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4th Chapter

A Novel Idea - a Soap

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Pushpin With Memo

CHAPTER 4

 

Joelle was on her way back to work, thinking how nice it would have been to stay on holidays a few more weeks.  She was prepared for what faced her when she got back as Mildred had filled her in on all that T.J. had and had not done in her absence.  She had feared that something like this would happen.  As she walked into her office she was totally prepared for what was to face her.

 

“Thank goodness your back!” exclaimed Bobby.  “If we ever see that T. J again, it will be way too soon for our liking.” 

 

“Yes I had heard from Mildred all that had been going on.  Thank you so much for all you have done to keep things running smooth while I was away.”  Joelle and Bobby had always had an excellent work relationship.  He was just such a dear.  Nothing was every too much of a hassle for him, he was always the first to offer assistance.  She reached into her bag and pulled out a brightly wrapped package for him  “Here Bobby this is for you”.

 

“Why thank you that is very thoughtful of you.”  He unwrapped the package very carefully so as not to ruin the lovely paper.  “OH!”  she yelled with much delight “I love it, thank you”  He hugged her and raced off to put on his new Hawaiian shirt.  It was Bright blue with large white flowers and smaller yellow ones with lots of green leaves.

 

On his return he hugged her again the joy in his face was very obvious.  Bobby was never one to wear dull and boring clothes and this shirt set off his lovely blue eyes.  “Now let me fill you in on where I’ve got up to, and what is still needing doing.”  Bobby had bought her a cup of coffee as he knew it was going to take a good hour to cover everything, and she would need a strong coffee to get started.

 

They went through the listing of new clients that had registered for their services.  The new Medical Faculty postgraduates that had just registered and the areas they were working on.  What assistance they were wanting and their scheduled training sessions.  By the end of the hours work, Joelle was very up to date on what she needed to get a start on.  By lunch time she was well and truly ready for a break.  She, Mildred and Errol were gathering for lunch to plan Tiffany’s surprise wedding shower.  It was not too far away until the wedding.  Professor Hills was a cousin Joelles.  She was so excited when he had announced his intention to marry Tiffany, she did not know Tiffany well, but from what Mildred had told her she was such a nice girl.

 

They all gathered at the park near Errol’s office, as that way, neither Mitchell, or Tiffany would catch wind of what was going on.  There were so many snoops and eves droppers around the library, It was bound to get back to them.  The library grape vine worked fast with bad news, but good news seemed to reach the entire staff of 1,200 people within half an hour.  Nothing was sacred in that place.  Two years ago one of the girls from the Law library had mentioned to a friend during lunch that she thought she was pregnant.  By the end of the day a card arrived with flowers congratulating her.  Turned out it was a false alarm. 

 

By the end of the lunch, everything was planned to perfection.  Errol and his boyfriend Josh were going to hold it at their place.  It was large and Josh was an excellent entertainer.  He made the most fabulous

things to eat and decorating was his specialty.  Normally wedding showers was an all girl affair but Errol and Josh really were considered, as well as considering themselves as one of the girls.

 

“Right so that’s all planned then, we all have our assignments Josh is so looking forward to this, Mildred said that she can organise the invitations, and acknowledgements. You can still get the invitations done from Mr Henley your neighbour down the road. Joelle your in charge of Drinks and Josh and I will organise the decorations and food.”  Errol instructed.

 

He was more excited than the girls.  It had all been arranged for the 18th August exactly a month before the big event.  Mildred and Tiffany were going shopping early in the day to sort out clothes for the kids who were going to be page boys and flower girls. And also for her brides made dress.  Mildred was going to get Tiffany and the kids to Errol and Josh’s place by suggesting a new restaurant for lunch. Then on the way there, she would suggest inviting Errol and Josh, and when they walked in they would

Be ushered into a room with all the invited guests.

 

“This is going to be such fun!” stated Joelle with great excitement.

 

They all headed back to their respective jobs and their daily schedules.

 

***

 

The 18th of August rolled around fairly quickly.  Everything had run smoothly with the planning for the Wedding shower.  Mildred, Tiffany and the kids had headed off as planned to get the wedding attire.  Suits, for the boys and lovely apricot coloured dresses for the girls.  Mildred Was going to have a very nice Watermelon coloured off the shoulder dress with a wide skirt, the colouring suited her, with her mulberry coloured hair and blue eyes.  They were still deciding on how to have the brides maids hair styles but the flower girls were going to have their hair in ringlets with floral wreaths in peach, cream and lavender.  They finished the preparations and then around 2pm Mildred made the suggestion of going to lunch and picking up Errol on the way.

 

It worked like a charm Tiffany was ready for lunch and an excuse to sit still for 5 minutes.  The kids were all in agreement too.  They headed of to collect Errol from his house.  On arrival they were ushered into the sun room out the back.

 

“SURPRISE!!”   Everyone shouted as they walked in.

 

Tiffany and the kids let out a scream  “What on earth is going on”  She asked with shock in her voice.

 

“Its your surprise wedding shower.”  Josh said as he walked into the room with a lovely Strawberry and cream cake he had finished decorating.

 

Tiffany broke down in tears.”Oh you guys “ was all she managed to get out between sobs.

 

They ushered her over to a chair decorated with flowers and looking more like a throne for a fairy queen than her, she thought to herself.  The kids were all so very excited by the whole surprise too.  They were eyeing off the food that had been laid out. 

 

“First things first” Said Errol, they placed a crown on Tiffany’s head, and Errol, who was dressed as a page, in tights and all, which Josh thought was rather delicious looking.  Announced.  “hear ye hear ye, let all who are present understand that this is a celebration of a forthcoming wedding between Queen Tiffany and King Mitchell. Come near and all pay homage to your queen.”

Tiffany was blushing something shocking by now, and could not stop laughing.  As bid by the Page everyone came forward and presented her with gifts, bowing or curtsying as they approached.

 

“Josh sure has out done himself this time,”  Mildred commented to Larissa and Joelle who were standing with her.

 

“Yes he really knows how to throw a party.” Larissa noted“Maybe ill get him to cater for my birthday in January.”

 

Tiffany opened each present as it was presented thanking everyone in turn and displaying what she had just received.  She had been given everything from tea towels, to cutlery, to lingerie.  The gifts piled up and then Mildred came to present her gift to her friend and colleague.  Tiffany opened the gift which was beautifully wrapped.

 

“Boy this is heavy, what on earth is in it?”  she asked.

 

“Open it and see”, replied Mildred.

 

On opening the package, she found 3 photograph albums beautifully decorated and and engraved with the date of the wedding and her name and Mitchell’s.   Mildred had decorated them herself with the help of Mr Hensley.  He had been a printer/binder in his time and he still had access to his old shop, that his son was now running.

 

“Oh Mildres!”  was all she could get out.

 

The rest of the party went smoothly and everyone had a ball, they played games, and they even had a stripper, they managed to side track the kids with some videos and offer of their own private party in the up stairs games room.  Josh volunteered to supervise until the downstairs entertainment was over.

 

***

 

The following Monday everyone was back at work, still talking about the what a smash the party had been.  Josh had several offers to cater several other parties in the near future, which he gladly accepted.  He loved using his creativity.

 

The official opening of the new library was scheduled for the Friday of that week, and everyone was in a hustle getting things ready, making sure the books were all neat on the shelves and that everything was tidy.  You could always count on some inconsiderate person bringing in food and drink into the library and several books had been found with ants crawling on them due to soft drink and food being spilt on some desks.  No matter how hard you tried even in a new building like that there was always the vermin that managed to come in attracted by the food stuff and drink spillages that the clients deposited.. 

 

“When will they every learn that food and drink should not be consumed in here?” was a lament heard often around by library staff.

 

Bobby had several times commented that he would love to get a container of ants or cockroaches and sneak up behind a person who had bought contraband into the library and empty the contents on the table so that they scurried all over the offender.  Hmmm maybe that would do the trick.  But alas that sort of thing would only lead to an infestation worse than it would get later anyway.

***

Friday morning rolled around fairly quickly.  There were some major dignitaries coming in for the grand opening of the new building.  It had been over 8 months since the first lot of books had been moved in and now all 7 libraries were incorporated into the one structure.  The main events were held in the quadrangle near the water pond in the middle of the 4 structures.  A platform had been raised during the week so that those giving speeches could been seen from the back.  Classes had been suspended for the day so that all departmental people could attend.  Although there were 2 staff required for each building for security and operation reasons.  It would simply not do if people needed to contact someone and there to be no one to contact.

 

The Mayor was in attendance, as were some former academic staff and some former students who had made a name for themselves in their field of study.  Rupert of course was there as the architect he had been practicing his speech for weeks and had rewritten it several times over.  During his lunch with Mildred, Errol and Josh the previous week he had given them a preview. 

 

“Hmmm not bad” Josh and said thoughtfully.  Then proceeded to give his considered opinion on how to make the speech better.  And by all accounts it was much better.  Josh sure had a flair for anything with creativity involved.

 

People started arriving on the dot of 11am, the official party was to arrive at 11.25 so that things could be under way by 11.30 am and finished in time for the fabulous lunch that Marge and Hilda had organised.  The rest of the after noon was going to be a tour of the facilities for the Mayor and her party.  Plus, all the other dignitaries in attendance.

 

Joelle had been involved with organising a tour guide brochure for a self guided tour for future students and staff

It had taken her a week to do, as Bobby and she had already done the major part of it weeks before she had gone

On holidays.  There were 4 brochures one for each of the towers.  Each tower had an information desk on the ground floor level and there had been allocated a staff of 3 part time semi retired library staff to direct the poor lost souls who were a little lost and not sure which tower contained what.  They had been very busy over the last few months already with directions.

 

“No sorry dear you need the other tower to the left as you go out the doors..”  “Sorry sir he is located on the 7th floor of the tower directly in front of us”.  It was a challenging job, but also very good for anyone who liked dealing with people.

 

Joelle and Bobby had set up their information stalls for the exhibit in relation to the opening.  They had organised

It so that they could hand out “show bags” to anyone who approached the stalls.  In the bags were, a glossy detailed booklet outlining the 4 new buildings, how each was named and who named them.  It gave information on the Architect and the construction company.  Maps with detailed floor plans of each of the floors of all four buildings.  It had been a mammoth task.  The finished product was wonderful. Very easy to understand and even a 8 year old child would be able to find their way around. 

 

Things started off without a hitch and continued so for the rest of the day.  Everyone was very impressed with the layout that Rupert had designed.  “Very functional”, “excellent choice of colour”, love the court yard”.  “The post graduate research area is a master piece.  Wish we had one when I came through the university”…  These and many more positive comments were hears.  It should have boosted Ruperts ego, but he was far too modest.  He designed because he love to design. He was not in the industry to get recognition.  He hated being there, but what could you do, its part of customer service.

 

Joelle and Bobby took small groups who had expressed an interest on a personal tour of the 4 buildings.  Showing them the major highlights and interesting features.  Giving a little of the back ground of who the people where that each building was named for.  They were taken to the executive suite and meeting rooms with their plush furniture and mahogany table, private lunch rooms and lounge.

 

All in all the day was very satisfying.  There had been over 3,000 people who turned up for the opening.

Everyone was very impressed with the art on the walls the architecture overall, and the landscaping that had been done.  Most people took lots of photos, and the press was there in abundance as usual with the openings of such structures.

 

All library staff had been invited to a special dinner to be held in the staff café at closing time, on Fridays the library closed at 6.30.  So all staff who wanted to go were free to attend or to go home as they saw fit.  Over half of the staff decided to stay for the dinner.  They had hired a string quartet from the music school down the road for the evening.  It was a smashing success.  Most people stayed until 9.30, all were gone home by 10pm so the catering staff could clear things up.

 

******

 

The following Monday morning, Joelle and Mildred met for their usual coffee, Bobby had arrived early and had decided to join them. 

 

“It was a resounding success on Friday don’t you think”.  Asked Bobby

 

“Sure was”  replied Joelle, “Don’t know about you but I nearly lost my voice by the end of it, and Saturday all I could do was lounge around and read and nap.”

 

“Same here” put in Mildred, All three nodding in agreement.

 

Just as they were about to leave for their office, Joelle remembered she had to place an order for a staff meeting with Marge and Hilda, so she popped over to the counter, while Joelle and Bobby chatted on.  Mr Bigell had called a meeting of all the UES staff for an update on how the scheduling for staffing the desks and the new Post Graduate area in the new tower was going.  The Post Grad research centre was only a week away from being finished and they were already getting enquiries for booking the rooms and study spaces there.

 

Her task complete she rejoined her friends and they wandered off to their respective areas.

 

*****

 

“The time has flown past so fast” Sighed Tiffany.  “I cant believe that in 4 days time Ill be marrying Mitch.  I don’t know who is more excited the kids or me.”

 

Mildred gave her a hug, “It sure has gone fast, I thought this day would never get here.  Do you know where you are going on your honeymoon yet or is Prof. Hills still keeping you in the dark”

 

“Still kept in the dark I’m afraid “  Tiffany rolled here eyes in mock exasperation.

 

“Now Tomorrow!” Mildred said “when you come in, let me know what is still needed doing and what can wait till you come back in 4 weeks time, that way I can organise someone to do the urgent things, and the stuff that can wait we will leave for you” 

 

“Ive already got half the list done, It will only take the  a short while before I get the rest of it finished.”

 

“Great!  Why don’t you go home early, you look like you have not slept in days”.  Instructed Mildred.

 

Tiffany nodded in agreement, and then started on the rest of the list she needed to discuss with Mildred in the morning.

 

Tiffany had, the week before, given notice in at her other Job.  Boy was she relieved that she would not have to work for that lot again.  She had told Mitch all about the job working at the club, he had been very understanding, with 4 kids to support and the wages being so low how could you expect anyone to live.  Mitch had even turned up there on her last night with a huge bunch of red and white roses.  All the girls had gathered around and wished her well and were planning on going to the wedding as well, they had all chipped in and bought them a lovely dinner setting.

 

She popped in to give the list to Mildred so and wished her and some of the clients that were milling around a good evening. 

“Here is the list of things that need doing, the ones at the top are things that important and so on down the tlist to the stuff that can be left.  Ill let you check the list, and then we can go over it.  You may be able to suggest a few things.Ill see you in the morning Mildred,”  Tiffany turned off her computer and headed out the door, it was good to get away early as there were still a lot of things to do before the wedding on the weekend.

 

The children were still at school so she would have time to finish off the girls head pieces and the boys button holes.  Elisa and Polly who were 6 year old identical twins, both with the same glowing strawberry blond hair like their mother, were the flower girls, they had lovely soft baby blue Dresses with tinny little flowers at the waist.  Barry was 3 was page boy and had the most important of all the jobs … he got to carry the rings. The eldest Edward who now considered his role as man of the house, was just about to turn 12 was going to give his mother away.  The boys, Tiffany thought looked much like her father, Deep auburn hair which had a very nice curl to it   Edward was rather relieve that Mitch was to come into the family, it was tough being the man of the house, and he decided that he would rather just be a kid for a little longer.  All the kids liked Mitch a great deal.

 

She arrived home to find a bunch of flowers on the door step, with no note, or anything,  they looked like they had come out of some ones garden.  They had been arranged beautifully in a vase.  She took them inside and placed them on the kitchen table.  Made herself a cup of coffee and cut a piece of cake that was left over from the party with the girls the previous night.  She took up the girls head dresses and added the final few flowers to them and then sewed on the ribbons.

 

 

***

 

The following morning she and Mildred decided to take their list down to the staff canteen and sort out what was needed doing there.

 

“Now, this search for The Dean of the School of Architecture needs to be finished by the end of the month.  He is giving a talk on the history of the Architectural boom in the lat 1800’s.  all the material he will need is listed here in this folder, so it just is a matter of someone collecting it from the shelves and securing them in the boxes I’ve left just near the back wall.  Next  to the staff photo collection.”  Tiffany instructed,” most of it is quite fragile so needs to be  handled with extra care”.

 

Mildred could tell Tiffany was getting nervous, she was talking at a hundred miles a minute and was trying to get everything out at once.

 

“Take a deep breath and calm down will you” Mildred said calmly.  “No need to worry, we will get it all sorted out in good time.:”

 

Tiffany sighed.  “I know Its just…..”

 

“Wedding jitters?” finished Mildred.

 

“Yeah”, Tiffany looked at Mildred and burst out crying.  After a good sob, she felt better, everything was piling up on her and she had been bottling it up for ages.

 

“There all better now.” Mildred gave Tiffany a reassuring pat on the shoulder. “Everything will be fine”

 

They finished off the list quickly, and both headed off back to the office to find T.J waiting for them.

 

“Ladies!” he greeted them with one of his sickeningly sweet smiles. “I’ve missed the pleasure of your company”

 

‘We haven’t missed yours at all’ thought Mildred to herself but out loud said “so what brings you to our inner sanctum”

 

“Oh I’ve been appointed a position here permanently with the new Post Graduate Research centre. I’m here on an research mission for one of the Doctoral students.”

“Just exactly what where you after.  We are rather busy at the moment.”  Tiffany said sweetly back all the while thinking ‘slime ball’.

 

“One of the Agriculture guys wants research done on pre 1890 agriculture in this district and surrounding areas”

 

“There is a catalogue over there in the brown cabinet.  Help yourself, but if you want to get anything from out of here, it can not be removed, so the student will need to come here to view them”  Mildred said sharply.  She was still fuming about what he had done to her cousin Amy-Lyn who worked in the Education section of the library.  Shattered her little heart, she was only 19, and very inexperience in the way of things.

 

“Why thank you!” he said pretending to tip a hat to them, and then sauntered off in the direction of the cabinet.

 

Both girls looked at each other, and new exactly what the other was thinking.

 

*******

 

Saturday of the wedding rolled around too fast for Tiffany’s liking. Mildred and Joelle had spent the night so they could be on hand to get the kids ready.  And also to keep Tiffany company.  The kids had been full of beans the previous evening with the excited anticipation of the following days events.  The girls kept running in and out looking at their most ‘wonderful dresses’ that Granny had made. And their princess shoes, and crown.  It was 9pm before they were asleep, the boys were just as excited but they had plenty of videos to watch, but were so exhausted by the time thy got home from school swimming that they were ready for sleep by 8pm.

 

It was well after 11 before they could settle Tiffany enough to get her to sleep. 

 

Joelle got the girls in the bath and all fresh for the hair dresser to put the final touches to their hair, the previous night she had come to roll the hair into rags.  She had a devil of a time trying to get them to sit still for long enough. 

 

Finally washed and their hair done, they would put the dresses on just before the photographer got there.  The boys were very organised and had their showers and were half dressed when Mildred checked on them to see if they needed help.  Both boys did a good job but needed a little extra help with the cumber buns and the ties.

 

“Well don’t you two look very handsome!”  Gushed Mildred, “If you were a few years older I would ask you to marry me”

 

Both boys blushed and giggled. 

 

Tiffany’s mother was there to help her into her dress after the make up and hair were done, the cars and photographer arrived on time, and everything was set to go.

 

***

 

On the other side of town Professor Mitchell Hills was just as nervous and in much need of support from his best man and groomsman. 

 

“Well lads, how do I look?”  He asked nervously fiddling with his cufflinks and tie for the hundredth time.

 

“You’re a knock out!” they assured him for the umpteenth time.  “Come Mitch lets go get you married”.

 

They ushered him out to the car and headed off to the church.

 

***

 

The church was packed, so many friends and family had turned out for the day.  It had promised to be a nice sunny but cool day so that they would not feel like they were cooking in their clothes.  Mitch and his groomsmen milled around outside for a short time until they spotted the priest entering the building.  The Priest Reverend Bartholomew Earling waved them to come over and enter.

 

“Good morning my boy, how are you holding up”  the jolly old preacher greeted the nervous groom.

 

“Fine Reverend Earling, Just dandy.”  The nerves were evident in his shaky voice.

 

“Come on in lads and we will have a little nerve settler before the ladies get here.”

 

The all followed the Reverend in to the office and sat on the very comfy sofa that was there.  They were each handed a small glass of sherry.  Most of Mitchell’s nearly ended on his white shirt he was shaking that much.  But Bill his Groomsman was quick to act and took the glass from him.  “Steady on there old boy!”  he said laughing.

 

Ten minutes before the bride was to arrive they all gathered at the front of the church, it was standing room only, in the main part of the church, it seemed nearly everyman and his woman and child from the town, had turned up.

 

Just then the music started playing to introduce the bridal party, the congregation stood, the doors slowly opened and light from outside streamed in framing those entering in a brilliant light.  The flower girls in their lovely outfits came in together sprinkling rose petals on the carpet in front of the bride.  Barry came in next walking very carefully so as not to drop his lovely cushion and the rings, he had a look of great concentration on his face.  He was determined to do an excellent job for his mum and new dad.

 

Then On Edwards arm came Tiffany, her gown was full length Cream, firm fitting over her hips and torso then flaring out in a wide circle around her feet. She had a small tiara in her hair, which fell in ringlets down around her shoulders.  The sun light catching the lovely shine of her hair.  She looked so wonderful Mitchell thought he was going to pass out.  Edward was beaming a smile so big everyone was sure he would have a very sore face by the end of the day if he kept it up.

 

“Steady there mate, she’s nearly here”…He thought to himself.

 

The children took their assigned places on the dais next to Mitchell,

 

“I didn’t drop the rings Daddy” Barry said excitedly

 

“Good lad, you’re doing a fabulous job.” Mitchell reassured him.

 

“Did we do good too Daddy”  The girls whispered.

 

“I’ve never seen rose petals scatted more beautifully”  he said kissing them both on the top of the head.

 

When the children had been told of the wedding, they all decided on their own that they wanted to call Mitchell Daddy, as he was much nicer than their real one.  Their natural father had no time for them, and the girls and Barry were too young to remember him much.  Edward only remembered the arguing and never having much to eat at times as their father had spent all the money gambling and drinking.

 

Tiffany and Edward had finally arrived at the dais with Joelle and Mildred, the Reverend asked everyone to sit.

 

The service went beautifully, they had several songs which were quite meaningful to both Mitchell and Tiffany.  There was a string quartet playing before the service, during the signing of the register and when the newly married couple left the church

 

Now one noticed the man standing in the back row incensed that he was not standing next to the Bride

 

 

*****

The reception went well, everyone ate drank and danced the afternoon away, the children were staying at their grand parents home for the 3 weeks that the honeymooners were away. 

 

When the time for the bouquet tossing came, Mildred caught it, she blushed furiously, who was she going to marry, there was no one special in her life.  But she never believed in signs, or superstitions or old wives tales.

 

The happy couple headed off on their overseas trip, with Tiffany still unaware as to the destination.

 

Everyone went home, happy and content except one, who had followed Professor and Mrs Hills to the airport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©Colleen Hunter 2004

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