Anna slowly turns around after entering the diner, turning towards the owner, her mug clasped tightly n her hands. She slowly makes her way over and stood quietly. The owner doesn't look up but instead sighs lightly turning away from Anna to prepare another customers coffee.
“Please, please, please.” Anna begs gently.
“How many coffees have you had.” The owner asks.
“Five.” Anna grumbles. “But yours are better.”
The owner sighs again and looks up at her placing his hand on the counter. “You have a problem.”
“Yes, I do.” Anna admits pushing her cup out towards the owner. "And it's keeping you in business."
The owner places his hand gently on top of the mug and pushes it down on the counter and begins to pour. “Junkie”
“Angel. You’ve got wings, baby.” She says backing away from the counter and towards a table near the back. “Hello?” She says to the unexpected guest at her table.
“Whoa, you make that coffee look real good.”
“Thank you? It’s really good - It’s the best coffee in town.”
“Oh yeah? Well looks like I’ll have to get a cup.”
“You do. Good plan.”
“Yeah, I've never been here, just passing on my way to Harford.”
“Great well um. I’m meeting someone and they should be her soon so, if you could moved I’d appreciate it.”
“Okay…” Anna says in a defeated tone.
“What you don’t have a name?”
“No, no I-I do have a name. I-It’s just um I am really meeting someone.”
“So I guess I should get going…”
“I’m messing with your mind Joe-y Boy. It’s nice to meet you and I hope that you enjoy Harford”
“Same. You- you enjoy your coffee.”
“I will, thank you.” Anna watches as Joey leaves and gags a little.
Ana bursts through the door, shivering, she takes her seat opposite Anna’s. “Oh hey it’s freezing.”
“Oh what do you need? A hot tea? Coffee? Huh, I have vanilla chocolate strawberries and toasted marshmallows.”
“Anything resembling what normal people eat for breakfast?”
“Nope and you look crabby.”
"Because i need food.”
“Here I’ll get you a coffee.” Anna leaves her table with Ana and walks towards the bar. The owner turns around and gives her a disappointed expression. “What why are you looking at me like that? It’s not for me, it’s for Ana. I swear on my mother’s coffin.”
“Look here Officer Kurpe, she’s right at that table. Sat down, judging my breakfast.” Anna gestures behind her and straightens up slightly seeing Joey has re-found her table. “And he’s got quite the pair this guy.” The owner smirks slightly and hands her another filled cup. “Thanks.” Anna makes her way back.
“Yeah I’ve never been here before.” Joey continues talking to Ana.
“Oh you have to.” Anna cut in.
“Oh hi.” Anna says in a mocking tone. “You really like my table don’t you?”
“I was just getting to know-”
“Getting to know my daughter.”
Joey does a double take. “Your daughter?”
“Are you my new daddy?” Ana pipes up.
“Wow you do not look old enough to have a daughter. No I mean- And you don't look like a daughter.”
“That’s possibly very sweet of you, so thanks.”
“So daughter, huh? You know I’m travelling with a friend-”
“I am sorry we are completely booked this week. You see, we have a wedding party here. No, there's really nothing I can... Yes, I'm sure. Positive. I don't have to look ma'am I..." A voice talks on the other end of the line. “Of couse, of course I'll look.” Ryder puts the phone down and takes a deep breath “No, I'm sorry, completely booked...Yes, life is full of disappointments...No, I don't know what the point of living is...Yes, well, at least you're taking it well.”
“Thank you Gerda, I’ll get right on it." Anna says before join Ryder behind the desk. "Room four, right?” Gerda thanks her and continues walking. Anna turns to Ryder. “Ryder, you okay?”
Ryder puts a finger up to signal her to be quiet before taking it and dragging it across his neck. He takes a breath and continues to answer the phone. “Madame, you have no idea how desperately I'd like to help but I'd have to build a room for you myself and I'm not a man who works with his hands so the best I can do is suggest that you please, please try for another weekend. Any weekend...The twenty first? Hold on I'll look.” He looks at the reservation book again. “No, I'm sorry we're all booked.”
Anna looks and sighs picking up the other available phone and looks on the desk for the number of the florist. “Florist, florist… Ha.” Ryder shushes her. “Sorry, found it. Jenny? Can you talk to the florist. I need to sort out room four.” Jenny nods and heads over to the desk as Ana walks in. “Oh hi, honey.”
“Jenny, room four has has a problem with the mattress...”
“I’ll do it next Anna, don’t worry.”
“Thank you. You’re a star, and keep an eye on Ryder?”
“Uh, Anna?" Ryder calls out to her stoping Anna in her tacks, annoyed that Ana had made her way behind the counter. "What is your offspring doing?”
“I need stamps Ryder." Ana replies and picks up a packet. "Can I have these?”
“Take them,” Anna kisses Ana’s hairline. “Oh look Liam’s here.”
“Be kind. There’s been a lot of cars today.”
“Ugh, Man," Liam complains. "There's a lot of people here today. I've got cars backed up all the way down the driveway.”
“Oh well, ouch.” Ana comments with very little enfusation.
“Yeah. Oh Anna, I just wanted to tell you that I don't have to go to my Aunt's funeral tomorrow. She didn't die yet.”
Anna turns her attention to him. "But you were so sure?”
“I know. The whole family was.”
“Well maybe next week.” Anna says looking up and smiling lightly at him. “I have to check on the kitchen, if you’ll excuse me.”
“Oh god…” Anna comments looking at the head chef’s state. “How are you hurt? What happened?” She turns to the sous-chef. “ Du passet ikke på henne ?”
“ Jeg vendte ryggen i ett sekund .”
“Elsie, goddamn it. I told you to be careful.”
“I know.” Elsa whines slightly. “But hey, I fixed the peach sauce.”
“With what? Your blood? Elsa, there’s blood everywhere. Why are you bleeding?”
“Oh, I think my stitches opened. I used too much maple syrup. It strangled the fruit.”
“When did you get stitches?”
“Friday night, radish roses.”
Anna grabs a couple of kitchen towels and wraps then around Elsa’s hand as Elsa tries to reach up to the counter to get the pan. “Quit moving.”
“But I want you to taste the sauce. You have to try it while it’s warm.”
“Elsie, I mean it you have t stay.” Elsa shoves the spoon in to her mouth. Anna glups. “God almighty, that’s almost as good as chocolate.”
“I thought I'd put it on the waffles tomorrow for breakfast.”
“I swear, I want to bathe in this sauce. You know, someday, when we open our own inn? Diabetics will be lining up to eat this sauce.”
“Oh, won't that be great?”
“But the key to achieving that dream is you staying alive long enough to actually open the inn with me, understand?”
“Yes. I understand.”
“What?” Anna asks panicked.
“I stepped on my thumb. I'm fine. On three.”
“Elsa! Elsa!" Anna calls out running into the kitchen. "The letter arrived!”
“I know! The Chiltion school! She-she did it she got in!”
“Oh my god! Oh my god!”
Anna opens the letter with a dramatic flare and begins reading. “Dear Ms. Glimore, Dear Ms. Gilmore, we are happy to inform you that we have a vacancy at Chilton Preparatory starting up immediately. Due to your daughter's excellent grades and recommendations, and your enthusiastic pursuit of her Enrollment… I offered to blow the principal to get her in) ...we would happy to accept her as soon as the first semester's tuition has been received.” Anna looks at Elsa, her eyes wide. “She did it Elsa, she going to Chilton.”
“Ah Anna, I’m so happy for you!” Anna accepts her hug gladly.
“This is it, you know? From that school she'll be able to get into any college she wants. She's going to get the education I never had and do all the things I never did and I can resent her for it and we can finally have a normal mother daughter relationship. Okay, more hugs.” Elsa squeezes her tighter. “Okay I love you. Really I do!”
“Evening” Ana walks in to the living room. “Wow are they real logs?”
“What, are we out of Duraflames?”
Ana similes. “You’re happy.”
“Did you masterbate or something?”
“Hey! I’m not that happy.” She says tugging Ana into the dining room.
“Whoa, you made meatloaf?”
“And mac and cheese. And that salad you like with the sugared walnuts and the blue cheese, and, Elsa made this unbelievable cherry rum cake that you are way too young to eat but what the hell.”
“What is happening?”
“Open your present.” Anna says gesturing to the package in the middle of the table. Ana opens it and looks confused then back at Ana. Anna stares back at her in disbelief. “Do I really have to explain?” She takes a deep breath. “You’re going to Chiltion.”
“I got the letter today.”
“Mom, this is not a funny joke.”
Anna pulls out the letter she received earlier today. “You’re in baby.” Ana looks stunned, then similes wide as tears pickle in her eyes. “Oh no, mine kjære , don’t cry.”
“I don't...how did this happen? You didn't really… with the principal, did you?”
“No, that was a joke. They got an opening. I'm sending the check tomorrow and you're starting on Monday.”
“Oh my god! I can’t believe this! I can’t. But wait can-can we actually do this?”
“Hey, you let me worry about the money, huh? You just worry about getting into Harvard. Now, we have a lot of
fattening food to eat, so I suggest we get started.”
The phone rings. Anna closes the door for the office and approches the front desk for a moment and looks at Ryder who was irongring the phone. Anna stares at him with annoyance. “Ryder, the phone.”
“It does. Can you anser it?”
“No. People are particaluty stupid today. I cannot talk to any more of them.”
“You know who’s really nice to talk to? The people at the unemployment agency.” Ryder groans and picks up the phone. “Thank you…” She heads back in to her office and dials a number on her phone, and sits down at her desk, staring impatiently at it as it plays Musak.
“Chilton Prep.” A chirpy voice answers.
Anna scrambles for the phone. “Yes. Hi. I've been holding for Mrs. Bell. Okay, my daughter just got accepted and...no this semester. Right. Well, I was so excited when I read that she got in that I didn't read the whole letter and today I went to make out the enrollment check and, well, I read the whole letter and - that's a very high fee you got yourself there. I was wondering if you couldn't take, say, part now just to get her going... But she's supposed to start Monday and that doesn't give me much time to pull a bank job... I was kidding... A bank job is robbing a bank... You know what, never mind... No, no, no. Don't give her space away. I'll figure it out... Right. It's been a real treat talking to you. Bye.”
Anna sits out the the front porch wrapped in a blanket. Gritting her teeth together and stares at the grass. Elsa comes out and taps her shoulder gently. “I made you hot cocoa.”
“Elsie, I don’t know what to do. What should I do?”
Elsa sits down slowly next to her. “You can have everything I own. Here, I’ll sell my car.”
“No. Nobody will want that piece of metal. Besides what would you drive?”
“I can walk everywhere… Or you know you could ask-”
“It kinda seems like the last resort.”
“And there would be several chapters from a Stephan King's novel that I would be happy to re-enact before that even becomes the second to last option-" She hears the door open behind them. "Oh hi sweetie.”
Ana goes and sits in between them. “I can't believe tomorrow is my last day at dormancy high school. I was so excited today, I dressed for gym.”
“And I played volleyball.”
“With other people?”
“And I learned that all this time I was avoiding group sports was in fact...?”
“Was very smart because I suck at them.”
“Yeah you got that from me.”
Elsa bursts out laughing. Anna frowns at her and pinches her lightly.
“Agh! I think I’m going to love being a private school girl.”