Devil with a Purple Dress

Lena walked towards the door, her hands reaching out for the handle. She held it over the cool metal for a minute, gearing herself up for the conversation she was about to have. She took a deep breath and threw the door open.

“Hey! What’s up?” Lena asked, trying to appear as casual as possible. 

“Hey? You texted me?” J.D. asked holding his phone up to show Lena.

“Yes! Come on in.” She said cheerfully moving out of the way.  J.D. looked around cautiously before moving into the apartment.

“Are you still not talking to me?” Elizabeth asked as she checked her lipstick in the camera on her phone.

Annabelle stuck out her tongue in response before turning back to the story on her laptop.  She poised her fingers back over the keys waiting for inspiration to come back. After a minute she sat back and turned her head towards the window of the town car.

“That’s mature.” Elizabeth drawled as her phone clicked off.

Annabelle didn’t respond. Being rushed out the house with very little packed didn’t put her into the most jovial of moods.   Then again, one could argue that is her fault. Hiding under the covers and telling Elizabeth to leave a message didn’t seem to work. Now she was stuck in a town car on her way to her relatives and The Plaza Hotel.

“This would have been easier if you just called your mother back,” Elizabeth commented to Annabelle.

Annabelle turned her head back to the computer, staring at that blinking cursor.  A little notice in the right-hand corner told her she had ten minutes before the computer shut down on her completely. She sighed and slammed the laptop shut.

“You don’t think I know that?” She replied.

“I know. What is making you act like this?” Elizabeth asked dropping her phone into her purse.

“I’m not over dad.”

“Obviously. Such a daddy’s girl.”  Elizabeth teased hoping to get a smile out of her.

“It just feels too soon,” Annabelle replied letting her index finger on her right hand outline the top of her computer.  Elizabeth opened her mouth to respond when her purse vibrated. She paused and grabbed her phone out of her purse.

“You have been talking to someone a lot today.” Annabelle drawled, looking up from her computer.

Elizabeth typed quickly on her phone. “I’m talking to a combination of your mother, my mother, and Jack.”

Annabelle sat straight up in her seat. “Jack? You have Jack’s number?” She squeaked.

“We have been in contact. Since you wouldn’t answer anyone, I’ve been your go-between. You owe me some hazard pay. Jack is, um, unique.” Elizabeth commented.

“He is a nice guy.” Annabelle weakly said letting her eyes fall to her computer again.

Elizabeth went quiet for a moment as she finished typing. “I let them know that the two of us are five minutes out.”

“Them?”

“Jack and Ethan.”

“Ethan is still here?” Annabelle asked.

“Yeah. He is Jack’s best friend. He is practically a groomsman at this point.” Elizabeth said throwing her phone into her purse. “Ah, I believe we are here.”

Annabelle looked up and over at the opposite window. The car slowly made its way down the short street towards the front of the Plaza Hotel. Annabelle’s eyes traveled over the lush red carpet and black and gold doors that lead to reception.  The car stopped, and a well-dressed bellman opened Elizabeth’s door.

Annabelle considered pushing her friend out the car and locking herself in but quickly determined that too childish, even for her. Putting her computer into her single bag, she followed Elizabeth out of the car. A cold wind whipped her hair around as she looked around. The cold gum splattered concrete glowed against the warm colors of plush red carpet and shining gold fixtures that surrounded the door. She turned towards the foundation across the street that had seen better days but stood as a testament to what came before.  Annabelle watched as tourists with their cameras took selfies nearby trying to get the huge Apple logo that gleamed beyond the foundation into the shot. Another testament to how fast things change.

“Annabelle? Earth to Annabelle.” Elizabeth yelled from the stairs that lead to the front doors of the hotel.  Annabelle turned back and noticed Elizabeth waving her on.

“Coming. I’m coming.” Annabelle replied, taking her time walking up the stairs towards the lobby.

****

Annabelle followed the bellman around her room like she hadn’t been there before. She was shown the IPad to control the lights, heating and other electronics in the room. She was shown the bathroom and all it entails. Then the bedroom where they dropped off the hastily packed bag and dress bag that hung in the closet off to the side.  She walked the bellman back to the door passing his tip into his gloved hand with a smile. He smiled back and shut the door behind him.

“Well, here we are,” Annabelle said out loud. Didn’t expect a response seeing as she was alone.  She made her way down the hallway towards the bedroom making a sharp right towards the closet. Opening it, she grabbed the dress bag and swiftly threw it across the bed.  Without even looking at what was inside she walked away, flopping onto one of the two chairs that flanked the front of the bed.  She bit her lip and turned her head back towards the bed. She stilled for a moment before getting back up she walked with purpose towards the bag, reaching for the zipper.  She slowly let her fingers glide the zipper down the track, small bursts of purple peering from beyond the brown bag. Annabelle let go of the zipper and pushed the brown bag away to get a better look at the dress she had to wear tonight.

Her ringing cell phone broke the silence. Annabelle let go of the brown bag and shuffled over to her purse pulling out her cell phone. She sighed and put the phone to her ear. “Hi, Mom.”

“Wow. I didn’t even know you could speak. This is truly a great day.” Her mother droned into the phone.

“Funny. I’m here. Isn’t that what is required of me?” Annabelle said walking back over to her dress on the bed. “I assume you picked the dress for tonight. Purple. Always purple.”

“Purple is your color honey, and I already knew you were here. Elizabeth’s mom texted me.”

“Oh great. I got minders now. I wonder if this is what it is like being in the Trump family?”

“Annabelle. That’s not nice. You know damn well that we acknowledge our crazy.” Her mother said with a hint of a smile in her voice. Annabelle sighed. “I just wanted to make sure that you knew all the details for tonight.”

Annabelle made a noncommittal noise.

“I will take that as a no. You are to be expected at 6 pm in the Terrace Room.  I assume Elizabeth will make sure of that. Please wear the dress I got you. Purple is very much your color. I want you to look good. You are representing our family.” Sarah said forcefully through the phone.

Annabelle gave a tight smile. “Can’t wait to represent the family. See you at 6 pm.” Annabelle clicked the phone off tossing it next to the dress on the bed. She stared down at the phone before she reached down for her bag that rested just below the bed on the floor. She pulled out her computer letting the bag fall to the floor. Walking back towards the one chair, she sat down and sat the computer down onto her lap.  Opening the computer open she was presented with the blinking cursor once again. She poised her fingers over the home keys and waited for inspiration to strike.

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