A blonde little girl was sitting in a swing hung from a branch, “Hi,” I said.
The first thing Louisa ever said to me was “My Daddy said I can take a friend to Disney World this Christmas. Do you want to be my friend?” Soon we were playing tea party on the veranda steps; unlike my fragile little hand-painted cups (Victorian relics of a du Bois ancestress) Louisa’s were quite new and bright-red, “My Daddy bought them for me for the beach, ’cause I’m his little favorite!” as she banged them around. I remember being startled; weren’t English bone-china teacups supposed to be treated gently and with respect? “But mine are made of plastic! They’re better ’cause they don’t break! That’s what my daddy says!” Soon the booming voice of “My Daddy, Mr. Hank Hartly” came out to join us, followed by the man himself along with my own father. I think there were handshakes all round and lots of talk, and of course, plans for Louisa and I to get together again.
The enchanted time was ending, though none of us thought about it.
It should have been obvious, of course, despite their agreements. Not just because of the delicate little teacups and our dear tea-parties; there was our shared interest in the arts and theatre, and our frequent shopping trips to the fashion districts. No, if our fathers had read the signs, had been less conservative, they would have known marriage was never in the cards for Louisa and me . . . Hold still, there. I just need to get your inside leg and we'll have your trousers ready in no time. My, you are tense, sir . . .
Opening: Ann Unemori.....Continuation: Anon.