circumstances – part IV
The place was not crowded. They found a place to sit on the outside patio. Marty was pleased that the stars were so clearly visible. Beth took a seat on the lower patio under the largest oak tree. The roots had raised the stone floor in places so Marty’s chair rested awkwardly on the broken tile. She was nervous.She did not want to upset what balance she had and she was afraid to scare Beth away so she sat unbalance but still. To her, Beth was like the stray cat that runs at the slightest movement.
“Back again so soon?” The waitress addressed Marty.
“Yep.” Marty looked down shyly. Beth took notice.
“Where’re your friends?”
“Still at the bar I guess. I suspect they’ll be around soon.”
“Yes, I suspect they will.” The waitress smiled and winked at Marty. “So, what’s your pleasure? Iced Tea right?”
“Yes, for me thanks.”
The waitress didn’t look away from Marty. Beth said anyway, “I’ll just have coffee black.”
Beth chuckled and shook her head. “Friend of yours?”
“No, I just come here a lot.” They were silent. “My friend Mona likes that waitress.”
“Looks like the waitress has her eye on someone else.”
Marty understood her reference immediately. “Me? No. She is just flirty I think.”
They sat silently. The waitress dropped off the drinks quickly and Marty saw the glow of a cigarette coming from her just as quickly. “So.”
“So.” Marty replied after Beth.
“I am embarrassed that you saw all that back there.”
“You needn’t be. I just happen to see you I your car as I was leaving.”
“I guess it’s a dumb thing to be upset over.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I think I already knew about Gavin.”
“Doesn’t make it hurt any less though.”
“No. No. I guess it doesn’t. Have you known Gavin long?”
“All my life actually.”
“Gavin’s my sister.”
“What?” Beth says again this time with surprise.
“She didn’t tell you I lived here?”
“She never even said she had a sister.”
This makes Marty laugh. “Sorry.”
“No, I am sorry.” She stopped talking for a moment. Marty thought she was probably trying to take in the surprise. Beth was really only thinking that Gavin was an even bigger bastard than she had thought just moments ago. “So you are a Gavin too?”
“Yep, Marty Gavin at your service.”
“Wow. I don’t guess anyone mentioned that at the party when we met. Or did I forget?”
“Nope probably not. Gavin doesn’t really like that there is a reminder of past life around. I am under strict orders of death if I mention any childhood incidents including dresses and dolls, etc She has to tolerate me ‘cause we’ve got the same friends.”
“They are rounding the corner.”
Before Beth could push, Mona was already in Marty’s lap kissing her face.
“Hey there, I thought you were going home.” Marty was smiling until Leslie walked up behind Beth. Leslie’s face was hard. Angry.
“I was but I ran into Beth in the parking lot.”
“I see that.” Mona nods acknowledgement to Beth. She leans in to whisper. “Are you sure you know what you are doing?” Marty only nods yes without speaking. “Ok then. Is she here?” Mona yells happily.
“Who?” Marty responds coyly which earns her a smack on the leg from Mona. “She’s here somewhere. Already asked after you all.”
“All, what’s this all shit.”
“Shit is right.” Leslie stormed off to the table where the others went to sit.
“Oh boy. We’re in it now.” Mona stands up. “I’ll see you ladies later.” She bows and exits.
“Her name is Leslie right?”
“Yes it is. You wanna go somewhere else? I feel bad about coming here now. I didn’t think it would be this crowded.”
“There’s no one else here besides us, the table of your friends and the teenagers in the corner.”
“This just isn’t what I expected.”
“What had you expected.” Beth asks suspiciously.
Marty bumbles through a response though she does not know if she is convincing. “I just thought to come somewhere quiet so we could talk, so that you could feel comfortable talking. If you felt like talking that is…”
“I’m actually just better having the company and considering you’re her sister I think it might be a bit imprudent to discuss Gavin. Don’t you.”
“Yes, I guess so.” Marty looks away again. She does not know how to look at Beth without the look of disappointment that must be painfully obvious. Beth knows she is though. Beth knows why Marty was at her window. Beth knows a lot more now.