41 if'&- A,-TV V
V lITING . . by Elizabeth fillen
I!" LA=NE STARTED to yell,
and then stopped. After all,
1she was getting a little old to
scream out of a window, just because her
best friend was coming down the street.
She remembered now that yelling at
each other from simply miles away was
one of, the things she and Arden had
decided-to definitely not do. But why,
she thought-and then she could not
remember what she thought; the im-
perative thing for the moment seemed
to be that she give one last look at her
hair. You could never be too sure
about hair, especially when it was mousey
and straggled. She ran to her dresser
an anxiously looked in the mirror. No,
it was absolutely right ..'.
"Lainie, my deah!" called from the
"Arden, mydeah," giggled Lainie. She
rushed downstairs at her, laughing
senselessly until she was breathless. Then
she remembered. "Arden! What hap-
pened to the divine black suit!"
"Oh . . ." Arden flung up her hands
in despair. "I had to take it back. Mother
wouldn't let me keep it. Oh. Can you
understand? Can you see how I bear it?"
It was extremely hard to understand.
The black suit had looked so wonderful
on Arden and everyone said she should
wear black with that bright, firey hair.
It was such a grown up looking suit,
too. That was what made it really
"Mother said I'm too young to wear
black and the suit was entirely too old
for me and that was the trouble with
raising children in a college town, they
grew up too fast, and Dad took one
look at me and said 'My God',"
Lainie giggled. All the same, it was
hideously disgusting. "If they would
just admit we had some ideas about
thing," she breathed. "If they would
just recognize the simple fact that we
Arden nodded. They understood each
other. They understood each other per-
She looked up. It was Ann, her sister,
coming down the stairs. "Yes, sis," she
said. She wondered how Ann always
managed to achieve that crisp, perman-
ently-combed look. It took practice,
probably. She never realized that she
had forgotten to do her nails or wear her
gloves or keep the seams of her stock-
ings straight until she saw Ann dressed
up with everything right.
"Your hair looks nice, chi-eld. Come
along. Bert's here and we'll take you
down to the high school."
Come along? Why, she and Arden
were going to walk to the play! She
had told Ann all about it at dinner. It
was so nice out, like spring always was
only you forgot about it from one year
to the next, and Arden was going to
wear her new suit-only, now, of course,
she couldn't. But they had wanted to
go to that movie with Melvin Douglas
and Ann would take them straight to
that stupid school play, which was at
the other end of town.
lSHE FELT a sudden tremendous feel-
ing of resentment at all the things
you were somehow made to do or not
to do. How long did it have to be that
way? How long did you have to wait,
anyhow, until you could do the things
you wanted to do? It was simply hide-
ous. After all, she wasn't a baby any
longer. She felt just as old as Ann,
but because Ann was in college and
everything she was always bossing her
around. It's silly, she thought. Silly.
And if I want to walk instead of ride I
However, while she was thinking, Bert
was opening the door of the car and
saying "Hello, Small Fry" the way ^he
always did, showing very clearly that
he didn't consider her a woman at all
s up.. .
' s 1 9
- .9 40ra#
at all, just because they weren't old
enough, supposedly, to know what they
wanted to do. Hideous. That was the
only word for it. The car had stopped;
Ann had told them to both get in early
because if they didn't, mother would
worry; and they were going in to the
She could smell the lilac bushes, sha-
dowy and fragrant, all the way across
the hockey field.
"Oh-gosh," she whispered.
"I know. I don't see how we stand
it," groaned Arden.
Last year it might have been rather
exciting to see everybody, all dressed
up, at the play; last year they would
have yelled "Hi" and gone giggling and
running up and down the aisles. But
tonight was different. Besides, she and
Arden had decided. to stop acting so
silly. It didn't interest her in the least
when Jimmy Crane grabbed her and
tried to put something down her back.
And once the biggest thrill of her life
had been to imagine Jimmy kissing her,
"Would your mother kill us if we
didn't get in right after the play?" Arden
was asking her, anxiously.
She hesitated. Mother was pretty
strict about when she got in, and if
Arden stayed all night with her it was
"We'll see," she said, uncertainly.
WHEN THE PLAY started she did
not bother concentrating on it.
It really wasn't so very good. It
was too easy to tell that Wyn Ashly was
Wyn Ashly instead of the girl who was
supposed to have the pearls but would
turn out not to hve them in the last act.
Lee Wilson wasn't ,so hot as the hero,
either. He was pretty exciting when he
was playing basket ball, but not so good
on the stage. It was much more inter-
esting to think of Wyn and Lee as they
really <were, anyway. Wyn was about
the most popular girl in school. If I
could be just half as popular as she
is when I get to be a senior I'll be lucky,
thought Lainie. But no, that was too
difficult to even think about. It was
hard enough to imagine being a senior.
Wyn-why, she acted almost like Ann.
"How long do you suppose we'll have
to wait before we get that certain-some-
thing that Wyn has?" whispered Arden.
Lainie looked at her. "I dunno." She
The only thrill I'm getting out of this
at all is by thinking of last fall, when
we were both so in love With Lee Wil-
"That was before we really discovered
Melvin Douglas," giggled Lainie. But
it was, really, a wonder either of them
could laugh at it now. What they had
suffered over Lee Wilson! And the worst
part of it had been that no one gave
them any sympathy, because they were
supposed to be too young to have a love
affair. It had been awful. But it was
almost worse to be like they were now
-practically not in love. Jeepers. Oh,
I wish I was at the movie, she thought.
I wish I was out walking past the lilac
bushes. Iwish I had a hot fudge sun-
Arden was making faces at her like
.the Walrus. "A hot fudge sundae is what
we chiefly need," she whispered. Lainie
choked. Arden always knew.
More acting. Wyn was rushing around
as if a mouse were after her. Very dull
Hideous. Directly in front of Lainie was
a lady who had what looked suspiciously
like a green rooster on her hat. And
what was the horrible purfume? Ten
She had become so resigned to the
play and the people that intermission
came with alarm-clock suddenness. She
jumped up so energetically that she al-
most stepped on -the feet of somebody's
(Continued on Page Nine)
Decoration . . by Ronald Meschind
but just as Ann's little sister. She looked
at Arden resignedly. "We might as
well," she said.
Mother was calling "Now be sure and
get home early, children." It was irri-
tating, the way mothers always thought
they had to tell you everything. But as
she went out the door she tried to look
as if it didn't matter.
Jeepers, it was-not warm, exactly,
but it was hard to know whether to wear
a coat or not, and your stockings stuck
to your legs. For one brief moment Lainie
wished she could wear ankle socks the
way she had last year. But no. That
was ridiculous. She didn't really want
to. Heavens no. Getting into the car
she noticed with satisfaction her neat,
shiny sIlk legs.
Arden had already rolled down the
window and was leaning out. Lainie had
hers down before the car fairly started.
The air was like a sniff from a basket of
fruit. No, it was more like leaves,
Lainie decided. New green leaves. And
rain on a sidewalk.
"Lovely. Lovely," breathed Arden.
In front of them sat Ann and Bert.
Lainie could see the neat roll of Ann's
hair underneath her smartly tipped hat,
and her eyes were on a level with Bert's
gabardine shoulders. At least, it looked
like gabardine. They were talking.
"Of course, she isn't the type for him,
really," Ann was saying. "She simply
isn't. I know she's a grand girl. But
she isn't the one. Remember when We
saw 'them at the Prom? I took. one
look at her face, and at the way he was
"Yep. And of course, everyone knows
what went on between her and her little
pal from Chicago last summer. At least
they were frank and open about it ..."
Lainie heard their scraps of conversa-
tion and felt suddenly sad. No matter
how hard she tried; no matter how care-
ful she was about stockings and hair
and yelling at people it did no good. The
minute she got with Ann and Bert she
realized that. Often she felt every bit
as old as Ann; she had, just a minute
ago; but it was always the same old
thing. The minute she heard them talk
she realized the difference. Only it
wasn't so much what they said; it was
the way they talked, and the deft final-
ity of their gestures; Ann's slim gloved
hand giving an impatient toss; the al-
most stern deliberateness of Bert's mir-
rored face as he lit a cigarette. Behind
their words were all the things she did
not know. People like Ann and Bert
were so sure. So right. Nothing at all
seemed to puzzle them. I'll never be able
to talk like that, thought Lainie, des-
perately. I could use the same words
but they wouldn't sound the same.
"What were you little ones babbling
about just as I came downstairs, any-
way?" asked Ann, suddenly.
"A suit I didn't get," said Arden. "A
"H'm. No one wears black in the
spring anyway," Ann said. Her voice
was conclusive. "And say, would you
little fresh air fiends mind rolling up
the windows? My hair is getting simply
blown to pieces"
Lainie exchanged a long look with
Arden. Then slowly they rolled up the
Quite a crowd was gathered around
the school. It did seem terribly stupid,
going inside to a play on a night like
this, Lainie thought. But there they
were, doing something -that everybody.
else was doing when they didn't want to