Peter gave the receptionist his name and waited until she called up and got permission to let him through. He didn’t have a lot of time to spend here, he should be at Holly’s place in less than an hour but he’d decided on this stopover last night, as he was driving back to his apartment. There were things that needed to be said.
He took the elevator up to Evelyn’s floor and knocked on her apartment door. When she opened it, she looked tired as if she might not have slept well the night before, but still greeted him enthusiastically.
“Peter. What a pleasant surprise! Do come in. I was shocked to hear you were downstairs but absolutely thrilled. What can I get you? Drink?”
“Nothing thank you. I can’t stay long. But I needed to come talk to you.”
“This sounds terribly serious,” said Evelyn. “The last time you absolutely had to tell me something someone got arrested. What is it this time?”
“Holly came and talked to me last night.”
Evelyn turned around and walked over to the drinks table and started pouring herself a glass.
“She’s very upset,” Peter continued. “She told me what you said to her.”
“She did?” Evelyn turned back around.
“Holly wasn’t driving that car when it crashed.”
“Perhaps not but that doesn’t change anything.”
Peter let out an irritated sigh. “I understand what you’re trying to do, but Holly needs your support right now. You’ve been giving her that for the past year without ever being asked, why can’t you do that for her now?”
“I am doing that for her now. I’m giving her what she needs even if it isn’t easy.”
Peter rolled his eyes.
“Do not do that,” snapped Evelyn. “She goes running to you and you suddenly think you have all the answers? You want to be a knight in shining armor and fix everything?”
“This isn’t about me. This is about Holly.”
“And I care about Holly!”
“I never thought you didn’t,” cut in Peter. “But she needs you right now. Or at least she doesn’t need the suffering of not getting along with you.”
“You’ve been off in Ireland or too cowardly to speak to her. You haven’t seen her in months. You have no idea what’s been going on with her. I do. I lived with you for most of that time. She’s living in denial. She’s not facing anything. Add to that the amount she’s been going out and partying, the pictures in the papers-”
“That doesn’t change the fact that you should be there for her!”
“She needs a wakeup call! I can’t watch her self-destruct!”
“So wait, is this about her, or is this about you?” Peter demanded. “This tough love stance you’ve suddenly decided to take? Is it really about what she needs or is it just about protecting yourself?”
“It’s the right thing for Holly and if you really wanted what was best for her you would help her see that.”
“Holly doesn’t need another person turning their back on her right now.”
“What Holly needs is to accept the truth.”
“Which is exactly what I’m planning to do, whatever that truth may be.”
Evelyn frowned. “She didn’t tell you that ludicrous theory of hers about Malcolm Grant, did she?”
“Yes she did. And I think she has a point. There are some odd coincidences there that don’t quite add up.”
“And why on earth shouldn’t Holly be paranoid? Her fiancé turned out to be a killer, a good friend was selling photos to the tabloids, and now a woman she has respected and trusted has suddenly decided to leave her on her own. Can you honestly say that Holly doesn’t have a darn good reason to not trust anyone?”
“Anyone except you which I’m sure makes you feel very good Peter but doesn’t make encouraging Holly in this absurd murder mystery of hers, right.”
“We don’t know that it’s absurd.”
Evelyn let out a noise of exasperation and made an odd jerk of motion with her foot as if she’d nearly stomped it in annoyance before regaining control of her emotions. “Grant is a very well-known and respected producer and studio owner. He’s not going to kill someone.”
“Alan was a very well-known and respected actor. And guess what? He did kill someone.”
“How? Except that you want it to be.”
“Peter,” said Evelyn, concern replacing anger. “You are treading on thin ice if you start bothering Grant. Don’t do anything foolish just to impress Holly.”
Peter shook his head and turned away. “I’m going to support Holly. The same way you should be doing. And when you come to your senses and realize Holly isn’t you, you’ll see that.”
“Sure you have. You see Holly as a great chance to relive your glory days. So you pour your words of wisdom into her, you dress her up for premieres, and you give your career advice. And when she starts making the same mistakes you did you instantly start panicking that she’ll deal with them in the exact same way too. Holly isn’t you. And I know you do, genuinely care about her. So fix this before it’s too late.”
Peter walked out of the door, leaving a stunned Evelyn behind.