All four booths were filled with the Jamestown lunch crowd. Lydia waved at a table of men and whispered to Keely. “That’s our fire chief and that’s his son sitting across from him. The son’s a ranger in the Francis Marion Forest. Aren’t they the best-lookin’ men you’ve ever saw?” Next, she pointed to a booth where two bored-looking young women were sitting. Keely thought that one looked like a brunette version of every hot young film actress in Hollywood . The other looked like the average girl next door, if that girl was in need of a new hairdo and some make-up. “And that’s your competition!”
Lydia aimed Keely at the seat next to the average girl and across from the movie star. “You sit next to Pooter and say hello to Honey over there. She’s named after a town around here. I’ll be back in a minute.”
An awkward silence ensued. Honey looked off into the distance. Pooter gave Keely an uncertain smile.
“What town is it?” Keely asked.
Honey ignored her and looked across at the men. She seemed to be trying to catch the eye of the forest ranger.
Pooter answered her with a slight lisp. “It’s called Honey Hill. It’s not a real town. Just a fork in the road, over past Shulerville.” She pronounced it “Thulerville.”
Honey turned back to look at her lunch mates, sighing with the effort of joining in the conversation. When she spoke, her accent sounded like Keely’s cousins from Tennessee, more country than Lowcountry. “My real name’s Hannah Hill. It was my daddy who named me Honey.” She crossed her perfectly tanned arms and leaned into the corner of the booth. “I think it works for me, you know? It sounds like a beauty queen.” She picked up the menu. “Now, who do I have to have sex with to get something to eat in this place?”
Unoriginal though it was, it was still a bomb-dropper of a sentence. Keely had imagined that underneath Honey’s extraordinary beauty was a cesspool of stupidity. But she appeared to at least have what Grand-mere called grit. She raised her eyebrows at Honey. Honey winked back. Pooter looked from one to the other in wide-eyed silence.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish