Monday, May 5, 2014

Ch205 On the cover of People Magazine

“Girl, you have some explaining to do!”

“Huh?” Violet said into her cell phone…at least she thought it was her cell phone. Could be a shoe for all she knew! It was ringing though and shoes rarely ring, after all so... She could not for her life open her eyes to make sure one way or the other. Blast those pills she had to take last night! They always knocked her out for nearly ten hours and left her fuzzy and disoriented for another six. So, right now, she didn't know up from down.

“So, you leave Catalpa Valley for the first time ever…”

“No…went to Ni-gra falls…and ‘fore dat city for… uh… for birthday…” Violet mumbled into the pillow, but to whom she was speaking she couldn’t quite tell yet, and why for the love of all that is holy was this person--sounded like a woman--bothering her at this ungodly hour?

“Are you hung-over too?” the women shrieked.  “Luvy, you better start talking or I swear I’m coming down to Miami to find out what’s going on for myself.”

Miami? That struck a cord. Wasn’t she currently in Miami with Sophie? No, not quite…they were now in Orlando, staying in a luxury condo Laurence Van Gholston rented for them all for as long as the kids had their gig at Downtown Disney. But what did that have to do with the price of tea in China? Try as she might, Violet didn’t know what this person…oh, it finally dawned on her who it was on the other end…must be Jocelyn! Of course it was. She recognized the sassy, boisterous voice now.

Who else would be this bright and chipper so gosh-darn early in the morning? Wait…was it early morning? She’d have to look at the clock on the night stand to know for certain, but that seemed like too much effort--she’d have to open her sealed-shut-with-cement eyes for one thing. Not likely!

“Violet....” she said in a sing-song voice, full of mirth.

“Huh? Yeah, um…what?” Violet mumbled, clearing her dry throat as best she could. She must have eaten half her pillow and one of Sophie’s teddy bears in the night. 

“Lily-white girl, are you there?”

“Anyone ever tell you you’re a total racist?”

“Only you!”

“Highly doubt that,” Violet muttered.

Raucous laughter, rich and full, filled her ears so much so that she had to remove the phone directly from her ear, lest she go deaf. “Well, you are! Anyway, what’s all this about?”

“Oh, why don’t you tell me?” Jocelyn said. 

"Hey, you called me, remember?"

“Just wondering what’s become of my favorite white girl, is all.”

“Incorrigible you are. I’m fine, nothing much new,” Violet mumbled.

“Seriously, you’re actually going to say that?” she scoffed.

“Well, you are, but anyway. Sophie and the guys are doing great here and…”

“Not that!”


“Incredible, you are.”

“What do you mean?”

“Okay…I see now it's gonna be like pulling teeth...So... there I was at the store getting my usual morning coffee and croissant and I overhear a couple of old biddies talking ‘bout the newest celebrity conquest of Catalpa Valley’s very own perpetually grieving widow. I thought sure ‘nuff they be blowing smoke up my butt, but then I pass the newsstand and what do I see on the cover of People magazine? There she is, our sweet little Violet on the arm of yet another handsomer-than-the-devil-himself billionaire—with a big ol’ fat B, mind you—at some snazzy hot stop in F-L-A. Honey-child, for a girl who shuns being the subject of gossip, you sure have a knack for it. You’re the talk of the town…again.”

All this was alien to Violet. It all buzzed around in her drugged out mind like so many bees in an over-populated hive. What in the world was Jocelyn going on about? Croissants and old biddies, smoke and billionaires and gossip and….wait…Gossip? Talk of the town???

Violet shot up to a sitting position and nearly fell out of her small, twin-sized bed. She grabbed her head as the world spun out of control at double speed, and she fell back against the pillows before she really hurt herself.

“Jocelyn?” she moaned.

“Yeah, baby, it’s me. You all right, Hun? Burning that candle of yours at both ends ain’t doin’ ya too good, huh? You really ought to ease into it, you know.”

“No, I…I took one of those stupid pills last night and … oh, I feel ready to puke.”

“Aww…world spinning inside your little head again, huh? I feel ya, but that don’t give you no right to keep me outta the loop! I’m your bestie! I should be down with everything you’re doing.”

“My what?” Violet said, her head aching so much she couldn’t help but wish she would just drop back into a dreamless sleep, and quick! She didn't much care for her head spinning while laying perfectly still.

“Dovy, it’s too early for text-speak or slang or whatever language you’re talking. What is it you want? Can’t it wait ‘til I feel better? I need to sleep.”

She didn’t mean to sound so whiney and to put off her best friend in the entire world, but Jocelyn had always been like this in the early morning—bubbly, hyper and bright as the sun itself, which didn’t make any sense at all because she was also a night owl.

“I’m talking about you and this new hottie of yours! What? Having a rich lawyer fawning all over you like a love sick puppy and showering you with expensive gifts wasn’t enough for you? You had to go steal LP Van Gholston from Scarlet Johansson? Or was it Gyneth Paltrow? Mah, you know I can’t tell one blondie white girl from the next.”

“What?” Violet said. “You are not making any sense. What do I care about any Hollywood idiots and who is LP Van …oh!” Violet finally got those eyes popped open but the sunlight streaming through the sheer curtains made her snap them shut again just as quickly. It was simply too bright out there!

“How in the world do you know about Laurence?”

“So, it’s true?” Jocelyn shrieked.  “You were actually out on the town with that guy? He owns half of Florida! How in heaven’s name did you even meet him?”

“No! We’re not dating, of course not, but…Sophie…she…uh…well, it was Bug, I mean Scott…no, Rance… yes, it was Rance who introduced his father to us…Mr. Van Gholston is Rance’s dad and leader of the band and…uh…had dinner at their mansion and…”

“Dang, girl, you’ve not only been living the life of a rock star, but you’ve been keeping it all to yourself! And all this time you thought the world ended at the border of Catalpa Valley!”

Violet waited for the laughter to die down--took a while--before childishly replying, “I did not!”

“Oh, my ever-loving God, Violet! Whatchoo been up to?”

“Nothing, it’s just…Sophie has friends in high places, of which not even she was aware of at first, because…well, it’s really a long story and I’m sure you have better things to do than listen to all that nonsense,” Violet said, and boy did she fervently wish this was so! She really didn’t want to go into it all, not over the phone and not if Jocelyn was going to spread it all over town as she was very likley to do if Violet idn't first swear her to secresy. “I’ll be home soon and then we can chat.”

“Violet Bennett, I swear I will kill you from where I sit if you don’t tell me something right this minute!” Jocelyn said.

“But I just did!” Violet protested.

“You told me nothing! Or is it you’re in bed with that hunka burning love at present and you are the one who has better things to do?”

“Jocelyn, no! Of course not! Sophie’s right here sleeping. She’ll tell you.., if I can wake her up.”

“Oh, don’t bother. If you insist on keeping this from me than I shall retaliate and not tell you a single thing of what’s been going on here, but I don’t suppose you care, what with your new wealthy lover to violate in a dozen different ways and all,” Jocelyn teased.

“What’s been going on back home?” Violet asked, though not very enthusiastically. Violet knew Jocelyn could never keep news to herself for any time longer than necessary.

“Well…if you must know,” Jocelyn said eagerly. “There is a certain Ebony queen who is getting married to her Mahogany prince.”

“Well, I know that. I was there when Marcus asked you, remember? At the Halloween party,” Violet said. "I had little doubt you would say no."

“No, I mean…like… now,” Jocelyn said.

“What?” Violet said. “What do you mean now?”

“By the time you come back, I’ll be married,” Jocelyn said. "We're doing it today. Reverend Williams is meeting us in little over an hour."

Violet must have heard wrong. “But…but you can’t! I thought you were going to have a huge, elaborate, fantasy wedding. Doves and limos and flowers and seven layer wedding cake and…”

“Vi! Stop, it’s okay,” Jocelyn said. “I don’t need all that anymore. I realize now, that’s for superficial people who don’t see the big picture, but I do. You have shown that to me.”

“Me? How’d I do that? What did I show you?” Violet asked.

“I saw you with Richie remember? Two kids barely out of high school with nothing to your names except endless love and complete and total trust in each other. You made it work with so little and ya’ll were solid as a rock. I want that, Violet, I have that now. I found my very own Richie. I have Marcus, and he’s the absolute love of my life. Plus now we have our kiddos, too. Adam and Aaron are the best little boys you can imagine, and…believe it or not, and a absolute surprise it is to me as well, that’s all I need and I’m just not willing to wait any longer for it. You’re not mad at me, are you?”

“Mad? Why would I be mad?”

“I was your maid of honor kind of, and I always said you’d be mine and now…”

“Oh, Honey, that doesn’t matter, if this is what you want,” Violet said, tears welling in her eyes. “I just want to see you happy. Oh, Jocelyn, you are happy, aren’t you?”

“I never thought it possible to be so happy, not after all that’s happened, but I am…so very happy. I just wish Mama was still here to see it,” Jocelyn said, her voice choking up ever-so-slightly. “I owe it all to you.”

“Well, I wouldn’t say that. Marcus is Victor’s friend. He’s the one that thought of the two of you together, it making sense and all. I was a bit wary of another musician in your life, but…He’s such a great guy, that Marcus. ”

“Yes, he is!” Jocelyn said, laughing. “Well, we’ll be gone for a few weeks and…”

“What? Where?”

“On honeymoon, of course. I’m leaving Mio Caro in the very capable hands of Diane and…”

“What about the boys? Are they staying with…”

“No, they’re coming with us.”

“You’re not serious! You can’t take the boys on your honeymoon,” Violet shouted. “Let me come back home and I’ll…”

“No, Vi, it’ll be fine. We’re going to visit my brothers in Mississippi, spend Thanksgiving there and then to Alabama where I’m going to meet his family. Then it's Disney World as a family, his kids and our kids, all of us together as one big family,” Jocelyn said. “It’ll be fun. So, don’t worry about it, okay?"

"And are you sure you can't wait until I get back?"

"Don't you think I've waited long enough?" she asked softly. "Vi, listen. It's Thanksgiving, the best time to go away, when things are as slow as they get for both Mio Caro and Marcus' club, so..."

Violet sighed. "Yes, yes, I have waited far longer than anyone should," she replied. "All right, Dovy. Go start your life together, Go enjoy your new family."

"Thank you, Luvy. I'd suggest you do the same, but I won't bother. You'll do what you feel is best in your own time, I imagine. And now that you have a choice between Victor and billionaire LP Van Gholston...well, you'll need plenty of time to figure that one out! So, I'll see you in a few weeks. Oh, and, remember, you have to tell me everything when I get back. Enjoy your time away. Bye-bye, Luvy.”

“Bye-bye, Dovy,” Violet said, even though she already had heard the click of disconnection.

She held the phone to her ear for another minute wishing now Jocelyn was still teasing her about Laurence and a dozen other things, anything to keep at bay the sudden loneliness she now felt creeping up on her. 

Things were going to be very different now, but she couldn’t exactly tell…not just yet…if they would be good or bad?

In her mind's eye, she saw her friend happily busy with her new life partner, new kids, new family, and she saw herself empty, alone and so very sad and pathetic. It was like a menacing witch had just cast a spell and Violet and Jocelyn switched lives.

She drew in a deep breath, gulped the distaste from her mouth and squeezed her eyes shut tight. She would NOT begrudge her friend this wonderful twist of fate. Jocelyn deserved this amazing, wonderful thing, this family, this love, this long-withheld dream at last fulfilled.

Violet brushed aside these wayward thoughts, these incongruous feelings and slowly a smile slowly touched her lips. 

“It’ll be good ...of course,” she whispered. 

Nothing else would do.

©2014 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved     

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