Forbidden Love, Sunday: page 8

Installment Six: The action gets dramatic
Our Ladies Trash New Mexico


Odette, recent widow
Hennie, her sister
Shideezhi, Native American Motel Proprietor
Bernardo, her Mexican husband

The time is the present, a motel room in Galisteo, New Mexico, just outside Santa Fe. A fire is burning in a kiva fireplace, upstage left rear corner. A round wooden table is against the left wall, on the opposite side of the room are two full size beds. A rustic, iron lamp on the far end of the table. The walls are stucco and covered with Native American artworks and skulls. Through the window on the rear wall the sun is setting on the high desert.

The only light in the room comes from the kiva. Odette and Hennie are sitting at the table with their heads resting on their arms on the table top.

Odette: Can we turn on the lights yet?

Hennie: Not yet. Can you smell my shoes?

Odette: Of course I can smell your shoes. You sweat like a man and you wear old leather tennis shoes. (sitting up and turning on the lamp) I don't want to play this game anymore?

Hennie (sitting up): Alright. You want to play solitaire?

Odette: No, I want to order a pizza and get some beer. Then I want you to explain to me how, for ten years, you could keep the secret that you slept with my recently deceased husband.

Hennie: Oh, Odette, it was easy. To be honest, I was embarrassed that I actually did something that low and depraved. I mean, you're my sister. I didn't want anyone to know I'd crashed so badly. I also didn't want to hurt you. When I think about it now it's like the lowest thing I can think of to do. You didn't deserve my behavior, so I never told you. (reaches into her purse, pulls out a letter and hands it to Odette.) Here, this is a letter Perry wrote me after the incident. About a week or so later. Read it if you want, but I swear to you that I only slept with him that one time.

Odette (grabs the letter, tossing it on the table): Maybe I'll read it later. There's too much happening too quickly for me. A death, a flirtatious priest--or was I flirting with him? A road trip, fighting in bars. I need a pizza and a beer. (agressively) Just a pizza and a beer. That's all I want.

Hennie: Okay. (goes to the phone on the table between the beds, thumbs through the phone book and places the call.) Yeah, can I get a large pizza with Italian sausage delivered to the Silver Saddle Lodge, room thirty three? Twenty minutes? Cool. Yeah, the name is Hennie.

Odette (shouts): Hey, don't forget the beer.

Hennie: Oh yeah, you guy's got beer there? A six-pack? Yeah. Great. Thanks.

Odette: So sister of mine, tell me why we wasted two days in San Antonio.

Hennie (returning to the table): If I remember correctly it was your idea to go there. I played navigator on that one. We went to a couple of churches, but not a mass. We had dinner twice. The hotel we stayed at was okay, certainly not the Four Seasons, but I can't complain. To be perfectly honest with you it seemed like nothing but a rest stop.

Odette: Well, now that you have confirmed the washroom scuttlebutt about your sleeping with Perry, I'm prepared to divulge to you our purpose in the land of the Alamo.

Hennie: See, that's what has me confused. I didn't know we had a purpose there, let alone fulfilling it. You think you heard some karaoke singer mouth "Remember the Alamo" and off we went. There were no revelations, no great epiphany, and unless you were abducted by aliens while I was asleep, I don't think very much happened to either one of us there.

Odette: Ah, but there you are wrong sister of mine. While there might not have been all those things going on, there was a lifting of sorts. A spiritual reawakening, if you will.

Hennie: Do tell.

Odette (moves to the fireplace and throws another log on.): That first night--

Hennie: At the sushi bar?

Odette: Yes. Before we left the restaurant I placed a long distance call. To who is not important, but the reason for the call is.

Hennie (jumping on the bed downstage): This is getting like one of those suspense films. Do I know the person you called?

Odette: I said to who is not important.

Hennie: Okay, okay. The reason is. Get on with your story.

Odette: Yes, the reason for the call. You might remember, about five years ago, while I was still living in Barbados, a woman came to see me.

Hennie: Was it that slut Miranda, the one who slept with your second husband?

Odette: No. Let me get at least part-way into the story before you interrupt. (pausing, looking sternly at Hennie) The woman who came to see me was Perry's mother. She brought news about him that greatly disturbed me. He'd been running around Europe, going to parties, chasing women, doing a lot of drugs. She told me he was a complete mess.

Hennie: I'm sorry, but I have to interrupt here. This news surprised you? He was like that when you two were married. You were like that.

Odette (ignoring Hennie): The disturbing part was who's path Perry crossed during his escapades. It was Lucky.

Hennie: Our brother Lucky? What the hell was he doing traipsing across the continent? I thought he was a Mormon.

Odette: So did I. Now you understand why I was disturbed.

Hennie: Well, to be perfectly honest, I don't. There were times when Lucky was a nasty piece of work. Let's not forget the involuntary manslaughter he served six years for in Rhode Island. But geez, drugs, women and parties? I really thought he was gonna stay on the straight and narrow. What did Perry's Ma Ma have to say about Lucky?

Odette: She didn't say much about Lucky at that time. She was worried about Perry, and his bad habits and blah, blah, blah. Her concern ran deep for her firstborn.

Hennie: Mostly because he warranted watching. There were a few times when I thought he was completely out of control. I mean full-blown scary.

Odette: Yes, and you didn't have to live with it for five years. But you're right, I was there with him, handing him the straw, the vodka, whatever he asked for. Keeping up with him fueled my passion for him. We fed off each other.

Hennie: The energy you two gave off sucked everyone into your storm and swept us along in your wake. Fortunately I crashed on shore early. Now I hobble along like a dog who's been hit by a car, but not killed.

Odette: Why do you say fortunately?

Hennie: If I hadn't become the walking wounded I would have beaten Perry to his grave.

Odette: For some strange reason I believe that. (there's a knock at the door)

Hennie: (jumping off the bed and running to answer the door) Oh Shideezhi. (jumping back from Shideezhi) Sorry, I thought you were going to be the pizza.

Shideezhi (extending a piece of paper to Hennie): This email came in for Odette.

Odette (not moving from the table, but extending her arm out towards Hennie): Let me see that. (to Shideezhi) Come in Shideezhi. Can I talk to you a moment?

Shideezhi ( coming into the room leaving the door open): Certainly Ms Maddox. What can I do for you?

Odette (looking up at Shideezhi): You have two children don't you?

Shideezhi: You know I do, a boy and a girl. Why do you ask?

Odette (turning and looking out at the desert): They're still children right? It's not as if they've gone out on their own yet.

Shideezhi (looking nervously out the open door): Not yet they haven't. They're only twelve and ten.

Hennie (moving back to the bed): What are you getting at Odette?

Odette: Shideezhi, do you ever think about what your children will become? Do you worry over them making the right or wrong decisions?

Shideezhi: Constantly. My children--

Odette: Do you try to steer them in one direction or another? (her voice rising in volume) Do you scream at them? Do you tell them they're ruining their lives? Do you constantly ask what you've done wrong to make them this way?

Hennie (sternly): Odette!

Odette (turning around to face Hennie, then looking up at Shideezhi): I'm sorry. I didn't mean to yell.

Shideezhi (calmly): My children haven't given me any reason to say those things, Ms Maddox.

Odette: That's what bothers me. What would the reasons have to be for remarks of that sort? They're normal kids with normal behavior right?

Shideezhi: I think I would scream at them if they'd committed a crime.

Odette (turning to look out the window): Yes. A crime.

Bernardo (lightly knocking on the door): Is everything all right in here? I heard yelling. Shideezhi, you okay?

Shideezhi (turning to face Bernardo): Yes, Bernardo, everything's okay.

Odette (not turning to face him): Bernardo, do you love your children?

Bernardo: Yes Ms Maddox, I do. Why do you ask?

Hennie: Yes Odette, why do you ask? What is this third degree? These are friends of ours.

Odette: Just thoughts running through my mind.

Hennie: Who emailed you?

Odette (looking at the note): It's from Perry's mother. (turning to face Bernardo and Shideezhi) Can I use your computer?

Bernardo: Sure Ms. Maddox.

Hennie: What is Perry's mother doing emailing you here? I thought we weren't going to let anyone know where we were?

Odette: She doesn't know where we are. It's all ether to her.

Hennie: What's going on? And what does all this have to do with Lucky?

Odette: That's right, I haven't finished telling you about him.

Bernardo: Lucky is still alive?

Odette: Well, that's what's to be determined.

Hennie: What? What do you mean by that? Has something happened to Lucky?

Odette: Possibly. That's what Perry's mother's emailing me about. Like I said before, Perry's mother was concerned about Perry's behavior, around Europe and, well in general. She didn't really know Lucky, so her memory of him at that time is sketchy. But, she had gotten word, right before Perry's death, that he was with some shady, sinister figure. Drug deals and prostitutes. When she described the details she'd heard about to me it all sounded a little too much like Lucky.

Shideezhi (weeping quietly): Perry's dead?

Odette (standing and putting her arms around Shideezhi): I'm sorry, you didn't know. I thought I told you that when I said Hennie and I would be coming here.

Bernardo: What happened to him?

Hennie: An unfortunate accident. Boating. He drove his boat into a concrete bridge pylon. Hit it pretty fast from what we hear. His boat completely disintegrated.

Odette: And now Perry's mother may have information that someone was with him. And that someone may be Lucky.

Hennie (screaming) Nooooo!

Odette (moving to the bed and holding Hennie): I'm hoping it's not, but it does sound like him.

Bernardo (putting his arms around a now sobbing Shideezhi) Come on Shideezhi, let's go back to the office. (leading Shideezhi out the door) If there's anything you need, just let me know. I'm gonna take Shideezhi back home. (closing door after he and Shideezhi leave)

Odette (comforting a sobbing Hennie) That's why we went to San Antonio. I was supposed to meet the person supplying Perry's mother with the shadowy figure information. Perry's mother put me in touch with this woman, Clair, and she was supposed to be there.

Hennie: How could this be? Lucky had straightened out his life.

Odette: How do you know that? When was the last time you saw him?

Hennie: Years.

Odette: See, you can't be sure.

Hennie: But when I spoke with him the last time he sounded really good, not the manic Lucky. He told me he was doing fine.

Odette: We might have to face the fact that he was conning us.

Hennie: I don't want to believe that.

Odette: I don't either. Clair got in touch with Perry's mother and we're going to try again.

Hennie: We don't have to go back to San Antonio do we?

Odette: I don't know where we're going to go. We need to stay put for a little bit so Clair can arrange a meeting place.

(lights fade to black)
-- Atreus Ward

[end of installment six]

Installment Five Forbidden Love, Sunday

tension big pile of bones
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