The Don Quixote Piece
Beth's eyes bridled. She tapped the end of her menthol into the ashtray between her and Lucia. "You know all the critical things?"
"I have read him," Lucia the French girl replied. "It is all there in his work."
Beth glanced out the cafe window. Lucia the French girl watched Beth glance out the cafe window. Lucia the French girl then glanced out the cafe window. Then both of them looked back to each other.
"But don't use his writings as your entrée," Beth dryly counseled. "He hates that."
"Of course not," Lucia answered. She surveyed Beth with a chary eye, one mixing hesitancy now, eagerness. "You have no doubt about this, my Beth?"
"I have no doubt."
"I...his conscience is iron-clad."
The two young women gazed into each other. Beth's bridling faded. Lucia's eager hesitancy faded. This was the Rubicon. There were no more justifications for such feeling.
Suddenly Beth looked afraid.
Suddenly Lucia the French girl, in her turn, looked afraid.
It was too late to turn back.
"Just give me the opportunities," Lucia the French girl said flatly.
And Beth said nothing; tapped the ash off the end of her cigarette. She knew what to do. Beth inhaled. Stay late at the studio. Find excuses to be absent. Beth exhaled. Leave them alone.