Holly fidgeted as she rode the elevator up to Evelyn’s apartment. She was exhausted but wired. She’d barely slept the night before, tossing and turning until finally she had have pulled herself up out of bed and spent several hours reading about Grant online.
The man had grown up in Detroit. He had gone to Columbia College and worked his way through it as he did a double major of business and film. It was not quite the life Holly had pictured for him. He had started his own studio back in the 70’s while he was still in his twenties and from the sounds of it, it had been an uphill battle for the next decade to be recognized as a serious contended in the world of Hollywood. By the 90’s it had been considered one of the leading studios in the industry and Grant had received some lifetime achievement award. But even then it had nearly gone bankrupt six years ago when a giant epic of the life of David with the budget one article had wryly describe as enough to feed a small country, had won six Razzies and made the smallest percentage of its budget back than any film before it. It had oddly enough been Alan’s White Crusader film which had bought the studio enough time to cut budgets and push out some much needed successes.
Holly remembered dimly Victor telling her at lunch about how that film had saved Montell Studios.
She had tried searching for any information on the merger but word of it had apparently not leaked yet.
The elevator stopped and the doors opened. Holly stepped out into the hallway and knocked on Evelyn’s door which opened almost immediately.
Evelyn hugged her and ushered her into the apartment, but her manner was oddly subdued. Holly only partly paid attention however because she was focusing on what she had to say.
“Evelyn, would you might waiting before we go to breakfast? There’s something I need to talk to you about.”
“Actually Holly, there’s something I wanted to say as well,” said Evelyn, sitting down on the couch and looking unnaturally serious.
Holly sat down across the coffee table from her. She snapped open her purse and pulled out the newspaper clipping that she had cut out early that morning. She handed it across to Evelyn.
Evelyn sped through the article and handed it back. “What about it? Was he a friend?”
The article of Lionel’s death had occupied so much of her thoughts for the past twenty-four hours and had taken on so much meaning that having it responded to so dismissively came as something of a shock.
“That’s the man,” said Holly. “The one I told you about who approached me at the restaurant. The one who wanted to talk to Grant.”
“I see.” Evelyn shrugged. “Well that’s very interesting Holly but there’s something-”
“No you don’t understand. I saw him again. On Friday when I went to the party at Grant’s. I was in the garden and I saw the two of them talking through the library window. They were arguing and Grant threw him out and lied to me about it-”
“And then a script showed up yesterday morning from one of Grant’s friends. There’s just something not right-”
“Holly I want to talk to you about Friday,” Evelyn interrupted.
“We were talking about Friday.”
Evelyn waved it away. “I don’t mean the party. I want to talk about the car accident.”
“The accident?” Holly blinked. “But what does that have to do with anything? It’s not important.”
“Of course it’s important!”
“But everyone was fine. Except my car. But insurance will pay for that.”
“Holly you were drinking and driving. Everything is far from fine!”
Holly laughed. “I’m sorry,” she said quickly in response to Evelyn’s appalled look. “I know it’s not funny but I just realized we were on completely different pages. I wasn’t the one driving. A friend of Frank’s was and she was cold stone sober. Though not through lack of trying on Frank’s part.”
“Holly do not lie to me. I am your friend and I am here for you. But I can’t help you if you’re not honest with me.”
“Honest with you?”
“I’ve seen the pictures. I know you were driving.” Evelyn sighed. “Dear, there’s really nothing to be ashamed of. You made a mistake but we can work through it together.”
“I wasn’t driving,” Holly insisted. “I already told Eleanor this. The photos were leaked and made it look like I was driving but I wasn’t and if you don’t believe me I can get you in touch with the woman who was and maybe you’ll believe her.”
“Holly look at the way you’ve been living lately. Look at the company you’ve been keeping, Nikki Steele for one. You’ve been going to nightclubs, getting drunk and having photos wind up in the tabloids.”
“I’m twenty-one years old Evelyn. I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to go out and party at this age. I’d think you’d understand that.”
“I do understand that. And I understand using partying and alcohol as a way to avoid dealing with the important things. But Holly that way leads to lots of bad. And you have to realize it before it gets there or else I or anyone else, may not be able to help you.”
Holly ran a hand across her hair and rolled her eyes. “You’re making a mountain out of a mole hill.”
“No, I’m trying to prevent an avalanche. Holly if you could just look at your life right now objectively-”
“I’m fine. The person who isn’t fine is Lionel Atwood!”
“What on earth does that man have to do with anything?” asked Evelyn annoyed.
“He’s dead Evelyn. After arguing with Grant.”
“You can’t think there’s a connection between the two.”
“I don’t know,” said Holly, doubtful in the face of Evelyn’s disbelief. “I think there’s a possibility.”
“No, what you think is that there’s another chance to distract yourself from what’s really going on in your life so you’re building up conspiracy theories. I admit it’s creative but it’s not going to help you ultimately.”
Holly stood up. “I think I’ve heard enough.”
“Holly.” Evelyn followed her to the door. “Please. I’m trying to help you.”
“That’s why I came. Because I wanted help with this,” said Holly. “And you’re completely brushing it off.”
“I’m trying to make you realize what the real problem is here.”
“The real problem is that someone is dead!” Holly yelled, finally snapping. She wrenched open the door and stormed out, slamming it behind her.