2010-07-24: The Other Girlfriend



Date: July 24, 2010


Faced with new evidence, George tests "Hallis" to see if her story still holds water.

"The Other Girlfriend"

Hallis's apartment, Greenwich Village

It's been about a week since Hallis has seen George. Or at least it's been a week from her point of view. She's got no clue of any other meetings. Today, she's relaxing in her living room, eating the low fat, nondairy ice cream that she bought the other day. Apparently all the cool kids are eating it these days. Personally, she doesn't see what's so great about it. But hey, she's got an image to keep up, right? So, eat she does, while watching a little bit of fluffy TV.

Word from George, earlier in the day, was that he made it on the train and would see her tonight. That was… six, maybe seven hours ago. He must have gotten sidetracked somewhere along the way. Eventually - in the middle of a commercial about a man in a lab coat destroying cell phones with kitchen appliances - there's a knock at the door.

Out in the hallway, George takes a step back, waiting intently. Hopefully she'll be home so he can get this over with.

A knock at the door? Finally! Took long enough, didn't it? Hallis clicks off the TV, places the bowl of ice cream down, and scurries off to the door. Looking through the peep hole, she smiles widely and quickly unlocks and opens it. "George!" She exclaims happily. "I'm glad you've made it back home safe and sound!" She moves to the side to give room for George to enter. "Please, come in!"

There's a hint of a smile on George's face as well as he steps forward. A close look would determine that it's not genuine, but no one's giving it a close look— as soon as he closes the door behind him, he promptly drops it. "I ran into Lizzie this evening," he begins, without warning.

Hallis continues her happy smile as the door is closed. As soon as the name 'Lizzie' is thrown out there, there's a quick flash of fear that crosses her eyes for merely an instant before she furrows her brow in a confused gaze. "Lizzie? Who's Lizzie?" Her voice is portrays her confused look.

If George hadn't been watching for that reaction, he might have missed it, too… but he was, and he's pretty sure he saw something more than simple confusion there. "Girl I used to go out with," he continues, keeping his gaze focused as he presses the point. "Just got back from a few months in Paris."

Smiling softly, Hallis' features ease from confusion to calmness. "Paris? Like…like…Paris, France? Like, where they speak french and stuff?" She tilts her head slightly. "But…Georgie…what does she have to do with me?" She does seem a little intrigued. "You spoke like I totally should know her or something, which I don't. Old girlfriends aren't really my thing…except for Sierra, of course."

"Funny you should mention that," George replies, at this point reaching into his pocket and taking out a folded piece of paper, which he offers to Hallis. "Those numbers we looked up— I checked back with the guy who looked them up in the first place, in case I got one of them switched around or something. Turns out I did."

The paper is obviously a printout of a map. Should Hallis unfold it, it turns out to be zoomed in on Greenwich Village. A familiar corner of Greenwich, in fact.

Hallis takes the paper from George tentatively. Opening it up, she gazes down at it for a good moment before looking up at George, confused. "But…that's where this building is!" Her eyes go wide as she lets out a little gasp. "Are you saying that she's somewhere near here?" The realization is a doozy. "But…" She takes in a few deep breaths. "She's in this building somewhere?"

George walks over and sits down on the couch, resting his hands in his lap as he waits for Hallis to take it in. "Looks like her phone is, at least. I figure if I call it, maybe we'll be able to hear it, you know? This place isn't exactly big on soundproofing." As they discovered several months back, when it turned out they were living on the same floor.

Hallis frowns and shakes her head. "Is that possible? I mean…really? Somebody possibly kidnapped her here? Or I guess…her phone?" She frowns before here eyes go wide again. "Who'd have her phone? Unless…that was her phone that I…oh my god…why didn't I realize this before?" She collapses in a chair near the couch that George has sat on, eyes starting to water. "I was wondering…a phone had been sent to me. I didn't know who it was from. I didn't think to mention it 'cause I didn't think it was Sierra's. I thought to plug it in, in case someone tried to call me on it. You know…I've heard of weirder things, right?" She sniffles. "What if Sierra sent it to me to let her know she was okay?" Tears begin to drop.

Well, it's not the panicked admission that he was aiming for. It's actually a pretty good story, for how long she had to come up with it.

But George still isn't buying it. Lizzie's story had side details, it had attitude, it made sense - assuming you were willing to make one ugly little assumption. This one is a straight line from point A to point B. He knows someone whose mind naturally works that way.

And yet, despite how straightforwardly it's presented - it rings hollow. And the more he thinks back to earlier in the month, the more things start to sound the same way…

"Really? Somebody sent you a phone - at least a week ago, that's when it first got tracked down - and you didn't think to mention it. At all." By this point, George is up again and pacing. "And you think Sierra might have sent it to you, instead of - you know - actually calling you. Well, here's another story I heard today, see what you think of it… Let's say that Sierra did get stuck, but not as some stranger… she got stuck looking like someone she knew. Still panics. Decides to run with it, because they're not going to be around for a while anyway—" He turns in mid-step, looking toward her once again. "What do you think? Am I way off base here?"

Hallis looks up at George, tears still streaming down her cheeks. "I should've mentioned it!" She chokes out. "But, between being busy on set and asking you to help…" She sniffles. "What's this about, George?" She asks quietly. "If she'd turned into someone that was familiar to her…if that person was familiar to us…don't you think she'd come to us to tell us?"

"I did think that," George answers, "which is why I assumed it must not have happened. Not unless— not unless she started to lose her grip. Decided she liked herself better the way she was. If she hit that point, then even if her ability did start working again" - a pause, long enough to be noticed - "she might not even think to try. Or want to try, depending how far she'd gone."

"I mean, for all we know, maybe she got stuck looking like you, Hallie. I could definitely see her panicking if that happened. And I was thinking— you remember that day when we met Felix for the first time, in Chinatown? Remember the place we went to dinner that night?" Yes, this is coming out of left field, but it sounds like he's going somewhere with it.

"Like…like me?" Hallis frowns. "But…don't you think she would have come to talk to me if she looked like me?" She sniffles. "I…I don't know. Chinatown? Felix? What's this gotta do with Sierra? What are you talking about, George?"

He's standing on the other side of the couch, and as Hallis speaks up again, George leans his hands heavily into the back of it, meeting her gaze. "We never made it to that restaurant," he explains. "Hallis would have remembered that. Hallis would have remembered why. You never forget that, so the saying goes."

Unless it's not actually your memory.

Hallis continues crying. "George…what does this have to do with Sierra." She says between sobs. "What if she's actually in trouble now." She sobs. "Don't you want to help her? Or are you more concerned about something that happened to us? If you are…you're not the same man I fell in love with."

George straightens up, walking back toward the door now. "I do want to… but I can only help people who want to be helped. I don't think she does. If I could say just one thing to her… I'd tell her not to assume that things are still the way they used to be. Things can always change."

With that said, he turns the knob, content to leave off the conversation at that point. He's still got a lot to think about. At least she knows his place is just down the hall, should she decide to follow after him.

Hallis continues to sniffle and cry. "Well, don't you think I'd like to talk to her too?" She gasps softly. "I want to help her too. I want her to be okay." She says with another sniffle. "Please…" She doesn't stop him from leaving, she just stays there, staring into space.

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