Clarissa always drove fast cars, Ellen thought, watching the snub nosed grille of the new Saab Turbo come roaring up the tree lined driveway. She apparently wanted people to think she was daring and outrageous, buying those expensive European cars and bragging about red-lining the speedometer. Ellen's fairly large Italian nose wrinkled, slightly disgusted, as the chrome wheels on the dark green convertible sent a billowing cloud of dust trailing behind them. Instinctively, she stepped back from the door as the car made it's approach toward the house, narrowing her eyes and inadvertently preparing herself to jump back even farther should Clarrisa be unable to stop the car in time and come crashing into Ellen's living room.
Further retreat proved unnecessary, as Clarissa executed a perfect braking maneuver, setting the car perfectly in line with the garage and well away from the front of the cottage. Ellen quickly smoothed her freshly high-lighted auburn bob, and slipped on her navy blue Crocs- ridiculous looking shoes, she was the first to admit, but so perfectly suited to life at the lake. A quick glance over her shoulder insured that the living room looked it's best. The cushions on the blue and white checked sofa were neatly plumped, the navy blue chenille throw tossed artfully across one corner. Her reading chairs-two captains chairs recently reupholstered in denim blue-faced each other companionably in front of the fireplace, the gate legged table between them stacked with her latest book stack. The aroma of lemony furniture polish filled the air, mixed with the fresh clean scent from the brisk summer breeze blowing off the lake. A white milk glass pitcher had been placed in the center of the heavy oak coffee table, filled with a carefully arranged bouquet of flowers.
She stopped just shy of the back screen door, taking a few moment to observe Clarissa before she announced her presence. What in the world was she doing? Ellen thought, marveling once again at the way her friend could spend so much time in commonplace activities. Was she putting on makeup? Freshening her lipstick? Making a phone call? Ellen peered around the corner of the door, but all she could see was Clarissa’s shadowy figure, twisted uncomfortably toward the back seat of the blue sports sedan.
Abruptly, the driver’s door swung open, and a long slender leg emerged, tanned slightly golden in color, with the glint of delicate diamond bracelet encircling the ankle. Ellen couldn’t help but sniff disdainfully-after all, Clarissa was pushing 50. Wasn’t an ankle bracelet just a little bit over the top?
~to be continued