EXT. STUDIO LOT. DAY.
Holly felt a bit ridiculous as she waited in the parking lot. She was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt but her hair was in ringlets, piled on top of her head in a very old fashioned style. The combination, she felt, was absurd. If she had known she was going to look like this, she thought, she probably wouldn’t have agreed to go out in public. She watched the door of the soundstage across the street and saw Peter come out and start walking towards her. She went up to meet him and reached him just at the edge of the lot. Feeling self-conscious she rushed forward into an explanation,
“I had to leave the hair up for a scene later today. I feel ridiculous.”
He seemed a little amused but assured her, “It really isn’t that noticeable. Besides the coffeehouse is on a studio lot. It’s perfectly normal for people to show up in various states of costume. Don’t worry about it.”
Feeling a little better, she nodded and fell in step beside Peter as he started leading the way.
“There’s always coffee on set,” Peter admitted as they walked, “But it’s better at the café and always warmer. Besides there are many varieties of flavor as opposed to the onset coffee which only comes in ‘burnt’.”
“I’m beginning to be suspicious that you may be a coffee nut,” said Holly.
Peter laughed. “I enjoy my coffee but I would never call myself a nut. It is however one of life’s simpler pleasures.”
“That sounds a little like something a coffee nut might say.”
Peter laughed again and the two continued walking.
“Here.” Peter led her down a side street and they reached a small coffee shop set into the side of a larger building on their right. He held opened the door for Holly and then followed her in.
It was a medium sized room, very plain and simple. White walls and floors, counter at one end, round tables scattered throughout and a few signed pictures of movie stars and production stills hanging on the walls. There weren’t a lot of customers at the moment, most of those that were there were alone, reading scripts, engrossed on their laptops or, as in the case of one man, talking loudly into their phones about how the weather in Vermont had completely thrown the filming schedule out of date and the director had better start doing some fast thinking.
Peter led the way to the counter and he and Holly placed their orders which were filled in under than ten minutes. He insisted on paying.
“It’s a welcome to the studio,” he told her, “May you have many happy years here.”
Holly hesitated but ended up agreeing and then the two took their drinks over to a table in a corner and sat down.
“So,” said Peter, “You’ve been working almost a week now. Still liking it?”
“I like it a lot. I mean there’s a lot of downtime. Especially for me since I don’t have much to do on the show. But I do really like it. And the cast and crew of Homestead are all very pleasant to work with. Evelyn especially has been very welcoming.”
“Yes. Do you know her?”
“She’s a great actress,” commented Peter, not quite addressing the question. “And has made a lot of good films.”
“Yes. I’ve seen most of them.”
“You have?” Peter asked.
“Yes. Most of the older ones at least. There aren’t many actors I know that well or that I’d really call myself a ‘fan’ of. But I’ve always liked Evelyn Martin.”
“It must be pretty exciting to get to know her in person then.”
“She’s not what I would have thought,” Holly admitted.
Holly shrugged. “I don’t know. You see someone who’s done so much in their life already and has so much to be proud of but she’s not. She’s just…” she hesitated. “Resentful.”
Peter nodded. “Sometimes everything good in your life can be overwhelmed and wiped out by your own resentment and bitterness, until you can’t see it anymore.”
“I just don’t want to become like that. And she basically keeps telling me I will,” said Holly a little ruefully. “She does mean it well though….I think.”
Peter chuckled. “She actually probably does.”
“I do like her. She manages to counterbalance all of that with this incredibly welcoming nature and she always seems to understand exactly when I’m feeling out of place and uncomfortable and she always tries to make it better. I really appreciate that.”
“Has it been difficult, getting used to the set?”
“A little bit. I’m so new to everything and everyone else seems to know exactly what they’re doing and I’m still learning what’s involved in making films and shows. It’s great to have someone to talk to,” she added. “I really appreciate you inviting me out for coffee. My roommate Amy and I are very close but it’s different having a friend who actually acts and films and who understands exactly what I’m talking about. So thank you. I really do appreciate your friendship Peter.”
Peter looked at her for a long moment, his expression curiously blank. And then he cleared his throat and smiled. “Of course Holly. I enjoy our friendship very much as well.”