Continued from Part 1…
Once everything had been packed up, everyone waited outside for the drive out to East Hampton. Johnny chatted with Jackie by the front door and all of Misty’s friends waited by the van. Stewart and Misty were inside, doing a last minute check to make sure they’d gotten everything. From outside the flower shop, Johnny could see that Misty was doing most of the talking inside as Stewart reviewed his checklist. Soon enough, they came out.
“Okay…Johnny, do you mind taking your own car out to the venue? I’m going to ride with Jackie in her pickup and Misty’s gonna ride in the van with the guys.”
Johnny was okay with that. He knew that whenever Stewart asked him to take his own car, he always compensated him for gas. Besides that, there wasn’t any room in Jackie’s pickup and he really wasn’t in the mood to ride with Misty and her friends. He’d only be quiet anyway amongst the group of friends he didn’t know.
About forty-five minutes later, the crew arrived at the venue, a stunning estate south of Montauk Highway. It was around 10AM. Misty’s crew started unloading the van and Johnny helped Jackie with the stuff in her pickup truck. Stewart and Misty began surveying the place, Misty pointing and directing the crew as she talked with Stewart.
Once they had gotten both vehicles unloaded, it was time to begin the work of setting it all up. Not for Johnny, though.
“Hey Johnny.” It was Misty. She was smiling that sweet country girl smile of hers. “I need you to do us a favor. Stewart needs you to go back to the shop. He forgot one of the lighted balls. (The “lighted ball” was a large sphere-shaped object made up of woven twigs, with a strand of white lights interwoven around it. It was used for decorative purposes.) You know where it is? Out back.”
“Jeez,” Johnny thought. “Why couldn’t Jaden go back and get it? Johnny had experience at setting up a wedding and Jaden was doing it for the first time.”
“Fine Misty!” Johnny was pissed. Without another word, Johnny walked over to Jaden and asked for the keys, not even trying to hide his anger. Stewart called out to Johnny. “Sorry, Johnny. You know the shortcuts. Hurry now, okay?”
Johnny jumped into the van without another word, started it, and took off. His stomach was in knots. It took Johnny more than two hours to get there and back, as morning turned to afternoon and the Saturday Hamptons traffic had begun to build up. When he got back to the venue, he couldn’t find anyone.
“Jeez, where the hell did they go?” Johnny muttered to himself.
After searching the grounds for what seemed like an eternity, Johnny heard Misty’s voice down by a pond on the property. They were all sitting around, chatting. They’d all just had some pizza for lunch and were finishing off their break. Johnny was starving.
“Johnny Driver, you’re back!” yelled out one of Misty’s friends. Johnny tried really hard to crack a smile. He was still seething.
“Aw, poor Johnny,” Stewart lamented. Misty said something under her breath and Stewart and the others burst into laughter. Whether or not it was aimed at Johnny, it didn’t help his mood.
“Johnny, have some pizza. We saved you some.” Misty sounded so sweet, but Johnny was not falling for it. As Johnny walked over to the pizza box that had been left on a chair, the others all got up and headed back to the job. “When you’re done, Jaden and Fillipe are gonna need your help hanging the balls.” She pointed towards the bar where they were going to be hung. Johnny didn’t answer her. He leaned over to open the pizza box. There was only one slice, and it looked like it had been sitting there for awhile. Johnny closed the box and lit a cigarette.
For the next three and a half hours, Johnny and the crew worked hard placing flowers on tables, hanging lighted balls, and all that other fun stuff they did to make a wedding pretty. All through the day, it was Misty, not Stewart giving most of the direction. Though there were a couple of times that Stewart would jump in to make a suggestion, he let Misty do all of the leading. They were lighting the candles on the tables as the guests were beginning to arrive.
“And we’re good! Congratulations Misty. You did a fabulous job!” Stewart was like a proud father.
“Thanks you guys.” Misty responded to no one in particular.
“Misty, you are awesome. Now I know I’ll never have to worry about sending you off on your own for an event.”
“Ah,” Johnny thought, “so that’s why Stewart was letting Misty call all the shots.” He was testing her, making sure she’d be good at handling events without him. That had always been a sore spot with Kona.
“Aw, thank you Stewart. I’m learning from the best.” Johnny was getting a little tired of this love fest.
Stewart giggled. “I’m so happy.” He put his arm over her shoulder. He looked to Johnny and Jackie. “I think we’ve finally got the perfect crew.”
“Oh God,” Johnny thought. “This is going to be a long summer!”
Stay tuned for more Misadventures of Johnny Driver coming soon!