On today's Amy Bartol week Day of Awesome.... I have another Great Deleted Scene for ya!
FROM INESCAPABLE – CHAPTER 14 – OPPOSITES ATTRACT: “DIRTY LAUNDRY”
When I originally wrote this scene in Inescapable, I intended it to be the first meeting between Candace and Evie and I wrote a separate scene for the field hockey game. My manuscript was really long, so I decided to combine the “initial meeting” and the “field hockey game” into one scene. Chapter 14 was once entitled “Dirty Laundry,” but was then changed to “Opposites Attract.”
In my room, I separate my clothes into piles of darks, lights, delicates and dry cleaning. Then, I walk down the hall to the girls’ room to wake them up. Brownie lets me in, still half asleep, and I give Buns back her bracelets that she let me borrow the other night. I remember my conversation with Russell in the closet at the Delt house and cringe. I don’t feel up for rehashing it, so I don’t mention it to the girls. Instead, I help them gather up their laundry and we make several trips out to the car to load the clothes into the Golden Goose.
We arrive at the laundromat and it’s definitely more populated than Saga had been this morning. It’s apparent that we’ve arrived none too soon because there are only a few machines unoccupied in the whole place. Buns, Brownie and I share a few of the available washing machines. The girls start loading them while I go to get quarters from the change machine.
I’m having trouble getting my ten to stay in the machine long enough for it to process it, but finally, it begins spitting out change like a slot machine and I smile triumphantly. Looking up, I gaze across the washers and see Russell and Candace seated in muted, orange-colored plastic chairs by the dryers. Candace doesn’t see me. She doesn’t even seem to notice that Russell has stiffened in his seat. She just continues on with her incessant chattering. Russell looks pale, like he’s nursing a major hangover. His lips are white with strain around the edges and his eyes are red.
Good! Serves you right. I hope she talks your ear off, I think uncharitably. I collect my coins and head back to my laundry.
Buns brought nail polish with her, so we hop up on one of the rectangular laminate tables provided for folding clothes and Buns paints my toenails for me. Brownie is sitting nearby, reading a fashion magazine and pointing out interesting new trends to us. I’m surprised to notice that my cherry-colored toenails have intrigued several of the young men in the establishment. Some of them are coming closer to watch it being applied. A couple more guys from Crestwood move from the other end of the laundromat to our side. Taking up positions near us, they’re talking loudly about the “sick party” they attended last night. One slams the other for not hooking up with anyone.
When the washer that has our delicates spins to a stop, Buns winks at me whispering, “Watch this, sweetie.” Hopping down from the table, she goes to her laundry basket, bringing out a wooden dowel that has several branches on it. Setting the dowel on the folding table, she walks over to the washing machine that contains our delicate load. Lifting the lid and collecting the contents, mainly comprised of undergarments, she carries the basket over to the folding table.
Reaching into it like the M.C. at a bingo parlor, Buns withdraws my sexy, delicately laced, black bra that Molly had talked me into buying, along with several others. Molly had insisted that I get them because she said, “You might need them one day.” Buns holds my bra up and exclaims, “Sweetie, this is so lovely, where did you get it? You can’t put this in the dryer. I’ll hang it on the tree so it doesn’t get ruined,” she says, draping it on one of the wooden branches of the drying rack. The men near us stop talking.
I don’t know whether to blush or laugh, so I do both. “Here, these can’t go in the dryer either,” I say, pulling out the matching panties and holding the flimsy piece of fabric up for her scrutiny.
“Oh, they’re so pretty,” she says and her eyes are twinkling. “Let me show you the panties I ordered from Paris!” she replies, and when I see them, my blush turns scarlet.
When we finish hanging our laundry up, I notice the guys have moved closer to mill around by the empty folding tables next to ours. One of them has started a conversation with Brownie, chatting about our field hockey game this afternoon. “We should all braid our hair for the game,” Buns suggests.
“Okay,” I reply, thinking it’s a good idea; since my hair is so long I have to pull it back anyway.
“Yay!” she squeals, happy that I’m giving her free reign. As Buns braids, a few more men come over to admire the drying rack and are quickly brought into the fold.
“Don’t miss our first game—it’s at 4 o’clock today near the field house.” The young men quickly agree to be there before finishing their laundry.
“Buns, what’s your major going to be?” I asked her speculatively.
“Education. I want to teach,” she replies as she wraps a hair tie around my braid.
“You’re kidding?” I say in shock. “You’re going to be a teacher?”
“What do you think I should be, sweetie?” she asks me with an amused smile.
“I was thinking advertising and marketing,” I reply.
“No. That can be soulless work,” she says. “I like children. They’re ruled by their id in preschool. I understand them because they’re just like me, all id,” she says, grinning.
“I see your point,” I smile. “Do you want me to braid your hair?”
“Can you?” she asks excitedly.
“Sure, hop down,” I say as we trade places and I braid her hair.
When I’m finished, I jump down from the table and go to the vending machine to get a bottle of water. Russell is still here with Candace. They’re unloading their laundry from a dryer and the thought of their clothes commingling makes me want to vomit. Walking back to our folding table, I sip on my water. The laundromat is starting to clear out. Men don’t really take much time folding their clothes. It’s sort of a one-fold-and-done type crowd.
Emptying the dryers, we use a couple of carts to wheel our laundry back to the folding tables. Since the drying rack occupies a corner of one table, Buns and Brownie start sorting their clothes on the table facing mine. They toss my clothes to me from their basket and I do the same to theirs. I’m almost done sorting, when I hear Candace coming up the aisle. I turn to see her wheeling a heap of clean clothes to the unoccupied table on my left.
“See, Russell, I told you there are empty folding tables over here,” she says in a sweetly mocking way.
I haven’t explained the Russell situation fully to Buns and Brownie yet. They’re drawing their own conclusion. The girls are looking at me as if to get my permission to go in for the kill. As subtly as possible, I shake my head at them, indicating I don’t want them to attack. I want to try to smooth things over with Russell. I want him not to hate me.
“Hi Russell, you remember Brownie and Buns, right?” I ask with forced cheerfulness when he settles in next to me at his table.
He doesn’t look at me; he looks at Buns and Brownie. “Yeah, I remember them. Hey, y’all,” he says as he lifts his chin in greeting.
“Hi, Russell,” Buns and Brownie say in sing song unison.
Brownie asks, “Candace, are you ready for the game this afternoon?”
I perk up, hearing the question. Candace is a Kappa!
Candace’s smile is Cheshire Cat-like as she replies, “Yes, we’ve been practicing a lot at our house in the back yard. You know, we have a huge back yard compared to your house.”
“We know Candace,” they say in unison. I bite my lip because it comes off a bit mocking.
Candace seems oblivious to it. “We’ll be hard to beat this year, especially now that I have a good luck charm.” Candace says, hugging Russell’s arm.
“Congratulations on your game yesterday, Russell,” Brownie says kindly, changing the subject while looking from Russell to me, assessing the situation.
“Thanks,” comes his polite reply.
We’re all saved from trying to make any more small talk as Candace, again, launches into a one-sided conversation with Russell. She’s telling him about a hideous outfit some girl had chosen to wear to the party they’d been at together last night. I don’t feel saved for very long, however, since she goes on and on about it. I’m beginning to feel trapped.
Pausing in the folding of my clothes, I pull out a bottle of aspirin from my bag. Shaking out a couple tablets into my hand, I use my water to wash them down. I glance over at Russell who’s eyeing my bottle of aspirin. I shake out two more and set them on the edge of my table, along with my bottle of water. He ignores my gesture and continues folding his clothes.
Noticing my underwear on the rack, I blush again and glance at Russell. Quickly, I pluck my items off it. Russell watches to see which of the underwear belongs to me. The white around his lips gets somewhat paler as several lacy and sheer bras and panties are folded neatly in piles on top of my other clothing.
“Are you ready to go, Evie?” Brownie asks me, picking up her laundry basket.
“Uh huh,” I answer. Sooo ready to escape...
“You’re Evie?” Candace asks me incredulously, then turns on Russell and says, “She’s Evie?” Her hands are on her hips and she’s tapping her foot.
“Candace, don’t—” Russell begins, but Candace ignores whatever he was about to say by addressing me directly.
“You know, you shouldn’t break into peoples rooms and mess with their computers. It’s probably a felony,” she stabs at me with her finger. “People might think you’re a psycho.”
Is that the gossip that’s going around about the firewall I had had installed for Russell? How did this get so twisted? A blush of mortification creeps over my cheeks as I turn to face Candace.
“You’re right, Candace, it was a stupid thing for me to have done,” I say quietly, not looking at Russell. “I thought that I was helping out a friend. But I was wrong; we’re not friends. Good luck in the game tonight.”
I leave the laundromat as quickly as possible. The girls follow me out and neither of them says a word to me until we’re in the Golden Goose and heading for our dorm. “Okay, sweetie. Spill it,” Buns orders.
I tell them about the firewall and wait for them to accuse me of being a psycho. Neither of them does, in fact, Buns says, “Sweetie, anytime you feel like breaking up with me, I could use a new flat screen. In fact, I think if it had been a flat screen, Mason would have his fat head in front of it, praising your very name as we speak.”
“You know, I do believe you have a point, Buns,” I say, feeling a little better. “Anyway, it doesn’t matter because Russell beat the crap out of it and now it’s scrap metal.”
“Evie, don’t feel bad about the firewall,” Brownie says. “If you want to feel bad about something, feel bad about his rebound girl. Candace is nasty.”
I agree, but don’t say it. I’ve been wrong about so much lately that I don’t trust myself to have an opinion about Russell’s rebound girl. I just hope she’s on defense tonight in our game.
Sooo.... Whatcha Think?? if you have read Inescapable... is this version more to your liking or the way she put it in?