Now what? Her choices were few. She was going to have to explain to anyone she knew why she parked where she did. Of course the last thing she would do is call Anna Belle. Bunny took her mobile phone from her pocket and started strolling through her contacts.
Just as she was reaching the M's, a pickup truck pulled over. Great, Bunny thought, now I have to deal with some wild ass Y chromosome who thinks I am "in distress". But she was in luck. The door opened and out jumped Larry.
"I know there's a good reason you are standing by yourself out here on the highway. And I cannot wait to hear it."
"Well my car got towed?" she pointed to the signs.
"Why in the Sam golly were you parked out here on the road?"
"I was invited to a party at Harrison's and when I came back to get my car . . ."
"It was gone," Larry finished her sentence with a laugh. "And let me guess you were too embarrassed to go ask Harrison for help." Before she could say anything, he added, "I don't blame you."
"They're really nice people. It's just that all his family is there."
"Come on, get in. I'll take you to the Sheriff's office so you can find out where they took your car?"
"So how was the family?"
"Well let's just say his daughters did not inherit Harrison's warm personality and charm."
"Well, Mr. Harrison is a very nice person. And so was his wife."
"You know him?"
"Oh yeah, he hired me to help build some garden benches a year or two ago. He worked on it just as hard as I did. And it was August. Most men 'round here of his standing would have never broken a sweat, much less beside someone they hired."
She smiled. Harrison was quite the man. By that time the were at the county sheriff's office.
"Run in and pay your fine. Then they'll tell you where your car is. Get the receipt and we'll go get it."
Bunny jumped out of Larry's truck and went in to pay her fine. Naturally since her car was the only one towed that day, they were aware of the situation. Mike, the Deputy looked up, "Well, well, well, if isn't Miss Vontese. Tell me," he smiled,"if you were visiting the folks at Ivy Lane, why were you parked on the street?"
"Well, it's a long story," said Bunny just wanting get her car.
"I got plenty of time Miss Bunny," he said as he leaned back in his chair.
"Mike, it's no big deal. Or at least it wasn't until you towed my car."
"It's the law mam," Mike said getting up and coming from behind the desk. "Don't worry there's no charge. Bud with Woody's Wrecker happened to ride by just as I was writing you a ticket. I flagged him down. He didn't have anything else to do. So I figured that was a sign and he brought it in for free. Follow me and you can get your car," he walked down a hall with Bunny trailing behind. She followed him.
"Oh, I was happy to do it. It was a great way to get your attention. Besides, now you owe me something," Mike said looking over his shoulder at Bunny. "You owe me a date. If you remember, you broke a date with me."
"Mike, that was in high school! Besides I did not break the date, I was sick in bed with the flu."
"Whatever, well now I am going to get that date I wanted. What night are you free this week?"
"I'll have to look at my schedule, I have been busy lately."
"Just remember, one call and Woody will send you a bill and I'll issue you a ticket. It ain't cheap."
"That's black mail," protested Bunny.
"Call it whatever you want to, I want to hear from you no later than Tuesday night. We'll have a good time," he said with a wink.
As she got in her car he handed her a card with his mobile number on it. "Call it whatever you want to, but I expect to hear from you no later than Tuesday night. We'll have a good time," he said with a wink.
"Thanks Mike," she said as started the Grenada and drove out of the parking lot. Larry was surprised that her car was at the station. She thanked Larry for rescuing her. She did not tell him that there was no charge, the conversation that followed, or the consequences she may face.
She walked in her place and just fell down on the sofa. How much worse can this day get? So far, in the past 6 hours, she managed to under dress for a lawn party, fail to impress Harrison's 2 daughters, lose her car, and now she was "indebted" to Mike for a broken date. In addition she needed a new car, nothing fancy but, if she did not want to be humiliated everywhere she went. Suddenly it was time to get past sentimentality.
Her phone rang and naturally it was her mother asking about the lawn party. Bunny kept the details as simple as possible. She had almost finished when she remembered Tula. "Mama, who is Tula? There was a lady at the party who said you knew her. She asked me to tell you she asked about you and would definitely be by to see you before she left town."
Anna Belle was incredibly calm when she asked, "What else did Tula talk about?"
"Nothing, that I can remember." Noting her tone, "Then you must know her. She is one of Harrison's cousins."
"We go way back."
"So she said."
Anna Belle quickly ended the conversation.
That was odd, Bunny thought. She must be distracted with something.
Harrison called Saturday night to check on Bunny. She told him how nice it was to meet his family. He apologized for the way his daughters talked to her. "Since they went to a boarding prep school, they both are prone to have their noses in the air. Especially Belva. The more you get to know them, the more you will like them."
Bunny thought,yes, but I doubt they will ever like me. Then caught herself, "Well your Aunt Cordelia is so sweet."
"Everyone loves Aunt Cordelia."
"By the way, I met your cousin Tula. She seems interesting. Apparently she and my Mama go back a way. Mama's never mentioned her name before. In fact I had never heard of her until this afternoon."
Harrison thought before he said anything, "Yes, Tula is very interesting. Between me and you, she is not my most favorite cousin, but I'll share that with you some other time."
They talked for a while, shared their pleasantries, then they hung up.
Lying in bed that night two things kept running through her head - who was this Tula and what the Hell was Bunny going to do with Mike. She had just gone to sleep when the phone rang.