Thursday, January 29, 2009

Waiting For Elaine

Excuse me. My name is Nikki Lane. Could you tell me if Elaine Cantrell is here yet? Oh, you haven’t seen her? We were supposed to meet at lunch to talk about the mess she’s gotten me into. Join you until she comes? Why, thank you. I’d love to.

Nikki takes a seat beside the restaurant hostess.

Elaine’s a good friend, but honestly I don’t know what she’s thinking! She knows me, so she knows I can never have a relationship with a man like Tommy Price. Oh, you’ve heard of Tommy? I guess most people in this town have. I know he’s a lawyer, but don’t be thinking he’s a bloodsucker like most of ‘em. Tommy’s wonderful! Too good for me, and that’s a fact.

Why, when my son Michael had to have his appendix taken out Tommy paid the bill for me. I don’t have any insurance, so I can’t tell you how much I appreciated it. Frowns Yeah, I appreciated it, but it embarrassed the heck out of me to take his money. It’s disgraceful not to be able to pay your own child’s hospital bill.

It’s not only his money that separates us though. Oh, no. He’s a lawyer so you know how long he had to go to school. Guess what level of education I have? Eleventh grade. I dropped out when I got pregnant because I had to go to work to support me and the baby. Did I learn my lesson about the no account bum I was dating? Of course not! I let him get me pregnant a second time.

I don’t have fancy manners like Tommy does either. We double dated with some friends of his, and we went to this hoity toity restaurant where I ordered some punch that turned out to be alcoholic. I had too much and embarrassed everyone. Not that I cared about myself so much, but I hated to embarrass Tommy in front of his friends.

Couldn’t I taste the alcohol? No, I don’t drink at all. Most of my relatives are alcoholics except for my cousin Dan. Neither of us has ever tasted a drop of alcohol. Well, not counting the punch.

What do I do for a living? I work at Super Mart, you know: the discount store. I bet Tommy enjoys telling people about that. He hangs out with authors, mayors, and business people, not people who work at Super Mart. I live in a trailer too, not a big, fancy house like Tommy’s.

Sighs. He says he loves me, but how could he? We’re too different. I guess he likes going out with me because he doesn’t know a thing about my world, but he’ll get tired of me eventually and want a girl from his own social class. Somebody’s gonna get hurt real bad, and it’ll probably be me.

Oh, there comes Elaine. Thank goodness! Not that I haven’t enjoyed talking to you, but I have a bone to pick with Elaine. Thanks for listening to me. Waves at Elaine. Elaine, over here.

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