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YOU & I

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*

Soon enough, Don and Cosmo's wedding date comes along.

(They're mighty fine fellas. Kathy couldn't ask for this overwhelming happiness to be more deserving than to them.)

Then again, it's more like a noisy and fun-loving shindig, Kathy supposes. They're not marrying in a church, but that's alright. She doesn't like churches much. Nana constantly complained when Kathy's mother and father drove them all out every Sunday.

Kathy half-expected to be marking the joyous occasion with Don and Cosmo's friends and acquaintances, while in the theatre, but they rent out most of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel's lounge. There's a champagne sparkle to everything, including the high-hanging flowers.

(Or maybe it's the champagne itself, Kathy supposes again, hiccuping into her opening palm.)

"There you are!" Cosmo proclaims, latching himself onto Kathy's arm. 

She smiles absently.

"Why, I only left to powder my nose—"

Don swoops in, clutching Kathy's opposite arm. 

"—Kathy, darling," he murmurs. "We need your helping hand here. As a woman, you understand."

Cosmo nods vigorously. "There's been an incident… with you-know-who… up in one of the hotel rooms doing who-knows…"

She gazes around at the partygoers, noticing how much quieter it has gotten. The person who created more noise, rather the fun-loving aspect of this marital celebration, has disappeared. "Oh goodness," Kathy breathes, becoming somewhat worried.

"Couldja fetch the poor lamb? Miss Lamont has gotten drunk as a skunk, and twice as unseemly these days."

Kathy makes a great and reluctant show of sighing, but wanders out of their arms. 

"Now don't you be cutting that fancy-looking cake without me!" Kathy yells from on top of a staircase, smiling as they wave cheerfully below. Don's arm rests in the loop of Cosmo's. "Better be sure if there's someone still breathing in it or not!"

"You're a real hoot, Kathy!"

*

She discovers Lina… well, it's certainly doing who knows what

Lina's white diamond-encrusted dress has been soaked completely through. Everything underneath Kathy's heels glistens wet with bubbles. She must have turned on the water, and added too much of the pink, perfumed soap, and never turned it off. 

The hotel's black, corded phone sits beside Lina, with her cradling the receiver. 

Snot trickles down Lina's blotchy red face.

"Goodness," Kathy whispers, immediately sympathetic. Even though Lina showed up making a ruckus, sneering and scowling silently at everyone including Don, no one deserves to feel this miserable. Lina gazes up to her, her bloodshot eyes focusing.

"You…"

Lina's voice unpleasantly shrills, slurs.

She gazes over Kathy for another moment, finally looking devastated.

"Wh-Where's Donnie…?"

"He's at the wedding reception, Lina. It's where you should be. We're worried."

Lina sniffs, holding the phone's receiver up to her lips while glaring outright at a bit of nothingness. 

"I hate him."

Kathy gives up, dropping into a sit with Lina, feeling the bathwater soaking into her own dress. The pearlescent-pink bubbles reach up to Kathy's shoulders. She takes away the bottle of champagne before Lina can remember it's there.

"I know we aren't the best of friends, Lina…" Kathy admits.  "But if you need someone… I guess, it could be me. If you want."

Lina's bottom lip quivers.

"You ain't… just sayin' that, are you?"

Kathy crinkles her nose, offering a smile. "I got told to find you and get you downstairs before a calamity happens," she points out, gently nudging her leg against Lina's underneath the bubble-mountain. "Nobody asked me to promise you anything else."

Lina bursts out into shrilly-high, drunken weeping. 

She crawls for Kathy's arms, leaving Kathy to sigh and dutifully press her mouth on Lina's head.

What an ordeal…

*