Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chapter 34: In which Melissa cries cause she wants to. (You would cry, too, if it happened to you.)

They stood there in silence for a while. The party was in full swing in the next room, but any minute now Nora would appear to whisk them off to the VIP lounge. Or Eoin would show up. And Katie hadn’t really told Eoin anything about Bobby, about the breakup, about any of it. And Rebecca was going to come out of the bathroom eventually.  Katie needed to take action, she needed to make a move. But she was frozen -- it was those Terrible Four Months all over again, when she was overcome with fear.

Luckily she didn’t have to say anything, because for once Bobby spoke first. “Listen, Katie, I didn’t come back for you.”

“You didn’t?”

“No. I’m actually here to check out a new artist. Perhaps you've heard of him? Eoin Verdon?"

"I'm sorry. What?" People were talking, the music was loud, Rebecca was singing "Dancing Queen" loudly over the flushing toilet. Maybe Katie hadn't heard him right.

Bobby leaned in closer, took her elbow. "I said, Eoin Verdon. He's a new artist, an up-and-comer, and the museum wants to talk to him about a project he's working on."

"Oh." This was a wrinkle.

"So do you know him? I mean, I know you're back in the art scene." Because you left me and our life together in order to pursue your career as an artist, so you'd damn well better be making a name for yourself was what Katie was reading loud and clear between the lines.  

"Yeah." She took a deep breath -- she would have to tell him. After all, Eoin was at the party. He was kind of her boyfriend. Bobby was going to find out soon; better it come from her. "He's actually....Umm.... We met a couple of months ago--"

Just then the bathroom door opened and out strolled Rebecca, who was holding a hair-brush as a microphone. "Young and sweet, only seventeen..." she trilled, rather off-key, but it didn't matter -- her volume more than made up for it. "Come on, kids!" With an arm around both their shoulders, she pulled them in for a group sing-along. "You can dance, you can ji-hive, having the time of your life, ooohooh!" Bobby and Katie swung and sung along for a couple of lines. Rebecca patted them both on the cheeks, handed the hair brush to Bobby, and began bopping along to the song her in head on her way towards the rest of the party.

But the interlude was only a temporary reprieve. Katie couldn't hide forever. "The thing is, Bobby, Eoin's here tonight. We're --"

"He's here?" Bobby's eyes lit up. "I wasn't sure how to find him. We have no information on where he lives, where he works. And you know him! Can you introduce us?"

"It's not like he's Bansky, or something," said Katie, feeling somewhat irritated. Suddenly Bobby was more interested in Eoin than he was in her.

"Not yet," Bobby finished off his drink. "But he's going to be huge, Katie."

"Is he?" Katie tried to quash the jealousy that was surfacing. She couldn't be competing for her ex- boyfriend's attention with her new boyfriend. That was crazy.  And yet, Katie never imagined that the first thing she'd be talking with Bobby about, after nearly a year of no contact, would be Eoin.


"So how are you doing?" She laid a hand on Bobby's arm, trying to bring the conversation back to them. "How have you been? It's a shock to see you here. I'd love to catch up."  

"Of course," Bobby said. "Yes, we'll totally have to chat. But listen, can we talk to Eoin first? Just in case he's going home early. Or has another party to go to. You know artists!"

"Yeah. Okay. But listen, Bobby, I should tell you something. It's --" Suddenly her cell phone was ringing. It was Melissa. “Just a sec,” she said to Bobby. “Hello?”

“Katie! Where are you?”

“I’m at your party. Where are you?”

“I’m in the elevator.”

“Why?”

“Can you come please? Come to the elevator?” Melissa was clearly crying.

“Okay.” Katie hung up. “Look, Bobby, I know this is bizarre, but it’s Melissa. She’s having some sort of crisis. Can, um, can it wait to meet Eoin? I should really deal with whatever this is.”

“Sure.” Bobby and Melissa had always been friends. “If she’s having a meltdown at her own party, this must be serious.”

“Thanks. I promise I won’t leave until we have a chance to talk.”

On her way out of the apartment, Katie found Eoin in the kitchen, pouring himself a drink. “Listen,” she said. “I have to find Melissa. She’s having a crisis. She’s summoned me to the elevators.”

Eoin raised an eyebrow (damn he was sexy). “That sounds intense,” he said. “Take fortifications.” He handed her a bottle of white wine and a bag of pretzels.  

“Thank you.” She hugged him quickly, fiercely, and hurried to find her friend.

***

“She’s what?”

“Pregnant. Five months, apparently.” Melissa took a deep gulp of wine.

“And they told you this?” Katie took the bottle from her. They had put an emergency stop on the elevator and they were drinking while suspended in mid-air. The situation was that dire.

“Yep. When they arrived. It was pretty obvious, though. Georgina’s like, already out to here.” Melissa put a hand about two feet in front of her tiny, flat stomach.

“Do you think that’s why they got married?” Katie nibbled on a pretzel.

“I don’t know, Katie. All I know is I was finally feeling okay about them as a couple, I mean we made ‘friends’,” she air-quoted the word, “at the wedding, but that was before this. This is …” Melissa took the bottle from her friend.

“Yeah.” Katie took it back. They drank in silence for a while.

“So, this changes things.” Katie handed Melissa the last sip.

“Well, kinda. Don’t you think?”

“But you never wanted kids,” Katie’s voice was careful, measured.

“That doesn’t mean she gets to have any!” Melissa’s voice was not.

“I see where you’re coming from.” Katie leaned over and hugged her normally calm, cool friend. “Do you think we can stay in here all night?”

Melissa wiped her eyes. “No. It’s my party. I should go back.” She didn’t move.

“You don’t have to. You can totally cry if you want to. That lady in the '50s made it a rule. And, if you think about it, your situation is pretty much the same as hers was.”  
“What?”

“You know, 'Judy and Johnny just walked through the door, like a queen with her king, oh what a birthday surprise, Judy’s wearing his ring!'” Katie’s singing voice was marginally better than Rebecca’s, but it still made Melissa laugh."So should we go in there and face your ex and his demon spawn?"

“I’m pretty sure David and Georgina left.” Melissa fished around the pretzel bag.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. I told them they were a couple of insensitive assholes and that they had to leave.”

“Sounds about right.”

“Not before I got my present from them, though.” Melissa pulled an envelope out of her pocket and took out a gift card for Swiss Chalet.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“Dave knows I like the dipping sauce.” At that Katie and Melissa started laughing, quite hard, actually. So hard they forgot the pretzels in the elevator when they went back to the party.

***

“You’re just in time!” Nora greeted them at the door to her apartment. She was in a cool navy blue leather jacket. “We’re just about to get going. Where were you two?”

“Getting drunk in the elevator,” Melissa said.

“Sure,” said Nora. “Whatever.” She ushered them inside, where party-goers were gathering, putting on shoes and jackets. “We’re going to be late for our reservation. So chop, chop everyone!”

“She doesn’t believe us,” Melissa giggled.

“That’s because she thinks you’re too good for drunken elevator escapades. I have to find my stuff.” Katie moved against the sea of bodies toward the bedroom, where the jackets were stored. But she stopped when she got the to doorway: Bobby and Eoin were already in there, talking as they picked up their coats.

Dammit! Bobby had found Eoin before she’d been able to explain. She hadn’t wanted that to happen. She’d wanted to break it to him gently, she wanted him to hear about her new relationship from her. And she wanted Eoin to find out about Bobby from her. Damn David and his unborn child!

Maybe there was still time. She hovered around the door way, eavesdropping.

“Katie? Sure, I know her,” Eoin said pleasantly in his kind, sexy, Irish accent.

“Do you know her well?” Bobby asked.

You Decide!

Eoin replies with: “Definitely. She’s my girlfriend. And I’ll tell you this only because you’re a stranger and I’m drunk -- but I am pretty sure I’m  in love with her.”

OR

Eoin replies with: “Well enough. We’ve been hanging out quite a lot recently, but we’re re just friends; it’s nothing serious.”

7 comments:

  1. Definitely numero uno. Eoin is way too nice a guy to say the second thing (I know this because I luuuurve him...).
    Cyndi

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  2. Number one!! They are so cute together...

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  3. Numero uno

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  4. We know you want #1 and we do too.

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