“What’re you doing up so early?” Brian asked him.
“What early it’s noon” Harry asked from the kitchen table.
“Yeah that’s early for him” Brian said.
“Grandma’s coming over to help me with my project for school” Bradley said.
“I’m all done with mine” Harry said cheerfully.
“No one cares” Bradley said.
“Bradley” Brian said admonishing him.
“Yeah you don’t have to be a jerk just because we’ve had three weeks to do this project and you just decided to start doing it now” Harry said, Bradley glared at him.
“What?” Brian asked.
“…What?” Bradley asked him.
“You’ve had three weeks to do this?” Brian asked Bradley.
“We did? I don’t…I don’t remember anything about that…” Bradley said to him.
Brian sighed “Bradley” he said irritated.
“What? I’m doing it aren’t I?!” Bradley asked.
“Hey” Adam said coming down the kitchen stairs.
“Perfect timing, kill him for me will you?” Bradley said to Adam about Harry as he went to the living room.
“What’d I do?!” Harry asked.
Adam smiled wickedly at him “It’d be my pleasure” he said, Harry looked at him nervously.
“Mom, now if you don’t want to talk about this you don’t have to” Vicki said to her.
“Vicki it’s fine, it’s been over forty years now, I’ll be fine” Lizzie said as they approached the front door.
“You sure?” Vicki asked.
“Positive, anything to help my grandson” Lizzie said.
“Okay” Vicki said as they opened the door and stepped inside.
“Hey grandma” Bradley said to Lizzie.
“Hello sweetheart” Lizzie said hugging him tightly “Oh you get more and more handsome every time I see you” she said.
Brian came in from the kitchen and saw Lizzie standing here.
“Hi Brian” Lizzie said to him.
“Mrs. McAdams” he said timidly.
“You’re not a teenager anymore you can call me Lizzie you know” she said to him.
“I can?” he asked.
“Sure, you pretty much earned that right when you knocked up my daughter” Lizzie said to him.
Brian nodded “Right” he said chuckling lightly before sinking into a chair.
“Grandma I love when you come to visit” Bradley said to her as he kissed her cheek.
“So, your mother says you’ve got some questions for me” she said.
“Uh yeah…if that’s okay” he said nervously.
“It’s fine, don’t worry” Lizzie said to him.
“You sure?” he asked.
“I’m positive, shall we sit?” she asked.
“Uh yeah, sure” Bradley said as they sat on the couch.
“I’ll get you some tea mom” Vicki said.
“Oh no please, let me” Brian said quickly standing up from the chair and disappearing into the kitchen.
“So…I’m not exactly sure where to start uh…okay well uh mom told me that the sixties were basically your hey-day” Bradley said.
“Oh that they were” Lizzie said to him.
“And that your high school boyfriend went to Vietnam” Bradley said.
“He did” Lizzie said.
“And that uh…he was killed over there” he said cautiously.
“He was” Lizzie said.
“I guess I’m just surprised” Bradley said.
“Oh?” Lizzie asked.
“Yeah, I just always assumed that grandpa was your boyfriend” he said.
"Well...he was a boy...and he was my friend" Lizzie said to him “Your grandpa and I grew up together, we were neighbors, in fact after my father, your great-grandfather came home from world war two, Jimmy’s dad got him a job at his law firm, our families were very close” she said. "Your grandpa Jimmy was my best friend but Tommy was the love of my life".
"I guess it all started in 1967, I was about your age, a Junior in high school…Tommy and I had been together for about 3 years at that point, we were completely crazy about each other “times were different then...the country was being torn apart by war, a lot of people were experimenting with drugs and sex and..."
“All the good stuff huh?” Bradley asked.
“Oh…” Lizzie said laughing “In fact before Tommy enlisted the biggest thing that happened to me that year was probably early spring when I decided to give myself a new look, you see my best friend Josephine's mother owned a hair salon…”
Lizzie sat in a stylist's chair a large cap covering her head, Josephine balanced a cigarette in her mouth as she brought two soda bottles to Lizzie.
"For you" Josie said handing her a bottle.
"Thank you, give me that" Lizzie said reaching for Josie's cigarette.
"Your mother is going to kill you" Josie said as Lizzie passed the cigarette back to her. Josie sat back in a chair, putting her wet toenails up to dry.
"It's my head" Lizzie said to her.
"Okay kiddo, ready for the rinse out?" Josie's mother asked.
"Let's do it" Lizzie said to her "Give me that" she said taking a drag from Josie's cigarette.
Color washed down the drain as Lizzie's head hung over a sink, she then sat under a large hair dryer.
"What do you think?" Josie's mother asked spinning her around to face the mirror.
"Oh my god...I love it" Lizzie said to her.
"I think Tommy will love it too" Josie said to her.
"I got to say the blonde suits you" Josie's mother said to her.
“That’s not your natural hair color?” Bradley asked Lizzie.
"It is when she dyes it” Vicki said smiling.
"Excuse me!" Lizzie said to her.
“Alright here we go” Brian said setting a teacup in front of Lizzie.
“Oh, thank you…is this china?” Lizzie asked him.
“Boy bands can be fancy too” Brian said taking a seat.
“So uh, did grandpa know Tommy?” Bradley asked Lizzie.
Lizzie chuckled “Tommy and your grandpa were thick as thieves…they were a lot like you and Neilson actually” she said.
“Oh god” Brian groaned, Bradley glared at him.
“The day your grandfather turned sixteen he had a choice, he could go and help out at his father’s law office, delivering mail and handing out coffee and donuts or he could find a job…so that’s what he did” Lizzie said “He found a job in this little record shop in town.”
“Really? That’s so cool, I didn’t know that” Bradley said to her.
“Yep, he had been working there for about a year and a half, every day after school and on Saturdays, unbeknownst to me the day I went blonde was the day Tommy enlisted. Lizzie said thinking back to her teen years.
"Yes sir…no problem sir" a young James McAdams said on the phone, he stood behind a sales desk “Loud and clear sir" he said. The bells above the door jingled as Tommy came into the store, he gave Jimmy a wave and approached the sales desk. "Yes sir I understand okay, bye" he said hanging up.
“What’s going on there Jimbo?” Tommy asked.
"Ugh jackass boss being a dictator” Jimmy said to him as he began to push a cart around the store “I’m starting to think handing out donuts to a bunch of fat cat lawyers wouldn’t have been so bad” Jimmy said putting stacks of records into the display stands. “Where’ve you been anyways? You weren’t in school yesterday or today for that matter.”
“Yeah uh…something came up” Tommy said following closely behind him “Liz hasn’t been in here yet has she?” Tommy asked.
“You see her anywhere?” Jimmy asked.
“I’m serious, there’s something I need to talk to her about” he said “I have some news she is definitely not going to like” Tommy said.
“That’s great buddy give her old man just one more reason to hate your guts” Jimmy said pushing a cart full of records around.W
“well I think he might appreciate this one” Tommy said following him “I enlisted” he said.
Jimmy stopped in his tracks and turned to look at him in disbelief “What?” he asked.
“I enlisted, yesterday, went down to the army recruiters office and today I went and had a physical” Tommy said Jimmy looked at him dumbfounded.
“I can’t believe it” Vicki said “He enlisted and didn’t bother to tell you?” she asked.
“That’s exactly how I felt, up until Tommy enlisted I didn’t pay much attention to the war, your grandfather on the other hand was dead set against it, he hated that they were sending people our age to another country just to die” Lizzie said to Bradley.
“Wait a second, you voluntarily signed yourself up for this ridiculously unnecessary war, a war we all know is wrong?” Jimmy asked him.
“Hey come on there’s no guarantee that they’re going to send me over there” Tommy said to him.
“Of course they will! They’re sending everyone!” Jimmy said to him.
“Guess they need all the help they can get over there Jimbo” Tommy said picking up one of the records from the cart.
“No, what they need is to end it” ” Jimmy said snatching it from him “Tom people are coming back without limbs when they’re even coming back at all, this is serious stuff” Jimmy said to him.
“Really? And here I thought I was just going for a vacation” Tommy said to him.
“What about school?” Jimmy asked.
Tommy shrugged “I quit” he said simply.
“So that’s it? You’re dropping out?” Jimmy asked.
“Come on Jim, what kind of future do I really have? I’m not as smart as you okay, there’s no Ivy League education waiting for me” Tommy said to him.
“What about Lizzie? Do you have any idea what this is going to do to her?” Jimmy asked him
“I’m not an idiot, listen you can’t tell her about this alright?” Tommy asked.
“No, forget it, I can’t keep this from her” Jimmy said.
“Come on Jimbo, I’m going to tell her as soon as the time is right” Tommy said.
“Alright fine” Jimmy sighed.
“Hello boys” Lizzie said coming into the store.
“There’s my girl” Tommy said kissing her.
“Hey, I missed you at school today, you okay?” she asked.
“Uh yeah…I had to take care of something” he said looking at Jimmy “Uh what’s with the scarf you trying the mod look again?” Tommy asked her her hair wrapped tightly up in a brightly colored scarf.
“Oh yeah, I have a surprise for you” she said before taking the scarf from her head revealing her freshly dyed blonde hair “What do you think?” she asked happily.
“Whoa” Jimmy said.
“Well?” she asked Tommy.
“Oh my god” he said “You…you’re blonde” he said.
“Your mother’s going to kill you, you know” Jimmy said.
“I know! Isn’t it great?” she said happily "Do you like it?" she asked twirling around.
"I love it" he said as she kissed him.
“Come on I can’t wait to show off, let’s go down to the spot and get a soda” she said pulling on his hand.
“Coming Jimbo?” Tommy asked.
“Love to but unfortunately I’m stuck here all night, this place is going to be mobbed any second” he said to them.
“I was so oblivious to how much your grandfather liked me, I was too focused on Tommy to notice” Lizzie said.
“I take it grandma and grandpa weren’t too thrilled with your new ‘do’ huh?” Vicki asked her.
Lizzie scoffed “Are you kidding? My mother nearly had a heart attack when she saw it” Lizzie said to her.
Later that night, Lizzie held her shoes in her hand as she tried to sneak into her house, she crept quietly up the stairs and just reached her bedroom door when the hallway light flipped on.
"Elizabeth" her father said angrily “Do you have any idea what time… are you blonde?" he said laying eyes on Lizzie’s newly dyed blonde hair.
"What is going on?" her mother asked coming into the hallway, tightening her robe.
"Look what your daughter did to herself" Dan said.
“Oh my lord” she gasped “What on earth have you done to your hair?” she asked.
"Oh my god it's dye it's not like I went out and got myself pregnant" Lizzie said irritated.
"Don't you even joke about that" Dan said "Young lady, you do not stay out all night and you most definitely do not do something this drastic without checking with us first!" Dan said as Lizzie’s sister Gracie, rubbed the sleep from her eyes and came into the hall.
“Wow, you look just like Nancy Sinatra” she said to Lizzie.
“Thank you!” Lizzie said to her.
“Alright, that’s it, everyone back to bed” Dan said “We’ll deal with this in the morning” he said.
“Can I dye my hair blonde?” Gracie asked.
“Absolutely not!” Mary said to her.
“Bed, now, young lady” Dan said to Lizzie, she rolled her eyes and went into her bedroom, shutting the door behind her.