Continued from Episode 21 – Act 2.
III.A) VICKERY LIVING ROOM. Everyone is milling around and talking quietly. When Blythe and Adrian arrive, Paige watches Blythe and Justin intently.
ARTHUR – I think you’re all really going to enjoy the meal. I peeked into the kitchen a while ago to see what was being prepared. Darcy did a good job of planning everything.
DARCY – I don’t think you should say that, father. You could be setting everyone up for a disappointment.
JUSTIN – Now Darcy, I doubt that. I know how good you are at planning this sort of thing. I’m really looking forward to it.
DARCY – Well, you’re very kind to say so. I hope you still think so after the meal.
JAIME – I always feel like coming here for dinner. You guys always have such fancy food.
DARCY – Actually we don’t. We always save the best food for your visits. The rest of the time, we eat peanut butter and jam sandwiches.
JAIME – Oh, you do not. Do you?
JUSTIN – I swear, Jaime. The eat sandwiches, and have potato chips for dessert.
(ADRIAN AND BLYTHE ENTER)
JAIME – Do you really? Wow…
PAIGE – Oh Jaime, you are so gullible.
ADRIAN – (SLIPS UP BEHIND ANASTASIA AND PUTS HIS ARMS AROUND HER. MURMURS.) Hello, gorgeous. Are you speaking to me any more?
ANASTASIA – Hi, Adrian. I guess I either have to wriggle my way free, or be friends, so I guess I’ll be friends.
ADRIAN – I’m so relieved.
DARCY – There they are. It’s so good to see you both here. On a happier occasion than the last time we were together.
BLYTHE – Hello, darling, it’s good to see you too. And I really like what you’ve done in this room. You’ve got a good eye.
DARCY – Thank you.
JUSTIN – Blythe, come on over, and I’ll pour you something.
(SHE JOINS HIM AT THE DRINKS TABLE. THEY SMILE WRYLY AT EACH OTHER.)
BLYTHE – Hello, dear. How are you this evening?
JUSTIN – Oh, I’m all right. What can I get you?
BLYTHE – Anything, really, I don’t care. Have you thought about what I said at lunch?
JUSTIN – If I had, I don’t think this would be the time to talk about it. And before you ask, I did try to talk to Anastasia when she got here, but the Colliers arrived and it didn’t happen. So she’s still not really speaking to me.
BLYTHE – She will eventually. Keep trying.
ADRIAN – I hope you know I wasn’t trying to upset you, Anastasia. Or take sides.
ANASTASIA – I’m thinking about it.
ADRIAN – I see I have a lot of work to do, to get back into your good graces. I note that you and uncle Arthur are managing to coexist in the same room. That’s a good sign, at least.
ANASTASIA – It’s mainly for Darcy’s sake, since she’s gone to so much trouble to have a family gathering. And you’ll notice that I’m keeping the peace mainly by not speaking to father at all. Or Justin.
ADRIAN – Then…would you prefer that I leave you alone too?
ANASTASIA – No. I think I can manage to put up with you.
ADRIAN – Ouch.
ARTHUR – I thought Kevin was coming with you from the office, Adrian.
ADRIAN – He decided to finish something on the computer, but he’ll be here pretty soon. He’s really been immersed in some project he’s been working on lately.
JUSTIN – If you want to use as mild a word as “immersed.” I’d start with “intense” and go up from there.
NELSON – Intense in what way? How is his mood?
JUSTIN – Can you ever know for sure, with Kevin? But he seems in fairly good spirits these days. All things considered.
ADRIAN – But all the intensity is paying off anyway. He’s coming up with some great ideas.
NELSON – Well, I’m glad he seems to be channelling things in a creative way.
BLYTHE – But speaking of Kevin – where’s Ryan?
ARTHUR – Late. He has no sense of time, or responsibility.
ANASTASIA – Since he’s no later than Kevin is, I’d say he’s got at least the same sense of time as Kevin does.
ARTHUR – Maybe. Though Kevin is late because he’s doing something important.
ANASTASIA – So you’re basically saying that Ryan’s university studies aren’t important.
ARTHUR – Those particular studies – yes.
ADRIAN – Oh, I don’t know. I envy him. He’ll be able to do more creative things in the world, I think, than I ever will. I’ve even thought of taking a year or two off, and taking some environmental studies courses.
ARTHUR – I do hope you’re joking.
BLYTHE – (ASIDE, TO JUSTIN) I’m sorry I mentioned Ryan, now.
JUSTIN – Not your fault. I think they were really just waiting for the chance to argue. I just hope it doesn’t escalate.
ANASTASIA – If you ever do, Adrian, we can work together somehow, if you like. Because I know how valuable that sort of education is, even if father doesn’t.
ARTHUR – That’s absolutely ridiculous.
JAIME – Anastasia, are you and uncle Arthur mad at each other?
(STRETCHED OUT SILENCE)
BLYTHE – Of course they’re not, dear. Sometimes a discussion of ideas gets very animated, and it sounds like people are arguing when they’re really not. It can be confusing sometimes, can’t it, uncle Arthur? Anastasia?
ARTHUR – I…suppose so.
ANASTASIA – Yes, Jaime. Of course Blythe is right. Sorry I sounded a little vehement. But your uncle and I wouldn’t start an argument and ruin Darcy’s dinner.
ARTHUR – I agree. And I apologize, Jaime. And Darcy. We won’t argue on a special occasion like this.
JOANNA – Jaime, can I try some of your punch?
PAIGE – (ASIDE, TO JUSTIN) But they really were arguing, weren’t they?
JUSTIN – Well…maybe a little.
PAIGE – That was good, the way Blythe took charge, wasn’t it? She’s really something? Don’t you think so?
JUSTIN – Oh yes. She’s been a good friend to all of us, for a long time now.
ANASTASIA – (TO ADRIAN) Well. That was a nice little interlude. I should have known better than to speak to him. I’ve learned my lesson.
ADRIAN – I tried to put in a good word for Ryan, and only made it worse. I should’ve kept my mouth shut too.
DARCY – Oh, there he is! (KEVIN ENTERS) One down and only one to go now.
ANASTASIA – Oh great. Now father will be able to gloat that “irresponsible Ryan” was the last to arrive.
KEVIN – Good evening, everybody. Sorry I’m late. What’ve I missed?
DARCY – You’re not late at all. We’re just relaxing before dinner. How was your day? Justin said you’ve been very intense about some project lately.
KEVIN – Did he, now. Well, yes, I’ve got some ideas that seem to be gelling pretty well. Good evening, uncle Nelson, aunt Joanna. Where’s Jai – oh, there you are. I hope that punch is spiked; you’ll have a lot more fun.
JOANNA – She’s been quite exuberant enough this evening, I think.
KEVIN – Hullo, Paige, how’re you doing? And how’s Audrey? Tell her hi from me.
BLYTHE – Please don’t.
KEVIN – Spoil sport. Then blow her a kiss instead.
PAIGE – Oh man. And then watch her faint.
JUSTIN – So Kev, c’mon over and I’ll make your drink. What’ll you have?
KEVIN – Being the host tonight, are you? Father’s going to get bored.
ANASTASIA – (MUTTERING) Oh, he never lacks ways to keep himself entertained.
KEVIN – (LOOKS AROUND AND SEEMS TO STOP) Wait. Where’s Ryan? Shouldn’t he be here? Darcy? He is supposed to be here, isn’t he?
(ANOTHER SILENCE. ARTHUR LOOKS AT ANASTASIA ALMOST SMUGLY. SHE VERY POINTEDLY DOESN’T RETURN HIS LOOK.)
Continue to Episode 21, Act 3.
III.B) RUMINATIONS. Tylor is just putting down the phone. Eric is leaning against the bar, in between customers
ERIC – So, how’s Kyle?
TYLOR – You were eavesdropping, eh? He’s fine.
ERIC – Now, I wasn’t exactly eavesdropping. You said his name, and the phone’s right there, so I couldn’t really help knowing you were talking to him.
TYLOR – That’s okay, I was just teasing. Don’t mind me.
ERIC – Okay, good. So long as we’re straight. And now. Dish, boss lady.
TYLOR – Dish? Whatever do you mean?
ERIC – Oh-ho! She plays coy.
TYLOR – Actually, there’s nothing to dish, so there’s nothing to be coy about either.
ERIC – Except that you phoned him out of the blue for no actual reason. How often do you do that, hm?
TYLOR – Well, I call Anastasia out of the blue all the time.
ERIC – And you think of Kyle in exactly the same way that you think of Anastasia, right?
TYLOR – Well…
ERIC – Didn’t think so. So how is Kyle? Is he rushing down here at this very moment, to save you from a slow evening?
TYLOR – Actually, no. I interrupted him with some friends at another restaurant.
ERIC – Two-timing you already. Seeing another restaurant behind Ruminations’ back.
TYLOR – Very funny. No, he’s with some co-workers, and they’re not vegetarians.
ERIC – Okay, I guess he’s off the hook. It’s kind of funny, though…
TYLOR – What?
ERIC – Kyle’s so quiet. I just don’t picture him having a lot of friends that he goes out with.
TYLOR – I don’t either, now that you mention it. It’s strange, isn’t it, that we start thinking that the part of a person we see when we’re with them is really the whole person. When they’ve actually got many more facets and layers than we see in our limited exposure.
ERIC – So you know what the solution is to that, don’t you?
TYLOR – What?
ERIC – See much, much – and I mean much – more of him. And get to know him much, much – and I mean much – better. If ya know what I mean.
TYLOR – Oh, you. Isn’t there some kind of law against a high school student speaking so suggestively to his older employer?
ERIC – Just statin’ the facts, ma’am.
**From here on was where I started writing again, for WeSeWriMo **
TYLOR – Well, don’t forget this other important fact, Eric. It takes two, remember. So it’s not as though it’s entirely up to me.
ERIC – That’s true. But you have to remember how shy Kyle is, too.
TYLOR – He’s not as shy as we thought, if he’s out having a guys’ night with his co-workers.
ERIC – Yes, but he works with them. Even a shy guy is going to get to some comfort level with people he works with every day. I mean – look at me.
TYLOR – (MOCK PUNCHES HIM ON THE SHOULDER) As if you’ve got a shy bone in your body.
ERIC – I do too. It’s right here. (POINTS TO A KNUCKLE) But think about it. He’s comfortable with those guys, so he’s not as shy. But none of them is – are? – a beautiful, self-confident woman who owns her own restaurant and is doing quite well for herself. That’s pretty intimidating.
TYLOR – I hardly think you could call me intimidating. Are you sure you’re not looking for a raise?
ERIC – Seriously, Tylor. I’m just suggesting that it’s probably okay to make a lot more aggressive moves than you’d normally make with a guy. Kyle would probably appreciate it, in fact. Think about it.
TYLOR – I will. Though it’s a lot easier to talk about than to do. And I’m still kind of astonished that you’re so wise.
ERIC – I’m just a people watcher, that’s all. And a guy. That helps.
TYLOR – It certainly does. I may call on you again, for your insight into the mysterious male mind.