Cloud Gate — part 2

Read part 1

The sidewalk outside the Brysons’s apartment building

A town car pulls up to the curb, gleaming in its black conformity. The lights dim and the driver, his face a darkened silhouette, puts a telephone to his ear.

The doorman comes out of the building and signals the ok to the driver with a nod.

Now we see the interior of the car from the back seat. The driver is dressed in a collared shirt and fresh haircut. His name is Mark, his last name unimportant.

He reaches over and pushes a button to turn on the radio but almost immediately turns it off again.

He notices the door of the apartment building opening, turns his head to look and then reaches for the door of the car to get out.

He walks around the front of the car to the passenger door at the curbside and opens it.

Eilene walks out of the apartment building, nods gently to the doorman and again to the driver. She knows both of them well in the limited interactions that they’ve had over the years — a practiced dance they perform several times a week.

“Good evening” he says while closing the door.

Now we see Eilene sitting in the back seat of the car as it pulls away from the curb, a clutch on the seat beside her. Light from the street moves across her face as she stares out of the window.

Suddenly she emerges from her trance.

“How are you?” she asks

“Well, thank you ma’am. And yourself?”

“Peachy.”

He has not asked where he should be driving her to yet. The car turns to the right at the first traffic light.

“To the Redmond auction?”

“Thank you.”

Again there is silence and the moving beams of light through the windows as they drive in silence, stopping and turning at several intersections.

“Mark.”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Did you drive my husband earlier this evening?”

“No ma’am, not tonight.”

“Do you perhaps know if someone else drove him? His phone must have died on him again.”

“I can find out if that’s ok with you.”

She silently agrees. The driver presses a button on his phone and puts it to his ear. It takes several seconds before he speaks.

“I have a query from Mrs Bryson. Have we driven Mr Bryson tonight?”

We see him from behind as he puts the phone down on the console between the front seats.

“Not tonight. Perhaps he took a cab.”

“Must be,” she says.

There is a moment’s silence.

“Please turn on some music.”

“Sure. Anything in particular?”

“Whatever you want.”

“Are you sure?”

For the first time we have a suggestion that he is smiling, although we don’t see his face.

“Absolutely. Surprise me.”

“Have you been out West recently?”

She remains silent.

“Nothing but horses, whiskey and trucks.”

He reaches over to the centre console, pushes a few buttons and selects a song.

Now we see her face, she smiles with the corner of her mouth and absent-mindedly pulls on her ear lobe, feeling the presence of the earring.

There is silence between them for a few seconds before she quietly says, “Yee-haw.”

He laughs gently.

“I hope this is ok.”

She exhales.

“Horses and trucks.”

Read part 3

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