SCENE 53 -- KENNY
The door slammed. Kenny waited for the footfalls to fade away down the hallway. He appeared in the kitchen of their apartment, where he had been standing when he heard Melissa rise from her sleep. He couldn’t’ run or hide, but he did not want to face her, either. So standing right where he was, he vanished. Fearing she would hear even his smallest move, he stood rock steady, even controlling his breathing. Now that he could move, he did. Flexing his legs, he shook his body back into mobility.
Kenny felt his temple tingle, but it passed as he walked through the apartment. Probably just the immobility, not the invisibility. The pain passed. Well, it prtty much mostly passed.
Melissa was gone all day and Kenny spent most of that time stewing. She was the same girl he’d known all his life, the same core of loyalty and commitment. He had always thought her a great friend, but friendship was not a label you slapped on a relationship, it was action. And her actions had been decidedly non-friendly. Drunk! She had been drunk! He could not remember the last time he had seen her drunk. “It’s those dentist chicks,” he mumbled. They were a bad influence on her. The Legion had spent their formative years making fun of places like Applebee’s and Chili’s. But now once a month, Melissa trundled off to places like that to gossip and drink. And then she gets so drunk that she can’t keep his secret, the one fact about him that she could never tell anyone. That was friendship? That was love? That was trust?
He was starting to hyperventilate, he was getting so distressed. She was changing, changing right before his eyes. “I’m not sure I like these changes,” he said to himself.
Kenny dialed Cardoza’s office and left a message inquiring if she could squeeze him in today. He did not know how much to say on her tape and left it vague, for fear of being heard by others. When he hung up, he was certain the message was both rambling and incoherent.
She returned his call over her lunch break. “I can’t get you in today unless there’s a cancellation, but I have some time now. Can you speak for a few minutes now, here on the phone?”
Kenny agreed, but added,”You know, I don’t feel comfortable speaking on the phone about, um, you know, some things.”
“I understand,” she said, her tone soothing his frayed nerves. “What is the cause of your anxiety?”
“A friend has betrayed me.”
“Someone close to you?”
“I understand.” What happened?”
“I have a secret.”
“Yes. And your friend told?”
“Okay. And the bartender knows your secret. He believed her?”
Kenny hesitated. “I don’t know.”
“It’s a pretty unbelievable secret. This bartender may not have believed.”
Kenny paused, frustrated by Cardoza’s calm. “But she told,” he said weakly.
“Yes, but –“ Cameron tried to put in.
“Look, I don’t know who believes what, but the point is she told. If this bartender doesn’t believe, she’ll eventually find someone who does.”
“Do you know of any damage that has been done?”
“I don’t know, but—“
“I know you fell betrayed,” she said, this being the one to interrupt,” but secrets are a heavy burden to lay on anyone, no matter how close they are.”
“Are you defending her?”
“No, of course not, but—“
“There’s no buts to this.”
“You feel betrayed, I understand, but what’s happened has happened. The question is what are you going to do?”
Kenny sighed into the phone. “I don’t know how to react.”
“Pain doesn’t last forever, Kenny. And the thing to do with pain is to not act out of it.”
“Don’t do anything drastic. You’re smarter than that.”
“Let’s talk about this next week.”
“You know that I’m here for you.”
Kenny hung up the phone. She sounded reasonable, but couldn’t get it out of his head that Cameron was defending Melissa. Women. They just didn’t get it. There was no way he was going to just “get over” it.