Kaylee – age 17 – Romulus, New York – November 2, 1963
The morning sun beamed through the bedroom window directly into Kaylee’s face as she sat at the dressing table. She reached up, grabbing the shade and pulled it lower to block the brightness from her eyes. Her head miffed, her body comatose, she had a very restless night sleep. Kaylee sat back brushing her light walnut brown hair, daydreaming about her last conversation with Lyle.
She had just finished dinner with him and his parents at Katie’s Hotel, in Hayts Corners. After Lyle’s parents drove back to their house Lyle thanked his parents for the birthday dinner and gift. He borrowed their car and drove to her home.
Kaylee stuck her head inside the front door.
“Mamma we’re home, Lyle and I are staying on the porch we can pass out candy”
They sat on the front porch swing, talking between greeting the neighborhood ghosts, vampires, clowns and goblins. The Indian summer day had surrendered to a seasonally cool October night. Lyle had reached around Kaylee’s shoulder and encased her in his embrace, pulling her closer into his body, warming them both. They talked about Lyle’s new car he was planning on buying and the places they could go together. Like the drive-inn come summer, Taughannock Falls, and their senior prom. They talked about how special that night would be, dressing up, arriving together in a cool car and celebrating for all the arduous work. A beginning of milestones, steps of leaving behind childhood and starting the future as adults.
“Make sure you save the last dance for me,” Lyle whispered in her ear.
“My dance card is already full, sir.”
“Yeah, with my name” he reached over with his index finger to her chin and kissed her softly.
“Oh, you think you know.” Kaylee playfully pushed against Lyle’s chest.
Kaylee’s sweet daydream was interrupted by noises coming from the closet, scuffling movements and objects hurling with a clank to the hardwood floor.
“Kaylyn what are you doing?” Kaylee visibly saw her sister’s rear end protruding from the entrance of their walk-in closet.
“I’m trying to find my penny loafers” she hurled another shoe from the closet.
“Well, most of the shoes you’re throwing are mine. You better put them back!”
“Yes, Princess Kay.”
Kaylyn had climbed out of the closet, slipped on the shoes she’d been searching for and went to sit at the dressing table next to Kaylee. The hand-crafted dressing table sat in front of the east window, separated by individual mirrors. Kaylyn began to brush her hair and looked over at Kaylee. Kaylee could sense her twin sister looking at her as she kept looking at her reflection putting on some lip gloss.
“You better hurry we need to leave for school soon. I hope your coupe dpoop starts this morning.”
“Wow, why so contemptible this morning? Did you have a pea under your mattress?”
“Oh, aren’t you the funny one this morning. I haven’t talked to Lyle since Halloween night, the night of his birthday dinner.” I’m worried about him”.
“I’m sure he’s fine, he probably got busy with his dad.”
“That could be, he said he was going to start looking for a car right away. No, it just can’t be, he would call me or come over.”
“You have a point there. He doesn’t do much without telling you about it.”
“What’s that mean?”
“You have that boy under your spell. He’d follow you anywhere.”
“I’d follow him too. He’s a sweetheart, my true love. He’s kind, gentle, considerate, affectionate but respectful of my feelings of waiting until marriage.”
“It sounds wonderful, your fairy tale coming true. Can’t wait to help plan your wedding”
“That will be spled-i-dious”
“That isn’t a word”
Kaylyn got up from the chair, walking toward their closed bedroom door.
“Come on we need to get going, meet you in the car.”
The sisters rode in silence the half-mile to the parking lot of their school.
Kaylee pulled the handle to open the car door, angling herself out of the 1952 Chevy convertible Coupe. As she closed the car door it made annoying squeal, crying out for oil on the hinges. In her best Scarlet O’Hara impression, Kaylee spoke on behalf of the door. She placed one hand to her forehead palm out.
“I beg of you Kaylyn, with a dramatic pause, please oil me.” Her other hand on the car door she closed the car door so that the combination of a squeak and screech added the distress to her performance.
“Stop knocking the ride,” said her sister Kaylyn.
“I love our ride; dad will have this baby back to new in no time.
“Grab your bag, Scarlet”
Kaylyn held the trunk open waiting for Kaylee to grab her bag.
“It’s not a bag, it’s a guitar. You should know this by now.”
“I know what it is, miss smarty pants. If you’re done being dramatic let’s get out of this cold.”
The sisters were part of their father’s band performances when time allowed, usually on weekends and extraordinary events. Kaylee was usually vocal lead with Kaylyn and their dad, Red harmonizing or sing a duet with Kaylee. Kaylee had real talent and an ardent desire to be more than singing in the local bars, taverns, and jamborees. She wanted to go to Nashville as soon as the graduation ceremony concluded. Although she knew already what her parents thought. That a young woman in the big city alone and naïve to that way of life, only get chewed up and spit to the curb. The plan was already set in motion. She and Lyle were going to Nashville together. She knew the road would be hard and the road already well-traveled by other hopefuls, she had her mindset and there was no changing now. Kaylee wasn’t afraid of a challenge or the demanding work, she sought after more than this one-horse town could provide.
The cold fall morning combined with rain showers chilled Kaylee to the bone. Her agitated, expectations and anxieties influenced her mind to shut off to the surroundings. The weather didn’t improve her damped spirits.
Kaylyn wrapped her arm through Kaylee’s.
“He’s probably up there standing next to your locker waiting for you.”
“I hope so,” Kaylee said with exasperating feelings.
Arm in arm the sisters walked through the front welcoming wide entrance. Maple walls climbed high to meet the white ceilings, accented with wide ornate crown molding. The sisters started up one flight to the main level of classrooms, auditorium, and offices.
Climbing the first flight of stairs to the second floor where students’ lockers were as well as more classrooms. They rounded the landing to the second flight of stairs.
“Bet he will be waiting to carry your books.”
They stopped at the first alcove of lockers where most of the senior class was collecting whatever books they needed for the first period.
Kaylee looked for Lyle, but he wasn’t there.
Kaylyn reach for Kaylee wrapping her intensely into her body, whispered in her ear
“Try to stop worrying” as Kaylyn pulled back she wiped away a tear that had escaped from the corner of Kaylee’s almond-shaped eyes.
“It wouldn’t be such a big deal, but he’s been consumed with contacting his biological mother, he has questions and he needs answers.”
“Who can blame him, anyone in that situation would want answers too.”
“Come on we have to get back downstairs for music” “I’m sure he will be here or calling you tonight”
“Yeah, yeah I know one day this will just be a faded memory.”
The sisters’ arm in arm descended the necessary stairs to the basement to the band room.