Saturday, January 14, 2017

Chapter 317 Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year, too

          Soumweve got a bit of a hitch, Freddy said, going for casual and missing the mark by a mile.
          Hitch in what? Victor said, popping a grape tomato into his mouth, washing it down with some scotch.
          Freddy grimaced rubbing the back of his necka tell tale sign he was going to impart some bad news. Remember when I said my mom wanted to surprise everyone by showing up here at your Christmas party?
          Of course, Victor said, swirling the ice in his drink before taking a sip. The partys for her. Where is she anyway? Thought you were bringing her.
          Yeah, wellsurprise! Shes not coming, Freddy said.
          Victor almost choked on his scotch. What?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Chapter 316 What should I do?

“Omigod, omigod, omigod.... what should I do? What can I do?” Violet mumbled to herself, her heart beating frantically in her chest. “How can I stop this...this...”

“Just don't panic,” Richard said.

“Don't panic?” she said through gritted teeth. “This woman whom I barely know is about to kill herself and all you can say is don't panic?”

“She doesn't really want to do it. She just thinks it's her only option. You have to convince her it's not, that's all,” he said.

“Oh, is that all?” Violet said, dripping sarcasm. “Then after I'm done with that easy task, I can wave my elderwood wand and POOF, world peace magically transforms the planet.”

“World peace will have to wait,” Richard said, placing a calming, ghostly hand on her shoulder. “This is more important at the moment, Violet. Just look at her. Does that look like a woman who wants to die?”

Violet didn't have the slightest idea what a suicidal person looked like. She only knew that people intent on living don't usually heap morphine pills--enough to knock an elephant on its ass!-- next to their evening tea. Violet bit down on her bottom lip and watched Mrs. Beckel casually flipping through an old photo album still humming a song...a familiar song that she couldn't quite place.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Chapter 315 The Cottage

Meanwhile back to Violet:

“Now, where were we? Ah yes, how we came to know dear Richie,” Mrs. Beckel said. “He was practically our son...really he was, even if he did have his own parents. Of course, they did pass, God rest their souls, all too young and rather tragically, too...poor dears. We, in a way, took their place. He used to come by nearly every day just to say hello and ask if we needed anything done around the house. He liked to help my Henry with the yard work. He learned quite a bit from Henry. Oh, that started about... Richie was, oh, I'd say six or seven years old.”

“Really? He never told me,” Violet said, glancing for the third time at her watch. It was getting late, but she didn't see any polite way of getting out of this quaint little cottage. Mrs. Beckel—bless her heart-- was quite the talker and it didn't help that she was deaf as a doorknob. She seemed to be trying to get her life story out before it ran out-- a sure sign of the isolation often seen with senior citizens.

“Can't be too isolated. She still has her husband,” Violet muttered under her breath. By this time she knew the old woman wouldn't hear her unless she actually shouted, so she was in no fear of being heard. Violet suddenly frowned and looked around her as Mrs. Beckel continued with her monologue. Where was Mr. Beckel anyway? Didn't he know they had company?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Chapter 314 Where is she?

“Where is she?”

Jocelyn, who glared out the window of Victor's house where the Christmas party was in full gear, was in near panic-mode. She impatiently watched for her dearest friend to finally get there. She hadn't seen Violet since she got married and that was well over a month ago...longest time they had ever spent apart except when she went back to Mississippi to be with her dying mother.

“Who ya talkin' 'bout, Mama?” Aaron asked, peering out the window too, his twin brother doing the same.

Jocelyn turned to smile at her newly acquired sons who stood side by side as always. She still got such a kick from being called Mama.

“Violet, of course. She should be here by now,” she said, concern giving her voice an edge.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Chapter 313 Never mentioned it before

Violet drove home on automatic, her thoughts everywhere but on the road in front of her. A small stack of gifts, all from her many thoughtful friends and co-workers, sat in the seat beside her making her smile slightly. She had just come from the employee and volunteer Christmas party at Weston Botanical Gardens. It had been lovely to see everyone and their families having a great time and enjoying the fruits of their labors. All the elaborate decorating, massive planning and hard work implementing it all was not just for the thousands of holiday visitors to the decked-out conservatory plus the festive outdoor light displays.

Violet had dutifully handed out carefully crocheted and knitted scarves, shawls, mittens and hats, plus dozens of colorful tins filled with tasty home baked treats and everyone seemed happy. The mood at the party was jolly, the music joyful, the food and drink good and plentiful, the entertainment spirited and the hearts warm and gracious. In a word everything was Christmassy.

So why was Violet feeling so melancholy?

Friday, October 7, 2016

Chapter 312 Several reasons for that

Come on, Mom,” Kenny said, after pounding on Violet's back a few times to make her stop choking. “I'm all grown up now. I can take it. The fact that my mother has a fiance is okay with me.”

I don't have a fiance!”

New boyfriend then,” he said with a careless shrug.

I don't have a boyfriend either!” she shouted.

For the luvagod, Mom,” he said shaking his head. “Stop this. You never tell me anything that's going on in your life, but that doesn't mean I don't know everything anyway. You are NOT the only person from back home who talks to me, so....”

Like who?” she said.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Chapter 311 Going home

Violet had just finished tying a decorative bow around the last gift she needed to wrap when she heard a car door slam just outside her window.

Goodness, that can't be Sophie back so soon,” she muttered as she placed the small package under the Christmas tree with all the others and went to see whose footfalls she heard crunching up the gravel path. Before she reached the front door, it flung open.

Merry Christmas, Mom!”

Kenny!” she gasped.

That's me!” he said, closing the door on the frigid blast behind him. “Your long lost baby boy is finally home. Still love me?”

She laughed and rushed to him. “What do you think, you silly boy?” she said. “I've missed you so much, Kenny.”

He scooped her up in a bone crushing embrace. “I've missed you, too, Mom,” he said. “Mom, are you getting smaller or am I getting bigger?”

She laughed and kissed him. “Probably both. Oh, Kenny, it's so good to see you.”

Good to be back home.” 

Let me look at you,” she said, stepping back slightly. “Still thin as a rail, and what is it about beards all of a sudden? Must everyone look like Grizzly Adams now?”

Who?” he said, shrugging out of his coat.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Chapter 310 Can't fool me

Sophie continued looking out the window long after Ronnie drove away and his taillights  turned the corner and were gone.

Can't fool me, Ronnie,” she whispered. “You put up a good front, but I know you're hurting. It wouldn't bother me so much except Rachel just isn't worth it. How I wish you could love me  as much as you loved her.”

She scowled at the unfairness, then looked up to the clear sky. It was filled with twinkling lights. Her blue eyes widened and it didn't take long for a smile to appear. It was a beautiful sight.

Maybe Ronnie actually was star gazing,” she said with a slight giggle. She had forgotten how many stars could be seen in Catalpa Valley on a clear night; billions of them! She hardly saw any in Miami, not with all that ambient light around the university and in major cities.

She wondered if she could wish on a billion stars and if it would make the wish that much stronger therefore more likely to come true. Well, why not? Why did it have to be wishing only on the first star you saw?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Chapter 309 What hurts the most

That was an awesome performance, Sophie,” Ronnie said as they started for home. He glanced at her and frowned. She hadn't acknowledged him in any way. She merely sat there staring out the window. This was very odd.

He tried again.

I thought because it was country music night that I would hate everything they played,” he continued. “There was lots that I never heard before, of course, but I really liked what you did though.”

He glanced at her again, but he barely got a shrug out of her. What the hell was up with her now?

Try it one more time.

I especially liked that one that went...  …What hurts the most...was being so close...watching you walk away...nothing much left to say..…♪ ♫

Sophie finally seemed to wake up. She sighed, shook her head and said, “Having so much to say and watching you walk away,” she corrected.

Yeah...that's it,” Ronnie said, smiling to himself. He knew getting the words wrong would get to her. “Who does that again?”

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Chapter 308 Under Advisement

The thing is, Simon,” Violet said, drawing in a deep breath before biting her lip. “It wasn't really an escape so much as it actually, my father kicked me out of the house.”

Simon choked on his tea. “Your father kicked you out of the house?” he repeated. “What could you possibly have done to deserve that?”

Uh...well...finial disobedience I suppose.”

Excuse me?”

She smiled ruefully. “Jane Austin called it finial disobedience when you went against... parental tyranny,” she said shrugging. “He found out about Richard and...”

Simon blinked, his mouth agape. “Are you kidding me? Your father kicked you out because you went to a football game with a boyfriend, the same guy you eventually married?”

Oh, that was just part of it. My father didn't think Richard was good enough for me, but it was a bit more than that...quite a bit,” she said evasively.

I'm sorry, but sneaking out a few times to see your boyfriend is not enough to get you kicked out of your house. Surely it wasn't permanent?”

You would think so, but yes, it was,” she said. “You couldn't imagine it because you have parents who practice unconditional love. My father did not...I discovered.”