Saturday, August 19, 2017

Oh, The Spider Web that Gets us in Trouble

Never mind about her Mama's past, her Daddy's 2 marriages, or Tula; Bunny's issue was Marcy. Going to the Ball with your cousin? What's all that about?

Going to the Grand Assembly Ball was the most important thing to Bunny right now. She had her ball gown...and, most of all, her pride. Maybe Marcy would be hit by a truck or break a leg, or eat a poisonous mushroom.

After mulling this over and over in her head all night Thursday, she had a plan. She awoke the following morning ready to go to work.

At the office she tried the Ball gown on. It fit but was too long. Since the skirt was polyester fabric with tons of tulle underneath, the dress needed to be hemmed - professionally. She walked out to the reception area, "Della, what do you think?"

"It's gorgeous," Della said. "So he finally asked you."

"Oh Della, I am so excited. I'm going to the Ball." Bunny answered so excited as she twirled around the room. "I know I need to have it hemmed. I'll take it to Heddie's Hat Shop." With that she floated back into her office.

Dear God, Della thought, I cannot believe she is going to wear that "thing" to the Ball. If Bunny thought the reception was chilly at the birthday party, this Ball was going to be painful.

Della shook her head - a purple polyester dress with lace detail on the skirt and enough tulle underneath to make it look like she was wearing a hoop skirt. She laughed, seriously come to think of it, that dress may as well come from the wardrobe for the cast of "Gone With the Wind".

Meanwhile Bunny had the dress in the box and was off to Heddie's to have it altered. Sam called Della. Half way through their conversation she told Sam the story of Bunny, her dress, and the Ball. Della told him she was very concerned about Bunny. "I'm afraid she'll be embarrassed when she arrives at the Ball in that dress. Worse yet what the Wells family will think."

Sam just laughed, "Sweet Pea, I understand your concern, but Bunny got herself into this. It's her issue."

Meanwhile Bunny was at Heddie's. Ada, Miss Heddie's main seamstress had her try on the dress. As Ada pinned the hem, she asked, "Miss Bunny, where you gonna wear this dress?"

Looking at the racks of Ball gowns behind her, Bunny said, "To a good friend's wedding in Montgomery."

"Must be some fancy wedding."

"Oh it is," said Bunny, "It sure is."

"Now, I'll have dress ready by Monday, will that do."

"Ada, that will be perfect." She thanked Ada and started out the door. As she passed the rack of gowns, Bunny asked, "Ada, are these gowns for the Ball next week?"

"Yes mam. I just finished the last one this morning."

The gowns were not what she expected. They were more tailored than her's, many with bare shoulders. That made sense, she thought. These must be what the young ladies would be wearing. Funny, she had always thought they wore white. Whatever. She walked out and made her way back to the office.

On the way back, she called Lavenia's (House of Lilies and Lavender). In as plain and un-southern voice she could, she placed an order for a dozen pink roses. She asked they be sent to her at the office that morning. She told them that card should read, "So looking forward to Wednesday evening, I know you'll be the belle of the Ball, Love Harrison."

"Should I bill this to Mr Wells' account?" the girl at the shop asked. 

"No please send this separately to P.O. Box 87." (Bunny had a PO box she rarely used. Thank goodness she still had it.) She thanked the girl and rang off.

When she got to the office there were 2 calls to return and a young man inquiring about an apartment. She spoke with him first. He had a good friend who would be giving up his apartment and he was hoping he could lease it when his friend moved out. It didn't get much easier than this. She gave him the necessary paperwork and asked that he return it no later than Tuesday.

As he left Della walked in Bunny's office with an arrangement of pink roses. "These are for you. I think Tim was confused. He said, 'Here are the roses "Miss Bunny" ordered.' "

Bunny took the vase. As she opened the card, she said,"That's silly, why would I send flowers to myself. And besides the card reads,"So looking forward to Wednesday evening, I know you'll be the belle of the Ball, Love Harrison." She sighed, "He is such a dear. Della, he may be the one." She placed the flowers on her desk.

Della walked back to her desk shaking her head. All Della could think of was 'Does Harrison Wells know what he is getting into? Bunny Vontese was a train wreck with a trail of ill fated men behind her. Even God could not save her'. She laughed.

As if she were clairvoyant, which she may well have been, Anna Belle called Bunny,"Pray tell whose wedding is in Montgomery?" Thinking quickly, she said, "Lisa Monroe, a friend of mine from college."

In her thick southern drawl, after taking a long drag of her cigarette, Anna Belle continued, "Well, please tell me it is a costume affair because that outfit you have at Heddie's is just awful."

"What were you doing down at Heddie's?"

"I was there to pick up my gown for the ball. I made the mistake of asking who had left that horrendous dress, and Ada told me you had just been in to get it altered."

"Your Ball gown. You're going to the Ball?"

"Oh, dear you're not? You were just sure Harrison was going to ask you. What happened there?"

"The Wells family have a tradition that the oldest single son always escorts his second cousin to the Ball. So his date for the evening will be his cousin Marcy. You know we cannot argue with tradition."

"Well I find that curious, since last year, if my memory serves me right, Harrison escorted the oldest Butler girl, Amelia. As best I know, Amelia is not kin to Harrison."

Not sure if her mother was serious or just made that up to upset her, Bunny continued without a comment, "Well who, may I ask, is your date to the Ball?"

"Haynes Dueise"

"Parker Dueise's father, Addison Haynes Dueise"

"The same."

"Mama, I have another call, I have to go." Before Anna Belle could say anything she rang off.

Della walked in her office,"While you were on the phone, Wade came in and asked if you could meet with Chief Pyre Wednesday night. Wade could not do it since he is going to the Ball. The Chief needs to ask some questions about the fire and walk through Terse's apartment. But don't worry, I told him you were also attending the Ball that evening with Harrison. He said he would reschedule the appointment."

Bunny felt faint. 

Della noticed Bunny's face lose color. "You OK?"

Bunny sat down,"Yes, it's just my arthritis, my throat, and I have a head ache. Don't worry, I'll be OK. I deal with all the time."

"OK, if you say so. I'll go back to my work," said Della.

"Miss" Ethel walked in with a basket of tomatoes from her garden. "Brought these in for you. Remember to save some for Buzz and Larry."

She Bunny's roses, "Well somebody must be sweet on you?"

As Bunny tried to quickly think what to say, Della answered, "Those are from Harrison. He's taking her to the Ball next week."

"Miss" Ethel smiled,"Oh dear. some of the best times I can remember were attending those Balls with my dear Howard. You will have a grand time." She looked at her watch, "Got to run. I'm meeting Cordelia for lunch at Ed's. We meet every week just to chat - not that two little ol' southern women would ever gossip." She winked and left.

Wasn't there something someone once said about a spider making a web about a lie. She learned it in college English. She thought, who said it? Was it Mark Twain? Maybe Daniel Steele. Whatever. She had bigger problems than a spider web.

As if her nightmare was continuing, she heard Harrison walk in the front door. She quickly put the roses on the floor underneath her desk. Harrison walked in her office,"Della says you're not feeling so well."

"I feel better. I just have these days. It's my weak auto-immune system."

Della walked in, "Where are your roses?"

Harrison looked at Bunny. "Flowers, someone sent you flowers? Do I have some competition?" he asked with a smile. 

Della laughed,"Of course not. These are the ones you sent her."

Once again the color drained from her face as Harrison turned and looked at her. "Really?"

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