Glory waited for the bickering women to notice her while Mrs. Beyers wheeled the cart toward the fireplace. “See, I knew she’d be up.” The housekeeper began setting out breakfast on the coffee table in front of the armchairs. “Probably starving. That bit I gave her last night knocked her right out, and she didn’t eat a thing.”
Anita floated forward and took Glory’s hands. “Don’t you look simply breathtaking this morning. So much better than last night. I hope you like the ensemble I picked out for you. It so complements your beautiful complexion.”
Glory felt a blush rising and tried to hide her face, only then noticing that her attire was a soft-pastel version of the ensemble Anita wore.
“Oh, no!” Anita reached out and lifted Glory’s chin. “If you plan to be a Porter woman, you will hold your head up and accept a compliment. If you must blush, you may dip your head slightly and fan your bosom, but we do not hide our faces. Understand, Precious?”
“The proper response is, ‘Why, thank you, Miss Anita. I love it. You have such wonderful taste.’ Now you try.”
Glory took a deep breath and giggled. “Why, thank you, Miss Anita—”
“Fan your bosom, sweetie, fan your bosom. That’s a good girl.”
Glory tried to fan her bosom, but a fit of giggles overwhelmed her, bringing tears to her eyes.
“Miss Anita, please stop!” Mrs. Beyers chided. “Let this girl have breakfast.”
“Okay, enough bosom fanning for now.” Anita laughed, taking Glory’s hand and leading her to the armchair with her apple blanket. “I know it doesn’t seem like it, but I can get a bit silly, and I’ve always wanted a daughter.” She spread the blanket across Glory’s lap. “So you’ll forgive me if I overstep, won’t you, Precious?”
Mrs. Beyers placed a platter of catfish, grits, eggs, and toast in Glory’s lap. “Yes, Miss Anita. I’ll forgive you,” Glory said. She couldn’t stop smiling even as she said grace and dug into her breakfast, surprised at how hungry she was.
“Good, good.” Anita took her seat in the other armchair. “So, tell me the truth, Precious. Are you and my son having relations?” Anita accepted a plate from Mrs. Beyers. “This looks simply wonderful. Gimme a dash of hot sauce before you go, please.”