Once, after a particularly long night, an old man had dared to tell her what he thought of her attire and asked her how her father felt about her going out like that. Franka had told him exactly what she thought of him with every colorful English phrase she could think of, and then moved onto German.
The old man left at the next stop.
If experience has taught her anything, it’s that men underestimate women at every turn.
Her last boyfriend (if you could call him that) marveled at her modern appearance and was shocked by her modern – said with a great more derision – attitudes. Erik was one of her brother’s co-workers at the meat packing plant. Franka was sure that Stefan had invited him over for dinner with the express purpose of finding his sister a good solid fella. She was even more certain that her sister-in-law, Beatrix, had put him up to it. It annoyed her, but at the same time, it had only been weeks from when she’d almost let herself fall for Boyd, so she figured her own choices had been lacking as of late.
Erik had been nice. He was polite and complimented her a number of times. He made Stefan and Beatrix smile and he played with Maria and Lukas before dinner. Most importantly, after a night, Franka had decided he was just boring enough to be safe. There was no way she would fall – hard or any way at all – for him.
So when Erik asked to see her again, she agreed. And after that, he asked again. Soon, the majority of her nights off were spent with him. She even switched with another waitress so she could spend a Saturday night with him. That had raised an eyebrow at the bar – Franka hardly ever missed a Saturday night at Lord’s.
But Erik had spent that evening telling her about his vision of their future. She would, of course, quit that job at the speakeasy so she could be with him and stay home with their kids. No wife of his would be hawking moonshine, showing off her stilts to heaven and everyone under it. Furthermore, she wouldn’t need to be reading anymore of those silly pamphlets about socialist paradise. They would be so happy together.
Then he smiled goofily and asked her what she thought. And Franka – being Franka – answered his question. Very honestly.
Beatrix had yelled at her for almost an hour after Stefan told her what happened. Stefan just laughed helplessly. Franka had disappeared when Beatrix turned on Stefan, and hiked over to Lord’s.
So seeing the disapproving glances of the older men on the L is not surprising to Franka. At this point, it’s almost welcome.