Copyright 2001-2008, James J. Belcher. All rights reserved.
Never Bound Books
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Copyright 2005 James J. Belcher. All Rights Reserved.
would have enjoyed spending all day Sunday in bed, but duty demanded otherwise.
Fortunately, Angela was there to help and brekkie was ready, a good
reason to get up. Then there as a
long workout in the gym, a shower and a change of clothes.
They would have liked taking their parents out to dinner, but they needed
to lay low another couple of weeks. Cammie
was frustrated that John had freedom whilst she did not, but she understood that
a musclebound 5’ 7” man in sunnies and a suit was relatively inconspicuous. She realised how warped her brain must have been to think
that an obese 190cm girl was invisible.
birthday was Tuesday and she had to leave for Tokyo again early Monday morning.
She gave John his birthday present, a card in an envelope.
He opened it up expectantly. It
was a round trip ticket to Hong Kong and a certificate from a tailor.
“I have a shoot on Monday the 7th and Tuesday the 8th,
with the preceding Sunday and following Wednesday as my travel days.
I want you there with me, but for you to buy yourself a custom-tailored
wardrobe. That takes a week.
So you’ll leave this coming Tuesday afternoon, the 1st of
November, and go to the tailor shop on Wednesday morning, the 2nd.
You’ll stay in the same hotel as I will, but you’ll be by yourself
until I arrive on Sunday the 6th in the early evening.
In the meantime, there will be at least one fitting, more likely two.
Since the shops are open on Sunday, then there will be a final fitting of
the suits and jackets on Monday or Tuesday.
Everything will be ready by Wednesday noon when our plane leaves to
return to Melbourne. That way,
you’ll return with custom monogrammed shirts, custom-fitted trousers, jackets
and suits. Happy Birthday.”
you do think of everything. You
shouldn’t have. I love you and -
- - - thank you.” They kissed,
and then celebrated with tinkling sand. Angela
pretended she didn’t hear.
Sunday, there were just twelve days to the final MC live shoot. John reminded her their joint secondary school graduation
would have been the week before their marriage, had things been different.
There was a tear in her eye when she heard him say it.
Marriage was a ways off, maybe not too long, but babies were a different
would have liked shopping for furniture; John would have to do it alone, and he
only had Monday to do it, he’d be leaving for Hong Kong the next day. She checked her laptop.
Already, there were bookings into 2006 and new ones were cropping up
every day. John would soon hire a
secretary who’d take over his function as travel assistant for Cammie.
dawdled most of the day, wasting time, a luxury for a woman who often had a
seven-day weekly business schedule. The
following week, Tony and she corresponded by E-mail frequently regarding the
final MC shoot. By the 8th,
they finalised the wording of her speech. She’d
memorised it and practiced it in front of a mirror.
Secretly, the principal of Creighton Secondary had let Sims &
Butterworth check acoustics and stage lighting. He also let them photograph the auditorium where the
graduation ceremony exercises would be held and loaned them layout drawings of
the facility. The ad firm’s
creative department then made a small model of the auditorium, to assist
everyone involved as to the who-what-when-where-how of the live production they
S&B technicians knew intimately when, where and how they’d set up their
videotapes, microphones and cameras; they knew how long it would take for each
and every facet of Cammie’s short talk that would be the meat of the TV spot.
They had pre-booked ninety-second slots with Channel 7.
The ad would be run on Wednesday night, five days after the actual
graduation. That gave them plenty
of time to prepare the final tape and get copies to the network.
They figured they anticipated every possible technical problem.
the meanwhile, Cammie was in Bali, filming an ad for Hilton; she was in Jakarta,
a PSA for the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami Relief Project, which had been going
forward nearly a year. She flew
into Hong Kong and met John in only his third overseas trip.
She reckoned she’d travelled more kilometres in ten weeks than most
people do in their lives.
saw fashionable business clothes as a necessity in his new line of work;
solicitors, bankers, accountants, council officials and others with whom he now
dealt expected to see the walking display of wealth and power that properly
outfitted gentlemen represented. He
was dealing in millions of dollars on a daily basis.
Cammie’s gift had unexpectedly come at a time when it could be utilised
to full advantage. However, it was
a different story for casual wear. John
felt as if he were needlessly wasting money having shirts and shorts and jeans
custom-made and fitted.
explained it. “I’m in fashion.
You’re my partner. I’m an icon and you and I are a team. Everywhere we will go together, we’ll be stared at – we
should look like a team. If I wear
the latest fashion and it’s custom-made and custom-fitted, then everyone knows
why – it’s my job and I’m supposed to be a living, breathing 24/7
advertisement for dressing in top-end style.
It’s up to you to keep up.” He
saluted. She smiled, “Stand at
ease, soldier- - -and kiss me.”
they knew it, it was 11 November, 3:30pm, Creighton Secondary College
Auditorium, the long-awaited graduation ceremony for 253 lucky students in the
Class of 2005. She had arranged
tickets for Frank and Allan and they sat in the audience, much like parents and
friends of the 253. Tony and his
crews were ready. Gerald Keeley, the principal, personally warned off the school
security, maintenance and operating personnel from questioning or interfering
Keeley had been principal for six years, but he knew this was different and he
sensed something very special was in the air.
The night before, he and his wife Kelly met Tony Macciati
and Susan Stunner for drinks. They
never imagined she was a former student. They talked briefly about careers, school graduation,
teaching, and tight budgets. “Thank
you for the generous contribution to the Activity Fund.
We’ll use it for a special field trip for our neediest students.”
He was told and believed she’d give a short speech of “interest to
the class”, but in truth, neither he nor his wife had any idea.
started! Mr. Keeley was at the
podium, speaking with the aid of a removable microphone attached to it. The vice principal and two other important guests [the
Superintendent of Schools and the Lord Mayor of Creighton, who was there to give
the commencement address] sat in chairs onstage with him.
Mr. Keeley gave a short welcome and thanked everyone for attending.
He looked out at the assembly and noted the auditorium was nearly full.
The 253 specially commended were in their caps and gowns directly at his
front. At the appointed time, they
would file up the stairs to the stage, in alphabetical order, to receive their
diplomas and the obligatory handshake from Mr. Keeley.
Keeley first called on Father Ray O’Donovan to give the invocation. The aged Catholic priest slowly left his seat in the
audience, walked up the stairs, shook hands with Mr. Keeley, took the microphone
in his right hand and uttered “Our Heavenly Father, we come here today on this
special occasion.” The rest was
lost to all but half a dozen until he said the word “Amen”, which was then
repeated by a couple of older members of the audience.
Keeley then again directed the proceedings.
“At this juncture, I’m going to ask someone very special, Ms. Susan
Stunner, to come up and say a few words. It’s
not on your programmes, but that’s why we have the special lighting, sound and
camera crews. Ms. Stunner is a
famous model and celebrity and she says she has a few words of special interest
to say. By the way, she’s donated
$5,000 to our activity fund to help our students participate in special
programmes this next school year. Please
welcome Susan Stunner.”
spotlights shifted off the stage down the centre aisle, to a point about twenty
metres away. They concentrated and
shone down on a figure that suddenly appeared from almost total darkness. It was an exceptionally tall woman, who wore a tiny, wispy,
frilly yellow dress with a pattern of large impressionist orange flowers, four
layers of the sheerest French miracle material. A single layer was almost transparent, but four strategically
on top of one another just magically afforded the opaqueness decorum required.
skirt was asymmetrical; one side exposed a gorgeous and unbelievably long leg
almost to the waist, whilst the other had the skirt just above the knee of an
equally gorgeous leg. She wore
yellow open-toed high heels, with yellow bows trimmed in orange, made of three
layers of the same material as her dress.
height, those legs and that dress were enough beauty for any one audience, but
there was more. From the waist up,
the dress was essentially two shoulder straps, folded like inverted oriental
fans. They were barely wider than
spaghetti straps on her beautifully tanned shoulders (the same colour as the
rest of her body, without a trace of untanned skin), but they entirely covered
and overlapped on her flat stomach. Single
and double layers of yellow and orange 8cm (3”) ruffles softened the severity
of the neckline. The dress was
obviously designed for a woman with large breasts, but it had been altered.
Now it had to cope with huge breasts that made the ruffles seem like
narrow edging, breasts that jutted into space without the slightest sag, yet
breasts that didn’t tug on the shoulder straps.
All of this bosom engineering was Nature – she obviously wasn’t
wearing a bra!
this occasion, her hair had burnt umber streaks and the dark brown was
intermixed in such a way as to let you know that she was indeed a natural blond. Instead of wavy flowing tresses, she now was the tigress,
with curlier chopped layers that took a face from sweet to sultry.
wore her diamond and ruby engagement ring, a gold bracelet, a large topaz dinner
ring, and a diamond and topaz necklace. Allan
had persuaded a major Melbourne jeweller to loan the last two pieces for the
occasion. The store required a
security deposit of one-half million dollars.
complete the ensemble, her lipstick, fingernails and toenails were of the same
yellow, a brighter version of her dress colour.
Against her very noticeable tan, the overall effect was a provocative
look that screamed, “Top this!” She
could easily have been the unofficial fashion winner on Academy Awards night.
hesitated for a few moments, as heads turned around.
Then the eyes of much of the audience, but not the graduating class,
adjusted and focussed on the woman in the spotlight walking towards the stage.
Susan strode with confidence, a vision of loveliness two metres in
altitude (6’7”). She’d
never done runway, so this was a first, but she acted as if it were second
There was a collective gasp as the audience realised they were experiencing one of life’s exciting moments. The gasp caused heads to turn among the 253, first some and then nearly all.
cameras intended for snapshots of family member graduates began to click and
flash. Those with videotape units
would record the whole measure of her short journey.
The others started to clap, and then they all were clapping wildly.
walked to the stairs, up, onto the stage, thanked Mr. Keeley and took command of
the podium. The applause was still
going, but it started to die down as her clear tones recited something memorised
but presented in a way that didn’t seem rehearsed.
“Principal Keeley, distinguished guests, members of the graduating class of 2005, ladies and gentlemen.” She had to pause and start over twice, due to interruptions from those still applauding.
IT! That's enough -- we're headed towards the climax and I don't want to
ruin it for you, so go ahead and order the whole book, read all 19 previous
chapters and then you'll know the whole story, and be prepared for the shocks to