Mr. Metcalf goes to Hollywood
Summary: Jeff goes to Hollywood to bring Ginger back home.
Disclaimer: Homefront characters belong to their creators. No copyright infringement is intended. No profit is being made.
Author: Tracy Diane Miller
It was very late, and while the Metcalfs were known to stay up late reading, not a soul could be heard tonight. Along with the maddening frenzy to get the Christmas cards out in a timely fashion lest the family honor was compromised, everyone in the house was exhausted.
Well, almost everyone. There was one person for whom exhaustion had failed to claim.
Jeff lay in his bed, his body weary, but his mind restless. Tomorrow would be a big day for him as he once again boarded the bus for Hollywood. Last time, he had reluctantly made the pilgrimage to the land of movie stars to support Ginger on her quest to become a movie star. It proved to be an ill-fated quest, so he was convinced at the time and remained convinced. Acting was such a screwy profession and anyone who wanted to become an actor was screwy. He had hoped that losing at the screen test would dim the stars in Ginger's eyes and that she could happily settle back into the real world of River Run. In the back of his mind, he had plotted to ask her to marry him once again in the very near future. He loved her more than anything and he was certain that he could give her and their children a wonderful life.
But then, she had dropped the bombshell that she had cashed in her ticket and was going to try again to make it in Hollywood. It was a unilateral decision that she had made, without giving him so much as a by your leave. When he boarded that bus, hurt and rejected, feeling as if he didn't matter to her, he thought that it was he who was the screwy one to have entertained dreams of matrimonial bliss with such a screwy dame.
Ginger Szabo had turned him into someone that he could barely recognize- a sap; and not just any kind of sap, but the worst kind of sap there was- a sap in love.
Jeff had swallowed his pride in making that first call to her. They didn't mention the argument; instead, he wished her well and told her to give him a call to let him know how things were going in Hollywood. More importantly, he told her that he loved her. It was something that they had both needed to hear.
That initial call was followed by a several additional calls, which, as luck would have it, ended up with them bickering and trying to make up before they were disconnected by the long-distance operator. It was during their last conversation, when she told him that she had kicked a director because he had touched her inappropriately during
a "reading" for a part that he had resolved to bring her back home, no matter what. It was bad enough that she had been asked (and how turned down an offer to pose nude for a pin-up). There was no way that he'd allow some ham-fisted, silver-tongue Hollywood-type yahoo of a director to put paws all over his girl.
Mom wasn't too happy to hear that he was leaving on Christmas to board a bus to Hollywood. Yet, surprisingly, she had given him her blessing and some money for emergencies. He would leave River Run the next morning after the family attended Mass.
Jeff rehearsed in his mind everything that he would say to persuade Ginger to come home with him. She was such a stubborn dame, but he was clever; well, at least, that was what Mom always said—he was too clever for his own good. Hopefully, that cleverness would work for him once he arrived in Hollywood.
The incessant harmonica playing, the smoke from a patron's cigar blanketing the limited air supply on the crowded bus, and the all-too small seats that offered little comfort in the way of leg room, tried the patience of the already cranky aspiring ball player. A short while ago, they had stopped at a rest area. He had made the decision to grab a bite to eat. A ham sandwich seemed like a logical solution to ward off his hunger. The choice proved to be ill advised. Something was wrong with the ham, or the bread, or both, because now he had to ward off a nasty bout of nausea that the smoke was making even worst. Jeff closed his eyes, praying that the nausea would pass.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity (or cruel and unusual punishment), he arrived in Hollywood. After locating the address of the rooming house, Jeff entered the building ready to make his case only to receive the shock of his life- Ginger's landlady informed him that she had left a few days ago. The middle-aged woman said that
Miss Szabo wanted to surprise him by coming home.