I left Drew's place and drove quickly home. As soon as I opened
the door, two yowling Siamese cats greeted me. They must have sensed my
distress for they soon were purring and wrapping themselves around my legs.
I fed them, apologizing for being gone so much (yes, I apologized, as I
talk to my cats as if they were my children), then changed into comfortable
clothes, planning to take a long nap. I called Julia one more time, still
no answer, and then was turning down the volume on my phone when it rang in
my hand. This time it was Jess.
"Hello? Perfect timing, I was just turning off the phone so I could
take a nap." I answered.
"Just wanted to call and remind you about the musical tonight."
"Musical? Oh damn! I nearly forgot!" I replied, blushing. We had
been planning this for weeks. Julia was playing in "The King and I" and
Jess and I had great seats. Julia volunteered with the "Salem Community
Players," and the group was performing 3 nights of the musical downtown at
the Salem Opera House. How could I have forgotten! "What time are we
going over?" I asked Jess.
"It starts at 8, so we should get there by 7:30. How about I come
pick you up for dinner around 5 just to be safe?"
"Sounds good. See you then." Hanging up, I realized why Julia
hadn't been home, nor returning my calls. She was probably at the theater
now practicing and preparing for tonight. It was the first show.
Setting the phone down, I crawled into bed and turned out the
lights. At first, thoughts of how Jess had no idea what had transpired
between Julia and I, and fears of Matt's repercussions and Drew's revenge
kept running around in my head, begging for my attention. Finally, with
warm cat bodies purring softly beside me, I drifted off into a deep,
As Jess and I sat at dinner that night, both of us ordering chipotle
salmon from the well-supplied menu, I told her about the recent Matt
developments. She, like Drew, was irate. And, like Drew, she told me to
stay away from him for a while. It didn't help that during my few-hour
nap, he had called me six times. Thank goodness he hadn't come by the
We were walking out to the car, getting ready to head downtown to
the Opera House, when my phone rang again. I hadn't put it on silent mode
yet, and the ring reminded me to do that before we sat down at the musical.
The call was Drew.
"Diana, I have a date for you for the dance. You are going with
Evan's twin brother Alex. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. You need this,
and he is an awesome guy. So like Evan in many ways, but straight of
course, yet unique. I promise, you'll like him!"
"Drew, are you sure?" I cautiously asked.
He went on to assure me that it would be fine. We agreed to chat
again after the musical, and if there was time, I'd come by and meet Evan
and Alex over at Drew's place. They were both there tonight hanging out
and watching movies with Drew, and would be there for quite a while they
Hanging up, I remembered to turn off the phone and walked into the
Opera House with Jess. We were a little early so we walked around the
old-fashioned lobby, admiring the Victorian styling and antique molding and
light fixtures. It was electric now, of course, but you could definitely
see how the chandeliers would have lit the place up spectacularly, even
with just candles or oil lights burning in them. Suddenly, something
caught my eye and I turned. Julia was standing there, she'd come out from
backstage, and her smile lit up the room. I quickly smiled back at her,
giving her a fond glance and knowing look, when Jess hadn't seen her so was
still admiring the artwork. Jess had no clue, of course, and I wasn't sure
if she should know yet, or at all, but she was one of my best friends too,
so deserved to know if it were to continue. Ack, the struggle of whether
to say anything at all or not! Jess and I quickly walked over to Julia,
and she and Jess embraced in a joyful hug.
"So glad to see you made it!" Julia effused. "Thank you for
coming. I am so nervous, and it makes me feel better to know you guys are
out there supporting me."
"Of course we are," Jess smiled. Everyone loved Julia, it seemed.
She always brought out their best smiles. I was warm inside thinking of how
beautiful she always made everyone feel. "We wouldn't miss it, but Diana
did almost forget," she joked, throwing me a harsh but loving look.
"I can't believe it, but it is true," I blushed, bowing my head in
"But you must cut her some slack," Jess continued. "She had a rough
night last night, damn that Matt."
"Oh no," Julia stepped forward, embracing me in a warm hug, "What
happened? Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm okay. He got over possessive and I walked out on him," I
replied, leaning into her and sighing. "It'll be alright. But I think this
one is over. It breaks my heart, but I can't deal with the way he's acting.
You need to go get ready; we can talk about it later. I promise." I smiled
up at her and backed up a step.
"We should get out of here about midnight after cleaning up and all
that, want me to call you?" Julia replied.
"Yes, that would be great. See you onstage, and talk to you then." I
smiled back. Perfect. That would give me time to drop by Drew's and meet
his guys before meeting up with Julia again.
The first half of the production went fabulously. Julia was great as
Anna, and her voice pulled at my heartstrings as she broke into melodious
song after song. At intermission, Jess and I stood up to stretch.
"So, tell me about Drew's new find," she smiled.
I laughed. "Oh, he's a hottie all right. I'm interested to meet his
brother, but it's weird at the same time. Drew doesn't do that kind of
thing. But anyway, hmm, let me think. Do you know Josh Hartnett, played
in, hmm, 40 Days and 40 Nights, and, hmm, oh Pearl Harbor with Ben
Affleck. . ."
"Yeah, I think so," Jess replied, thinking.
"He could pass for him from the quick glance that I had. I mean, we
just shook hands and introduced ourselves, and I was a little out of
kilter, but that's who he reminded me of."
"Sounds cute. Not quite my type, but cute nonetheless. You know I
like `em tall, dark, and handsome." Jess smiled back, stretching as the
lights began to flicker, telling us it was almost time to sit back down.
"We'll find you one soon, I'm sure," I tried to reassure her, hoping
it to be the truth.
"Yeah, yeah. I know it'll happen when it's supposed to," she
whispered as the lights dimmed and the music began again.
"Oh," I remembered, "I forgot to tell you, Evan had the most
interesting accent. Couldn't quite place it, sounded northern . . . maybe
"Hmm," she replied, and then the show began again.
After the musical was over we took flowers back to Julia and she
promised to call when they were finished at the theater. Jess drove me
back to my place and I got into my own car and drove to Drew's. It was
only 10:30 so I figured he would still be up, and probably his company was
still there. Sure enough, all the lights in the house were on, and there
was an unusual car outside. Nervously I parked and walked to Drew's door.
I thought I saw a flicker of a curtain next door at Drew's neighbor,
Ms. Gwen's house, but I dismissed it, knowing she was always keeping track
of her adopted grandson (Drew was the same age as one of her own grandsons,
and she was constantly trying to set them up). I could hear laughing and
the musical tones of a movie inside, so I knocked loudly. A minute or so
later the door opened and I was greeted by, not Drew, but one of his
"Hi, Evan is it?" I smiled up at him.
"Come in," he smiled back. Damn, what a nice smile. I can see why
Drew is so excited about this one, even though I know Drew doesn't go after
looks, but more personality. Still, looks don't hurt!
Pulling the door behind me, Evan followed me into the living room.
Wait, doing a double take I looked over at the recliner, then back at Evan,
then over at the recliner again. There was a clone of him sitting there,
yet he was standing right behind me, laughing at my dismay. Drew was
joining in his joviality.
"This is my brother, Alex," Evan introduced us. "As you can tell,
we are twins. Sorry to play tricks on you, but we do enjoy it now and
then." Evan was beaming with the fun he was having.
"Alex, meet Diana," Drew chuckled between his guffaws. "Diana,
Alex. Come, have a seat." He patted the couch next to him, and I sat on
one side while Evan joined us on the other, Drew in the middle between us.
For the next little bit I tried to hold back yawns from my
exhaustion, while showing the great interest I had in both Evan and Alex.
I soon learned that they were from Thunder Bay, Ontario, and living here in
Salem, Mass. Evan taught at Nathaniel Hawthorne High School while Alex was
here on a year long exchange with his university in Canada, the University
of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, BC, focusing on American
Studies in his field of Anthropology. They evidently weren't 21, so I
discovered that Evan had been here in Massachusetts since right after
graduation, and Alex had taken some time after high school to travel around
a bit, visiting such exotic (to me at least) places as Scotland and
Tasmania. Then he "settled" down and decided to go to school in the wilds
of British Columbia. When he heard of the fun his brother was having here
in Salem, he discovered the exchange program and came down to see more of
the world, as he put it.
Soon enough the time passed and my phone buzzed. It was Julia, I
apologized, explaining how she was to call me after cleaning up from the
musical, and I excused myself. I truly enjoyed the evening, and though I
was nervous about Drew's setting me up for the dance, looked forward to at
least getting to know Alex, and Evan too of course, as friends. It
couldn't hurt, I wagered.
"Hey Julia," I answered. "Yeah, I'll be right over," I replied as
I got back into my car. "I'm over at Drew's, leaving now, so it'll just be
a few minutes. I have to tell you about the new guy he's met!" I smiled
into the phone. "See you soon."