Speak Easy
1920s America...where the gin joints were underground, the liquor was fine, women enjoyed life, and organized crime was born.
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Phoebe Powers

She smiled. "I can tell," she commented. "I think I worked on it for a few days. Assignments never really take that long for me."

1/26/2009 #31
The Star Catcher

"It took me a while," admitted Warren. "I needed some sort of motivation to write it. Sometimes the right words only come in certain circumstances."

"Oi, Hester, that speech was darb," a classmate piped up from behind him. "Especially when you banged on Bowker's desk. That should keep him awake the whole day."

"Oh! Thanks," smiled Warren.

1/26/2009 #32
Phoebe Powers

"Well you did a very fine job with the whole speech. I thought you were one of the more exciting presenters in the class. It was only fitting that you went last."

1/26/2009 #33
The Star Catcher

"You're too kind," Warren said shyly.

"I'll concur to her, Hester," said the classmate, whose name was Harris Carlisle. He discreetly leaned closer to Warren and smirked.

"Got yourself a nice doll there, Hester," he muttered in Warren's ear. "Didn't know you had it in you."

Warren's eyes widened and he nearly yelped in surprise. He whirled around to face Harris, but the young man already raced off. Warren felt embarrassment creep up under his skin and he hoped Miss O'Malley didn't hear. Why did Harris jump to conclusions like that?

1/26/2009 #34
Phoebe Powers

"I am simply stating a truth, Warren," she responded.

Thankfully for Warren, Lillian didn't hear what Harris had to stay. Lillian looked at him. "Is everything all right?"

1/26/2009 #35
The Star Catcher

"I--yeah. Yeah, just remembered something I had to do after school." That was partly true. Father hinted that he wanted to take Warren out to converse with some of his business associates. Fun, fun...

"So uh, do you go to the park often?"

1/26/2009 #36
Phoebe Powers

She smiled. "I go as often as I can, particularly when the weather is nice. It's peaceful there and I find that it is relatively easy to do my homework there. Besides, it takes me out of my home. Needless to say it can sometimes be quite hectic."

1/26/2009 #37
The Star Catcher

"Yeah. Hectic," muttered Warren. He cleared his throat. "What class do you have next? Seems like now that I've met you properly, we haven't stopped running in to each other."

1/27/2009 #38
Phoebe Powers

She chuckled slightly, having been thinking nearly the same thing. Maybe fate was trying to tell them something. Or maybe she was so desperate for a new friend that she would imagine anything to be true. "Oh, I have to go to an Etiquette class now and I'm quite certain that you will not be in this one. Perhaps I will see you at dinner though."

1/27/2009 #39
The Star Catcher

"I'm not in Etiquette," Warren assured her. "I'm going back home for dinner though, and then I'm coming back." There probably wasn't much difference if he went home for dinner or not. His parents were never home and he never actually ate anything anyways. He preferred to go to the park in the freetime, and usually the little Irish immigrant children would come to him for a story at that time. "I'll see you around then."

1/27/2009 #40
Phoebe Powers

She nodded, slightly disappointed that she wouldn't see him at dinner. Lillian offered up a small smile. "Then perhaps I will see you in another class after dinner."

1/27/2009 #41
The Star Catcher

"Maybe," agreed Warren. "I should be going now. I've got mathematics next, and the teacher hates it when we're late." He bade her good-bye and swiftly headed towards his next class.

(You wanna skip a couple hours to dinnertime?)

1/27/2009 #42
Phoebe Powers

She smiled and watched as he left before she headed to her Etiquette class. Leah was waiting when she walked in the door. "What is this I'm hearing about you and Warren Hester?" she questioned.

Lillian blinked. "What do you mean?"

"Come on Lilly. We have been friends long enough for you to be able to tell me about these things. From what I've heard Hester is a nice fella, a little quiet but nice."

"There is nothing going on between Warren and I. We are friends and nothing more."

"You would tell me if it was something more, wouldn't you?"

Lilly nodded as she took her seat. "Of course I would."

((Sure...we can skip ahead.))

1/27/2009 #43
The Star Catcher

(All right...I'll be at the park then. This can be during dinner or after school, either way works)

1/27/2009 #44
Phoebe Powers

((Let's just go to after school.))

Lillian waved goodbye to Leah and Margaret as she walked out of the school. The weather was nice and she did not feel like she wished to go home just yet. She had very little homework to worry about and she knew her parents would be busy until at least dinner time. It was also commonly known that she went to the park or to visit with her friends before going home so they wouldn't worry about her.

With a smile Lillian turned in the direction of the park and walked away from the school.

((To the Park))

1/27/2009 #45
The Star Catcher

(From Charley's Diner, next day)

Warren was a wreck. His tie was loose and askew, his already messy hair looked like a nest, and his eyebags were so large they practically swung around like pendulums when he turned his head. He clumsily tossed his books under his desk and rested his face in his hands. If he had a choice, he wouldn't be in school right now. However, this morning he was practically dragged to the school and thrown through the doors. He was absolutely ridden with worry.

2/8/2009 #46
Phoebe Powers

"You must tell me everything," Leah said as she caught sight of Lillian, who had just entered the building.

"What are you talking about?"

"You and Warren Hester. I heard that you two were at Charley's last night."

"There is nothing going on between Warren and I."

"I don't believe you, Lilly."

"It's the truth. Please, just drop this topic of conversation, all right? I'd rather not talk about it."

Leah looked at her friend sadly. "I'm so sorry..."

Lillian looked back at Leah. "No, stop thinking like that. We are not like that. He's just a friend."

"If you need to talk, you know where to find me."

"I am fine Leah, though I may not be if you make me late for class. I'll see you in Etiquette, okay?" Then without waiting for an answer she headed for her first classroom, moving to her seat and getting her books out and her notebook ready for notes. That was when she started to glance around the classroom and noticed Warren. He didn't look well at all. It made her wonder what was going on. Perhaps she would get to ask him about it later.

2/8/2009 #47
The Star Catcher

Warren saw Miss O'Malley with another girl outside the window. That could've been Leah or...who was the other girl? Margaret? His brain wasn't functioning properly at the moment. He rubbed his face, hoping that the gray of his eyebags would slowly disappear. Catching his reflection from the mirror of a girl in front of him, he noted that the attempt was futile. He groaned and hid his face in his arms, struggling to think of an escape plan.

2/8/2009 #48
Phoebe Powers

Lillian looked at Warren for a few moments but turned her gaze to the front of the class as the teacher walked in. She took a deep breath and turned her notebook to a blank page, ready to take down all the information she could. She would have to talk to Warren later.

2/8/2009 #49
The Star Catcher

Warren really wanted to talk to Miss O'Malley. Sure, he had only known her for three days, but that was longer than anyone else besides the O'Sullivans. Besides, he needed to talk sometimes. People didn't know it, but he sometimes just had to let things out, which was why he had his 'sister' Roseanna. He tore a segment of paper out of his notebook and scrawled down messy words:

Want talk you after class.

Grammar was not on his mind when he was writing this.

2/8/2009 #50
Phoebe Powers

Lillian sat there and took notes. She wanted the class to be over with already. Usually she didn't feel this way but she really felt that she needed to speak with Warren.

2/8/2009 #51
The Star Catcher

How was Warren going to give the letter to Miss O'Malley inconspicuously? He quietly balled up the paper and waited for an oppurtune moment.

"Everyone, turn to page one hundred and thirty-two in your books," the teacher announced.

As all the students were bent over the books and the teacher turning to the chalkboard, Warren took the moment to toss the note over everyone's heads. The paper hit Miss O'Malley squarely on the ear. Warren flinched and cursed his bad aim. He was trying to throw the paper right onto the desk.

2/8/2009 #52
Phoebe Powers

Lillian practically jumped as she felt something hit her ear. She turned and looked to see a wad of paper on the ground. For a moment she looked around then she picked it up. Uncrumpling the paper she read over it and glanced back at Warren for a moment. Then she nodded slightly, hoping that he saw it. Before the teacher turned away from the chalkboard to look at the class Lillian moved the piece of paper and hid it in the back of her notebook before continuing to take notes.

2/8/2009 #53
The Star Catcher

(Just a heads up, I won't be here from Wednesday of this week to Tuesday night of next week. Band/Choir Florida trip, here I come!)

Warren hastily finished the notes as soon as the class ended. He was very glad; as good and important as education was, he didn't like writing notes unless it was for history. He gathered all his belongings and approached Miss O'Malley.

"Hey," he said quietly as other students filed out of the classroom.

2/8/2009 #54
Phoebe Powers

((That's okay. I'll be in Italy from Feb 28-Mar 10))

Lillian looked at Warren. "Hey," she answered. "You wanted to talk to me?"

2/8/2009 #55
The Star Catcher

"Yeah," he said, making sure no one was listening. "I hope I didn't worry you. Really, it's not absolutely dreadful, but...I just want to relieve my thoughts and such, you know?" He glanced around again and sighed. "It's a disaster in the O'Sullivan's place. Sylvia's worse now; she's even bedridden. Conlan apparently won't talk to anyone and Mr. O'Sullivan, Joseph, he's been fired from the factory because Dad--the boss was paranoid about unions and fired practically everyone that he thought was a striker. The only good thing is that Joseph is a writer and writes stories in newspapers and books under a non de plume, so now that's their only source of income at the moment. I'm worried about them to death, but I don't know what to do."

2/8/2009 #56
Phoebe Powers

"Oh no. That is awful," she answered. "I...I wish there was something I could do to help them. From the time I spent with them yesterday I could tell that they are a good family."

2/8/2009 #57
The Star Catcher

"I wish I could do something too," Warren muttered. "But I don't know how. I feel bad. If Dad--the boss didn't fire Joseph, things could've been a little better. He's so paranoid and cynical. He already hired thousands of strikebreakers."

He glanced at the clock. "I was thinking...I could sneak out during dinner. The rest of the school day really is pointless to me. The classes are easy; I could sleep through them and easily pass. Maybe I can help them out, get them a doctor, anything."

2/8/2009 #58
Phoebe Powers

"The most I would be able to do would be to help with the children. I...my family...we are not very...wealthy." She paused and looked away from him. "I'm only here because of my test scores."

2/8/2009 #59
The Star Catcher

"That's all right," Warren said. Why did she seem ashamed about it? He would be much prouder if he got in the school because of just his test scores than if he was wealthy. "You think we can sneak out during dinner? Better decide quick, you may be late for class."

2/9/2009 #60
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