Author: Sheila Willar Copyright: 2021 Sheila Willar ISBN #: 978-0-9867101-4-8
Book Title: THE CHAPEL Chapter #: 08 - THE FLOWERS
Erin arrived back at the apartment and walked into a flurry of activity.
The wedding planner had resigned, the location for the wedding reception had been cancelled, they couldn’t find another venue, and Maggy’s mother was in tears and unconsolable.
“You wouldn’t believe what it was like here today!” whispered Kelly. “My mother fired the wedding planner and then Maggy hired her back again, but then mother complained so the planner quit.”
Erin suddenly remembered that she was supposed to confirm that the flowers had been ordered. “Please God let the wedding planner have ordered the flowers,” she prayed.
The remainder of the evening was exhausting and later when Erin was finally able to go the sleep, Maggy’s mother and aunts were back at the kitchen table, planning their day.
“God help us all.”
“What do we tell the guests?”
“What will they think?”
“It’s a good thing I arrived three weeks early or there might not be a wedding at all.”
“And Kelly’s been no help.”
“All she talks about are the horses.”
“And Erin’s gone all hours of the day and night. Who knows what they’re up to out there on Astor’s estate.”
“Nothing good ever came out of Kinkerry!”
“We’re from Kinkerry.”
“Not that part of Kinkerry!”
Erin sighed. She was used to negative talk. The put downs and cheap shots. Sometimes it was her own family who dolled out the worst of it. “Don’t you look like a drowned rat,” they’d say after she came in from the rain. “What will people think?”
Erin waited for an appropriate time to get up so that she could steal a few minutes for herself in the washroom. She dressed quickly and told Maggy’s mother that she wouldn’t be back until late which caused many an eyebrow to be raised.
As Erin opened the door to leave the apartment, Kelly shouted, “Take me with you! Please! Don’t leave me here alone!”
“You hush! You’re going to help your sister today even if no one else does,” retorted her mother. Then she turned to Erin and said, “Be off with you now.”
Erin was just about to close the door when one of the aunts called out to her and said, “Erin, a man called and left you a message. I think he wants you to call him back or something. His name is Arthur Bloom. I wrote his phone number down here somewhere. Oh yes, here it is. He said that it was something about an order for Irish Blue.
Maggy’s aunt handed Erin a piece of paper with a phone number scribbled on.
Erin sighed with a sense of relief and hurried to work so that she could call Mr. Bloom about the stone, and then call Maggy’s fired wedding planner about the flowers. She felt that it was going to be a busy but successful day, and nearly burst out of the elevator and into her cubicle where she dialled the phone number for Arthur Bloom. Her feet tapped a dance as she waited.
“Arthur Bloom’s,” a gentle voice answered. Erin could hear the clamour in the background.
“May I speak with Arthur please?” she asked.
“Just one moment,” said a pleasant voice.
“Arthur here,” spoke a man impatiently.
“Hello. My name is Erin McBride and I understand that Ms. Statton from Mrs. Mancinni’s office sent you a requisition for some Irish Blue,” Erin explained.
“Yes. One hundred and fifty to be exact. It was no easy task mind you either, though we aim to please,” added Arthur reminding himself that the client was always right.
“Could you have it delivered?” asked Erin.
“Yes, that’s why I called earlier,” said Arthur. “I don’t have an address. Ms. Statton said that you would know what to do with it.”
Erin was ecstatic at the thought of having THEE Irish Blue stone in her possession. She wanted to to prove to Mrs. Mancinni and Lila and especially Professor Foster, that she could manage her part of the project on her own.
Since it was only a small amount of stone, Erin estimated that there would be no more than a few small boxes in total, and since she didn’t want it to go missing before the wedding, she decided to have it delivered to Maggy’s apartment where she could keep an eye on it. It was too precious to leave laying around the office unattended.
Erin gave Arthur the address for Maggy’s apartment and had total confidence that her decision would help mend her reputation with the Mrs. Mancinni.
“Phew!” sighed Erin. She believed that her Irish Blue troubles were behind her.
Back at Maggy’s apartment, the turmoil had barely ebbed, but Maggy was determined to make the best of it. She said that it was an opportunity to do something unusual and fun.
“Thank God,” sighed Kelly.
“Have you lost your sanity?” exclaimed her mother. She and her sisters shuddered at the thought of an informal reception.
“Seriously,” said Maggy. “We could go back to my original idea and have it outdoors, a picnic of sorts, maybe by the water. Wouldn’t that be fun?” she asked looking for the slightest hint of agreement.
The aunts tried to busy themselves and Maggy’s mother wondered if she had raised her girls right? She was just about to protest when the intercom buzzed.
“We have a delivery for you,” muttered a voice.
“Bring it up,” answered Maggy as she pressed the button to let the delivery man in. “I wonder what it is?” she asked excitedly.
When the door bell rang Maggy opened the door with anticipation.
There was a man supporting a trolley that held 5 clay pots of beautiful flowers. She assumed it was a gift from someone and stood back to allow the man to enter the apartment.
However, as soon as he entered, directly behind him was another man pushing a second trolley with five more pots of flowers, and directly behind him was a third man and so on, until they had delivered all one-hundred and fifty pots of flowers to Maggy’s apartment.
The procession of men were unstoppable. Maggy, Kelly, their mother, and aunts ran about screaming, “Stop! Stop!” but the men kept humming to the music in their earbud and delivered wave after wave of flowers. They put flowers on the tables, on countertops, on the seating and on the floor.
Maggy screamed, “No! Seriously! Stop!” but none of them would. When the last of the pots of Irish Blue hydrangeas were set in the last available vacant space, the man in charge handed Maggy a piece of paper and quickly vanished. Maggy stared at the invoice blankly. It made no sense at all. It had a Mancinni logo on the top and at the bottom of the invoice was the amount of $15,000.00.
Maggy looked around the apartment and put her hand over her mouth in shock, but then she began to giggle. At first it was a bubble of a laugh that came from a state of exhilaration, a slow wild thing that erupted deep down inside her. It was followed by a slightly higher pitch sound that included laugh lines around her eyes, and then, a full blown blaze spread across her entire face, and she laughed so loud and hard that she could barely catch her breath.
The others followed, not because they found the situation funny but because Maggy’s laugh was contagious and soon all five of them were laughing hysterically, sometimes bent over with their hands braced against their knees, saying, “Stop. Please stop!”
They laughed so hard that their stomachs hurt and tears streamed down their faces. Eventually, when they were out of breath, they cried and hugged each other in consolation of not knowing what else to do.
Sometimes one of them would start to laugh again, to which the others warned a fierce, “No!”, knowing that they simply physically could not take it anymore.
Maggy reread the invoice and handed it to her mother who asked, “Are these flowers from Astor Mancinni? How dare she?”
“It appears that way,” sighed Maggy as she let out a hint of a left over giggle. “It must have been some kind of mistake.”
Maggy texted her fiancé Peter and Erin, “Could you get back to me as soon as possible. It’s about the flowers.”
When Erin saw the message, her heart rose in her throat because she had forgotten again to call the wedding planner. She found the number and called immediately.
“Hello,” answered a stiff voice.
“Hi. This is Erin McBride calling with regards to Maggy Clancy’s wedding. I was wondering if you’ve ordered the flowers?” asked Erin, holding her breath.
The wedding planner’s last nerve had been rubbed raw by Maggy’s mother, who had insulted her, tried to take over her job and eventually fired her. She assumed that Erin’s call was more of the same kind of abuse.
“I was told NOT to order the flowers!” she stated emphatically. “You said that you would do it yourselves. You’ve already blamed me for the reception cancellation, and I won’t stand for this kind of abuse!” she yelled and hung up.
Erin sat motionless and listened to the dial tone. She dropped her head and slowly headed back to the apartment to give Maggy the bad news. Not only did Maggy not have a venue for the reception anymore, but now, thanks to her, there were no flowers either.