‘Surprise confrontation’ is a sequel to ‘A meeting with Marchesi’.
“Micky! What are you doing here?” Delphia cried in surprise.
Micky shot a glance behind him to see if Cylus was coming. Delphia rearranged the plates on the tray and heaved it back up.
“I only have a moment, unless…is there an out of the way place close by?” Micky said hurriedly. Delphia was trying to put the situation together in her head. She was shocked by his sudden appearance and it was turning to anger over all the thoughts she had had during his long absence. Now he showed up out of the blue without a clue that she was upset. Within a short time, he would run off again without hearing her out.
“Here,” she said firmly and stepped down the hall. She kicked at another door. “This is the pantry, stay in there. I’ll be right back.” She whisked away with her tray to deliver her orders. Micky ducked into the pantry and stood staring at the shelves of tins and jars. He sighed. This is what it had come to, hiding in pantries.
Within a few minutes, Delphia shuffled back in. Her expression was dark.
“Now what are you doing sneaking around in the dark? I haven’t heard from you in weeks and you just show up here without a word to me!” she hissed.
“I can explain. I’m not sneaking around. I can explain.” Micky assured her.
“Really? Really, Micky?” Her voice was rising. Micky shushed her.
“Keep your voice down. I don’t want Cylus to find me. If he does I’ll be dragged back to the Farm before you can hear me out.”
“Hear you out?” she laughed. “About what? More lies?”
“What are you getting at, Doll?” Micky was perplexed with her aggressive tone. She was usually so sweet natured.
“You’re married or had you never planned to tell me that!” she spat. Micky’s face darkened as his smile fell away.
“Who told you that?” he said in a whisper followed by a sinister chuckle.
“It don’t matter,” she said, “I know.”
“And what do you know about it?” he asked in a low voice. She shoved him in response.
“That you’re a son of a bitch! Leading me on! Making me fall in love with you! You fucking piece of shit!” She beat at Micky with her hands. He caught her flailing wrists and tried to hold her still. It was at that moment that she noticed the deep welts on his hands. She felt the anger drain out of her. He wasn’t even fighting back and barely defending himself. She bit back her tears until she could speak with more control.
“What-what happened to your hands?” Delphia asked with concern as she stared at the scabbed scratches on the back on Micky’s hands. She couldn’t stop herself from loving him even when she was angry.
“Nothing,” he replied bluntly, “I was just moving stuff around the barn.” He let go of her wrists and pulled his cuffs lower. He turned away from her.
“I thought you had guys for that,” she said quietly. Micky wasn’t amused. She came to his elbow and tried to take a closer look. “Did you have those looked at? They seem pretty deep.” He pulled his hands away.
“They’re fine. They’re healing just fine,” he said rather gruffly. He had never spoke to Delphia in that tone of voice before. She fell silent. The door opened and Cylus poked his head in.
“Micky? What are you doing in here?” he asked. Micky straightened his suit coat and picked his satchel back up. Cylus’s brow furrowed when he saw Delphia.
“Nothing, Cylus. We should be hitting the road.” He crossed to the door. Cylus pulled back out to the hallway. Micky stopped in the door. He didn’t turn around, only tilted his head towards her. He glanced over with the one eye before looking at the floor.
“You don’t know the first thing about Lena or our marriage,” he murmured. Micky shut the door firmly behind him.
“Should we get the kitchen to make up some sandwiches?” Cylus asked. Micky shook his head.
“No, at the moment, I can’t stand this place. Let’s stop at that little café on the edge of town. They have that pie I like.” Micky pushed past him and led the way out of Libellule.
Delphia was left standing alone in the pantry. She felt like her chest was collapsing. She leaned forward on a shelf and hung her head down. Nausea was making her stomach flop. The feeling of uncertainty. She didn’t know if that was the last time she would see Micky. She didn’t know if she would soon be homeless. She had hoped all this time that Agent Spiegel had been lying. It was the only way that she could get through the day to day like a normal human being. Now everything was crashing down around her. Moira had warned her, had told her to make her heart unavailable. The pain she felt now was her own fault.
One of the assistant cooks came in and stopped in surprise.
“Miss Fitzgerald, are you all right?” he asked with concern when he realized she had tears on her cheeks.
“No,” she mumbled. She clutched her stomach in emphasis. “Can you tell Mort that I’m sick. I’m going home.” She stumbled out of the pantry and left the cook standing there confused. He grabbed what he needed and turned it over to another cook before grabbing a waitress to pass the message to the manager. He wouldn’t risk losing his job for stepping out on the main floor, but he wanted to do right by Delphia. She had never been rude to any of the back of house staff and the poor girl had no family of her own.
Delphia hid in the back of the coat room for a few minutes. She didn’t want to risk running into Cylus or Micky again that night. She wished she could talk to Moira, but felt like the dancer’s consolation would consist of “I told you so.”
She slipped out into the night unnoticed and clung to the shadows for her walk home. When she approached the big brownstone building she saw the light still on in Vera’s flat. It struck her that Vera probably had a good deal of advice on heartache. She let herself into the foyer and knocked on the landlady’s door.