Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Have any of you seen "The Holiday" with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz?
Have you seen the part where Jude Law tells Cameron Diaz in his cute bumbling way why he can't date her and then says, "You're lovely."
Well, dear Rachel Ann thinks I'm lovely. And I think you're all lovely. But I can only give this to seven of you.
Actually, I can't do it. I give it to all of you. Seriously. Because you're all lovely and you all make my life so much better. I love reading through your comments. My favorite ones are when you tell me I've made you smile or made your day. My toes tingle, my heart flutters and my cheeks turn pink. The fact that my idiotic ramblings can make you giggle only encourages me. Because honestly, all I want to do is make you all happy.
So please, if you visit today, give yourself this award. I'm not being lazy. I simply can't choose.
In other news.... (I know you want to know what's in the envelope Wade's got! I'm getting there.)
Don't forget about the Blond Duck Confessions! Whether you want to know what my favorite breakfast is or what my workout routine is, ask away! You can ask me what the ending of Twirl is, questions about the Gift or why the cookie stealing bunny has a secret guilty pleasure for tacos. I'll tell you anything you want to know.
Just leave your question in the comments--only two more days for questions!
Have you read the previous Twirl?
No? Well go here.
And to catch up even further, check here and here.
Or e-mail me for all the text so far and you can get your own work-in-progress copy of Twirl!
And now, for the rest of the story. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Swept in a tornado of rage, Vivi tore around her room. She shook her dance bag empty and ripped several shirts off hangers trembling in her closet. Grabbing a handful of folded jeans and pants, she yanked them off a shelf lined with carefully folded garments.
As she filled another bag with dance clothes and shoes, a shy hand knocked against the door.
"Go away," Vivi snarled.
"Vivi, darling..." the weak voice trailed off. "Please." '
Gritting her teeth, Vivi jerked the door open. Her mother simpered, her head bowed under a curtain of greasy hair. The color, once as brilliant as Vivi's own strawberry blond hair, had darkened to a dull auburn streaked with grey.
Vivi knew from photos her mother had once been extraordinary--a gorgeous actress who had captured the breath of thousands by simply walking on stage. But something had happened when she was very small. It was like one day her mother had simply been switched off, and she had withdrawn deeper and deeper into herself ever since. And no one would tell Vivi what happened. It was the greatest dance of her life. A new sense of rage filled her as her mother cowed in the doorway.
"What?" Vivi snapped.
Her mother ducked her head and Vivi was flooded with remorse. She shouldn't yell at her mother like this. She really didn't want to. She was just so angry and frustrated.
"Please don't be angry with your father and I, Vivi darling," her mother said, a whisper of her normal voice remaining in the quiet words. "We're simply worried about your future. The entertainment world is a hard one..."
"Why don't you want me to go to college like a normal parent?" Vivi asked, leaning against the door. It was all she could do to keep her voice level. She had to remind herself to treat her mother like a tiny puppy--keep her voice calm and soft, and don't make any sudden movements.
"You have a talent that should not be wasted," her mother repeated what Vivi's father had told her since she was two. "You're one of the best dancers today, darling."
"Then why don't we live in New York or Europe?" Vivi asked. "Why am I not training with the best?" It was an old argument, one her mother was happy to follow. There was comfort in redundancy, Vivi thought bitterly.
"Your father is not welcomed in those arenas," her mother replied diplomatically. "That's why you must work harder. To prove yourself over his mistakes."
Vivi's eyes flashed. "What mistakes?" Her mother bowed her head, her voice so low Vivi could barely hear it. "You know I can't tell you, Vivi. It's your father's wishes"--
"What mistake, mother?" Vivi repeated, her voice biting. "Is Mrs. Angelson involved?"
Vivi's mother's head jerked and Vivi pounced. "Tell me, Mom," she said, grabbing her mother's hand. "I have a right to know. This is my life you're all directing. Tell me why it's so important that I dance. Tell me why it's so important I do this competition. Tell me why."
Vivi's mother raised her head and Vivi started at the anguish in her eyes. With tears streaming down her cheeks, her mother shook her head. "I can't," she whispered. And then she crept down the stairs like they had never spoken at all.
Vivi bit her lip. With renewed purpose, she resumed packing. She pulled her cell phone out of her purse.
"Susanna?" she whispered into the phone. "Can I stay with you tonight?"
The next day, Vivi drove out to the old dance hall. She'd barely had any sleep, but at least she'd had a shower at Susanna's house. Her mother had fussed over her, thrilled to have more children in the house. As the baby of a seven child family, her mother obviously loved to fuss over children, no matter who they belonged to.
Wearing a bright blue sundress that made her green eyes look teal and her hair shine, Vivi paced nervously around the front of the dancehall. She was meeting Wade's grandfather tonight, and she had no idea what to expect. She heard the roar of Wade's truck's diesel engine before she saw his blinding smile. He pulled the car into park and climbed out of the truck.
"What are you doing?" Vivi asked. "Aren't we supposed to meet the sheriff at his office?" Wade shook his head.
"He called this morning. He asked to meet us here instead for lunch. I'm not sure why," he said in response to Vivi's expression. "Something has him nervous. He's jumpier than a jackrabbit."
"Maybe we just got a ton of money," Vivi teased. A familiar pleasant shiver ran down her spine as he enfolded her tiny hand in his large rough one.
"If that's the case, I'd take you to the most beautiful place in the world every night," Wade answered. He helped Vivi up the rickety steps and brushed her hand against his lips.
"And where would that be?" Vivi asked, tossing her curls behind her shoulders. She smiled as his blue eyes twinkled down at her.
"Right here," Wade grinned, pulling the door open. "The best dancehall in Texas with the best chicken fry and pie you could ever find!"
Vivi giggled as they made their way to the back of the restaurant. The sheriff was squatting in a dark corner, jumping as every waitress walked by. He was huddled over clutching something to his chest and peering at everyone around him with narrowed eyes. Vivi raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. The poor man probably doesn't get much excitement, she thought with an amused smile. This is the most adventure he's had in years, most likely.
"Vivi!" a voice bellowed. The sheriff threw himself against the table. Vivi turned to see Hilda waving at her from the bar.
"What do you and Wade want?" Wade looked at Vivi.
"Just a turkey sandwich and a salad," Vivi told him.
"She'll have a turkey sandwich, some chips and some pecan pie," Wade yelled. He looked at Vivi. "You don't want the salad here. Trust me." He turned and yelled towards the back. "I'll have a cheeseburger with fries and a vanilla milkshake."
"Brisket is better," Hilda yelled back.
"Then fix me up some of that instead," Wade called. "You know what sides I like." He looked at the sheriff, who was patting his forehead with a bandanna. "Sheriff, what do you want?"
"I'm not here," the sheriff hissed, looking around furtively. "Don't say my name."
"What's the sheriff want?" Hilda bellowed. Wade tried not to laugh as the sheriff huddled deeper into the corner, hiding his face behind his hand.
"Brisket plate," he muttered. "Brisket plate," Wade yelled.
"Coming up!" Hilda crashed into the back of the kitchen, obviously delighted with their orders. "Now sheriff," Wade asked as he pulled out Vivi's chair, "What is wrong with you? You're acting like someone in a spy movie."
The sheriff glared at him. "And I've got good reason to. You have no idea what was in that envelope you found."
"Then tell us!" Vivi burst out. She glared at the sheriff as he glared at her. "I'm tired of waiting. I want to know what it is!" The sheriff leaned down so his chin was an inch above the table. He looked to his left. He looked to his right. He glanced at the doorway and bar.
"Have you ever heard of the Dancehall Dreamers?" he whispered.
To be continued.....
Stay tuned, Invisible Friends! We have low-fat chicken pot pie tomorrow and Confessions of the Blond Duck Friday!