Teaser 032: I Must Be On My Best Behavior

While I was playing Drake arrived and sat down next to me.

“Sleep well?” he asked with good nature.

“Quite well, yes.”

“About Serena...” I suddenly felt a sense of dread and turned to face him.

“What about Serena?” I'm usually not afraid of anything. I was afraid of Drake's answer and I think he saw it in my face.

“Serena always gets up early. She's an early riser, always has been. She got up at five this morning, she told me, and was inspired to finish your screenplay. I don't know what it means, but she's not herself. Something's bothering her but she insists it's nothing. You're going to spend a lot of time with her today. Take my advice and keep your mania in check. Go easy on her. Okay?”

“Thanks for the heads up, Drake. I will. It's easy for me to do. I'm usually quiet most of the time, though you wouldn't know it from yesterday.” I was thinking what I said the night before. I must be on my best behavior.

Drake rose from his chair, put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed it. “Good. Do that and things will be fine. We'll talk when you return. I enjoy my conversations with you. I really do.” He walked away toward the bedroom wing.

I knew what was bothering Serena. She had read, finally, the climaxes, for there are more than one, and had probably read for the first time about the deep, shaking chill Cecilia has the day Gustavo died, the scene when Esteban reads the telegram informing her of his death and she walks the last steps to the bedroom to sit before the vanity while a stream of tears runs down her face and she stares immobile and unblinking out the window, her deathbed conversation with Esteban, and the last words spoken by Gustavo, as told to Esteban by Gustavo's sister, during his delirium induced by the fever as he seemed to be talking to an invisible entity. “Who will take care of Cecilia?” If she had read all that for the first time, I knew what she was thinking. At least, I had an idea. I could be wrong. What I did know is I must be on my best behavior all day.

- Just Desserts, Segment FourDidn’t See That Coming” by Gregory R. Schussele, © 2021

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