Monday, 9 May 2011

The Act of Love: Part 2

A couple of days later, she was in the restroom when she heard from the Sound Department again. She had just finished in the loo and had unlocked the door when two girls walked in, talking. She heard the word ‘director’ and quickly closed the cubicle door again and perched with her feet up on the toilet. Eleanor could not help but feel more than a little bit foolish; crouching on a toilet and listening in a private conversation like the worst kind of eavesdropper, but she really wanted to know what they could be saying about her.

“- And then she asked him to call her Eleanor!” One of the girls exclaimed dramatically. Her friend let out a gasp.

“No! Really?”

“Yeah, honest. Michael said he felt really awkward. He said that it wasn’t right to be calling the director by her first name. Out of respect, I guess,” the first girl explained. “Don’t blame him really. I think I would be embarrassed too if she just came up to me and said ‘Call me Eleanor’,” at this point she spoke in a shrill voice in a bad impression of Eleanor, and the real Eleanor cringed, “it’s almost like calling a teacher by their first name!” The girl burst into giggles and her companion joined in.

“Oh man, Kimberly, it’s so true!” Kimberly’s friend gasped between laughs, “I mean, she even looks like a teacher, with that stern look on her face constantly! It’s like this all the time.” Eleanor figured that the girl was imitating Eleanor’s supposedly stern expression as they then burst out into even more uncontrollable giggles. Eleanor frowned to herself; she did not have a stern face. She tried to be as friendly as possible to all the cast and crew. Sure, she could be strict at times but mostly she tried to be as nice as possible.

Finally, Eleanor decided she could not stand anymore laughs at her expense, especially as the girls did not seem to be leaving any time soon.  So, she flushed the toilet again and stepped out of her cubicle with her chin held high. She saw the two girls’ faces pale in the mirrors.

“Ms Astolat!” They both cried out in shock. They both flustered around for a second before pulling themselves together.

“We were just getting back to work, weren’t we, Lydia?” Kimberly nudged her friend in the ribs. Lydia stood with her mouth agape.

“Uh...Yeah, sure thing,” she stuttered stupidly, surprised at the sight of the very person they were mocking. Then Kimberly grabbed Lydia’s arm and pushed her towards the door.

“Good bye, Ms Astolat,” the girls bobbed awkwardly as if curtsying, and then ran out of the restroom. Eleanor scowled as she could hear their peals of laughter echoing down the corridor. Did they really think she was that bad? Eleanor knew that she was a good director - she had been praised many times by film magazines and critics alike - but she had never realised that her cast and crew might not like her. She looked at her expression in the mirrors, her face was screwed up in a grimace and she quickly smoothed her features into a friendly smile. That was better. Keeping her smile plastered on her face, she washed her hands under the warm water and left the restroom. She would have to see if others felt the same way.

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