When I first met Nathan she preferred the name Nathalie. I was walking down the street after visiting the library when she got shoved into me by a brunette, who know goes by Harry. My books scattered everywhere and I just about punched her but then she rolled up her sleeves and told Harry she’d kill her some other time. Her hair was a perfect black and her blue eyes are crystals. She had bruises all over her face and arms.
“Sorry about that.” Nathalie said as she bent over to pick up my astronomy book. I could feel myself relax and breathe finally.
“That’s fine. Maybe you shouldn’t be fighting with Harry though. She’ll kill and she’s only 19.” Nathalie scoffed like that was the dumbest thing I could have said.
“Harry would only kill if it was worth it. Like if she got enough potatoes. You understand?”
“Yes, no need to be rude about it.” Nathalie then examined me as though she was weighing the options of whether she should deck me or not. Thankfully, she went with not.
“Hey, I’m Nathalie.”
“Adelaide.” She kissed my hand. That was the beginning of the end. We went to the cinema, dinners, and walks down Broadway. She even would buy me presents every so often, but at that time I could not figure out where she got the cash for that. Then after a year of that she asked me to marry her and I just about died with excitement. I’d been begging for months by that point. I would plan and then hate it and plan an entire different wedding the next week.
Nathalie decided to go by Nathan right after we started dating. I did not mind though, it suited her. With this switch though, the money become less and less. She would leave every evening and come back ragged. So I got a job at the Hot Box. It was intimidating at first because I was proud of myself but hell no one had seen me in a swimsuit except Nathan. I met some other boys like Tallulah. He was the star of the Hot Box and he made it so I was always in his backup dancers and it came with a serious social boost and money increase.
Then I met a woman by the name of Brannigan and things got better from there, except I never understood why Nathan met with an up and coming cop. She said cops would ruin her before then. But afterwards, Nathan always had cash again and he was everyone’s friend on the street. Those who awere around and about were also really pleasant to me since I had been Nathan’s guy for 5 years by then.
Then Rusty Charlie found me on the street on night after my shift at the Hot Box. Nathan hadn’t been there but it was typical that she missed a few. I assumed she went out with some of the gals. Rusty Charlie saw me every so often but she was from Brooklyn so Nathan told me not to talk to her. Rusty Charlie pushed me against a wall down an alley way- her breathe smelled like a bad whiskey.
“I need your red carnation Adelaide. Your doll won’t let me in without it.” Lone Louie spit on the ground.
“Won’t let you in where? Nathan is probably at the movies tonight, they won’t let you in with just a red carnation.” Rusty Charlie smirk and caressed my cheek.
“Honey, you don’t know where he goes at night, do you? He runs the infamous floating crap game.” Rusty Charlie pushed off the wall and walked down the street towards Mindy’s.
Nathan got back close to five am. It was typical but I was supposed to be asleep.
“Hi Pudding face, what are you still doing awake? Are you feeling sick?”
“I am sick. Sick to my stomach in fact. I ran into Rusty Charlie today and she told me to give her the red carnation you gave me before my show. And would you like to know what else she told me? Just guess Nathan.” I saw the sweat bead down her neck. My heart was racing and I could feel my knees trembling. Finally she spoke.
“Gee babe, you know that Rusty Charlie isn’t really a good gal. She came by the movies earlier and had whiskey on her breath. You can’t trust people like that, Adelaide.” Her voice cracked on trust though.
“A crap game, Nathan! That’s illegal! How could you do that to me? What if you got arrested, then I’d be here all alone? Do you even realize that?” I began to scream at her. I couldn’t help the tears that fell, I’d been holding them all night. “I swear, I’ll pack my drawer and leave Nathan. You have to promise me you won’t do this anymore or I’ll throw this engagement ring out the window.”
“Adelaide, pigeon, don’t! If I promise not to the run the game anymore, will you stay? I love you, you know that. I’ll do stop if it’ll make you happy.”
Just like that I was head over heels again. And so the cycle began until Sky Masterson came into town in 1950.