Wednesday, August 23, 2017

It's A Family Affair

Bunny walked out and made her way to Ivy Lane. The drive way was full of the cars of friends and family. When she rang the bell, Belva answered the door. She looked a bit perturbed. "I cannot believe you would show up at a time like this when this family is mourning the death of my Daddy."

"Belva, I know, I was as shocked as you. And I loved him."

"Seriously, I guess you did. Any low rent Harlot like you would. Well, he is gone and we have no use for you at all." Bunny could see Liza approaching Belva from behind.

"Who is that?" asked Liza.

"Bunny Vontese, come to pay her respects. I told her we appreciated the thought but the family needed this time."

Liza looked at Bunny, "Miss Vontese, thank you for stopping by. We really do appreciate your thinking of us. I am sure you were very fond of Daddy. He never mentioned you after Wells' party so we did not know a lot about you. We are only entertaining those friends whom he was close to."

Belva ended it, "Have a nice evening," and she closed the door in Bunny's face.

Bunny was not sure what to do. She turned around to see some other towns people walking up to the house to pay their respects. She nodded to them and walked back to her car. This was hard to believe, finally she had met someone who truly cared about her and now he was gone. He had asked her to spend the rest of her life with him and no one believed her. His daughters were pure evil.

The day of the funeral, Bunny was concerned about what she would wear. She had found a pair of black espadrilles with a high wedge heel. She bought a pair of black stockings. Since she did not have anything else black to wear she decided her hot pink and green striped sun dress would do. After all it was the nicest thing in her closet. The wide stripes in a chevron pattern were like something she had never seen. Best of all she had a small vintage black velvet hat with brown feathers and a short black mesh veil that would partially cover her face. She had remembered at the last minute that it was in the bottom drawer of her wardrobe. Bunny had kept it all these years after her senior class play in high school.

The service was being held in the Church of the Seven Wells and Three Stones, the old Episcopal church in town. It was close enough for Bunny to walk. Knowing the service would start at 11:00, she left her house at 10:30 so she would arrive at the proper time. As she made her way down the side walk among other friends of Harrison's she noticed people paying attention to her. Some she knew and others she did not.  Perhaps, thought Bunny, they realize my chic outfit shows that Harrison had taste in women. Or maybe it is the hat and veil, so they know I am truly in morning.

She reached the church and started up the stairs. Tula met her at the top step.  "Oh my Bunny, I knew you cared for Harrison, but you would think he loved you or something. When will you get the hint he did not care at all."

Bunny tried to ignore her and open the large wooden door to the church, Tula pushed it shut. "The family asked that I remind you this is a family affair and they would not want you to be confused with the family. Things get so complicated around here. Since Harrison kept company with you at times, we would not want talk. It would even be worse than his being seen with your mother." With that Tula slipped into the church and the door closed behind her with a loud thud.

Bunny knew if she walked in there it would be ugly. She did not want that for Harrison. He deserved more, much more. She decided she would drive to the Oak Grove Cemetery where the old families in town and other dignitaries who passed away were buried. It was full of ornate grave stones, mausoleums, even a few pyramids - all monuments to themselves. Each trying to out do the other.

She parked at the back and walked through the grounds. It really was a lovely place. There was a grave dug and a few chairs near by. That must be where the graveside ceremony will be, she thought. She looked at her watch and it was already noon. Still there was no one there, not even Cliff.  Clint's Home of the Dear and Departed Deceased was handling Harrison's arrangements. Cliff was their main man.

By 1:30, Bunny knew something was wrong. She had looked up Harrison's obituary on her phone and it clearly said, "Burial to follow at the Oak Grove Cemetery." She was so distraught thinking about Harrison that she knew when they finally arrived she would be a hot mess. She feared making a scene. So Bunny drove home totally dejected and in mourning.

By Wednesday morning Bunny felt she could face lief and made her way into work. Life would go on. Della gave her a big hug. "You OK? I've been worrying about you. Sam and I did not see you at the graveside. I know you were there. We were going to see if you wanted to sit with us."

"Graveside? I waited at the graveside for an hour and a half. By that time I was so upset, I went home. What time did the service end?"

"Oh, gosh the service ended around 11:35, we were all at the cemetery by noon."

"At Oak Grove by noon?"

"No, the burial was at the lovely family cemetery at Ivy Lane. They announced that change at the end of the service. You didn't hear that?"

"Della, I wasn't at the service. Tula stopped me at the door and told me I was not welcome."

"God, she is worse than I thought."

"Well she got her way. I'm sure she was speaking for Belva and  Liza."

Wade dropped in to give Bunny a hug and tell her that he was thinking about her, "He was a nice southern gentleman. And I know you made him very happy. I had not seen him smile that much since Mary died."

"Thanks Wade, that's very sweet of you to say."

"Well, it's the truth. If I can do anything, let me know."

"I will."

The wilted roses were sitting on her desk. Now they were even more pitiful given the way they arrived and how petty she was over the Ball. She carefully moved the roses to a side table. They would stay there forever, if she had her way.

Sam came in later and offered his condolences. He was such a kind man. She asked if he would be leaving seeing as his "mission" here was over. "No, I've decided to stick around. This place grows on you. And, I'm quite fond of this sweet little thing over here," he said looking at Della.

A little later, Mr. Sweeny of Marlboro, Winston, McGregor, and Sweeny, the local law firm, walked in and asked to speak to Bunny. He walked in her office and closed the door.

"Miss Vontese, let me say first I am sorry for your loss. Harrison Wells was a fine man."

"Yes sir he was," said Bunny, trying not to tear up.

"But I did not come here to upset you. Actually, I am here on official  family business."

"For Harrison's family?"

"Let me guess, they have issued a restraining order fearing I will not leave them alone. Well, Mr. Sweeny, you can tell them there is no love loss between us. I assure you I have no desire to ever see them again."

"Miss Vontese, I have one question, did Harrison propose to you?"

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