Henry walked into the drug store. He bought the supplies needed and paid for them. Driving back…
Henry walked into the drug store. He bought the supplies needed and paid for them. Driving back…
Henry walked into the drug store. He bought the supplies needed and paid for them. Driving back home he was thinking about his wife. He would check on her first thing and then patch the wall.
When he walked into their bedroom, she wasn’t lying there. He went to the bathroom and there she was soaking. She looked so cute all covered with bubbles. He leaned down and kissed her on the nose.
“You feeling better doll?”
“Yes, the warm water feels real good on my aching body. Where you been?”
“Oh, I went into the hardware store and bought some patch for the wall. Figure I better take care of the damage before Dad sees it.”
She smiled up at him. “Thanks for rescuing me Henry. I don’t know what is wrong with that guy. He better get it fixed though.”
Neither of them said anything. Henry left her to finish and went to patch the wall. Soon Jane walked in and the two inspected his work. “Looks real good Henry. I can’t even see where the hole was. You did a good job.”
He gave her a squeeze and she pulled back a little. There was still some evidence of the fight left behind. He led her to the bed and they laid down. He took her in his arms and held her. His body heat felt good next to her and she turned in his direction.
He kissed her nose lightly. She returned it by kissing him on the lips. Parting her lips she let him explore farther and soon the two forgot about the fight and the wall. Afterwards they lay there both in their own thoughts.
Henry sat up and lit a cigarette. He offered her one but she refused. “I am not going to smoke anymore Henry. I have to do what’s best for the baby.” She patted her belly and placed his hand over her hand. “A wonderful thing happened when I was in the tub. I felt the baby kick.”
Henry put his cigarette out and bent down and put his ear to her stomach. He listened but heard nothing. He didn’t feel anything. “It doesn’t do it all the time silly. I just felt it once myself.”
“Wow, a living thing. I made that all by myself. You know he or she, is going to look just like me.”
“Um, my dear Henry, I hate to tell you but I had something to do with this too. It is very well that this tiny baby could look just like me. Or better yet, maybe it will look like the both of us.”
Henry started laughing and said,”Well, maybe it will have your eyes and my fine wavy hair.” The two of them broke out in laughter and then they got up and started to redress. They walked out into the kitchen and saw him Mom sitting at the kitchen table. She was having herself a cup of coffee.
“Mom, you alright? Do you hurt anywhere?” Carol replied, “No, I am alright, but if that son-of-a bitch comes back in this house I will call the cops.”
“It’s ok Mom. I already warned him. I don’t think he will have the guts to show back up here again.”
Henry and Jane sat down at the table. Carol looked at Jane and asked,”You alright? Did you get hurt in any of this?”
“No not really. Henry saved me from getting hurt. I don’t know what I would do without him. He is just the best man all around.”
“Well he is lucky. Lucky that I didn’t have a whack at him.” They all had a good laugh over that as they realized Carol couldn’t really hurt him unless she got a hold of her iron skillet first.
Henry looked at his watch and saw he only had an hour before he had to be at work. He stood up leaving the women to sit and chat and went in to take a bath. Carol and Jane sat in silence at the table. Neither of them seemed comfortable in each others presence.
After a few moments Carol spoke. “You know Jane, we never ever had any trouble like this before. I don’t know what kind of friends you have, but I suggest you keep them a way from my house. I don’t allow stuff like that to go on here. We are a nice family and I don’t want any cops around this place.”
“Carol, I swear this Kurt guy, he isn’t any friend of mine. He isn’t even a friend of Henry’s.”
“Then how did he end up here?”
Silence once again fell and Jane got up and walked back to her room. Henry was finishing getting dressed and he glanced her way. She walked past him and laid down on the bed. She was tired. She just wanted to sleep. With Henry going to work, she all of a sudden felt real lonely.
Henry was too busy trying to get out the door and not be late for work. He bent down and gave her a quick kiss, and when he walked out of the door, she never felt more alone. She turned over and wept into her pillow thinking back to what Carol had said.
My Brother’s Life Journey Chapter 7
After Al graduated I was out of the picture off and on. I had been married and lived in Germany…
After Al graduated I was out of the picture off and on. I had been married and lived in Germany for a year. I was expecting my first child. So thoughts drifted in and out of my family life and my new family to be.
When I came home to the States Al had a number of jobs. This is when a new set of problems started. Al had money of his own. A real paycheck that he wished to spend how ever he wanted.
But life doesn’t work this way. We have bills and most of us can not take our money and spend it entirely in one week. Al didn’t understand this. His thoughts were, he made the money, therefore he could spend it as he wished.
He had a car payment and auto insurance. I admit life was much easier when Mom was around. She felt bad for Al because he didn’t make too much money for his hard labor. She often helped hm and swore him to secrecy.
Even with Al’s mental issues he understood that this secret was to his benefit so he was always quiet about it. Al went to several jobs for quite a few years. He worked in a factory but he got fired. He was too friendly with the ladies and he would smile big at them. Often he would tell them they were pretty. These women did not like this and thought he was weird so they reported him and he would be fired.
This went on at a few jobs like this. He worked in egg manufacturing where he had the dirtiest job of all. He had to clean up at the end of the day the mess of cracked and spilled eggs from the machines and the floors.
I always felt bad for him. He worked very hard but because he was mentally challenged his pay was much less, right at the minimum wage. I thought it was unfair but the companies always said the same thing. We can’t get the same production out of him as we can the others.
Some of the other jobs he had he just plain talked to much. He has always been a social butterfly and will speak to anyone who looks his way. He is still like this today if he is having a good day.
I think Mom got tired of all the jobs so she talked to our Aunt and Uncle. They owned a meat market. Meat was brought in and butchered and packaged up. Once again, in my opinion, Al got the crap job.
I won’t say it killed him but gosh darn, it was a hard job they gave him. He was responsible for taking those half beefs off the racks in the coolers and bringing them out for butchering. Do you have any idea how much one of those weigh? My Dad told me once that one half weighed 1000 pounds. That is a lot of weight for one person. Many times I watched him do this.
For high season work when deer were bring processed I would work there helping to wrap the finished product. My job was much easier than Al’s and I made more money than he did. I could go on and on about how it isn’t fair to under pay a mentally challenged or disabled adult, but I won’t. It would take me another chapter.
One day the small family business closed and Al was out of a job. Mom got Al involved with a company that helped to hire and house disabled adults. The first thing the company did, and I will call them C.C. for short was to do a month-long load of paperwork.
After this was completed they moved him into an apartment living situation. It was run through C.C. and Al was given the title of Client from then on out. He lived in his hometown with three other gentleman.
They found him a job a half an hour a way. It was a veal farm. I am not sure what he actually did, but I imagine anything that he was asked to in the barns. He got very homesick.
He was too far a way from home. He missed his own bedroom but Mom urged him to keep trying it. She was sure he would adjust and learn to love the freedom he was allowed. Al never learned to cook. He is deathly afraid of fire and so never wanted to learn to use the stove.
I believe the way it was set up is that each of the four guys had special knowledge of one thing or another. When you put this all together, you had a house that was clean and the clients were fed.
One time Mom paid a visit to Al and she went into shock when she was let in by one of the guys. There was Al and a female client from another C.C. apartment sitting on the couch together. They were holding hands and watching a pornographic movie on the VCR machine.
Mom didn’t believe in this at all. Even at home when I lived there I saw Mom one time in her slip. Walking around half-dressed was not allowed nor proper in our home. Cussing was not allowed either. Mom was a God-fearing woman and very strict in this area with us kids. I remember one time Mom was so mad at Dad that she said shit.
I thought I would die laughing when I heard her. What a naughty word that was. Mom’s excuse was, he just makes me so darn mad. I shouldn’t have said it and make sure you don’t say it either.
At this age, I had definitely already said it before but I wasn’t going to tell her. Well, she told Al to get up and get in the car. She took what she could take on that trip and took him home. She went back and got the rest of his things and then when she got home she made the phone call.
I saw my son in a position that may lead to sexual encounters and he was watching that sex stuff on his VCR. I’m sorry, he can’t live there anymore. You don’t watch him good enough. I have him home now. I will call tomorrow and make an appointment to see what other options we have.
Henry and Jane went out into the kitchen where his mom was writing a grocery list.
“What don’t you like to eat Jane?” Carol asked as she looked up from her list.
“Oh don’t worry about me. I eat about anything except liver and spinach. Those two things just give me the shivers thinking about them.”
“You don’t have to worry there. We don’t eat that shit either.” Everyone laughed and this relieved the tension a little. The two ladies put their heads together and picked out food choices everyone liked. Henry stood in the background listening and chomping on an apple.
“Are you eating again?” his mom asked him.
“I’m a growing boy Mom, give me some slack.”
“You are no longer a growing boy. You are a man with a wife and a baby on the way. Get used to it.” Henry and Jane exchanged looks and then asked if Carol if she needed anything else.
The conversation ended and Carol got ready to go to the store. Henry and Jane went out back and sat on the porch. They talked about when he had to go back to work.”You have to go back tomorrow already?”
“Yeah baby, we gotta have some money. Going to cost to feed us and the new kid coming.”
The two fiddled with each others fingers and started poking each other making laughter ring in the air. Carol came out and said, “See you kids later.” After she left Jane slid her hand down her new husband’s leg. He did the same to her. Soon hands were being placed and the two got up and walked in the house. Once inside their bedroom he slid her blouse off and then her skirt. He laid her back on the bed and for the next half an hour time slipped a way from them.
Getting dressed Henry asked her,”What ya want to do today? Anything special?”
“I don’t care. Whatever you want to do is fine with me.”
He grabbed her hand and led her out to his car. Giving her a smack on her butt she got in and the two took off. They parked at the garage where his buddies worked and they both went inside.
“Hey guys, look who I brought with me. Guys meet Jane. She is now my wife” Whistles were heard through the garage as his friends gave their approval. Once again they gathered around the famous table and talked.
“So you’re the gal we always hear about.”
“He never told us you were so darn pretty. Guess he was afraid to? Everyone laughed. One of the workers there couldn’t seem to take his eyes off of Jane. Jane could feel his stare burning into her flesh. She pulled her shirt collar a little closer to her neck and when she glanced at him he smiled at her.
“Is there a bathroom I could use?” Jane asked.
Kurt, the guy who couldn’t take his eyes off of her jumped up from his seat and said, “Ya back in the corner. I will be glad to show you where it is.” Jane glanced down at Henry but he missed her look and she ended up being led by Kurt.
When he stopped they were standing in front of a tall narrow door. Kurt said,”Henry never told us how gorgeous you are. You sure are a looker. Don’t worry I won’t try anything. There’s a lock on the other side of the door.” She looked at him and then went through the door and immediately locked it.
When she opened the door there he stood. “I thought I better walk you back up front. In case you forgot how you got back here.”
“I would have been fine. I think I know my way, but thanks for waiting.” The two walked back up to the group of guys. Before sitting down Jane tugged at Henry’s shirt. “My stomach feels a little funny. Do you think we could leave?”
“Sure baby. Well guys I will catch ya all later.” The two left the garage and when they were in the car Jane turned in her seat and asked Henry,”That guy Kurt, is he a good friend of yours?”
“Why do you ask? I don’t know him that well. He works here and he always hangs with us during break times. I don’t think he has worked here very long. Probably about as long as I have been at the bowling alley.”
Jane didn’t say anything. “Did something happen Jane? Did he make a move on you? By God he better not have. You are my wife and I would hate to have to show him who’s boss.”
Jane didn’t want anyone fighting, especially over her. “No, no nothing happened. I thought he just looked familiar to me. I must have run into him somewhere, maybe the grocery store or at the burger joint.”
If her voice sounded unsettled or strange, Henry didn’t pick up on it. “Hey, about going down to the lake for a while. The lake should be pretty quiet now. The weather is beginning to change. Maybe it will just be us. Wanna have some fun?”
Jane looked at him with that special smile and Henry pinched her cheeks. “Come on, let’s go have some fun.”
Jane tried to get up again, and ended up running to the bathroom and throwing up in the toilet. She sat down on the cold floor after finishing and sat there, her mind whirling, as she had heard that this could be the signs of being knocked up.
Her mom was going to kill her if she was, so she kept it a secret, that she had just puked. After sitting there for a bit, she staggered up and washed her face in cold water, ran a brush through her hair, and brushed the nasty taste out of her mouth.
She walked back into her room, and sat on the bed. Was she pregnant, oh God, she couldn’t be pregnant. They had only fooled around one time, and you couldn’t get pregnant after only one time, could you?
She laid back down on her bed again, and pulled her covers up, telling herself she would just lay here until everything on the inside was nice and calm again. When she woke up it was an hour later. She sat up and felt fine, no bad or sick feelings, so she figured it must have been something she had eaten last night. Nope, she wasn’t pregnant. Wow, what a relief that was.
She got up and got dressed and went into the kitchen and poured herself a bowl of Raisin Bran, and dumping some sugar and milk over it, she took the bowl and went over to the table and sat down to eat. As she was eating her mom walked into the kitchen and started the coffee maker.
Lighting a cigarette, she went over and sat down beside Jane and asked her if she had a good time last night with that guy named Henry. Between bites, Jane mumbled yes, it was alright. Her mom asked when she got home, and Jane said around ten, and with that the conversation ended, and her mom went and poured herself a cup of coffee.
Jane got up and took her bowl to the sink, and ran some water inside of it and then left the kitchen and went back to her room. She turned on her record player, playing her forty-fives and sat down at her vanity and put her make-up on and tried experimenting with her hair.
In the end, she didn’t like anything she had done with her hair, so she pulled it up and put a rubber band in it, forming a pony tail, and with that she walked over and flipped the record player off, and went outside.
She went down to the lake to see if there was anyone there she knew, and seeing a couple of girls, she went over and joined the group. They hung out for a while, and then Jane saw Henry and left the two saying she had a good time, see you later.
Henry gave her a good squeeze and asked her what she wanted do today, and Jane came back with she didn’t care, whatever he wanted to do. He grabbed her hand and the two walked the beach, kicking their feet in the sand, stopping every once in a while, to hug and kiss. They walked and then found a grassy area, hidden behind a bunch of rocks.
The two sat down on the grass and looked out over the lake and then they looked at each other, and then they found themselves lying in the grass, touching and feeling each other, kissing and hugging. Not being able to stand the inner crying anymore, they got up and walked back to his car, and he drove them to a quiet spot on the other side of the lake and the two had sex.
Afterwards, they both realized they were hungry, so he drove them to a fast diner, and pulled up and parked. The two walked in and ordered a burger, fries and shake. They sat down and waited for their order, and then began eating like they had never eaten before. The food was so good, that conversation was small and soon they were finished eating, and they got back in his car and went back to the lake.
They ran into the crowd that they hung out with and they all played frisbee, and swam, and just had a fun day with no thoughts for tomorrow. Before anyone realized it, it was getting supper time, so they said their see you later, and they all drifted off in their own direction.
Henry drove Jane home and dropped her off in front of her house, and giving her a kiss, he watched her go to the door and then he drove off. Jane walked in and sat down in the living room. Jane, her mom, was sitting there watching the television, and Dave, her dad was nowhere to be seen.
Debbie asked Jane if she had a good day, but didn’t look at her for an answer, but went back to her television program. Jane didn’t answer but instead went into the kitchen to see what was going to be for supper. Nothing was laid out on the kitchen counter, and so she opened the refrigerator door and looked at the half-gallon of milk, and some orange juice.
She went back into the living room and asked her mom what was for dinner, and Debbie replied that she hadn’t really thought about it. She looked up at the clock on the wall and asked Jane if she was hungry already, and Jane shrugged her shoulders. With her mom not making any move to fix food, she wandered back into the kitchen and looked in the cupboards, and grabbed some crackers and a Twinkie, and took this back to her bedroom. She guessed this would be her supper for the night.
What a mom she had, stuck in a television box and not caring about anything going on around her. Her dad was probably already at the local bar, getting drunk. This was a screwed up family, Jane thought to herself. She wished she had a different set of parents, someone who gave a crap about her.
After eating her supper, she went back into the living room and her mom was still sitting in the same spot. Jane sat down and tried to get interested in the dumb game show mom was watching, but grew bored quickly, so she got up and walked outside to sit on the porch steps.
She needed a new life, a new adventure. Why was she the only one on the block that had a boring life? Why couldn’t she live in the house across the street where those parents seemed involved with their own two kids. She always saw them getting in the car together and going places. Their lives had to be better than her own life.
Bored from sitting , she got up and walked back in the house, and went to her room, turned her radio on and changed into her night-gown and got into bed.
It was Friday, the day before the wedding. Tonight was the practice march for the wedding
and also the rehearsal dinner, and tomorrow was the big day, Drake and Dahlia were getting married.
The day was spent in leisure, except for the time taken, where Drake and Dahlia went over to pick up her father,and once back, in Dahlia’s room there was much excitement happening, as Dahlia tried on her wedding dress, and the ladies were just remarking over and over how beautiful she and the dress were. After taking the dress off, they watched Sue slip her dress on and then they took turns playing with each others hair and trying on different styles to see which ones they liked the best. Dahlia decided to wear hers natural, long and framing her face with beautiful waves running through it.
Sue was going to have hers on top of her head with curls framing it and the others were experimenting with their hair also. They tried make-up on and took it off, and tried bolder looks for a wedding, but then nothing ended up looking better than just a touch of make-up, enhancing their already beautiful faces.
Lunch was made, eaten and then before they all realized it, it was time to get some of the spread laid out on the kitchen table ahead of time, so that all they had to get done when they got back to the house was pull of the fried chicken, potato salad, coleslaw, deviled eggs, and desserts from the refrigerator.
The minister, and the organist and a couple of friends and neighbors were all coming back here following the rehearsal. Soon it was time to tidy themselves up and they all took off for the church. This was going to only take about an hour at the most, and if all went well, they may be able to get through it in a half an hour. Ralph kidding told Drake and Dahlia to get it right the first time, he was already getting hungry.
They got to the church and went in the back door. The minister and organist welcomed them at the door and then the minister directed each of them to their chosen spots of where to stand in formation. There was some confusion on who was going to stand up for Drake, as he had planned on all along that Drew would be here by his side, and by now, he would be better, but it was not happening this way, so his father stood in his place, for now.
They listened to some short segments of the music that had been picked out, and each walked the white path down to the altar. Two tries had to be done before getting it right, and Dahlia and her father only had to walk the aisle once. The rehearsal went well, so it was cut shorter than planned and shaking hands with the minister, they bid him a farewell and said they would see him back at the house.
Once arriving back at home, there was no wasting time on getting the already prepared foods out and everyone dived into their plates. They were all so excited this caused every bite to taste better than the last bite. Everyone was laughing and talking and the evening was flying by so quickly.
They were cleaning up the kitchen when the phone rang. Ralph stepped away from the kitchen to answer it. He came back and there was no more laughter on his face. Everyone turned to look at him as he stood in the doorway, and silence fell in the room.
Rachel walked over to him and asked who it was on the phone, and Ralph said it was the hospital calling, saying Drew had made a turn for the worse. The hospital suggested that they may want to come over tonight.
They all hurried and finished what they had been doing, and then they took off for the hospital. Once arriving in Drew’s room, the sight was not a good one. Drew no longer was awake watching them come in, he was lying very quietly in his bed.
The nurse came in and said that he had slipped into unconsciousness and that she wasn’t sure if Drew could hear them or not, but to please talk to him as if they knew that he could hear.
They walked up to him and laying their hands on him, they all prayed together, saying a prayer for his healing. They spoke softly to Drew, each telling him to hurry up and get well and letting him know how much they loved and missed him being home. They remained for about a half an hour and then the nurse came back and told them that Drew needed his rest. They could go home and if there was any change at all, the hospital would call immediately.
No one wanted to leave, and they had to be chased out of the room by the nurse, and with sadness in their faces, the drive home became silent. When they arrived home they all sat around the table in the kitchen and they tried to guess what had happened and that in the morning hours they would each take turns spending time with Drew, until it was time to leave for the church for the wedding.
No one slept very easily that night, each lost in their thoughts of Drew, the wedding, and Drew again. Sleep did come and the morning sun did shine. At the breakfast table they reached for each others hands and again prayed together for healing for Drew. After breakfast was over, everyone made sure that their clothes for the wedding were ready and laid out for easy access to be picked up and to go to the wedding. Dahlia had her wedding dress laid out on her bed along side of that laid her new shoes. Her make-up was lying all in order. When she was done she went to each of the lady’s rooms, asking if they needed any help and they all said no, they were prepared and now ready to go to the hospital.
Ralph and Dahlia sat in their bedroom, with hands being held and heads bowed, in prayer. Praying hard for Drew, that God would do what was best for him. Her dress was lying on the bed and his suit was right beside it. There was nothing else to do ahead of time, so they all left for the hospital to see Drew and take turns visiting him and sitting by his side comforting him.
The doctor stopped by and told Ralph that he wanted to see him. Once in his office he told Ralph that there was little time left. He didn’t think that Drew would make it through the next 24 hours.
Tears started to form in Ralph’s eyes and he explained to the doctor that today was his other son’s wedding day. The two talked for a while and then the doctor shaking Ralph’s hand, they both left the office and Ralph went back and asked Rachel to come out to the hall with him, that he wanted to speak to her alone.
They went into the hall and Ralph explained what the doctor said and Rachel buried her head in her head and began to cry. Ralph told her of the plan that the doctor had suggested, and through tears, Rachel agreed and drying her eyes, she walked back into Drew’s room, while Ralph left the hospital.
Ralph drove over to the house and went through each room picking up all the clothes that were laid out on the beds, and then he made a couple of trips to the car, placing all the garments carefully across the seat. There were shoes, and suits, dresses, the wedding dress, make-up in bags. When he looked around for a second time, and saw nothing left behind, he got in his car and went over to the church, and went to the front doors and upon knocking, the door was opened by the secretary. Ralph asked if the minister was in, and she said yes, and then led him to the office the minister was at.
Ralph quickly told the minister what was going on at the hospital and asked if there was any way he could borrow the minister now, instead of waiting for later. The minister got up from his chair and shutting the door behind them, they drove over to Dahlia’s dad’s house and knocked. When her father let them in, Ralph explained the situation,and her father grabbed his suit and shoes and got in the car with them. They all headed back to the hospital.
Once there they took all the clothing and accessories into the hospital and when one of the nurses saw what they had, she offered them an empty room to place everything in. When they had everything neatly lying on the two empty beds, they took the make-up bags, and placed them in the bathroom.
Then the three of them went into Drew’s room and walking up to Drew, they spoke to him as if he was listening to every word they said, then he called a brief meeting to all involved in the room where the clothes were. Tears were coming and short sobs could be heard, but instructions that had been given were being followed.
Soon everyone found themselves standing beside Drew, who lay motionless in his bed. His face so pale, they could see no color except the blue on his lips that had been forming from the moment they had first come. The minister went to the foot of the bed, and instructed Drake to stand beside his brother, and then Dahlia next to him, and the others were to stand on the other side of the bed.
When everyone was in place, Drake reached down and touching his brother’s hand, he told him that he was going to keep his word about him being his best man, and with tears dripping from his face, the minister said words, and everyone prayed together. They prayed for the bride and groom and they prayed for peace for the brother, son and friend lying in the bed.
The minister pronounced them man and wife and a brief kiss was exchanged between the two. The monitor in the background that had been keeping time to the beat of the heart, became silent as the last breath was taken from Drew. God always promises that when one door closes another door will open, and on this day, at this very moment, one door had closed with the loved one leaving this earth, while another door opened for Drake and Dahlia to walk through, to start their new life being married.
It was hard to go to sleep that night, with the excitement of graduation day having been and now it was the day before the wedding and the rehearsal dinner and practice walking down the aisle was going to be happening. Dahlia closed her eyes, but they kept popping open and she found herself going over and over these next two days, but sleep did come finally, and when she opened her eyes next it was morning.
She jumped out of bed, knowing she had a million things to do today. Meet the florist at the church, so the flowers could be placed on the pews. She needed to go get her dress picked up that the store had been holding for her, and Drake needed to pick up his own suit. The cake was going to be delivered at the house here by the neighbor tomorrow morning.
She had clothes to pack to take over to their new home, and she wanted to get some of that over with today,and there were some knick knacks that she wanted to take with her. Some of the people from their church had donated some furniture and she and Drake were going to meet them over at the new place right after lunch.
The house had the basics that anyone could need but it lacked in furniture what it provided in needs, so it was going to be a big day. She went over to the bathroom and took a bath, and putting clean clothes on she met everyone down in the kitchen for breakfast.
The kitchen was pretty lively as the excitement grew for the day and appetites were big. Eggs were being scrambled along with bacon and ham. Dahlia found herself to feel hungry, so she fixed herself a plate and pulled up a chair alongside the others.
There was a lot of chatter with giggles and questions being targeted towards Dahlia. Was she nervous, how did she sleep last night, was she ready to become a bride. What was she going to be doing today?
In between bites Dahlia filled them in on her plans and they all offered to help in what ever ways they could, and Drake walking in and over hearing the conversation, said that he was going to count on the help. He explained how he had just gotten off of the phone with a couple who needed to meet them at the new house and deliver their donation of furniture as they needed to leave for the rest of the day, so Drake was going to be going over there in about an hour.
Drake got himself a plate of food and when he sat down beside Dahlia, the conversation became even more lively. More laughter and giggles could be heard throughout the house. The ladies and Dahlia decided that while Drake was gone, they would go ahead and pick up her wedding dress and Drake’s suit, then after lunch they would go to the church and meet the florists.
Ralph and Rachel stepped into the kitchen and Drake filled them in on the plans for the day, and Rachel asked Dahlia if she would like her to accompany her on the way to the dress shop, and Dahlia said that would be nice. They could all go as a group. They all chatted some more, drinking their coffee, while Ralph and Rachel ate their breakfast,and then clean up began. The ladies cleared the table and did the dishes, Drake asked his dad if he would go over with him to meet the delivery people and soon everyone was bustling and getting around to leave. They all decided to eat lunch out, so what ever everyone was going to do with their time after the errands were done, they were all going to meet at the cafe in town at noon.
Soon the house was quiet, and the ladies were standing in the dress shop admiring all of the beautiful dresses for sale. Some of them were dreaming and imagining what dresses they would wear when it was their special day. The sales lady came up and recognizing Dahlia asked her if she was here to pick up her wedding dress, and they all chimed together a big yes, that tomorrow was the day.
The lady went back to the storage area and came back carrying the dress. Everyone expressed how much they loved the dress and how beautiful it was, and they could not wait to see Dahlia in it. The sales lady lowered a plastic covering over the dress to keep it clean and dry and then the ladies left the store and took the dress back to the car where Rachel was sitting, then they walked down another block and went inside the store and picked up Drakes suit, and then went back to the car once more. No one was ready to go home yet, and so Rachel got out of the car and locking the doors, they took off down the street to window shop.
While they were walking, Rachel asked Dahlia where the shoes were, that she had not seen them when she carried the dress out. Dahlia stopped dead in her tracks. The shoes, shoes for her dress she had never gotten. Here it was the day before her wedding and she had no shoes. Then she started to cry and Rachel patted her on the back and asked her what was the matter,oh no, no shoes?, and not to worry, she could stop at the shoe store down the block and purchase a pair, but Dahlia said she did not have any money with her for a pair of shoes. She had only brought enough with her for lunch.
Well this was no problem silly girl, they would just all pitch in together and find an affordable pair and then when they got home, Dahlia could reimburse the ladies. Dahlia smiled at them and said she didn’t know what she would have done without them, as she did not want to let Drake know that she had forgotten the silly shoes,and with this the few tears dried up and they walked toward the shoe store.
Entering the glass door, the sales lady came to them and asked if they needed help, and Dahlia said she needed a white pair of dress shoes. She led the ladies over to the dress shoes and they went through each pair, Dahlia trying them on, all giving their opinions, Dahlia walking in them for comfort and feel, and finally they decided on one pair that was very simply white, with a little pump to them. These shoes would look perfect with her dress, and the best thing about these shoes was, that they were on sale.
The ladies pulled their money out of their purses and handed it to Rachel, and she took the shoes and went up to the register so that she could pay for them. While the sales lady was ringing them up, Dahlia turned around and looked back at the group of friends and smiled and then handed the lady the money. With a tiny bit of cash back, and the shoes in a draw string bag, they thanked the lady and went out the door. Dahlia looked at them and said that they had saved her life!
They took the shoes back to the car where the dress and suit were waiting and looking at their watches saw that they still had an hour to go before the guys would be coming, so they continued their walk by going to store windows and pointing out things they thought were cute or nice and somethings they saw, they laughed at because what they were looking at was way too modern for where they lived.
They walked down one side of the store fronts street and then came back up the opposite side of the street. They had gazed into each and every window, and this was nice and relaxing, for this was the most free moments left for the day.
As they were making their way back to the car to wait, they saw Drake and Ralph walking towards them and they all went together towards the cafe and walked in and sat down. They ordered lunch and then all asked questions about the furniture and Drake asked if Dahlia had picked up her dress. One of the ladies giggled softly as they said they did pick up the dress and a little more. Drake asked with a grin what, what was he missing out on, and the ladies all giggled and said nothing, don’t worry about it, the dress was picked up and beautiful. They had it waiting in the car.
They ate their lunch and listened to the music playing in the background. Elvis Presley was playing on the jukebox. Everyone in these parts loved Elvis music. When they were done eating and the jukebox became quiet they got up and went to the register to pay, but the owner came to them, and said that this bill was on the house, a little wedding gift to Drake and Dahlia. Drake shook his hand and said a big thank-you and Dahlia went behind the counter and planted a kiss on
the owner’s cheek and said thank-you for a wonderful gift, and with this they all left the store.
They all drove over to the church and waited for only a few moments and the delivery car came up and stopped in front of the church. Drake went to the front doors of the church to make sure it was unlocked and they were, so he entered in announcing to the staff person working there,that he and his family and the flower delivery person were here to deliver the flowers. She got up from her desk and went to help by holding the door open on one side and Rachel held the other door and the delivery man brought all the beautiful flowers in.
After the delivery man left, everyone including the staff lady, helped place the flower bunches at each pew and with plenty of tape, they taped each bunch to the top and when all done they stood back and looked at their work. Beautiful was all that could be said.
They told the staff thank-you for your help and that they would be back later that evening, and with that they all walked out the front doors and back to their cars. Before getting in to leave, they all did a verbal check, making sure that nothing had been left undone. This was it, no more time to shop. Nothing could be thought of that may have been forgotten, so they piled in the two cars and took off for home.
Graduation day, had arrived. No more school for Dahlia. She had passed all of her classes
and was going to be graduating today at seven, along with all the other students. After their delicious breakfast of pancakes, they cleaned up the kitchen, and then Rachel and the ladies started to add ingredients to a bowl, to make the best-ever looking graduation cake that eyes had ever seen.
They were going to be making a white cake with lots of flowers, roses, that would surround the outer edges on the bottom of the cake, and then more roses with leaves and writing on the top of the cake.
While the ladies were busy in the kitchen baking, Drake and Ralph mowed the yard, and did some trimming around the house. They then washed the two cars and swept them out.
The smell coming from the kitchen filled your nostrils of sugar and vanilla. When the guys came in from outdoors, they wanted to help decorate the cake by licking a spoon or maybe dipping a finger in the icing. The ladies laughed, telling them to leave them alone and to leave the kitchen, so they could get their work done. The boys listened, but laughed as they were chased out of the kitchen.
When the cake was finally finished and every rose in its place, they called the men out to look at it. Everyone stood around the table eying the cake and wishing they could have at least a small bite now. Rachel went and grabbed her camera, taking a picture of everyone standing around the cake. This was a proud day for everyone inside this house.
Afterwards, the excitement started to grow as it was getting closer to the big event. The ladies got together and tried on their gowns, and compliments and suggestions were given, then they each slipped on their shoes and their gowns again, seeing how they each looked.
Each of them took turns using the bathroom, grooming themselves for the evening. After showers were done, they did each others hair and make-up. They did final inspections on each other and complimented each other on their looks.
The men didn’t do much while the ladies were getting themselves prettied up. They napped and watched television. They knew better than to try to talk to the ladies while they were in the beauty salon, part of the house.
As there was nothing much to do by this time, they realized that lunch had been skipped, until Ralph went to the kitchen and started rummaging through the cupboards. Rachel followed behind him, and suggested soup and sandwiches, since time was slipping by.
Lunch was made quickly and everyone gathered around to eat, but no one was very hungry from the baking of the cake, where sneaking a lick of frosting happened too much. The meal didn’t last very long, and Rachel volunteered to clean the kitchen up herself, since the ladies were ready for their graduation evening. No one argued with her, and left her to her thoughts, while leaving the kitchen.
Drake and Dahlia drove over and picked up her father. She wanted her father there for the big moment of seeing his only child graduating. Her dad was ready when they arrived and with a little help, they all got back in the car and went back to their home.
At home, there were no more chores to do, the house looked good, the cake was done, the yard looked wonderful, so they spent their free time chatting with each other. Before they knew it, it was time to get ready to go to the school.
They all packed themselves in the two cars, with Ralph driving one and Drake driving the other, and soon the school was in sight, and after parking they all climbed out of the cars and then the students began to hug each other and wish them good luck. The ladies looked themselves over once again, straightening their gowns and getting fly away hairs back in their proper place.
They walked into the doors and the students made their way to the room where they were to wait to be called in to the gym, where graduation was to take place. Drake and his parents went ahead to the gym and found the closest spot they could to the front. Rachel didn’t want to miss taking any photos so she wanted as close as possible.
The gym filled up quickly with many family members and friends. Soon the music started playing in the background, and the principal of the school appeared, and said his welcome speech, and speaking about how proud he was of the graduating students this year. After his speech a lady tapped Rachel on the shoulder asking if she could sit with them, and when Rachel looked up, she saw that it was the dance instructor. Rachel said of course she could sit with them. After being seated, the teacher leaned over and whispered how proud she was of Dahlia and she had been an outstanding student, and she knew she was going to grow much in her career as a dance instructor. Rachel beamed hearing this and said a heart-felt thank you.
The music got louder and the double doors at the back opened, and one by one the students made their way down the aisle and walked up to the stage, lining up one behind the other. The principal came to the podium once again, and giving another speech, then began to call their names one by one handing them their diplomas.
Flashes of lights were going off in every direction. Proud parents and friends were whistling and clapping. This was a huge moment in all of their lives. When the last of the line had accepted their diploma, all the students started clapping and tossing their caps in the air.
It was over, they had graduated and now the gym was full of buzz and laughter as each student was congratulated by friends, families, and teachers. Slowly the gym emptied out and the school became silent as they all went their own directions to celebrate.
Some of the students drove back to Rachel and Drakes home and for the rest of the evening. There was laughter and plenty of good spirits in the house. They had done it, they had worked hard, and it had paid off, graduation day had come, they received their diplomas and now they were ready to experience the world as a graduate.
Each of them took turns going in to see Drew, and telling them to hurry and get well so he
could come back home. No one knew if Drew was actually hearing what they said, as there was no movement from the bed, but the monitor showed that he was still alive.
After everyone had finished visiting, they all gathered together and went back home, making sure to tell the nurse to call them if any changes occurred. It was a quiet ride back to the house and even as they walked into the front door of their home, the house felt empty.
There was no big dinner plans made in advance, so each of them fixed their own meal this evening, and after finishing their meal, and cleaning up, they all went their separate ways. Drake and Dahlia followed Rachel and Ralph out to the front porch. It was very peaceful here, and peace is what everyone in this house needed.
Drake and Dahlia sat on the porch rockers and Ralph and Rachel sat on the porch swing. It seemed like each was lost in his own thoughts, as the conversation was dead. Looking out over the property, Rachel finally spoke saying, Drake, I know this has been an unexpected event in all of our own lives with Drew in the hospital, and I also realize that you and Dahlia are to get married this Saturday. I think the wedding should continue as planned.
Dahlia spoke up and interrupted saying that no, they could not do this. This was not a happy time, they would post pone the wedding until Drew got better. Rachel said, no, we must go on. We do not know the outcome of this and sadly, we don’t know when Drew will come home. You two have made all of these arrangements, invitations were out, food was and has been started for preparations and the flowers have been ordered. She continued on with, Drew would not want you to stop just on his account, and maybe he can possible be there at the wedding.
Ralph spoke up agreeing with his wife. Dahlia had a job that she was going to be starting after the wedding. Graduation was Thursday night, and it would be much easier to just continue with all plans.
Drake and Dahlia looked at each other and Drake opened his mouth to say something, but his dad stopped him, saying it is alright Drake, it is alright. Dahlia reached out for Drake’s hand and placed it in hers, and the two of them with sad faces said alright, we will continue on, and with that, they got up, with his parents following their lead and all went to their rooms.
School was the next day and it was a buzz everywhere with exams being taken and finished up. Some were loading up their lockers preparing to take their personal items home. Drake stayed busy, grading papers and when Dahlia was not busy, she would stop by his classroom and help him.
So far Dahlia had passed all of her exams and she was on her way to graduation day. She stopped into the office the next day at school and picked up her rented cap and gown, and took it home to show the others how she looked. They all clapped and cheered as they said she looked so beautiful in her gown.
All of them went to see Drew, and by now his eyes were opened but he was too weak to get out of bed. He was still hooked up to several tubes, making life easier for him, but he would be here for several more days, but things looked like he may be improving.
The atmosphere relaxed at home as the news drifted from one to the other that Drew was going to be alright soon. Wednesday after school, the day had been completed. Exams, lockers being emptied and all small details were finished. Drake and Dahlia stopped by the dry cleaners and picked up the suit for her dad and stopped and got the socks and they ran them over to his house and to see how he was doing.
He was smiling when he opened the door. Spring had surely changed the attitude and he seemed pretty content. He had even made a pot of coffee and the three of them sat down and shared some coffee and conversation. They could not stay long they told him as they had to hurry home to help make more foods for the wedding Saturday. Her father smiled at the two of them and told them to go on, get their work done, that he would see Ralph Saturday, when he picked him up.
With this they got up and she kissed her father good-bye on the forehead and the two of them left to go home and get busy. When they arrived home the kitchen was full of activities. Everyone had their part and knew their job. Rachel had made two big home-made pizzas earlier and all that had to be done for supper was to pop them in the oven.
Sandwiches were made and placed in the cooler on the back porch. Salads were also made. Two of the ladies had made some pretty mints, and others were cutting up a vegetable tray. Everything was coming along nicely. Ralph walked into the room and rubbing his stomach, he said where is the food, I am hungry! They all laughed for the first time in a couple of days, and with that Rachel popped the pizzas in the oven, and the table was set and drinks poured.
As they all seated for supper, they reached for each others hands and said thanks to God for the meal and a speedy healing for Drew. Supper was filled with anticipation of the next few days ahead, and the laughter was so nice to be heard again.
Just as they were finishing supper, the phone rang, and it was the minister making sure the wedding was still on for Saturday, and with the answer of yes, the phone call ended. Everyone chipped in and helped clean up and soon the floors, counters and table were sparkling once again.
The next day was graduation and there was no school. Dahlia and the other ladies slept in a little late and then had a late breakfast. They decided to celebrate this day with pancakes and sausages for breakfast with milk and fresh orange juice. It was going to be a grand day!
All that could be done for the wedding had been done. Tomorrow the flowers would be delivered the church, and the rehearsal dinner and practice of going down the aisle were going to be done, and then the next day was the big day!