Emma Lou Beasley whirled and twirled, springing around her kitchen like a three-year-old. Her feet danced to a beat only she could hear.
Joy for approaching a birthday Emma Lou thought she’d never see made her twist and turn and shake her head with her braided afro that swung with every movement. A milestone would be reached in twenty-eight days, and a childish glee of giggles spilled out of her mouth as she let out a gleeful shriek.
Not every day that you turn sixty, yippee!
Her busy and sometimes harried life, without ever having children to love and a male to care about her as his one and only were truths she’d finally accepted as a fact of life. After all, her entire family had prophesied that her marrying days were over when she’d turned fifty. They’d convinced her that she’d entered the age of Spinsterhood.
Emma Lou researched the life span of Spinsters and found that spinsters didn’t have much longevity. Startled she set out to change that by reaching her next decade.
In twenty-eight days, I’ll be sixty. Yippee!
The twelfth beat of the gong on Emma Lou’s grandfather clock struck and stopped her from swinging her broad hips. She rushed to the hallway closet, grabbed her jacket, left the house and got into her Volkswagen Beetle and headed toward the city.
She planned to buy a small gift for herself every day up until the twenty-eighth day. Then she would splurge on herself and go out to that expensive, suave restaurant on Broad Street that she’d always wanted to go to but had been afraid to enter. She was going to walk in there with her head held high, her braids dancing around her shoulders, and treat herself to the most fabulous dinner that she’d ever dreamed of.
Emma Lou arrived at the House of Daniello’s an exclusive store where she’d seen the Pastel, sky blue dress that she hoped would fit over her thick hips and ample bosom perfectly.
Blue, the colour of hope was her encourager and favourite colour. With her blue dress, she would take on the next ten years’ challenge.
A car pulled out of the parking spot opposite the House of Daniello’s, and Emma Lou chuckled.
A good omen.
She glanced in her rear-view mirror to see if any traffic was behind her. Astonishingly, no cars were coming from behind or coming in front of her. Tapping the gas pedal lightly, she made a U-turn and wheeled her royal blue Beetle into the spot like Michael Schumacher.
He couldn’t have done it better!
Emma Lou laughed, her body shaking with laughter.
Daniello stood by the third-floor window in his office overlooking the main street to the entrance to his shop as Emma Lou made her wild U-turn. He chuckled at how she’d taken possession of the empty park spot. When Emma Lou opened her car door, he noticed her legs first. They reminded him of the thick, dark chocolate sticks that his brother produced in his chocolate factory.
At the age of fifty, Daniello, with two marriages behind him and a narrow escape from a third woman, who had blinded him with her roguish charm, had given up being happy and wrapped his life around his fashion house.
Where are those women who love from the heart?
When Emma Lou crossed the street laughing and started walking to his store entrance, he flew down the steps, instead of taking the elevator, to the main floor. Emma Lou captivated him.
Signalling to his sister, Lucia, that he would take care of the dark, skinned woman who had just walked in, Daniello stood at the end of the aisle and observed how Emma Lou bounced to him as if she was a ball on water. Her eyes mirrored gaiety and innocence combined with a warmth that he yearned for. Her smile drilled holes into the armour around his heart.
“May I help you, Madam?”
“Thank you, but I’d like a saleslady,” Emma Lou said, thinking the man couldn’t be working for the store wearing blue jeans, even though he was sporting a Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shirt.
“At your service,” Daniello said, holding back his laughter at the shock in her eyes. She didn’t know who he was. Most women would have been falling all over him in ways he didn’t appreciate.
“Oh…Do you work here?” Emma Lou said, flustered. “What I mean is that I’ve never been waited on by a man in a women’s dress shop,” she said as she gazed into his shiny onyx coloured eyes.
“Well, there’s always a first time, Ms…” Daniello said, checking out her hands. No ring.
“So, Ms. Beasley, what can I do for you?”
“Well…” Emma Lou stuttered, “actually I was thinking about buying the blue dress in the store window, but I think I’ll come back later.”
“You would look awesome in that dress,” Daneillo said. “Any particular occasion?”
“In a way,” Emma Lou said, “I always celebrate February because that’s my birthday month. You think that colour suits me?”
“The dress and the colour suit you perfectly.”
“Well, thank you,” Emma Lou said, happy that her dark skin colour didn’t show how much she was blushing before this nice young salesman.
“Ms. Beasley, may I address you by your first name?”
“Why, of course. It’s Emma Lou.”
“So, Emma Lou, when’s your birthday?”
“February 28th, and I’m going to treat myself to something good every day this month.”
“I’m doing something similar this month too,” Daniello said.
“Oh?” Emma Lou asked surprised. “Is it your birthday month too?”
“No, not my birthday,” Daniello said and chuckled, “but February has just become a significant month. Do you mind us celebrating it together?”
“I don’t know you, Mr…” Emma Lou said softly.
“In twenty-eight days, you will, my dear Emma Lou,” Daniello said, smiling at the woman whose gaiety had captured his heart.
I may be a little slow getting around to everyone's submission in this first WEP Challenge, but I will get to them.
Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding.