It was a long week for Bertha. She couldn’t sleep properly, she had to force herself to eat. She didn’t want to spend time with anybody…but neither did she want to be alone. She really missed her dad.
It had been her dad that had inspired a love of acting in Bertha. Robert VonEngle had been no great actor himself, but had performed in numerous local plays and musicals. He loved nothing better than to get into a costume and immerse himself in a role. He had played rolls in Shakespearean dramas, he had performed the part of Tinkerbell one year in a pantomime (that had made everyone laugh to see a fully bearded, 200 lb man, prancing around on the stage, wearing a fairy costume), he had even been a tree in one of Bertha’s school plays, back when she was about grade 3. It didn’t matter if the part was serious role, a silly role, or even the part of an “extra” (like the tree), he put his heart and soul into the part. He had always coached Bertha to do the same. He had been so proud of her when she auditioned for and got the roll of Jennifer for the indi film The Disaster. He had been looking forward to sitting next to her for the premiere screening, but he never got the chance.
Besides his love of acting, and his love of his family, Robert loved people. He never let an opportunity pass by to help someone out. Filming of The Disaster had just come to an end, and the long and tedious post-production phase had just begun. The cast and their families were having a celebration that the filming portion was over…and therefore they were basically done (it was up to the editors, foley artists, etc., now). Robert was feeling like he needed a break from the noise and heat in the restaurant, so he went outside. Almost as soon as he got out, he saw two young men who appeared to be in the process of mugging a young lady. He went over to assist the lady, and succeeded in allowing her to escape her would-be muggers. The whole event happened rather quickly, and then the men ran off. He had left his cell-phone inside, so he started walking back to the restaurant to call the police. The pain in his side didn’t start until he was halfway back to the building. He hadn’t realized, until that moment, that he had been stabbed, but the wound was serious enough that he collapsed on the steps, just feet from the entrance. The hostess of the restaurant happened to be by the door and saw the man collapse, but even though she called 911 immediately, the wound was severe enough that by the time the paramedics arrived, there was nothing that they could do.
Bertha hadn’t told Thorson about her dad…even though her dad had died over a year ago, the grief was still too close for her to share without breaking down, but she also knew that if Thorson was truly her friend, he’d understand. It was time for their scheduled Skype call anyway, so Bertha decided that today she was going to share. Her dad was no longer there to talk to, so she hoped that Thorson would be willing to be a listening ear for her.
~~to be continued~~ (click here for part 22)