What'sa matter, Callie, aren't you happy to see your mama!
Colette/Callie: Oh, Mama. Oh mon dieu!
Gerard: Hey, Mrs. Devers, pleasure to see you again.
Ella: Callie, None of that Frenchy talk. Well, little Gerry Puckham. I haven't seen you since you played at the YMCA basket ball in Peoria, and selling hubcaps out the back of your uncle's truck!
(Colette/Callie collapses on the sofa)
Ella: Isn't anyone going to invite me in? I've come all the way from Peoria on the trains, buses, and I walked three blocks in these heels. My dogs are killin' me in these shoes.
Colette/Callie: Uhhhhhh. Here, sit down Mama. (She eyes the suitcase and baggage, and the boots). Um, how long are you planning to stay?
Ella: I've gotta gig at a club over on the west side until Thanksgiving. It's not paying much, so heard you were here. Thought I would crash and save hotel costs. It's been tough times, I bet you know.
(She scans the apartment.)
Maybe not, these digs are Fii-ii-ine.
Emilie: Crash here, mon Dieu? I am Emilie, you are, pleez?
Ella: Ella Devereaux from Peoria, that's my stage name, I'm also Callie's Maman'? And who are you, with your high falootin' accent. A friend of Callie's from Paris?
Emilie: Colette, pleez, Qu'est ce qu'elle fait ici? Je ne comprends pas. (What is she doing here, I don't understand)
Gerard: Well, nice to see you, Mrs. Devers. Callie, Emilie, I think I'll visit some other time.
Emilie: Gerard, you know dees woman?
Gerard: Yes, I do. Mrs. Devers is friends with my aunt and uncle from back when Callie and I were just kids in Peoria. Callie, I will call you. (He escapes, quickly.)
Emilie (Screeching again): Where is dees place, Peeoria, Colette. You said you were from Orleans et Loiret in France. Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça, pleez.
Colette/Callie: I was singing in Orleans, when we met. I'm sorry, I thought my French would tell you, I wasn't really from France.
Emilie: Really! MON DIEU!
Ella mumbles to herself: Of course, I'll just sit down and take my coat off, thank-you to nobody.
Emilie: Dees PEEOria, did you lie to your friends, pretend to be some-zing you not?
(Emilie stomps out of the room and slams the door.)
Ella: Callie, what have you done to that poor girl? Maybe, I had better leave, I'll just call a cab.
Callie: No, Mama, please stay. When I met Emilie, I was already successful as Colette, I just didn't want to be Callie from Peoria anymore.
Ella: Really, girl, I didn't bring you up to tell whoppers or be somethin' your not.
Callie: Mama, one can't be a rage in Paris as little Callie Devers from Peoria. Everything was fine, then the pandemic hit, and we were told Americans needed to come back, so we did. Emilie was my assistant and friend. We left very quickly, and arrived here just before the shut down.
Ella: Well, how's that workin' for ya. Not great, huh? And, I had heard Gerry had skipped Peoria, owing everyone. I had no idea he went to Paris to be with you.
Callie: He was my piano player and then my manager. Oh, Mama, I've made such a mess of things. I AM happy to see you...but, this is a disaster. We signed papers to buy this place.
Ella: You and this Emilie?
Callie: Yes, we bought this place. It was a stretch, but if I can't work soon, it will be worse.
Ella: Work is slim ta nothin' all over. I thought you had a recording contract.
Callie: I did, then the studio went bust. My savings are almost exhausted.
Ella: Well, your Daddy's in the real New Orleans, but, he sends his love. We made quite a mess of things, too. (She dabs at her eyes). He's 'findin' himself, probably in some blonde's arms.
Callie wails: Oh, no, not Daddy? This is awful,...
annd everything is ruined.
(Callie bursts into tears.)
(The noise from upstairs seems to stop.)
Lara: I heard the door slam, who was it? I don't want to turn around.
Ian: It's the piano guy...again, and he's moving fast, gone!
Lara: Never a dull moment around the Grand View. Do you think it is safe to upstairs now? I'm getting cold?
Ian: I thought you would never ask, I can't feel my fingers anymore.
(to be continued in Part 3)
If you haven't read Part 1, it's HERE
Have you ever pretended to be someone you are not?
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Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi