Walking A Fine Line (46)

After an eventful day breaking, entering, and peeping, Samantha Flint awoke the following morning ready to pay a visit to Annette Gardner. She arrived at the picturesque colonial, smirking. She threw her  cigarette nub on the ground and extinguished it with the toe of her spiked heel. Proudly, friendly even, she knocked on the door and awaited Annette as her alter-ego Hope Lovejoy.

“Oh hello Annette! How are you this morning?” Before Annette could answer, she said, “I was out for a little stroll and I was in the neighborhood, so I thought I’d stop by and say hello.”

“Hello, Hope,” said Annette awkwardly. “You do realize it’s 8:00 in the morning?” she said with a laugh. Samantha seemed unmoved. Annette laughed and said, “Of course, please, come in.”

They entered the living room, and they sat down on the window seat. Samantha said, “Annette, honey, I’ve been meaning to ask you, are you and Redmond…on the outs?”

Annette was put-off. “Um, well…Hope, I don’t believe that’s any of your business– But since you asked, Red and I are not on good terms for the time being,” she said, as she lightly rubbed her stomach.

Samantha laughed, lacking any cordiality. “Oh, well, I can’t say I’m surprised. He cheated, am I right? Well, it wouldn’t be the first time. You know, he has an insatiable desire for what he can’t have. I remember as a kid, he probably had a dozen different girls at once. I don’t mean to sound rude, Annette darling, but I’m surprised he actually married, let alone married a woman like–like you…he prefers blondes.”

“Hope,” Annette said, very hurt, “You’d better leave.” Samantha showed herself to the door. Annette felt even more betrayed than before.

Michael Falcone was looking awfully good to her right now.

***

“Oh Mom, I gotta hand it to ya, you got good taste,” Elaine Gardner said, twirling in the mirror in her mother’s wedding dress.

“Of course I do, dear. Don’t I read Seventeen? Speaking of taste, taste this,” said Laura, shoving a piece of cake in Elaine’s mouth.

Elaine rolled her eyes and said with her mouth full, “Mom! Watch the dress! I don’t need to look like a fatty on Friday with cake falling outta my dress!” said Elaine. The wedding was coming, and she would have been beyond stressed if she had done it all by herself.

“I’m sorry, dear. Just leave everything to me. Oh yes, I meant to tell you. Instead of sending invitations, I made phone calls to all our guests. Teddy’s parents and his brother will be up tomorrow. They dropped everything, they’re so excited. So what do you think of the cake? I’ll tell you you need to like it, because I’m in the process of frosting it now.”

Elaine looked at her mother in amazement. She could do it all, but so few people gave her credit for it.

“And dear, I’ve told everyone the reception will be at our house in the yard. I called Betty Abernathy, and she’ll be decorating tomorrow. As for music, your father’s little army friends from the band will be playing, but don’t worry, I’ve got a radio so we won’t be scratching our ears out. I think I’d die if I heard them for more than ten minutes.”

Elaine could only hug her mother. She would always be super woman to her. Laura continued, “And food. Yes, food…well, Dooley down at the diner’s known you since you went through your fat years, and he told me he’d cater. I think that’s about it dear. You’re getting married on Friday!” said Laura, planting a kiss on her daughter’s cheek.

Elaine caught sight of herself and her mother in the mirror. “So this is life? Well, it’s perfect,” she thought.

END

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