American Drama Fiction

Have you ever heard the saying "Your worst enemies can be your strongest allies." This is the story of how that happens in life.

Darleen Johnson and Brenda Brewer lived on opposite sides of the tracks. In the little town of Grapevine, Texas that was how we were segregated in the 60's. This was an old agricultural community that at one time had 6 cotton gins, a feed mill and lots of dairy farms. In the 70's it was beginning to transform into a suburb between 2 cities that were growing like wildfire. Darleen was the daughter of a home builder. Some years they were lacking for nothing, and some years they barely made ends meet. It always seemed to be extreme one way or the other, never just average.

Brenda's dad was a truck driver hauling sand and gravel locally though occasionally did long hauls for better pay. He was a hard working man and their family was close knit. The two girls started school together in kindergarten. These were the first years of desegregation in Texas.

Being a small town it was not viewed of as a problem since most of the lives of the people intersected on a daily basis. The only black elementary school was closed and soon vandalized after. Brenda was big for her age and stood up for herself, having older brothers taught her to how to take a stand when being pushed around. Darleen was the apple of her Daddy's eyes and found out she could charm her way into just about anything she wanted to do. This is were the trouble started.

School had only started a few days before the girls clashed. Ms. Baum was a German refugee from WW2 and a no nonsense person when it came to conflict. The girls spent a lot of recesses sitting in the office of the principle Mr. Koonce and he made sure they were never in the same classroom throughout elementary again. Junior High is were the fires were flamed and both girls went out of their way to hurl insults to each other. They were trying to top the insults in everyway possible. Then came sports. Volleyball matches were fought like boxing matches whenever they got the chance. This did improve both girls skills for the game but it was only during a game that they could put their animosity aside. Whatever sport one would go out for the other would sign up for spite. If a couch was yelling at someone it was usually one of them and they would be yelling back.

Then came High School and the showdown that would change there life. Coach Levin signed them both up for the debate team. Of course they always wanted to debate each other and it was always a three ring circus. Both girls brought in props that would set the other off and singing telegrams were sent with witty insults to their each other. It was so bad for a while there was talk of dismissing their teacher for not putting a stop to it. Then the girls started out trend each other. What ever was the latest fad to wear they would always add something more outlandish to outdo the other. Whatever the debate was about set the trend of what they were wearing, from bellbottom jeans that took up half the hallway to hair styles that look like beehives. If there was any kind of media hype the girls were taking sides and debating it.

Any class the girls shared the teachers would ban them from talking about the latest debate. As time went on the girls interest turned to boys. Darleen started dating the star quarterback her senior year. Brenda had been dating the running back since 9th grade. Darleen boy friend David Tucker and Brenda boyfriend Kenny Ray were friends. They both loved sports and were always training together. They also had plans to join the Marines after high school on the buddy system. You would think this to cause problems for the boys. "Nope" The boys played the girls rivalry every chance they got. David and Kenny where always spilling the beans to what the other girl was fixing to do. Their ploy was as long as the girls were fighting with each other they were too busy to fight with them. When the boys wanted something from their girlfriend they would tell them it was a already being done by the other couple. You would think anyone would see right though this. But this is history when black and white couples started to seriously compare what was going on in the other cultures around them. The girls had their last debate 3 week before graduation. The topic was abortion. The whole country was divided and the girls took sides and went into the debate with a no surrender, no retreat, and no mercy attitude. Abortion had become legal just a short time before this. The pro and cons had been fought in

court and both sides had plenty of ammunitions. It went from "this is nothing more than murder" to "no one wants these children". After an hourlong debate the tide was changing and everyone there was suddenly surprised. What was thought to be a ploy of playing the devils advocate the girls starting agreeing of the importance of women deciding for themselves what happens to them, right down to the basic concept of life itself. By the final lines in the debate, both girls were in tears. No longer were they fighting each other they were sharing a piece of there own souls. No longer were they disagreeing but were forming a united front that the entire school could see. It didn't take very long to see both girls were experts in the matter. Both girls were with child. The last thing said was that it did not matter if abortion was legal as long as it was unthinkable. This story has a happy ending. That summer in a double wedding the couples were married. Instead of joining the marines a new adventure happen for the two young men as they went to work on the Alaskan pipeline..

The girls became neighbors living next door to each other and becoming the best of friends. When the men returned from working in Alaska they started a equipment rental business together and a few years after someone offered them more money than they had made since they started it. Still friends they both found a new path to follow living in what is now a city in itself. If you are interested in what goes on there they are two women on the school board there who can tell you what's new in Grapevine to this day. As for as there daughters who where born 3 days apart "That is a different story".

February 04, 2021 02:29

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