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Day of Reckoning

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"Dave?" Marcy's voice carries across the sand, bringing you out of your reverie. You still can't believe how much you screwed everything up by trying to help Hunter. A glimmer of sun still peeks over the horizon, casting a halo around her approaching figure. She balances carefully on the sand, heels dangling from her fingers as she peers in your direction.

"Yeah, I'm here," you answer, unable to see her expression. Her silence unnerves you for some reason; for once, you don't feel sick because you like her too much (so much more than you've ever been able to say). Your day of reckoning has finally come, but you have a feeling it's not going to end the way it always does on TV shows. "I'm sorry I ditched you. Wow, you look amazing." The words spill from your mouth as soon as you spot her disappointed face. That sick feeling intensifies though because she doesn't look pleased by your compliment; she doesn't even look at you.

"Scoot over." As you comply, she settles onto the bench next to you and puts the heels between you, the barrier growing with each silent moment.

You can't stand it anymore. "What are you thinking about?"

She still doesn't look at you. "You know what I don't understand?" You shift uncomfortably, but she continues without waiting for your answer. "How I ever thought you were the most honest person I know. You're a snake, no better than Johnny."

This makes you angry; you've never aspired to be him, but you still want everything he has, the career, the trailer, this woman's affections. "Hey, wait a minute!"

"Are you really going to deny it?" she asks, the low accusation bubbling from somewhere deep inside. You didn't know she could be angry, as angry as you feel sometimes. You've always wanted to protect her from the world, from that helpless feeling that you both feel as the world passes you by, to bask in her laughter, to keep her from crying.

"What do you think I'm denying?" you say almost cautiously.

"That you have feelings for Hunter still. You told me you were over her, but you tried to ruin her wedding today. Can't you see that she doesn't love you?"

You know that better than anyone. You dream sometimes that you're still her assistant, that she jerks you around on a chain, that you're living a nightmare you can't escape. "Marcy, what are you talking about? I don't have feelings for Hunter." You want to add that you've never had feelings for Hunter, but you know that's a lie. Sometimes she looked at you like you were a bug on her shoe, but every once in a while, you got to see the real Hunter, the lonely little girl who grew up in bars, the one you could have cared for if she had just let you. "Hunter only loves herself," you parrot instead.

"No, she doesn't," Marcy argues, the wonderfully kind girl who somehow stays friends with the prickliest drama queen on the West Coast. "She really loves Zappa."

The name reminds you of the moment when you realized that Zappa was using Hunter and her reaction. "That guy's a jerk. He's just using her for a golf membership. A wedding present so he can go pro. I never should have said anything."

Something in your voice must prove your innocence because Marcy's expression clears suddenly, sunshine dawning in her smile as she looks at you for the first time. "She's married to him now," she confides. "But I don't think the marriage is gonna last. She threw a champagne bottle at him at the reception and stormed out, declaring she was going to call her lawyer."

"It couldn't happen to a nicer guy." You relax slightly as the sick feeling recedes in your stomach. She's looking at you again like you're the only man in the world, but that only makes you feel more ill. Because you're not the most honest guy – how can you lay claim to a title that's so far from true?

"You look really great in your tux," she says shyly as the misery in your heart grows and grows.

"How can you be so nice?" you answer sharply. She flinches, but you can't retreat now. "I'm not honest, Marce. I never have been."

Hurt, she glances away. "What do you mean? How many lies have you told me, Dave?"

"It's the million and one things I didn't say," you answer. The noise she makes is unintelligible; nothing can stop you now from telling the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help you God. "Starting with – that note that Hunter found on her laptop, it wasn't for her."

This has startled her, you can see. You're torn between closing your eyes and watching her expression as your force each word out. "Who was it for?"

"C'mon, Marce, you know who it was for." It's more of a hope than a certainty that you say this, but her mouth stops smiling and her chin drops into her chest. "It was for the best person I know."

"What are you saying, Dave?" Her eyes slid over your shoulder; you reach over her Cinderella shoes and put your hand on hers, her skin electric against yours. There are so many ways you can ruin this, you can hurt this girl who has cried on your shoulder more than once, but you've already gone too far.

"It was always you, Marcy. There's never been anyone else that I've felt this way about." Somehow the words ease the sick feeling in your stomach even though you have no idea how she's going to react. She moves suddenly and you brace yourself for a slap; instead, her hand grips yours and you force your eyes open.

"Are you kidding?" she demands. "Are you joking? I don't think I can handle it if you're . . ."

You know then as her words trail off, the sick sensation dissolving into something else entirely, happiness, or maybe even joy as she bites her lip and looks at you, your own feelings mirrored in her eyes. You lean forward, lean over the heels, lean into her space and brush your lips against hers. This time there's no director to yell "Cut" and the kiss goes on and on forever. If this is what you've been missing, you damn every indecisive moment you've ever had. By the time you break apart breathlessly, you know that she's been worth it, every date you've ever watched her go on, the way she pined for Johnny, even the crazy ride that Hunter took you on. "I love you."

Her eyes are luminous with tears as she repeats your words back to you and a warm feeling settles down in your stomach. She leans against your arm and asks you a million questions that you can and can't answer, but you laugh and try anyway. And when you show up on set three days later in her convertible, almost no one bats an eye. Quentin asks if she's a tiger in the sack and you have to shove your fists in your elbows to keep from socking him. Courtney looks at you both approvingly and Johnny doesn't even notice the way your hand hardly leaves hers. Only a newly-divorced Hunter watches you wordlessly, her eyes hungrily raking in every affectionate gesture as her artificial smile covers the loneliness you know is in her heart. You try very hard to show her that you won't ever hurt Marcy the way you hurt her, but you think she already knows the whole truth about the note and their relationship. The first thing she says to both of you isn't nearly as sharp as you expect and you know Marcy feels just as surprised as you are, but you find a way to smile at Hunter and wrap your arm around Marcy. You have nothing to regret now and you can only hope that she will find the same happiness you have with Marcy. Your career might never be amazing, but you have Marcy at your side and there's nothing else you want from life.