INT. COSTUME DEPARTMENT. DAY.
“Holly!” Evelyn swooped into the costume department and gave her friend a large hug. “I heard you had you first lines last night! I can’t believe I missed it!”
Matilda looked over from a rack of clothes she was sorting through and shook her head. “You make it sound like she’s a toddler who’s just taken her first steps.”
“And so she is,” said Evelyn, pulling away and looking gravely towards Matilda. “In the world of acting. Her first speaking scene, it’s a very important milestone and it’s a lot to celebrate. I remember the first time I spoke for the camera.”
Matilda rolled her eyes but smiled good-naturedly and turned back to the costumes.
“I was terrified,” Evelyn continued, turning back to Holly. “Not that I let on of course. It was a pool scene. I was wearing a very provocative swimsuit. And I knew from the way every man on set was looking at me that I had more than deserved my role. If you’re confident in yourself my dear, nothing can truly faze you. Remember that.”
Holly pushed a strand of hair behind her ear and turned her attention back to the rack of necklaces she was sorting through.
“What are you doing anyways?” asked Evelyn, sitting down across from her.
“Helping Matilda,” answered Holly without looking up. “I have lots of free time today and this is fun. She wants them by color.”
“Don’t you have any interns for that?” asked Evelyn, raising an eyebrow at Matilda.
“Not at the moment, the next batch doesn’t come till next week and my assistants have other work. Besides she volunteered.”
“But Holly has to tell me all about last night.”
“There’s really not that much to tell,” laughed Holly. “I just had two lines and that was it. Short and painless. I was nervous,” she admitted, “But it went alright.”
“If I had only known it was going to happen I wouldn’t have left early,” sighed Evelyn heavily.
“It was last minute. The director said the scene was going too long. Alan suggested the change.”
“Did he? Well isn’t that interesting,” Evelyn smiled broadly at Matilda.
“What?” asked Holly confused. “It made sense for the scene.”
“Of course it did. But isn’t it interesting that out of everyone in the room it was Alan who thought of you first?”
“Evelyn,” Matilda cut in. “You really shouldn’t.”
“Shouldn’t what?” asked a male voice from the entrance.
The three women looked up abruptly and saw Alan. Evelyn smothered a laugh and Holly tried desperately to figure out how long he’d been standing there. He came further into the room and waited expectantly.
“Well? Evelyn shouldn’t do what?” he repeated.
“Just about anything she does do,” said Matilda briskly. “And what can I do for you? I’ve already sent the costume for the next scene over to your trailer.”
“I know. I actually came to talk to these two,” he said, waving towards Holly and Evelyn. He held up a handful of envelopes. “I’ve been instructed by our ever considerate producer to hand these out. They’re invitations to the after-party for my premier on Friday. He wants to get some pictures in the tabloids of my ‘Homestead’ costars there and get some free publicity for the show, reminding everyone that I’m on TV as well.”
“We feel so welcomed,” commented Evelyn dryly.
Alan laughed. “I’m sorry. I actually really would like it if you could both come. Here,” he handed them both an invitation. “The invitations include a friend. You should bring someone,” he said, addressing Holly, “You’ll have more fun.”
“Thank you,” she pulled the invitation out of the envelope and read it over.
“You’re welcome. I hope you can make it. And now I have to go and invite more people so I don’t get lectured again by our producer. I’ll see you.” He nodded at them both and left.
“Well Matilda, how would you like to come to an after-party?” asked Evelyn brightly.
“You just want costume advice so you’re dressed well for the tabloids,” answered Matilda. “However,” she shrugged. “I’ll go. I enjoy parties.”
“You should bring a friend,” Evelyn said, turning to Holly. “If you found Alan’s party daunting, this will be even more so. Also it’ll be very formal since people will be coming from the premiere. Think tuxedos and evening gowns. You’ll be much more comfortable with someone of your own there with you.”
Holly nodded and turned her attention back to the necklaces. Evelyn was right. She could already feel her nerves beginning to knot somewhere in the pit of her stomach. She was going to need a friend.
INT. CROCODILES IN SPACE SOUNDSTAGE. DAY.
From where he sat, Peter tried not to look as the director stood on the set, taking down notes as two crocodiles crawled across the stage.
“Great!” the director clapped his hands once and gave the thumbs up. “It’ll look fantastic. We use a bit of CGI for close ups and space shots, the puppets for the long shots. It’ll work great! Okay, we’re done with you for the moment guys.”
A handful of crew converged on the crocodiles and pulled off their tails, revealing the top halves of two men. They pushed themselves out and stood up, surveying the now bisected puppets. The director moved over to them and there was a great deal of nodding and backslapping.
“What we do to save a buck,” Peter groaned to himself, burying his face in his hands.
His cellphone rang and with a heavy sigh he pulled it out and flipped it open.
“Hello Peter? This is Holly.”
Peter automatically straightened up. “Hey Holly. It’s good to hear from you. How are you?”
“I’m good. I’m actually calling to ask you a favor.”
“Anything. Name it.”
“Alan Ryder is having a movie premier this Friday and he just gave me, along with several other people on set, an invitation to the after-party. I’ve been strongly advised by two people that I should bring a friend. I was hoping you’d come with me?”
Peter hesitated and an annoying voice in the back of his head began reciting verses about tangled webs. He couldn’t actually go…he couldn’t actually be considering this.
But he’d just said he’d do anything. Also he’d already said no when she asked him to the last party. If he said no a second time she might not ask him a third. And if he didn’t go out with her he could never get her to think of him in anyway other than a friend.
He was actually considering this, wasn’t he? And he had to have known he could only put off the inevitable for so long.
“Peter? Are you there?’ Holly asked, interrupting his train of thoughts.
“Yes, sorry.” He took one long deep breath and then impulsively dived in. “I’d love you go with you. What time?”