Author: Luisa Perkins
•9:43 PM
At long last, faithful readers, here is the final installment of "Clever Trevor," part of the ongoing Soap Opera Sunday series invented by those bloggoddesses Brillig and Kate. If you are new to the story, click on the Soap Opera Sunday hyperlink in the Topical Guide down and to the right to read Parts One through Four.


“Hey there.”
Laura awoke to a gentle hand on her shoulder. Blinking her gritty eyes in the early morning light, she tried to sort out the mass of different discomforts assaulting her all at once. Condensed fog had enveloped her in a damp, chilly blanket, accentuating the cold breeze. Her hips and ribs were sore and stiff after prolonged contact with the cold balcony decking. Her face itched; when she scratched it, dark dog hair came away on her fingers. She sat up with a start; apparently she had been using Graf as a pillow. A pretty, dark-haired woman in a bathrobe knelt before her. She smiled at Laura.

“I wish Graf had told me you were here,” she said. “I’m sure we could have found you a much more comfortable place to sleep last night. Come in the house; let’s get you dry and warm.”

The black lab lifted up his head, yawned widely, and looked at the woman. “Laura needed to stay close to me. She suffered a bit of trauma last night.”

“Laura, is it? What happened? Are you hurt?” the woman asked Laura, her eyes full of concern.

“No.” Laura shook her head. “Just my heart. And probably my pride.”

“Well, those aren’t uncommon injuries. And they’ll eventually heal. I’m glad it’s nothing worse.”

The woman smiled and held out her hand. “I’m Samarrah; my husband is the Golden Gate Rugby Club's coach. You were here last night for the party, yes?"

Laura nodded, unable to meet the woman's eye.

"You have a familiar look about you; I’m guessing I know your mother. Come on inside. You can have a hot bath, and we’ll talk over breakfast.”

Laura took Samarrah’s outstretched hand and levered herself up off the cold, wet deck. She looked down at herself; she hoped her favorite red sweater and plaid wool skirt hadn’t been damaged by the moisture. This was her lucky debate outfit. Maybe its luck ran out last night, she thought, and shivered.

“Right this way. I’ll get the taps running, and then I’ll look around and see if I can find you something dry to put on.”

With Graf at her side, Laura followed her hostess into the house and down a hallway. Samarrah was busy in a beautiful little bathroom, turning on heat lamps, getting out towels. Steaming hot water was already pouring into the large terracotta bathtub from a tap shaped like a lion’s head. Samarrah dumped in some bath salts, and the scent of rose geranium instantly filled the air.

“There now; you’re all set.” She smiled at Laura. “There’s a robe on the back of the door, and I’ll put some dry clothes right outside the door. Take your time; you look like you could use a good long soak. And feel free to lock the door behind me; I won’t be offended.”

Laura wasn’t very successful at keeping back tears. “Thanks,” she whispered around the huge lump in her throat.

“You’re welcome,” Samarrah answered. She walked out with Graf and closed the door quietly.

Laura stripped off her wet things and sank into the deep tub. So much had happened in the past twenty-four hours that she felt like a different person. Colin had turned out to be a complete jerk, and she couldn’t even have a very good self-pity party, since she’d brought this whole mess on herself. Would Jill ever talk to her again? Would her parents even let her? What about her mom?

Laura washed and then slid down until she up to her neck in the water. She covered her face with her hands and cried quietly, not wanting to be heard over the sound of the rushing faucet. The sound of clicking toenails on the tile floor made her break off in mid-sob; Laura tried to see through the thick steam. Had Graf come back in?

“It is I,” Twee informed her with the slightest of grunts as he jumped up onto the edge of the bathtub.

“Twee! How…”

“I used the Sandburg poem,” the cat said with a yawn. “It works great around here.” He raised a forepaw and licked it carefully. “Graf told me everything, dear one. I'm so sorry. I hope a night in the cold damp has cured you of your need for independence?”

“I was such an idiot.” Laura hung her head.

“Agreed,” Twee said, but Laura could tell from his purring that he meant it fondly.

“How’s Mom?”

“She’s fine. I filled her in—the edited version—she doesn’t need to know about Mister Date Rape at the moment. She and Samarrah knew each other at school; you’re very lucky it seems to be such a small world.”

“Yeah, no kidding.”

“You’re pruning up,” Twee observed. “Why don’t you get out and get dressed? I smell toast and bacon. After we breakfast and say our goodbyes, I’ll take you home via the Byway. I promise: you’ll never want to take a bus again.”

“Oh, believe me. I’m already convinced of that fact,” Laura said, and got out of the bathtub.

Once home, Laura was definitely grounded. Not that it mattered; outside of school, Jill was only allowed to see Laura at debate tournaments, and Laura didn’t feel much like trying to strike up any new friendships for quite a long time. She kept busy with school, and of course, she always had Twee for company. It was hard to be lonely with him around.


Months later, Laura got a small package in the mail with a North Yorkshire postmark. Inside was a letter written in perfect copperplate script wrapped around a cassette tape. She crushed the letter into a wad after reading the first unbelievable words:

“Dearest Laura,
I’ve been remembering our time together fondly, and I’m sorry we didn’t part on the best of terms…”


“Best of terms? Is that what you call it?” she muttered.

“Oh, open it back up and finish it,” Twee urged her from his accustomed spot on her pillow. Laura smoothed out the crumpled paper and scanned the rest.

“It’s just a bunch of small talk—his A-levels are coming up, whatever they are, rugby, rugby, blah, blah, blah. How could he write me this kind of letter after what he did to me?”

“Maybe someday I’ll publish an article on the emotional stuntedness of British boarding school graduates,” Twee said.

Laura wadded the letter up and threw it at the cat. She examined the tape. He’d written on it with a black marker. “Songs That Remind Me of You,” she read aloud. “I wonder how many of his other American girlfriends are getting this same mix right about now.” She leaned over and popped it into her stereo.

A half hour later, she’d had enough. “He’s got terrible taste, Twee,” she said. “What did I ever see in him?”

“A lot that wasn’t actually there,” he replied.

“You always have an answer, don’t you?”

“That is my job,” the cat said modestly.

All the previous songs had been ones known to Laura, but now a new one came on. A gravelly voice in a thick Cockney accent started singing:

Knock me down with a feather

Clever Trevor

Widebrows wonder whether
Clever Trevor’s clever

Either have they got

Nor neither haven’t not

Got no right to make a clot

Out of Trevor
Why should I feel bad
About something I ain’t ‘ad
Such stupidness is mad
‘Cause nothing underfoot

Comes to nothing less to add…


“Ugh, make it stop,” Twee complained.

“My pleasure,” said Laura. She ejected the cassette and started pulling the tape out of it in big, loose handfuls. “Here’s to you, Clever Trevor,” she said, and tossed the whole mess into the wastebasket.
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21 comments:

On 13/10/07 , soccer mom in denial said...

The mess belongs in the waste basket. Brava my lady. Brava!

 
On 13/10/07 , Kate said...

Exactly . . . wtg Laura . . . the whole mess belongs in the trash!
Well written! :)

 
On 14/10/07 , Thalia's Child said...

Lovely! And Hooray Laura for taking out the trash!

 
On 14/10/07 , Brillig said...

Ugh. Ick. Blech! Glad Laura got out of that mess and put the garbage where it belonged. More than anything, I'm glad that Twee came back--that Laura merited his return. Wonderful stuff. And I know that you feel a burden lifted now that it's all over. Whew! Loved it, by the way. The whole saga was wonderfully soapy.

 
On 14/10/07 , nell said...

Great ending!

 
On 14/10/07 , Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I've absolutely loved this story start to finish.

I really wish you'd think about expanding it into a novel or starting a series with this universe or something.

At least try to get it published in a fantasy magazine or anthology collection. It's such a brilliant premise!

Did I mention that I love this story? ;-)

 
On 14/10/07 , Jenna said...

Great ending! It is so much fun to read your stories. And now it's DONE!

 
On 14/10/07 , Fourier Analyst said...

Love the premis and agree, you should consider a fantasy anthology or magazine. Or are you considering becoming the next JKR?!

 
On 14/10/07 , Alice said...

Wow! Wonderful ending. You are so very talented!

 
On 14/10/07 , Momo Fali said...

Perfect!!

 
On 14/10/07 , Alice said...

I've joined the SOS club now! Come read my first episode of my new story. I think you'll like it...

 
On 14/10/07 , dawn said...

That was great. I enjoyed reading your story. I am looking forward to the next series.

 
On 14/10/07 , Dedee said...

Way to go. Very fun!

 
On 14/10/07 , Kimberly said...

A lovely end to an entrancing story. Brava!

 
On 15/10/07 , Anne Bradshaw said...

Fun stuff. Thanks for a good read.

 
On 15/10/07 , anjmae said...

good, good! what's next? the Holly Place, ch. 6? (please?)

 
On 15/10/07 , James Dashner said...

You guys and your soap opera stuff. Why not write about REAL Sunday stuff, like football.

 
On 15/10/07 , rjlight said...

great job Luisa -- enjoyed it!

 
On 15/10/07 , meleah rebeccah said...

Oh I loved this Soap Opera ...

Great Job! (I have to go back and read the archives)

Nothing like taking the trash to the curb where it belongs!

 
On 17/10/07 , Anne Bradshaw said...

PS--there's a treat for you (and anyone else who reads this) waiting to be picked up on my blog.

Enjoy!

 
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