Once the Bunting house was back in order, Aurelia put
Emile retired to her room and proceeded to do some basket weaving from the large box of supplies Baron had blessed her with earlier today. Another box of supplies had been taken to her sister Gladys, who was also a master weaver. That trip gave Baron yet another chance to ingratiate himself with Aurelia’s other relatives.
Gladys and her husband Samuel (who was also the brother of Aurelia’s father) welcomed Baron back into their home with open arms. All six of their children did, too. But then again, who wouldn’t welcome someone bearing gifts? And there had been something for everyone in that large box.
As Aurelia walked Baron out to his car in farewell later that night, she noticed how reluctant he looked to leave. She wasn’t particularly ready for him to go either.
“Do you want to check out some nighttime festival events?” Aurelia asked, referring to the Crucian Christmas Festival, which began the first Saturday in December and ended the first Saturday in January. Some festival events didn’t start until nightfall. Those were the ones she had in mind now. “If you’re up for it, it wouldn’t take me very long to go back inside and get dressed,” Aurelia added as they came to a stop outside the driver’s side door of his rented jeep.
“I’d rather spend some time alone with you instead…in my hotel room,” Baron replied, giving her a hungry look as he pulled her close.
Aurelia took in a shaky breath. “Be a little bit more patient, baby. Please,” she whispered, mindful of her neighbors who were going to and fro in lively festival attire behind her.
One of those neighbors was her childhood rival Jewell Miller. Jewell had been jealous of Aurelia ever since she could remember. She especially hated the fact that Trenton Bunting Sr. wanted great things for Aurelia and tried to give them to her while he was alive. Whereas Jewell and her four older brothers were raised by a single mother across the street from the Buntings. She still lived with her mother in that same house along with her three kids (by three different men) and no husband.
“Hey, Ree-Ree!” Jewell shouted, clearly trying to get Aurelia’s attention and the attention of the handsome man with her.
“Love your enemies. Love your enemies,” Aurelia muttered, reminding herself of yet another life principle that she’d been taught by her father. Then after taking a deep breath, she turned around and faced the brash woman in the skimpy yellow outfit.
© 2009 by Mi’Chelle Dodson/Suprina Frazier
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Pictures of a Crucian Christmas Festival: