Act 6:Dragons, Trolls and all Those DistractionsScene 1Cry Me a River
“Are you serious? Are we really having this argument right now?” Carmella moved so that she was standing right in front of Franklin and looking straight into his eyes. “I'm not saying we need to break up, I'm just asking if this is how we’re going to spend the rest of our relationship. I’ve seen you with the women at church, you seem so comfortable with them and it just makes me wonder, that’s all. I know I came off kind of pushy in the beginning and so I don’t want you believing you have to stay with me if you don’t want to.”
"Well, I don’t know what else I can say or do. I can't put up with another stall in our relationship." Franklin, in the process of setting the dining table for dinner paused what he was doing and slowly put the dishes and cutlery he held in his hands on the tabletop. "One minute we're all kissie-kissie and the next you're second guessing. Either you want me or you don't. Until you figure that out, I'll be staying away. Call me when you’re truly ready to give it a real go."
"Oh my God, Franklin, listen, don't leave like this, it's ridiculous.”
Carmella crossed the room to the kitchen island, misjudged the placement of the baked Ziti on its counter, but never stopped as it toppled to the floor. Even with her speed and agility, she was unable to get to the door before he walked through. She rushed outside in time to see him climb into his car and shut the door. After a few words, he drove off, leaving her standing in shock in the driveway.
Carmella stood a few more minutes staring into the empty street, before pulling her phone from her pocket. She couldn’t believe Franklin had broken up with her. She needed to talk to Ivy, but before she could dial her cousin's number, the phone rang. It was Lillie-Rose, crying her heart out. While trying to comfort her and find out the problem, Ivy buzzed into the call, inserting her into the conversation by three-way; Carmella was disconcerted to also hear Ivy crying tragically through the line.
“Wait….hold on…stop, both of you. I can’t understand what either of you are saying. You're crying and talking at the same time. Are you saying you had fights with Bernard and Nathaniel? That’s so crazy, I just had one with Franklin. Is this some kind of conspiracy or something? Did the guys plan this as a joke?" Running her fingers through her hair in agitation, she paced a few steps. "I was just about to call you. This has turned out to be the worst day in my life. Can you come over here? Just pack a suitcase and come over here. We can have a damned pity party and discuss what we can do to fix this.”
After sharing a few more comforting words and agreeing to meet at seven, Carmella hung up the phone and ran into the house. She slammed the door and threw herself on the couch to cry broken-heart and alone.
Forty-five minutes later, Carmella opened the door, quietly watching as Ivy and Lillie-Rose entered; each dropping their overnight bag to the floor of the foyer and solemnly continuing their trek towards the kitchen.
“I thought we’d hang out around the pool and watch tear jerkers all night.”
“Good, that’s the exact mood I’m in.” Lillie-Rose changed the direction she was walking in and followed Carmella.
“Me, too,” Ivy agreed. “I just want someone to jerk my ignorant head off and tell me what to do." She stopped in mid stride, closing her eyes as if in severe pain. "Oh my God, Carmella, do you need to have Rhianna's song on?” Ivy rubbed her fingers on her temples. “I’ve always thought Stay was the saddest song ever, but now, it just fits perfectly with my misery and I don’t think I can handle it.”
“Well, I want to wallow in misery for the rest of the evening until I know exactly what I can say to make this right for me. I didn’t start having fantasies of living a Disney movie just to have my glass slippers thrown at my head.” Carmella flopped into the cushions of the large couch and turned on the television. “Grab whatever snacks you want and make yourself comfortable. We have a stack of movies to go through.”
Two hours later, above the soft voices coming from the screen, the only sound to be heard was the sniffling of the three women huddled on the couch; each in varied positions of despair, none of them able to make the other believe they were crying over the heartbroken heroine in the movie.
“Okay, listen.” Carmella turned off the TV. “We have got to fix this. I'm way too sad. I can’t understand what happened today. Was something sinister in the wind? Everything seemed fine between me and Franklin and the next thing I know, he’s walking out the door.” She stopped to wipe the tears streaming down her face. Pulling her legs to her chest, she lowered her head to rest it on her knees. “I don’t think I can live without him.” Her voice broke as did the dam on her tears. Carmella’s heartbroken sobs, a catalyst to the emotions of the others and they joined her in her wailing. After a few moments Ivy stood and paced the room.
“Damn, my arrogance and my need to be a manipulator. I’m going to call and apologize. It was wrong of me to try and twist Bernard to my way of thinking. I’d gotten so used to moving the two of you around I figured I could do the same with him. How stupid and selfish of me. He looked frustrated out of his mind when he talked about me and Nathaniel. I just can't make him believe we're just friends. I don't know what else to do other than getting Nathaniel and Lillie-Rose married. I'm going to go call him right now.” She picked up her cell from the table and moved to the farthest corner of the room.
Lillie-Rose followed Ivy’s movements with her eyes, watching calmly for a few minutes before she herself stood.
“I should go and call, Nathaniel. Our misunderstanding is my fault. I should have opened my mouth instead of letting fear hold my mouth shut. I know in my heart, Nathaniel is nothing like Dannon. I just need to make sure he knows I know.”
Pulling her cell from the pocket of her dress, she dialed Nathaniel’s number. After two minutes of conversation, she was giggling into the phone.
Sighing softly, Carmella smiled at her friends, both in the middle of animated conversations, no longer resembling the women who had arrived two hours ago. The evidence of their happiness filled the room. Going into the kitchen to retrieve her cell, she climbed onto the island’s bar stool. She’d missed three calls.
“Hi, Franklin it’s me, I see you called. Wait, before you say anything, I want to tell you I’m calling to apologize. I’m calling to let you know there’s no way on Earth I want to be without you and I’m sorry for keeping you confused about what I want ...no, need from you.” She laughed aloud at his response. “No, you can’t come over. The girl and I are…hold on a minute.”
She turned at the sound of throats being cleared behind her. Both Ivy and Lillie-Rose stood in the doorway, their bags in hand, they smiled and making thumbs up signs before waving and walking out the front door. “Never mind,” she chuckled. “Obviously they’ve found their glass slipper because they’ve gone. So, yes, you can come over. The trolls of dissension have been slapped to the floor and the crisis is over.”