She drove him home and dropped him off, without an agreement or
even a kiss.
Usually when he left her, even now, he gave her something to take
away—a word, a sensation, an image to tease herself with, a touch, a
hint, an allusion. That night there was nothing.
The next time she saw him, he was married.
She got serious about finding another role and took every word of advice
her agent gave. She sat for another round of photos, going for a harder
edge to balance the wistfulness of the previous set. She enrolled again in
acting classes, designed for professionals only. Will continued accepting
small parts in quirky little indie projects, comedies mostly, in which he
never presented himself as the man she knew he was. As if he had lived
a lifetime’s worth of ambition and darkness as her haunted brother and
was now as done with that complex, driven character as he was done
with her. As if he could escape them both just by taking off his spectacular wig.
They had let him keep the wig. Multiple wigs, actually. Mementos of
Someday, maybe, they would be worth a fortune. But only if he allowed himself to become a star.
And his wife, the woman he’d married, wasn’t even in the business.
She taught third grade. He’d met her visiting her classroom to do a puppet play for the kids.
He lived across town with her now and Ursula rarely saw him. She
threw herself into the search for real work, and after accepting a part in
the ensemble cast of a Netflix series developed from an old line of comic
books, she spent hours every day with a trainer when she wasn’t up in
Canada shooting. Her makeup was garish, and no matter how broad and
bad she played, she was told to play broader and badder, an instruction
she found both liberating and annoying, but the money and exposure
were better than she had seen in years, and once the series dropped,
when Will came by to congratulate her, he stayed to binge the first season, eating Thai food with her side by side in bed, for old times’ sake, he
Before he left, he told her he was leaving his wife. He had not been
unfaithful to her or she to him. But he was bored. With everything, he
said. It wasn’t his wife’s fault, but he was a weight on her, bringing her