Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Act of Love: Part 6

Regrettably, Eleanor was unable to talk to either of the two as they both seemed to be avoiding her more than normal. It was as if they suspected that she knew about them. Eleanor did not mind, just as long as they stopped doing anything behind Aiden’s back. They were also lucky enough to finish filming smoothly with no major mishaps. Everyone had carried on as normal and Eleanor did not see Aiden, Vivianne or Russell for a couple of weeks as she was helping out with the editing. Even though the film was nearly finished and Aiden and Vivianne were still engaged, Eleanor could not help but feel depressed. The man she felt helplessly in love with was not only ignoring her but was having a secret affair with the leading lady.

 It was too cliché for words.

The Vivianne and Russell situation took up so much of her thoughts that she had even forgotten to care about people calling her ‘Ms Astolat’ and giving her more respect than she wanted. As a matter of fact, she had forgotten about most things, like her mother’s birthday, her laundry and most of the time she even forgot to eat. The pain of her heartbreak and the pain of keeping this secret ate her up inside and most of the time she felt sick with worry and nerves. In a way, she could not wait for this film to be over and done with.


It was not until the end of film party that Eleanor finally saw Aiden, Vivianne and Russell again. Aiden gave her a handshake and a large bouquet of light red carnations with a card saying ‘Thank you Ms Astolat, you have been an inspiration to us all.’ Eleanor felt so bad for him about the affair that she did not even feel a tiny bit put out by the fact that he still called her ‘Ms Astolat’ after nearly half a year of working together. However, unlike Aiden, Vivianne had just given her a forced smile and congratulated her on a film well done. Eleanor returned an equally forced smile and Aiden and Vivianne had walked off leaving Eleanor alone with Russell. He looked even more handsome than he had ever done before; Eleanor decided that tuxes definitely suited him.

“Ms Astolat, you truly are the best director of your time,” he complimented her with a shy smile. Eleanor smiled back shyly and out of sheer habit said, “Please, call me -”

“Eleanor.” Russell finished for her.

Like a million times before, her heart skipped a beat and her cheeks reddened. She looked up into his eyes and saw what she had missed very dearly, his friendship. Before she could stop herself she blurted out her secret.

“I know about you and Vivianne.”

The look in Russell’s eyes changed from friendship to horror and his skin paled. Eleanor knew instantly that she had made a mistake. She covered her face with hands, as if to block Russell’s stricken face from her memory. She wished that she had said nothing at all; she wished that she could have kept her stupid mouth shut.

“What...What did you just say?” He asked, his hands reaching up to grab her bare shoulders. Her skin burned, but this time she could not appreciate its tingly sensation as his fingers stabbed into her painfully.

“I...I heard you talking about it...” Eleanor did not know how she could explain without giving herself away as the vilest sort of eavesdropper. “It was a while ago, in the spare room, you two had a fight about, well, about me,” she confessed while hanging her head in shame. Russell let go of her arms looking slightly abashed and let out a shaky breath.

“I guess you haven’t told anyone then. That’s good.”

“Of course I haven’t told anyone!” Eleanor cried out indignantly, “I was waiting for you to do it. I mean, you can’t honestly think this will work?”

“Why couldn’t it work? We love each other,” he argued, but his brows furrowed and his voice wavered. Eleanor looked at him sceptically.

“Oh, really? Then why is Vivianne still hanging off of Aiden like a love sick puppy? Why haven’t you told him yet? Filming has been done for two weeks; you’ve had plenty of time.”

“She’s just pretending to still love him. We’re waiting for the right time.” Russell countered feebly. Eleanor felt a pang of guilt for him; maybe she should not have brought it up now. Most likely, she had probably just ruined the whole party for him.  She rested her hand on his arm consolingly; all the feelings she had for him before returned to her in a rush as she looked up into his uncertain face. His woeful eyes brought out hundreds of emotions in her and once again she could not control what her mouth was saying.

“I love you.”

The three words slipped out before she could stop them. Eleanor did not think it was possible but Russell went even paler and his mouth fell open.


“I love you,” she said again and mentally cringed. What was she doing She could not stop it; the words kept spilling out of her mouth one by one. It was as if all the emotions she had kept bottled up for so long were finally pouring out of her in one hugely embarrassing confession. “Please, Vivianne isn’t meant for you. It wouldn’t work out between you. I know I can make you happy if you just let me try.”

Russell stood completely still for a few moments before he shrugged Eleanor’s hand off. His face looked like it was contorted in pain.

“I – I don’t know what to say. You love me?” He asked her cautiously; Eleanor nodded from the bottom of her heart, her eyes beseeching him to understand her true feelings. “But, you barely know me.”

“I want to get to know you! If only you would give me a chance.” She said, very nearly close to begging him and equally close to tears.

“I’m so sorry, I love Vivianne.” He apologised with sincerity, and Eleanor knew that this time he really did mean it. She nodded weakly and gave him a watery smile. She had been foolish to think anything would happen between them.

“Of course you do. I mean, why wouldn’t you? She’s gorgeous, funny, winner of Sexiest Woman for the past three years running; everything a guy could want.” Suddenly, all the jealousy and insecurities she had felt concerning Vivianne flooded her mind and tears burned her eyes, “I – I just wish you a world of happiness.” Though, as she said it she realised that she really did mean it. If she could not make Russell happy at least Vivianne could try. She only wanted Russell’s happiness even if it did not include her. She wiped her hand across her burning eyes and bit her lip.

“I have to go now, but enjoy the party and I’ll see you at the premiere next month...maybe.” She muttered, blinking back her tears. Russell dipped his head in farewell, and after giving her a sympathetic look, walked off. Eleanor did not look back as she ran from the hall, hailed a taxi and faded into the night.

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