Figuring Things Out

Young Love Chapter 2

I own no characters from The Music Man. Random original characters will be introduced through out the story.

After Zaneeta stormed out of the house in a fit of rage Eulalie decided to do some gardening in the front yard. Gracie joined her mother outside in the yard a few minutes ; later.

"Mama, I hate seeing Zaneeta so upset. Why does she have to fight with Papa all the time?"

Eulaile looked up from the zinnias she was planting. "Your father and I disagree with her about her relationship with Tommy. We don't think they're a good match."

"He barely knows Tommy. Why does that give you two any reason to judge him?"

Eulalie shrugged. but did not answer her daughter's question.

" Zaneeta said that she tried to stop Tommy from setting the firework off."

Her mother nodded. "I know. He didn't listen to her though. If he had he could have avoided going to the police station with Constable Locke."

" How can we get Papa to change his mind about Tommy? I want Zaneeta to be happy."

Eulalie shrugged again. "I really don't know darling. Hopefully we'll figure something out eventually.

At that moment a few of Gracie's friends Adeline and Gertrude came up the drive way. "Hey Gracie, our sisters are taking us to the park to play softball. We're meeting some other girls down there too. Do you want to come?"

Gracie nodded. " Yeah sure. Let me go get my glove."

A few minutes later Gracie joined her friends.

Eulalie smiled. "Have fun sweetheart. Dinner is at 6:30."

Gracie kissed her mother's cheek. "Bye Mama."

Adeline and Gertrude waved at Eulalie. "Bye Mrs. Shinn."

Zaneeta got home from her date at 5:15. She had spent most of the afternoon in the library doing research for her summer history project. Zaneeta was a bit of an over achiever and was a huge fan of history. This project was due the first day of school and it was for the Topics In History class she was taking.

When Zaneeta entered the house at 5:15 she saw her mother at the stove stirring pasta.

"Where's Gracie Mama?"

"Her friends invited her to play softball. She should be home shortly. I told her we were eating dinner at 6:30. Your father should be home any minute. Can you help me make a salad?"

Zaneeta nodded. "Sure." She went to the refrigerator to get out the lettuce, salad and all other salad fixings.

" How was the library darlin?"

"Good. Got a good dent in to the research for my summer history project.

"What are you doing it about?"

"The Renaissance. I decided to research a romantic period in history."

Eulalie smiled to herself Her daughter had always been a helpless romantic.

10 minutes later Gracie burst through the door.

"How was your game?" Zaneeta asked her sister.

"Great. I'm going to go upstairs and shower. I'll be down in 15 minutes."

Her mother nodded. "Okay."

Later that night after dinner Zaneeta knocked on her sister's door.

" Would you like me to read you a story now?"

Gracie nodded.

"I'll be right back. Let me get my pajamas on."

Five minutes later Zaneeta snuggled in bed next to her sister. Gracie curled into her side right away. Once they finished reading the story Gracie looked at her older sister curiously.

"Why does Papa hate Tommy so much?"

Zaneeta shrugged. "I don't know Gracie. It's very frustrating."

"Does Mama approve the two of you being together?"

Zaneeta shrugged. "She doesn't really say much when Papa goes on his tirades so I don't really know if she sides with him or me."

"I can try to help too."

Zaneeta tousled her sister's hair. "I think my relationship with Tommy is a little tough for you to understand Gracie."

"Why?

"You really won't know the complexity of my feelings until you're my age or a little younger."

"Are you afraid I would rat you out if you told me you were going out with Tommy?"

Zaneeta nodded. "You were quick to indicate he was the one who set of that firework."

"I hate seeing you so mad Zaneeta."

Zaneeta smiled. " I hope Papa starts to see things my way soon."

"I love you."

Zaneeta kissed her sister softly on the forehead. "I love you too my sweet Gracie."

Zaneeta walked over to the light switch flipped it off and then left her sister's room closing the door behind her.

A week later River City was a buzz with excitement mid day on a Wednesday afternoon. The Wells Fargo wagon would be coming to town and the band instruments were being delivered on it. Zaneeta was thrilled to see Winthrop's face light up when she saw him receive his cornet. "I have never seen him look so happy. Ms. Paroo said that since this Boys Band formed he's really been a lot happier."

Tommy grinned. " Yeah, he's the kid I'm most excited to work with. I know how hard he's been taking his dad's death so I think this will be an awesome experience for him. He seems to making fast friends with a few of the other kids in the band."

Gracie who had been talking to a few of her friends ran over to her sister and Tommy.

"Did you see how happy Winthrop is?"

Tommy smiled. "We sure did and we were just talking about it too. I was just telling your sister how excited I am to be working with him in the band."

Gracie smiled at Tommy widely. "Are you playing at the 4th of July sociable next week?"

"We hope to be ready by then."

"Hey Gracie, you know how your father doesn't like your sister and I being together?"

Gracie nodded.

Tommy smiled at Zaneeta. "Well, I want to ask her to go to the sociable with me but I want your dad to be comfortable with the idea. Do you think it might be a good idea for me to come over for dinner some night to talk to him?

Gracie shrugged. "I'm not so sure. He's not very fond of you after what happened at the Flag Day ceremony."

" I actually wanted to take this opportunity to give your parents the apology they deserve for that incident."

Gracie still looked a little uneasy.

"We'll have to talk to our mother about it," Gracie said.

"How soon can you make a decision? I wanted to come over Friday after band practice?"

"We can talk to her tonight." Zaneeta said.

"Sounds like a plan."