver ran up her spine.

“Well, I still hate that you are making my daddy cry and that you are ruining our life. Why can’t you move home? Why do you have to be such a bitch?”

The sting from her mother’s palm caused stars to float in front of her eyes. “Young lady, you may not be happy with me, but you WILL respect me.”

Mary Alice rubbed her cheek and looked her mother straight in the eyes. “You know what mom, go screw Mr. Hill…and while you are at it, go screw yourself.”

She ran from the restaurant with tears flowing down her cheeks, crying “How could you…how could you ruin my life???”

End of Part Two

Next week… the conclusion……..


An Original Work Of Fiction Copyright 2007 - V.E.M.
Any resemblance to actual people living or dead is purely coincidental.
Originally Published On 3/19/07

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This is a collection of my works of fiction. They began as an occasional post on my home blog BIG LEATHER COUCH and then evolved into MONDAY MATINEE ON THE COUCH.

I wanted to find a spot for them all to reside and to make it more convenient for anyone wanting to explore the recesses of my brain.

Hopefully, you will find something you like here. Two stories, THE QUEST and HER FATE are unfinished novels.

I have done much work on THE QUEST and hope in the next year to finish it and see if it can be published. HER FATE, on the other hand is much more involved and might never get finished!

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