As the car moves slowly down the drive, Simone closes the window, she looks down at the Buddhist pray beads in her hand, a single tear gently cascades down her cheek. She has no regrets.
Annabelle stands in front of the window in her room. Tears run freely as she watches, unbelieving, the government car moving slowly down the drive. With one hand pressed firmly against the window, it is like she is reaching out, trying to stop what is happening. Annabelle hears her room mates quietly move in the room, they stand staring, sharing her pain.
Eventually with the car now out of sight Annabelle turns, "Where's Cat?" her words are bitter, she can only guess what she has done.
Colins and Kristen look nervously at each other, both slightly shrug. Just then Cat enters, Annabelle lunges, "What have you done?" the words tear from Annabelle's throat, her fists beat on Cat's back.
"I'm sorry. I didn't think they would report her." Cat sounds pleading, her arms are held high, she is trying to protect herself from Annabelle's anger.
Annabelle stops throwing punches, she looks bewildered at her dorm mate. "That's your biggest problem Cat, you never stop to think about anyone but yourself." Annabelle's words are bitter and full of hate, she storms from the room.
Standing alone in Simone's room, Annabelle stares at the unmade bed where only moments ago she had been wrapped in her arms. Her eyes fall on the desk, she is surprised to see her own eyes staring back at her. Stepping closer she reaches out, picks the photograph up and presses it tight to her chest, she sobs, she remembers their day on the beach.
Tears continue to flow as she reaches for her phone. "Hi it's Annie, is Mum there?"
"I'm her daughter, tell her it's me!" She is angry at the aid. "Does she want another scandal in the paper, tarnishing her name?" Annabelle is yelling now, her anger at Cat and her love for Simone all colliding as she stands in the room.
Annabelle listens quietly, she tries to calm herself, as her mothers aid tells her she can't come to the phone.
She had hoped her mother would help, pull some strings, clear Simone's name. Angrily ending the call, Annabelle throws the phone against the wall. She falls to the floor.
Standing later in Mother Immaculata's office Annabelle is pleading. However, it's to no avail as the old woman refuses to listen.
"She made her choices Annabelle. It is out of my hands now; and yours." The Mother looks at Annabelle, no compassion, no understanding. She doesn't listen as Annabelle tries to take all the blame.
Two years later, standing on stage at The Abbey in West Hollywood, Annabelle Tillman looks out at the crowd. She smiles at Colins and Kristen standing off to her left. She had recorded a demo and was out touring the circuit, she'd played Long Beach and a few places on the Strip; tonight was her second night at The Abbey, her final night of the tour.
"She really is great." Colins directs her statement to Kristen.
"Yeah, she really is."
Both girls look adoringly at their friend as she begins to play her final track.
Simone had driven by The Abbey last week. She had seen Annabelle's name in the coming attractions. She had become immediately lost and consumed in her memories of their one night together. She remembered her touch and her taste. She had tried hard to forget everything in the last two years, but seeing her name again, had bought everything instantly back.
Somehow, she had managed to stay away from The Abbey last night; the first night Annabelle played, (she knew it was a two night gig) She had convinced herself she wouldn't be able to face her again, but now, still fighting her demons and feeling tortured, Simone finds herself standing at the entrance to the venue, she is still on the street, simply listening, enjoying Annabelle's voice and the music as it plays.
She is unable to make herself go inside. Just standing there, outside, she convinces herself, seems like enough. Listening, she hears Annabelle introduce her final song, she knows the night will soon be over.
She recognizes the cords immediately. It's their song, Annabelle had written it for her. She remembers Annabelle boldly standing unannounced on stage at the school dance and playing it, she remembers how their eyes had locked, Annabelle had sung directly to her; that was the moment, the moment there was no turning back.
Now, again drawn inside by the sweet lyrics and soft cords, Simone makes her way toward the stage. She becomes lost in the crowd, she feels dizzy, her legs become unsteady as her eyes come to rest on the beautiful girl standing on the stage.
Simone listens as her breath catches in her throat, she stands frozen. In her boots and a dress, Annabelle is still just as breathtaking. Listening, Simone is as hypnotized as she was two years ago, she feels a hand rise slowly to her throat, it clings tight to the beads around her neck. Her eyes drink the girl in.
Unable to stop herself, Simone slowly moves forward. She is hypnotically drawn to the stage, only stopping two rows from the front because she can't physically get any closer.
Kristen and Colins sway gently to the music, their arms wrapped lightly around the others waist. They remember the song from the school dance. They smile and squeeze each other tight as Annabelle gently finishes.
The room explodes with applause. Kristen and Colins join everybody else, they are clapping wildly, screaming loudly. Annabelle looks down at them and gently laughs.
Turning again in excitement, Colins and Kristen hug each other tight. It's Colins who stops, she suddenly pulls away and stands still. She is staring over Kristen's shoulder.
"What's wrong?" Kristen turns sharply on her heel to see what could have possibly captured her friends attention, her mouth falls open as her next words come tumbling out, "Miss Bradley!"
Colins can't take her eyes off Miss Bradley. Kristen turns quickly back to the stage, she sees the back of Annabelle as she exits, she knows, as arranged, she will be joining them at the bar in a minute. Tugging on Colins arm Kristen drags them over.
"Miss Bradley. Hi."
Simone is shocked to hear her name, she pulls her moist eyes from the now empty stage. "Kristen. Colins." Simone is surprised to see the girls, "How are you?"
"Great. How are you?" Kristen looks hard at her former teacher, "What are you doing with yourself now?"
"I'm fine." Simone's words are soft, she looks at the girls, knows what they must be thinking. "Now? Now I'm a photographer." Simone says proudly, "What about you two?" She is happy to see them.
"Can we buy you a drink?" Finally Colins finds her tongue and can speak.
"Ah, sure. Why not."
They head to the bar, find stools and order.
"So, what about you two then," Simone takes a sip of her drink, she looks at the girls, "what have you been doing since you left school?"
She never receives and answer, both girls become suddenly quiet, they stare open mouthed, looking over her shoulder. Simone feels her heart beat slightly faster, her palms become sweaty. She swallows hard and turns slowly on her stool, she comes face to face with Annabelle.
Simone listens as her heart thumps wildly in her chest, she is, once again, lost in Annabelle's unnerving stare.
"Simone. Hi." The words are soft, barely audible from Annabelle's lips.
Their eyes become locked, they search deep within the other. Without another word, Annabelle's hand moves softly to the beads at Simone's neck. "Buddhist pray beads!" The words have a certain edge to them, as Annabelle's thumb rubs tenderly along the beads.
Simone raises her own hand to Annabelle's, she takes it gently in her own, Annabelle releases the beads at Simone's touch "They belong to someone I once loved." Simone's voice is filled with emotion she is looking directly at Annabelle, straight to her soul.
At Simone's words, and her stare, Annabelle catches her breath, a single tear rolls quietly down her cheek. "I'm so sorry."
Simone looks longingly at Annabelle, "What for?" Her words are soft, they're full of love. Her hand reaches quickly for Annabelle's face, standing, she pulls gently, until their lips hungrily collide and their tongues clash imploringly in the warmth of each others mouths.