INT. NIKKI’S HOUSE. DAY.
Clint pulled the set of keys Nikki had given him out of his pocket and let himself into her house.
“Nikki!” He stood in the hall for a moment listening for her and then called her name again. When there was no response he frowned and headed up the stairs to the second floor. “Nikki!” he called for a third time. He turned the handle of the first door he reached and opened it. “Nik?” He stopped short as he realized he was looking into her bedroom.
One part of the room grabbed his attention. He saw on one side a door wide open leading to a walk in closet. There were three large piles of clothes in front of it and he could see from where he was standing that Nikki had left a piece of paper with writing on top of each of them. He hesitated a moment and then curiosity got the better of him and he walked into the room and towards the clothes.
He glanced at the paper on top of the nearest pile.
‘Clothes Clint would call trashy’
Clint chuckled and pulled a shirt out of the pile and held it up. “She’s right. I would call this trashy.” He tossed the shirt back into the pile and looked at the signs she had placed on the other two. One read ‘Ask Clint’ and the other ‘With the right accessories these could classy right?’
He glanced into the closet. Most of the shelves were empty and the hangers bare, except for one corner where a few dresses remained. He nodded to himself. “She does have some taste it seems when she chooses to use it.”
He heard a splash and turned round quickly. One of the windows near the bed was opened. He crossed over and looked out. The view took in the large grounds behind the house; the swimming pool and patio, a mosaic path that wound through a garden rich with flowers and at the edge of the property, under the shadows of the wall and trees, a hammock. Clint rolled his eyes. Somehow a hammock, in the midst of a flower garden and past a pool just seemed excessively decadent. He grinned. At some point before Nikki fired him, an eventuality he felt fairly confident would occur at some point, he was going to have to make sure he got to try out that hammock.
He glanced at the pool again and realized the splash he had heard had come from there. Nikki was swimming laps. He hesitated a moment watching her, as she pushed off from the edge of the pool and seemed to glide across the surface, moving with a smoothness which for some reason he found a little surprising. She reached the other side and pushed off again, cutting across the water quickly and effortlessly.
Clint pulled the window shut and left the room, making his way back downstairs and then out towards the rear of the house.
As he stepped out onto the patio the sun glared into his eyes and he pulled his sunglasses out of his pocket and put them on before he crossed over to the swimming pool.
Nikki had just swum out from the side closest to him and her back was turned. He waited until she reached the other end, pushed off from there and was swimming back again. She caught sight of him when she was halfway across the pool and switched to treading water. She waved.
“You’re early,” she called out.
“Actually I’m twenty minutes late.”
“You’re kidding me? I guess I really lost track of time.” She swam towards the nearest pool ladder. Clint met her at it and gave her his hand to help her out. “I’ve got you wet,” she said apologetically as she got out. She headed over to a table and grabbing a towel off of it began to dry her hair.
“You looked like you were enjoying yourself,” Clint commented as he sat down on a pool chair across from her.
“I was.” She nodded. “I swam I lot when I was younger. I was on the team in junior high you know. Jenny Thompson was sort of a hero of mine.”
“Forget it. But then my singing took off. Don’t get me wrong I love singing. But I left school, got the private tutor, got busy. I mean I was fifteen and I had a career. Not many people can say that.” She perched herself on top of the table. “Anyways, I have been thinking about what you said Clint. About how I have all this freedom and I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with it, which I admit I haven’t really thought about before. I just went where my career and everyone else led me and I did that and any free time…” she shrugged. “I don’t know. I never really thought about what to do with it But now I am thinking.”
“And what are you thinking?”
“I want to learn to dive. I’m going to get a diving board installed and hire a coach. It’s something I’ve always thought would be so much fun to do and would be incredible to learn. I don’t know why I never realized I can learn it. I can do it?” The last sounded almost like a half question and she seemed to hesitate for a moment.
“Of course you can.”
“Then I’ll do it,” she said firmly, standing up. “I’m just going to go change. I’ll be ten minutes.”