Oscar stood across from Polly, she looked beautiful but severe. Alice had stared between them, so he knew it was tense enough that she felt it as well. But Alice had gone to get coffee for them. They had not opened the viewing for the public, but Colin was there. Colin lingered by a DuBuffet, one of the several pieces that he had in the sale and he also lingered around Polly.
So Oscar stood across from Polly, and wanted to be angry. Wanted to show he was angry that Colin was there, that he was always there. He was convinced Colin acquired the pieces so that he could sell them to her.
Yet he could not say a word, and he knew that she knew it. Colin was her Eliza basically. Polly let him go see Eliza, without questioning him because he explained the nature of their relationship. Even though the last time that he saw Eliza, he wanted to sleep with her. He didn’t though, and came home to Polly. Right after that, there was Colin like a shadow all the time. Polly had not planned it to be vindictive, half of the sale was his pieces. Including the star Modigliani that Colin now circulated around.
“Here is your coffee,” Alice said.
Polly smiled, and took a sip.
“This is Oscar’s,” Polly smiled at him, and licked a bit of foam from her lip.
Oscar took the cup, continuing to stare at Polly as he sipped.
“Thank you,” he said with a delay, monitoring Polly’s eyes.
And then the energy in the room changed like lightning.
Alice moved like lightning when she saw Fiona. Oscar smiled, thinking about the ease with which Fiona and Alice connected. But seeing Fiona put him on alert. First he saw Rafe, and then he saw Eliza.
Eliza’s eyes were filled with hunting for him as well. Her dark hair was pulled up messily in a bun that still looked elegant nonetheless.
But when she put her hand to her face, he was startled to see the familiar diamond on her finger. When he met her at the bar, the ring was prominent to him but he did not let it deter him from getting closer to her. Her eyes fell on him as he revisited that night in his head. The not knowing if she was going to go with him, the first time he touched her…
They looked at each other for a long moment, before he caught himself. When he turned to look at Polly, she was staring at Eliza. Polly looked at him briefly, then looked at Colin.
“Go say hello to your Eliza,” Polly said coolly, not looking at him.
Polly cocked her head to the side, and Colin walked over to her.
“You are covering one of my best paintings Polly,” he said, his hands on her hips to move her out of the way.
Oscar went to tap him on the shoulder, but the look on Polly’s face made him think otherwise. So he leaned there, and watched Colin. Colin moved his hands from her hips, and talked about Dubuffet.
It was not until the cocktail party that night, that he actually spoke to Eliza. She stood by the bar, staring at her fiancé.
“Waiting again like if for Godot?” Oscar asked, his tongue swirling around a cocktail onion.
“Where is your girlfriend?” Eliza said.
“Further away than your fiancé…” Oscar’s voice trailed, and he realized the unintentional double entendre in what he said.
He did not know where his fiancée was, but he knew where Eliza was…
More revisiting here:
cocktail onion via google images