Conversation complete, the somehow still bemused yet irritated Elias turned to his apprentice. The girl was leaning against the table with her arms crossed and a sour expression. He wanted to admonish her, but the lass was of course a grown woman. Besides. Thomas deserved what she’d done. There was nothing for it but to wait and see if Lucy was able to bring him around. A moment later Elias was staring out the window across from the elevator shaft. Yellow Ass was standing on the sidewalk with his phone to his ear and proceeded to remove his pants. By the time that conversation was over the boy had chucked the keys into the truck and was striding off into the street in nothing but his boxers between himself and the public. Poor Lu. This was going to mean more trouble for her. It wasn’t a good idea to leave the keys down there though. Calling back over his shoulder Elias told Róisín, “Get the first set on the trolley. I’m going down for the keys the kid left.” He then called the elevator back up and rode it to the lobby.
Róisín had not bothered to follow Elias to the windows and had instead proceeded to pack up the materials she had been using to wrap her pieces. She vaguely heard something about keys and trolley when Elias yelled. Shoving the remaining bubble wrap back into the packing crate, she carried it into the hall and placed it back in the storage closet before walking into the studio and dragging the trolley over to the first stack. She was loading it carefully when Elias returned to help. Between them they soon had all but her final piece, her most private, stashed into the truck. But as they had not yet heard from Lucy they hung about the studio until she contacted them.
It wasn’t long after that the door buzzer sounded. Ro and Eli were parking in his office mildly discussing the show. Róisín rose to answer it but Elias shook his head and stepped in front of her: “Better if I answered, either way.” Acceding with a frown, she remained behind leaning against the door frame. When the door was rolled back, the older man’s voice drifted to her ears. “Lucy! So the kid wouldn’t come back? I’ve got the keys here. Ro’s work is loaded. I can drive it over to the gallery if you’d like, but we didn’t want to head over until we’d heard back from you. Coming in?” He moved back into the hall and gestured toward the doorway in which Róisín was posed. Lucy looked absolutely beat.
It was Elias that greeted Lucy at the door, his words like rapid fire as he asked about Thomas and how they had loaded the van ready to go to the gallery on their own. Lucy stood silently as her eyes wandered over to Roisin fleetingly, then back at Elias who said that he was prepared to drive the truck over to the gallery for her. They had held off since they were waiting on word back from her about Thomas. His final gesture was to ask Lucy inside, while Roisin had remained in place at the doorway, leaning against it casually. Now, if Lucy had been annoyed by the entire farce she didn’t show it. The professional mask was up and in place. Just another set back, that the assistant Director didn’t need. Though dressed in the paint stained overalls, and with her hair now starting to come undone due to the rush on over to the Studio, she still had that air about her.
“For a moment.” her reply to the offer to come inside was said quietly. With the work now on the truck, and time marching on there was very little reason for Lucy to remain. As for the situation with the truck….
“If you could drive the van back over to the gallery I would appreciate it, Elias. It’s a tricky thing to park in the loading bay. I will happily reimburse you for the cost of a cab back to your residence after.” Lucy was not speaking now to Roisin, for she felt that an argument may well ensue.
“I will ring a few temp agencies in the morning to find a replacement for Thomas so that the truck can be unpacked at the very least. Might…go for Russians that don’t speak much English, so they don’t offend anyone.”
Now that last part, was meant as it was said. Lucy took a step back and said finally.
“Shall we go now?”
It was now near dinner time…as the street lights were starting to come on.
Róisín watched as Elias welcomed Lucy inside, explaining everything about the truck as he did. The woman looked tired and didn’t so much as bother to offer Ro a greeting aside from a cursory glance. Typically the girl didn’t care about that, but given Lucy’s stance with her on account of the showing, Róisín expected more, the fact that Ro was responsible for the current situation notwithstanding. However, nothing registered on her face until Lucy made the comment about hiring Russians that couldn’t offend anyone. Then Róisín’s face turned stony.
Elias stepped back as Lucy entered. He was nodded along to what Lucy was saying, offering: “Oh, it’s no problem. I’ve driven them a time or two before; don’t worry about anything like that or the cab.” His only response to Lucy’s Russian comment was to give a half sort of laugh and try brushing it off so as to avoid further confrontation. He didn’t mind so much that Ro had caused Thomas to throw a fit, though Elias liked the lad, but Lucy? He did not want either of the two getting into it. Róisín would flatten Lu like a hammer and jeopardize the show. Lucy asked if they could go. “You’ll find someone. I’ll-“ , he started.
“I’ll fill in for you,” said Róisín, voice snapping. Eli looked at her uncertainly as she continued, “You drive the truck over and I’ll follow with Lucy.” With that she turned back into the office as if the matter needed no discussion on either point. Returning with her backpack over her shoulder and her favorite piece, the hand sculpture, carefully cradled in her arm, she walked past them and out the door. “Alright…” trailed Elias. He grabbed his jacket from the hook on the wall and would usher Lucy back out the door. [b] “We can grab some burgers on the way,” [b] he suggested pleasantly as he and Ro walked into the elevator. He tried not to wonder what had spurred Róisín’s offer of assisting at the gallery or imagine how that could go so terribly wrong.
Lucy showed Elias something of a crooked smile which meant she was pleased at the fact he took her up on driving the truck back over to the gallery, but what was to come next left her somewhat shell shocked. Roisin’s voice cut through the air at both Elias and Lucy that she would fill in for Thomas. It was completely out of the blue, and possibly a knee jerk reaction to the Russians comment. The Assistant director shot a glance at Elias to see his reaction and he looked uncertain about the proposal.
“You drive the truck over and I’ll follow with Lucy.”
As this was said, Roisin turned her back and went in the office without so much as giving room for argument. Lucy’s jaw fell open, but then snapped shut again, since it was already getting very late, and in hindsight only two people could fit in the cab of the truck, not three.
Watching Roisin return with her backpack, and of course the treasured piece; her hand sculpture she walked straight on past Elias and Lucy without so much as a word. Lucy shook her head slightly and let out something of an exasperated sigh. Elias just caved and followed along after getting his jacket. Lucy just wanted this day to end – to go home and curl up with a good book and a glass of wine. That was now going to be hours away.
As she was being ushered out, Elias suggested that they stop for burgers on the way. He was trying to keep things upbeat, but with the tension so thick that you could carve it, a night at McDonalds fast food restaurant seemed like a bad idea. Lucy had to swallow her pride.
Stepping out onto the street, the van was still parked where Thomas had left it, and with Elias having the keys and knowing where the gallery was it should be a piece of cake for him. Dealing with Lucy and Roisin however would be much harder. Glancing about Lucy asked Roisin. “Where are you parked?’ Her tone was flat, as she crossed her arms, and stabbed her toe into the foot path.
Turning back to Lucy, Ro saw her digging her toe into the dirt. She asked where Róisín was parked. Pointing over Lucy’s shoulder to the green impala, she said, “There. Probably best we drive our own cars so we don’t have to make extra trips. I’ll drop Elias off later. We can talk more once we’re back at the gallery.” Her hand raked through her hair while she waited for Lucy to respond. Lucy was probably wondering why the hell Ro had made the offer to help out. Truth be told, she was still wondering herself. The rumble of the truck engine brought her back to the moment. She began walking to her car.
If Lucy wanted to ride with her or vice versa, Ro wouldn’t disagree, since it would give them the option to talk. But they could do that back at the gallery too. Once they were all in their vehicles, Eli would pull out and head down the road. Turning off in a completely opposite direction from the gallery, he would ]drive for about fifteen minutes before pulling over on the side of back road near a greasy, old style dinner. It was clearly a sit down joint. Hopping out of the truck, he would call back to them, “Best burgers in Seattle!” So much for the take out. This would make the evening longer.
Lucy agreed with Roisin about taking their own cars. Sadly, Lucy’s car was at the gallery, so she would have to hitch a ride with Roisin, since Elias had already raced off to take over the truck. Lucy took a moment, before setting off after Roisin. Her mind was already in a bit of a panic, what with loosing Thomas, and having to virtually run the entire gallery on her own, since Maxwell’s absence from the gallery was becoming more frequent.
Getting into the passenger side of Roisin’s car, Lucy strapped herself in quietly and just kept looking straight ahead. Burgers for dinner. She couldn’t even remember the last time she had a burger. Fast food joints really weren’t her thing. A good salad and juice bar, or even sushi and you would have Lucy in her element. The idea of greasy food, with soda pop and those gaudy interiors that looked like something out of a sick clown’s birthday party that had exploded.
As Lucy watched Elias pull the truck out, she suddenly watched him driving in the wrong direction.
“Uhm…no..uhm. Where is he going? The Light box is in the other direction.” Her head swiveled round and back, her face showed a total expression of confusion. Surely Elias knew the way. Lucy looked to Roisin for answers, but for the next fifteen minutes or so, they sat in virtual silence.
Finally Elias pulled over the Gallery truck right next to an old style greasy diner. It looked like something out of the 1950’s. Lucy’s face was aghast. they were in the middle of no where at what may well have been a serial killer’s favorite burger bar.
“Oh you’ve got to be kidding me.” Lucy said with a stricken expression. She fiddled with the door handle and finally stepped out of Roisin’s car, hearing Elias say ; “Best burgers in Seattle!” If it had made any list by its appearance, she would have been inclined to say with the biggest cockroaches in Seattle.
Not wanting to be a complete killjoy, Lucy slowly followed Elias towards the entrance of the diner. It was one of those sit down booth type affairs. No drive through. This was going to be a long night.
“Lead on, Elias.” She felt like a lamb entering a slaughter house.