Bella's Christmas Rescue

By: Jenny Hammerle

***

For the firemen and EMT of Firehouse 72

Thank you for your tireless, dedication to the safety of Celebration and

its surrounding communities.





Chapter One



The doorbell rang. Sarah jumped up off of her couch and ran to answer it. Marcia stood outside wearing a bright blue velour sweat suit and hot pink flip flops with the Brazilian flag embroidered on the strap.

“Hello, my friend.” She greeted in her thick Portuguese accent.

“Hey. What’s up?”

“I just came over to see what you’re packing for the trip.”

“I haven’t given it any thought. We’re still five days out.”

“You can’t leave these things until last minute. It will sneak up on you. You’ll freeze in Park City if you’re not prepared. I brought you something.”

She tossed a garment bag across the foot of the couch as she walked into Sarah’s bedroom and started rifling through her closet. Sarah picked up the garment bag and laid it across her arm carrying it into the bedroom. She set it on the bed and opened it.

“It’s beautiful.”

Sarah gazed admiringly at what she found inside. She spied a purple ski jacket through the opened zipper of the bag. It was exquisite and must have cost a fortune. She felt guilty accepting such lavish gifts but she knew culturally it would be offensive to refuse the gift. She pulled it free from the bag and tried it on for size. Like all the other gifts before it- it was a perfect fit- unless of course you included the Brazilian bikini from Rio which seemed to be missing several inches of fabric from its backside.

Marcia was a gift giver. It was her way. Sarah never asked any questions to clarify whether it was cultural or just an aspect of her personality. During their eight year friendship Sarah received dozens of dresses, mostly from Brazil, in addition to bathing suit cover-ups, skirts and purses. Marcia was a stylish dresser, although her style could be described as a bit flashier than Sarah’s girl-next-door threads. On her preschool teacher’s salary, Sarah just couldn’t afford to shop as often or as expensively as the other women in her high end community.

Sarah glanced over at Marcia who now rifled through her sweaters and pants in the trunk at the foot of her bed. She selected items and was beginning to pile them up on the bed in mountainous stacks.

“Where’s the suitcase?” She prompted.

“The suitcase?”

“Yes, the one you’ll be taking to Park City. We must be getting this done.”

Sarah knew better than to argue with her. She was excited and why wouldn’t she be? She’d been looking forward to this trip for twelve months. It was their annual girls’ trip. Marcia was a mother to five wonderful boys ranging in age from seventeen to five years old. Each year their trip offered her a much needed reprieve.

Another knock sounded at the door. Sarah walked down the hall of her small two bedroom condo to answer it. Their friend, Anastasiya, stood outside. In one hand she held a can of Russian Beluga caviar and in the other a bottle of Vodka and a jar of pickles.

“Is it too early for a drink and some caviar?”

“Why not? What are we celebrating?”

“Finding you a man.”

“Good luck with that.” Sarah laughed.

They paraded down the hallway and back to Sarah’s bedroom where the uber efficient Marcia had nearly finished packing her bag. She zipped it shut as they walked in.

“What’s in there?”

Sarah could see a pile of culled clothes on her bed ready to topple. If all of those were still there in a heap on her bed- what could possibly be in the suitcase?

“Not much. I’m giving you a makeover. Anastasiya is going to help too.”

“Wow. Sounds fantastic.”

While Sarah smiled through gritted teeth, her inner thoughts ran wild and her true assessment of the impending makeover was that it sounded a little less than fantastic. She liked her girl-next-door look. A t-shirt and a pair of worn out jeans, combined with just the right pair of sneakers, felt right to her. Her international friends, with their amazing sense of style, constantly teased her about her understated wardrobe. Of course they’d present their age old arguments on the matter and plead their case. If she wanted to attract the right kind of man she needed to vamp her style up a little. Sarah wasn’t so sure. She wanted a man who wanted her for her. The real her- old jean shorts and flip flops. A guy who liked to jog, bike and go for the occasional hike. She wasn’t talking granola here- just down to earth and fun loving. He was out there. She just knew it.

When her doorbell chimed again she knew it was a conspiracy. Chelsea and MaryAnn were standing outside. She cast them the save me glance.

“So you’ve already heard about the shopping adventure. Now before you protest hear us out. You can choose whatever you want- we’re not trying to change your style- just trying to bring you into the new millennium is all.”

“Okay. If you guys say so.”

“We insist. Our treat.”

Anastasiya walked out and put the Vodka in the freezer.

“That is for later. By the way things are going so far I think we will be needing it. Are we ready ladies?”

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