86,400 Seconds 17


With the Justin and Jayden interested in peanut butter and jam, they don't notice Vivian slide into the room.  The tiny clicking noise of her shoes is totally lost in the sounds of everyone's laughter as they talk about how sticky peanut butter is.  Even I'm caught up in it a bit.  For the most part Vivian tends to stay on the casual side.  Everyone learned long ago that she was casual and it started to be the habit of clothes companies to send a pair of girl's sneakers along in the shipment of men's sneakers that Justin often receives.  This of course comes with five or ten extra pairs of shoes in random sizes that somehow seem to fit the ten or so people in the circle of friends Justin has collected over the years.

Tonight is a different look for her.  Not being the normal evening out, it's turned into an excuse to wear a dress.  At the events in New York she'd stayed more casual, choosing to blend into the crowd, but tonight seems different, probably from the fact that she and Justin are at a different level now.  It remains to be seen if she'll be next to Justin on the red carpet, but for the moment she's taking up all the attention in the room with her outfit.

And what an outfit it is.  A little strapless number in lacy black.  Instead of wearing it as a dress though, she's worn it as a top over jeans and little slip on flats.  She's wearing her hair up in a messy ponytail with a wide white bracelet on one wrist and diamond drop earrings in her ears.

I know it might sound strange for me to be so detailed in what I notice about her, but over the years I've spent numerous hours people-watching.  The joy of people watching, or woman-watching, has never been a lost art when it comes to me.  The difference between me and the pervert on the street is that I've spent time, not really looking at them, but trying to picture Beverly in what each woman was wearing.

Vivian's different.  I see only her.  She's one of a kind.  Truly one of a kind.

"Whoa."  Justin finally woke up and found out that his girlfriend is actually a woman.  I love how he gets so stupid around her.  He totally doesn't take time to enjoy her.  They're in the honeymoon phase of the relationship and he's already falling down on the job.  I wish there was a way to beat it into the kid's head that he needs to cherish every moment of this time, but I don't think he'd believe me.  I don't think he'd even believe his own mother.

And that kills me.

I laugh a bit when I turn to find Justin staring at her with his mouth slightly open.  "Ding. Ding. Ding.  We have a winner."

Ignoring the way that Justin was staring at her, Vivian ran her hand over her hair, the part that was hanging in ringlets around her shoulders.  "Thanks Tiny.  Surprisingly enough Urban Outfitters actually makes something ready for the red carpet."

"No troubles," I say and turn back to find Jayden stuffing a peanut butter and jam sandwich in her mouth.

Coming into the kitchen Lynn makes her first appearance of the evening.  Despite the casual air of the night, she's changed into a pinstriped woman's suit with a pink collared shirt.  It's been said in the press over the years that Justin's mother, well, his whole family is just a little bit white trash.  Even though the actual name calling hasn't really gotten to them, Lynn has taken a turn in her fashion the last few years, reforming her more casual look into something more sophisticated.  "Are we ready kids?"

I love this part of the night.  We actually seem like a family for a few moments.  I remember prom night from high school and formal nights in college.  I'm waiting for someone to pull out a video camera and film us all standing around all dressed up in the kitchen, but I know there will be enough cameras later on to annoy everyone.

"Momma, you look like a real estate agent," Justin laughs as he slides around to hug Vivian and kiss her cheek.

"Justin."  I scold him.  I'm not one to make fun of anyone's mother and Justin knows better than to talk down to his mom like that in front of me.

Growling at me, he stops and whispers something to Vivian in her ear and she blushes a bit, looking away when I make eye contact with her across the room.

Lynn takes this all in stride.  Grabbing up a cigarette, she lights it, sucks in a breath of it then pushes her hair over her ear, "Real Estate agents don't wear Harry Winston.  Well maybe in Beverly Hills, but you know, they don't go to red carpet events."

Jayden slides next to me grabbing my hand with sticky fingers.  "Daddy, who's Harry Winston."

I immediately remove my hand from hers and reach for something to wipe my hand off.  "Remember to wash your hands before we leave."

"Sorry Daddy," Jayden frowns at me.

My shoulders drop.  I want to groan out loud, but I don't.  It seems that none of the girls in my life are going to be happy today.  Or rather Beverly is going to be happy, but I'm going to be miserable.  With an apologetic tone I smile at her.  "Harry Winston is a very nice man who likes to make girls look pretty."

Looking at me with a completely innocent look, she smiled, "Like Tommy Hilfiger?  I like Tommy Hilfiger.  Mommy wouldn't let me watch that show on MTV, but I saw some at the babysitters and those girls are so funny."

"Kind of," I say as both Lynn and Vivian laugh about her underestimation of who Harry Winston was and the nature of his business.

The thought of her being at a babysitter prickles the hairs at the back of my neck.  If she's been at a baby sitter it means that Beverley really has been out with this new guy and THAT makes me want to throw something.

"Tiny,"  Lynn says sliding over.  She puts a hand on my arm.  "Horace."

"It's nothing," I say brushing off her attempt to get through the wall I've built up.  "We should head out soon."

Lynn nods to me and leans to kiss my cheek.  From time to time she's been very helpful to me, motherly when I needed a bit of mothering.  "Feel better."

I nod at her and take a deep breath.  It's going to be a long night.  "I will."

Paul eventually slides into the room.  He immediately moves to grab another beer out of the refrigerator which gets a quick eye roll from Lynn.  Paul in no way has issues with alcohol, but being in front of the press and drinking never is a good idea.  Eventually tonight everyone except Jayden and me will be drunk, but that red carpet walk needs to be done without the aide of alcohol.  You have to be on your toes and if something is misunderstood or misheard, the situation gets totally blown out of proportion quicker than even I can stop it sometimes.

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