~ Hannah's Shame ~
She stood before the full length mirror, straightening the navy-blue material of her knee-length skirt, ensuring no crease lined her hip or thighs. Adjusting the short sleeves of the sky-blue silk blouse, she raised her chin a notch, moving her face from side to side. Everything was in order, including the auburn curls bouncing about her shoulders, which often had a mind of their own.
In response to her father's passing announcement, Hannah simply nodded, lowering her attention to her high heeled shoes, making sure no scuff marks were present.
Turning to fetch the suited jacket for her outfit, she caught a glimpse of her younger sister poking her head around the door. "Why do you need so much make-up, Tina?"
Tina, having turned sixteen a week earlier, rolled her eyes beneath heavy eye-liner. "Mum wants to go now. She says we'll be late if we don't." Watching as Hannah calmly slipped into the jacket and adjusted it over the blouse, Tina gave a mournful sigh. "You used to be so much fun to live with." And with that, she walked away.
With a slight smile, and in a tone only she could hear, Hannah replied, "God bless you, sweetie..."
Several moments later, as they climbed from father's sedan and stepped into the near-sleeping car park, Hannah titled her face towards the heaven's , closing her eyes as she did. "What a glorious morning. It would've been a lovely walk to church."
"In those shoes?" scoffed Tina, turning her nose up at the three inch heel as she dropped to tie the shoe lace of her heavy black boot.
"Walking was out of the question. We're already later than I like to be," Marree noted on passing her daughters. Directly to Hannah, she figured, "Next time you may consider not taking so long to get ready."
As mother, father and little sister walked towards the church entry, Hannah offered a faint smile. "God bless you, dear family," she sighed, affectionately.
Inside the sandstone dwelling, with all its stained glass windows and polished timbers, Hannah's attention was captured by an elderly lady seated on the end of a middle pew. "You're not singing today, my dear?"
"Good morning, Mrs Enders. No, not this morning. I have had to rest my voice this week, due to a passing cold."
"What a shame. Nothing too serious I hope?"
"No, quite mild. But best to be safe than sorry."
"Yes, that's true. But," the elderly woman sighed, smiling up from a deeply lined eyes, "as I said, it is a shame. You have a lovely voice."
Bending to press cheek to cheek,