Seth groans again, and Summer shoots him a glare.
"Why are we watching this again?" His voice takes on a high-pitched whiny tone.
The couple is sitting in the Cohen's living room, watching Thank You For Smoking.
"Because, Cohen, it's a informative satire about the tobacco industry, which kills millions of people a year and doesn't do any good for the environment."
"What, exactly, does smoking have to do with the environment?"
"The smoke doesn't do any good for the ozone layer, which is already disappearing because of all the pollution from cars."
Seth rolls his eyes and picks up a handful of popcorn from the bowl that sits between them on the couch. Summer considers asking him why he doesn't like the movie, but then he'd prattle on forever and she wouldn't be able to hear what the characters are saying.
"Why am I the only one eating this? Here, Summer, have some popcorn."
He waves the bowl and the buttery, salty smell wafts over. God, it smells good...but Summer can't allow herself to have any. She doesn't want to pay for it later. So she pushes the bowl away and pretends to be pissed off at Seth.
Just then they hear the front door open, and Kirsten's voice calling out, "Hello? I need help with the groceries!"
"Oh, thank Moses." Seth shoots up from the couch and past his mother, who is by now setting a couple paper grocery bags down on the counter. She stares after him, surprised at his sudden ardor for work.
Summer goes back to watching her movie, but is interrupted once again by Kirsten. Why can't I watch a movie uninterrupted?
"Summer, when Seth comes back, will you please tell him I went to the bathroom and will be right back to help him bring everything in?"
From the TV screen, Nick Naylor says: Well, that's one theory.
Summer says "Sure" and continues watching. Kirsten disappears, then there is the sound of rustling paper bags as Seth carries them in.
"Hey, where's Mom? I am NOT carrying all these in by myself."
"She's in the bathroom. Said she'll be back to help you soon." Summer rewinds the movie so can watch the part she'd missed during Seth's talking.
"Fine." Seth goes to bring in more bags. Silence ensues.
From the TV screen, Nick Naylor says: You're too young to understand.
x x x x x x x x x x
She hurries to the bathroom, quietly shutting the door behind her and locking it. She leans against the door, brushing her blonde hair out of her face and crossing her arms and leaning over.
Her lower abdomen hurts; so does her back. Then there's the bleeding--that's what really tipped her off. She's not supposed to start her 'time of the month' until two weeks later. Yet, here she is.
She knows what's wrong. How can she not, after watching her mother suffer and die from it? Still, she hasn't told anyone yet. Doesn't want to worry them. Speaking of telling people, shouldn't the doctor have called with her test results by now?
She takes a little bottle of Tylenol out of her purse and pops two in her mouth. It's not much, but it's the best she can do for now.
She unlocks the door and turns out the lights and walks back to the kitchen. She sees Seth, searching through the grocery bags for something to eat. He draws his arm out of one of the bags, his hand clutching a pudding cup. The TV is silent, and Summer is gone.
"Where'd Summer go?"
"I dunno, she got a call from Taylor."
Kirsten begins taking the food out of the bags, folding each bag neatly after she's emptied it.
She has to start dinner. Ryan and Sandy will both be home from work soon.
While Seth spoons pudding into his mouth, his cell phone rings. Fumbling, he takes it out and looks at the little screen.
He begins to wander off as he flips open the cell phone, his pudding cup still held in his other hand. "Hey, man..." Then he's disappeared around the corner, and Kirsten is left alone. Which is probably for the best, because it's not long after that her own cell phone rings. It's the doctor's office, telling her they would like her to come in as soon as possible. So Kirsten makes an appointment for tomorrow, and after hanging up she continues to prepare dinner, trying to act normal, but it's all she can do to keep from crying.
Ryan appears briefly before going to the poolhouse (he claims he needs to do homework). A few minutes later, Sandy comes home. Kirsten fakes a smile when she sees him-- she's lived in Newport all her life, so she's an expert at faking smiles-- and he kisses her before asking how her day was.
She says, "Fine."
x x x x x x x x x x
Taylor stares at the letter clutched in her hand. She sits on her bed and just stares at it. The sound of footsteps clunking up the stairs makes her look up just in time to see Summer open the door.
"What? What's wrong?" Summer looks near panic.
Taylor holds up the letter in response. Summer shrieks, "You almost gave me a coronary for THAT?"
"Summer! It's from Henri-Michele!" She sounds worried and kind of scared.
"He knows your address?"
"Yeah. Oh, I can't open it, Henri-Michele has this way with words that'll have me jumping on the next flight to Paris."
Summer sits on the bed next to Taylor. "Then don't open it."
"I can't just not open it. Ooooh, I have an idea. You read it to me."
"I can't read French."
"Come on, Summer, just try it."
Taylor shoves the letter at Summer, who reluctantly takes it and rips it open.
"It says...Mess Pech-ess shuree-"
Taylor snaps the letter from Summer's hand. "You're not reading it right. It's 'Mes Peches chéries.' It's nasal."
"Fine. So what's it say?"
Taylor begins reading: "Je vous ai manqué si beaucoup. Même l'odeur douce de fleurs dans l'air chaud me rappelle de vous et--"
"Okay, can you tell me the, like, the summary of what he's saying? In English, please."
Taylor scans the rest of the letter. "He's basically saying that he misses me, and that everything reminds him of me. Look, it says, 'Even the sweet scent of flowers in the air makes me think of you, and the soft rushing of the Seine is not nearly as beautiful as your voice was to me.'" She paused, then added, "The Seine's a river."
"I wish Cohen would compliment me like that."
"I'm sure he does, just not in such poetic words, with such imagery, and--"
"Okay, okay, I get it. Look, Henri may sound all sweet and nice, but he's not here with you. Ryan is, and he really cares about you."
Taylor sighs, then smiles. "I know. You're right. Hey, want to go out for dinner? I'm starving."
Summer looks right into Taylor's bright, excited eyes, and she fibs.
"I already ate at the Cohen's house."