Andrea’s eyes met Keith’s in an instant. Who was he to deny the guilt that ran through them? There it hid, though her anxiety was not very veiled.
Keith flicked his hands up to signal her, vaguely but in some way that would be noticed amongst the comedy that he had stood next to. ‘Come here’, he glared. He watched, furious, as the girl placed her hand upon his arm, and whispered those delights into his ears. With a nod on both sides, Andrea herself stood up, brushing down the skirt that clung like a creeper to her.
It was a mere minute, Keith standing at the side of the theatre, until she was by his side again, red in the face from her travel, mostly likely embarrassed from having to leave the show. Good. Keith was pleased to have some sort of hand over her, at least.
“Thank you, Mr. Connelly,” Keith said to the usher with a curt nod. The latter ignored him, peering back at the stage.
Andrea was silent as she pushed her way through to the foyer. Although she once made to go through to the dining hall where the refreshment table was being set up, instead she simply paced about the entrance, her face a strange shade of white.
“What are you doing here, Keith?” she whispered. The hoarse voice matched the petrification.
“I came…to see you,” he replied, nodding, wrapping his hands about themselves.
“Me? Keith, you didn’t even know that I would be here. I don’t understand.”
“No, neither do I, that’s why I came.”
“Your old school,” he said, brimming with a new sort of confidence. “I looked it up. It wasn’t hard, you know. I hadn’t realised it, but you’ve never told me about yourLansdalelife. Just skirting around it.”
Andrea was sent into a wild flurry of gesturing.
“Keep your voice down…”
Hers may have slid to the edge of silence, but Keith refused to play the game that Andrea wanted him to.
“Outside. Now,” she hissed, whipping around and marching out of the room.
“Okay, then,” he replied with the deathly stillness that wanted to haunt him.
Keith shrugged to the midnight sky, observing the figure of Andrea as she continued to march into the middle of the green that decorated the front of the school. Keith couldn’t help but remark to himself how false it was, just like she was.
“You followed me.” Her statement came at the heel-turn, Andrea a metre away from him.
He didn’t dignify her with a reply.
“You did follow me, didn’t you? What is this…?”
“Lucas Gorge works here, doesn’t he?” A question for a question; it seemed fitting enough, for her answers would be just as vague, Keith assumed with bitterness.
“Yes, but how do you…?”
“He was the man at our door- or do you not remember, so swept up in the romance?”
“Romance?” Andrea’s temper began to grow, judging by the gnashing of her teeth as she spoke.
“Well, what else are you doing here, Andrea?”
“What? What exactly do you mean to imply by those words?”
“Oh, a night out, is it? Another birthday gift, yes?”
“Ha, and you admit to it being another gift!”
“You are twisting my words, Keith!” Andrea let her Ss hiss towards him.
“What else can I do, when you don’t tell me?”
“I have my privacy, too, you know!”
“And we’re meant to be a partnership, a couple!”
“Well!” Andrea huffed.
“Oh yes?” Keith snarled. “Go on then: say it.”
“Don’t play with me; don’t even dare me, Keith. What is going on?”
“You tell me.”
“You didn’t tonight. ‘Somewhere’, don’t you remember? This is nowhere,is it?”
“It didn’t seem that big a deal to me, Keith.”
“What about you?”
“I am no liar; if you refer to the Christine incident, well, that was her fault, and I walked away, didn’t I?”
“Still- what about my feelings?” Andrea remarked in a bitter tone.
It was only then that Keith realised the full effect of Christine’s presence.
“A strain,” he spat. “Your own jealousy thought the worst of me?”
“Exactly,” Andrea muttered. She fiddled with something clutched in her hand.
“More lies,” he cried. “I came to trust you, but look where it has led me.”
His advanced towards her, shaking, ready to clutch her hand.
Once again, Andrea spun, so that it was he who faced the front entrance this time. What a dance indeed. But it still left him without answers. A quick glance to her hands showed Keith that Andrea had, rightly, taken her bag when she had left the theatre.
“Keith!” Andrea yelled. “What are you doing?”
“What are you doing? Who is Lucas and why on earth have you been spending so much time with him?”
“What is wrong with me that you keep lying? Give me your phone.”
“First you follow me, now this? Keith, no!”
But, no matter when she had removed it from her purse, she had it clenched in her white fist. As she went to, covertly, put it away, he nudged her and the device went flying to the floor, right beside Keith’s shoes. He knew enough about Andrea to be sure that there would be no key-code.
Keith stared at the amount of flirty messages between the two of them. Kisses in Xs were in every message, even the one from her birthday evening.
“Keith! What-? Give me that. Please!”
Now Keith's own throat was almost too dry to talk.
“You were with Lucas last night,” he spluttered.
“Then why does your phone tell so?”
In the silence, Keith watched the angry confusion on Andrea’s face that echoed his own. On the other hand, she had no valid reason to feel such a hatred; right now all Keith could think about was that man who had so casually rested his hand upon Keith’s girlfriend’s thigh. His eyes had been full of the delicious lust that a male ‘home-wrecker’ needed for his plans to be a success.
“Are you having an affair?” He brandished the phone in her direction, just out of reach.
“Keith…” Andrea looked like she was about to burst into tears. It was guilt all right.
“And did he plan this from the start? When he arrived? Or was he just checking out your new place. A bedroom of your own, ha! You’re no more a straight woman than he is a charmless man. Is that what it was? Oh, Lucas, come and save me from this horrible regime the man has put me under!”
In the light from the edge of the school’s theatre, Keith could see the tears.
“Stop it, Keith.”
He edged nearer, finally thrusting the phone into her hands.
“Then say it. Tell me- look me truthfully in the eyes- that you love me.”
“You’re not like this, Keith. This is not you, dear. Please remember your sense.”
Sense? Ha, it had vanished when Andrea had stepped out of the door that evening.
“You’re avoiding my request.”
“Your order,” she muttered.
“Excuse me? Who is it between us who sneaks off with another man?”
“It’s not like that.”
“Then what is it?” he roared, a new strength come upon him now. “Why not me?”
And then the front entrance opened, flooding Andrea’s tear-stained face open for all to see. She was wearing ridiculous makeup again. In the distance, Keith caught snippets of woven Shakespeare, plus the occasional clatter of the lifted stage. In the foreground, on the other hand, there came a voice that Keith just wanted to pound to dust.
“Andrea, what’s wrong?” Lucas asked, innocence reverberating, spoiling his act. “What’s happened?”
Keith felt his cheeks flush and his jaw go solid.
“Lucas,” she said, through a clenched jaw, too, “please, leave us be to sort this out.”
His hands reached out.
“Is there anything-?”
“No!” Keith leapt forward, blocking his rival from touching Andrea. Though images of knighthood and romantic chivalry sprung to his mind, Keith was determined that this scene would play out differently.
“I’ll go…” Lucas lifted his hands in defeat, and turned. At the door again, he added, “Andrea, I’ll be in the foyer if you want to talk.”
“Yes.” She nodded, in spite of Keith’s obstruction, his hand thrust onto her shoulder. After a second, just as he had begun to calm, her light voice rang out again:
“Yeah?” The man spun, one hand just about to close the front door. His eyes would not meet Keith’s; if they had done, they would only have met the stone-cold fire that Keith was determine to keep in his expression.
“What time is it? The play…?”
“The interval has just finished. The next Act has begun already. I was coming to see if you wanted to come back in. Didn’t you see-?”
“We didn’t,” Keith interjected. “Leave.”