Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Hello, everyone! It’s Jazz Age Wednesdays here at Teagan’s Books. I know how busy you must be at this time of year, so I’m even happier to see you.
These midweek posts have been a mix of new and re-shared vignettes. Since several of you sheiks and shebas are new here, I hope no one minds that I’m doing a repeat of my story from a year ago. As for the “Pip-verse” time-line, this one happens after Pip’s adventures in The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story but before she went to Savanna to live with Granny Phanny.
Pip’s Lemony Christmas
It had been a grand and glorious year. However, it pos-i-lute-ly had ups and downs. At that moment I was in one of the downs. Even the long distance telephone call from my best friend Mona failed (miserably I might add) to cheer me. She might not be sure where she wanted her future to go, but at least it was going somewhere. All my friends were moving forward, going somewhere. Me? It didn’t look like I would ever get anywhere.
Not only was I going nowhere, I seemed to be going there all by myself. Worse, it was Christmastime. Even my Pops suddenly had to go up north on business. I offered to go and keep him company… Okay, so I begged.
“Young ladies have no place at business meetings,” he told me in the stern, no nonsense voice that meant I wouldn’t get anywhere with my plea.
Idly, I looked at the lace covered table, lemons artfully arranged as a centerpiece. I took one of the tangy fruits, tossed it in the air and caught it. I pondered as I tossed the lemon.
What would any self-respecting flapper do in such a situation? Refuse to be a sourpuss, that’s what a flapper would do!
I decided as I tossed the lemon. If all I had for Christmas was lemons, then I’d make lemonade — so to speak, especially after I found the bottle of hooch Pops had squirreled away. I would have rather had the champagne I knew he hid some place, but that had been ages ago and I couldn’t remember where I saw it.
Gin will do just fine, I told myself.
Suddenly inspired, I gave the yellow fruit a final toss. I went to the shoebox that held Granny’s recipes. She had given me instructions for all sorts of citrus treats, and I was a sourpuss with a sweet tooth.
A little while later I was cleaning up the kitchen as it filled with citrusy baking aromas. Just as I picked up the remains of my lemons, a loud knock pounded at the front door. It startled me so badly that I ran to the door with barely a wipe to my juice drenched hands.
“Delivery!” the words came with another thunderous knock.
I threw open the door and the cool December air hit my face. It was downright brisk, for Florida anyway. There was a truck in the driveway and a young man with a name embroidered on his jacket — Ronny. I took the package, barely looking at the guy who handed it to me. My hands tore at the twine excitedly, even before I went inside. Meanwhile Ronny the delivery man wrote something on the receipt clamped to his clipboard.
“If you’ll sign here, Miss?” he asked.
There was a card inside the package from my friend Mona. The front of it said “I’m sorry you’re alone at Christmas.” Hurriedly I stuck the edge of the note between my teeth and tucked the package under my arm so I could take the clipboard and sign the form.
Only then did I notice what a cutie the guy was. He tilted his head all the way to his shoulder and read aloud the note while I signed. As soon as I heard him speak the words, I blushed scarlet. To make matters worse, he made a sympathetic aww sound that made me feel like a six year-old.
In my flustered flurry of motions, taking the note from my teeth, trying to stick it back in the package, and pushing my hair back… wouldn’t you know I touched a lemon coated finger to my face. I yelped as the citrus stung my eyes. It made tears stream down my cheeks.
The guy sounded guilty when he pleaded to know what the matter was, as if he had caused it. The only word I could manage to utter was, “Lemons!”
He pulled my hand away from my face and lightly sniffed it. He gave a little chuckle that made me want to bean him.
“Yep, that’s lemons all right. For a minute there I was afraid you got bad news,” he commented. “But I guess being alone on Christmas Eve is bad enough.”
For some reason his comment made me lose my composure. I burst out in real tears and sobs, no longer caused by the stinging citrus. I plopped down on the porch and sat there with the package in my lap. This upset poor Ronny. He started blabbering apologies, clearly unsure of why he was asking for forgiveness.
“Look sweet cakes, you’re my last delivery. Let me help you wash your face and get rid of that lemon juice before you put your fingers in your eyes again,” he offered in a contrite voice.
I insisted that it was okay, and with a sniffle, silenced my sobs. Too embarrassed to look at him I turned my attention back to Mona’s gift. Her card had fallen, but Ronny picked it up and handed it to me. I took it from him and with a deep breath I spoke the words that humiliated me a moment before.
“I’m sorry you’re alone at Christmas,” I read the elegant script on the outside, and then opened the card. “So you’ll just have to make your own party.”
What? Digging through the packing paper I found two sparkling etched crystal goblets. I held up one of the glasses to watch the light play on it. I looked at Ronny, feeling utterly bemused. He returned my gaze with a twinkle in eyes that I suddenly noticed were a heavenly shade of blue.
Ronny picked up the other empty glass and playfully tapped it against the one I held. I suddenly remembered where Pops hid the bubbly.
I appreciate your visit. You are pos-i-lutely the bee’s knees!
Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are the links to the books about Pip and her friends.
This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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