Violet was beginning to think she’d never join the party when the doorbell rang yet again. She opened the door and her heart sank. She pasted a smile on her face, however, and said, “Hello, Helen. Come in.” Violet stepped back from the door and waited for her to come inside, but for whatever reason Helen stood as she was, seemingly fuming mad.
“What are you doing here?” Helen said, glaring at her. “Victor said you two broke up and that you wouldn’t be here.”
Violet opened her mouth to answer, but could not find one to give. “What a lovely costume. I’m sure Victor will love it,” Violet said, sweeping her eyes over the curve-hugging dress, oddly enough almost an exact match to the one Catherine wore, only Helen’s was in a cobolt blue. At least they weren’t both trying for Marilyn Monroe. Helen wore a flaming red wig, not platinum blonde. Violet vaguely wondered if they would have a cat-fight over the dress anyway…or because of Victor?
“You’re Ginger from Gilligan’s Island, right?” Violet said, still holding the door open and wishing she’d come in already. The night air was not good for the baby, which slept peacefully in her arms and knew none of this.
“No, I’m Ann Margaret. She had a long-standing affair with Elvis, if you recall,” Helen said, finally slinking in. In her heels she towered over Violet even more than usual and Helen seems vastly pleased with that fact.
To her dismay, Violet found herself hurting. Victor hadn’t confided his choice of costume to her and yet he told Helen whom he barely knew? Or perhaps she was grossly mistaken in that and Victor and Helen…well, it was none of her concern now, was it? She forced another smile and slowly closed the door.
“Well, you’ll find Elvis…I mean Victor, surrounded by his fans. I’m sure he’ll be happy to see…” Violet stopped and frowned at the door which refused to close all the way. This time a large dark hand prevented her closing it. When she opened the door again, she gasped.
There stood Cleopatra, absolutely stunning in gold silk and next to her was a buff Roman Gladiator--Russell Crow only wished he looked that good!
“Omigosh! Jocelyn you look beautiful!” Violet gushed.
“See why I keep her around? She’s good for the ego,” Jocelyn said to Marcus.
“Plus, she’s very cute,” Marcus said, reaching out to flip one of her strawberry blonde curls. “You look good, uh…Shirley.”
“You should talk!” Violet retorted her eyes wide. “Va-va voom, Marcus! Sexy legs!”
“Call me Spartacus!” he bellowed.
“Yeah, all right,” Violet giggled. “Love a man willing to show off his legs in a short skirt.”
“At least since Braveheart,” Jocelyn said. “Where’s Victor?”
Violet turned in time to see Helen slink away presumable to find Elvis. “Oh, he’s entertaining his fans, no doubt,” Violet said, waving them inside and to the living room.
Just then Laurie came into the foyer. “There you are! Trying to steal my baby,” she said, reaching for her child, only to stop short, astonished to find him sleeping. “What is he doing sleeping? I could have sworn I heard him crying just now. My boobies are leaking and everything.”
Violet cringed while Jocelyn and Marcus laughed. “Laurie, remember when the kids say TMI? This is one of those times,” Violet said.
Laurie shrugged and took the baby. “Cleo and…um… who are you, Marc Antony? Whoever you are, you’ll just have to get over it,” she said.
Jocelyn then introduced her to Marcus and they walked into the party chatting away. Violet at first followed but seeing Helen nearly draped all over Victor, she instead veered off to the kitchen. Once there, she found Flora with two new kids Violet had never seen before. They were twin black boys, about 4 years old, one dressed in army fatigues and the other as a sailor. They were cute as anything but painfully thin and sullen faced. They reminded Violet of starving Zimbabwe orphans.
“Violet, I forgot to introduce you to our newest angels, the Jefferson twins. They’re very hungry,” Flora said, as she filled two plates for the boys.
“Hello,” Violet said, smiling at them. Her smile faded, however, when they just stared warily back, not saying a word. “Which one is which?”
The sailor spoke first. “I’m Aaron and this is my brudder Adam.”
“Well, it’s nice to meet you Aaron and Adam. It must be nice that you have each other. I know how much I relied on my brother when we were kids and I still do,” Violet said. “Would you like some milk?”
Adam whispered to his brother and Aaron nodded, both of them looking suspicious.
“What do we gotta do,” Aaron asked.
“Uh…what do you mean?” Violet said, frowning slightly.
“Ain’t no getting’ nuttin for nuttin,” Aaron said, sounding much older than he was.
“Well,” Violet said, casting a pitiful look at Flora. “A smile would be nice.”
The boys gaped at her, even more suspicious now. Adam, again, whispered in his brother’s ear and Aaron—obviously the spokesman for the two—nodded. “Okay,” Aaron said, frowning at her. Perhaps he didn't know how to smile? He then leaned over and said to his brother, “Yeah, not the right color, but she gonna give us milk, so just gotta watch her.”
Stunned, Violet caught Flora’s eye and saw the same astonished reaction on her friend’s face. Flora brought the two plates to the table and the boys jumped up onto their seats and shoveled food into their mouths quicker than Violet had ever seen anyone eat outside of an eating contest.
“Slow down, boys. You’ll get sick if you eat too fast,” Flora said.
“Gotta, ‘fore somebody come take it away,” Aaron spoke between mouthfuls.
“No one will ever take your food away here,” Violet said, while pouring milk into two plastic cups, and bringing them to the table. “From now on you will always have enough to eat and if you ever feel hungry, you come to me. I’ll feed you good food day and night, any time, every time, you hear me?”
The two boys stared at her for a few seconds, then exchanged looks. Adam whispered to Aaron who simply nodded. “Okay,” he said, and they went back to eating, with the occasional surreptitious look at Violet.
Flora turned her back to the boys and whispered. “They only just came to us two hours ago. They have not stopped eating since. They were found out in the street picking through garbage with their mother dead in the alley from a drug overdose. They’ve obviously been abused and near starved to death. I haven’t gotten one word out of Adam and barely anything from Aaron. That’s the most he’s said right now to you.”
“They don’t trust anybody,” Violet whispered, looking over Flora’s shoulder to the boys. “Who can blame them?”
In the time they were talking, the boys had cleaned their plates and were half done with their milk.
“Would you boys like some dessert?” Violet asked. “There are some nice things here. I made cookies, cupcakes and brownies and there are candies of all sorts. It’s Halloween so you can have all you want. I’ll show you, if you like.” She held out her hand. Adam flinched and covered his head with his arms.
“Don’t hit him!” Aaron shouted.
Violet gaped, open-mouthed. “I would never do that!” she said. “I was just going to help him down from his chair.”
“I’ll just get a few cookies and you can share, okay, Aaron and Adam?” Flora said, quickly filling a plate. “Come out into the living room and you can eat out here. The kids are playing some fun games. Maybe you’d like to join in.”
Violet pressed her hand to her chest as she watched them scoot off their seats, give her another suspicious look, then follow Flora into the living room. She shook her head suppressing the tears that threatened and followed them out.
More people had shown up in the meantime. Diane had come with her adorable daughter, Heather, both dressed as fuzzy bunnies. Heather bounced over to her as soon as she saw her.
“Hi, Miss Violet! Dis is a great party,” Heather said, hugging Violet about the knees, before she hopped away to join the fun.
“Thank you, sweetie,” Violet said, looking around for Victor—or Elvis more like-- and, of course, his ever-present sidekick. She could see neither one. Had they sneaked away to the jungle room? Violet didn’t want to think about it!
Luckily she wouldn’t have to for long. Her thoughts were instantly swept in another direction when Jocelyn waved at her from across the room and headed her way. Before they met in the middle, out of nowhere came Aaron and Adam who stopped in front of Jocelyn.
“Hello!” Jocelyn said. “I don’t think I know you.”
The boys shook their heads and simultaneously shouted, “You’re the right color!”
Marcus, who had been a few feet behind, burst out laughing. "They sound just like you!"
“See? I’ve been saying that for years and no one ever believed me!” Jocelyn said. “I like you boys already!”
Before she could say another word, the boys each took hold of one of her hands and smiled at her. Aaron, of course, spoke first. “I’m Aaron and dis is my brudder Adam. We’s gots no mama no more, cuz Mama done died. You wanna be our Mama?”
Jocelyn’s jaw dropped. Violet who had never seen her friend speechless, took advantage of the silence. “I think you’ve made new friends, Cleo,” Violet said. “Or should I say Mama?”
“Hmm…this is interesting,” Marcus said, looking from one boy to the other.
“Interesting?” Jocelyn shrieked, staring at the boys as if they were alien beings. “This is what you call interesting?”
“Well, it is if the boys are looking for a daddy, too,” he said, smirking. “I’ve been told I make a very good daddy.”
Jocelyn gaped, her eyes the size and color of silver dollars. “What are you saying, Marcus?” she mumbled.
He put his arm around her and led her and the boys away. “Something that’s been on my mind of late. The boys just reminded me. Let’s talk. Excuse us, Violet, won’t you?”
Violet nodded mutely and watched them walk down the hall toward Victor’s office. An hysterical sort of giggle erupted out of her when she realized what this meant—at least what she suspected was on Marcus’ mind-- and she rushed out in search of Victor to tell him the happy news.
Unfortunately, she found him, in the laundry room of all places. He was in the middle of a fierce argument with Helen. Violet stopped in her tracks and turned around hoping she hadn’t been spotted. No such luck.
“It’s because of her isn’t it?” Helen shouted, pointing at Violet.
“Violet,” Victor said, surprised to see her. His eyes roved up and down her cutsie costume and he smiled. It was the first time he’d actually seen her since he arrived at the party. “You look prefect as Shirley Temple.”
“You said you broke up with her, but she’s still here like an albatross around your neck.”
“Really, Helen, how could Violet ever be called an albatross? Look at her!” Victor said, turning his gaze on Violet. “She’s pure as the snow at the south pole, as sweet as pie and more loving than anyone has the right to be.”
Violet warmed under his gaze and had to fight the urge to throw herself into his arms.
“You’re still in love with her!” Helen screamed. “Admit it!”
“Yes. Good of you to catch on at long last, Helen. I've only been saying it for two days now,” Victor said. “Now, if you’ll excuse us, Elvis never had Shirley Temple in my jungle room as far as I know and now’s my chance. I’m sure you can find your way out.”
With that said he took Violet by the arm and half dragged her away, leaving Helen fuming.
“Victor, what are you doing?” Violet said.
“Tonight I’m Elvis and Elvis always gets what he wants and right now he wants you,” he said. Before she could respond he had her in his arms and was kissing her soundly.
Elvis always gets what he wants, huh? Worked for her!
Photo Credit: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m5fa5o5Lgx1qir6s9o1_400.jpg