Saturday, March 3rd
It was four days until the assignment was due, and everything seemed to be on track. I had already sent my part of the research to Rinna and Ellie, and written my part of the speech. Today, we were meeting to get a large part of the costumes done, and perhaps get a practice presentation in.
Ellie greeted me at the door. "Hey Bryan! Come on in; Rinna's already here, and we got started on the costumes." I stepped inside and slipped my sneakers off. They squeaked as they hit the polished wooden floor.
The workroom was a mess, especially compared to the rest of the house, which had an almost minimalist layout. Fabric and tools lay strewn about, and there were even strands of string hanging from the lights. It was a rather small room to begin with, and it seemed every available surface was covered by costume and clothing material or schema. There was a single sewing machine on the far side of the room, surrounded by multiple pieces of paper, presumably the costume details.
Rinna was already in the room, standing over a large piece of brown fabric, marker in one hand, fabric cutter in the other. "Hello Bryan." I barely caught a glint of her green eyes as she glanced over her shoulder before she went back to work.
Ellie strode past me, taking her spot at the sewing machine at the other end of the room. "We're going to work on the costumes for a while longer before revising the script. Go ahead and help Rinna with cutting fabric, unless you know how to work this machine?" She raised an eyebrow, as if issuing a challenge.
"I'll take over for you if you'll pay my medical bills." I moved to the table, and surveyed the landscape of projects in progress. "So Rinna, what exactly should I do here?"
Rinna held out the square of brown fabric she had been working on, balancing the fabric cutter atop it. "Take this, and cut the cloth along the lines I draw." My fingers briefly brushed her hand as I took the offered items; Rinna quickly jerked her arm back, going back to work wordlessly. I brushed this off, and set the fabric down onto the table.
I had barely begun to cut when I felt someone watching me. A glance to the side proved my suspicions correct. "I was making sure you were cutting the cloth right." She said hurriedly before turning back to her work.
Ellie laughed a little. "It's pretty hard to make sure he's cutting the cloth right, staring at his face." My heart sped up a little.
Ellie had been extremely elaborate with the costumes. By the time Rinna and I finished, Ellie still had a veritable stack of materials to sew. Ellie eyed the pile with displeasure as I threw the last piece of fabric on. "I'll get the rest of this done later this week. Why don't we go over the scripts now?" She got up and began to walk out of the room without waiting for a response. "I've already got what we have printed in my room. Come on. One run through the script, and then we can watch something to wind down." I shivered - it was that feeling I got when Ellie was plotting something.
What was she planning?
I followed her out of the room, and into hers. Ellie's room was just as messy as the workshop; it was clear who the primary occupant of the workshop was now.
Ellie jumped onto the long couch as we entered the living room. The living room was as neatly decorated as the rest of the house - except Ellie's room and the workshop. A flatscreen TV hung on the wall above the fireplace, faced by a couch and a recliner. A small coffee table bridged the gap between them.
As I made a move to sit down on the couch, Ellie swatted at me, pointing at a bookshelf on the other side of the room. "Get a movie. Go." Rinna walked by me to take a seat on the recliner.
"Hey, you're the one who suggested we watch something. Why don't you pick something out and give me a seat?"
I plucked a movie off the shelf at random. "Where's the DVD player?"
"Look next to you."
"Can I have a seat now?" I put the disc in and threw the remote to Ellie.
"Come on. You're taking an entire couch."
"I hardly ever get to. Live with it."
"Bryan, you can sit here. There's room." Rinna shifted herself over.
"Thanks." I squeezed into the small space. I was vaguely aware of Rinna's leg pressing up against mine as the movie started. The lights dimmed as the TV turned on.
The movie was a blur. It was movie set during World War II...something about retrieving soldiers from behind enemy lines. I stopped paying attention after the first battle scene. It was hard to concentrate with Rinna pressing into me.
The crack of gunfire snapped me out of my reverie. Not because the sudden noise startled me, but rather because Rinna suddenly grabbed my knee. At least someone was actually watching the movie. My mind was elsewhere, as was Ellie's. I could hear the tap-tap-tapping of her phone's keyboard if I strained to listen. Rinna left her hand on my leg, and her side was warm against me.
I was brought out of my daydreaming again as the warm pressure left my side. Rinna met my eyes as she lifted my arm, draping it around her shoulders wordlessly. She leaned back against me again, this time resting her head on my shoulder, her hair tickling at my arm. I half-closed my eyes, smiling. At the edge of my vision, I saw Ellie sitting up, sporting a satisfied expression.
When the credits rolled, Rinna made no move to get up. I stayed there, holding her to my side. We remained there a while longer.