...Andy wasn’t prepared to drive all night. At least not with a babbling, maudlin, confused, over-dramatic actor deep in his cups sitting right beside him. “Where do you want to go?”
“Somewhere else. Somewhere I’ve never been before. Where do you live?”
“You want to go to my house?”
“Sure. I bet you have a nice house.”
“It’s not as nice as yours,” Andy warned. A voice in the back of his head—it sounded like Susan—warned him that it was a bad idea. A very bad idea. He should take Scott home, get him safely tucked in bed, then call his sister and explain everything that happened. “And I don’t have any booze.”
“That’s fine. The booze hasn’t been working very well anyway.”
“What did you want it to do?”
“Make me forget.”
Scott didn’t sound drunk when he said that. He sounded sober—frighteningly, depressingly sober. Andy studied him from the corner of his eye, trying to get some clue. Would Susan know how to handle him in this state? Or would she be totally confused, too?
“Make you forget your secret?”
“Is it so bad?”
“It’s worse than so bad.”
Andy didn’t believe that, but he didn’t want to push. If it was something truly awful, sharing it with him wouldn’t relieve Scott’s burden. It would just make Andy carry the same amount of weight. If Scott was just a friend, just some guy he knew, that would be one thing. But he’d be forced to keep something possibly awful from his sister. And he wasn’t comfortable doing that.
“I have a spare bed. I think it’s pretty comfortable. We’ll get an early start tomorrow for Napa.”
Scott didn’t respond. He had his arms folded across his chest, and he seemed to be lost in his own little world. Andy considered and dismissed a dozen ways to start the conversation rolling again. Scott didn’t feel like talking, and just because the silence made Andy uncomfortable was no reason to get Scott going again.
Andy lived in Pasadena, not far from the Rose Bowl. The neighborhood was quiet, and his neighbors were just the sort of people who would call the cops over a minor disturbance. He just hoped that Scott wouldn’t launch into anything until after they were safely inside. But his fear proved to be unfounded. They made it inside the house without incident, Scott meekly following him.
“You sure you don’t want to go out back to your own house?” Andy asked.
“Yeah, I’m sure.”
“Still feeling a bit drunk?”
“More than a bit. Just not so…happy.”
Andy grimaced. “Well, have a seat, and I’ll just check up on the spare room.”
But Scott didn’t sit down. In fact, he followed Andy up the stairs and down the hall. Susan used the room occasionally, so Andy knew that not only would it be presentable for company, but the bed would be freshly made with clean sheets. Susan always made sure that the house was left cleaner than she found it.
“What do you do when you want to forget something? And drinking just gives you a headache?”
“I find something to help me keep my mind off it. Read a book, or go to the movies. I bet you could get in for free.”
“No, I don’t want to go to the movies. I don’t know if I even want to have anything to do with the movies anymore.”
Andy frowned. “What do you mean? You’re going to quit?”
“Sometimes…sometimes I think I would like to.”
“I never thought it would be like this. That’s all. I’m probably going to regret saying any of this tomorrow.”
“Hell, you probably won’t even remember anything you said tonight. Trust me.”
“Yeah, but I won’t hold it against you. In fact, I’ll pretend that I don’t remember a thing.”
“You’d do that?”
“So whatever happens in this room…it’s going to remain in this room?”
Andy frowned, wondering if he should just tell Scott to forget it. He wouldn’t mention to anybody that Scott wanted to quit Hollywood, but he didn’t want to be in possession of any other information. But Scott was looking at him with such hope that it would be cruel to dismiss him now. And though the two men weren’t incredibly close, Scott would be part of his family for the rest of his life—no reason to start being cruel to him.
“Absolutely. I’m not big on gossip...”