A . T I M
F O R . U S
by chrissy n 7.15.00
A TIME FOR US was about the Driscoll family--Al,
his wife, Martha, and their two daughters, Jane and Linda, who was a rabble-rouser. Linda was engaged to Steve
Reynolds, but she dumped him to pursue an acting career.
Jane went to Linda's apartment. Linda opened the door. "Jane, what a surprise. What brings you to my humble
abode?" She gestured for Jane to enter.
"Well, there's nothing humble about this place," she said, looking around. "It's quite lavish."
Linda chuckled. "Figure of speech, sister dear. You shouldn't take everything so literally." She paused.
"Pull up a chair; can I get you a drin--sorry--you don't drink. Want a soda pop? Some coffee?"
Jane sat in a chair. "No. I don't want anything."
"So, I repeat, why the visit? We aren't exactly pals."
"We aren't as close as I'd like," Jane said. "That could change."
Linda sighed. "Oh, my goodness. Are you going to start jabbering about how you'd like for us to be closer,
"I'd like a closer relationship with you, yes. But that's not why I'm here. Driscoll Construction celebrates
its silver anniversary next week."
"So the joint's been around for twenty five years," Linda said.
"I wish you wouldn't talk like that."
"Talk like what?"
"You're always so snide and mean-spirited," Jane said.
"Sorry if I offended you, sister dear, but it's just my way."
"Well, I'm throwing a little party celebrating the anniversary of the business. Dad and Mom will be there,
of course, and Steve, and some of Dad's business associates."
Linda rose from her chair. "So they'll all be on hand to help Daddy celebrate his momentous occasion,"
she said sarcastically. "I'm sure there'll be exciting stories about slumps in the business. And how it almost
went under, but how frugal dad managed to weather the storm...
"And despite tremendous adversity, he kept the business afloat, keeping food on the tables of his family,
and his dedicated employees." She paused. "Sounds like a reason to hang up some streamers and toss some
confetti to me."
Jane raised an eyebrow. "I'd like for you to come," she said.
"I knew you were going to ask me that. Why would I want to come?" Linda inquired.
"Because Al Driscoll is your father. And this is a family occasion--"
"And I'm not a part of the family," Linda said. "My connection is nominal." She paused. "Dad
hates me, and Mother is so
docile, she goes along with everything he says."
"Dad doesn't hate you, Linda."
"Well, he's done an award winning job of giving me that impression."
"He doesn't understand you...and some of your choices."
"My choices? What do you mean by that? So what I pursued an acting career. Plays and the theater always thrilled
me. I didn't want to spend my life, changing diapers, and baking cakes...I wanted some excitement and color in
my life... I tried to find that in the theater. So what if Dad didn't approve. It was my choice, and he's hated
me for it."
"He doesn't hate you. And despite everything, he is your father, and you should be a part of this happy occasion."
Linda sighed. "Look, Jane, it's really thoughtful of you to think of me. You're always doing thoughtful things.
You're a swell kid..." She shook her head. "But I don't know about coming to this shindig... When I was
in New York, I sent dear old dad birthday and Christmas cards, and he never responded with a thank you note, or
a phone call. He probably tossed the greetings in the trash."
"I doubt that. He's a very proud man. He's just not generous with his emotions," Jane said. "Come
to the party, Linda."
"I'll sleep on it," Linda said.
Jane told her when and where the celebration would take place. At the door, she tapped Linda on the forearm and
A few minutes later, Linda's phone rang. Frowning, she muttered, "Who could that be? Maybe Sally or one of
the girls want to hit the town tonight." She picked up the phone. "Hello."
"Hello," she repeated.
"How's it going, baby?" a male voice asked seductively.
Linda froze, blanched. Her eyes grew large.
"What's the matter? Kitty got your tongue?" the man asked.
She swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat. "Keefer," Linda said.
"Yeah, baby. It's me, Johnny Keefer. I'll bet I'm the last person you expected to hear from."
She shifted her eyes from left to right. "Keefer, wh-where are you?"
"Well, I'm nearby. A smart girl like you can figure that out. Don't I sound right around the corner? I'm so
close that if you blew me a kiss, I'd feel it."
Her voice became tremulous. "Stop toying with me. Tell me where you are?"
"You'll find out soon enough."
"Yeah, baby. Soon enough. You like suspense and excitement in your life. So not telling you where I am will
give you some suspense to wallow in. But I'll let you in on one thing, I'm not where you think I am."
The phone clicked in her ear.
A few minutes later, Linda pulled opened the door of her apartment, admitting April, who was blonde, and wore a
plaid mini skirt, and knee-high white go go boots. "April, hi," Linda said, as nervous as someone on
a job interview.
"Hi, yourself," April said, entering the apartment.
"Thanks for coming over," Linda offered.
"On the phone, you sounded just frantic," April said.
"I can see. You're all jittery. You look like you've been sweating." They sat down.
Linda took a deep breath. "I got a phone call," she said.
"And it put you in this state? Must have been some call. Who from? You're a pretty girl, living alone. Did
some sickie call saying vile, disgusting things? Making threats?"
"No. Nothing like that." She sighed. "I heard from Keefer."
"What?" April exclaimed. "Did I hear you right?"
"You heard me."
"How the heck did Keefer know where to find you?"
"I don't know, but he has, and I'm scared."
"I would be too," April said.
"I wonder how he located me." Linda commented, wearing a reflective, faraway expression. "I've been
wracking my brain trying to figure it out. When I was in Jersey, I lied to him about where I was born and raised...
I was embarrassed, and I wanted to make myself sound like a city girl, cosmopolitan. I invented a story about my
background, and even changed my last name."
"But that didn't stop Keefer from learning your whereabouts," April said. "Is he in town?"
"I think so," Linda said.
"He didn't say?"
She shook her head. "Not a word. But I know he's close by. Local. There was no static on the phone line...and
we talked for a few minutes, and an operator didn't come on, asking for more coins. So he's close... But where?
I don't know."
To PART 2