Forever with Me / Page 9

Page 9


I wave back and breathe a deep sigh of relief when I turn the corner into my complex. I hate exercising. I hate wearing sneakers. I hate sweating.

And I have the ass and hips to show for it.

I mentally shrug and press the button for the elevator as Train’s “Hey Soul Sister” beats in my ears.

Now, this I like. I could dance all day. Since I’m alone in the elevator, I cut a rug of my own and boogie around the inside of the car, then come to a complete stop and school my features just as the door opens, in case someone is standing on the other side waiting to get in.

My dance moves are best enjoyed in private. I’m no Meredith Summers.

“There you are!” Emily exclaims and shoves her phone in her handbag. She’s leaning against my door.

“Why are you at my condo at the ass crack of dawn?” I ask, as I unlock the door and step inside, Emily on my heels.

“We have two baby showers and an old lady party today.”

“Red Hat Society party,” I reply, and toe off my sneakers as soon as humanly possible. “How can people wear those?”

“The sister of the mom-to-be at party number one has already called me three times this morning,” Emily continues. “The MTB is allergic to watermelon.”

“We’re not serving watermelon.” I roll my eyes and strip out of my yoga pants and Blake’s old Mariners T-shirt and walk past Emily to my shower. “It’s going to be fine. All of the details are in place for all three parties.”

“I know, I just figured that if I’m getting calls at the butt crack of dawn, I might as well be with you when I get them.”

“That’s kind of you,” I mutter, and step into the shower.

“How was Will yesterday?” Emily yells out from my vanity where she’s primping her hair.

“He was hungry, as usual,” I reply with a laugh.

“And Dominic?”

I pause mid-shave on my leg and frown at the foggy shower door. “How did you know I saw Dominic?”

“Because you’re almost chipper this morning. Blake doesn’t do that to you.”

“I’m always chipper,” I lie, and return to shaving my legs.

“No, you’re not. I love this eye shadow! So? Was Dominic sexy or what?”

Sexy like you wouldn’t even believe.

“He’s okay, if you like that sort of thing.”

Emily busts up laughing, and I can’t help but smile with her.

Who doesn’t like that sort of thing?

***

“Old ladies are better than emotional pregnant women any day of the week,” Emily whispers to me as she passes by, refilling the ladies’ teacups with fresh hot water.

We are at our third and final event of the day, a late tea with a local Red Hat Society chapter. Eight women are in attendance today, ranging in age from roughly fifty-five to one hundred and five.

And Wilma, the one-oh-five year old is a spitfire.

“I pinched his rear!” she crows and cackles with glee, her wide-brimmed hat shading her happy face. The party is under a tent to keep the heat off the women, and the hostess, Miss Kitty, also rented portable air conditioners for the event.

“Oh, my goodness, Wilma, he’s at least twenty years younger than you!” Betty, Wilma’s younger sister, laughs and sips her tea daintily.

“You get to be my age, they’re all twenty years younger than me. I’ve gotta get my fun where I can.”

I smile as I place a fresh plate of scones on the table.

“These scones are delicious,” Wilma comments and takes my hand in hers, holding on tight. “You’re a doll to bring them for us, Alecia.”

“It’s my pleasure,” I reply with a smile and rub her delicate shoulder with my free hand. “Are you all having fun, ladies?”

“Oh, yes!” All of the women, in their pretty red hats and purple dresses nod and smile, and if I’m being honest, this is the kind of party I like the very best.

“Well, we have surprises for you this month.” I nod at Emily who rolls out a cart full of pretty purple gift bags with red tissue paper as the women all gasp in excitement.

“Oh, you didn’t have to do that,” Leona, a sweet seventy-something woman with mocha skin, perfectly coifed hair, and bright red lipstick smiles like a kid on Christmas morning.

“I know that, but you are my favorite ladies, so I thought we’d bring you something extra special.”

“Is it that Fifty Shades book?” Miss Kitty asks eagerly.

“Uh, no,” I reply, and bite my lip to keep from laughing as Emily and I pass out the bags.

“I’ve been listening to that on audio,” Miss Kitty informs her guests. “That Christian Grey is something to write home about.”

“My kids bought me one of those e-readers for Christmas,” a lady named Beth adds. “I love it. This way I can read all of those naughty books and no one is any the wiser.” She nods conspiratorially with Miss Kitty, then all the ladies turn their attention to their bags.

“Go ahead and open them.”

The women dig in and come out with beautiful, hand-dyed red and purple silk scarves.

“I know it’s summer, so you probably won’t get to wear them for a little while, but I just couldn’t resist.”

“Oh honey, they’re gorgeous!” Wilma exclaims, immediately wrapping hers around her neck. “I’m always cold. I have poor circulation.” She winks at me and then gestures for me to lean in and give her a hug.

“I have a date tonight!” Leona announces. “I’ll wear my lovely new scarf.”

“Who’s the lucky guy?” Emily asks.

“Ed Brenner,” she replies. “He volunteers at the historical society with me, and after making him wait for a while, I finally said yes to dinner.”

“Good for you,” I tell her happily.

“How about you, honey?” Wilma asks. “Do you have a date tonight?”

I turn wide eyes on Emily, who just smiles and waits for me to answer with the others.

“No, ma’am.”

“I have a very handsome grandson,” Wilma replies. “He’s sixty, though, so that might be a bit too old for you.”

“Just a bit,” I reply with a laugh.

“My grandson is thirty,” Miss Kitty says with a thoughtful look on her face. “He’s going through a messy divorce and has three kids, but I think you two would get along wonderfully.”


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