Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Meet The Women, and Men, of Valley View

Callie dressed for the evening in silence.  Her anger at Benton over their argument last night still smoldered, but it wasn’t enough to cast a pall over this occasion.  She smoothed the lines of her pale blue dress, slid her arms into the matching jacket, and tried to refocus her thoughts on this evening’s activities.  
Tonight their pastors, Anthony and Elizabeth Gordon, would celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary by renewing their vows. Their eldest son, Benjamin, would perform the ceremony. Their daughter, Hannah, would walk down the aisle in front of her mother as matron of honor. Aaron, their third child would stand for his father as best man, and their baby Jacob, thirty-three-years old and six foot three, would give the bride away. Callie grinned into the mirror. Nice how that worked out. She looked up at a noise in the doorway.
 “Are you about ready to go?” Benton asked.
Callie nodded, unwilling to break the silence that continued to stretch between them.  She fastened her earring and sailed passed her husband without a word. His neatly trimmed beard brushed the top of her head as she scooted through the doorway.
He followed her down the hall. “You look nice tonight.”
She gathered her bag. “Thanks.” Callie heard the ice in her voice, apparently Benton did as well. He ushered her out the door without further attempt at conversation.
The drive to the church was equally quiet.  Benton’s eyes on the road, Callie still stewing over last night’s discussion about their vacation. They’d agreed, months ago, on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary.  I thought. Last night’s announcement that he’d leased a beach side cottage in Cozumel still made her teeth clench.  He said he’d mentioned it to her, she was quite sure he hadn’t.  But the non-refundable deposit had been paid. Men! 
Callie stepped into the vestibule of Valley View Church ahead of her husband and gravitated to a corner where her three best friends and co-planners of this event, Karla Black, Pam Jones, and Terri Hayes were gathered, waiting for the ceremony to start.
Terri shifted to make room and reached out to touch the beadwork surrounding the neck of Callie’s jacket. “What a wonderful dress. Where did you find it?”
Callie put an arm around the youngest of her three friends. “At the mall a couple of months ago. It was a just in case purchase, too dressy for work or church, but perfect for an occasion like this.” She studied the other ladies. Karla looked wonderful, her short, plump figure draped in a flattering black pantsuit, her silver hair shinning in the in the low lighting. Pam had chosen purple for the evening. No surprise there since purple was her favorite color and always complimented her dark hair and brown eyes. Terri’s choice of a clingy silver fabric accented her slender I’ve never had kids figure and even went well with her shaggy, finger combed, hair style.  “I’d say we’re all looking pretty good tonight.”
“Yep,” Karla agreed. She nodded to where their husbands were standing in their own little segregated knot. “I had to fight to get Mitchell to buy a new suit, but he liked it once the battle was over.  Harrison and Benton clean up nice too.”
Callie rolled her eyes and angled her back more firmly to the men.
(To be continued)

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