There wasn’t much boyfriend material at Hillcroft High and Janet as the headmaster’s daughter had discovered she was at a disadvantage. Her father wasn’t well-liked around the campus. Not that she could blame the boys, Mr Thurmer was slovenly and misguided.
Janet couldn’t bear her fathers awe of the jocks. She surmised her middle-aged father watched sports to feel closer to god. Sitting there, food dropped down his front and salivating at the sight of the fit young men. He saw an earlier version of himself, Janet supposed before those same bodies were sat in armchairs, behind the wheel and desks for decades.
Last Christmas an unusual boy came to Hillcroft. Pale and slight, he stood out from the sea of bulk like a bewildered salmon might flip and flap its way past the lineup bears upstream.
He had a mental breakdown at his old school the gossips said, but even they found it difficult to get a grip on this slippery fish.
An unusual name, Ford Milluch. She heard he had a brother in Hollywood and supposed his parents were stars. Hollywood types like these fancy offbeat names.
“I’ll call him Clutch,” Janet thought to herself. She liked coming up with secret nicknames for people. “Difficult to grab, but he gets my engine going.”
Giggling and turning bright red, Janet passed Ford to board the Brentwood bus.
As usual, no one sat with Janet. All the boys gave her a wide berth. She liked to think it was because she was forbidden fruit. In reality, it had more to do with her bitten down nails and confronting falsies. Girls wore them these days, but on Janets already large frame they became practically aggressive.
Ford seemed to have been buffeted to the back of the line as usual and only just managing to board as the driver closed the doors and swung out from the curb.
To Janet’s surprise, Ford sat right next to her. There were other seats free, but with his nose in a book, she supposed he didn’t notice.
“Whatcha reading?” Janet couldn’t help herself. This seemed like a golden opportunity to get closer to her daydream boyfriend.
“Uh, its a book about writers selling out in Hollywood. You know, the sellouts. going fo the money.” Janet noticed his flushed face.
“Oh, yeah. Those types. I knew a girl once at my school who used to catch the bus up Hollywood every weekend. To try and catch a peep at the stars.” Her arm brushed his as she turned to the cover.
“Did she see any?” Fords face was pink.
“She thought she saw Marlon Brando but had forgotten her glasses that day. She wore thick ones. Lucky she even got home.” Letting go of the book she shifted closer.
Ford seemed interested, but it was hard to tell. He had a distant air about him.
She did notice he was staring at her blouse, however.
Janet couldn’t help but giggle. Perhaps she would finally have a boyfriend.
An odd fish, but a boyfriend none the less.