And the saga continues.
I milled around wall-to-wall people who sipped wine and talked
about the new hot artist having his first New York showing at
The crowd churned and whirled, groups forming and reforming
near the artist holding court in a rear corner. Servers danced around
patrons and offered wine and hors d’oeuvres on silver trays. Tiny
napkins and toothpicks drifted to the floor in a rain of elegant litter.
New guests brought welcome cold air into the room’s stuffy heat. It
was nearly February. Had the opening been earlier in the winter,
expensive perfume would have warred with mothball-protected
coats. Mothballs would have won.
Nancy Blair, owner of Primary Colors, worked her way through
the crowd and gave me the requisite number of air kisses, two near
each cheek. She did the same with Raney and Eleanor, who then
moved off to look at the paintings and drawings hanging on matte white
walls. Nancy linked her arm through mine and led me toward
“Wait till you meet him, Mrs. Davies. He’s positively the most
amazing painter I’ve had in the gallery in years.” Nancy’s breathless
delivery was all gush.
As we struggled through the crowd, my cell phone buzzed. I
didn’t recognize the number, frowned, and flipped up the cover. I
shrugged an apology at Nancy.
“Maxine? Is that you?”
“Yes.” I pressed a finger against my free ear to block the ambient
Bette? It took me a second. Right, Merry’s mother-in-law. She
“It’s Merry. She’s been in an accident.”
“Come home, Maxine. She may not make it.”
I hitched my handbag up on my shoulder, my brain spinning
from Bette’s message.
“I’ve got to get out of this noise. I’ll call you right back.”
I shut the phone, waved at my girlfriends, and pointed toward
the coat check.
“I have an emergency,” I apologized to Nancy. “I have to leave.”
“I’ll hold Two Sisters for you.”
“Maxine, you look like a ghost crossed your grave. What is
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