-Janis Summer or Janis Angell ?-
Third person's POV
“Mimi darling,” Janis said, her full lips curving into what looked like a genuine smile. She didn’t rise from the couch as Mimi entered the suite but held out her arms for Mimi to come to her. Mimi bent and placed a kiss on her cheek. “Janis dear, how are you feeling?”
“Like the very demon,” Janis said with an exaggerate grimace “try though I might, I can’t seem to get enough sleep, I’m constantly exhausted and food! I eat everything that passes my sight as far as it can be chewed or swallowed, only to be hungry again 11 minutes later.” She pushed herself up straighter on the couch.
“But tell me about your trip. Where is my husband? Please tell me, is he handsomely cool? and how is our Matthew? Still disgusted with me?” Mimi didn’t share Janis’s amusement at the situation and her sister’s flip tone threatened to undo all Mimi’s avowals that she would not lose her temper.
“I can’t answer for Matthew,” she said, pulling off her gloves with short movement. but yes we’ve found you a husband-as you already know from my letter. Janis frowned and waved an impatient hand in circles.
“Stop,” Janis finished. Just about that, you didn’t give me a clue about him and I’ve been fairly dying of curiosity. Where did you find him? What’s he like? I thought you’d at least send me a picture of him.
Mimi tossed her gloves to the table and concentrated on removing her hat. “Yes, I apologize for that, we were busy, you know and he needed a few lessons.”
“Yes, he was a bit rough when we found him but we’ve cleaned him up and taught him some manners.”
“Jesus, he sounds like a street rat,” Janis mused. “Does he sit up and beg now? Or is that one of the things you had to teach him not to do?
As Janis’s laughter tinkled over her nerves, Mimi clenched her teeth and sat carefully in the armchair across from her despite her anger at him, she felt a rush of protectiveness for Summer’s quiet self respect for his unaffected strength and the integrity that would matter to no one if it was discovered he was without means.
he’s not a street rat, Jan (Janis) he’s a Cowboy, though I dare you won’t recognize him as one now because he’s quite handsome actually. Mimi looked down at her hands where they gripped each other in her lap. Janis’s graze on her face felt uncomfortable with an effort, Mimi separated her hands and placed them on the arms of the chair.
"he’s been a very quick study," she continued, but he is, obviously a novice in the ways of New York and It shall be up to you and Matthew and me to protect him from harm and I want you to put rein to your sarcasm while you’re with him. She fixed her sister with an authoritative look. I don’t want his confidence undermined.
Janis’s expression was unreadable as she grazed through lazy eyes at her sister, In fact, the look was inscrutable that it reminded Mimi of Summer and she felt the chill conviction that they really were in many ways perfect for each other.
“He doesn’t sound like a cowboy,” Janis said at last.
“He sounds like a child who’s done very well in trigonometry.”
Mimi sighed. “I only mean_”
Janis laughed and held up a hand, “all right Miss Miracle, I’ll be gentle with him and I won’t give him any difficult equations, and I’ll make sure he gets a good score on the final exam.”
“That’s just the sort of banter I’m talking about,” Janis rolled her eyes. “Is he as dedicated as all that? Where did you find him? In St. Mali,? Is he snooks-bubblegum ?”
Mimi made a horrified grimace, "A what?" What sort of stupid term is that? Is that even a thing? Oh, Janis, you haven’t been reading those crazy books again, have you? I asked you to read Reflection Of A Man. I thought it would give you something to discuss with Mr. Summer.
Summer? Did you say his name is Mr. Summer? Peals of laughter bubbled from Janis’s mouth. How fiendishly appropriate, Mr. Summer my weatherman protecting me from Winter.
“Please, don’t tease him about it,” Mimi pleaded, horrified by her sister's rudeness, though Angell was not in the room. He could be a little sensitive on the issue and in any case, its Summer.
" what’s his first name?” she questions out of grimace look.
"Angell and he’s not a-a-what? dog? cowboy? What you said -”
“A bubblegum!“. Wait a minute did you say his name is Angel? she chuckled so hard, Mr. Angel my guardian Angel protecting me from scorns.
Uh, excuse me, Janis, it Angell with two L ’s instead of one and he’s from Georgia originally.”
Janis donned a thoughtful expression. Angell Summer of Georgia. Summer. . . . Angell. . . . .Do we know any Summer’s in Georgia?
Mimi shifted in her seat. "I believe his family is- obscure."
Janis nodded. 'of course.' he would have to be obscure, wouldn’t he? or would never consent to marry a soiled woman.
I believe Matthew likes Mr. Summer a little though he was quite disapproving of him from the start. “Angell Summer,” Janis repeated. “You know, I think I like the sound of it despite its religious overtone. "Janis Summer- Janis Angell, why that positively rolls in the tongue, don’t you think?"
A sick feeling curled Mimi’s stomach but she pasted a pleased expression on her face anyway. “Yes, it does.” They regarded each other with equal degrees of trepidation and false optimism. Mimi only hoped her own worry appeared to stem from the audacity of the venture and nothing else.
“Will he like me? do you think?” Janis asked, then in a small voice.
Mimi looked quickly at her sister’s troubled face and her heart went out to her, she could see the fear in Janis’s eyes and the uncertainty that marred her smile.
“Don’t worry Janis,” she said softly. He’ll like you and everything will be fine, you see he’s an upstanding man with self-respect for all his humble descent and he’ll be good to you and anyway, you’ll only have to be with him a few short months then he’ll go away and you’ll have your perfect life back.
Thinking the words generously optimistic, Mimi was surprised to see her sister’s face crumple and tears drip heavily from her lashes.
“Oh Mimi,” Janis said, burying her face in her hands.
Mimi rose and moved to the couch beside her as her sister sobbed, she rested an arm around her shoulders feeling Janis’s trembling as if it were her own.
“Everything will be fine please don’t cry Janis,” she said pleading, you’ll like him, even I like him and you know how difficult I am to please.
Janis laughed through her tears and looked up through damp lashes at Mimi.
“You do? You really do? She questioned.
" yes I do, I really do," Mimi said with a sincerity she did not, this time try to hide. “I like him very much.”
Janis sniffed and dabbed at her face with a hanky from her sleeve. The storm was over like a tiny summer shower.
Then I know I shall like him. Janis blew her nose. Goodness, I just cry at the drop of a hat these days. She blew again and Mimi patted her shoulders. “Don’t worry,” she murmured, wondering how she could utter the pointless words when all she wanted to do was sit and cry like her sister, she swallowed hard over the lump in her own throat.
“Don’t worry,” she said again, wishing she herself could heed the device. everything will work itself out.
Everything will be fine.
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