Rich as stink he said Ann comes out of the bathroom her gray hair dark and damp

Rich as stink he said ann comes out of the bathroom

This preview shows page 178 - 180 out of 245 pages.

Rich as stink, he said. Ann comes out of the bathroom, her gray hair dark and damp, pushed flat to her head, her face glowing from the shower. “Karin. What are you doing here?” “Watching.” “Watching what?” “A pair of lover - do vers.” “Oh now Karin,” says Ann, going on down the stairs. And soon come happy cries from the front door (special occasion) and from the hallway, “What is that marvellous smell?” (Rosemary). “Just some old bones Ann’s simmering” (Derek). “And that—it’s beautiful,” says Ros emary as the sociable flurry moves into the living room. Speaking of the bunch of green leaves and June grass and early orange lilies Ann has stuck in the cream jug by the living-room door. “Just some old weeds Ann hauled in,” says Derek, and Ann says, “Oh well, I thought they looked nice,” and Rosemary says again, “Beautiful.” R OSEMARY said after lunch that she wanted to get Karin a present. Not for a
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birthday and not for Christmas just a wonderful present. They went to a department store. Every time Karin slowed down to look at something, Rosemary showed immediate enthusiasm and willingness to buy it. She would have bought a velvet coat with a fur collar and cuffs, an antique-style painted rocking horse, a pink plush elephant that looked about a quarter life-size. To put an end to this miserable wandering, Karin picked out a cheap ornament the figure of a ballerina poised on a mirror. The ballerina did not twirl around, there was no music played for her nothing that could justify the choice. You would think that Rosemary would understand that. She should have understood what such a choice said that Karin was not to be made happy, amends were not possible, forgiveness was out of the question. But she didn’t se e that. Or she chose not to. She said, “Yes. I like that. She’s so graceful. She’ll look pretty on your dresser. Oh, yes.” Karin put the ballerina away in a drawer. When Grace found it, she explained that a friend at school had given it to her and that she couldn’t hurt the friend’s feelings by saying it wasn’t the kind of thing she liked. Grace wasn’t so used to children then, or she might have ques tioned such a story. “I can understand that,” she said. “I’ll just give it to the hospi tal sale —it’s not li kely she’ll ever see it there. Anyway they must have made hundreds like it.” I CE cubes cracked downstairs, as Derek dropped them into the drinks. Ann said, “Karin’s around somewhere, I’m sure she’ll pop up in a minute.” Karin went softly, softly up the r emaining stairs and into Ann’s room. There were the tumbled clothes on the bed, and the wedding dress, again wrapped up in its sheet, lying on top of them. She took off her shorts and her shirt and her shoes and began the desperate, difficult process of getting into this dress. Instead of trying to put it on over her head, she wriggled her way up into it, through the crackling skirt and lace bodice. She got her arms into the sleeves, being careful not to snag the lace with a fingernail. Her
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