Lady in Red

I’m stuck in this goofy time travel app I got through the IPhone B3. It must have a glitch or a virus or something because I selected the sixties. This is not the sixties.

But I’m at my school, Wentworth High, and it’s dark out out. I’m roaming around a library full of worthless IBM computers with oven-sized CRT monitors and zero USB ports. A People magazine  confirms my suspicions. MJ on the cover. September, 1987.

Wow, this is some Total Recall stuff. It’s freaky. I keep reaching for my dead phone out of habit. Do you know how bad it sucks not to be able to Google “What happened in 1987?”

I need to charge my phone or wake up. But neither is happening. Apparently, time traveling zaps battery life.

Heels clicking on the floor. I spin around to find a hottie in a tight dress. She asks if I need help.

“Huh? Oh, I…” Wait. No way. I turn back and look at her again. “Mrs. Atkins?”

She takes a step back. “Um, Stacey,” she says with a wink.

Unreal. “You were…hot.”

“Like, totally.”

I reach for my phone to snap a pic. Damn. How am I going to prove this? Mrs. Atkins, err, Stacey, my age and banging. But I’m dreaming, right? How else would you explain how my jeans stonewashed themselves, why my shirt is glowing neon? How my Chuck Taylors, well, they’re still Chucks.

“Nothing, I just…” I take another look at Stacey here and debate whether or not to tell her she’ll end up working here and put on seventy-five pounds. That her big, um, busties will become low hanging fruit. That her honey gold voice will take on the trill of a Husqvarna chain saw. Nope. Because right now she looks all right.

“Are you going to the dance?” she says between snaps of gum. Her mascara is the color of toxic sludge and yet she’s pulling it off.

“Dance?”

“In the gym. DeLorean Dave is deejaying,” she says with a wink. “Like, where have you been?”

Wow. Her bangs could hold up a parking garage. I nod. “Yeah, the dance. Sounds lit.”

“Shah.”

We get to the gym. Home of the White Devils. I’m thinking they meant werewolves but I’m glad we changed that one. The music cranks up, stuff my parents listen to on the radio in the car. My dad used to have a decent record collection. When I was younger he’d show me how to spin. Before he and Mom quit talking and took separate rooms.

The kids line up on the bleachers. Fact: I’ve never once been to a dance. The school cancelled them my freshman year because no one came. But these poofy people are totally into it. They talk and laugh and nobody’s texting their crew about how lame it is. The teachers smoke cigarettes outside.

DeLorean Dave’s a white dude in a track suit. Mullet. High tops. Again, my hand goes hunting for my phone. Damn. DeLorean Dave’s got these massive turntables going. I eye his set up. A sweet Numark mixer but his speakers are trash. Stacey squeals and joins the groupies. Dave has groupies.

“Rise and shine, people!” DeLorean Dave turns up “Lady in Red.” I roll my eyes because it’s so lame. Stacey is over there throwing game, twirling her hair and dancing. DD’s not interested.

But then I see why.

My mom is the lady in red. She comes sashaying across the room—yes in red—and DeLorean Dave starts cheesing like all he wants to do is Netflix and chill. And holy Hasselhoff, DeLorean Dave is my dad.

This is too weird. Stacey’s in my ear, scooting close, popping her gum.  “Do you want to dance?”

I reach for my phone. It’s buzzing by my head. I wake up in my bed and wipe my cheek. DeLorean Dave pokes his head in my room and tells me to rise and shine.

 

 

–PeteFanning/2017

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