Ashley finally got onto the stage. A young lady whose average height was obviously elevated by the high heels she wore. She was pretty with feminine features, not muscular or manly as Eddy was thinking she would be.
“What the heck are you guys doing, huh?” That was Ashley addressing her crew members. “Do you guys think that we’re here to joke? You guys are so not in character. And Mark, why is the lighting so poor? Are you guys really excited about this? From down there, where I was sitting, it was a total mess!”
“Total mess?” Eddy thought quite in contrast since he seemed to have enjoyed the play so far.
Rhoda Banks as well sat silently next to Eddy as she watched her sister ‘discipline’ the team.
“Look! I don’t joke with what I do.” Ashley continued to address them in her usual harsh tone. “And I don’t settle for mediocre stuff. You can talk behind my back for all I care, but you will have it from me if you don’t perform to my satisfaction… I’m the director and the manager and the producer! And if you can’t comply you can just put down your script and walk out! I really don’t need any of you to make this production successful ‘cos there are a whole lot of people out there wanting to work with me!” she said.
Eddy could feel the tension on the stage.
“Now where is Eva?” Ashley yelled.
A lady quickly walked to the front visibly shaking. Ashley also moved forward looking at her with piercing eyes.
“You know that I’m really pissed with you, huh?” Eva nodded with her head bowed.
“Lift up your head and look at me in the eyes, woman!” Ashley commanded for which the lady did same. The other crew members began to wonder what Eva had done to their Boss.
“You know I’m pissed with you huh? And I’ll be justified to kill the hell out of you right? But I’m not gonna… So don’t mess up my production! You better perform well and be in character, get it?”
“Yes I do!” Eva replied with a shaky voice.
Eddy could sense the tension on the stage. His eyes quickly found his sister who looked so agitated on stage. He understood. He gave her a reassuring smile and she also smiled back.
“Sharon, what’s funny huh? Why are you laughing?” Ashley demanded.
“O… O no I wasn’t laughing…. I was onl…” Sharon fumbled as she tried to explain.
“Just stop!” Ashley sharply interjected. She seemed really angry that day and they all couldn’t figure out why. “Everyone back to business! I’m really peeved at the moment, so no one should put me to test! Back to business! We’re starting all over!”
Eddy could still see the scary look on his sister’s face as well as even on the faces of some of the guys. He finally had met Ashley Banks. And quite on an unpleasant note, he had spoken ill of Ashley unknowingly to her younger sister Rhoda Banks, who was still sitting next to him.
Rhoda realized that this stranger gentleman whose name she didn’t even know fidgeted in his seat. And as though to make him feel more awful she whispered into his ear “Thanks for saying all those unpleasant things about my sister… Flint… You’ve seen her on show now, huh?”
After those biting words she got up then walked out even before Eddy could let her know how sorry he was.
Soon the rehearsal ended, and as Ashley went through the reviews with them. The atmosphere didn’t even permit Sharon to introduce her brother to her. Eddy thought it wise to go out in search of Rhoda Banks. He found her outside in her sister’s car having a drink.
Eddy approached her then apologized. “Seriously, it was very wrong of me to have said all that about her, even if all that is true…”
“It’s alright!” Rhoda after a long moment of silence said. “Some people say worse stuff about her… And yes she is my sister, I know her… But people don’t know what she’s gone through, or how she’s even been able to make it this far… And she knows that some people even think that she is ruthless and bossy and all… But I didn’t know actually that people call her ‘Flint’… Sounds funny though!” Rhoda said rather calmly now.
“I am really sorry… And…please I really hope that you don’t tell her about all this” he requested.
“Sure… no problem uhmm…?”
“Edward… my name is Edward, Eddy for short” he provided.
The two who seemed now to have settled the issue amicably and were now comfortable with each other exchanging contacts.
©Dorothy Budu-Arthur, 2016