The couple came in the library holding hands. He wore a letterman's jacket, a football patch over the school letter. She had her blonde hair back in a ponytail and held her books in one hand. They fit the image as the perfect teen couple, the jock and the cheerleader preparing for the rest of their lives.
But their secrets followed them.
Brenda filled me in as we sat on the circulation desk. I had my feet up on the lazy dreary day. She said as she unspooled her ball of yarn, "That's Eddie and Becky. They been together ever since her daddy was sent away for dealing drugs to the old folks home."
"What kind of drugs?" I said. I had found a website that chronicled every episode of Frasier by amount of dog screen time.
"Crack, mostly. Them old timers love to screw and do crack. Daddy Dan, that's Becky's dad, he started with his own mom and grew the business out from there."
"He got his own mother hooked on crack?"
"Well, she already was in a bad way. The old lady loved her crosswords and would stay up all night doing them. She started stealing Becky's adderall, to focus she said. Slippery slope to crack. Here comes trouble."
This couple slinked in embodying the teenage sex most teen drama shows would die for. He had his leather clad arm around her bare shoulder. She wore high heels that clacked on the library floor, matching the thud of his motorcycle boots. The jacket counted as a shirt, I guess, but I could see his bare muscled chest underneath. Their hair matched, both had it cut short and slicked back.
"Tommy and Ginger. They bad," Brenda said and wrapped the yarn around her needles.
"What's their story?"
"Ginger and Becky used to be best friends. Her mom was in the nursing home and when the old lady died, they broke apart."
"No, Becky's grandfather would come visit his wife and sleep with Ginger's grandmother on the way out. Not sex, just sleep. She died and they found him in there, taking forty winks next to the corpse. Kinda sweet if not for the weirdness of it all."
"Wait. Becky's grandma was hooked on crack and in a nursing home. Becky's granddad would visit and go to sleep with Ginger's grandma?"
"What about Tommy?"
Brenda sighed. "He's got a peanut allergy. Poor boy ain't never had a Mr. Goodbar in his life."
"Should we be worried with Ginger and Becky in the building?" I imagined pulling these teens apart.
"Oh, no. They're all study partners. But I think they're trying to solve the mystery of who let the goats into the school gym."
"High school pranks. Didn't they have those in Mississippi?"
"Well, yeah. But the way you were talking it sounded more sinister."
"They're just kids. Although if you see Tommy reaching for the candy bowl, slap his hand away. I think when Amy was putting together the bowl, she was eating mixed nuts. Told her to wear gloves, but we don't need poor Tommy going to the hospital. They got a big test coming up, those four, not to mention the goats."
I went back to the website, seeing the episode where Frasier went to the opera as the lowest on the list, Eddie the dog barely in it. Some things just seemed more important than they were.