Thursday, July 29, 2010

Backstage at the Opera -- Part 4 of 5

This is part 4 of a scene from Where Love Once Lived that takes place in the green room after an opera. This is fiction, of course, but based on my experience.

There didn’t seem to be a way to keep Tony from thinking there
was a future between her and Brian.
“Alright,” she said with a grin. “I’ll remember. You have to understand
Brian and I are friends. Nothing more. I’m not expecting
him to step up, as you put it.”
“Listen,” Tony said as he let go of her hands. “He’s changed. Did
you know he’s back in church?”
“Really? I didn’t know he’d quit going to church. See, we have
no knowledge of each other for the past thirty years.”
“Well, he seems to know all about you.” Tony backed away, still
facing Karen.
Brian stood and reached for her hand. “I think we better go.
Thanks for the tickets, Tony. Enjoyed it.” He looked at Karen, almost
pleading. “We have dinner plans, and I’m sure Tony needs to
put his wig up and change.”
Karen turned to Tony. “Are we holding you up?”
She was enjoying this time with Tony and wasn’t ready to leave.
Besides, he still thought she and Brian had renewed their relationship.
She needed to clear that up before they left.
“Oh, no,” Tony said. “I have time.”
She gazed into Brian’s eyes. “Okay?” she asked.
“Would you like to join us for dinner?” Brian asked Tony.
Karen was surprised. Perhaps she was wrong about Brian wanting
to get away from Tony.
Tony smiled, white teeth shining through the dark makeup.
“Thanks, but I can’t. Cast party, you know.” He turned to Karen.
“Tell me about your daughter, Julie. Major. Boyfriends. Hobbies.
Does anyone else live at your house? Who’s your best friend? Where
do you go to church?”
He cranked out the questions so fast Karen couldn’t keep up.
“Whoa,” she said. “Too many questions. Let’s see, Julie wants to
be a teacher like her mom.”
Tony acted interested. Brian hadn’t asked her questions about
Julie. That’s not fair. She hadn’t given him an opportunity to ask
questions. Did she want him to?
“Brian tells me you do more than teach. He said you help the
children and the other teachers, using your lay ministry training
wherever you go.”
She looked at Brian with raised eyebrows. “He knows more
about me than I thought,” she said.
“Hey, you two. I’m right here.”
He acted like the little boy being ignored by his classmates, but
she knew it was all in fun.
Tony turned to Karen. “Did you hear something?”
“What?” she asked. “No. What else did you ask? Her boyfriend.
I’m not sure. She’s spending a lot of time with a guy named Glenn.
She claims he’s merely a study partner.”
“I didn’t know that,” Brian said.
“As far as hobbies, she loves sports. She’s into intramural sports
at school—different ones throughout the year. I don’t know where
she learned that. Not from me. She even went skiing over the holidays.”
“Is it just you and Julie?” Tony asked.
“Usually. Right now a young pregnant girl lives with us. A
former student of mine.”

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