Hildreth finished his cake and licked the frosting and cake crumbs off his fork tines. “Mmmm!” He glanced at the door to the banquet room.
Still no sign of Elsie.
She must be in the bathroom.
He smiled dreamily.
Master Shinowa set his own fork on his plate. “Mayhew is much lost in thought.”
“Absolutely!” Hildreth checked for Elsie again.
She still hadn’t returned.
Hildreth reached over and snagged the box of doughnut holes Jeff had left behind. He opened the box. “mmmm. So many beautiful—-oooo!” He pulled out a cherry chip one. “Mm.” He took a bite. “I was just thinking that as of today, I’m gonna have to share my bathroom with someone else.” He took another bite and chewed it thoroughly. “No more long leisurely daydreams in the bathroom while doin’ my stuff. She’ll be there to bang on the door and tell me to hurry up before her bladder turns nuclear.”
Master Shinowa laughed. “Such is married life, Mayhew.”
Hildreth finished the rest of the small round doughnut and sucked the glaze off his fingers. “mm. Mmm. I’m looking forward to it. To fighting over which way the toilet paper is supposed to go. To her getting all bothered about me leaving the toilet seat up. To—-” He chuckled. “—-her sneaking into the shower with me. Man! I’m really looking forward to that.”
Master Shinowa laughed again. “Mayhew have much many bathroom thoughts.”
“Oh, there’s plenty more where that came from.” He glanced over at Jim-Marie. “But I’d rather not scandalize the younger crowd.”
“There is much wisdom to choice.” Master Shinowa glanced at the door and back at Hildreth. “Vansing not yet returned.”
“I know. I’m kind of worried about her. I know I shouldn’t be. She is strong. She can handle herself. She is…Elsie is amazing. I’d pity any idiot dumb enough to take her on. They’d walk away with a broken jaw and missing teeth.”
Master Shinowa gave him a silent, considering look. “You have wish to find her.”
“I do, Master.”
“She might be in the bathroom.”
Master Shinowa shrugged. “Or maybe not be. Find her, Mayhew.”
“Yes, Master.” He stood and started to walk away from the table. He returned, grabbed the box of doughnut holes, and ran out of the room.
So, she ran after her mother and neither one has returned. What are the odds of them being in the bathroom? Fifty-fifty? Thirty-seventy or maybe the other way around? At least eighty-twenty.
He ran to the women’s restroom. The line was at a standstill and all of the women looked ready to kill and eat any line-cutters.
Hildreth stopped and contemplated his options. “I should just barge into the bathroom and see if I create a riot. Wouldn’t that be something if I did?”
A sullen teenager with a glittery rose facial tattoo left the bathroom. Everyone else fidgeted unevenly as the line did not advance.
He walked over to her. “Well, hello there.”
She rolled a bored look at him. “Do you always hit on girls leaving the bathroom, you perv?”
“Not really. That is not my M.O.”
“I was wondering if you’ve seen someone in the bathroom.”
“I don’t know. Probably not. I don’t go into the bathroom to see people, you know.”
“Absolutely. But you wouldn’t have been able to miss her.” He smiled dreamily.
She shifted her weight in an impatient gesture.
“Elsie is impossible to miss. Radiant. Beautiful. Amazing hair.”
“Gee. Could your description be any more generic?”
“And she’s wearing a wedding gown.”
“Oh. Her. You totally missed her. She rushed into the bathroom, yelled like a yutz for her mom for like forever, and left. Don’t know where she went. Don’t care where she went. Could you get out of my space so I can leave?”
So, she isn’t in the bathroom and she didn’t return to the banquet room. Unless I missed her altogether.
“Hey. Get out of my space or I’ll scream for the cops, you perv.”
Probably went to the car.
“I mean it, perv. I will scream.”
One of the other women took notice of Rose Tattoo Chick’s threats. “Hey! You in the tux! Are you botherin’ this here poor girl?”
“Huh?” He came out of his thoughts. “Whoa. What—”
“If you are, I got an automatic line to 911 and I’m not afraid to use it.”
He raised his hands in surrender. “I’m just—You know what? I’m going this way. Bye!”
Rose Tattoo Chick muttered, “Yeah, you run off, you perv. Hitting on girls outside the women’s bathroom. Gross.”