Thursday, July 18, 2019

Poplar Mountain by Dellani Oakes Part 14


Dollie is unhappy to see that Patty and Will are spending time together. She asks Luke if he thinks they will be indecorous. He tells her he believes so. That starts a conversation that he'd rather not have. Fortunately, he calms her down and they go to the movie.

The film began with a news reel. Most of it was about the troubles in Europe that seemed to be building to a head.
"That's a big, ol' mess," Lucius declared. "Mark my words, that's gonna get worse 'fore it's over. It'll be bigger than the Big One."
"Oh, do you think? That was supposed to be the war to end all wars."
"It ain't. Men can't stop fighting long enough to get along."
"Why? It makes no sense."
"Ain't having enough sex," he murmured before taking a huge bite of popcorn. He winked at her.
Dollie blushed, swatting his arm. "The sad thing is, you're probably right."
"Well, men can't fight if they're in bed," he replied knowingly.
The movie began before Dollie could reply. They were both caught up in the story, amazed by the pageantry of the film. By the end of Wuthering Heights, Dollie was in tears. Lucius handed her a freshly laundered and pressed handkerchief. Dollie wiped her eyes, thanking him.
"It's as beautiful as I remembered," she whispered. "How I love that story!"
They walked out to the truck. Lucius glanced at his watch. Will had asked for two hours. It wasn't quite that yet.
"How about coffee and pie? See, there's a diner just across the way."
"I'd love to." Taking his arm, she leaned her head against his shoulder. "Thank you, Lucius. That was beautiful and wonderful. I do so love movies."
"Seen a lot of 'em?"
"Quite a few. My friends and I used to cut classes so we could go. I still don't understand how I managed to pass." She laughed at herself. "I used to go once or twice a week to the movies."
"Why, Miss Belloit, you ditched class to watch moving pictures? What a naughty girl you are!"
She giggled, tossing her head. "That was as naughty as I got. Mostly, I was such a goodie two shoes, it was disgusting.
"Got to be bad sometimes," Lucius replied as he held the diner door open. "Otherwise, life ain't much fun."
Seated, they ordered their pie and coffee. They laughed and chattered for nearly an hour. Finally, Lucius became aware of the time. It was almost 10:00.
"Much as I hate to, Dollie, I got to take you home. It's mighty late."
"I confess, I don't want the evening to end. It's been such a delight."
They stopped at Will's room. Lucius honked the horn. A few moments later, Patty emerged, breathless and pink cheeked. Will appeared behind her, bare chested and smiling. They kissed several seconds until Lucius beeped again. Patty screamed, then thumped the fender, laughing.
"Impatient hillbilly," she chided. "I love you, Will-Billy," she told Will.
"I love you too, Patty-Cake."
Patty was quiet the entire way home. Once in awhile, she sighed happily, but she didn't say a word. Lucius and Dollie tried to talk, but her complete silence made them want to whisper. When the truck stopped, Patty didn't wait for Lucius to open the door. She got out and walked into the apartment, leaving them alone. Lucius chuckled as he watched her.
"One day, I hope I love a woman so well, she's speechless."
Dollie punched him—hard. "Are all men like that?"
"Like what?" He rubbed his arm, genuinely puzzled.
"Only interested in one thing?"
He bridled slightly. "Dollie, if all I wanted from you was sex, you'd be naked."
She gasped, scooting away from him. Past the point of caring what he said or what she thought of it, he continued.
"I love you, Dorothea Belloit. So much, it makes me damn crazy. I like to hope you love me, too. And one day, I'd like you to marry me. But I'm so afraid I'm gonna say somethin' wrong, I hardly know what to say. You don't leave room for a man to breathe, Dollie."
Dollie burst into tears and Lucius was completely at a loss. He hadn't meant to say so much and he sure hadn't meant to make her cry. Dollie blubbered and sobbed. Lucius tried to touch her, but she flinched away.
"I have principles, Mr. Henry. I have standards. Unlike my sister!"
"She's in love, Dollie. Maybe when you can say the same, you'll not be so—I'm sorry. I didn't mean to...."
Dollie hiccuped as she cried. Lucius put his arms around her and was surprised that she let him hold her close.
"I do love you, Dollie. I have since the day we met. Tonight was meant to be the time I told you how I feel, not how I hurt your feelings. You're beautiful and smart and the only girl I wanna spend my life with."
© 2019 Dellani Oakes 

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