I have been been going through the early ‘Emmy’ books doing a bit of fine tuning, and in some cases expanding on the story. I finished the first three books and started on book four. I read through the first chapter and thought it encapsulated Emmy almost exactly as I see her in my mind. I will post it here and on the website. Any comments or questions are appreciated and will be answered in a timely manner. Timely as defined by the Greater Delaware Procrastination Society.
Heavy wet snow continued to fall as Emmy Colasanti crawled along with the other drivers in the early Monday morning traffic. She scanned the FM stations while on her ten mile commute from South Hampshire to Melrose Grove and her job at Robertson Industries. This music sucks. Doesn’t any station play decent music anymore? She sat at a red light and reached over to the glovebox. She pulled out the Fridays At Five CD Hero For Hire and slid it into the recently installed CD player.
Suddenly, the driver in the car behind her leaned on his horn.
“What?” Emmy looked in the rearview mirror.
The driver blasted his horn again.
Emmy looked up at the green light. “Sorry.” She waved at the car behind her and raced through the light at a snail’s pace as the wheels struggled for traction.
“In a boy’s mind as the lights go out.” She sang along as the title track played. “Gonna fight fire. Gonna save the girl. I’m a hero for hire.”
Despite the heavy traffic on her commute to work, Emmy had reasons to smile. Her boyfriend, Kenny Colwell, had just returned home from California where he and his partners in the band, Fridays At Five, had been recording their new project for the last month. She would see him this evening after work. Not only that, but she and her former boyfriend, Tony Bertucci, mended their broken friendship. He and her best friend, Kristen Keasling, even went to church with her the previous morning in South Bend. She offered a prayer of thanks as she drove into work. She slammed on her brakes as the car in front of her stopped suddenly, yet again.
“I hate this blasted traffic.” She pounded on the steering wheel and cringed as her horn blared. It’s days like this that make me wish I could work from home. Finally, traffic eased, and Emmy made it to work five minutes early. She parked the car and glanced up at the top of the fifteen-story glass and steel building as she walked to the entrance. I wonder if we’ll really get six inches of snow today. She dashed into one of the elevators just before the door closed.
Mr. Oliver, her office supervisor, had just hung up his coat when Emmy skipped into the office suite. He ran a hand through his thinning, gray hair and grinned as he listened to her singing a song.
“Emmy, you sound so happy today, especially for a Monday. Care to tell me why?”
“Oh, Mr. Oliver, everything is absolutely wonderful today.” Her blue eyes sparkled as she took off her coat and tossed it at the coat rack next to her desk.
Mr. Oliver shook his head. “How do you always manage to get your coat to stay on the hook?”
She shrugged and said, “It’s all in the wrist. Anyway, Kenny got home late last night. I haven’t seen him yet, but I will after work today.” She smiled at Mr. Oliver, sighed and said, “I’ve missed him so much. Oh, and Tony was in a car accident Friday and had to go to the hospital. Isn’t life wonderful?”
Mr. Oliver tilted his head and arched his bushy eyebrows. “You’re happy that Tony is in the hospital?”
“What?” She landed back in reality with a thud. “Oh, that’s not the reason I am so happy. Well, it is in a way. Kenny came home. Not because of the accident, but because of what happened after. He was flying home to see me and got hit by a truck when he was going shopping. The truck totaled his car because of the ice, but the band is home for now.”
Emmy waved her hands around, talked too fast and didn’t make any sense whatsoever.
“Slow down, Emmy. Come and have a seat in my office, and you can tell me all about your weekend.”
Emmy followed Mr. Oliver into his floor-to-ceiling glass office and sat facing him.
“Now take a deep breath and tell me what happened, please.”
“Okay, it all started Friday night. I wanted to see this band, The Notable Exceptions, because they are one of Kenny’s favorites. I’ve seen them before, and I know P.J. He’s the lead singer, and he plays guitar, too. Anyway, Richard wanted to take me to dinner, but I didn’t want to go, so he came to the club with me.” She still talked a mile-a-minute and waved her hands around and confused Mr. Oliver as much as ever. “I listened to the band. Oh, I saw my friends, Barry and Linda, so we shared their table, and I danced with Barry because Linda’s feet hurt. Richard ordered the food. He was drinking beer, but that’s besides the point. He took me home…”
Mr. Oliver tilted his head and still looked confused.
“Richard took me home, not Barry and Linda. I made some coffee while he picked out a movie. I sat on the couch with him, but I don’t even remember what movie. Oh, I don’t know if I should tell you this part.”
“You know that anything you tell me in confidence stays right here, Emily.” He reached across the desk, grabbed her hands, and held them still. “Now finish your story.”
She looked down at their hands. She tried to move her hands, but Mr. Oliver held onto them tightly. “Yes, sir. Okay, I’ll tell you.” She talked slower now. “Richard and I were watching a movie, and he kissed me and sorta made a pass at me. He became pretty aggressive, and I tried to get away. All of a sudden the phone rang, and it was Mama, Tony’s mother. Everyone calls her Mama.”
“So I’ve heard.” He let go of her hands.
She immediately began talking faster and waving her hands around. “She left a message that Tony had been in a wreck and an ambulance took him to the hospital. I threw Richard out, and told him I never wanted to see him again and not to ever call me again. I should have listened to Kristen because she warned me about him. I never wanted to be anything more than his friend, but I guess he wanted more.” She blushed as she got embarrassed. “Then I called Mama. She told me what she knew, and then I called Kristen. Saturday morning I emailed Kenny to let him know what happened, and we drove to South Bend to see Tony. Not me and Kenny, because he was still in LA at the time, but I took Kristen and Mama to South Bend.”
Mr. Oliver rubbed his forehead as he tried to make sense of Emmy’s story.
“He’s banged up, but he’ll be all right. Kristen met John, who is Tony’s roommate, at the hospital, and they are gonna fall in love, I just know it. She thinks he’s a hunk.” Emmy took a breath, sighed and said, “And that is why I am so happy today.”
“I’m very happy for you, Emmy.” He was still a bit confused, but Emmy smiled with joy, and that thrilled him.
“Thank you, Mr. Oliver.”
Everyone in the office soon knew of Emmy’s adventurous weekend.
The hours flew by. She locked up all the files and checked her desk. She tossed several letters in the outbox and looked at the clock. “Wow, it’s after five already. I wish all days went by this fast.”
She knocked on Mr. Oliver’s door and entered. “I’m going to take off now unless you need anything else.”
“Go ahead. I will be leaving in a few minutes myself.”
“Good night, Mr. Oliver.”
“Good night, Emmy. See you tomorrow.”
Emmy noticed a car parked in the street as she pulled into her driveway. She saw Richard Demarco waiting on the front sidewalk and grimaced as she thought, Why are you here? I told you to stay away. Emmy was determined not to have a confrontation with him. She didn’t want anything to spoil her relationship with Kenny Colwell, or her renewed friendship with Tony Bertucci. She slammed on the brakes of the red 1993 Honda Civic, threw the transmission into park and opened the door.
She kept her voice calm and under control as she stomped toward him. “What are you doing here, Richard?”
“Hi, Emmy, I wanted to talk to you for a minute. Can I come in?”
“Not a chance! Why are you even here? Did you not understand what I told you on Friday?”
“Emmy, I promise I won’t try to kiss you, or even touch you.” He held up a hand.
“I know you won’t because I won’t let you come near me. You can’t come in the house.”
“Can I talk to you at least?” he pleaded.
“All right, but just for a minute. I’m expecting someone.”
Richard didn’t move closer as she walked up the front steps. He remained on the front sidewalk with his hands in the pockets of his black trench coat and a fedora covering his graying hair. “Have you gotten back together with Tony? Is he all right?”
“He’s going to be fine, and we are friends again, not that it’s any of your business.” Emmy looked to her right as an icicle fell from the roof gutter and shattered on the frozen ground.
“I suppose that means we are just going to be friends then.”
“Hmmmph! I doubt it. I could be a friend, but you showed me that you’re not interested in being my friend. You just want to get me in bed, and I can guarantee that ain’t gonna happen. Not in this universe. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it has to be.”
“Is there anything I can do to regain your trust? I’d really like to be your friend. I have enough enemies already,” he joked.
“You could move back to Kansas,” Emmy said with a straight face. I’m not falling for your charm again.
“I do have a few friends who are women.”
I find that hard to believe. She rolled her eyes. “If I thought for one second you could keep our relationship platonic, maybe we could still see each other for lunch at work occasionally. But friends? No way in hell are we ever going to be friends.”
“Okay, I thought I would make sure you were all right.”
“I’m doing great. Goodbye, Richard. Have a nice life,” Emmy said sternly as she walked into the house. She watched from inside the front door as Richard walked toward his car. She grinned as he slipped on the snow and landed on his butt. Shoot! Are you hurt? She opened the door, but before she stepped outside, Richard rose to his feet, brushed off the snow and with head held high, marched to his car, got in and drove away. I’m sorry for laughing at you, but that did look funny.
She felt an icy blast of air as she closed the door. I hope we don’t get all that snow. At least not before Kenny gets home. She sprinted up the stairs two at a time to her bedroom, ripped off her skirt and top and sat on the bed and struggled to shed her pantyhose. I wish I never had to wear these things. I hate them with a passion. She found woolen socks, put on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. She was coming down the stairs when she heard the back door open. She stopped to listen and heard footsteps.
“Emmy! Where are you? I let myself in.”
“Be right there!” She flew down the stairs, slid around the corner on the hardwood floor and darted into the kitchen where Kenny Colwell met her. She held out her arms and he picked her up and hugged her.
“Hey, Emmy, how are you? How was your weekend? Is Tony okay? Sit on the counter, and tell me everything.”
He helped her jump up on the counter.
“Oh, Kenny, I’m so glad you’re home. I missed you so much!” She kissed him all over his face. “I’m going to kiss you all night long.”
“I missed you, too.” He kissed her and ran a hand through her curly dark hair. “You got it trimmed.”
“Do you like it? Is it too short?”
“It’s still pretty long. It’s way past your shoulders.”
“I have to tell you what happened…” She began to tell him about the weekend as fast as she could possibly speak.
“Slow down, Em. Start with the phone call you got from Mama, okay?”
Emmy took a deep breath and calmed down. “I should start with earlier Friday. I went to see The Notable Exceptions with Richard Demarco from work. We ran into Barry and Linda at the club and sat at a table with them. Richard wanted to leave, so he brought me home. I let him come in―big mistake.” She waved her hands in the air. “We were sitting on the couch in the TV room, and he tried to kiss me. He actually did kiss me. Against my will.” She kept bouncing up and down on the countertop. “The phone rang, and it was Mama. She left a message that Tony had been in an accident and was in the hospital. I told Richard to leave and called Mama.”
“Is Tony all right?”
“He broke his arm and has some bruises and scrapes, but he’s okay.” She paused and wasn’t sure what to say next.
“Who is this Richard guy?”
“It’s a long story…”
“I’ve got all the time in the world,” Kenny said as he grinned. He put his hands on the counter on either side of her. He leaned forward and kissed her again.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and held on tight. They kissed until they ran out of breath.
“I like that,” Kenny said.
“Me, too.” She kissed him one more time. “Okay, he’s the guy who used to deliver the mail, but he got a job in Kansas and just got back a short time ago. I met him in the elevator, and we ate dinner and lunch.”
Kenny laughed as she waved her hands all around.
“He’s older and used to be married, but I don’t think he is now. Kristen and Barry think he looks old enough to be my father because he has some gray hair. I thought he was nice, but he tried to kiss me, and I told him I never wanted to see him again. He was here when I got home from work today, but I didn’t let him in. I told him to go away and never call me or see me again. Kristen was right about him.” Emmy paused for breath.
Kenny smiled at Emmy. “Oh, I missed you so much. I could listen to you all night long. You can tell me more about this guy later. I’m glad Tony is all right.”
“He’ll be fine. Did I mention that we met his roommate? His name is John Randolph, and he likes Kristen. Kristen thinks he’s a hunk, and they are in love. They may not know it yet, but they are.”
“You are so funny, Em. Didn’t Tony try to set you up with him before?”
“Yeah, but I wasn’t interested. Now it’s a good thing.”
Kenny kissed her again, and she responded by kissing him for as long as she could breathe.
“Are you hungry?” Kenny asked. “Should we go somewhere, or eat here?”
“Let’s eat here, so I can tell you about everything that has happened since you’ve been in LA. Did you see Becky at all?”
“Yes, I did. I ate dinner with her and her whole family twice, but we never went out by ourselves.”
“It would be okay if you did. I know you’re still friends.”
“What do you have for dinner?” Kenny opened the fridge. “I see you have the ingredients for a salad. I can make that.”
“I bought stuff to make Reuben sandwiches. Do you like those?”
“Yeah, I do. Do you have real corned beef or the canned version?”
“I bought the real stuff at the deli. It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, so I thought I would fix some Irish food. I bought soda bread and even found a green sweater at Kohl’s to wear to work.”
“Ah! You need a new jumper with the fierce weather we been havin’.” Kenny used his approximation of an Irish accent.
“What?” Emmy squinted her eyes.
“A sweater is called a jumper in Ireland. Ah, never mind.”
Such a dork. Emmy shook her head. “You still have a few days to work on being Irish.”
They both worked on getting dinner ready and ate in the TV room while watching Father Of The Bride on DVD.
“Have you ever seen the original version?” Kenny asked.
She held a finger up as she chewed on her Reuben sandwich. “Yes, but I like this version better. Steve Martin is perfect for this role and the actress playing is daughter is adorable. I love her hair.”
“She sorta reminds me of you except your hair is longer.”
“Yeah, and I’m better at basketball than her. She dribbles and shoots like a girl.”
“Duh!” Kenny held out his hands.
“You know what I mean.” Emmy poked him in the side.
While they ate, Emmy told him everything that happened lately.
“It’s already eleven.” Kenny checked the time later. “I need to run, Em.”
She kissed him. “Wouldn’t you rather stay here?”
“Yes, but I can’t. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Emmy grabbed her coat and followed him to his car alongside the house. “It’s still snowing. The roads might be treacherous with all this fierce weather we been having. Maybe you should stay.”
“Are you making fun of my accent?” Kenny used his arm to clear some snow from the top of his car and flung it at Emmy.
“Hey! Stop that!” She jumped back and then scooped up some snow, pressed it into a snowball and threw it at him.
He ducked. “Missed me!” He laughed just as she launched a second one.
“Got you with that one,” she squealed.
Kenny lunged at her and grabbed her coat before she could escape. He put his arms around her and lifted her onto the front fender of his car. He put his hands on her shoulders and rubbed his nose against hers.
Emmy grinned and asked, “Is that an Irish kiss?”
“It’s the way Eskimos kiss.”
“I’m not an Eskimo.” She pressed her lips to his.
“Em, I can’t stay,” he said after breaking off the kiss.
“Please be careful going home.”
She helped him clean off the three inches of snow from his car.
“See you tomorrow,” Kenny said.
She waved as he started to back out of the drive. Then she reached down, formed a large snowball and threw it at his car.
He ducked as the snowball hit the windshield.
Emmy laughed. You are a dork, but I still love you. Even if you have funny ears.