Angell Summer

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-He's not coming?-

Third person’s POV

Giselle swept by the door opened and heavy feet stomped the marble floor just as her father’s had done. “Mr. Flynn,” Giselle mellow voice said, “the ladies are in the sitting room. ”

Janis was off the sofa like a shot she met Matthew at the door and flung herself into his arms even though Giselle was barely out of sight. “Oh Matthew, ” she cried “I’ve been beside myself with worry are you nervous about tonight? ”

“Janis please, ” he protested prying her hands from his shoulders. Matthew looked mortified and grazed uncomfortably down the hall as if Giselle might magically reappear wielding a shotgun when his graze returned to Janis his expression of concern changed immediately to horror. His eyes trailed the length of her stopping at her middle “What on earth have you got on? ” he demanded of her belly, “Oh Matthew! ” Janis wailed with a stomp of her foot. “Just the large thing I own! ”

“I’m sorry dear, it’s just-it’s so you might consider....” His eyes flicked back to her face which was perilously close to tears. “you look fine ” he finished desperately “Fine-is-is how you look.”

Janis sniffed. “Are you sure? ”

“Sure? ” he glanced at Mimi who nodded with fatigue. “Sure! Yes, absolutely fine yes.”

“Matthew, you haven’t seen Summer today, have you? ” Mimi asked. Matthew turned toward her, but after an initial glance did not meet her eyes Instead he stepped away from Janis straightened his shirt cuffs beneath his sleeves and cleared his throat.

“Ah, actually yes I did see him this morning early. ” he straightened his waistcoat and glanced at her “I was shaving.”

Mimi’s brows rose expectantly. “And? Did he say anything about where he might be all thing?”

Matthew looked at her in concern. “Do you mean he hasn’t been back? ” Mimi’s stomach dropped at the expression on his face. “No, he hasn’t. What did he say to you this morning?" She stood slowly as if she’d be strong enough to hear the news that he was gone if she were upright.

“Well, ah. . ." Matthew searched the ceiling as if looking for a transcript of the conversation.

“Matthew," Janis said indignantly sniffling away the last of her threatened tears, “Just tell her what he said she’s been a mess all day wondering where he is for chrissake he hasn’t left yet, has he? ”

“No.,” Matthew said quickly.

Mimi took a deep, relieved breath. “That is, I don’t think he has.

“Oh, my God," Mimi muttered and sank once again onto the sofa.

“He was talking about leaving tomorrow morning I believe that is what he came by to tell me I told him I would be speaking with your father this evening. ” Matthew moved to the sideboard and poured himself a drink.

“I suppose I should tell you too, that he- ah- he seemed relieved that it was to occur so soon. There seems to be a reason why he couldn’t stay. And I must say that Angell is a weird human being, he kept on saying weird words that I can't understand.” He looked at Mimi quizzically as if she might know the reason.

“I hope you told him it wasn’t so I hope you told him all I told you this morning, ” Janis insisted.

“What did you tell him this morning? “Mimi demanded.

Janis waved an airy hand in her direction “Oh, you know just all that stuff that father said to you, did you tell that, Matthew ?”

He looked uncomfortably at the floor. “Basically, yes. ”

“Oh, no. ” Mimi moaned and cover her face with her hands.

“I tried everything I could think of, Mimi,” Matthew said coming to sit right beside her on the couch. “I don’t know what's wrong with him. ”

Mimi dropped her hands and looked at him fiercely. “I’ll tell you what’s wrong with him, he doesn’t love me. He-”

“Excuse me, Miss McCarthy? ” Giselle stepped discreetly into the room and everyone paused Into the silence, she continued imperturbable, “I thought you would wish to know the Archerson coach is pulling up. ”

Mimi looked quickly to the window, then back at Giselle. “Damnation! ” she swore rising. “They’re early Giselle get my parents, quickly." With a swift nod, she disappeared.

“Matthew, check with the kitchen to be sure they’ll be ready early.” she smoothed the front of her gown with nervous fingers and turned to her sister. “Janis you sit here by the fire And place this afghan over your lap. We’ll tell them you’ve got a touch of a migraine Whatever you do don’t get up-that dress doesn’t look like it’ll hold much longer. ” They both turned toward the door as they heard their parents descend the stairs.

“Blasted people not only insist on coming, but they also insist on coming early, ” their father said. “Probably stay late too. ” Janis rushed to the chair and flung herself into it quickly covering herself from the waist down with the blanket.

Giselle opened the door and voices filled the hall. Mimi stood motionless in the center of the sitting room for some reason unable to move It was she thought as if the arrival of these guests pull something terrifying in motion She consciously forced herself to breathe and turned her head to look at her sister.

“What? ” Janis asked a shill edge to her voice. “Doesn’t this look alright? ” The words barely sank in advance Mimi grazed at her, her mind of a tumult of unavoidable confusion. Then slowly out of the mental chaos and thought emerged.

“Summers not coming, ” she said softly. “He’s not coming. ”

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