Title: Two Masks
Chapter 1- The masks we wear
Scarlett squirmed in the chair uncomfortably. Straight ahead she could see the girl staring back at her. Bright red hair tied into a basic bun, or at least as close to one as the short hair length would allow. A fresh clean buttoned up shirt freshly washed and carefully chosen to hide the tattoos that lay underneath. A skirt lying lightly across legs squeezed into a pair of pantyhose. A faint touch of eye shadow, light red lipstick, some eye liner which accentuated the blue eyes it surrounded. Scarlett could scarcely believe it, it was so hard to comprehend that the girl staring back from the mirror was her.
Staring at the reflection that both was and wasn’t her she squirmed more drawing the ire of Marianne who was standing behind her still struggling to get Scarlett’s normally messy hair to stay in the bun she’d tied it in.
“Will you please sit still Scarlett, you’re making it very difficult to do this.”
Scarlett grimaced but obediently did her best to follow the brown haired girls request and tried to sit still. “Is this really necessary?” She replied. “This stuff is so uncomfortable. I feel like some kind of freakish doll.” Looking back into the mirror Scarlett really did feel like a doll, this was just so unlike her, like all of this was fake and not natural. She never wore make up, she found button up shirts to be uncomfortable and the last time she’d worn a skirt rather than jeans was….. in all honesty she couldn’t even remember the last time she’d worn a skirt.
Marianne sighed as she gave up on fighting with Scarlett’s hair deciding that it was good enough, wiping the gel she’d been liberally using on a towel so as not to get her similarly nice clothes dirty. Scarlett quickly was up and out of the chair moving around cautiously thrown off by the unfamiliar clothing. “Yes Scar, it’s necessary” Marianne said gently “I want you to make a good impression. Besides you look cute.”
Still moving around as though hoping that if she moved in it enough the clothing would somehow become more comfortable Scarlett glanced back at her girlfriend, she knew Marianne was lying they’d been together long enough for Scarlett to have learned all of Marianne’s tells, plus Marianne wasn’t that good at lying to begin with.
“It’s just dinner, I’m sure your mother can’t be that bad. Surely she wouldn’t mind if I at least wore some pants.”
Marianne stared at her determinedly “Believe me, she would mind, my mother is very proper about these things. Girls are supposed to dress a certain way, plus she’s already not big on you to begin with…..
Marianne’s voice trailed off from the end of the statement as her mouth drooped into a frown at what she’d just said. She’d kept it a secret from Scarlett for so long and even now she felt uncomfortable admitting it aloud, but she’d finally been forced to tell her the truth after her Mother had forced the issue of meeting her daughter’s “partner”, a term the older woman had used with disdain clearly not liking it but still preferring it to openly admit that her daughter had a girlfriend.
Marianne had actually been kind of surprised how well Scarlett had taken the news, how calm she’d been as she’d learned that her girlfriend’s mother hated her, blamed her for corrupting her sweet proper daughter into a relationship that in her eyes was…. inappropriate at best. But Scarlett had taken it all in stride, and now here they were getting ready for dinner this evening.
Back in the moment Scarlett was still grumbling exasperatedly at Marianne. “Exactly, She already doesn’t like me so why go through all this trouble. I get that she still wants to meet me so just let her meet me, not… this” she gestured irritatedly at the ensemble Marianne had covered her in.
Marianne shook her head as she tried to figure out what to say to convince Scarlett. She just had to get her to do this, because otherwise…. no the alternative wasn’t something she wanted to think about.
“Please just do this for me, I promise I’ll make it up to you at some point but for now just put up with this for one evening.”
Scarlett’s eyes lit up. “You’ll make it up to me?” She said mischievously risqué ideas already buzzing inside her head.
Marianne suddenly found Scarlett’s arms around her waist, found her lips pressed against hers. She knew that she had Scarlett, she’d known the ever flirty girl she’d been living with for the past year and a half wouldn’t be able to resist that kind of comment, knew that pushing that button would get Scarlett to cooperate. She hated using that kind of tactic against her but she just had to get her to cooperate. This was the only chance she had of getting through this situation without taking sides.
Taking sides…. that was what Marianne was most afraid of. She knew her mother disapproved of Scarlett no matter how much in love the two of them were. She knew that her mother wanted better for her than the small apartment she’d moved into shortly after the two had met, she knew her mother would never listen to Marianne’s attempts at reasoning…. that’s why this was so important. She needed Scarlett to make a good impression so that her mother would, hopefully and at least grudgingly, accept the two of them being together. So that she wouldn’t have to choose.
That was why she’d kept it a secret so long from Scarlett, why it had taken so long to finally give in to letting this dinner happen. Marianne’s mother was stubborn, so was Scarlett, and Marianne was terrified that if this went poorly she’d have to choose between the woman she loved and the only parent she had left.
Her dad had died when she was little and she’d never known the rest of her family, she couldn’t lose her mother as well…. but at the same time she wanted to be with Scarlett. She’d fallen head over heels for the fiery redhead from the moment they’d met. It had been a whirlwind romance from the very start. She’d moved in with her after less than a month of dating (secretly of course at the time), she’d known she wanted to marry Scarlett after 5 months…. but her mother was the sole obstacle that stood in the way and at the same time couldn’t be removed. The one piece of the puzzle that needed to fall into place before they could go through with the wedding they both desired.
So here they were, finally about to go have dinner. The meal that would change the rest of their lives…. It just had to go well. Marianne didn’t expect her mother to like it but if this went as Marianne hoped maybe she would at least accept it.
Marianne was brought back from her worries as Scarlett’s lips separated from hers, a tear gently rolled down the dark haired girl’s cheek.
“Hey now, I’m not that bad a kisser am I” Scarlett smirked as she lightly brushed away the tear. “I’m just scared” replied Marianne.
“I don’t want to lose you”
“You won’t” laughed Scarlett.
“If this doesn’t go well I might”
“You won’t” repeated Scarlett.
Marianne wanted to trust in Scarlett’s words. Wanted to truly believe that this would all work out but…. as much as she wanted this to work she couldn’t help but worry what if it didn’t and before she knew it she was admitting her fears.
“What if this doesn’t go well? What if my mother still doesn’t like you? What if she wants me to choose? I love you but… I love her too…. I can’t lose her.... but I can’t lose you…. I don’t want to choose….. I just can’t choose…..”
The words had flown out of her mouth, Scarlett stared at her surprised at the sudden wave of words that had crashed over her and then she pulled Marianne into an embrace. “Then we’ll figure things out then. But I promise you that I’m not going to make you choose and no matter what your mother says I’m still going to be here with you.”
Marianne leaned into the hug trying to relax and just stand there in her lovers arms for a moment but her worries just wouldn’t stop. It was so easy for Scarlett to say that but how well could she back that up if the worst was to happen? Even if Scarlett said she wouldn’t force the issue Marianne’s mother still might, and that choice would rip one of those relationships apart no matter how Scarlett tried to assure her things would work out. If she chose her Mom she’d lose Scarlett, if she chose Scarlett her she’d lose her Mom, and if her Mom pushed her to make a choice and she tried to dodge it she might lose her Mother anyway.
Scarlett could tell that Marianne was still nervous so she took the pretty girls hands in hers as she continued to try and calm her fears. “Look, I’m telling you things will be fine. If she forces the issue we’ll just stand our ground. Your Mother does love you and she doesn’t want to lose you anymore than you want to lose her.”
Scarlett brushed the hair out of Marianne’s face as she used her other hand to help wipe away the tears that were still dripping down her girlfriend’s face.
“If she didn’t love you she wouldn’t be trying to protect you, as misguided as her attempt to protect may be. If she tries to force you to choose just stand your ground and don’t make that choice. She’ll just have to learn to accept it eventually and until then I’ll be with you no matter what.
Marianne smiled slightly as she leaned in for another kiss. “You’re always so optimistic and confident; I don’t know how you do it.”
Scarlett laughed as she whirled her girlfriend around in a circle, an action that never failed to catch Marianne off guard and make her laugh. “I have to be to counter balance you little miss grumpy tush.” She pulled the girl in close and whispered in her ear. “But I still love you, and someday your mother will realize that and we can have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.”
Marianne laughed as she smiled coyly, “You know that wedding originally was to a man, so it’s not the one of always dreamed of.”
Scarlett laughed knowing the comment was only in jest “Well things change, besides I kind of look boyish and if it means marrying you I’ll even wear a suit”
Marianne rolled her eyes “You were planning on wearing a suit anyway, there is no way I’d ever get you in a wedding dress.”
“True” Scarlett replied. “Now shouldn’t we get going soon?”
Marianne glanced at her watch realizing they were running late. But as she started towards the door Scarlett stopped her briefly. “Can I at least lose the make up?”
Marianne smiled, still nervous but feeling wholly better than she had earlier. “Fine” she said handing the redhead a handkerchief. “What about the skirt?” Scarlett pressed. The glare from Marianne told her that piece wasn’t negotiable. Scarlett just laughed.
“Well you can’t blame a girl for trying.” She pulled Marianne in for one more kiss before the two headed off.
Off to the dinner that could change their lives, though after Scarlett’s words Marianne felt that things might just work out. She couldn’t say she was completely confident, but feeling her lovers arms wrapped around her she knew that whatever happened things would work out in the end. Though Scarlett still had to wear the skirt.
Nigel: And Cut.
The feeling in the room instantly relaxed as Nigel turned the camera off signaling the finishing of the day’s shooting. Back on set though the two girls were still entwined in each other’s arms, passionately holding each other close as their personal little kiss scene continued.
Eddie: *laughs* HEY! Sis, Jess, the scene’s over, break it up you two.
Jessica reluctantly pulled away, though Genesis stubbornly leaned in attempting to maintain the kiss she had been so enjoying as her partner pulled away. As their lips finally separated she glanced over at Nigel imploringly
Genesis: Are you sure, we’re done. We can do another take if you want. I’m not sure there was enough passion in that kiss.
Eddie: Sis, if you two put any more passion in that kissing we are gonna need to get you guys a room.
Genesis: *smirks* I’m okay with that idea, what do you think Jess, up for another round?
Jessica: Well I’m okay with doing another take if it’s necessary but if Nigel has what he needs we shouldn’t trouble him.
Nigel: No worries Jess, that last take was great and will work perfectly.
Genesis: *pouts* Aww, you all are no fun, is it so wrong to want an excuse to have some fun with my beautiful girlfriend.
Bailey: *hmmph* and just when I thought you couldn’t stoop any lower. This is acting you should treat it with more respect.
The young women who until now had been peeling off the slight age details pasted onto her face marched up as she spoke turning her glare from Genesis to Nigel.
Bailey: And why is she performing again anyway? I could have easily played the role yet you just handed it to her leaving me the bit part.
Nigel balked as Bailey poked him in the chest punctuating her words, the irritation on her face clearly evident.
Nigel: I… I just chose the performers based on the role. I felt Genesis was more suited to this particular role especially performing opposite of Jess.
Eddie sighed realizing the argument that was about to break out.
Eddie: Come on Nia, the performance is over so let’s go have lunch while everyone else finishes up.
Nia: Okay daddy, can big sis join us?
Eddie: No sweetie, I think Sis is going to be a bit busy for a bit.
He scooped up the young girl into his arms and carried her out of the room with the continued argument raging in the background.
Bailey: Suited? More like you practically wrote the part for her something you seem to do quite often. You might want to let us have a turn to perform every now and then rather than handing so many lead roles to this untalented hack.
Genesis: *glared* Maybe it was because it was a relationship scene and Jess and I are actually in a relationship. So it makes sense for us to play the roles in this case.
Bailey: Yeah and based on how many roles you get despite your inability to properly portray even the most basic emotions I’m guessing your co-star isn’t the only one you’re sleeping with.
Genesis flew forward fists already clenched and ready to pummel the other women, and she would have if Jess hadn’t caught hold of her first.
Jessica: Relax Gen, don’t pay attention to her she’s just frustrated.
Genesis struggled against Jessica’s grip determined to beat Bailey’s face in.
Genesis: Say that again and I’ll shove my foot so far up your *** the only thing you’ll be able to portray is pain, I would never cheat on Jess, NEVER!
Bailey just stood there watching smugly.
Bailey: What a deplorable and brutish outburst, Just more evidence why you don’t belong here. Why Nigel allows such a vulgar woman such as yourself in this group I don’t understand.
Nigel: *stammering* Okay can you guys calm down a bit.
Nigel could tell that they weren’t paying attention to him. But quickly order came as the blonde man who until now had been quietly packing up the equipment stepped in.
Dimitri: Come now, the director said stop, so you two should stop. If you consider yourselves to be true thespians then you at least should know to follow directions.
Bailey pulled back in response to Dimitri’s chiding.
Bailey: Well what do you expect when we’re forced to endure a common thug in our midst?
Genesis lunged at her again though still held back by Jess’s stubborn hold.
Dimitri: Dimitri doesn’t care about your reasons. A good thespian does their job, and that means following the director’s orders whether you agree or not. If you don’t like it then you are free to leave. Now stop this irritating bickering, you are giving Dimitri a headache.
And with that the argument was at an end. Bailey wasn’t about to push the matter any further, especially given Dimitri’s words about how a proper actor should behave, though that didn’t stop her from glaring at Genesis one last time before walking out.
Nigel: Thank you Dimitri.
Dimitri: No problem director, Dimitri was happy to assist.
Dimitri patted Nigel on the shoulder before heading back to packing up the equipment. Nigel turned towards the two girls Genesis now calming down a bit with Bailey out of the room.
Nigel: You really shouldn’t let her get under your skin like that Sis.
Genesis: I know but how can you expect me to remain calm when she says stuff like that. I would never cheat on Jessica, especially not with you. Sorry, no offense.
Nigel: *laughs* don’t worry, I get what you mean. Wrong equipment and all that, right.
Genesis laughed at Nigel’s comment the mood in the room relaxing again.
Genesis: Right, plus even if you were my type you would be hard pressed to hold a candle to this beautiful women right here.
Jessica: Well next time can you at least try to resist. I understand that her words upset you but you didn’t need to try to attack her.
Genesis’ tough personality waned in response to Jess’ words.
Genesis: Sorry Jess, I just don’t like being accused of that sort of thing.
Jessica: I know, but at least try, for me?
Genesis’ face quickly shifted from the look of a guilty child caught red handed to the flirtatious smirk that Jess was used to and that was reminiscent of the character she’d just played.
Genesis: Is there a reward for good behavior.
Jessica: *laughs* Trust you to turn my words in that direction.
Genesis: Well you can’t blame me.
Nigel laughed as everything fully settled back to normal.
Nigel: Just go on you two, shootings done for the day and it’s clear where this conversation’s headed and I don’t have any desire to have to listen to you two make kissy faces and suggestive comments at each other.
Genesis again laughed at Nigel’s words as she grabbed ahold of Jess’ hand leading her out the door and making a beeline towards the house with countless inappropriate thoughts rushing through her head of what to do once she and Jess got to their bedroom. Jess just shook her head and followed along, unable to say no to her ever brazen girlfriend. Meanwhile Nigel just shook his head as he went to help Dimitri finish cleaning up from the day’s shoot and another finished production from the Two Masks Acting Troupe.
And that's it for the first update.
Now a quick who is who of the Two Masks Acting Troupe
First off playing Marianne we had Jessica St. Clair. A former rich girl who ran away to pursue her career as an actress.
Next up playing Scarlett this is Genesis Mills. Marianne's tatted up girlfriend who ended up in the Troupe completely by chance. And just a side note people like Nigel, Eddie, and Nia refer to her as Sis as a nickname. There is no actual relation.
Playing Marianne's mother we have Bailey Carletti. Born into a long running acting family (and don't you forget it) and all around pain in the ***
Hanging out behind the scenes we have Eddie Emmons, a regular and cheerful guy who became an actor in the troupe simply to support his daughter.
His daughter Nia Emmons, a part time member of the troupe who wants to be an actor like her dad and helps out with the troupe when they need a kid for a role.
Nigel Willoughby the co founder, writer, director, and manager of the troup. And a general nice guy.
And last but not least we have Dimitri Oliver, the other co founder of the troupe. Yes he likes to refer to himself in third person