“Seeing Beauty”, Ch. 27: The Engagement Party, and then some (Part 1), 10/12/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #287)
[From time to time, I will illustrate my stories with my dream cast: Richard Armitage as Keith Erickson, Mandy Moore as Lily Sherman, Matthew Perry as Brock, David Schwimmer as Jack, and Matt LeBlanc as Sam; the late Jessica Tandy as Hazel, and Leelee Sobieski as Mercedes. etc.]
Author’s Mature Content Note: “Seeing Beauty” is a nontraditional romantic love story set amidst contemporary times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes or other sauciness (R rated) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments. I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read those chapters. This is my disclaimer.
Author’s Recap from the previous installment: Lily and Keith are blending their lives together now that that are living together. Keith is taking taxis to work and Lily says farewell to Hazel who is graduating from hospital rehab.
“Seeing Beauty”, Ch. 27: The Engagement Party, and then some (Part 1)
There was a little awkwardness for both Keith and Lily in coming up with their guest list for their engagement party. Keith hasn’t seen nor spoken to his buddies since they had insulted Lily’s chubbiness a month ago and then they sicced the dragon lady Mercedes on Keith and Lily the next day. So, Keith decided not to invite them. It was a tough call for Keith, because Brock and Sam and Jack are–used to be–his best friends. But, Keith will not have anyone in his life who will not support his and Lily’s loving relationship and happiness—and now their engagement. This also means that Keith has not decided who his groom’s attendants will be—other than to have his younger brother be his Best Man.
For Lily, she has been shy to reveal to her friends and colleagues—and especially Pastor Nels and her church friends–that she and Keith are living together before they are married. Although, her friends already know this. Despite Lily living in sin with Keith, Lily is basically an old fashioned girl—which Keith thinks is very sweet and endearing about her. So, Lily invites her friends from church, school, and the hospital and a few special guests. And, both Keith and Lily invite their siblings, who are unable to attend—but Keith’s parents are flying in specially and will be staying in their guest room.
And, with Lily’s skin reduction surgery coming up in a little over one week—now that her weight has decreased to her goal weight of 170 pounds—Lily is still a little self conscious about her sagging skin. Though you can’t tell that she is anything but toned because of the all body girdle she wears, as well as, flattering smaller sized clothing that covers her arms. Actually, Lily looks quite shapely and nicely curvy for her small frame and her upcoming operation will only further enhance her already lovely appearance. Of course, Keith has always thought that Lily is lovely—except for the slight hiccup of him thinking of her as the chubby gal when they first met at the Valentine’s Day blood drive over three months ago.
Lily and Keith are setting out the last of their buffet table service for their engagement party late in the afternoon of Saturday, May 9th—it seems that Lily doesn’t mind using fine linen and silver and china after all—as they await Keith’s parents to arrive any minute via a taxi from the airport and then the remainder of their guests in an hour around 4:00pm. All that needs doing is for Keith and Lily to put out the already prepared food trays and warmed foods when their friends arrive at 4:00pm. Then, as if on cue—albeit twenty minutes late at 3:20pm—Keith’s front door bell rings. Keith’s parents have arrived.
Keith: Deftly using his crutches to close the distance between the kitchen and the front door, Keith opens his front door and greets his parents warmly with hugs and kisses. “Mom and Dad! It’s great to see you!”
Mom: “Keith, you look wonderful!” She says hugging and kissing him warmly.
Dad: “Keith my boy. Glad to see that you’re up and about and looking so well.” He says squeezing Keith’s shoulder and tearing up. You see, Dad’s have a special place in their hearts for their sons. And Keith is his first born son and they almost lost him when he was hit by the car last March. And with the somewhat delicate health of Keith’s Dad, he couldn’t have survived losing Keith. But happily, miraculously, their son Keith is recovering his health.
Keith: Tearing up himself at his Dad’s sincerity—sons also look up to their fathers—he says. “Now folks, we can’t start crying now—before the party’s even started. Come into the kitchen and meet Lily.”
So Mom and Dad bring their rolling suitcases with them as they walk the ten feet over toward the kitchen. Lily had remained there to give Keith time to have his own private greeting with his parents. And, if truth be told, Lily is a bit nervous at meeting Keith’s parents in person—even though they’ve spoken over the phone several times by now.
Keith: “Lily, these are my parents.”
Lily: “Hello, it’s lovely to meet you both at last.” She says smiling warmly at both of them as Keith puts his arm around Lily’s shoulder and squeezes her lovingly.
Mom: “And you Lily Dear.” She says hugging her future daughter-in-law. “We’re so glad that you and Keith found each other.” Mom smiles warmly at Lily as she sweetly touches Lily’s cheek. Lily smiles warmly at her, glad to have a Mom again when she and Keith are married.
Keith: “Dad, this is Lily. “
Dad: Now taking Lily’s small hand in his in greeting, Keith’s Dad looks into Lily’s eyes and says from his heart. “Lily Dear, you can’t know the depth of our appreciation for you helping our boy find his way back from his injuries. And now, our unbounded joy that you and Keith are to be married.” Everyone tears up.
Lily: “I feel that I am blessed to have Keith in my life as we look forward to spending the rest of our lives together.” She says looking up at Keith.
Keith: Keith leans down and kisses Lily sweetly on her lips. “Okay, now before we all dissolve with happy tears, Mom and Dad, let’s get you two situated in the guest room. Our guests will be arriving in about 30 minutes. Lily and I have everything set up. We’re just waiting for the rest of the guests to arrive to put the food out.”
Keith and Lily walk his parents over to the guest room and chat with them a bit while they hang up some of their clothes. Then, they leave Keith’s parents to change into their party clothes.
Although, the party is due to start at 4:00pm—with everyone asked to arrive then—Lily invited three special guests and asked them to arrive fifteen minutes early, so that she and Keith could greet them privately. She just doesn’t know yet if they will attend the party or not. You see, Lily’s empathic heart knows the depth of Keith’s hurt feelings that his friends—Brock, Sam, and Jack—did not support Keith’s choice of Lily for his love. And, Lily will do anything for Keith. So making peace and reuniting Keith with his friends is a ‘no brainer’ for Lily. Unbeknownst to Keith, Lily made a call this week to Keith’s three friends and she took them out to lunch—hoping to bridge the divide between them and Keith. She and the guys did have a lovely lunch. So, now at 3:45pm this Saturday, as prearranged, their doorbell rings as Lily and Keith are in the kitchen starting to set out the food trays.
Keith: “Who can that be? Guests are supposed to be fashionably late, not early.”
Lily: “I’ll answer it, Keith.” Lily says smiling knowingly as she gives Keith a kiss.
Lily walks to their front door, opens it, and to her delight she lets Brock, Sam, and Jack in. They each give her a kiss on her cheek and they walk with her over to the kitchen where Keith is.
Keith: With his head still in the refrigerator, Keith calls out. “Lily, who’s there?” You see, they were too far away at the front door for Keith to try to interpret their visual blobs.
Lily: Caringly touching Keith’s shoulder, she says soothingly. “Keith my love, three of our friends have arrived for our party—Brock, Sam, and Jack.” Lily smiles sweetly as she stresses the word our.
Keith stiffens, then he straightens up slowly as Lily puts her hand gently on Keith’s back. Keith slowly turns from facing into the refrigerator to facing his friends with an uncertain look on his face—as if bracing for them to say something unpleasant or insulting. At first, Keith does not say anything. The awkwardness of the silence is palpable.
Brock: “Keith, Lily called Sam, Jack, and I this week and told us of your engagement over lunch on Wednesday. We are delighted for you both.” He says warmly and sincerely. “We hope this small gift to both of you from the three of us will help add to your joy and happiness.” He lifts it up in his hands, holding it out to Keith.
Keith: Deliberately and wryly, Keith says raises an eyebrow as he takes the book. “Now I hope that this gift is something that can be shared in mixed company.” The five of them chuckle, remembering the naughty book they had brought Keith in rehab.
Sam: “Oh, it’s tasteful. We wouldn’t want PT Myron or enema nurse Theresa to get a hold of us.”
Lily: “And boys, they are joining us this afternoon.” She says mischievously and the three of them blanche.
Jack: “Lily Dear, please open our gift.” He says warmly as he sets their gift on the kitchen counter in front of her.
Lily: “Why don’t you help me Keith, My Love.” Lily says as she gently places her hand on his arm. Keith steps up to the counter with Lily and they unwrap the large flat square box. When Lily lifts off the box lid, she sees the lovely clear and opaque lead crystal picture frame with elegant wedding bell and ribbon details on it. “Oh, Keith, this is so lovely with the curving ribbon and wedding bell carvings. Our wedding picture will look beautiful in this lead crystal frame.” She hands Keith the heavy picture frame and Keith brings it close to his eyes to look at it as he rubs his hand across its surface–feeling the raised carvings. Then, Lily thanks each of Keith’s buddies warmly with a hug and a kiss on their cheeks, and they kiss her cheek. “Thank you Brock. Thank you Sam. Thank you Jack. This will be a lovely way to display the memory of our wedding day.”
Keith: Placing the picture frame back in its box and seeing his friends interacting warmly with Lily, Keith softens and says sincerely. “This is really lovely. Thanks guys.”
Then the four men give each other a spontaneous group hug—all of them tearing up at being reunited as Lily stands back and watches this tender scene with happiness and tears in her own eyes. Then Keith hugs each of his friends again in turn before Keith returns to stand beside Lily, with his arm around her shoulders and he kisses her forehead.
Brock: “Keith, you’ve got a great girl there.” Brock smiles and nods at Lily—as do Sam and Jack.
Keith: “Yes, I know.” Keith says, choking back his tears of joy. “Thank you Lily my love. Only your goodness and kindness could have made this happen–brought me together with my friends again.” Keith kisses Lily sweetly on her lips as they both tear up.
Lily: And Lily tenderly caresses Keith’s face as their three friends look on fondly at them. “Keith My Love, I knew our happiness couldn’t be complete without you having your friends with you. … And now, … they are our friends.” She says smiling warmly at all three men. Then the three guys each lean in one at a time and give Lily a kiss on her cheek again.
Dad: Keith’s Mom and Dad walk into the main living area after smelling some of the food that Lily and Keith have started to put out. Then Dad says soberly, in a clipped voice. “Boys. We didn’t know that we’d be seeing you today.” Keith’s parents know of the falling out that Keith had had with the guys over their insults about Lily—not to mention, the dragon lady incident.
Brock: “Hello Mr. Erickson. It’s Lily’s doing. She brought us together again.” Brock says smiling warmly at Lily and she smiles back at him.
Mom: Giving Lily a hug, Mom says warmly. “Thank you, Lily Dear. Our son is truly blessed to have you be his future wife.
Keith: “Yes, I am.” He smiles lovingly at Lily and kisses her. Then Lily smiles sweetly at everyone.
Keith and Lily show his Mom and Dad the gift the boys gave them—that they ooh and aah over. Then Keith and Lily finish putting the food out buffet style while Mom and Dad and the boys get themselves something to drink from the bar set up in the dining room.
To be continued with Chapter 28
(1) The “Seeing Beauty” story logo is a composite of:
a) Image representing Keith Erickson is that of British actor Richard Armitage as Lucas North in the BBC’s Spooks (2008 – 2010), series 8 promo, pix 15 was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/spookspromo/album/slides/series8-15.html
b) Image representing Lily Sherman is that of American actress Mandy Moore and was found at http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Mandy-Moore-mandy-moore-661788_1024_768.jpg ; NB: I chose Ms. Moore to represent this character not because she is fat or chubby–far from it–but because she has a fresh faced innocence and sincerity that reflects the goodness of this character. Any pre weight loss Lily images could be handled with makeup and costuming.
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