The Road Not Taken Part 1
By Squeaky

Shirley sat on her bed, Boo Boo Kitty tightly held on her lap, looking down with much sadness. Another day and Carmine hadn’t come to visit her.

She hated herself for thinking about him. His soft curly hair, his perfume, the little drops of sweat she gladly used to wipe off whenever he danced; it was hard for her to contain the tears that wanted desperately to stream down her cheeks.

“Hey, Shirl!” cried Laverne from the living room. “The soap’s about to start!”

“That’s okay, Laverne. I don’t wanna see it today.”

A second and a half later Laverne walked in the room looking at Shirley worried.

“What do you mean you don’t wanna see the soaps today? You love the soaps; you dream you’re in the soaps---”

“I know, I know... but I don’t feel like watching them today. I just want to sit here on my bed, thinking...”

“Thinking? About what?”


“Not that again, Shirl...” whined Laverne, as she sat beside her friend. “We had a long talk about this, and I thought you had decided to accept the fact that you and Carmine were gonna stop... you know.... dating... and that you were gonna move on...”

“I know, I know...”

Shirley had cried herself to sleep for many nights. She knew Carmine was never a steady boyfriend, and that they had both decided they would date other people. But lately Carmine had been dating a lot of different girls. He was turning into a player. He had stopped calling her on the phone, and he would make up excuses for not visiting anymore. She had forgotten when was the last time that he had called her Angel Face; it was that long ago.

“He’s a great guy, Shirl. But if he’s happy dating around---”

“I said ‘I know’!” cried Shirley, lifting Boo Boo Kitty up and hiding her face behind it.

“Don’t get all upset now, Shirl. Come watch the soaps with me, huh?”


Laverne grabbed Boo Boo Kitty and ran with it out the door. Then an “Ow!” was heard and Frank DeFazio entered the room, with Boo Boo Kitty.

Shirley thanked him for recuperating her cat, and she sat in the same position as before.

Frank fiddled with the perfume bottles on their dressing table.

“What’s with all the perfume?”

“Oh, those are all mine. I use a different perfume for everyday of the week. Oh except weekends ‘cause Carmine really likes... I mean... he used to...” Shirley burst out crying.

“What’s the matter?”

“Oh, I’m so sorry Mr. DeFazio! Just ignore me while I drown in my own self-pity. Go; leave me here as I suffocate in the face of loneliness instead of laughing at it! Oh, why me? Why me?”

Frank sits beside Shirley and she hides her face on his chest.

“Is there anything I can do?”

“Could you beat up Carmine?” Shirley quickly realized the ridiculousness of what she had said.


“What? No Mr. DeFazio. That was the woefulness talking! The sorrow, the pain, the desolation, the forlornness---“

“Okay, okay I get it!” Frank took a deep breath; he could not yell at the small blue-eyed girl whom he had known since she was a little girl.

There was a knock on the door. An all-to-familiar knock, as a matter of fact. Shirley wiped of the tears in her eyes with Boo Boo Kitty, and she jumped out of the bed. She ran out the room and pushed Laverne, who was walking to answer the door. Laverne fell on the couch, bounced, and tumbled down on the floor.

“Will you watch it, Shirl?”

Shirley quickly fixed her hair and opened the door with a huge grin on her face. Indeed it was Carmine, but instead of a “Hey, Angel Face!” she received a cold “Hey.” Carmine walked past her and approached Laverne. Frank entered the room just in time to listen to the conversation.

“Hey Laverne Lenny and Squiggy and I were wondering if you two would like to play a little bowling tournament with us. It’s to celebrate.”

“Celebrate what?” asked Laverne.

“Lenny was just named President of the Stuffed Iguana Club.”

“Oh… that’s nice…” said Laverne, unsuccessfully attempting to hide her apathy.

“Well, sure we’ll go Carmine,” said Shirley. She tried desperately to get Carmine to notice her.

“Is going to be a battle of the sexes thing. You guys okay with that?”

“Sure, Carmine,” replied Laverne. “But there’s three of you guys and just Shirl and me…”

“Don’t worry. I’ll bring a date.”

It felt like a punch in the stomach. Shirley felt a little out of breath, and hurried to her room. Laverne looked how her friend exited, and Carmine didn’t seem to notice. Frank clenched his fists.

“So see ya tonight then?”

“Sure, Carmine. We’ll go.”

* * * * *

Carmine and a date were passionately kissing while they waited for Frank DeFazio to give them their pizza and yet another round of beer.

When Frank appeared, holding a tray with their drinks, he shook his head; he was tired of having to watch Carmine and girl number #12 (whatever her name was) making out in his restaurant. He grabbed one beer from the tray and slammed it hard on the table. Drops of soda fell on Carmine’s jacket, etc.

The kissing ceased, and Carmine gave a puzzled look to the older man.

“Mr. DeFazio what’s the matter?” slurred Carmine. His eyes were red, and so was his nose.

“The glass slipped.”

“It seemed to me like you did that on purpose.”

“I said it SLIPPED!”

“Okay, okay! It slipped. Gee...”

Frank went back to the kitchen, and the kissing resumed.

Laverne entered, in her uniform, and she mouthed silent insults when she saw Carmine and that “low-life bimbo” flirting and rubbing their noses together.

“Hey Carmine!” she cried, hoping to interrupt the two “love-birds”. Her efforts were successful. Carmine, annoyed, yelled a “WHAT?” Laverne just muttered a very low “Nothing...” When he turned his head away from her, she slammed her purse on the counter and went to her father. Frank, who had just walked out of the kitchen, was a few steps away, carrying a pizza.

“Who’s that girl with Carmine there?” asked Frank aside.

“Another one of his dates. What a bimbo...”

“How come I haven’t seen him with Shirley no more?”

“ ‘Cause Carmine’s gone crazy, pop.”

“Crazy, huh? And has he been going out with girls like that for a long time?”

“Yep. And--- hey pop, how come you’re asking so many questions?”

“WHAT? Can’t I ask a couple of questions without you being all over my back! Grab this pizza and give it to Carmine!”

Laverne jumped back, and she hurried with the pizza. If there was something she considered the scariest sound in the world it was that of his father’s screaming.

She neatly placed the pizza on the table. Then she leaned over toward Carmine’s date and whispered something in her ear. The girls excused her self and walked quickly to the bathroom.

“Hey, Laverne, whatcha tell her?”

“Oh eh... I told her she had something on her teeth.”


Laverne slowly stepped away from the table and began her way to the ladies room. Carmine thought it was odd that Laverne was rolling up her sleeves. Two minutes later there was much commotion and a girl ran screaming: “To girls are trying to kill each other in the bathroom!”

“Oh, no,” said Carmine to himself. Suddenly his date appeared, her hair and make-up was a mess, one of her heels was broken, and she ran out of the Pizza Bowl crying and yelling at Carmine that she never wanted to see him again.

Carmine was outraged. He waited for Laverne to come out of the bathroom. He was going to have a nice long argument with her.

“What was all that yappin’ about?” asked Frank.

Now Laverne’s in real trouble, thought Carmine. “Laverne just beat up my date,” he said.

“Well good,” said Frank firmly.


“I said ‘good’.”

“But Mr. DeFazio you didn’t hear me right. I just told ya that Laverne beat up my date!” Carmine’s voice was louder now.

Laverne reappeared and stood behind the counter listening to the conversation.

“What are you doing, son?” asked Frank.

This took Carmine by surprise. “What am I doing? What are you talking about, Mr. DeFazio?”

“Why are you going out with girls like that?”

“What’s wrong with... with...?"

“You don’t even know her name.”

“I--- Mr. DeFazio I don’t know what you’re trying to get to here, but I don’t like it. I’m going home.”

“You ain’t going’ nowhere,” said Frank, pulling Carmine’s arm.

Laverne began whistling and telling people to go home. They were suddenly closing early. Rapidly, the Pizza Bowl was empty. Frank told Laverne to go mop the kitchen. Laverne knew that he didn’t want her listening.

“Sit down,” ordered Frank. Carmine gave him a look. He usually did not have to do as anybody said. He wasn’t used to receiving or obeying orders for that matter. If it hadn’t been for the respect he had for Frank, he would’ve definitely walked out.

“What for?”

“Sit... DOWN!”

“Okay,” said Carmine, and he sat.

“I’m gonna ask you something and I want you to be honest with me.”

“Sure, Mr. DeFazio.”



“You are moron!”

“Hey, hey, hey! What did I do?”

“Don’t you know you got a great, beautiful girl crying her eyes out ‘cause of you!”

“’Cause of me? No I think it was ‘cause Laverne gave her a fat lip!”

“I’m talking about Shirley!” Frank’s patience just ran out.


“Yes, Shirley Feeney. Remember her?”

Carmine looked away; his heart sinking.

“I--- Of course I remember her. What’s she got to do with anything?”

“What’s she got---?” Frank slammed his fist on the table and started taking at full volume. “You are gonna stop fooling around with all those girls!”


“You heard me! It’s time that you stopped acting like a crazed teenager and started taking some responsibility in your life!”

“Responsibility? Mr. DeFazio don’t talk to me about responsibility. I work hard every day just to get food on the table.”

“I am not talking about that king of responsibility. You better be careful what you do ‘cause you are gonna get yourself in trouble!”

“I am careful, Mr. DeFazio!”

Tension was building up, and Laverne ran to the scene.

“Pop, what’s going on?”

But the yelling went on:

“You have no right to interfere with my private life! If I want to meet lotsa girl, then that’s my problem, not yours!”

“It is my problem! You are hurtin’ Shirley!”

“Hurtin’ Shirley…? W—well… what do you want me to do, eh? You want me to stay home every night taking cold showers? I ain’t waiting for Miss Chastity! She ain’t worth it!”

Frank stroke Carmine with such strength that Laverne let out a cry.

“Pop, don’t!”

Carmine lost his balance, and swayed from side to side. The alcohol in his blood made him dizzy, and he fell. Frank tried to help him up, but Carmine, who at this point couldn’t control the tears, pushed him away. He slowly rose, and he faltered out of the Pizza Bowl.

“Carmine wait!” called Frank, but it was no use; he was gone.

To Part 2

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