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Sally Hayes's Night: A Catcher in the Rye Fan Fiction
Author's note: We just read The Catcher in the Rye in American Literature class. We had to do a fan fiction piece, portraying ourselves as another character in the book, in first person. I figured picking Sunny, the prostitute, was too easy so, I decided to go with Sally. You should read the actual book, though. You'll understand more of the scenes and the extra characters.
I pound down the stairs, hop over a few steps, and almost land on my pretty butt. Mother yells something about being careful and not making a ruckus on the stairs. I barely hear it as I check my reflection in the foyer mirror. Looking at that girl there, I see a slim and powdered face, every hair in place, and a black beret strategically placed on her head. I sigh. I also see dirty blonde hair, a large nose, thin lips, and pudgy cheeks. I’ll never be like Queen Bee Jeannette Cultz, with perfect straight golden blonde hair, a Roman nose, a slim face, and plump lips. I stand there, picking out every flaw in my face and body, until I forget the time, and Mother comes into the foyer.
“Aren’t you supposed to be going soon?” Mother asks.
I jump out of my reverie and, without speaking to her, I dart out the door. I’m late for my date with Holden. Well, later than I usually try for. Like Jeannette says, “It’s always nice to make an entrance.” I hail a taxicab on the street and, with my taxi fare in my hand, jump into the back.
“The Biltmore, please,” I say to the driver. He drives me to the Biltmore, at a turtle’s pace. I always get the slow taxi drivers. By the time we arrive, it’s already 2:05. I was supposed to meet Holden at 2:00. I hand over my money to the taxi driver, not caring about the change, and sprint out the cab onto the sidewalk to the Biltmore. As I start getting closer, I slow down to a stroll, just in case Holden’s anywhere near and able to spot me. It’s 2:10 and I start walking up the steps toward the lobby area. I see him, before he sees me. He’s wearing this insanely bright red hunting hat. Does he even go hunting? At least, his clothes look decent… enough.
“Holden!” I yell so he can hear me. “It’s marvelous to see you! It’s been ages!”
“Swell to see you,” he replies. “How are you?”
“I’m just marvelous. I’m sorry if I’m late.”
“Nah, you aren’t late.”
It’s so sweet when a fellow knows you were late and doesn’t act all sore about it. I mean, they should understand that we, gals, need time to look this good. We leave to go see the Lunts because they were the only tickets he could get. I’ve already seen the Lunts twice before, but I don’t want to make him feel bad so I act all surprised and giddy. We horse around in the cab on the way there. I mean, at first I didn’t want to, but he was giving me all this attention, like I was some goddess or something. What girl could refuse that?! Then, the cab driver suddenly slams on the brakes and Holden nearly falls off the seat. Cab drivers, I tell you.
“I love you,” Holden suddenly says. Whoa. Of course, I could never marry him. His behavior’s inconsistent. Plus, he tried to neck with me just a second ago when I told him not to because I was all prettied-up, though I can’t blame him. I must look really pretty tonight. I could do better than him, but for the sake of making him happy, I’ll be nice. I mean, I don’t want to be walking home tonight. I only brought enough money to get here.
“Oh, darling, I love you too,” I say and smile adoringly. “But promise me you’ll let your hair grow out. Crew cuts aren’t in style anymore and your hair’s so lovely.”
We go see the showing and by now, I can already quote some lines. During intermission, we exit the theater room and everyone piles into the lobby area, too. I’m standing there, talking to Holden about the movie, when I see George Staan over there all by himself! Now, George Staan was my high school crush before he graduated last year to attend Andover. He is looking all fine and handsome, with his dark gray flannel suit and checkered vest. Holden suggests I go talk to him so I do, but then Holden acts all sore about it. Don’t tell me to do something if you don’t like it. Jeez.
After the show is done, Holden and I get into a cab. I don’t feel much like going home. It’s the holidays and the whole family is there at home, especially the annoying little cousins, so I suggest to Holden that we go somewhere else. I’m in no rush to get home.
“I have a marvelous idea! How about we go to ice skating at Radio City?” I say. It’s such a marvelous idea! I always come up with marvelous ideas!
“Ice skating? Right now?” he replies. Why does he sound so incredulous? It’s a marvelous idea!
“Well, just for an hour or so. You don’t have to if you don’t want to—”
“I didn’t say I didn’t want to! Sure, sure. If you want.”
“Really? Don’t say it if you don’t mean it. I mean, I don’t care either way. Oh, by the way, I heard you can rent those darling little skating skirts. Jeannette Cultz did it last week.”
Now, I have to admit I’m not the greatest at ice skating… neither is Holden. Jeez, we’re wobbling and looking all crazy, well I look pretty darn cute in this little blue skirt. Holden keeps skating behind me so he can look at my butt. Oh boys. To be honest though, we are probably the worst skaters ever. Holden should be better at this! He should be a gentleman and help me! I’m looking all crazy and stupid and there are tons of dimwits just standing by the rink and watching! Not to mention, my ankles feel like they’re going to break off. Oh dear Lord, this is so embarrassing! I can’t tell Holden to stop, though. Ugh, it was my marvelous idea to go ice skating.
Finally after suffering for hours, Holden finally asks, “Do you want to go inside and have a drink or something?”
Yes! Finally yes! I want to say. I want to jump for joy and yell, but I calm myself down and say, “Why, Holden, that’s the most marvelous plan you’ve had all day.”
I am so relieved to take of those god-awful skates. We sit down at a table and Holden offers me a cigarette. Stop it, Holden; stop acting like you’re older, you’re not. I politely decline. Then he tries to act mature again when the waiter asks us to order drinks. Holden orders me a Coke, which is fine by me, but then he tries to order Scotch. For heaven’s sake Holden, this is embarrassing. He’s also doing this weird habit of burning matches over the ashtray and then removing his fingers when the match is almost burned off. I tell myself, He’s not that bad of a person; he’s just weird. Yes, it’s embarrassing to be with him, but you can last for just a bit longer right? The date’s almost over and then you’ll never have to see him again. …Oh, that’s right. He’s coming over to trim the tree.
“Holden, I have to know. Are you or aren’t you coming to trim the Christmas tree? I have to know now,” I say.
“I wrote you I would. You’ve asked me that 20 times already. Sure I am,” he replies. I have not asked him 20 times! He’s really coming over? I don’t want him to come anymore. He’s so embarrassing.
“Sally,” he begins. Then he starts talking about school, cars, movies, and elevators to me. I’m not interested at all. I keep looking at everyone else seated in their chairs. Great, there’s a nice-looking fellow right over there, and he’s looking at me! Oh wait, everyone’s looking at me… us.
“Holden, stop shouting, please,” I urge. He just goes on shouting. He’s drawing more attention. This is so humiliating. Tomorrow, on the front page of the newspaper is going to be a headline that says, Boy and Girl Causing Disturbance in Ice Rink. Oh dear, what could be worse than that?!
Then, Holden shouts something about running away with him. Ha! Me running away with him?
“You can’t do something like that,” I whisper loudly back at him.
“Why not? Why the hell not?” he shouts.
“Stop screaming at me, please.” People are starting to really look. Oh, this is so embarrassing.
He’s talking more about running away and how we’ll support ourselves. No, this idea is absurd. He’s yelling, he’s yelling, and then he starts to mutter quietly. This boy is inconsistent, I tell you.
“What? I can’t hear you. One minute you’re shouting, another minute you’re—”
He starts talking about how that wouldn’t work out, and how I wouldn’t understand and blah, blah, blah. I tell him that yes, I don’t understand and maybe he doesn’t either. Ugh, what a great night this has been! He’s ruined my night!
“Let’s just go. If you want to know the truth, you give me a royal pain in the ass,” he has the nerve to say. I’m in complete utter shock! My jaw drops and I am so piping mad at him. That sonuvabitch, excuse my language. He keeps trying to apologize but of course, I won’t accept it. No one, no one, has ever called me a pain in the ass, much less a royal one. Ugh, that stupid boy. Why did I even want to go on a date with him? I am so angry I’m crying. Oh, and he keeps apologizing and apologizing.
“C’mon, I’ll take you home,” he says. Ha!
“If you think I’d let you take me home, you’re mad. No boy has ever said that to me. I can go home by myself, thank you,” I reply. Then, he does the unthinkable. He laughs! Oh, the nerve! He has one of those loud, stupid, obnoxious laughs. Everyone was already watching us before, now everyone’s watching us. I’m so embarrassed and so mad at him now.
“Just go away,” I tell him. When a girl tells a boy to go away, don’t go away, you dimwit! I am about to yell back but he was only following what I said to him. Ugh, that stupid boy! So I’m there all alone, while everyone’s watching. They’re probably misinterpreting the situation and thinking that Holden rejected me. Oh, this night has been horrible. That boy! Oh! And I have no way of getting home! Oh, me and my marvelous ideas.
I raise my hand up to my face, trying to shield my face from the unwanted spectators. Sally, honey, you need to get up and out of here. You need to get home. Everyone’s looking at you and it’s not for a good reason. Stand up… in one-two-three! I get up from the table. Now walk to the skate counter, leave your skates, get your shoes, and go. I follow the orders in my head with a passive look on my face. Everything’s okay; nothing’s wrong. I’ll be fine.
Once I get outside, I realize I’m really lost. I don’t know where I am. I don’t go ice skating! I only decided to go because I wanted to wear that darn skirt! I’m not familiar with this part of the town. I try to ask a couple strangers but they brush me off. My heart’s racing; my palms are sweating; I’m on the verge of tears. I keep my head down, focus on my breathing. I don’t pay attention to where I’m going or how long I’ve been walking until I look up and see a dark figure in front of me. He’s tall and muscular enough, but don’t even think about good-looking. If I was being generous, I’d give him a three on a scale of one to ten, ten being a George Staan.
“Hey, hon. What’s a pretty thing like you doing all alone? You lost? Everybody’s lost in this world. I can help you. Name’s Maurice,” he says. By now, I’m so tired that I don’t know if I can even muster up the feeling of fear. “Hey now, there’s no need to fear. I’m here to help. You need money? I can get you money. Ah, but you’ll have to do something for me. You interested?”
I just want to go home. I’m hungry, tired, and cold. I nod.
“All right. All you gotta do is look like your pretty self and come to the Edmont in an hour. Got it, sweet pea? Don’t be late. You’re in for a good time,” he says as he slips me a card. “All the info’s on the paper, darling.” Then, he gives me a smile, a wink, and walks away.
I’m supposed to be there in an hour. An hour or so and then I can go home. I look on the paper and see the directions to the Edmont. I also see a room number and a time. What am I going to be doing? Is it that? Am I really going to be one of those? I mean, if I can’t be like Jeannette Cultz, will I really be like that? Just catering to any man for attention? For money? Will they like me? George didn’t like me; Holden didn’t, either. If I was Jeannette, they would all like her. She wouldn’t be called a royal pain in the ass by any fellow. I mean, I would call her that, but that doesn’t mean anything. Am I really doing this?
I start to walk and I don’t get very far before another dark figure pops out in front of me. It’s a girl, this time. She looks about my height, my age, and she has dirty blonde hair, just like me. But, it’s not a mirror this time. She’s prettier than me, if you overlook the heavy eyeliner around her eyes, the heavy blush on her cheeks, and the dark lipstick. The makeup adds years of maturity to her look. I bet she gets all the fellows. The green dress I see peeking out from under her coat is a gorgeous shade. Her eyes are also a striking hazel in the dim-lit street. Yet, her eyes look so sad.
She doesn’t say anything as she takes the paper Maurice gave to me, tears it into pieces, and throws into the street. I gasp and try to reach for the scraps as she firmly holds me back with her arm.
“What’d you do that for?” I ask/slur. I am so tired now, so very tired.
“Trust me, you don’t want to get mixed up in this business,” she replies. “It’s not a nice one, and you can do better. Run along home, now.”
“I need money!”
“Get money some other way. Not this way. You don’t want this for yourself. You can do so much more with your life. …And you’re so young.”
“We’re basically the same age! Some girls, I tell you.”
“No, we’re not the same age. I’ve seen some and done some horrible things that have aged me more than you should ever know. I’ve lost my innocence, my childhood, my dignity. But I was stupid and thought I had no choice. You do; be smart. Please, listen to me. Go home.” She sounds so exhausted. Her eyes look into mine and show me just how sad this life would be for me, the life she’s living. I nod and walk away.
“Here,” she shouts. She runs over to me and takes my hand. “It’s not much, but it’s all I made today. Take it and remember that you are beautiful in your own way, and you don’t need to be like me. Hold yourself up higher and don’t even think about becoming what I am. Don’t lose your dignity like that.” Then, she slips away before I can say anything else. I open up my palm and find a five dollar bill there.
I walk over a block and hail a taxicab. I fall asleep in the taxi and have to get waken up by the driver yelling at me. I hand him the five dollar bill and get out. Usually I would try to sneak into the house, but I’m so exhausted that I don’t even care about being loud. Nana is the only one waiting up for me. I walk right past her in the living room, up the stairs, and into my bedroom. I crawl under the covers, fully dressed, and lie there. Then, I cry. I cry for how stupid I used to be; I cry for what I was almost about to do; and, I cry for the green-dress girl.