Standing on the sidewalk, I wait patiently. I look up and down Main Street and watch the cars go by. I don’t see the one I want. Deciding to kill a few minutes, I walk towards the corner and peer into the window of the police station. Officer Barnes is on the desk answering the phone.
Should I go in and see if Ares has a few minutes to talk to me? Debating on whether Tobias’s Chief of Police has fifteen minutes or perhaps missing my friend, I decide to wait outside. A blue Prius drives by and I smile, she’s here.
I follow the car down the street, thank God she found a good parking spot. Downtown Tobias is busy for a Monday.
“Rosanne.” I call out to the woman with the auburn bob as she is closing the car door.
“JK!” We hug and laugh.
“I’m so glad you decided to come. It’s been eons since we saw each other.”
“Yes, and I wouldn’t miss this for anything. I can’t believe I’m in Tobias. So where are they?” Rosanne says barely pausing to take a breath.
“They’re still inside for their weekly beauty.” I say as we walk over to the yellow Cadillac doubled parked in front of the Beauty Spot. Stopping at the back end near the trunk, Rosanne runs a hand lovingly over the large fins.
“I wonder if the Cinderella Sisters will take us for a spin.”
“I sure hope so. It’s a beautiful day for it. Oh, here they come.” I say to Rosanne as I turn to see the front door of the hair salon open and two ladies walk out.
Alma and Alvaretta Tobias come out of the Beauty Spot. The clicks of their high heels against the sidewalk wake up the two codgers dozing on the bench. “Good morning cuties,” Duncan says with a sleepy grin on his lips.
The old man tips his hat to them and chuckles as the ladies ignore him, they always do. After adjusting the diamond necklace around her sagging neck, Alma puts her white gloves on. The bits of glass sparkle in the sun sending out a fake luminescence.
The faded roses of yesteryear are all appearance, just like in their youth. The dreams they had when they were young still dance in their eyes. They had everything at one time, money, beauty, and a future, everything but sanity.
“Oh my gosh, Duncan, four cuties all at once.” Bill says as he grins and wiggles his eyebrows. Rosanne and I smile at the two men as they stand up.
“JK, I’m glad to see you again.” Alma says as she kisses me on my cheek, ignoring Duncan and Bill.
“Alma and Retta, this is my girlfriend Rosanne. I hope you don’t mind her coming to lunch with us.”
“Of course not.” Alvaretta says.
“Come on, let’s have lunch.” Alma says as she tugs me along down the street. “Retta, no tarrying.”
Alvaretta tugs her mini skirt down, winks at Duncan and follows.
Sitting in a table in the middle of the diner, a woman of indeterminate age wearing a pink uniform and a stained apron walks over to us. She pulls a pencil from her hair and says, “Well?”
I look up at Mabel and say, “Well what?”
“Did Iris talk to you? Am I going to get a love interest in the next book?” Mabel asks as she snaps her gum.
“Mabel, I’m not sure. I’ll have to think about it.” I say as I roll my eyes. I knew Mabel would be difficult, I saw it coming.
“I bet she isn’t mean to her characters like you are.” Mabel says pointing her pencil at my friend. Rosanne’s cheeks turn a soft shade of blush.
“You better give her what she wants JK, she looks cranky.” Rosanne leans over and whispers in my ear.
“It’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a press of the button. All I have to do is hit delete and the problem is solved.” I say looking right at Mabel with a knowing smirk on my face.
“You wouldn’t dare.” Mabel says, her eyes as big as saucers.
“Honey, she can do anything she wants. It’s her story.” Alvaretta says picking up the menu.
“Are you going to take our orders or do we have to go to the diner in Lake Placid?” Alma says showing her impatience.
Mabel says nothing as she holds her pencil to the pad of paper signaling she is ready to take our orders. She isn’t too happy but knows she has to behave or she might be moving to Florida with Bev’s Mom. All of us decide on ice teas and Cesar salads with extra parmesan cheese, dressing on the side.
“Doesn’t anyone eat meat anymore?” The red headed waitress mumbles as she scribbles on the pad and walks away.
“Testy today isn’t she.” Alvaretta says as she takes her lipstick and compact out of her purse. After applying the color, she asks, “JK, do you think you can give me a facelift? These sags and wrinkles are bothering me.” I shrug.
We chat about the latest gossip in Tobias, I love to keep up on all the town news. Mabel comes over with our lunches and drinks with a bright smile on her lips. I’m suspicious, since when does Mabel smile. I give her a censorious look.
“I’m changing my tactics.” Mabel says as she places our lunches and drinks on the table.
“Ok. I’m not promising anything. I’ll have to see how the story works out.” I tell Mabel, she gives me a sweet smile.
“If Mabel gets a boyfriend, then I get a facelift.” Alvaretta says.
“We will see Retta. Anyways, Faith is coming to town and I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind her staying with you. Otherwise, I’ll have to find another place for her to stay.”
“Oh yes. We haven’t seen Faith since she was a child.” Alma brightens at the possibility of seeing her niece and having a bigger presence in the next story.
“Come on, let’s finish our lunches and go for a ride. Rosanne and I are dying to take a spin in the Cadillac.” I say getting excited as I eat my salad.
We walk towards the convertible putting on our matching kerchiefs and sunglasses. With the wind on our faces, we drive down Main Street. Chief Stoner waves to us as he comes out of the police station. I love Tobias and can’t wait to start writing the second book.