Chapter 16A Chapter by Laura Ann
"Hold still," Wendy the seamstress instructed, as she poked more pins into Francie.
"Ouch!" Francie yelped, and couldn't help but flinch, sending all the other pins flying off the dress she was wearing. "Oops," she said, rather sheepishly.
Wendy sighed and wiped sweat off her brow. She rolled her eyes up toward the ceiling, silently asking God why parents insisted on dressing kids in all these fancy clothes just for one stupid wedding.
Jody stuck her head inside the curtain. "Wendy? Is the fitting done yet?"
Since Wendy's mouth was full of pins, Francie answered for her: "Not exactly."
Jody sighed, too. "I was hoping for faster service," she said in annoyance, then walked briskly away.
"M-kay," Wendy said to France, somehow managing to speak. "We've got to get this done before your mom sends in a complaint and I lose my job. So I'm sorry if I poke you, but it's only because you're not standing still. Now, let's try this again."
She picked up a handful of the silky red material, withdrew a pin from her mouth, and slipped it into the dress to hold it in place.
"Good. Now, just do that about twenty more times, and we'll be done." Wendy determinedly began to hastily put in more and more pins, until Francie's dress arrangements were finally ready.
Francie slipped out of the dress, careful not to dislodge any of Wendy's minions, and changed back into her normal clothes. She stepped out of the changing curtain, and headed back to a rather impatient mother and Claira.
"There she is," Jody said. "Now, it's Claira's turn."
Wendy, who had just exited the changing room to hang up the dress, overheard Jody's last statement. Her eyes bulged in horror. "I'd better be getting paid extra for this," she thought.
A few more weeks passed. The wedding was now one day away, and everybody was running around, making last arrangements for flowers and organ players and whatnot. The Peterson house was in total chaos.
"Now where did I leave the paperwork?" Jody called out, gliding through the house and turning over tables and chairs in her frantic search.
"Right here, Mom," Francie calmly replied, pointing to the coffee table. She sat on the couch in the living room, munching on popcorn and watching a movie.
Mrs. Peterson sighed in relief. "Thank you, honey." She walked in and picked up the large stack of papers, then exited the room to look for something else.
Francie's eyes didn't leave the television set. She stared at the screen, bug-eyed and totally mesmerized.
Back in Miami, Stacey was hanging out at Lydia's house after school. They sat on Lydia's bed, and Stacey was once again talking about Francie.
Lydia listened at first, but she gradually began to tune Stacey out.
"Lydia? Helloooo?" Stacey's hand waved in front of her face. "Are you even listening to me?"
"Huh? What?" Lydia snapped back into focus.
Stacey rolled her dark eyes. "I knew you weren't paying attention. Anyway--"
"You know," Lydia interrupted, "It's kind of hard to listen when all you do is talk about her."
"I don't understand what you're saying." Stacey was confused.
"It's fine, I get it." Lydia swallowed and looked away.
"I know that you like Francie better than me! Okay?" Lydia's blue eyes flashed angrily. She stood up and crossed her arms over her chest. "I don't understand why you even hang out with me anymore."
"Lydia, you have it all wrong." Stacey stood up too. "I--"
"Shut up!" Lydia yelled. Both she and Stacey were surprised at what she had said. Then she regained her composure. "Right now, I want you out. Of. My. House."
"Please. Let me explain..."
"Just leave!" Lydia turned her back to Stacey. After a few awkward moments of silence, Stacey walked out of Lydia's house, sniffling the whole way.
Stacey rode her bike to the dock, sat down at the edge, and burst into tears.
"What did I do?" she asked herself. "I was just so excited about Francie coming, and..." She sighed. "I guess Lydia just needs some time." With that, Stacey left the dock and biked back home.
© 2010 Laura Ann
Book 1: Changes Can Be Good
About"But your happiness? Let us weigh up the gain and the loss involved in calling heads that God exists. Let us assess the two cases: if you win you win everything, if you lose you lose nothing. Do not h.. more..