The New Year celebration has come and gone and Shannon spent the time with her grandparents. She was with them through Christmas and into the early part of January. She would have liked to have spent more time with them, but Shannon had to return to L.A. so that she could attend the winter quarter at UCLA. Her grandparents have done so much for her and they have essentially raised her since childhood, and she feels like she hasn’t spent enough time with them since going to college. The reason why Shannon’s grandparents raised her was because her father left before she was born and her mother handed Shannon over to her parents to take care of her. This occurred when Shannon was very young and she barely remembers her mother. What she does remember is her mother taking her to her grandparents place, her mother and grandparents talking as she played off elsewhere, than her mother saying her goodbyes to Shannon and than leaving without her.
But time has faded this memory and Shannon’s strongest memory surrounding this is a lot of crying and the feeling of being scared. Her grandparents never talked about it as Shannon was growing up and Shannon never brought it up or asked any questions about it though her grandparents did plan for the situation if it did occur. The situation just became the norm and Shannon moved on. In addition to this, her grandparents saw to it that they became her legal guardians. With Shannon’s mother, she probably thought about eventually coming back for her, but she never did. Apparently, Shannon’s mother moved on as well.
Back at school, Shannon is still active on campus, organizing demonstrations and trying to get people to come and speak at the school. So far, the only person she was able to get to speak is during the Winter Quarter. Shannon got a demonstration or two organized last quarter, and is going to have one this quarter, but they’re not as big as the one during the Spring Quarter last year. She has no desire to go through that ordeal again and wants to avoid a repeat performance. This is a clear example of a chilling effect.
But besides engaging in such activities around UCLA, she is still working at the Powell Library as a work-study student and at the diner as well. In addition to her normal activities, tonight is a special occasion. She will be attending one of Marc’s plays for the first time. Adding to her excitement is that Marc is playing one of the lead roles. Tonight’s play is basically a retelling of the Iliad. It stays true to the original classic poem, but they are approaching it in a comical manner.
Getting ready for the evening, Shannon puts on her only formal evening gown. Since she is in college and doesn’t go out to a lot of formal events, there wasn’t really any reason for Shannon to own more than one formal outfit. And she got this dress when she was in high school, and it still fits. Nothing really changed between then and now. If anything, she’s in better shape now then when she got it, allowing it to fit better. As she is putting on her earrings, her cell phone rings.
Shannon uses her cell phone as her main contact number. It saves her from having to help pay for a landline and the plan that she is on is paid for by her grandparents. Because her grandparents pay for it, Shannon does what she can to not over use it. If she feels like she has, she’ll send her grandparents a check to cover it. While at the apartment, she keeps her cell phone on the ledge in her bedroom due to the fact that she gets poor reception elsewhere in the apartment.
Answering the phone, Shannon says “Hello?”
“Hey,” Alex says. “I’m downstairs.”
“Okay. I’m coming down.”
Hanging up, Shannon unplugs her phone from the charger and puts it into her purse. Putting on her shoes, she heads downstairs to meet up with Alex, who is waiting in his car.
“Well, don’t you look amazing,” Alex says. If he was straight, Alex would have given a little whistle.
“Thanks,”Shannon replies. “And you’re looking pretty good yourself, as usual, if you don’t mind me saying.”
“Oh, you’re too kind.”
At that, they head off to the theater to watch Marc’s performance. They manage to make it to the theater in plenty of time, but they have a little trouble finding a parking spot. In a city that is obsessed with cars, finding a convenient place to put them when necessary can be a bit of a challenge. But eventually, they find a place to park. Once they make their way into the theater, they manage to find their seats alright. It’s a relatively small theater, but there is a good turnout. Eventually, the houselights go down and the play begins. When the show is over, Shannon and Alex manage to get backstage and meet up with Marc. Seeing them, a big shit eating grin emerges on his face.
Hey,” Marc proclaims. He gives Alex a kiss and then turns to Shannon and gives her a hug. “I’m glad that you were able to make it.”
“I’m glad that I was finally able to see one of your plays,” Shannon replies.
“So what did you guys think?” Marc asks.
“I found it entertaining.”
“I thought that it was a little bit over the top,” Alex remarks.
“I think that was the point. It’s a comedy, so they have to take it to absurd levels. And besides, I think that it’s meant to be a satire, so they have to turn it up to eleven.”
“Well, either way, you did a great job up there.”
“Thank you,” Marc replies.
“Yeah. Good job,” Shannon adds.
“Have you guys eaten yet?”
“I had a little something during the intermission, but it wasn’t much.”
“I ate something before heading over, but it wasn’t much and it was just meant to hold me over,” Alex says.
“Ok,” Marc says. “Let me get things in order here, then the three of us could grab some dinner. Sounds good?”
Shannon and Alex concur and they wait in the lobby until Marc comes out and meets them. From there, they go out and grab some dinner.
(c) 2011 Bradley P. Thomas