Last night I was looking through a binder of stories that have weddings and funerals as themes. I came across a story called Tangerine Twist and totally did not remember what it was about. So I sat at the kitchen table and began reading it- OMG! I was LOL. My husband was in the living room watching sports and he's going, "What are you laughing about?" I couldn't explain it so I just kept saying, "Oh, just something I wrote that's funny."
It's the story of an offbeat young woman from the wrong side of town who used to be invited to a wealthy family's home for their cat's birthday parties when she was young. She was sort of the rich boy's mother's "pet project" but after high school he lost track of her and got engaged to a wealthy young woman who never cared much for "Tangerine." He's always thought Tangerine has moved out west and is therefore surprised when she turns up, totally inappropriately dressed, at his great-uncle's funeral. His great uncle was a hoarder and the young man has been living in the mansion with him trying to care for him and keep him safe. Tangerine does documentary films and is working on one about "invisible children"- those throw away kids who fall between the cracks in society. He is kind of shocked to see her, but also feels a surprising attraction to her. She's a wise-cracking character who often tells it like it is. He asks her to attend the funeral service at the church and the reception afterwards the following day, and goes so far as to tell her exactly how he wants her to dress. Surprisingly she finds herself shopping that evening for the outfit he's asked her to wear. The next day she tones her hair and make-up down significantly, dresses as she's been asked to dress and totally blows him out of the water, but she's still the same offbeat Tangerine he has secretly adored since they were children. When she tries to leave the reception he follows her and not wanting to lose contact with her suggests she film a documentary about hoarding, filming at the mansion. She likes that idea and agrees. Tangerine's observations and remarks are outrageous and funny. She's a colorful character while Beaman is a wealthy young man craving color in his boring, bland, good boy life. There's rapid repartee, and an obvious longstanding but unspoken, unacted upon affection between them despite their social strata separation.
I am still laughing tonight...watch for this one in a future collection of stories!