A Music Man Fan Fiction
Notes: The following is a deleted scene that is set after the Flag Day ceremony when Harold Hill announces forming the River City Boys Band. I own no characters from Music Man. This is a story I started working on two years ago after I was in Music Man with the Amherst PTA that I finally got around to revising. Thank you to Midworfian Greenleaf for your editing expertise!
Zaneeta Shinn could not stand living in River City Iowa. One thing she especially hated was all the gossip. For months there had been people spreading horrible rumors about Marian Paroo the local librarian . She personally liked Marian and couldn't understand why people would spread lies about her all around town.
Within the walls of River City High School the gossip was centered around Zaneeta's budding romantic relationship with Tommy Diljas. Tommy was the leader of a gang from the neighboring town which often caused trouble in River City. People seemed to overlook the fact that Tommy and Zaneeta both shared strong leadership qualities and often shot her pitying looks in the hallway as she walked past. Looks that said "Oh, it's the mayor's wife. You know, the girl who hangs out with the loser from across town." A group of girls often crowded around Zaneeta's lunch table but she often wondered how many of them were actually wanted to be friends with her or how many of them just wanted to be friends with her because she was the mayor's wife. She was very much alone.
As if her social issues at school were not enough of a downer her father didn't have very much support for her relationship with Tommy either. Her parents would much rather prefer to see her with an upstanding gentleman from River City.
" I don't see what you see in that whippersnapper Tommy Diljas." her father was always the one to instigate the conversation.
"Harold Hill obviously saw something worthy in both of us." Zaneeta pointed out.
Her father glowered at her. "Don't try and change the subject."
Zaneeta blew her bangs out of her eyes in frustration.
"Tommy's not as bad as you think as he is Papa."
"What proof do you have of that? That firework that went off in the gym could have injured your mother and dozens of other people."
"Surly you can't let an accident cloud your judgment of him."
"An accident that clearly could have been disastrous."
Eulalie Shinn put her hand on her husband's shoulder. "George, just give her a chance to talk would you?" she said.
Zaneeta shot a hopeful look at her mother. 'Maybe she'll take my side." She thought to herself.
"There's a side of Tommy I see that you don't Papa."
"Why do you suppose that is?"
"Well if you knew what was going on at school maybe you'd understand."
Her parents stared at her.
"What on earth are you talking about Zaneeta?" Eulalie asked.
Tears suddenly sprang to the edges of Zaneeta's eyes.
"People are always making judgments of me.. thinking I'm snobby because I'm the daughter of a politician. They also make fun of me because I date Tommy."
Her mother looked like she was about to say something but before she could say anything Zaneeta looked at her father angrily.
"People at school don't understand Tommy and neither do you. You obviously don't understand me either or else you'd see that Tommy is probably the only friend that I have."
George Shinn was completely speechless. Zaneeta stormed off to get ready for her date with Tommy. On her way up the stairs she passed her younger sister Gracie.
"Zaneeta will you read me a story?"
"Sorry, Gracie not right now. I have to get ready for my date with Tommy."
Gracie noticed her sister was crying. "What the matter?"
"Just fighting with Papa again about my relationship with Tommy. What else is new?" Zaneeta muttered.
Zaneeta got in the shower. Once she got out and tied her hair in a bun and then went into her room to get ready for her date with Tommy. She put on her favorite blue sun dress and then started to put her make up on .
She heard a knock on her door.
"Gracie, I told you. I'm getting ready for my date with Tommy."
Her mother peeked her head in.
"Sweetheart, can we talk?
Zaneeta's muscles relaxed… she nodded her head.
"Yes, Mama. I don't have a lot of time though. I have to meet Tommy in 10 minutes."
Eulalie sat down on her daughter's bed and patted a spot next to her.
Zaneeta felt like she was a little girl again. The tears that had come to her eyes came rushing back.
"Why does Papa hate Tommy so much?"
"As you were saying downstairs I don't think he hates him but he does seem to pass judgments on him."
"Don't you do that too?"
Eulalie nodded. "Sometimes but I don't mean to. I notice that the two of you seem to have a unique connection."
Zaneeta's tears continued to fall.
"Don't cry my darling." Eulalie rubbed her hand up and down her daughter's back comfortingly.
"I just wish Papa could understand that Tommy is really the only person that's a true friend to me. As I said downstairs no one at school really understands me and everyone seems so fake."
"How come you never told us you were having so many problems at school Zaneeta?"
Zannetta shrugged. "It never came up in conversation I suppose."
"I love you dear."
Zaneeta kissed her mother on the cheek. "I love you too Mama. I have to go now. Tommy is waiting for me at the Candy Kitchen."
When Zaneeta got to the Candy Kitchen she instantly forgot about her argument with her father when she saw Tommy.
"Hey, you're a little late."
Zaneeta looked apologetic "Sorry Tommy. I got in another fight with my father. You know how he is about us being together."
"What's got him so tied up in knots about it?"
Zaneeta shrugged. "Beats me. I don't want to talk about that right now."
Tommy smiled. "Discussion closed. Come on, let's go in and order our sundaes."
They ordered their ice cream and grabbed a booth over by the juke box. Their waitress was quick with the delivery and soon they were digging in to their sundae.
Zaneeta let out a frustrated sigh.
Tommy looked at his girlfriend. "What's on your mind?""
"I just don't understand WHY people have to be so judgmental of us? My father included."
" They know I'm the rebellious type but I can prove them wrong."
"Maybe dating you will help me to settle down a bit."
Was he using their relationship as a ploy?
Zaneeta was quiet.
"I mean that in a good way of course. " He was quick to clarify and then reached under the table to comfortingly squeeze Zaneeta's hand.
"Let people talk. I don't care what they say or what your dad says."
She noticed ice cream was dripping down his chin. She grabbed a napkin and caught it before it reached his lap.
They finished their sundaes, left a tip on the table for the waitress and left the Candy Kitchen to go the library. Zaneeta needed to go get some books out for a school research project.
Tommy felt Zaneeta's hand slip in to his. He smiled. He looked around and noticed people were whispering. He didn't care what they were saying. Why should he? He loved Zaneeta and that's all that mattered.