Holly was sure she must have misheard. She glanced over at McCall. He didn’t look confused but he did suddenly seem wary.
“Why would you do that?” asked McCall carefully.
“You’re not honestly planning on shutting down the film?” Holly stared at Henry.
“Look, it’s just one of these things…”
“One of these things?” Holly crossed her arms. “One of these things like Rilla getting offered a new job and our cinematographer leaving? One of those things?”
Henry stopped avoiding her gaze and turned to her. “What do you want me to say here Holly? This film is a disaster. And I don’t owe you anything.”
“So you’re just going to let an entire film crew go?” asked McCall. “Without any warning?”
“I’m going to arrange for most of the crew to get jobs on other projects.”
“And what about you?” asked Holly. “What are you going to be doing?”
“What does that matter?”
“Grant is behind this isn’t he?”
“Grant has given me the ability to work on a project I’ve always wanted to work on. But I have to start working on it immediately. That is why I can’t continue working on Antigone”
“So what is going to happen to the film?” asked McCall.
“He’s buying it from me so I get back the money I invested in the film and everyone whose worked on it, gets a fair final payment.”
“And what happens to Holly? Everyone else can get another job. She can’t.”
Henry rolled his eyes. “I’m not her agent. It’s not normally the director’s job to look after their cast’s careers.”
“You know it’s not that simple. You know the only reason Grant offered you this new job was because of Holly.”
“What else is new? There’s always behind the scenes politics going on. And I want nothing to do with this one. So I don’t care about the why’s and wherefore’s. Grant offered me an amazing deal. And I’m going to take it. End of discussion.” Henry brushed past both of them and exited the office.
Holly stared for one long minute at the empty space where he had been standing.
“I guess that’s done then,” she said finally.
“No. It’s okay. You know yesterday before I came and saw you, I thought about quitting. But then I thought I can’t do that. Too much money has already been spent. Too many scenes filmed. But it’s done now. Antigone is done. And so is my career.”
“It doesn’t have to be.”
“Doesn’t it? Henry only cast me as a favor to Peter and look at how that turned out. Sure, I could ask Peter and I’m sure he’d find someone else who’d give him a favor out of guilt and it would go just as well as this time because Grant would make certain of that. And I don’t want Peter doing that. And I sure can’t get parts on my own now. So, it’s done. And I think the best thing for me to do is to leave LA. Maybe go back to Arizona? Go to college? Find something I’m better at.”
“You’re good at this Holly.”
“Holly. This is not the end.”
“What other options are there?”
“I have contacts too.”
“No.” She shook her head. “You’ve done more than enough already. Just like Peter. It’s done.” She softened a little and came over to him. “But thank you Victor. Thank you a lot for everything.”
Holly left the office.
McCall followed her a few moments later. He made a beeline for Henry, who was writing out a check for the movers.
“Henry we need to talk.”
“We’re already talked. I’m not changing my mind.”
“I know but-”
Henry let out a sigh of exasperation and addressed the movers. “One moment. I’ll be right back.” He lead McCall off to a corner. “Look, now that Holly’s not here, I can speak plainly. I think the film closing is the best thing for everyone. Especially Peter.”
“What do you mean?”
“He needs to get away from her. If her career ending accomplishes it, then I am all for that.”
“I doubt Peter would agree with you.”
“Of course he wouldn’t. He’s in love with her. And you know what? He was also in love with Layla.”
“Holly isn’t like Layla.”
“Right, of course she’s not. Let’s agree to disagree on that. Look I freely admit that I get something out of this deal with Grant that I’ve wanted for a long time. I don’t deny that. But this is also what Peter needs. And that’s even more important. Now excuse me, I have to go start breaking the news to everyone else.”
McCall watched his retreating back. There was clearly going to be no convincing Henry. He so desperately wanted to do right by Peter, he was going to do exactly the opposite. Grant had been smart. But two could play games. McCall pulled out his cellphone and dialed.
“Hello Gloria? I was wondering if I could drop by your office in an hour?…Yes, there’s something I want to talk to you about. And I think you might be interested.”
AN: Tuesday’s post is probably going to be a bit late. It will still be posted on Tuesday…just might be later in the day.