The Mission: Georgina Gregg (part 13)

Deborah Hendrick on Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

Fifteen days after Ginny called her parents in Belgium to tell them she was engaged and getting married, Georgina Gregg flew home. She stopped for a few days on the east coast, to see Ace and meet Elijah, then flew into Houston with a total lack of fanfare.

“Ginny darling!” Ginny stepped to the side to look around a woman blocking her view. “Ginny!”

“Mom?” she asked, somewhat bewildered. “Mom!” The woman pulled off her sunglasses and Ginny was amazed to discover the mother she’d said goodbye to almost two years ago, was just a memory of the woman who stood before her now.

“Look at you! Your hair is blond; you’re so thin you look adolescent! What’s going on?” begged Ginny.

“We gained so much weight — all that butter, cream, and cheese,” said Georgina. “Your father hired a nutritionist for us. It’s wonderful, just to sit down and eat what she puts in front of us. I never think about it anymore. It’s just like being a man!” she laughed. “Your father has lost fifty pounds — he had to buy all new uniforms — and I lost over thirty. And she makes us exercise too! I wanted to bring her with me.”

“But your hair?” Ginny asked.

“Oh sweetheart. Here’s the awful truth — redheads do not gray well, I think. I never found a combination of red dye that looked right, so my hairdresser suggested that I try this blond with just a touch of red. Your Dad likes it.”

“Well I should think so. You look like a movie star! Mom, is this all your luggage? This can’t be right.”

“Oh, no. A military transport will arrive in a few days with more. But we don’t have to do a thing. A courier will bring it to us. Dad will close up the house and get here by Thanksgiving, then we’ll stay until February. He’s got so much leave saved up, he’ll never use it all. Winter in Galveston sounds heavenly, don’t you think, instead of Brussels.”

Ginny maneuvered them out of the airport grounds and soon they were zooming south. About twenty-five miles from the island, Georgina raised her head and sniffed. “Oh Ginny, I can smell the Gulf of Mexico!”

The beach and water were inky black, but the sky was clear and the stars were brilliant. Georgina stood for a long time on the dark deck, breathing in the warm heavy air. She closed her eyes, concentrating on the odors: salt water, fish, ginger, jasmine, and roses. It was like a balm, and an answer to prayer.

“I like your Elijah,” she said as an opener. “So start at the beginning and tell me everything.”

Topics: The Mission


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