IN THE LAND OF KEYS
By Larry O. Grand
FADE IN 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 movie." "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 hair. "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. FADE OUT
All contents copyright (c) 1997 Larry O. Grand
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