CATEGORY: S/C Romance
SUMMARY: One faithful day brings Shirley and Carmine back together again.
It is one year after Shirley left from California with Walter. She has moved back to the USA with Walter and he is doing has his own office in California near wear Laverne and Shirley used to live. They moved there with their one-year-old daughter Kate.
It is 5:30 P.M. and Walter got off work early so Shirley and him went out to eat at a nice restaurant and called the baby-sitter for Kate. The lights are dim and it is very casual. There was a candle lit at every table. Shirley was having a conversation with Walter.
Walter: So how was your day?
Shirley: Fine… yours?
Walter: Oh you would never believe what happened today at the office! …
Walter began to talk about what happened and Shirley started to drift away from what he was saying. She was thinking about Laverne, Mr. DeFazio, Mrs. Babish, Lenny, and Sqiggy. There was someone missing though. She couldn’t think of who it was. She knew that she didn’t need to be bothered with that situation any more. Ever since they moved away to Europe, she never really kept in touch with anyone and now that she was back in California, she was afraid to call anyone because she thought they wouldn’t except her anymore.
She was looking down at her plate and Walter noticed.
Walter: Is something wrong? You act like you aren’t listening or something.
Shirley: Oh no, I was listening! I was looking… at this food.
Walter: What was talking about?
Shirley: Um… the food?
Walter: Mmm hmm! (he said this sarcastically) What’s wrong Shirl?
Shirley: Nothing, it’s just cold in here that’s all. Go on with what you were saying. I’ll listen.
He continued but was cautious about it and kept looking at her weird because he knew that there was something bothering her. Now he knew she wasn’t listening and started to talk about how ugly her brothers were to see if she noticed. She didn’t. He just decided that he would discuss it with her at home. So he kept talking about what happened.
Shirley was looking at the door. She was waiting for someone familiar to walk through. Then, just like she had yelled for someone, they came walking through the door almost in slow motion. Her eyes got big and she covered her mouth and dropped her fork.
Walter: Shirl! Are you okay? What’s wrong? Shirl!!!
Shirley: I have to go to the bathroom!
She got up and walked as fast as she could to the restroom. When she got in there she just leaned against the wall and was starting to hyperventilate. She had to calm herself. She just couldn’t believe it. There in that very restaurant with her, was the one person she was forgetting. Carmine Ragusa. At that name she could feel chills going up her spine. She finally calmed herself down and walked slowly out the door. When she spotted Carmine, she saw him at a table near the restrooms. She had to keep her pride and dignatiy. So she gracfuly walked out of the restroom and passed his table as if she didn’t see him. When he saw her walking he looked up at her and then jerked his head back up to look at her again to make sure he saw what he thought he saw. He grabbed her wrist before she walked away. He looked at. He saw the pretty diamond on her finger and knew he never had a chance. He then stared up at her.
Carmine: What are you doing here? I thought you were in Europe!
Shirley: Oh, well, Walter got his own office here and so we moved back.
Carmine: How come you never called or anything? I mean, you were so close to where we all lived.
Shirley: Oh, well I wasn’t sure if you all were in the same place… and so I just decided to-
Carmine: Not call.
Shirley: Look, Carmine, I don’t really think that this is a good place to talk about this.
Carmine: Yeah, you’re right. I mean, you probably have a good reason for all of it. Do you think that maybe we could meet later tonight and… talk?
Shirley: Um, sure. I’ll meet you… in front of Cowboy Bills. It’s still there right?
Carmine: Always and forever! 10:00 P.M. okay?
She leaned down to kiss him on the cheek gently. Just to show that they were still friends and she wasn’t mad. Not that she had any reason to be.
She walked off and he smiled. When she got back to Walter, he was worried. He got up and walked to her before she reached the table.
Walter: Shirley are you okay? You didn’t look so good. Was it the food? Do you want to go home?
Shirley: Yeah it was the food. Let’s go.
He got the check and he wrapped his arm around her waist. Carmine was still looking at her and she looked behind her and smiled at him. He smiled back.
Shirley is at her house with Walter and is getting ready.
Walter: Hey hon-
He saw that she was not getting ready for bed and looked like she was going out.
Walter: Hun where are you going? It’s 9:30 at night?
Shirley: Oh, well I was just going to meet an old friend.
Shirley: Um, someone named Carol.
Walter: Never heard of her.
Shirley: Yeah… I know. Well I will see you later.
She walked over to him and kissed him on the lips in a hurry. He gently grabbed her arm and they slowly came together to kiss. They stood there for a long minute and then she separated and smiled, then left.
It was dark outside and she parked her car outside the place that she shared so many memories with her friends. Her friends that she had made promises with to never part, her friends that she broke that promise to. She almost turned around, but just stepped out. It looked like the lights were still on. She didn’t see Carmine and wondered if she should go in. She hesitated. Then grabbed the handle and slowly opened the door. She stepped in.
She heard footsteps and the voice of a familiar person.
Person: Hey get out of here! We’re-
He saw that it was someone he knew. He stood there with a silly and surprised look on his face. Then she smiled and that did it.
Mr. DeFazio: Shirley! You’re back!
He walked over to her and gave her a long hug.
Shirley: Oh Mr. DeFazio!! I’m so glad to see you!
Mr. DeFazio: I think that someone else here will be even more happier to see you.
He took her hand and walked her into the main area. There she was with her back to the door and was eating her food. She looked like no one else and Shirley could hardly wait to see her.
She turned around.
Laverne: Hey Pop-
She was stunned when she saw what was there. There stood the best friend she ever had. The friend that always loved her and cared. She thought too that she looked like no one else. She ran to her friend and they stood there and hugged for what seemed like an eternity. They both had tears running down their cheeks and were becoming hysterical.
Laverne (through tears): Oh my God! I can’t believe this! You’re actually here! I hope I’m not dreaming!
Shirley (through tears): I hope I’m not either! On I’ve missed you all so much! There is so much we have to talk about. It seems like that short year was forever. I’m glad to see that no hurricane came through and took you all away!
She laughed and was wiping her tears, as was Laverne.
Then right after she said that, of course, in come Lenny and Squiggy from the kitchen door.
Squiggy: Mr. DeFaz-
Squiggy: Oh hey Shirl. Mr. DeFazio, do you have anymore ketchup?
Lenny: SHIRL! LOOK SQUIGGY IT’S SHIRLEY!
Squiggy: Yeah yeah… now about the ketch- SHIRL!
He turned around and they hugged her. They hugged her so tight that she couldn’t breath and for a moment her whole life flashed in front of her eyes because she thought she was going to die from suffocation. Mr. DeFazio and Laverne pulled them off.
Squiggy: Oh, Lenny, I think I need a moment! Come!
Squiggy and Lenny walked off holding each other and crying.
Shirley: I see things haven’t changed.
Laverne: We’ve got SO much to talk about!
Right then, Carmine came through the door. Shirley felt like she had never seen him at the restaurant earlier. She walked over to him and hugged him. He hugged her back.
Shirley: Um if you all don’t mind, Carmine and I meet earlier at a restaurant and made plans to talk tonight… so…
Laverne: Oh yeah! We understand. She winked.
Shirley thought: She sure hasn’t changed. It made her feel safe and happy. She liked it.
Carmine and Shirley turned around and walked out.
They walked outside and started to walk along the sidewalk and talk.
Carmine: So why haven’t you kept in touch?
Shirley: Well, I just thought that you all wouldn’t except me after what happened with me leaving and getting pregnant and all. I was just… scared I guess.
Carmine: We will always except you Angelface.
There it was… the one thing she had hoped for that night. Angelface… she loved it.
Carmine: What? What’s so funny?
Shirley: You… you called me Angelface.
Carmine: Oh sorry…
Shirley: No no… I liked it! It’s sweet. It makes it feel like old times. It means we still have that friendship. That’s good.
Carmine: Well good.
They had stopped on the sidewalk. They began to creep closer and closer until Shirley pulled back.
They both realized what was going on.
Carmine: So… how are you and Walter?
Shirley: Just fine! We have a one-year-old daughter named Kate. Oh she’s beautiful Carmine! You’d love her like she was your own…
She realized what she said and even though it might not have meant that much, it got her to thinking about what it would like it is was his. She began to think it almost would be better than it being Walter’s.
Shirley: So how have you been? Anyone special in your life?
Carmine: No, just the regular… you know… dates every now and then... but no one serious…
The sexual tension was beginning to get on her nerves and his. Finally they both turned to each other at the same time and wrapped their arms around each other and started to kiss. They couldn’t stop. Shirley tried but she couldn’t stop. She knew it was wrong…
Finally they stopped. They pulled their lips away from each other and stayed close.
Carmine: That was…
Shirley: wrong… but…
Carmine: Oh God! I probably just screwed everything up didn’t I?
Shirley: No, no, I won’t tell…
Carmine: This isn’t good Shirley.
Shirley: I know!
She pulled away from him and they started to walk on more.
Carmine: We just won’t let it happen again.
Then they turned to each other and started again.
Shirley: NO! This is wrong… very very wrong…
Carmine: Sorry! Oh gosh! This is bad. Maybe it’s just a physical attraction!
Shirley and Carmine: No…
Shirley: Maybe we are just… um…
Carmine: Yeah maybe…
They had no idea what they were talking about by then.
Shirley stopped and turned toward him and he stopped too.
Shirley: Oh Carmine! I should have married you when I had the chance! What was I thinking?
Carmine: Wait… can I ask you a question?
Carmine: Um… did you marry Walter because… well because… oh gosh… because you were… pre…preg…pre…
Shirley: PREGNANT? Carmine how could you say that? Why would I do something like that?
Carmine: Well, did you?
Shirley: NO! I married him… because I loved him.
Carmine: Did you really love him?
Shirley: Of course.
Carmine: Did you love him like you loved me?
Shirley: What are you getting at?
Carmine: Shirl, there hasn’t been anyone in my life that I have loved more than I loved you. You are one of the most important things in my life and when I heard you were getting married, I didn’t know what to think. I always had this dream of us growing old together and having children and all. And then I heard you were pregnant and that just really set me off. I was mad at you for a long time and I couldn’t understand how you could have done something like that. I thought you were going to wait for us to get married… but I was wrong. I of course got over it, but ever since you left I have never felt the same as when you were around and I have never felt the way I feel right now.
Carmine: Wait… I will tell you the truth, but I don’t want you to get mad. But… I think that you rushed things with Walter and you married him because you were afraid that you would never have the chance again. So you went for it. I know that you still loved me, but you just wanted to experience it.
Shirley: Carmine… I hate to say it… but now that I think about it you are right. I mean, I’ve been with Walter now for a year and it has really been great. I remember Laverne telling me one time when she was going to get married to a sailor, that she would grow to love him, and I said you can’t do that. I don’t know if I’ve proved myself right or wrong now.
Carmine: Are you saying you don’t know if you love Walter or not?
Shirley: Yeah, I guess I am.
Carmine: Shirl, do you feel the same way with me as you do with Walter?
Shirley: ((sigh))… No…
Carmine: Do you feel the same about me as I do about you?
Shirley: Carmine I can’t do this right now… just… give me time…
They walked on in the dark in silence.
It is 12:30 P.M. that night and Shirley unlocked the door quietly and pushed it open slowly. When she got in Walter was standing right there and she screamed. He covered her mouth.
Walter: SHHH! You’ll wake Kate!
Shirley: Sorry! You scared me!
Walter: Why were you out so late?
Shirley: I told you I went to go see my friend Carol.
Walter: No, you’re not telling me the truth. I mean, you’re in California, who else would you see except Laverne and them.
Shirley: Okay, so you caught me.
Walter: Why did you lie to me?
Shirley: Because I didn’t want you to get mad.
Walter: Why would I have gotten mad?
Shirley: Because… I don’t know, that’s a good question.
Walter: Shirl, you know I didn’t want to take you away from your friends. I would never do that. And if you want to see them, fine! I want you to see them. They love you almost as much as I do and they probably know you better too. Just, don’t lie.
Shirley: Well I’m glad you feel that way. I’m sorry. I won’t anymore.
Walter: Did you get to see Carmine?
Shirley: Um, yeah.
Walter: Hmm. Good.
He walked away. She felt all the guilt rise in her throat. She knew he was upset. She had to forget it. But she couldn’t. She ran into the bedroom where he was.
Shirley: Walter are you mad?
Walter: No. He’s your friend too.
Shirley: Then why did you mention him but not any of the others?
Walter: I was just wondering Shirl.
Walter: I just don’t want you and him to start a relationship even if you didn’t want to. I don’t want you to fall back in love with him again.
Shirley: Walter, you have nothing to worry about.
He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her forehead. Then she leaned up and kissed himon the lips and they fell back on the bed…
It was the next day and Shirley woke up at 7:30. She turned to see if Walter was there but he was gone. She wrapped the sheet around her and walked into the kitchen to see if he was in there. No Walter. She figured that he had already left to go to work so she went back into Kate’s room to check on her. She wasn’t there. She started to become frantic and was running all over the house in a sheet trying to find the rest of her family. She ran to the phone to call Walter at the office.
Office: Hello… Walter Meeney Practices… how may I help you?
Shirley: Yes may I please speak to Walter, this is his wife?
Office: Um, Mame, he hasn’t come in this morning.
Shirley: WHAT? Oh my God!
She slammed the phone down and started to search the house again. She didn’t know what to do. She picked up the phone again and called Carmine.
Carmine: Shirl, what’s wrong? You sound like something is wrong! What’s is it?
Shirley: I CAN’T FIND KATE AND WALTER! I JUST CALLED THE OFFICE AND THEY SAY HE ISN’T THERE!
Carmine: Ok Shirl! Calm down. I’ll be over there in a sec ok? Where do you live?
She gave him the address and hung up. She decided that she should get dressed. So she ran into the room and got dressed. When she walked into the bathroom, she saw a note sitting on the table. It read:
Don’t worry, I have taken Kate with me. I went to see a pachent. I know you are probably mad and furius because I took Kate, but I haven’t spent much time with her and I felt someone needed to be with me.
Shirley: YEAH BUT A ONE-YEAR-OLD CHILD ISN’T GOING TO BE THAT MUCH COMPANY WALTER!
She realized she was talking to herself and put her hand on her forehead to calm down. She knew where he was and where she was and that was all that mattered.
She heard the doorbell ring many times. It was Carmine. And she still wasn’t dressed, but she rushed to the door with the sheet still around her and jerked open the door. When she saw him standing there she went towards him and hugged him. He hugged her back.
Carmine: Ok Shirl so what happened?
Shirley: Oh, it’s ok now. I went to the bathroom and found this note.
She handed him the note and read it out loud.
Carmine: Well where is he?
Shirley: I don’t know exactly, but he is all right. Thank you for coming. I didn’t have time to call you after I found it.
Carmine: That’s ok.
He looked at Shirley in the sheet and his eyes got big.
Shirley: Oh! Sorry about this! (She pointed to the sheet) Didn’t have time to get dressed. I’ll be right back.
Carmine: Yeah ok.
She ran into the bedroom. Carmine stood there in the living room and started to look at pictures. He saw pictures of Shirley and Walter together having fun and laughing and he saw their friends and then he saw Kate. He felt sad because all that year she had been having the time of her life while he carried the stress of it around on his shoulders. She smiled though when he saw her face and smile. He had never seen her that happy in a while. He was happy for her, though he wished it was him and not Walter.
Shirley walked back into the room with a skirt on and a blouse just like she used to wear to go to work at Bardwell’s. He was so happy that she was here.
Carmine: You look nice.
Shirley: Well thank you. You do too!
He was wearing a pair of dirty looking jeans with holes in them and a plaid button up shirt that was only buttoned to his chest.
She smiled too.
Shirley: Oh, look. This is Kate.
She pointed to a picture that looked professionally taken. She was sitting there with Shirley and Walter and they all looked so happy.
Carmine: She looks just like you Angelface. You all look so happy. Like the perfect family.
Shirley: Don’t be to sure of it.
Carmine: What do you mean?
Shirley: Well, I have just felt like ever since we got married I have had to hide so much about us from him. And last night I when I came to see you I lied to him and he found out. I don’t think he trusts me anymore.
Carmine: Well… I’m sorry.
Shirley: Don’t be. It really doesn’t matter.
Carmine: Of course it dose! He is your husband and you love him.
Shirley: I’m not too sure of it anymore.
He came close to her even though he knew it would be wrong and he kissed her. They kissed forever. Shirley hoped it would never end. Then she thought about Kate and Walter. She pulled away.
Shirley: This isn’t working. I have to talk to Walter.
Carmine: What are you going to tell him?
Shirley: I don’t know.
It was 8:00 P.M. that night and Walter came in. Shirley was sitting on the couch waiting for them. When she heard them walk in, she got up and walked towards them.
Shirley: Walter… where have you been? And why the hell did you take Kate? A one-year-old isn’t going to be much of a big help.
Walter: I know… um, I just had to think about some things.
Shirley: We need to talk.
Walter and Shirley put Kate to sleep and then walked into the living room.
Shirley: Walter, this isn’t working.
Shirley: You and me. I mean, ever since I saw Carmine, I have been having second thoughts.
Walter: Second thoughts? Shirl… marriage is not a game. That’s how you are treating it.
Shirley: No Walter, I just think that we made a mistake by getting married. We rushed into it and we did in the beginning act like it was a game. I mean, I got taken away from my friends and I am not saying it was a total bad trip, but it made me feel guilty and I have never been as happy as I am when I’m with the people I really care for.
Walter: Well, I can’t change your mind I guess. So what do you want to do about it?
Shirley: That’s all you have to say?
Walter: Well, Shirl… what do you want me to do? Beg you to not think like that? Beg you to leave your friends and beg you to say you love me when you really don’t? I can’t do that. I don’t want you to be unhappy. So if you want a divorce, which I think would be best, then so be it.
Shirley: Well I think that would be the best thing to do also.
Walter: All right… I’ll call the "man" later.
He got up from the couch they were sitting and just walked away from Shirley not looking at her. She sat there and a tear fell down her cheek. She wiped it off and got up.
Shirley was sitting in the living room when she heard a familiar knock at the door. She got up to answer it. When she opened the door it was Carmine.
Shirley: Hey Carmine.
Carmine: Hi Angelface.
Shirley: Come in.
He came in and sat down on the couch with her. He looked over on the table and saw some papers sitting there. He knew it was none of his business but he read them anyway. They were the divorce papers. When he figured it out, he turned around stunned.
Carmine: So what’s been going on?
Shirley: Oh, nothing much. How about you?
Carmine: Oh ya know, just the same old stuff. So how is Walter?
Shirley: Oh, well we had a talk and decided things weren’t working out. So we decided on a divorce.
Carmine: Oh, Shirl, I’m sorry to hear that.
As if he didn’t already know!
Shirley: Yeah well, now I hope that things can go back to normal and we can all be happy again.
She seemed unusually quiet so Carmine decided to leave.
Carmine: Yeah, me too. Um, well I guess you want to be alone right now, so I’m just gonna go.
Shirley: No Carmine… stay… please.
She pushed his shoulder back to the couch. She looked like she was going to cry, so he pulled her head to his chest and they sat there together. Shirley felt secure with Carmine’s arms around her and hoped she would never have to leave him.
Laverne was sitting at the same apartment and Shirley walked in. She got up and hugged her.
Laverne: Shirl I’m so glad you’re back.
Shirley: Me too. You don’t mind me walking in do you?
Laverne: Hell no! You’re always welcome, I told you that. So let’s talk.
They sat on the couch. Shirley looked to Laverne that there was something bothering her.
Laverne: Is everything’s okay Shirl.
Shirley: Well, no. Walter and I have decided to get a divorce.
Laverne: Oh I’m so sorry. Why?
Shirley: Well… ever since I left here I haven’t been as happy as I was. So I told this to Walter and he agreed that would be the best thing.
Laverne: There’s gotta be more.
Shirley: Well I also think I haven’t gotten over Carmine and I don’t think he has gotten over me either.
Laverne: You’re telling me! He’s looked about 10 years older ever since you left. But now you’re back I think that you are both doing a lot better. So are you gonna do something tonight?
Shirley: Well, not until we get the divorce to be certain and all.
Laverne: Oh. So how is Walter taking this?
Shirley: Not too well I think. He was pretty upset. Look, I gotta get out of here. I have to pick up Kate. Bye!
Shirley just walked in from being at Laverne’s. She saw Walter sitting on the couch holding Kate. The lights were deem and the time was about 8:30 P.M. It was dark outside. She stood in the doorway for a second looking at them. Then Walter turned his head and looked at her.
Walter: She’s beautiful isn’t she?
She smiled and he looked back down at Kate. She walked over to where he was sitting and sat down close to him. She stared at Kate and he looked into Shirley’s eyes as she looked at her.
Walter: Shirl, um, we gotta go tomorrow for the… thing.
Shirley: Thing? Oh… yeah. Walter, are you… ok?
Walter: Whatever you want Shirl. Whatever you want.
Shirley: Walter, we can still be friends right?
Walter: Of course sweetheart.
Shirley wrapped her arms around Walter and then laid on his shoulder with Kate in his arms. He put one hand on her head.
Walter: Let’s go put Kate to bed.
They got up and put her to bed. When they walked out of the room, Walter stopped her.
Walter: Shirl, you sure you wanna do this?
Shirley: Walter, I just don’t think that we are meant for each other. If I don’t do this, I don’t think we will be happy.
Walter: I understand.
He gave her a hug and she hugged him back.
Shirley was with Carmine and she had just gotten the divorce with Walter. Carmine was sitting next to her. They were in a nice restaurant.
Carmine: Angelface, I know you’ve had a hard time, and this is kind of sudden, but I don’t want to make the mistake of loosing you again because I think you’re so wonderful and I love you so much. So, will marry me?
Shirley: Oh Carmine…
She smiled and her eyes filled with tears.
Carmine: Is that a yes?
Shirley: Of course!
She leaned down to hug him and they kissed.
To Part 2