Did you miss Chapter One?
Did you miss part one of Chapter Two?
Chapter Two Continued…
“Oh, thank you,” I said. “I think I can manage getting to my room on my own. I just need to put my feet up for a minute before Babette arrives.”
He nodded but proceeded to follow me down the corridor anyway.
“You flew in from Cincinnati?” he asked.
“San Francisco,” I corrected.
“Ah, right. That’s what I meant. Babette’s told me so much about you. You knew her from beauty school.”
I frowned. “College,” I said. “We went to university together.”
Babette had never gone to beauty school. What was he going on about?
He laughed overly loud. “Ha! I knew that. I’m just kidding. I always tell Babette she’s such a beauty she must’ve gone to school for it.” He waved his pointer fingers in the air as if making a silent drum roll.
I arrived at my hotel room door and couldn’t get the key card into the slot fast enough.
Poor Charlie. He was probably just nervous to meet Babette’s friends, but I felt the distinct and very real need to end our conversation.
“It was so nice meeting you.” I pushed open the door to my room. “I need to make a few calls and check in at home.”
He rested his hand on the doorframe and leaned in, as if waiting to be invited into my room.
He drummed his fingers on the frame. “Did uh…did Babette mention anything to you about what time she was arriving?”
“No. I assumed you were bringing her to the event.”
He laughed loudly again, showing me his overly white teeth. “Nah, I’m not allowed down there. You know, girls’ night and all.”
The single chair in the corner of my room beckoned me.
How could I make him go away?
“Oh! Listen, Charlie, I really have to put my feet up for a bit. Do you mind giving Babette this box of Ghirardelli chocolates that I brought?” Without waiting for his reply, I dug into my suitcase and produced the stunning tin of Ghirardelli premium chocolates that only a heathen could resist.
He immediately pounced on it.
“Babette loves chocolate,” he said. “Only, you know, I don’t let her eat it. Waistline and all,” he clucked.
With that comment, I didn’t feel bad about slamming the door in the man’s face.
What an absolute donkey.
What kind of man makes a comment on his bride-to-be’s waistline to her six-months-pregnant-with-twins friend!
I padded over to the hotel chair in the corner and slipped off my ballet flats. My feet instantly ballooned, and I knew it’d been a mistake. I’d never get the shoes on again. I propped my feet onto the hotel desk and grabbed my cell phone.
I missed Jim and Laurie so much it hurt.
Why had I thought it would be a good idea to leave them?
I dialed Jim, and he picked up on the first ring. “Hey, stranger. How’s the wild bachelorette party?”
“It hasn’t started yet, but I miss you guys like crazy. How’s Laurie?”
“She’s good. Just gave her a bottle and a bath. Here, you can talk to her.” He put her on the phone, and nine-month babbling almost brought me to tears. When Jim got back on the phone, he heard the emotion in my voice. “Babe, it’s only a weekend! You need this break, remember? As soon as the twins are born, there’ll be no travel for a while. So enjoy yourself.”
“How’s the hotel?” he asked.
I laughed. “Honestly, this place is a dump!”
“Yes! I have no idea what Babette was thinking. Another thing, I just met the groom-to-be, and I don’t know about him.”
“What do you mean?”
“I can’t put my finger on it. Just got a bad feeling from him.”
“He’s probably nervous,” Jim reasoned. “It’s hard to meet all the girlfriends at once.”
I chuckled. “I guess so.” I rubbed my feet and thought for a moment. “Remember I told you in college Babette always ended up with losers?”
“Kate, we aren’t in college anymore. I’m sure he’s a nice guy.”
I sighed. “Did I ever tell you about the time she hooked up with Johnny, the pretty boy who was also a petty criminal, and he stole Babette’s grandmother’s heirloom sapphire bracelet that was gifted to Babette on her grandma’s deathbed?”
Jim groaned. Clearly he didn’t want to hear the story, but I ignored him.
“That bracelet was supposed to be the thing for Babette to wear at her wedding. You know, something borrowed, something blue, something old, something new.”
Jim made a noise in the back of his throat that was supposed to give me the impression he was listening, but I also heard the familiar suction noise of the refrigerator opening and then the tell-tale click and fizz of what I knew for certain was a beer being opened. I’d just lost my audience, but I continued. “Babette said that bracelet could count as two things in one, because it was old and blue. She cried for weeks when pretty boy Johnny pilfered it.”
“Yeah,” Jim said, doing nothing to mask a big gulp of his beer.
“I don’t think Babette ever recovered the bracelet. She’s probably missing it now more than ever, seeing as she’s about to marry.”
“Uh-huh,” Jim said.
“And I can’t believe she’s marrying this clown!”
“Give him a chance, honey.”
“I will,” I assured Jim as we hung up.
I glanced first at the time, then at my feet. The swelling wasn’t letting up, but I’d be darned if I was going down to the party in anything less than something festive. I dug around in my suitcase and found my croc-embossed mules with the much-needed arch support. With an open heel, they fit perfectly and masked my elephant feet.
My phone pinged repeatedly, and I checked it to find a slew of photos from Jim of Laurie and our kitten, Whiskers. I pocketed the phone, armed now to rejoin the party downstairs.
Before I left the room, I crossed over to take a peek in the mirror.
The shoes complemented the outfit beautifully, giving it an extra pop of color. Go me. They were sapphire blue, which made me think of Babette’s bracelet.
Was she really going to marry Charlie?
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”I couldn’t stop reading!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Fast-paced and fun. I love these mysteires!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Diana Orgain is my new favorite author!”
Share the love!