Post by Emma “Emmz” Squalor on Aug 16, 2007 10:54:35 GMT -5
“Yes,” Carmelita answered before Esmé had a chance to disagree, leaning against the arm of Nero’s chair and lacing her slender fingers around his. “After all, he IS a genius.” Carmelita smiled in the direction of her fiancée, whose own smile was so arrogant that Esmé wondered why she had ever felt that she could possibly tolerate him in the first place.
Then Jerome said something that even SHE hadn’t been able to anticipate. “Would you be willing to play something for us?” he asked sincerely.
Esmé sent her husband a fierce glare that said quite plainly : “What are you THINKING?!”
“We would be most honored,” Jerome went on.
Carmelita smiled nervously, while Esmé fought to send her hand cracking against the back of Jerome’s head for getting her in even deeper than she already was.
The self-satisfactory smile on Nero’s face had only intensified at Jerome’s suggestion. “It would be my pleasure,” Nero said, and dashed out of the parlor and down the hallway to retrieve his violin from the bedroom.
As soon as he was gone, Esmé turned on Jerome. Carmelita folded her arms and sat back while she observed them.
'bear,' she hissed. Jerome looked mildly taken aback by her rude statement.
'What? I for one would like to hear--'
'Well, you obviously don't have ears.' Esmé interrupted, holding her head in one hand on the table, looking into her empty wine glass and willing more to appear as her husband wouldn't let her out of sight.
'I don't like to argue,' he said. This irritated her further. 'But I feel we could really get to know Nero from this recital. I have never heard him play.'
Post by Emma “Emmz” Squalor on Aug 16, 2007 12:17:48 GMT -5
[Aww… poor Jerome…]
Carmelita drew both arms behind her back and secretly crossed her fingers there. Jerome Squalor was certainly the kindest person she knew, but sometimes his kindness got him— as well as other people —into trouble. She for one didn’t mind Nero’s violin playing— being a student at Prufrock Preparatory School for so many years had helped her to grow accustomed to the screechings and scrapings of Nero’s violin. Sometimes, though, she forgot that not everyone could be as tolerant and supportive as she was.
She gave Esmé an apologetic smile. “Please, Esmé,” Carmelita said. “Be polite to Nero. He practices very hard and does the best he can with what he’s given. Just try and be supportive.”
“That’s easy for YOU to say,” Esmé replied bitterly. “You’re used to it.”
“Yes, but that doesn’t mean I have to excuse myself to go to the bathroom so I can take a few aspirins every time Nero’s recital lasts for more than two hours.”
“Two hours?! By that time my ears will be bleeding!”
“Ssshhh,” Jerome hissed, motioning with one hand to indicate Nero’s return to the parlor.
Post by Emma “Emmz” Squalor on Aug 16, 2007 16:21:46 GMT -5
Ten minutes after Nero began, Esmé felt as though someone was blowing a foghorn inside her head, while Jerome struggled to keep a straight face. The only person who didn’t seem affected was Carmelita, who gazed up at Nero as if he had hung the moon.
When the dreadful noise finally ended an hour later, Esmé was holding her head in her hands, which was throbbing from a combination of Nero’s violin recital and all of the wine she had consumed. Carmelita was the first to applaud, followed quickly by Jerome, who guided his wife’s hands away from her head and clapped them together for her.
“That was WONERFUL, Nero,” Carmelita said, the smile on her face one of pure honesty.
“Oh, yes,” Jerome agreed. “You have a lot of talent.”
'Really?' asked Nero modestly. 'Well, I'm clearly a genius. I always have been, of course, but now that I know you think that, I might just--' he paused mid-sentence, noticing that Esmé hadn't yet said a thing about his performance.
'How was it?' he asked her.
Jerome took it upon himself to elbow her in the side to get her to reply to his question.
'....OK,' she answered quietly, clutching her head.
Post by Emma “Emmz” Squalor on Aug 16, 2007 18:58:22 GMT -5
Carmelita took it upon herself to step in and do her best to prevent what might just prove to be the worst squabble Esmé and Nero would ever have.
“Esmé,” Carmelita said, and went over to her. “Are you feeling alright?”
“Well, she did consume quite a bit of wine,” Jerome replied before turning apologetically to Nero. “I’m sure ‘excellent’ was more along the lines of what she MEANT to say.”
“No, it wasn’t,” Esmé said.
Jerome laughed nervously. “Oh, Esmé, you don’t mean that. I’m sorry, Nero, but she tends to get like this when she’s had a little too much to drink and—”
“No, I don’t!” Esmé shot back irritably. “His violin playing was absolutely atrocious and it’s given me the worst headache I’ve ever had. You and Carmelita can play the politeness game all you want, but don’t expect me to do the same.”
He turned to Carmelita. 'I don't think this behaviour is acceptable,' he said to her. 'Not from a guest in MY home.'
'Extremely HUMBLE home.' Esmé muttered unpleasantly under her breath.
Carmelita sighed. 'I'm afraid Nero is quite right.' she said. 'If you've nothing else nice to say Esmé, perhaps you should leave. I'll phone you tomorrow to talk about things.'
Jerome turned to Esmé, dismayed. Why did she have to be so difficult all the time? If she could just be nicer it would make things so much easier for everyone. Unfortunately she'd never learned how to be completely tolerant of people like Nero.
'Come on, Esmé,' he said softly. 'It really is rather late anyway.' he lowered his voice. 'And I think you've done quite enough damage for one night anyway,' he said to her.
Post by Emma “Emmz” Squalor on Sept 2, 2007 15:34:50 GMT -5
Esmé’s reply was a silent nod of the head. What was the point of arguing anyway when no one was willing to argue back with you? “I have to get up early for work anyway,” she said, following Jerome to the door. Then she added in an overly loud, somewhat arrogant voice: “The job of a financial advisor IS quite demanding, you know… not at all like a vice principal.”
Carmelita reached out and steadied Nero’s hand, hoping her gesture would be enough to keep him from saying anything he would regret. Just a few more seconds and Esmé and Jerome would be out the door.
“Thank you for inviting us,” Jerome said, waving to Carmelita and Nero from over his shoulder.
“You’re welcome,” Carmelita said. “Goodnight.”
As soon as the door closed, she turned to Nero, her face displaying all of what she wanted to say, only her lips were unable to form the words.
Nero sighed. 'Please, dear,' he said quietly, laying his violin to the side. 'Never invite your parents for dinner EVER again.'
'Nonsense,' Carmelita said, taking his arm in an effort to try to change his opinion. 'I'm sure you and Esmé will learn to get along. After we're married, she'll have little choice but to accept you.'
'And I'll have little but to accept her.' he sighed, and stood up. 'I'm going to bed.'
'Please don't be too upset,' she said quietly, watching him in concern. He said nothing, retreating upstairs and not taking his prized instrument with him.
Esmé was SO going to regret this move. Why was she always so difficult to get on with? No wonder people had hated her so much when Carmelita was a little girl. All of Olaf's troupe had despised her (secretly, of course, so as not to get wither fired or killed), as had many of Jerome's friends and associates later on.
(You can continue where you want, really--as in either with Esme and Jerome or with this Carmy Nero scene).
Post by Emma “Emmz” Squalor on Sept 3, 2007 15:06:42 GMT -5
[Okay. I think I'm going to do a little scene with Jerome and Esme.]
The elevator doors slid apart and Esmé and Jerome stepped out onto the top floor. They walked in silence over to the penthouse apartment.
Esmé had said little to nothing on the drive back to 667 Dark Avenue. Jerome was ashamed of all the trouble Esmé had caused at dinner that night, but wasn’t going to say so. He was getting better when it came to arguing, but, like some people do with wine, he could only handle it in small doses.
He watched his wife as she removed the key from her purse and unlocked the door. Then she said something that surprised him.
“Would you stay the night in one of the spare bedrooms?” she asked. “I know you have your own apartment now, but I’d feel more… SAFER, having you close by.”
“Of course,” Jerome replied after some hesitation. “If that’s what you want.”
He knew she still mourned the loss of her beloved Olaf. That was why she sometimes asked Jerome if he could stay, and to be honest it didn’t really bother him. It made him feel useful having someone to depend on him. Though it sometimes made him wonder if Esmé was really as okay as she said she was.
He followed her in. He kept some of his things in the apartment still, because she did now ask him to stay with some frequency.
'Same room as usual?' he asked as she hung up her coat and took his for him.
She smiled softly, and he would have sworn he could see a slight blush after a second. 'No,' she said. 'Move into a closer room. There are so many rooms in this place, and what use is you being here if you're in the third and I'm in the seventieth? '
'Your choice. I'm sure you remember them,' she smiled. Then she looked down, again, and bit her lip. 'Are you embarrassed?' she asked quietly.
'Well, I didn't expect you to want me to stay here, but--'
'No, not about that,' she said quickly. 'About tonight. I didn't mean to upset everyone.'
Post by Emma “Emmz” Squalor on Sept 3, 2007 16:16:40 GMT -5
“Well,” Jerome said, “you did kind of make it your night’s mission to insult Nero at every given moment. I know you don’t particularly care for him, but Carmelita does, and as her parents I think we should both make an effort to be accepting of not only Nero, but his relationship with Carmelita.”
Esmé nodded thoughtfully. “I know,” she said. “But he’s just so… OLD.”
“Yes, that’s true. But he also loves Carmelita. Did you see the way she looked at him tonight while he played the violin?”
“No. I was too distracted by my headache to notice.”
“Does your head still hurt?” Jerome asked.
“Yes,” Esmé replied honestly.
“Then why don’t you go into your bedroom and lie down? I’ll bring you two aspirin and a glass of water.”
Nodding, Esmé turned and headed down the hall in the direction of the master bedroom.
No matter what he said, Jerome was dissapointed at her for making the evening do difficult. She had done that a lot when they were first married, acting like spoiled brat most of the time. Now that she had children of her own, though, she had become more tolerable.
Maybe he could convince her to be nicer in future. Or convince Nero never to play the violin in front of her again.
Hopefully Carmelita wouldn't be too angry. She had a temper rather like her adoptive mother's-- once she was in a fury she was unpredictable and difficult to control. The last thing he needed was for the two of them to get angry at one another.
He got her aspirin and water quickly and knocked before opening the door. Esmé had already changed, and took the things from him in the doorway wither dressing gown ad slippers on.
Post by Emma “Emmz” Squalor on Sept 4, 2007 14:09:28 GMT -5
[Maybe the next scene we do could be something with Nero and Carmy? It's up to you.]
“Thank you,” she said, popping the aspirin one after the other into her mouth and swallowing them with the glass of water.
As she handed the empty glass back to him, he thought he saw her blushing again, but didn’t say anything about it. Perhaps it was just an effect of all the wine she had insisted on consuming that night.
“I’m okay now,” Esmé said, pushing the door forward a bit, “really. You can go to bed now.”
For some reason, Jerome had been under the impression that she would invite him in to sit and talk for a while, but he didn’t push the issue. He figured that if they did start talking, it would only lead to discussing more of the unpleasantness that had plagued most (if not ALL) of the evening. Esmé would probably end up either crying or yelling, while Jerome ended up with a headache of his own.
No, it was better just to leave everything the way it was until the morning.
“Goodnight,” he said, and turned to go into the bedroom next-door.