9pm. A Garden Dining Room.
Dana and Eli are eating a candle-lit dinner, their first.
“Six months. It’s been six months of casual and clandestine meetings with Eli,” thought Dana Lee as she put on the finishing touches for dinner the dinner date with Eli Kee (Azzedine Alaia lace dress and a cloud of Opium). This is possibly their first proper ‘date’ with all the trimmings. Dana was one of those girls who warmed up to men carefully, ever aware of the fictions of attraction. She was in a position to attract status-seekers and poseurs of all sorts (and did), and over the years she’s had chalked up her fair share of would-be romances, all failures.
“But something about Eli that is special,” thought Brooke. “There’s substance somewhere, something unshakable and real. I wonder where that special thing comes from? This gravity in one so young?"
Dana dated her awakened feelings to that 'thank you' bouquet from Eli for her help in making his album cover. Hidden in the peony stems was a leaf-shaped thumb drive; In it, six files of Eli playing Bach fugues.
The dinner tonight was arranged by Dana – after all, she had enough of the life of a starving recording artist, fun as it has been for the six months. All those great coffee shops and walks in parks and delicious-but-not-comfortable meals at out of the way dives and bubble tea in the panel van. The panel van! “Am I spoilt?” thought Dana. “I like nice settings, and comfort and nice things... and I really don’t mind if I never got into that car again!”
The six months had been a bubble of romance – which could balloon because of its unlikely venues and hidden places: Dana was well aware that her liason with Eli would be deemed unsuitable by all and sundry, and the bubble would certainly have burst in the cold light of the fashion world. Dana thought about her romantic failures.
"Am I going to be wrong yet again? These things are so confusing...”