“Oh Bran, please take me with you,” she implored.
She was sitting backward on the little forlorn wood chair with the round seat, her favorite one, because it fit her just right. Leaning against its caned back with her arms wrapped around it, she was just within reach of Bran’s gauzy caftan, which she now grasped and fingered longingly. Her big toe drew lazy swirls in the carpet while she watched her grandmother expertly apply bright red lipstick.
Bran. It was Lucy’s truncated version of Branny, her comical attempt at ‘Granny’ when she was a baby. Lucy worshipped Bran. She held her so aloft in her adolescent mind that Bran could do no wrong, even now, when she knew the answer would be no.
“Darling, you must look after Joe. And I’ll be late. If I took you with me, your parents would have my head on a platter!”
“But it’s a gala! All those famous people and their perfume and gowns and jewels!”
“Don’t be silly, my sweetness. They’re tiresome old people with big bank accounts and nothing interesting to say. And I am one of them, which is why I must go. Bran must write a big, fat check so the skinny little ballerinas can keep on dancing.” Bran reached her empty glass over to Lucy and swirled the melting ice around in the bottom. “Now be a good girl and go and fix Bran a Scotch. And then when you come back, you’ll sit right in this chair and we’ll brush your hair and put it into a gorgeous French twist.”
Lucy could hear Bran humming dites-moi pourquoi la vie est belle, as she bounced down the steps to the kitchen.