By Larry O. Grand

Chapter Seven


Veronica Ray took a long drag from her cigarette and looked her best friend, 
Wendy Lehigh, in the eye.  "No, I am not back with Marvin." she stated, flat 
and squarely, "Why would you think that I was?"

Wendy looked down, at the gravel ground of the path.  She sighed.  It had been 
her idea to meet with Veronica in the park.  They hadn't seen each other in a 
few weeks, with conflicting class schedules and Wendy's new evening job at the 
newspaper.  She didn't want to get into an argument five minutes into their 
meeting, but at this point it seemed unavoidable.

"Well ...... Jason told me that he saw Marvin's car outside of your apartment 
Wednesday night, and, well .... that WOULD suggest .... "

"Jason .... doesn't know what he's talking about." Veronica took another long, 
thoughtful drag on her cigarette.  "He spends too much time sticking his nose 
into other people's business, anyway."

"But WAS Marvin's car parked outside of your apartment that night?" Wendy 
asked, glancing sideways at her friend, carefully looking for any telltale sign 
in her face.

Veronica averted her dark green eyes and glanced at the burning end of the 
cigarette.  "Yeah, that was his car." she said, her voice catching.

Wendy sighed again, a little harder this time.  Veronica turned back towards 
her.  "But we didn't DO anything.  He had rented a movie, and his VCR's broken, 
y'know, and I wanted to see it too, so he came over and we just watched the 

"Uh huh." Wendy said, "Just watched ..... the movie."

"Well, YEAH." Veronica said, giving her friend a severe look, "I mean, what do 
you think we were doing, huh?"

"Oh, I don't know ...." Wendy said, avoiding her friend's glare, "I mean, think 
about it, doesn't it just seem, y'know, a little strange that two people who 
are calling themselves EX-boyfriend-and-girlfriend seem to be spending a lot of 
time together?"

"So what are you saying, you think me and Marvin are back together?"

"Well, are you?!"

"Well ....... no!  No, we're not." Veronica said, putting out her cigarette.  
She reached into her purse, pulled out a new package of cigarettes, removed the 
cellophane, and pulled out a fresh one.  "No, we're not." she repeated.

"Uh huh." Wendy said, running her fingers through her long, lustrous dark brown 

"What's that supposed to mean, 'uh huh', hmmm?  Just what the hell are you 
trying to say, Wendy, HUH???"  Veronica's eyes blazed, almost matching the 
shade of her naturally red hair.

"Look, Ronnie, it's not that I don't believe you, but ... "

"BUT WHAT, huh?  C'mon, just spit it out what you're trying to say!!!"

A group of elementary school students came skipping through the park, putting a 
temporary halt to the discussion.  The children, who appeared to be first 
graders or younger, dragged a harried teacher along with them.  "C'mon, Ms. 
Vanover," said one little boy, "we'd better hurry or we won't get good seats!"  
About twenty children passed through, their laughter echoing through the trees 
minutes after they were gone.

Wendy put her hand on Veronica's knee.  "Look, Ronnie, I didn't mean anything.  
It's just that ..... after what Marvin did to you ..... it's just .... hard to 
understand WHY you still hang out with him."

Veronica lit the cigarette that she had been fondling for five minutes.  "We 
... we just wanted to see ..... the movie." she said, looking away so Wendy 
wouldn't see the tears that started to well in her eyes.


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All contents copyright (c) 1997 Larry O. Grand
Opinions stated and/or implied in this work of fiction are not necessarily those of the author.
Please do not repost or reprint without permission from Larry O. Grand, except for review purposes.

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