Scene Seven

Lights come up on the cafe in the morning, with BELLE and ARTHUR standing behind the counter. BELLE is writing on a napkin.

ARTHUR: Have you heard from Dorothy?

BELLE: She'll be back in tomorrow.

ARTHUR: She told you that?

BELLE: Yep.

ARTHUR: (pause) You know she never will, right?

BELLE: (sigh) Yep. I know.

ARTHUR: It's gonna take her an awful long time to heal.

BELLE: She wanted that four-person American family so badly.

ARTHUR: Life's full of hard shit. She'll get through it.

BELLE: But it's gonna take her a long time.

Short pause.

ARTHUR: Listen, do you mind if I go out? I gotta get some things.

BELLE: Would it matter if I did mind?

ARTHUR: Yeah, actually.

BELLE: That's a first.

ARTHUR: Is that a no, then, you'd rather I didn't go out?

BELLE: No, that's a yes.

ARTHUR: …what?

BELLE: You can go out. I'm gonna be hanging around anyway, I'm waiting on a friend.

ARTHUR: Just don't slack off.

BELLE: Arthur, please.

ARTHUR: Yeah, all right. See you in an hour or so.

BELLE: Don't break anything.

ARTHUR: When do I ever break anything?

BELLE: When do I ever slack off?

ARTHUR: Fair enough.

ARTHUR crosses to the door, grabs coat, and turns.

ARTHUR: Oh, and if you hear anything from Dorothy…

BELLE: I'll give you a call.

ARTHUR: Right.

BELLE: Toodles.

ARTHUR exits. BELLE reclines back against the counter, lost in thought. She stays like this for a moment, and then the door can be heard opening. COLIN enters, again, looking somewhat windswept. He sees BELLE, clears his throat, and approaches. BELLE looks up, and shifts her weight off of the counter.

COLIN: Hey.

BELLE: Hey, you.

COLIN: You, um…you called me?

BELLE: Did I?

COLIN: (sarcastically) Yeah, I'm pretty sure that you did.

BELLE: Okay. Well.

COLIN: So, um. (pause) You need something?

BELLE: Yeah, actually.

COLIN: (face falls a little) What can I do for you?

BELLE: You can call me a jackass, slap me upside the head, and then give me a second chance.

COLIN: …what?

BELLE: I'm sorry.

COLIN: You sure waited an awfully long time to say it.

BELLE: I told you I'm not good at showing emotion.

COLIN: You're doing a pretty good job of it right now, unless you're just messing with me.

BELLE: Well, I'm not. I mean…I'm not messing with you.

COLIN: You're apologizing for what, exactly?

BELLE: Why do you want to know?

COLIN: Because I want to make sure we're on the same page.

BELLE: …I'm apologizing for never giving you the time of day, for expecting things while giving nothing in return…

COLIN: Yeah…

BELLE: …and for not paying you the two dollars and forty-six cents that I owe you.

COLIN: (chuckles) Yeah, fork it over.

BELLE: (shrug) Sure.

BELLE puts a hand in her pocket, but COLIN rests his hand on her arm to stop her.

COLIN: Nevermind. You can pay me back the next time we go out, okay?

BELLE: (smiles slowly) You're on.

COLIN: (smiling) Is that all, then, Miss Brighton?

BELLE: Nope. One more thing.

COLIN: Fire away.

BELLE: I've been having this recurring dream lately…

COLIN: And?

BELLE: And it goes something like…this.

BELLE reaches up and kisses COLIN, who hangs back for a moment before kissing her back. They break away, and COLIN's smile has broadened considerably.

COLIN: Glad to be of service. (winks)

BELLE: Yeah, I'll bet you are. (she grins) I gotta work for a few. I'll…

COLIN: See you at seven?

BELLE: Sounds like a plan.

COLIN: All right.

BELLE: Cheers.

COLIN: See you later.

COLIN strides out, whistling to himself. BELLE smiles a bit, and then turns back to the whatever-it-was that she was scribbling on the napkin. After a moment, JEFFREY comes in, with ARTHUR in tow.

JEFFREY: G'morning, Belle.

BELLE: Morning, Jeff. How's the lady?

JEFFREY: (smiling) Wonderful, thank you. I'll tell her you asked.

BELLE: (grins) As always.

ARTHUR: I caught this kid trying to bring these roses by the café, again.

BELLE: (startled) Really?

JEFFREY: (shrugs) We got our best patron back.

BELLE: How come?

JEFFREY: God knows. (he deposits the roses on the counter) They're awfully pretty, though. And there's a note on them, this time.

ARTHUR: (a little too eager) What does it say?

JEFFREY: (shakes head) How would I know? I didn't read it. I'm a gentleman.

BELLE: You're the only one in this room.

BELLE shoots a glance at ARTHUR, who growls and looks away.

JEFFREY: Anyway, I'd better get going.

BELLE: Have a great Monday.

ARTHUR: Huh, what an oxymoron.

JEFFREY: Not for me, it isn't! (he beams)

BELLE: (shakes her head, and speaks affectionately) Dork. Get out of here.

JEFFREY: Yes ma'am!

JEFFREY heads for the door, stops.

JEFFREY: You haven't heard from Dorothy, have you?

BELLE and ARTHUR shake their heads. JEFFREY sighs.

JEFFREY: Okay. Well, let me know.

JEFFREY exits. BELLE gives ARTHUR a significant look.

ARTHUR: What?

BELLE: Looks like you've been forgiven.

ARTHUR: Who says I want to be?

BELLE: (goes over to the flowers) I say you want to be.

ARTHUR: Eh, throw them out. We don't need any more of those cluttering up the place.

BELLE: I beg to differ.

ARTHUR: Fine, then you take them.

BELLE: Aren't you going to even read the note?

ARTHUR: No.

BELLE: (sigh) You know what, Arthur? I escorted this drunk rock singer home last night, and the only coherent thing she said the entire night was "seize the moment."

BELLE exits. ARTHUR stands for a moment, watching where she had been, then looks at the flowers. He walks over, glances around suspiciously, then takes the card from inside them and begins to read. After a moment, he goes over to the phone, picks it up, dials, and holds it to his ear.

ARTHUR: Yeah, listen, I wanna speak to Rose Rogers. What? Silver Spring…

Fade to black, curtain.

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