Fear not, dear readers, Hannistina is about to make yet another stunning entrance. To catch up from last time, check out Part 9.
Chapter 5: The Other Woman
Two weeks had gone by, and all was well. Hannistina's chili was a hit in the bakery, Reedsler was pushing their Dad to help with Hannistina's shop, and then
there was Dudley. Wonderful Dudley, with his shy smile and outgoing waistline
had captivated her thoughts.
"How odd..." she pondered, "How odd that I haven't ever noticed how handsome he
really is." For alas, his beauty of character cast him in a rosy glow for
Hannistina. Instead of the balding, plump, perpetually sweaty man which most
people saw, Hannistina saw only the beauty of his chocolate colored eyes, his
finely chiseled nose, his even teeth...he was the true man of her dreams.
She was beginning to map out a scheme to win her heart's desire. Menus poured
forth out of her imagination, she'd taken to wearing pastel lip gloss, she had
even bought him an apron with a Hershey's kiss on it, hoping he'd take the hint,
to no avail. She had blushed when she gave it to him, but he hadn't noticed.
Had he truly forgiven her? Was he no longer interested? Or was there something
holding him back? She had no idea, but her determination knew no bounds.
It was in this frame of mind that Hannistina skipped out her door toward
Dudley's shop, arms full of bread pans she had borrowed as an excuse to come
over yesterday. She smiled to herself as her carefully hairsprayed curls
ornamented her shoulders.
"I'll tell him my bread didn't turn out and ask him to show me how to knead properly," she plotted "then I'll have lots of time to tell him about my new plans for the shop." One more happy sigh brought her to the bakery door. With some difficulty she maneuvered the door open, using her hip to swing open some entrance space. She entered with a small giggle, then stopped dead in her tracks, for there, drinking iced mocha with Dudley was an unfamiliar woman. What's more, Dudley was grinning and laughing with her!
Hannistina's heart stopped, tears welled at her eyes, and she was unable to move
or speak. The woman, whose pin-straight hair she had been staring at, slowly
turned toward Hannistina, unflinchingly locking eyes with her. She carefully
examined the curls, bread pans, plain jeans, and sensible tennis shoes before
the terrible smirk snuck onto her lipstick slathered lips. Her shadowed eyes
held a glint of triumph.
Hannistina heard the crash before she even knew the pans had slipped from her hands. The clatter resounded in the bakery and every head snapped to attention. All the eyes joined the eyes of the unknown women in silent judgment. Only Dudley seemed sympathetic. He jumped to her rescue. "Oh, Hannistina, let me help you with that. This is all my fault, I should have opened the door for you. Oh, here let me get that . . . " His comforting words began to sooth her embarrassment.
"No, you were busy Dudley. I'm sorry that I've interrupted." Hannastina baited for an explanation.
"Yes, I was meeting from my good friend from Pastry School. You know, I had I crush on her back then. Let me introduce you to the famous Miss Praline DeVine. You know, she is considering an offer from Food Network to televise her local show, 'The Hand That Sets The Table'." Dudley turned with his face aglow to introduce Miss Praline, and Hannastina realized that his crush had not ended in Pastry School.
Miss Praline DeVine sat with her perfect posture and her gleaming hair glistening in the glint of the morning light. She gracefully stood and took some of the pans from Dudley's hands, "Here let me be of service to you, Dudley." Her smile made Dudley's rosy glow flame to a flaming rose color. She turned and said, "Why, you must be Hannistina Hershey. Dudley has told me all about you. Only you could turn every head with your entrance. My your hair is beautiful. Your curls are refreshingly innocent, the picture of youth."
Hannistina struggled to find a fitting reply, "It's so nice to meet you. Dudley has told me nothing of you," was what came out of her mouth.
Jeepers! Now what will she do? Striking at her curls was such a low blow. Stay tuned for the next intriguing plot twist!