Honor Thy Mother & Thy Father Ch. 19byProlonged_Debut10©
Note: This is a work of FICTION! Although the areas this story takes place in are real; all of the landscapes depicted, the people described, and everything else this story uses to make it enjoyable reading for you are NOT REAL. As you read this story, try to remember:
This is a Novel
82. A Dress Rehearsal
It was bound to happen sooner or later, but with Patricia's wedding quickly approaching on October 16, and Sharon's wedding planned for December 18, the wedding gowns had to start coming together. Carolina did not realize that the families were interconnected in any way. She scheduled fittings for both brides on a Sunday, at noon, when only they and their entourages would be in the salon.
Paul and Rita flew Patricia to New York alone, where she was picked up by limousine, and driven to the salon. After she undressed, she was told to stand on a low platform. Women, standing on short ladders, began lowering the gown over her head. Every few inches, they would stop; add a piece of tape or a straight pin to hold the fabric together, and continue moving it down her body. The process was painstakingly slow. Patty's arms had to be held up in the air during most of the transition time.
Sharon Williams was flown to New York by Julia Atwater on Friday. However, she was not alone. Debbie and Danni pouted all week, until Sharon gave in and allowed them to go with her.
Dolores, Harmony, and Melody Free, completed the group going to New York. Sharon and Dolores could not count the times they told the girls to stop giggling. Their telepathic communication was in high gear.
Dolores asked, "Sharon, you are sending these 2 to the University of Maryland, right?"
"Yes, why do you ask?"
"That settles it; those two are going to University of Oregon. We have to keep them apart for their own good."
Harmony said, "Mother, if you mean that, I am going to fail every course, I take this year, and when I take the SATs, I will get the lowest score anyone ever received."
Sharon laughed. "Dolores, the problem with children today is they are smarter than their parents."
"Disgusting, isn't it?"
They landed at LaGuardia Airport, where a contingent of FBI cars was waiting for them. The four youngsters piled into one GMC Yukon, before their mothers could say anything. Sharon, Dolores, and Julia got into another one. Traffic was light, and it took them only 35 minutes to get to their hotel. They spent Saturday going to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the World Trade Center site. That evening, after dinner, they went to see "Kinky Boots" on Broadway. By the time they returned to their rooms, the girls barely had enough strength to undress and climb into bed.
Patty was standing in the center of the viewing area, while Carolina looked on. The seamstresses continued the delicate process of putting her dress on, because in its current state, a sneeze would tear it apart.
Patricia heard people walking in to the viewing room, but could not see any of them because of the position of the dress. She did hear comments on how beautiful it gown was as it was positioned more closely to her head.
Everyone took a seat around the perimeter of the area, except Harmony, and Melody. Their brains were working overtime. They knew something special was happening, but they could not put their fingers on it. When her head cleared the high collar of the gown, the twins yelled with glee, 'Patty,' and charged at her.
Carolina and the seamstresses looked on in horror as the girls tackled Patricia to the ground. The dress was no longer a dress. It was now 10 pieces of fabric lying on the floor. They could not understand why Patty was laughing hysterically, and kissing both girls.
Sharon and Julia's mouths were on the floor. Dolores was trying not to laugh as she explained to them how her two children had bonded with Patty, and when she disappeared and then had her stroke, they were heartbroken.
Finally, Dolores yelled at her two children, "Enough, you have ruined her dress, and now these ladies have to put it back together quickly. Her wedding is in three weeks, get off for now."
Harmony replied, "We will get off her if we can go to the wedding."
"Your father and I were invited, not you."
Patty said, "Your invitations will be in the mail tomorrow."
"Michael is going to have a fit when he hears you invited them."
"I don't think so Dolores. Just ask him how his new computers are running. I have been working on a new program that is better and more covert than the 'Garden of Eden.' I would love to try it on the NSA's new Cray 5 Computer, if he will let me."
Julia interrupted all this talking to introduce the only two people in the room that did not know each other. "Patricia Zabo, this is my niece, Sharon Williams.
Patricia smiled at Sharon. "My father and your uncle are very good friends. I hope that we can become friends also. How is Fred doing in his recovery?"
"He wants to go back to work now, but my uncle will not let him until after the first of the year."
"Isn't the Attorney General going to announce his resignation after the first of the year so he can run for president?"
"Aunt Julia, I guess the cat is out of the bag."
"Sharon, it is the worst secret ever kept. You should see the guest list for my wedding. I have no family except my father and his wife. Stephano's family is tied up with the New York Mafia, and 99% of them will not be invited. James Green, your uncle's political strategist, sent us a list of people to be invited to our wedding. All of them are political bigwigs and people with very deep pockets. The price of admission is a minimum of $5 million towards your uncle's campaign. We have not received a negative response yet."
Carolina yelled, "All this family talk is wonderful, but I have to put Patricia dress back together, and work on Sharon's dress. If you two teenagers can back off for a while, we can get to work."
Patricia told the twins to sit down and they would talk.
Melody pointed to Danni and Debbie and said, "They can too."
"Really, this should be fun."
Four hours later, Patricia's dress was back together, and stitched in areas that had been held together by tape.
Sharon's sitting was easier. They were still using paper to make outlines of her body, and deciding on fabrics to be used. Julia, Dolores, and Carolina were arguing over the best fabrics to use on Sharon.
Patty sensed Sharon's mind and she knew the fabrics she wanted for her gown. She stayed in the background, because she felt everyone else knew better than she did.
Patty asked, "Whose wedding is this? Is it Sharon's, or is it yours? She knows the fabrics, designs and colors she wants to use, but you three are bulldozing her into things she doesn't want. If you keep this up you are going to have one unhappy bride on your hands."
Julia took Sharon's hands in hers, and apologized. "I can be a little overbearing at times, can't, I?"
"Just a little; but with a little bit more, I am sure you could move Gibraltar. You are going to make one fantastic first lady."
"You, my dear, are going to be one heck of a politician. First, you insult me, and then you kiss my ass, so I can't be angry with you. Pick out your fabrics, and let's get this show on the road."
By the time everything was done it was nearly 6 o'clock and the girls were moaning for food.
Patty asked if they wanted the best Italian food they had ever eaten.
In unison the girls yelled, "Wendy's!"
Patty looked at them, and repeated her question, subliminally.
They responded, "Yes Patty, we would love Italian food."
Patty took out her cell phone, and punched in Imperiali's restaurant. Lucinda answered the phone, and Patty asked if they had time for a party of 20.
"Absolutely Patty; you bring them, and we will feed them."
She called her father, and said, "Dad, I have the Attorney General's wife, Julia, and a host of other people. We are going to Imperali's; would you, Jemma, and Junior like to join us?"
"Give my regards to Julia, but we cannot join you tonight. Jemma is feeding little William now, and the way he is going at her breasts, that young man will have her back to a 38D in no time."
"It sounds like he takes after his father."
"No Patty, I think he is better than I am."
"Alright, dad, I will see you another time."
"Alright baby, have fun tonight."
They did have fun that evening, and Julia wanted to know why Michael and Lucinda did not open a restaurant in downtown Manhattan and become famous for their food.
Michael took out a folder containing accolades from every newspaper food critic in the five boroughs, New Jersey, and Connecticut, extolling the virtues of his restaurant. He told her he was already famous, and when Lucinda took over, if she wanted to open a restaurant downtown, it would be her decision, not his.
The girls had school in the morning, and dinner broke up at 10:30 PM. The FBI team got onto the Major Degan Expressway using its lights and sirens to speed to the airport. Julia's Jetstar was ready to go when she got there. Everyone buckled up, and the aircraft was in the air 15 minutes later. Several commercial jets waiting for takeoff were not happy when this little jet received priority in the takeoff queue.
By the time Julia was wheels up at LaGuardia, Patricia was landing at Glens Falls. Stephano greeted her, she cleared the rotor blades, and the helicopter took off for the Airpark, on the other side of the city.
"Why are you so late?"
"I had a marvelous time today, Steph. I met Michael's twins and his wife, Dolores, while I was being fitted for my gown. The girls were so happy to see me; they charged, and tackled me to the ground. My dress came apart, and everyone, except the girls and I were in shock. They had to put it back together, while I was there. Sharon, the Attorney General's niece had her first fitting for her gown. By the time we were done, everyone was starving, so I took them to Imperiali's for dinner."
"Did you bring me back anything to eat?"
"It's nearly midnight, Steph; I thought you would be in bed by now."
"You went out for Italian food and didn't bring me anything to eat? Prepare your backside woman; that is a capital offense, and I am going to take it out of your hide."
"That is the reaction I thought I would get from you. Go back to where the helicopter landed, and pick up the two large thermal bags Rita left for you. You are not getting your hands on my ass, until after we are married, and maybe not even then."
Stephano kissed her and said, "Don't count on it. Our wedding is still three weeks away, and heaven knows you will screw up between now and then."
"Tomorrow morning, send Michael's twins an invitation to the wedding. Also send an invitation to Fred Hastings, Sharon Williams, and their four children. Sharon is the Attorney General's niece, and Fred is the man who saved his life. Those six young women will have a blast together. I think we are going to need a larger dance floor."
"Will one half acre be enough?"
"I think that will be fine, as long as you make a separate area for the orchestra."
"No problem, I will call the contractor in the morning, I want it up and inspected a week before the wedding."
"Did you order a bright sunshiny day for my wedding?"
"Patricia, I don't have any control..."
"Stephano Valentino, I don't want any excuses. I want a bright sunshiny day for my wedding. If I don't get one, you will be a gelding that evening."
"If your mother pays me a visit, I will discuss it with her."
"Don't discuss it with her, tell her. I am pissed with her that she's not going to be here."
"Patty, she told you it was the only way for us to meet."
"I know, but it is still a very hard choice for me. You have no idea how much I miss her."
"How much would you miss me, Patricia?"
"I would miss you desperately Stephano; that is the truth. That is why I said it would be a tough choice for me. I want you both, but I can only have one of you."
"She said she would be here for your wedding."
"Yes, but it won't be the same. She won't be able to help me dress. I won't be able to hug her, kiss her, and cry with her. It won't be the same." She leaned into Stephano's chest, and began to weep.
He kissed her snow-white hair, but could not offer any words of consolation. He walked her in to their motorhome, put his packages on the kitchen table, and sat with her, until she had recovered from her somber mood.
Three more weeks of this, he thought. My father caused all this pain, and there is not a damned thing I can do about it. I will just help her hang on through the wedding, and kick Brad's ass if he doesn't come through with great plans for the house tomorrow. If the construction can start, it will give her mind something else to think about.
Donna and Brad Goodman arrived the next morning, at 10:30 AM, with the plans for the new house. Donna stayed in the background as Brad explained every detail. He had done magnificent job, both inside and out. However, there were two glaring errors, and Patty asked him what they were.
Donna smiled like a Cheshire cat, because she knew what they were and never said a word to her son. He had poured his heart and soul into these plans. He knew that this was the best work, he was capable of doing.
"What did I screw up on, Patty? I don't see any errors on these plans. If there are any, I have to find a new line of work."
"Brad, look at your mother's face."
He turned, looked at his mother, and said, "You know, and you didn't tell me."
Donna smiled at her son. "All you had to do was look at the design specifications; they were right there in front of your eyes."
Brad rolled the huge blueprints over to the design specification page and went down each one line by line, and ticked them off with a light pencil mark. When he got to the roofing material, it read, "50 year asphalt shingle roof." He was ticking it off with his pencil, when he saw a very light asterix*, and as his head hit the table, he mumbled, "SHIT!" He went to the addendum page, where he found the manufacturer, and design specifications for the solar panels to be installed on the roof.
Donna said to him, "There is one more mistake; find it, and fix it."
"Mom, you could've told you that in the office, and I would feel like such an idiot."
"Architectural design is a learning process. You are learning. This is not school, where your professor gives you grade. The mistakes you made could cost you a commission. Find your errors, and fix them."
Brad returned to the design specification page, and continued to tick off everything he knew he had done. When he got to the windows, he spotted another *. He made sure that they were solar coated with 80% refraction rate and was not sure what he had done incorrectly. He returned to the addendum page and read what they wanted.
He turned to his mother, and asked, "Do they make windows that produce electricity for private homes?"
"Yes they do. They are mostly designed for commercial buildings, but you can special order them for private homes."
"I had no idea. I just graduated and they never mentioned it to us in school. I am going to have to refigure the amount of energy the house is going to need from the barn and the windmill. We may be able to use a smaller dual-walled Heartland tank for the natural gas backup system, and if I change to a natural wood fireplace in the great room, you may not need to use the backup system at all during the winter."
Stephano said, "No Brad that would add pollution to the area. Run the natural gas line to the fireplace, because we can use it for an outdoor grill also."
"That will work out fine, Stephano. I will take the plans back to the office, make a few calls. I will have the plans back to you, in less than a week."
Donna said, "Brad, go to the car and bring me the plans that are in the back seat."
He brought them back in, opened them, and saw the house with the two modifications.
His mom said, "You did such a wonderful job, I wasn't going to let Patty wait any longer to have the crews start working on her house. Sign your name at the bottom of the blueprints and let's take them down to Building and Zoning for their approval. I'm very proud of the work you did on this house. If you keep it up, you can become a valued member of our firm, or do you still want become a gigolo?"
"No mom, I think I can become pretty good at this."
"Good, in that case, grandma said you can have your Corvette back."
Patty laughed, "Remember Donna, 'Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child!"
"You have him for 7 more months, Patty. I am sure we can figure something out between us to keep him on the straight and narrow."
"You mean the three of us, Donna. He just loves 'Timeless.' Would you like me to show you?"
Brad shouted, "You keep that god damn horse away from me."
Patty said, "Be nice, Brad, or I will have her shit all over the drivers' seat."
"I'll get her a bucket of oats now."
Stephano laughed heartily. "Brad, how many times have you been told not to piss her off."
Brad turned blue as he held his breath, and his tongue, but did not reply.
"Brad that was is probably the smartest non-sentence, you have ever not spoken."
As the responses began coming back from Stephano's family members, they all replied "No." Letters came back with congratulations, but if you cannot invite my father, uncle, brother, or cousin, I will not attend. He was not surprised. However, this left him with a problem; he did not have anyone for a best man. When he discussed it with Patty, they were both at a loss. She did not have a male relative that could stand in for him. Then, they looked at each other and smiled as they came to the same conclusion.
"Patty, he will shit a brick."
"No, he won't; because I will have his best friend standing next to us."
They called him and asked him to come out to their house on a matter of great urgency. When he arrived, they were standing in the meadow with 'Timeless,' and several other horses, feeding them grain.
He proudly drove onto the property, in his gleaming yellow Corvette, and parked close to the motorhome.
He walked over to them and asked, "What is the problem guys; is it the house?"
"No Brad, we absolutely love the way you planned the house. We have a problem only you can solve for us."
As Patty began discussing this with him, she had the horses make a circle around the three of them. This made Brad very uncomfortable.
"What can I do for you, Patty?"
"Our problem is no one from Stephano's family will be attending our wedding. This leaves him without a best man."
'Timeless, 'come here baby.' The horse walked a few feet to Patty, and she was rewarded by having her ears scratched, especially the left one, which she loved the most.
"As I was saying, Stephano does not have anyone for a best man, and we would like you to stand up for him. We know you would love to do that for us, wouldn't you, Brad?"
Brad snarled, "I wouldn't stand up for either of you, even if you were both going to show up at the church naked."
Patty said, "'Timeless,' "Yellow car baby, go to the yellow car."
Stephano laughed. "Brad, how many times do I have to tell you not to piss her off?"
"Patty, you wouldn't dare do that to my car. I just had it washed."
Stephano looked at him in wonder. "Brad, do you want me to hit you over the head to knock some sense into you. She will do it, not only this time, but every time you come here, and you will have to clean it up time and time again. Remember, you owe her more than seven months of your life. You could be picking up horseshit, with your bare hands, for the duration of that time."
Brad fell to his knees, and begged. "Please don't do that to my car. I would love to be Stephano's best man. I will carry the rings with care, I will smile, I will buy my own tuxedo, and shoes. I will do what you ask, but don't do that to my car."