Wedding morning, the Greene kitchen was full of chatter and activity. Grandpa Joe was standing over the stove making pancakes on demand. “Got another one! Who wants it!” He hollered out to the whole world!
“Quit holler’in Joe! You’re make’in me deaf!” Rose scolded as she sipped coffee with Valerie, Carl, and Davis. “We’re discussing honeymoon plans over here.”
“You might as well have another pancake, Rose, cause I’m not saying another word about it.” Davis chuckled. “I want it to be a surprise for Peg.”
“I’ll not repeat a word to Peggy.” Rose clucked with irritation. She hated being left out of important plans.
“Yes, you will! You are itch’in to tell her!” Joe waved the spachela at her.
“Hush Joe, I will not!”
“You’ll hear all about it when we get home.” Davis stuck his plate out to Joe. “Here, I’ll take it if Rose doesn’t want it.”
Rose pondered ways of making Davis talk.
Joe placed the newly made pancake on Davis’ plate as Lynn and Linda scampered into the kitchen. Their mother,Valerie, helped them get situated at the table with their breakfast. Seconds later, Connor appeared. “Morning, where’s Day?”
“She’s not come out of her room yet.” Grandpa Joe bellowed. “Want some pancakes?”
“Not yet” Connor opened the refrigerator looking for OJ. “I’ll wait for Daisy.” When he finally found the OJ, he absent-mindedly chugged the carton down and tossed it into the trash, basketball style.
Davis, Joe and Rose were used to Connor’s enormous OJ chugging habit but Valerie and Carl had never seen anyone dispose of an entire carton in one shot before. They stared at him with shocked amusement. “My Goodness Connor, do you drink orange juice like that every morning?” Aunt Valerie asked curiously.
Connor looked at them blankly. He’d not realizing anyone was watching him. “I think I do….. Yea…. pretty much every morning.” He grinned at his baffled relatives, then noticing the overflowing trash can in the corner said, “I’ll take this out when I leave Okay Grandpa.” He tied up the bag. “I’m surprised Day is not out here yet, maybe I should go check on her.”
“She’ll be out in a little bit” Rose smiled.
When the girls were finished with their pancakes Aunt Valerie took them back to her room where the suitcases were, to dress them. Uncle Carl took the opportunity to share an observation. “I noticed you’re getting pretty sweet on little Daisy Ray there, Connor.”
“Yea, she’s not so little anymore.”
The men laughed with understanding. “They look different when they grow up, don’t they.” Uncle Carl slapped Connor on the back.
Daisy walked slowly into the kitchen. Connor held his arm out to her and gave her a morning hug. “Want pancakes Babe?”
“Just one” she answered quietly against his chest. He looked at Joe and held up four fingers.
“Four pancakes coming right up!” Joe announced military style.
Daisy took two plates from the cabinet and held them out to Joe. He placed one pancake on Daisy’s plate and three on Connor’s plate and they sat down. Connor held Daisy’s hand and blessed their food.
“Are we on time?” Daisy wondered out loud.
Connor looked at his watch. “Nope, but don’t worry about it. Willie’s house is super close.” They ate quickly and set their plates in the sink. “We’ve got to go Dad. Daisy is getting her hair done with Grace and Willie. I have to get’em all to the salon by 6:30.”
“See you at the wedding.” Davis nodded with a huge smile. “I’ll be the one standing up front.”
“Sure, okay Dad” Connor grabbed the trash bag and Daisy’s hand and they left.
Connor lightly snored in the tiny waiting room of the hair salon……..
He’d decided (before falling asleep) that waiting on Grace, Willie and Daisy to get their hair done was the number 1 item on his, Top 10 Most Boring Things To Do List.
“Connor…. Connor…. you can wake up now.” Daisy sang softly in his ear.
“Hey Babe…. we done?” He stretched and gave a monster yawn.
She giggled at his wild yawning noise. “Do you like my hair?”
“Course” He touched her cheek and smiled a sleepy smile.
“How about me” Willie winked at Connor. “Am I pretty too?”
“Shut up, Willie. There’s not a hair doo in the world that can help you, man.” Connor rolled his eyes and everybody laughed as Willie turned around showing off his new dreads.
“I don’t need your approval.” Willie continued his teasing. “I know I’m special.”
“You’re special alright” Connor and the girls laughed again. “Let’s get out of here. I think the chemicals in here went to Willie’s head, man. He needs some air.” Connor took Daisy’s hand and they left for Willie’s house to get changed.
Entering Willie’s house…..
They could hear energetic Pedro behind Willie’s bedroom door. His claws clicked furiously against the hard wood floor as he tried to dig his way out of Willie’s room but the door was shut and the floor was obviously too hard for digging. Little Pedro’s anxiety attack climaxed when he heard Willie enter the house. He growled at the offending door and dug frantically with the hopes that Willie would rescue him.
Cora was on the living room floor surrounded by screws, hooks, nuts, bolts and nails. She appeared to be organizing them and putting them in something like a tackle box for her husband, Mr. Coleman. She looked up from the tedious task. “Hey kids, don’t let Pedro out please, he’ll mess this all up.”
“Okay mom” Willie pointed to his sister’s room. “Daisy, you and Grace can get dressed in Barbie’s room. Your stuff is already in there.” Daisy followed Grace to Barbie’s room.
Willie turned to Connor. “Wait here man, let me catch Pedro first. He’ll run like hell when I open the door, if I’m not careful.” Willie cracked his door and carefully slipped through the crack, one leg at a time.
“Ms. Cora, aren’t you coming to my Dad’s wedding?” Connor mentioned politely as he waited for Willie to subdue his dog. “You and Mr. Coleman are invited you know.”
“Oh Connor I’m so sorry. We know we’re invited but…. you know…… my husband has this crunch dead line to meet for a building he’s constructing. There is still so much to be done in getting it completed and….. he’s afraid he won’t make it. Please send our regards to your father. We are very happy for him but….. this deadline is really looming over our heads right now. Could you explain for us?” Ms. Cora looked up from the mess on the floor apologetically.
“Yes ma’am, of course.” He smiled. “It’s important to meet dead lines.”
“Connor!” Willie hollered. “I caught him, you can come in now.”
Connor entered Willie’s tiny room. Hyper Pedro was fighting to get free but Willie wasn’t having it. He attached a leash to the dogs collar and took him to the backyard. He hooked Pedro’s leash to the clothes line and returned to his bedroom to get dressed. “Sorry about that, man. Pedro can be annoying sometimes.”
Connor chuckled at Willie’s little family dog issue. “No problem” They began to change into their dress clothes. “Stupid tie” Connor mumbled. He pulled the knot out and began again.
Willie shot Connor a concerned look. “Why are you looking so wiped out on your Dad’s Wedding day, man?”
Connor looked up from his screwed up tie. “Well….. you know how Jeremiah left for boot camp?”
“Well, Alison won’t cooperate with Amy or Jason at all. She was fighting with Amy about some phone call from Gary last night. I wouldn’t even care except for the fact that she claims Gary called her from the airport. Nobody can figure that girl out but Jeremiah.” Connor wagged his head. “How can Gary be here? I mean, if he’s been deported…… wouldn’t he get stopped at the airport?” Connor shot Willie a concerned look then went back to his tie.
“For sure” Willie agreed.
The girls knocked on Willie’s door. “Are you guys ready yet?”
“Ready enough, come in” Willie hollered.
“Daisy can you do this stupid tie?” Connor grumbled.
“Sure” She came up close to him and worked on his tie for a few minutes.
He found relief in her peaceful face. “You look real pretty” he said quietly.
“Thank you” She studied his tire eyes. “I should not have asked you to take me to the salon. That must have been a real drag waiting on us like that. You look so tired now.” She didn’t know about Jason’s phone call so she just assumed Connor’s worn out expression was from waiting around the salon for two hours.
“No Babe, I wanted to take you. Any place you want to go, I’m your driver okay.”
“That should do it” She tried to step back to look at his tie but he had a hold of her hips. “Promise me, you’ll ask me if you need to go somewhere. Don’t go anywhere alone, okay.”
She studied his eyes again, puzzled by his worried tone. “Sure, okay” She hugged him, not understanding why he sounded so disturbed.
He petted her head for a moment and looked at the tiny ribbons that had been braided into her hair. “I like your hair too.”
She smiled. “You do? Really-really?”
He laughed at how easy it was to make her happy. “Yep, I do” he kissed her nose. “Now, let’s go see Dad get married.”
“Alright” and they left for church.
In the sanctuary…..
Mark began playing the keyboard and Susan sang softly as the church filled up with friends and family. The ushers walked the guests quietly to whichever side of the sanctuary they requested to sit on. Davis and George, looking very distinguished in their tuxes, stood in the front with Pastor Thomas.
When the flow of guests slowed down, Connor, Willie and Andy lined up against the back wall. They watched the door for late comers who might need help getting seated.
Jason and Amy arrived just as Peggy and the bridesmaids filled the entrance of the sanctuary. Jason nodded greetings to his buddies along the back wall. He pulled Amy up close to him and whispered something in her ear. She smiled shyly.
“Thanks for coming” Connor whispered to the both of them.
Mark switched to the wedding march and everyone watched little Lynn and Linda walk awkwardly down the aisle, tossing flower petals. Next were the bridesmaids. They walked in, one at a time, to the beat of the music. Maria was first, second was Grace, then Daisy came in last. Connor’s heart melted as he watched Daisy move carefully down the aisle with her cell phone in her hand.
Andy caught a glimpse of the cell phone and whispered to Connor. “What’s with the phone?”
“I’ve been having Adam’s family flashbacks, man. I asked her to carry it.” Connor confided quietly.
“Flashbacks hu” Andy looked at him with a knowing expression. “They’re a pain in the butt aren’t they? You get rid of one of ‘em, then up pop’s another one.”
“It’s dang frustrating, man. I can’t get a bit of sleep because of them.” Connor grumbled.
Andy studied Connor’s face then returned his gaze to the ceremony.
Joe, in his Army uniform, entered the sanctuary with Peggy on his arm. Everyone stood up and smiled as they glided down the aisle. Peggy was beautiful in her flowing wedding gown, lace veil and pink cheeks. As she got closer and closer to the front of the sanctuary Davis’s grin got bigger and bigger. They met in the front and Joe stepped to the side. Peggy and Davis made their promises to each other, exchanged rings, whispered more secrets and kissed. Ladies everywhere in the room sighed and dabbed their eyes. Children giggled at the kissing and Connor watched Daisy with adoring eyes.
Daisy stood to the side of Peggy with the other bridesmaids. They were all dressed up in beautiful lavender dresses. She smiled her sweet smile as she watched Davis kiss Peggy. Connor’s heart went out to her, calling her to look at him instead. Somehow she heard his heart and her eyes searched the crowd for him. She spotted him against the back wall, she smiled her special smile for him and he was butter.
The bridesmaids had to walk back down the aisle to make their exit. Maria and Grace came to stand next to Willie and Andy. Connor opened his arms and Daisy walked right into them. From the back wall they watched the rest of the wedding procession.
Davis and Peggy walked back down the aisle together as husband and wife. The congregation stood up, cheered and clapped with exuberant joy.
Family and friends gathered in the back near the stain glass windows for photos. They posed for millions of shots. They hugged and chatted until Mr. Langley announced on George’s speaker that the caterer’s were ready. “It’s banquet time!” He shouted. “Please go to the fellowship hall!”
The crowd bustled in that direction, excited to spend the rest of the night together celebrating. The guests lined up and walked around the food tables.
When the teens were satisfied with their plates they found an empty table and sat down to eat and discussed future plans.
“Susan and I are leaving next week for Music School in Australia.” Mark announced.
“WOW! That is so cool!” Willie spoke up energetically. Of course everyone at the table agreed wholeheartedly.
“Yea, Maria and I will be off to the University soon too.” Andy pitched in.
“Daisy and I have our first Baby Builder’s planning meeting Thursday afternoon with George.” Connor shared.
“My sister, Barbie is coming home this summer. She will be a junior with Grace, Daisy and me at Maxwell in September. Dad is going to make her join the cross country team with us.” Willie laughed. He secretly wondered how that would go. Barbie liked to ride her bike but she had never run on a team before.
“How about you, Amy, what are you and Alison doing?” Maria asked curiously.
“Well, I will be a senior at Merrillville High School. I was hoping Connor would hire me part time at his child care center when it opens up.” She glanced at him shyly when she mentioned her plan.
“Cool, my first employee”
Amy looked a little happier then.
“See, I told you he’d hire you if you asked him.” Jason tried to encourage his girlfriend.
Her smile got a little bigger then. “Thanks Connor, I’m sort of scared to try working anywhere else right now. Alison is hoping to leave with Jeremiah as soon as he gets back from boot camp. He said he’d take her out of here as soon as he gets orders.” Amy explained.
“Why are you scared to work anywhere else?”
“Well, when Alison leaves there is no one to handle the Adams family crap. They sometimes look around for me when they can’t find her. She’s leaving but I’m not.” Amy explained.
Connor eyed her sympathetically.
“I’ll look out for you Amy” Jason said as he gave her a sideways squeeze.
She smiled again. “You’ll be starting your training at the Police Academy. You’re gonna be busy.” Regardless of her smile, Amy’s eyes were worried and everyone at the table could see it.
“I could use the help at Baby Builders” Connor agreed. “Besides we’re on the same plot of land as Palmer Company. The Adams family can’t do a thing there.”
“Yea, and I can pick you up from work every afternoon.” Jason assured her. “Your safe as safe can be.” He smiled confidently.
Amy nodded meekly and Mark changed the subject. “You know, I want to have one good run at the boardwalk with all of you guys before we go our different ways. Do you think we can run tonight after the wedding?”
“THAT is a great idea!” Andy hollered.
“Don’t wear your good clothes!” Connor challenged. “Because I might have to throw you in the ocean just for memory sake!”
“You’ll never get me in the ocean!” Mark smirked.
The group roared laughing at the prospect of a running/wrestling match brewing.
When people slowed down on the eating, Pastor Thomas called Mark and Susan up front for music leading and the opening of the dance floor. Of course, Davis and Peggy had to be the first ones to dance. But soon others joined them on the dance floor.
Daisy looked up at Connor hopefully.
“Do you want to dance?”
Daisy beamed a big smile. “Can we?”
“Sure Babe. Let’s go.” He pulled her chair out and walked her to the dance floor. He pulled her up close and twirled her around gently. She held on to him and laughed as they twirled around. He watched her laugh and move as best she could to the music. She wasn’t the type that could perform popular dance moves correctly but he enjoyed helping her try.
Just then Mark hollered “Everybody get in a line! Susan and I are going to teach you bunch of runners a line dance!” Mark grabbed Susan’s hand and moved to the center of the dance floor.
Everyone lined up side by side. First, Mark led them in simple dance moves, then he added in more complicated ones as time went on. The line of runners followed the moves they were shown as best they could. Everyone laughed and danced for the rest of the evening. Peggy and Davis were overjoyed at how well their wedding had turned out.
George stood up with his speaker and hollered “I am sorry to interrupt the dancing like this but it is time for the lovebirds to leave. They have a boat to catch and a cruise to take!”
Everyone shouted approval at the announcement of the great honeymoon ahead! Davis took Peggy in his arms and leaned her backwards and gave her a real good Bailey kiss. The group cheered! Peggy hid her face in Davis’s shoulder when they were done. He hugged her tight and led her to the limo, he helped her in and they were off to catch a cruise ship.
The caterer’s started cleaning up and taking what was left of the food and dishes back to the trucks.
The gang clumped together in the center of the room excitedly.
“Well, I think it is time to run! Everybody go to Connor’s place! His Dad has left for a two week cruise!” Andy yelled.
“Yeah!” everyone hollered out their joyful approval.
“We can wear your running clothes, can’t we?” Mark slapped Connor on the back as he passed by him.
Connor buried his face in Daisy’s hair. “Daisy” he moaned. “What am I going to do?”
“You can hide out in my room. I won’t tell them you are in there.” She whispered.
Connor perked right up then. “I’ll do that. Hey, I almost forgot, I got something for you. Do you want to see it?” He asked hopefully.
Connor pulled a long, silver chain from his pocket with a tiny silver locket at the end. Daisy opened it. Inside was a picture of Davis on one side and Connor on the other side.
“It’s beautiful.” Daisy admired it.
“It was my mother’s. It only had a picture of Dad in it so I added a picture of me in there.” He carefully put it over her head. “It looks real nice on you Babe” Connor smiled at his girl.
“I love it. Thank you Connor.”
Connor turned the locket over and showed her the back. “Look, see, it has our name engraved on the back.” Sure enough when he flipped it over the name, Bailey, was engraved on the back.
Daisy was going to give him a kiss but all their friends suddenly gathered around them. No one could get running clothes from Connor’s place until he got home. Therefore, they felt obligated to interrupt Daisy’s moment with him.
“No time for kiss’in, man, we’re running, remember” Mark slapped Connor on the back again.
“Hurry up, let’s go. You can kiss your girl later!” Andy fussed.
“Okay, okay, I’m going!” Connor returned irritably. Then an idea went through his head. “Wait a minute! Listen up! Dad gave me two rules about the apartment! #1 no one is allowed in his room for anything! #2 no parties! And I am adding on two more rules. #3 I don’t want anyone in the house that I don’t know personally. #4 no mess! You have to clean up after yourselves. If you wear my running clothes you have to put them in the washer yourself. Don’t leave’em all over the floor! If you eat, you have to clean up too! Deal?”
“Deal!” they yelled in unison as they left the church for Connor’s place.
At the boardwalk…..
The group began a gently jog.
“Come on you guys! What are we a bunch of babies? Did all that wedding cake turn you to mush? We are official High School graduates! Let’s pick it up a few hundred notches!” Andy chided.
“No all of us are graduates!” Daisy hollered.
“Yea!” Shouted Willie.
“Almost all of us then!” Andy corrected his statement.
Everyone grinned at the voice of their favorite leader and picked up their pace.
The warm breeze blew through the dune grass on left side of them. You could hear it rushing over the grasses at a speed faster than the teens were running. The wind teased the runners about their speed. Daring them to run faster and catch him. The teens wanted to run as fast as the wind!
“Feel that wind!” Andy hollered again. “Let’s go!”
They obeyed. They were hungry to take the winds challenge and run at its pace. No matter how hard they pressed in though, the wind still teased them to catch him if they could.
Connor smiled at the wind’s coaxing. He raised his eyes over Andy’s head.
“Come on Andy! I’m stepping on your feet back here!” Connor pushed Andy to move.
Andy laughed and moved out of formation ahead of the group.
Connor chased him with all his might! They made the turn at the end of the wooden platform and raced back down, passing the other runners at the speed of rushing wind.
The others broke formation after they took the turn at the end of the walk and raced ahead, challenging each other to beat them… if they could.
The wind cheered them on playfully as it rushed through the grasses ahead of them all.
The gang returned to the spot they had begun from. Everyone was panting with excitement from the run! They ran around in circles trying to slow their pace.
The guys started knocking each other around playfully. The wrestling was about to begin!
The laughter escalated when Andy suddenly grabbed Connor and began pulling him down to the ocean!
Connor picked up Andy in a monster hold and threw him in the sand and everyone roared with excitement!
Andy got up quickly and charged Connor fiercely, knocking him over. They wrestled wildly all over the place. When it appeared that Andy was winning, Willie jumped into the crazy wrestling match to help Connor. Willie grabbed Andy and pulled him back off Connor. Mark jumped on top of Connor and attempted to pick up where Andy left off, by pulling Connor to the ocean.
The girls screamed excitedly as the group inched down the beach towards the water.
Eventually, all the guys ended up in the ocean and getting dunked several times by one or the other of their buddies. When they had no more breath in them they crawled laughing and panting from the ocean to the place that the girls were sitting. They flopped out on the beach next to their gals looking at the stars.
Connor took Daisy’s hand and held it to his chest sharing his pounding heart with her and she laughed at its wild beat. He rolled up onto his side looking at Daisy’s laughing face and touched her cheek softly. “I love you Daisy girl.”
Daisy looked into his eyes and knew he meant it completely. “I love you Connor Bailey.”
He leaned over and kissed her gently. Spiting out sand, he laughed lightly at her sandiness. Together they listened to all the sounds of God’s world around them. The breeze was still running through the grasses near the platform making its rushing noise and the ocean was moving in and out steadily, declaring God’s faithfulness.
“I love God’s world!” Connor suddenly shouted out his praise to the King.
Everyone cheered and repeated his praise in like manner!
Then Andy hollered out! “I saw food at Connor’s place let’s go eat!”
“YEAH!” the group cheered at Connor’s generosity as they ran back across the boardwalk towards Connor’s place.
“Andy! Dad left that food for me, man! You are paying for whatever disappears!” Connor hollered as he and Daisy ran after their friends.
Well, this is the end of Volume I— By Julia French
Copyright date August 17, 2011
Bowker LLC, All Rights Reserved.
I am now in the process of editing and reformatting volume I for ebook.
Please keep returning to daisydesk for updates on the progress of,
Daisy and Connor’s World.
As well as continued postings of
poetry, running and photos from my own life.
I’m not done, and neither are Daisy and Connor.
I hope you have a wonderful week, Julia