My Life a Bit South of Normal

My Life a Bit South of Normal

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

We Came for Nice Ladies

Trying to remember who got off the bus, Ella only saw a young mother with 2 children and 2 teenage boys. 'This is just horrible', she thought.

The words had not gotten out of her mouth, when the bus drove off. In all the confusion of the band breaking up, the crowd going home, and the Mayor's miff,  Rayanne noticed 2 short oriental men standing there, each holding a bag in their hand. She turned to Ella, "You don't suppose. . . ?

Ella finished Raynne's sentence, ". . .how many older twin men do you think would get off that bus." Ella left Rayanne and walked toward the men. "Good afternoon, my name is Ella, can I help you?"

One of them stepped forward, "Us?" the man answered.  

“Yes, y’all.”

One of the men replied in broken English. "My name is John and here is the brother, Don. We came to look two ladies here."

'Well', thought Ella. 'These men did not favor the photos, the twins had shown her - not even close.' Ella smiled, "They are right over here." With that Ella led the 2 men over to Flora and Cora who were still standing at the bus stop. She introduced them. The Eldridge twins were stunned.

"Are you sure you are John Johnson?" asked Flora.

"Yes, and here is the brother Don."

Cora stood there not sure what to say. Finally she spoke. "But, you don't look like the pictures you sent."

Rayanne, trying to mitigate the disastrous situation, looked at 4 of them. "Lord, where are my manners." She introduced herself to the men. "Cora, I am sure John and Don are tired and famished from their trip. Let's go to Ed's and get them a good burger."

Cora was speechless, but Flora answered,"Yes, so we can find out what is going on."

The 4 of them made their way to Ed's. In doing so, they had to step over balloons that had fallen off the poles, a couple of signs excited towns people had dropped in disappointment, and a spilled bag of confetti. Ella acted as if there was nothing there.

The group walked into Ed's. The chatter in the diner came to a silent deafening roar. Ed seated them at a booth in the corner. As he walked back to the counter, he gave everyone he passed his, 'Mind your own business, or get out' look. Most of the patrons got the message and turned their attention back to their meals.

Mae trotted over, not wanting to miss a thing. "Y'all doing OK? What can I get you?"

Cora and Flora asked for lemonade. Ella and Rayanne ordered coffee.  John and Don were not sure what to do. Ella saved them, "Mae just bring these 2 gentlemen tall sweet ice teas." Mae made some notes, smiled, and returned to the counter.

Trying to make everyone comfortable, Rayanne broke the silence. "How was your trip? I'm sure you are exhausted. Personally, I find bus trips very tiring." She gave a small laugh, "But then I haven't been looking for love."

Neither man said a word. Ella picked up the conversation."We are so happy you are here, right ladies?" The twins smiled slightly and murmured that they did also. "Tell us about yourselves."

In broken English John spoke up,"We come from long way. You are so soft to us."

Don added, looking at Flora and Cora,"You are more beauty than I thought. Hope we can make marriage." Then there was silence at the table. Thankfully, Mae returned quickly with their drinks.

As she was serving the drinks, she said. "We are just so excited that you are here. I think it is so romantic." She smiled. Ella thanked her and said no more. Mae realized she had been polity dismissed, so she left the table.

Turning to the, me Ella asked, "I never learned where you are from?"

John looked at Don, then spoke, "We come from Lost Angels."

Ella thought. "Los Angeles? Wow, that is a long way off."

Finally flora spoke up. "This is fraud. You don't look like the pictures you sent us. "

John answered, "We were feared that you would not give us." He paused, "You are such beauty women. We just wanted love from you."

Totally put out, Flora looked at both men. "I am sorry this did not work out. There has been a serious mistake. I think Ed said there would be another bus at 2 this afternoon."

Ella was speechless.

Rayanne stepped in, "Now, Flora, this problem is not their fault." Flora and Cora glared at her. "This is not really a problem, much more like a situation.  Let's work this it out."

At that point Cora and Flora stood up. Cora smiled weakly, "It was nice meeting you." With that the 2 Eldridge sisters turned on their heels, as if synchronized, and walked out of the cafe.

That left Rayanne and Ella with John and Don. Remembering her hair appointment, Ella apologized and reminded them about the bus. That reminded Rayanne that she was late meeting her bridge club for coffee. They said their goodbyes, paid the tab, and left. The 2 men were clueless.

Ella walked back into the diner and handed John some money. He smiled. "Honor you," he said as he nodded his head. Ella smiled and left.

The 2 men were not even sure where they were. Gallagher did not come up on a map. They were a bit puzzled about the money Ella had given them. They spoke quietly among themselves for an hour or so. By that time they were tired of sitting. Not knowing anything else, they left Ed's.

John and Don stood on the sidewalk looking each way. John said something and they turned to their left and proceeded down the sidewalk. They had not walked far when they ran into Bunny, on her way to the Starlight for lunch.

Assuming they were visitors, she stopped. "Can I help you? You look lost."

John smiled, "That is very good. We wait for a bus."

"Really? I think the next bus doesn't arrive until 2 pm."

"Yes, they say."

"Who?"

"2 nice ladies and . . ."

Don interrupted. "They were very peaceful and buy us lunch -  'Bello' and 'Raymond'."

Bunny thought for a moment, "I don't think I know them. Why don't we sit over here and talk." She led them to a bench on the edge of the town park.

"Now, first where y'all from?"

"We John and Don traveled from Lost Angels."

"Never heard of that." Bunny smiled, "How did you get here?"

"Through the bus", answered John.

"Oh my. I imagine y'all were wondering what all that was about - the band and the Mayor and the balloons."

In total confusion they just shook there heads.

Bunny just chatted on. "See we have two nice older ladies - they are twins. And, who knew, but they found 2 men who were also twin brothers to marry them.  I saw pictures of the men, they look like movie stars." She paused, "Anyway, the men were supposed to come in on the bus this morning." Bunny looked across the road. She sighed. "It was so sad, because the men were not on the bus. Makes me wonder what kind on men would not show up."

John, only understanding part of what Bunny said, replied, "We came for nice ladies."

Ignoring John's last statement, Bunny just kept on talking. "I bet you eat a lot of fish and rice. Are you fisherman or rice farmers?" Then Bunny thought to herself, 'What if these 2 were like those men she had seen on that TV show, 'Disappeared' and were here to kidnap someone.'  Now she was scared. Bunny had never met any Japanese people. "I'm think you might be in the wrong town.  There are no Japanese women here." Bunny paused a bit. "We did have a nice lady named Lin Sing who worked in the post office, but she moved away." Bunny stopped again. "See, we do not raise rice here bu we get good fish from the coast. And, no one eats with chopsticks." She said as she tried to imitate eating with chopsticks.

John and Don just stared at her, totally confused, not understanding what she was saying. And her animation made no sense.

"I'm still upset that those 2 men did not show up for Flora and Cora."  Then Bunny remembered she needed to get back to the office. Not knowing what else to do, she stood up, bowed to the 2 men, and said very loudly, so they would better understand her, "Nice to meet you." She turned and left.

Back at the office, Bunny told Della about meeting these 2 Japanese men on the sidewalk who seemed to be lost. 

"How do you know they were Japanese and not Chinese, or Korean?"

"I'm not sure, but they were from that part of the world. And, they like rice."

"Like rice, they told you that?"

"Well no, but I have seen those shows on National Geographic. That's what they eat - rice."

Della just shook her head. "So you just left them there?"

"Well, they said they were waiting for the bus."

"Bunny, how did they get here?"

"On the bus this morning. Can you imagine how confused they were when they saw everyone there waiting on Flora and Cora's grooms?"

"What were their names?"

"Don and John," Bunny replied, "Why?"

"Did they look alike?"

Bunny looked surprised, "Come to think of it, they looked exactly alike."

"Bunny, how do you know they were not the 'Don and John' the Eldridges were expecting?"

"Because these men were Japanese. They did not look like the movie stars, 'Miss' Ella told us about."

"Bunny, what if the pictures they sent the Eldridges were of movie stars not themselves?"

"Why would they do that? The Eldridges would have never recognized them when they got off the bus."

"What are the chances twin men, named 'Don and John' would come to Gallagher on this morning's bus? Did they say anything else?"

Bunny answered,"I think they said they 'came for nice ladies', but they were hard to understand."

Della laughed, "Bunny, I bet those men are the ones Flora and Cora were expecting."

"No. These men were Japanese and short." 

Della called Vivian to see if she could handle the phones. Then she got up and put her coat on. "Let's go."

"Where?"

"To find Don and John. Show me where you saw them."

Following Della as she walked toward the door, Bunny asked in a serious voice, "What if they are here to kidnap someone? You know like secret Samu?"

Della just shook head as they walked out of the door, "You mean Samurai? Seriously?"

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