Chapter Four: Harvey Gabor
So this was it.
Pizzazz paused outside the door of the hospital sideward, a frown marring her features. Not for worlds would she admit how mixed up and how terrified she truly felt. Anger was pretty much the only way she ever let herself show her true feelings in public, but this was beyond anger now and she had been only too glad to get rid of the attentive Stormer for a while. Though later, perhaps, it might be a comfort to have her there, right now was something she needed to deal with herself.
The room was stark and white, unnaturally quiet, and it gave her chills. She had never liked hospitals, and she feared death. This scenario, if she was honest, lived on in in her nightmares, for, distant as she and her father had become, she was afraid to be all alone on the planet.
Carefully, and slightly awkwardly she sat down beside the bed. One part of her wanted to alert a nurse and demand to know his condition, but another part held her back, anxious that the news would not be the kind she wanted to hear.
He was very still. She frowned, reaching to touch the pale white fingers, then drawing back. What should she do now? Should she talk to him - would he hear her? Would he want to hear her?
"You look dead." murmured, reassured only by the heart monitor at his side which bleeped at intervals. "Dammit, Daddy, why did you do this to me?"
She bit her lip.
"Was it...because we rowed?" She wondered aloud. "Oh God, Daddy, I didn't mean...After all, it isn't the first time we ever rowed." She frowned. "Oh, who am I kidding? More likely it was work. I'm just another inconvenience to you, aren't I? That's all I've ever been, isn't it, Daddy?"
Her green eyes clouded over, as she remembered something from her childhood...
The teenager halted in her surrepticious climb of the stairs, turning to face her father with a fair amount of defiance. So she'd been caught, well, big deal. Her father's presence at home was not frequent enough to enforce any kind of real discipline, and who gave two hoots what the housekeeper said, anyway?
Harvey eyed his only child sternly.
"Where have you been?" he asked her. "And what time do you call this?"
"I've been out." Phyllis retorted, unrepentant. "And it's none of your business where. You're never here, anyway."
"Enough of your lip, my girl!" Harvey snapped. "I asked you a question and I want an answer. It's two in the morning and you should be in bed - you've school tomorrow."
"If you know the time, why ask me?" Phyllis shot back. "And hang school! Who cares about that kinda stuff, anyway? It's not like I need to graduate and get a job, is it?"
"You'll do as you're told, Phyllis." Harvey was fast losing patience. His frown deepened. "Have you been drinking?"
"Drinking?" Phyllis opened her eyes wide. "Well, I ain't drunk, if that's what you're fussed about. I gotta have some fun, Daddy!"
"Phyllis, you're fourteen!" Harvey thundered. "You run about town half-dressed and now you're drinking underage? Where is this going to end?"
"What do you know about anything I do?" Phyllis was bitter. "I'm surprised you even know my name these days. And if you want me to go to bed, well, you're the one keeping me up!"
With that she turned on her heel, stalking up the stairs to her bedroom and banging the door loudly behind her, tossing herself down on her bed as she considered the unfairness of it.
"If he doesn't want me finding other ways to have fun then he ought to be a proper father." she decided, reaching for her nightgown. "It was just a little fun, anyway, he needs to lighten up. Fourteen's not that young and it's not like I'm doing anything so very bad. Who cares about a few drinks here and there and a couple of late nights? It's not as if I'm doing drugs or anything!"
There was a knock on her bedroom door, and she frowned.
"What?" She demanded.
"Phyllis, you know as well as I do that I have a flight to Rome in the morning and I want this settled before then." It was her father's voice.
"Oh, go away, Daddy." Phyllis retorted. "I'm going to bed, leave me alone. Go to Rome. As if I care what you do or where you go anyway!"
There was silence, then the sound of footsteps moving away down the corridor.
Phyllis buried her head in her pillow.
If only he had come in, Harvey would have seen his daughter's distress, and perhaps the bonds could have been repaired, but he did not and, alone in her room, Phyllis cried herself to sleep, only awoken the next morning by the sound of the housekeeper banging on her door...
Pizzazz closed her eyes, forcing away the memory. It was past, and
she could not change it by dwelling on it. Yes, she had been a
rebellious teenager, had hung out with older guys, had played truant
from school, had been kicked off the cheerleading squad for fighting.
But, she reasoned, it had been Harvey's
fault too. She hadn't asked him to ignore her and she hadn't made her
leave. Her frowned deepened at this. Even now, Pizzazz's sentiments
her long absent mother were fixed at the highest level of loathing that
could muster. In her eyes, the woman had destroyed any chance of her
having a proper family. Harvey had spent lots of money on spoiling his
materially, but he had not realised that a girl as spirited and
as the young Phyllis had needed more than just things to occupy her,
had needed people, too.
Ironic as it seemed now, Pizzazz's need to be the centre of attention stemmed largely from a desire to be accepted and welcomed by people. These days she had learnt that money could and did attract people, but it only heightened her insecurities, as she wondered who in the world she could really trust.
And, when she really thought about it, she wasn't sure that there was anyone.
Not even Harvey.
Chapter One: The Magazine
Chapter Two: A Phone Call
Chapter Three: Washington DC
Chapter Four: Harvey Gabor
Chapter Five: Answering To Eric
Chapter Six: Breaking Down
Chapter Seven: Riot
Chapter Eight: A Change Of Luck
Chapter Nine: Harvey's Proposal
Chapter Ten: A Cunning Plan
Chapter Eleven: As It Should Be
(The Misfits and Holograms and other animated Jem characters are copyrighted to Hasbro Inc. All characters who do not appear in Jem episodes are my own creation. This story is copyrighted to E.A Woolley (2001)