Chapter 7 - Darn That Dream

10.7K 893 185

September 1939

At two-thirty in the afternoon, Jonathon climbed out of the back of the Duesenberg. Once James closed the car door, he followed closely behind as Jonathon walked up to the double doors of First Commercial Bank. Once they were inside, Jonathon took a breath, grateful for the cooler air. Even though it was the second week of September, the heat of the summer had lingered, and that day had been particularly hot.

Instead of getting in line to see a teller, he stood back and waited. Helen was counting out change for a middle aged woman, and as soon as the woman stepped away, she waved him over. He handed her the pouch that held the checks that had come into the office that week while a man at the front of the line looked on with a disgruntled frown.

Jonathon placed his elbow on the counter so he could lean closer to her. "How are you today, Helen," he asked as she took the small bundle of paper out of the pouch.

"I'm good, Johnny." she said, and began checking the stack of checks against the deposit ticket.

He smiled at his name.

After the disaster of Billy's party, he'd gotten the idea of taking the deposits to the bank himself instead of leaving it to an employee. It was the only way he could think of to see Helen. She'd still been mad at him though, and in fact, it was nearly a month before she'd been willing to call him Johnny. Prior to that, she'd been calling him Mr. Blackwell.

"How has your week been," he asked.

"Fine. How about you," she said without looking up from her work.

"Same as usual."

She lifted her head with surprise. "Hasn't it been extra busy at the mine? You were right about war breaking out."

The fact that she'd remembered their long ago conversation at the dance, made him smile with happiness again. Back then, he'd said Germany was going to start a war, and they had. After they invaded Poland, several countries, including England had declared war on Germany.

"It's been busier than usual this summer since it was obvious to everyone it was going to happen. But it's too soon to see an increase in orders for war materiel."

Helen sighed. "I guess when that happens, it'll be good for the men who need jobs, but I'm glad Roosevelt said we'd stay neutral. Here's your receipt," she said, handing him a slip of paper.

"Oh, I forgot," he said, reaching into his jacket for his checkbook. "I need to withdraw some money from my personal account."

He filled the check out slowly, stalling for time. He had to act now or he'd lose his opportunity for another week. "Would you go see a movie with me on Saturday?" he said quietly so the other tellers wouldn't hear.

"Johnny," she said with an exasperated sigh.

"It's just as friends!" he insisted in a low voice. "Nothing more."

She gave him a sad smile. "Didn't we try that already?"


Her shoulders drooped. "Why can't you let this go?"

"It's just a movie, I promise. Unless – you're seeing someone else?"

She dropped her head, and he held his breath. He didn't want to hear it if it was true, but he had to know.

"I'm not seeing anyone," she said, shuffling the checks together and putting them in her drawer.

"You're not seeing Walt Dwyer?" he said even more quietly.

The Man Inside the Iron Fence (The Boy in the Woods Pt. 2)Where stories live. Discover now