Aunt Cordelia stopped, Are you sure you do do not want a glass of lemonade dear?"
Bunny replied, as sweetly as she could, "No mam, I'm quite fine." And thought to herself, for God's sake don't stop now.
Aunt Cordelia continued, "It was going to be the wedding of the season. Many parties, balls, teas, and brunches were planned in honor of the couple, both in Gallagher and Mobile. Although Anna Belle's family was not a member of the Assembly in Gallagher, Anna Belle was presented at the Camellia Ball in Mobile as Beau's date. Anna Belle's mother could not have been prouder.
Anna Belle was a lovely young lady - tall, thin, and blonde. She was very patrician looking. And although she did not come from money she had been brought up with all training, graces, and manners to be accepted into that crowd easily.
The Butlers were throwing a lavish party for the couple on their wonderful lawn. There was a band, BBQ, and lots of drinking. After the parents left, the young folks partied until the wee hours of the morning. By 2 am there were only a dozen or so guests sitting around the fire under the spit where the pig was slow cooked earlier. John Dueise stood up to make a toast. Beau feared John was so inebriated he would fall into the fire, so he stood behind him and held onto John's belt.
It was a cheerful, friendly toast that was almost unintelligible. Not to be out done, being another of Beau's groomsmen, Quinton Gallagher stood and said some words. John looked at the ladies and said,"Surely someone has something to say about the bride."
They all laughed. Tula Wells stood up. She was shit faced drunk and mad. She raised her glass half full of bourbon. "Here's to the lucky couple. Maybe the bride will be happier than she was 5 years ago when she ran off to Atlanta," Tula looked at Anna Belle and laughed."You did better this time, Beau's no traveling salesman. selling vacuum cleaners."
There was a silence among the group. Then a trickle of laughter. Tula stood there, "Don't believe me, ask her? Maybe she can entertain us with her tales of staying in cheap motel rooms with that man. I can assure you Beau's mother knew better. She knew the kind of lady Beau should marry. And it wasn't trash from the other side of town."
Bunny just sat there. She didn't know what to say, how she felt, or how to react.
Cordelia continued, "Bunny, it really wasn't her fault. She was young. We all have mistakes in our past."
Jesslyn Maybank stood up. "That's enough Tula. You should be ashamed of yourself. This night is for Anna Belle and Beau. Why would you say such things?"
"Because they are true. Beau needs to know the white trash he is marrying." With that Tula sauntered off.
Anna Belle was stunned and just sat there, almost afraid to move. She could not believe this had happened. Beau came over and hugged her. "Honey I don't know what happened or but I still love you. Don't let her upset you."
"But Beau," Anna Belle whimpered.
"This is between you and me. You and I are getting married in two weeks. I promise, OK?" He reached down, kissed her, and held her tight.
Quinton, John, and the others stood there, helpless. Finally Robert, who had yet to say anything spoke up. "Tula is such a bitch. Who would say such a thing?"
Jesslynn looked at all of them, "Y'all have to promise me and Beau and Anna Belle that not one word of this will go any further." They all did with total support and walked over to comfort Anna Belle.
It didn't take long for Tula to make sure the right people knew the story so it would get to Beau's mother. And his mother's reaction was exactly what Tula wanted. She was livid. She immediately called Beau to her room."