Brian and Christine
“You are cordially invited to the wedding of Brain Sims and Wendy Klein, Esq. at 2:00 P. M. Saturday,” etc. etc. Myron Bloom had flagged the invitations through the Silverstone print shop and they arrived in record time the next morning by messenger. Brian set about addressing them.
They could have rented a huge hall and had an elaborate wedding with all the luminaries of Hollywood and the legal world, but neither of them wanted it that way. Brian, for one, did not want to join the carousel of Hollywood weddings which were shams at the worst and publicity events at best. Wendy had long past the blushing bride stage of life and as she had said “the marriage is more important to me than the wedding ceremony.” They even thought of taking Judge Parks and his wife off to some obscure place, like Buffalo Gap, and doing it there, away from any gossip. Instead they settled on Brian’s house with a few close friends and colleagues.
While he was preparing the invitations, Christy was in the back yard with Juan, asking a hundred questions and getting a lesson in all the plants, bushes and trees of southern California.
When Brian finished he went out back and said “Christy. I’m going to the post office. You can come with me or you can stay here. Whatever you want.”
“I’ll stay here.”
“Okay.” When you’re 10 years old even a rose bush is an adventure, he thought.
The post office was a few blocks away, so he walked there. On the way he saw a black limo driving by and he wondered, with a chilling feeling, if that could be the limo that took Christy away to Saint Jane’s. He knew it couldn’t be because the whole enterprise had been shut down by the law. Still it made him uncomfortable. He was very glad Christy was with him now and away from that awful experience. He knew that she was safe with Juan and, even though things may not be completely ironed out between them, he felt that Christy was doing her best to adjust.
But he still also felt inadequate and thought there must be something more he could do for her to regain her complete confidence in him. He would give that some more thought.
On his way back from the post office he stopped off to sit for a while in the park. He was hoping to see Jane, the cartwheel expert. He didn’t, but there were other children playing around with mothers sitting on the benches watching them. How innocent and full of life they are, he thought, and how carefully they need to be protected. He had known so little about it before. He had lived for 70 years and had never been a father. Now, suddenly, within a few weeks he had a family, the family he always wanted, and he had learned the hard way about taking responsibility for it.
But he was concerned about himself as a father figure. Was he going to be a good one?” Would he stand up well next to the other fathers of the other kids that would soon be in her life? Would she make comparisons and see his flaws and inabilities? It’s true he was more of a grandfather to Christy than a father, but she didn’t seem to mind that. If she did she never let on. And Wendy certainly fell into the mother role without much effort, and soon she was going to be the wife as well. And as for taking responsibility for Christy, could there be any doubt in his mind that he proved it on an ice field in the wilderness, when they were hungry and in pain, when they didn’t know where they were, or where they were going and when eventually she couldn’t walk? Did they make it? They made it.
He felt a surge of pride and importance, stood up and strode home like a lion.
He found Christy in the kitchen with Mr. and Mrs. Romero having a drink of something.
“Pepsi” she said.
(To be continued.)