Sorry guys, I don't have time to post it all together. I have so many things to take care of today before leaving but here's the first part and I hope you'll like it and we'll check in later for part 2 :) I know....too much suspance, I'm horrible.
No one spoke for a second, but a deep scowl was starting to dig his way through Hugh’s face. So deep Robert wasn’t sure he would be the only one noticing for long.
Katie lowered her eyes and cleared her throat, after a while “Ok…down to work?” she asked.
David nodded, “Yes, ok…we…”
“That’s all she said?” Hugh asked, interrupting him with a composure Robert wasn’t expecting from him. But he was sure underneath the surface he was far from being so cool about it.
Not a bit.
And he was also fairly sure even the others must be starting to feel like some in the room were talking two different languages. Only no one seemed to have a clue on which one Hugh was speaking.
Not even him.
He was groping through darkness, just as them.
All he knew was that Hugh must have had something in mind, and that this wasn’t the way it was supposed to go. The way he had planned it out.
It was David who answered this time, his tone giving away nothing. He seemed to be talking to everyone but Hugh, though “She wishes you all a nice summer”
A piercing beep crept in, breaking the silence.
“Lisa…it’s me. AGAIN…”
Lisa zipped up a bag, turning away.
Michael followed her, keeping quiet.
Each time he called his voice came out noticeably more exasperated.
“Would you please answer me, for once?”
Demanding at times, even if Michael was sure he didn’t mean it that way. He just couldn’t take it anymore, it was obvious.
Lisa pulled the shutters closed and tided up, and went to tide up the leftovers of their lunch. The little tray she had brought still lay on her bed, now enshrouded into darkness.
“You realize this is the fourth time I call you already, right?”
It was 7.00 indeed.
It was 7 p.m. already and since Michael had been there she hadn’t stopped a single moment yet, especially from the moment she had talked to him this morning. She even hadn’t kept a moment yet. Nothing that might let her think through what she was in the process of.
All she kept doing was moving round, instead. Restlessly.
And it was starting to worry him.
She hadn’t said a thing about it. Not a single word. A few quick explicative lines and then, the silence. Now, she just kept packing; stuffing food away in the fridge; setting up the house for her dogs. She hadn’t even called her family yet. She would it tomorrow, she said, they would understand.
She’d been keeping herself busy, avoiding finding herself face to face with him; being force to give any extra explanation. And it was obvious at this point that this was her exact purpose: ignoring it. Consigning it to a corner, whatever it meant she was feeling at the moment.
An heavy sigh echoed in the room.
“Ok, I got it. You’re angry at me…Fair enough, you made your point…I’m SORRY! I don’t know how many times I told you already, and honestly Lisa I don’t what else should I…”
He paused and Michael looked up at her.
“…couldn’t you just have admitted it this morning anyway, rather than leaving me in the lurch like this?!”
Hugh sounded hurt. Embittered. Like someone who suddenly found himself stabbed in the back from the ones he trusted the most.
“What’s been the purpose of it? What were you? Screwing with me?”
Lisa closed her eyes for moment, breathing in deeply. She lifted up the tray and walked up bare feet to the kitchen, carrying it along with her.
Michael didn’t move, but let her passing by him without stopping her, his eyes wandering in the afternoon dimness of her bedroom, thinking.
There was a long silence.
“I don’t get it… this is just….just, Lisa please…”
It wasn’t the first time he did that: swinging between a frustrated resentment and this quiet bewilderment.
He understood her. Of course Michael got how she felt. He was her friend…
There was just…
There was just something in the way he addressed her. A certain softness in his ways at times or even just the impression of a silent concern that he seemed to never dare voicing thoroughly, that…
It just felt like he really cared for her. A lot. It must be this way. What else should get him coming back, over and over again, so restlessly, despite how she kept ignoring him?
Lisa came back and had a quick looked around, busily. The phone had gone quite for a while already, but from the way her eyes flashed around the room, Michael wasn’t so sure she was truly happy or relieved about it. She had felt like being struggling with it all day long.
“…I understand the silent treatment Lisa, I do but…”
Hugh voice trailed off this time, but he spotted her startling lightly at the sound of his voice.
It wasn’t clear to him what else she was expecting him to tell her right now.
Aside from the obvious, of course. And he wasn’t even so sure she was ready for the obvious to be mentioned, either.
“…I just don’t understand why treating me like this….”
She flinched more noticeably this time. Problem was – he suspected – that despite of whatever was going on inside her…she still did care. Just as much as him.
Even too much.
And it kept hurting her, inevitably. It was all over her face.
“…Lisa, please. Whatever happened between us, now or ever…whatever we’re…I just….I just want …I need to….just talk to me Lisa…please”
Michael rubbed his neck, peering up at her. She kept taking short breaths at times, as she was trying to fight back whatever kept stirring and roiling within her, pushing to get out.
Hugh snorted. It wasn’t an angry snort; more like a sound showing annoyance. And pain.
But Michael feared he was running out of patience, all the same.
“You can’t keep me ringing round like an idiot…”
Lisa pressed her lips into a tight line this time, though, springing up.
She dropped her mask of indifference for a second.
“…why? Is what you are…” she hissed.
She let herself out of the room and went back to the kitchen then, wasting no more breath.
Michael kept following her around, slowly and woeful, always trying to figure out what to say. How to say it.
He had seen this scene already.
Every time Hugh called she started to go back and forth from one room to another. He wasn’t even sure she really had still stuff to sort out. It would have been so much easier just unplugging the phone and get out. But it looked like she still couldn’t talk herself into doing it. He just wondered whether she knew this was the reason she kept hanging around. But she must have realized some. She couldn’t be so oblivious to it, ‘cause as much as all of this clearly upset her, this was the whole point: the very reason she grew angrier and angrier, hour by hour. And so, she was all winded up by now; like a time bomb about to go off under the smallest strain. Michael suspected this was exactly what she was trying to avoid. The very reason she kept avoiding his calls. She didn’t want to the strain that might get her started to go off.
But he hadn’t been capable of telling her any of it so far.
The house went quiet for a while. Most probably, he had hung up once again, giving in to evidence: she wouldn’t be picking up.
Michael stopped by the cupboard, leaning against it.
He thought it through for a little longer, watching her.
“If we wished to be fair…” he started, tentatively, hands in his pockets.
Lisa slammed the refrigerator open, bending forward.
He lowered his stare weighting his words, “…he doesn’t even know WHY he’s such an idiot…he has to clue…”
“Fairness is up to judgment….” she said, sharply.
Michael kept his eyes down. It didn’t sound like she was willing to listen.
She took a half-emptied Pepsi bottle “Don’t Lisa me Mike…not now”
“…you’re not even sure of the circumstances….”
It took her a while to find the words. She took a sip of Pepsi and Michael looked at her. Her eyes were glassy, like dark waters of a rough sea whose lull isn’t but the surface of it. Underneath, he was sure, drifts were brewing troubles. She was just trying not to go there. It was her nature.
“I know enough to feel like I’d better stay away from him….once and for all” she told him at last.
“What else should I do to make you understand how sorry I am?”
Hugh’s voice broke in so abruptly that it startled them both.
She closed her eyes, looking irritated “Just, leave me…ALONE” she panted, leaning backwards against the counter.
Michael bit his lips, eyes up to the roof “You know, all this anger, everything you keep bottling up…everything you feel right now…it doesn’t come from hating him…”
“Doesn’t it?” she asked, defiantly without looking at him.
Lisa took another sip, keeping silent.
“You can’t hate him Lisa, and you know that…as much as you’d like to, you keep…”
“Lisa please…. Just PICK. UP. THIS. DAMN. PHONE.!! I’m begging you!!!”
Lisa limited herself to finish up her Pepsi.
She threw it away, tossing it into the sink, as if no one had even spoken this time. As if his voice wasn’t even there, filling the silence of the room.
Michael sighed once again.
“You’re driving him nuts...you realized that, right?”
Lisa said nothing but stared into space He didn’t know how to get her to listen to him anymore. All he had tried so far had turned out ineffective.
She began to pinch her lips between finger and thumb, restlessly.
“I should call the dog-sitter” she said, suddenly “I need her to be here by tomorrow morning…”
She rushed to the entrance and began to flip through the pages of her phone book.
“Can’t we just talk about it…like…like adults? Would it be too much to ask?”
Michael watched her as she breathed in deeply.
“He’s quite persevering don’t you think?”
She let her finger slid down one of pages, looking for the right number “He certainly is…” she said mockingly.
Didn’t seem like it was making an impression of her, though.
Not a bit.
Rather the opposite possibly. It was causing her to grow angrier at herself and at him, even more.
“Here” she said.
Michael watched her worried. Why couldn’t she just see it? It was a losing battle already, she had gotten herself too much involved with him already.
She can’t go backwards…
“We have a scene together tonight Lisa…for God’s sake…you can’t avoid me forever…”
He looked at her wide-eyed, then “You have a scene together…tonight?!”
“It’s no big deal…Five minutes, at the utmost. Even less….”
Michael gaped. She couldn’t be serious.
“No big deal?! Lisa would you just listen to you…”
“Lisa. Please. I NEED to talk to you…what else should I be doing? What’s left, tell me…”
It was like neither of them had spoken. Whether him or Hugh didn’t make any difference. She just wouldn’t listen to anyone.
Lisa turned to him, “Ok, that’s it I guess…” she said catching her breath.
She sounded exhausted. Worn out…drained. He didn’t know which word fit her the best anymore.
“I just need to take care of this now and…that’s all” a forceful lighthearted smile crept on her lips as he looked at him “…Jess already sort of volunteered to help me out with the boxes in my trailer…so you can go if you want…”
He seized her by one arm and she did stop. But she did it with a mix of slackness and annoyance, bending her head slightly backwards as turning to face him “Yes?”
“I didn’t stay ‘cause you needed my help with your bags…” he told her, serious.
They locked eyes for a heartbeat.
A clang echoed, distinctly.
It lasted but a second, but it was enough to cause a controlled shade of panic crossing her face.
And then the line dropped and the phone went quiet.
She didn’t think it twice. She turned and grabbed her keys.
“Let’s get out of here”.