Episode Two « The Caliente Affairs
Act 1: Love’s Got a Hold On My Art!
The day before Dina and Mortimer’s surprise engagement, Mortimer’s daughter Cassandra Goth was once again shopping for one. Her father was spending the night with his new ‘love‘ Dina, and her brother Alex was having a sleepover with one of his friends. It was times like these she couldn’t help thinking of picking up the phone and inviting Don over. But that wasn’t going to happen now their wedding was off and he was planning his next conquest, Nina Caliente.
She knew. A little part of her had always known. Not when, or where it had happened, for Cassandra neither cared about the whys or hows of her past anymore. She was sick of going backwards. It was time to move… onwards, she thought, spotting her close friend Darren Dreamer! “Hi, Darren! Shopping for one, also?” She said, seeing Darren place a microwave meal into his shopping basket.
The two had been friends since Darren moved to Pleasantview after the death of his wife. He didn’t talk much about her now, but Cassandra knew the basics. Darleen had grown up in Pleasantview but met Darren when she went to University. Darleen fell pregnant very early on in their relationship, so as soon as they could, the two got married and she moved in with Darren. Dirk was born (he was a teenager now and in the same classes at school as Cassandra’s brother), and the family were poor but happy, until… well, Cassandra didn’t felt comfortable asking too much about what had happened to Darleen, as she knew it was only recently she had died. It was apparent Darren had wanted to see Darleen lay to rest in her hometown, so he and Dirk moved to Pleasantview. Still, even with his son, she could see Darren was lonely… a trait they both shared now.
“Sure am, Dirk’s out with his new flavour of the week, so I’m alone until eleven!” Cassandra scowled inside at Dirk’s philandering, reminding her of young Don Lothario.
After their double-meal, Cassandra showed Darren around the Goth’s extravagant mansion. Most parts had old, dated decor (much beloved by Mortimer), but Darren choked back a gasp when Cassandra brought him to the attic. “It sure is… different to the rest of your house!” Darren avoided insult, taking in the bright yellow room that surrounded them.
“I’m kind of glad too.” Cassandra said, edging her lips closer to Darren.
Darren kissed her! And Cassandra felt an explosion inside, like an exploding firework in the middle of a fireworks factory, setting off all the other fireworks! She hadn’t felt like this in a long time, maybe even ever. Darren too began to excite. “I’ve always felt it, the connection between us. I want you to know, I’m not just in love with you, I truly love you! Almost more than anything else on this world.” The almost referring to his son, of course.
“I suspect you’ve always felt it?” Darren queried.
Waking up, Darren stretched but suddenly didn’t feel so relaxed; he looked at the clock beside the bed and saw it was just coming up to one AM! Darren tried to wake Cassandra but felt like he should let her sleep, even though he didn’t feel so comfortable just leaving unannounced. After their amazing night together, what kind of message would he be sending to her if he wasn’t there when she woke up?! But Darren couldn’t leave his son, despite having got the girl of his dreams. So he got dressed and left his true love a note next to her sleeping body.
As he was getting closer to his house, he was furious to spy his son stepping out of a cab. Before Dirk could get inside Darren sped down the street and made his son perfectly aware that he was home. “What part of eleven PM curfew don’t you understand?”
Dirk’s fun, as Darren found out, was his way of breaking it to his dad that he was secretly dating yet another girl. Dirk had been sneaking out a lot recently with a new girlfriend – even though he already had a girlfriend. Dirk was quite the ladies man – nothing like Darren, who had only ever fallen in love with two women his entire life. A part of Darren even blamed himself for Dirk’s elevated hormones, since he too had secretly been harbouring desires for Cassandra throughout her engagement to Don Lothario. The next morning when Dirk left for school, Darren rushed over to spend time with Cassandra before she had to work. He came home in time to meet Dirk, continuing the day as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. The new lovebirds wanted to keep their blossoming relationship a secret, as they both knew it would initially be seen as something of a scandal by the whole neighbourhood – what with Darleen’s recent death, and Cassandra’s broken engagement. But Darren wanted to proclaim his love for Cassandra from the rooftops! With all this excitement, Darren found himself unable to sleep. He got up and went into his studio, hoping to be inspired to paint something as beautiful as his muse. And, as if summoning her, he was suddenly shocked to see Cassandra outside the Dreamer house. Peering out of the upstairs window, he could tell something was wrong. She looked close to tears. With Dirk asleep in his bedroom on the ground floor, Darren quietly brought Cassandra inside and upstairs so they could talk in private.
When they got behind closed doors Cassandra poured her heart out to Darren about how her father had left town to marry Dina in a private ceremony. “When he comes back on Thursday he’s moving out and living with her, he’s even taking Alex to live there too. There, in that house with my ex-fiancé. I feel like he’s disowned me, I really don’t know who he is anymore. And it’s all because of that-bitch-Dina, he thinks that what they have is love. But it isn’t, it’s just some sick imitation.” She said, as she cried and buried her face into her lover’s chest.
A while later, emerging from underneath the covers, Cassandra rolled over and smiled with satisfaction. “Thank you. You really know how to calm a woman down!”
Early next morning, as he quietly opened the door, Cassandra kissed Darren goodbye. “You’ll come over when Dirk gets home?” Darren asked.