Saturday, June 6, 2009


Sisterhood Feels Good poster from the 1970s
Here's the final installment of my Great American Lesbian Novel (first draft), Ginny Bates. If you are new to reading GB, go to the section in the right-hand column labeled Ginny Bates to read background and find out how to catch up.

May to 6 June 2020

Sima was out for the evening with Jen. After dinner, Myra settled in to write and Ginny was on her second day with a new canvas. Over an hour of silent work passed. Then Ginny came into the study and sat down on Myra's daybed, looking at her questioningly. Myra managed to ignore her until a stopping point in her typing.

"Ye-es?" she said, leaning back in her chair. Ginny was holding a palette knife that had a rim of cerise on its edge. She was naked and smeared here and there with dark brown pigment, but not sweaty.

"I can't stop thinking about the conversation we had with Jane last week" said Ginny, an undefinable glint in her eyes.

"Which conversation?"

"The one about me and you getting married."

Myra felt a little tendril of unease. "What about it?"

Ginny clasped her hands together, almost dropping her palette knife. She stood to pull a sheet from Myra's legal pad, lying the knife on it. Myra couldn't remember ever having seen Ginny do that before, not with paint gathered on the blade.

Ginny sat again, facing Myra earnestly. "You and me, Myra, we've never done things halfway, you know? We didn't ever date unless you call lesbian potlucks a form of dating -- which maybe they are, I concede -- we became lovers five days after we admitted we wanted to be more than friends, then a day later you asked me to have your children, and a month after that we were financial partners. I mean, we've made one quantum leap after another together."

"Yeah. But we were ready to do that. We weren't spring chickens" said Myra.

"I know, that's part of it. The other part is, we're revolutionaries. We, not just us but a lot of our generation, we turned things on their head. We said 'We refuse your definition of woman, we're gonna define it for ourselves', we said 'lesbians are too natural women', we said 'the personal is political' -- we've used the power of changing perspective to take on the fucking patriarchy, and they can't drag things back to the good old days no matter how hard they try. And almost all of it began with just ideas. Just language, and art, and really, sometimes, a single conversation."

"Where is this going, Ginny?"

Ginny grinned hugely at Myra. "If there are any two people on the planet who are married in spirit, it's you and me, girlfriend. We are the poster children for marriage. Not by their definitions, but by ours. Why not go all the way and drop their definitions off a cliff? Why pretend it matters in the least to us any more?"

Myra stood up in agitation. "Because no matter how we use the term, they'll misunderstand it, you heard Jane -- "

Ginny grabbed Myra's hand and pulled her down beside her on the daybed. "I don't actually care what Jane understands about us. Or Gillam. I love you in ways the world has seldom witnessed, Myra. I believe our commitment and connection is a living example of what women can do if they step outside their chains far enough."

"I agree, Ginny, I love you the same way -- "

Ginny slid off the daybed and knelt in front of Myra, who gaped at her in alarm.

"Myra Margaret Bates-Josong -- would you do me the great honor of marrying me before we die?"

Myra's ears pounded with blood. She had a moment of worrying about Ginny's aged knees holding her weight on the hard wooden floor. She looked at Ginny's shock of white hair, buzzed to a length that showed her ears really had gotten rather large. Ginny's flushed face had an intricate roadmap of lines, some of them furrows around her mouth. Her eyes were not as dark blue as they once had been. Her hands, clasping Myra's, were still as strong as ever but there were liver spots all the way up her arm. Myra lifted one of Ginny's hands and kissed the back of it tenderly. She didn't know what she was going to say until it came out of her mouth.

"Yes. I say yes."

Ginny threw herself at Myra with a yelp, and they tumbled onto the daybed together, laughing wildly. They were so excited they couldn't stop to kiss.

"Oh, Ginny, I thought you'd never ask" said Myra, and they went off into shrieking laughter. After a minute, Myra asked "But -- what about the quicksand of any ceremony, and the whole issue of demanding special privilege for our decision?"

Ginny grinned. "I have an idea..."

Four days later, Margie had dropped in on Sima's workshop, where Sima had shoved away something she working on into a drawer when Margie entered. Margie said "I don't mean to bother you. I need to ask your advice, or maybe help, on something. But it's a secret, and I need you to not let either of my mothers know you know."

"My lips are sealed" said Sima.

"Well, as you know, their 34th anniversary is coming up in June, and they're planning some kind of big celebration for it. But Myra came to me privately and said she'd like to give Ginny a ring as an anniversary gift, and she's asked me to make it for her. I've got some ideas I'd like to talk over with you about the design, if I could."

Sima goggled at Margie, then began laughing. "Okay, now I'm going to swear you to secrecy" she said. "Ginny approached me and asked me to make a piece of jewelry for her to give Myra, and we finally settled on a ring." She opened the drawer and showed Margie the mock-up she had been constructing from soft wire.

They cackled together. "Oh, how rich" said Margie. "It's all 'Gift of the Magi'-ish, isn't it?"

"Let's take it to the next level" said Sima. "Let's make the same ring for both of them!"

"Will that be okay?" asked Margie, a little uncertain. "I mean, it's a little -- "

"Matrimonial?" giggled Sima. "Would serve 'em right. But no, Myra specifically asked for silver, not gold, and if the two of us collaborate on a design, it will be so right for them, the symbolism will arise from that, not hettish kinds of things."

Sima pulled out her design sketches and they leaned over them together.

That weekend, a beautiful hand-made invitation went out to every member of Myra and Ginny's families and friendship circles, inviting them to a grand reunion and anniversary celebration on the weekend of June 6th, which would fall on a Saturday. A block of rooms at a local hotel was reserved for any out of town guests, and all transportation costs were to covered by Ginny and Myra. Festivities would begin with a dance on Friday night and conclude with a picnic on Sunday afternoon. Saturday they planned a catered barbecue and pool party at Gillam and Jane's house, followed by a talent show that evening. In small print, there was also the notice that during the barbecue, there would be a "multimedia performance project" presented by Myra, Ginny and Allie.

Once the invitations had time to arrive via mail or e-mail, Ginny and Myra hit the phones, persuading everyone they knew to attend in a very personal way, helping with logistical issues, until the RSVP rate was extraordinarily high. Ginny secretly began meeting with their clothes maker, measurements and swatches in hand. Myra drew up a menu with Frances and insisted she delegate the cooking and serving to hired staff. They contracted a couple of young women recommended by Annie to build a small stage about one foot off the ground for Gillam's back yard next to the pool, a platform that could be struck into sections and stored for future use. They burned a mini-disk with music for the dance, a second secret disk for the "performance project", and one night when Sima was out with Annie, and Edwina was otherwise occupied, Allie came over to show them her new certificate of ordination. They were flushed with success at how well they were implementing Ginny's greatest idea: A surprise wedding, pulled off with no demands on the attendees.

June 5, 2020

Ginny hired a stretch limo to run back and forth to the airport on Friday afternoon, and reunion guests began arriving at the hotel by 3 p.m. They had set up a hospitality area in a corner of the small ballroom they planned to use for the dance that night, with snacks, drinks, games for the kids, and lots of comfortable chairs. Margie went to the airport on her own to pick up her Aunt Cathy and her cousin Nate with his wife Elyse and their two teenagers. Cathy was staying with Myra and Ginny, and Nate's family was staying with Margie and Frances. Sima had given up her room, saying she'd stay with Annie, so Claire and her partner Leila were given Sima's room.

Jane's parents and three of her siblings with their children flew up from California, staying at the hotel in rooms next to Lucy and her family. Liza Cowan came with both her daughters, now in their 20s, for an extended family vacation. On Monday they planned to drive to Vancouver for a few days before returning home. Rafe Bean accompanied Kate and immediately attached himself to Nate's oldest daughter Elena. Edwina's niece and nephew from Chicago both came, as well as Sima's younger sister Joanna -- the first time any of them had met her -- and Allie's cousin Vachel. Eric's parents came, along with his sister and her husband. Carly said Truitt would be coming the next day from Olympia. Jaime and Paul flew up from Southern California on the same flight, it turned out, as Frances' parents and brothers. Half the over-sixty lesbian population of Seattle seemed to be there as well.

The dance and party went very late. Ginny and Myra got home long after Margie had taken her guests back to her house. Cathy, Claire and Leila were already in bed. Myra led Ginny into the storage room and showed her the massive cake with alternating layers of dark chocolate and Italian cream, decorated with a hand-made confection of two women with buzz cuts in overalls. She'd managed to sneak it into the house that morning, and hid it on a top shelf along with the wedding gift bags.

"Let's transfer all this to our closet" suggested Ginny. "We're going to need to confine the cats in here tomorrow when people begin streaming in and out."

"Good plan" said Myra. Once in their bedroom, Myra pulled out the rings again and they marveled at Margie and Sima's skill. Each ring was a flat twist of interlaced platinum and pure silver, inset with an emerald flanked by two sapphires. Their names were engraved on the inside of each ring, along with the date of their anniversary.

"I honestly don't think they have a clue" said Ginny. "And Sima was so tickled at my reaction, just barely keeping her own secret about how they had made the same rings for both of us."

"Margie was better at lying" said Myra. "But, yeah, when I went batshit over this ring, she was pretty darned proud of herself. As they should be."

"I don't know if I can sleep tonight" said Ginny.

"Is that a proposition?" laughed Myra.

"No, actually. I want to wait until tomorrow night, is that too conventional for you?"

Myra was laughing even more. "Your definition of 'waiting' is shot through with holes, sweetheart. But yeah, I get your drift."

"Let's light some candles and get into a hot bath and tell each other stories about that year when I was waiting for you to notice me."

"Let's" agreed Myra.

The next morning, everyone met for brunch at Myra's favorite diner, rented for the morning just for their crowd. Then people split up for sightseeing or traipsing back to Myra and Ginny's for hanging out in the family room. Myra couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear, and more than once she caught Gillam or Margie looking at her with interest. She was afraid they would figure it out at the last minute.

The barbecue began at 2:00, and Frances went over to Gillam and Jane's at 1:30, despite Margie's attempt to stop her, to make sure everything was being done properly. After the food was ready, overflow from Gillam and Jane's back yard spread into Ginny and Myra's yard. People ate lingeringly, teenagers and 20-somethings clustered together. The grandchildren, Jane's nieces and nephews, plus the children of Jen and Poe's daughter Ava romped in the pool. Ginny found herself unable to leave Myra's side, no matter the temptation. She finally realized, with a shock, that she was actually scared about what was coming up.

At 3:30, Myra announced it was time for them to get ready for their performance piece, and she asked everybody to vacate her house and grounds, congregating at Gillam and Jane's so they would have privacy to prepare. Margie set up the video camera as instructed by Ginny. Allie placed on the platform a small table containing a sound system that was connected to wireless speakers in corners of the yard. She kept the remote in her pocket as she walked back to Myra and Ginny's.

Myra put the cake on the dining table while Ginny carried in armloads of gift bags. Each bag was labeled with a guest's name, and in addition to all kinds of hand-made or special treats, every guest was receiving a knit shirt silk-screened by Ginny with a drawing of her and Myra as they had appeared 34 years ago and text which read "Myra and Ginny got hitched -- 6 June 2020 -- I was there!"

The three of them changed together in the bedroom, giggling and adjusting their clothing. Allie said "Take a deep breath, you two. You ready?"

Myra's hands were shaking. “I need a minute of calm. Maybe I'll go sit by the pond.”

“Where should we wait for you?” asked Ginny uncertainly.

“Come with me. We'll all prepare together” said Myra, taking both their hands.

They lined up on the curved stone bench, Myra in the middle. She focused on the glass float, remembering the video she'd made of pond depths, another world so close at hand. The sun was bright for June. She could tell Allie was fidgety. Ginny's eyes were closed and Myra suspected she was praying.

When Myra looked back at the pond, there was a reflection on the surface across from them. She followed it upward, disbelieving, to see Chris standing on the other side of the pond, grinning at her. Her hair was dazzling white, long and full, with tiny blue feathers tied into side strands. Myra felt sweat pop out of her palm pressed flat against the upper side of the bench.

“Oh my god” breathed Allie. Myra used peripheral vision to determine where Allie was looking: Did she actually see Chris too?

“You all look mighty fancy” came Chris's voice, laconic and teasing. Myra heard Ginny gasp. Ginny, too, was staring where Myra saw Chris.

“Tell me it's not just me” Allie whispered beside her. Ginny answered “It's not.” Myra said “Kash-Kash...Are you all right?”

“Of course I'm all right” said Chris. Her dark eyes were shining, and her skin had never been so clear. She crossed her arms over her chest and jutted one big hip out the side. “So listen, kiddo. You got that white girl thing about always needing proof, and just this once, I'm cutting you some slack.” Her voice was tender and full of humor. She pointed with her head to the side, at the bench near the whale shark.

Unwillingly, Myra looked in that direction. Sitting on the bench was Allie's grandmother and another elderly woman who looked familiar to Myra. Standing behind them, her hands on the back of the bench, was her mother, who blew her a kiss. Myra heard Chris's giggle.

“Bubbe” breathed Ginny.

It was a painful choice for Myra, whether to look at her mother or Chris. But Chris won. Myra stared at her, trying to find the nerve to stand up, walk around the pond and slide into her arms.

Chris said “Tell Lucia I'm glad she saw me across the creek. Tell her I'll be back.”

Myra said “Chris...I don't understand.” Chris gave a big laugh, then blinked out. A strong ripple traveled across the pond, from west to east. Myra jerked her head toward the bench, and those three were gone as well.

Allie's cold hand closed over hers. Ginny said “That was your mother, right?”

“And my Nana” said Allie. She began crying.

Myra let her palm leave the stone and pulled Allie close to her with that arm. She didn't feel at all like crying. Her body was seized with joy. She looked at Ginny and said “If I ever had any doubts about this marrying thing, they're gone now.”

“Did Chris bring them here? Or your mother?” Ginny wondered.

“They came for the wedding” said Allie, sucking back moisture in her nose. “They prolly here all the time.”

“Where was Daddy, then?” Ginny said to herself.

Or Gil. But joy reclaimed every cell in Myra's body, her memory playing over and over the expression on Chris's face.

Myra took Ginny's hand. She asked Allie "You have the rings?" After a few seconds, Allie nodded. Myra wiped Allie's face with the hem of her shirt and said “Let's go. They'll be there.”

Standing was a little wobbly for all of them at first. They linked arms and moved slowly to the back gate. Allie took off her hat and opened the gate, telling Edwina posted on the other side to announce them. They closed the gate again and listened to Edwina shushing everybody. It took a little longer to get the cooperation of the children playing Marlo Pomo in the pool. Margie turned on the video camera. Once everything was quiet, Allie lifted the remote in her hand and activated the sound system.

As Meg Christian's voice began singing

Bread and water
Like some poor man's daughter
No, never for me

Ginny opened the gate, and she and Myra stepped through. Allie was right behind them. Ginny had on a linen suit, with poet's blouse and balloon-leg pants, in cobalt blue. Myra's suit was identical except it was a color Ginny called jacqueminot. They both wore garlands of flowers around their heads, and no shoes. Allie, on the other hand, was resplendent in a tuxedo of dark plum with a top hat and spats.

They reached the platform as the chorus began

I was walking around in little pieces
And I never even knew
That the way back home to me
Was the road I took to you

Myra and Ginny faced Allie, and as the music died away, Allie said in a loud ecstatic voice, "Dearly beloved..."

Myra distinctly heard Margie scream. They were standing sideways so they could watch the reactions of almost everybody except those directly behind them in the pool. Allie plunged ahead. “You two ready to be married?"

Ginny, then Myra answered "Yes."

“It mean what everbody think that mean?”

“Hell no” said Myra.

“They need to find out each day what it means to us” added Ginny.

“You gonna be any different after this?” continued Allie.

“Hell no” repeated Myra.

“It doesn't change a thing” said Ginny.

“And you're part of our marriage” Myra said to Allie.

“For all time” said Ginny.

Allie said “I do.” Then she pulled out the rings -- which made Margie scream again, this time joined by Sima -- and handed them over. Myra put hers on Ginny first and said "I choose you." Ginny repeated her action, and they kissed lightly. Allie said "As a minister in the Sanctified Order of Earthly Delights, I declare y'all married."

Myra and Ginny turned around. As a roar began from their family and friends, they joined arms, held their noses, and leaped from the platform into the pool together. When they swam back up to the surface, they were mobbed by their shrieking grandchildren.

Everybody's attention was diverted, however, by Allie's stately march to the diving board at the end of the pool. She climbed the few steps with dignity and strode to the end of the board. Then, holding her top hat firmly on her head, she did a backward flip and sliced cleanly into the water. Despite her efforts, the hat came off and was promptly snatched by Charlie. She joined the mob in the center of the pool, who were all laughing so riotously they were having difficulty treading water. Slowly they made their way to the steps and got out, sodden and besides themselves with glee. They were set on by everybody in the yard with incredulous congratulations and hugs which ignored their dripping clothes.

When Margie finally reached them, Myra and Ginny wrapped her between them, then pulled in Gillam too as he came within reach.

"We're finally legitimate!" squealed Margie, and Gillam just plain wept. Finally he got out "How -- how long have you been planning this?"

“Not long” crowed Myra. “We move fast, you know.”

"And you didn't tell anybody?" demanded Margie.

"Just Allie" said Ginny, reaching around for Allie and dragging her and Edwina into their arms. Edwina said "Are you really a minister in whatever it is?"

"Yes, indeed" said Allie. "I'm a holy woman now."

Eventually they were able to retreat home and change into dry clothes. Margie, Edwina, Sima and Annie came with them. Myra, Ginny and Allie told the story of the pond visitation, stretching out every detail. Sima cried joyously, saying “I knew she was hanging around here, I knew it.” A few minutes later, she asked “Was she wearing the elk tooth necklace?”

Myra looked at Ginny before saying “I didn't notice. Her collar was up...but with those feathers, I'm sure she must have been.”

Eventually Frances came to see what was going on. She helped carry over the cake, while Margie, Sima and Annie had the gift bags. When the wedding trio re-emerged from the gate -- now wearing bright Hawaiian shirts and drawstring pants -- they were applauded and cheered all the way to the platform. Myra made a speech about why they had a surprise wedding. Allie held up a framed copy of their marriage license, obtained the week before at the King County registrar's office, and explained they would not be returning to register the marriage, leaving it in permanent limbo as a statement against government sanction. Then Ginny thanked Jane for the conversation that changed her mind.

They all sat down together on the platform, Myra leaning back against Allie, Ginny beside her. Edwina, Sima, Annie, Cathy, and Frances joined them, Sima leaning back against Ginny and Edwina behind Ginny, next to Allie.

Sima fingered the ring on Ginny's hand and said "I cannot believe you were able to keep this from me."

Ginny chortled. "Me, neither."

"Remember when you two showed up at the Dance Brigade, and I lost a $5 bet to Chris about whether or not you'd gotten together?" Sima and Myra began laughing, and Ginny said "Now Chris would've figured it out, she'd have seen through our obfuscation."

Margie, standing at the sound system which had moved back to a table near the door, turned to smile at them as "The Woman In Your Life is You" began playing. The group on the platform started laughing, and Myra gave her a thumbs up. Gillam was acting as host and answering the door occasionally to Seattle residents arriving late. He stood in a triangle with Carly and Eric, Jane behind him but facing her sister and brother-in-law. Gillam's lemon yellow cotton shirt was unbuttoned, revealing his swimmer's abs over a boxy pair of turquoise shorts. He, too, kept looking over at Myra and Ginny, his face radiant.

At one point, Carly said something funny, because they all laughed and Gillam put his arm affectionately over Carly's shoulder. Carly moved a little closer to Gillam and spread his hand on Gillam's bare stomach. As Myra watched, he slid one little finger inside the waistband of Gillam's shorts, and left it there for a minute. Gillam grinned down into Carly's face, and Myra saw an expression pass between them whose meaning she recognized instantly. She froze, and looked around to see if anybody else near her had seen what she had seen. No one was watching Gillam at that moment.

She didn't know what to do. Ginny was talking with Cathy, and Allie was whispering with Edwina. After a minute, she slid her feet over the edge of the platform, turning to Allie and saying "Save my place, I'll be right back" and then headed for the cluster that now held Jane and Kate Bean as well as Gillam, Carly and Eric. When Gillam pulled her into an exuberant hug, she whispered in his ear "Can I talk with you for just a sec? In private?"

He led her in through the sliding door, to where her study had once been, and faced her with his magnificent grin, looking down at her with those tender brown eyes. She took his hand and fumbled for what to say.

"Gillam...I need to know that you're not lying to Jane. About -- anything."

She saw his face register recognition. His grin dimmed just a little.

"I don't lie to Jane, Mama. I never have."

When Myra continued to hesitate, he added "We understand each other, and have since before we got married. I tell her -- everything."

Myra suddenly remembered the camping weekends Gillam took four or five times a year with Carly and Eric, excursions that Jane cheerfully supported. Then other memories of Gillam and Carly, leading all the way back into toddlerhood, crowded into her head. She felt a little dizzy.

Gillam was still grinning, this time with a little hint of amusement on his face. "I have it all, Mama" he said gently. "You told us to go for it all, and I did."

He hugged her then, and she wrapped her arms around him. He was quite the man, her son. He led her back outside, handing her a rosette from the cake and pushing her toward the platform. When she settled down in front of Allie again, Allie murmured "What was that about?"

Myra turned away from Ginny to whisper "I just -- figured it out. About him and Carly."

Allie cracked up, her arms shaking as she squeezed Myra. She said, no longer whispering, "Me and Chris used to laugh our asses off at how you only saw what you wanted to see with your kids."

"What?" demanded Ginny. "What didn't we see?"

Myra looked at her, then all the others in their cluster. "Gillam. Gillam and Carly. Since -- I don't know when. And it's fine with Jane."

As Ginny stared at her in disbelief, Edwina joined Allie's laughter. "Since I met them" she said.

"Oh, before that" added Sima. Ginny took Myra's hand and scanned the faces of her friends, still in shock.

"You all knew?" said Ginny. "But we didn't -- why wouldn't he have told us?" she said plaintively to Myra. Frances laughed hardest at that. Even Cathy seemed to be in on it. Their outburst drew a little attention from the rest of the party. Myra was staring at Carly, but didn't realize how constant her gaze was until he turned directly toward her, grinning, and gave her a little wave. Gillam had rejoined their group and was bent over Jane, telling her something that made her smile. Myra felt a deep flush begin, and looked away from Carly. Allie put her mouth next to Myra's ear and said "Damn, you smooth, Josong." Myra finally let herself giggle. She was glad for Ginny pressed up next to her, reeling from new information just as much as she was. Ginny whispered in Myra's other ear "I guess he's managed to have his Allie as well as his Ginny." Myra kissed her gratefully.

"Hey, are you two having a honeymoon?" asked Sima suddenly.

"Not yet" answered Ginny. "We wanted to enjoy this weekend with all the folks we love, and we love our summers with the grandkids. The thing is, we already have a great life, you know? But -- I hate to admit this -- we have already engaged in -- premarital sex."

This drew another roar of laughter, and Margie and Gillam both turned to look at them again. Myra noticed the red light was still flashing on the video camera, which meant it had been taping all this time, and she motioned to Margie but Margie was mouthing something to Frances. Then they heard the doorbell ring, and Gillam peeled away to go answer it. Myra wondered who was showing up this late.

So she was watching when Pat walked through the sliding door onto the deck, followed by Truitt. Pat Prewitt in an elegant Panama suit, just a little unsteady on her feet as if she'd had a few drinks before she came. Myra's entire body went rigid, and Allie said softly "God fucking dammit." Which is when Ginny turned to look, and her body went stiff as well.

Gillam's face was unsmiling, and he was clearly trying to ride herd on the new arrivals. Pat had walked on ahead of him, and was bearing down on Carly and Eric. Carly's grin had disappeared as well. Margie went to Truitt and began talking to him. They could hear him say "Yeah, at the last minute, Pat said she was free -- " but Truitt's expression indicated he was beginning to realize he had made an error in bringing this particular guest. Carly, however, was on top of it. He said something quietly to Pat, something forceful, and waved a hand back toward the door.

But Pat glanced around, her bleary smile still plastered on, and caught sight of the cluster on the platform. She pulled her arm free from Carly and headed directly toward Myra and Ginny. Carly, Gillam, Jane and Margie all stepped into her wake, but Pat reached the platform quickly and threaded the small lip of concrete between the platform and the pool so she could get right next to Myra. She squatted down, saying "Hey, I just heard you two got married, well, ain't that the cat's meow". She reached out an arm to touch Ginny, on the other side of Myra.

Myra suddenly waved her hand violently in front of her own face, as if shooing away something, and dodged her head from side to side. Then her hand waved even more wildly, and the heel of her palm connected with Pat's shoulder, giving an unobtrusive but firm shove. Pat went backwards into the pool, almost head-first, in the blink of an eye.

The entire party stopped to gape as Pat flailed back to the surface, choking and gasping. Nate, who was in the pool with the children, reached her quickly and helped get her to the steps, where she hacked up water as she crawled out on her hands and knees. Gillam was there to pull her to her feet. Jane arrived with towels, and they adroitly shepherded Pat back into the house, murmuring condolences. Carly led Truitt behind them.

Margie called out "We need to put the cake back inside, it's drawing wasps" and some people jumped up to help her. She came to the platform and said, a little loudly, "Did you get bit, Mama, or did you manage to scare it off?" Then she knelt in front of Myra, pretending to examine her face and arms, and whispered "That was amazing."

Allie leaned forward and said softly "I take back anything I ever said making fun of you." Ginny couldn't stop staring at Myra. Gillam and Jane returned, having seen Pat and Truitt to the front door. Gillam came to the platform as well and sat in front of his mothers, saying in a carrying tone of voice "I apologized for us all, Mama. I told her to let me know the cost of replacing her suit, because in our family, when we make a mistake, we assume responsibility for it." He leaned over and kissed Ginny first, then Myra.

Ginny expression was luminous. Putting her face right next to Myra's, looking her long and steady in the eyes, she said softly "That was deliberate, wasn't it?"

Myra grinned at her and said "You and me, Ginny Bates. You and me." Ginny slid her arm behind Myra's neck and, slowly, leaned in to put her mouth on Myra's.


© 2009 Maggie Jochild.


Jesse Wendel said...

*laughs and laughs and laughs*


I'm up. Or if not, can be woken quickly.

Congratulations on finishing the draft. Now, all there is to do is edit out about 1,200 pages. *laughs and laughs*

You're the BEST. Ginny Bates is an amazing novel. You done GOOD Maggie J. You done GOOD.

I'm here for the weekend. Call when you want. Love you,

Liza said...

I admit the wedding totally surprised me. And I'm feeling a bit guilty because today I'm missing my nephew's wedding but I'm going to Ginny and Myra's.

Mazel tov on the whole shebang.

C. Diva said...

You made it all the way through! Thanks for the glorious ride. Now, maybe the Bates-Josong clan will let you have your life back, eh?

Maggie Jochild said...

Well, no, C. Diva, Allie and Leah in particular keep crashing my dreams, demanding I write about that summer's trip to the Gulf Coast, an Alaskan cruise Myra and Ginny take with Allie and Edwina n August, and then the big trip to New York at Thanksgiving.

So far, I'm resisting. I have no urge at all to edit, and maybe if I give it enough time, that will have room to bubble up. In the meantime, I'm writing other blog-related stuff.

It was SO GOOD to have Chris return briefly, though. I never will marry, but if she asked me, it'd be tough to say no...