"I'm upstairs," Travis called when he heard Shelly come through the back door. "C'mon up."
She found him in what had to be Yvonne's bedroom; judging by the huge four-poster complete with its pink satin coverlet and white marabou accents. Travis stood cupping his chin, looking down at three dresses that he had spread out over the bed. "Will any of these work?"
Shelly bit her lip and met his eyes. "Well, " she started, lifting a rayon, leopard-print shift by its hanger, "I'm not sure you want to do sleeveless..." He pointed to a pink, high-neck stretch jersey gown with a band of black ribbon below the bust line. "How about this one? I thought it might be too dressy."
That's one way of putting it, Shelly thought. How was she going to handle this? He had obviously tried so hard. The last choice was a long-sleeved, black sweater dress with a ruffle around the neck. Deciding it was the lesser of three evils, she held it up to the light. "This one's nice," she fibbed. "The coverage is good, and the style looks like her." Did it ever; that was the problem. She pulled him close and gave him a squeeze.
"How are you holding up?"
He took the dress from her and hung it over the door.
"I'm OK, I don't think it's really hit me yet. Gordy's havin' a hard time. They were pretty close."
"Poor guy," she went to Yvonne's jewelry box. Luckily, her accessories were better looking than her clothes. There was a nice pair of pearl earrings and a lovely matching brooch that had a cluster of pearls in off-white, light-pink and gray. "I hope he'll be alright. Do you like these?"
"I do, but I never would've found 'em. Thanks, Hon."
"Glad to help. Now we just need some stockings, shoes, and a garment bag. If you can run down and get me a baggie for her jewelry, I'll find them and get everything packed up."
He stopped at the top of the stairs. "I appreciate all you're doing. It seems to come so easy to you."
Shelly's muffled reply came from inside the closet. "I have experience burying a mother. It sucks."
"I'm sorry to hear that. There's so much I don't know about you."
She struggled with the zipper on the garment bag, a pair of black pantyhose over her shoulder. "Yeah, well, once you know the whole story, you'll probably make a run for it."
Travis laughed on his way down to the kitchen. "I'm in no position to do any such thing, Darlin'. Remember, you ain't heard my story yet."
When he came back up, Shelly had everything ready to go. "What else can I do you for?" she smiled at him.
He pulled a button-down on over his t-shirt and tucked them both into his jeans. "We have to take Von's stuff to Shubert's," he said. "Then I thought you might like to ride to the airport with me."
"Sure," she knelt down to tie her sneaker. "Is someone coming in for the funeral?"
Travis nodded toward the nightstand, and for the first time Shelly saw a collage frame in the shape of the word 'GRANDMA'. It held pictures of a younger Yvonne with a little boy.
"We're picking up Sean," he told her.