Pulpit Love, a short story, part 10
Sue Hacquett had been slow dancing for twenty minutes with the same man. A broad shouldered cowboy with a big moustache that made her mistake him for Sam Elliott. He kept his large beige Stetson hat on the all time. Not his fault. No one ever taught him that a properly educated man should always remove his hat inside a building. Especially in the presence of women...
- "Are you ready to give this cowboy the ride of his life ?" he asked Susan.
- "Cowboy, take me away and be prepared to experience the wildest rodeo you've ever been to!"
Amazing what a bad day combined with a couple of rum and Coke will do to a woman's inhibitions !
Father Phillip had gone home disgusted. Even driving his brand new Jaguar couldn't take away the blues away tonight. When he got home, he sat in his favorite chair in the living-room, after pouring himself a generous dose of black label Old Bushmills on ice. He skipped the 6 O'clock news. Not interested tonight ! He had his own share of news for the day. He could overhear Majolica, his wife, preparing dinner in the kitchen. She was making the hot curry shrimp dish he liked so much, she had said. With the effect of alcohol, he finally started to unwind. He got up and walked in the direction of the kitchen. Majolica had changed from her work clothes into a short denim skirt, a white V-neck tee shirt and a pair of red leather flat ballerinas. As she stood in front of the stove, her back turned to the living-room, Majolica didn't hear her husband walk into the kitchen. But when she felt the contact of both hands on her hips, she smiled and immediately turned the stove control down to the "simmer" position. This could take a while. His hands had gone up and grabbed her braless breasts under the tee shirt. Yes, she thought, shivering from the contact, this is going to take a long time...
Esther Borrowitz had just finished typing her article on her laptop computer and she was proud of her work. Almost three thousand words of a detailed account of the story compiled from the informations she had extracted from Susan Hacquett. Of course, Capella had known everything all along but he wouldn't help her. Bastard ! At least, he had given her the tip to talk to Susan and she gave him some credit for that, he didn't have to. And boy, can this woman Susan talk ! Esther dialed Capella's cellular phone number. With a very matter of fact, monotone voice, he said to her :
- "I hope you're not too far into writing your story. Change of plans ! The two girls just came home to their mother tonight, so I don't want you to even mention a single word about that part. This is no longer newsworthy. The rest is still good, though, you know, the missing money and the pastor. By the way, how much did he take ?
- "Eighty two thousand five hundred !? Esther had tears in her eyes. The juiciest part of the story had become irrelevant ! Couldn't these stupid teenagers had come home the next morning, after she went to press. Now, she couldn't even milk two thousand words out of what was left of the story.
- "Capella, I hate your f.....g guts!"
- "I love you too, dear. Welcome to the real world !" And he hung up.
Capella put his phone back in his pocket,
- :"So, I have a final question for both of you Hattie and Marigold. Do you want to press charges against Pastor Hoffner ?" Both girls shook their head negatively without saying a word.
- "OK, it's a wrap, then. My work is done here !"
- "Not so fast, please" Cynthia said with a firm, assertive tone, there is something I'd like to say. And she turned towards her daughters as Stephen sat back on the couch :
- "My darling girls, I have always loved you and I still do. But right now, I do not like either one of you. You may not be fully aware of it, but you have caused a lot of grief to a number of people. Starting with me, your mother. And your father too. He's worried sick the same way I have been and you better call him soon to explain yourselves, because I am not going to. There has been a lot of taxpayer's money wasted on your behalf starting with Detective Capella here. I'm not going to pass any judgement on your actions, believe me, you don't want me to. You are over 18 and there is very little I can do. And nothing can be taken back anyway. I foolishly thought I had raised you to become two fine young women. Obviously, I failed and your father will never let me hear the end of it, if I allow it. You're leaving for college in a couple of weeks. I wanted to surprise you and drive the U-Haul truck all the way to Gainesville. But I have changed my mind. If you're mature enough to drink yourselves sick, become drug users and copulate repeatedly with a man of the cloth, driving a truck should be a piece of cake, wouldn't it ? Who knows ? Maybe your father will help this time. After all, he's never done anything in the past ten years other than writing checks. And even that he had to bitch about all the time. I'm not the one who deserted that marriage, he is. For what ? A young bimbo. I guess you inherited more of his genes than mine. I'll say this only once : I am very disappointed in you both equally and there is nothing that will change that. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have something to do". She grabbed the telephone on the side table and dialed a number as she read it out of a business card she had just pulled out of her handbag :
- "Le Petit Paris? Hi, my name is Cynthia Randolph and I want to make a reservation for tonight. Dinner for two. Oh, and I want you to sit us at that table in the corner looking right over the ocean. Yes, table 12, that's it ! What time ?" She looked quickly at her wrist watch. "How about eight. Okay then. Oh, and by the way, I want two live candles on the table...Well, find some ! Under what name? Capella, that's C.A.P.E.L.L.A. We'll see you at eight then. Thank you !" She hung up the telephone and making eye contact with a shocked Stephen, she said :
- "That's right, Sailor, I'm taking you out tonight and don't you tell me you have to go home to feed your cat because that's not gonna fly. Are we clear on this ?"
- "Ten-Four, Mam, we'll do" Capella said with a smile.
- "Now, if you'll pardon me, I have to freshen up a little before we go". And she left the room, leaving the detective alone with her two daughters. There was a long moment of uncomfortable silence, then he said :
- "She'll come around. I wouldn't worry too much if I were you". The girls were now holding hands, probably as they had done all of their short lives when facing adversity. The mood was somber.The defiant looks were gone. Reality was sinking in. It can bite hard sometimes...
Father Gibson had gone home too. He had driven his grey car and parked it if front of his grey house. Once inside, he had kissed his wife's grey hair as she welcomed him back home. Now, he was chewing some cardboard tasting grey meat. Later, they would watch a re-run of Gray's Anatomy together, in their dove grey living-room. Father Gibson thought life is not at all black and white as he was taught. He had learned that much today. In fact, for the most part, it was nothing but a huge grey area...
To be continued...
Copyright 2012 by Austinhealy, his heirs and assigns.
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