Monday, April 21, 2008

Spanner: "Shira & Jennifer, 2gether 4ever!"

During the last several years of Project Notebook entries, I had Shira joke that her beautiful, bespectacled blonde cousin (and adopted sister) Jennifer Blair is her "wife". But sometimes your characters take over the writing themselves: Jennifer has determined to make it known, not just to her author but to the other characters, that Shira is in fact not joking at all. She says they have in fact been married, at least in spirit, since she vowed eternal love to Shira at the latter's fourth birthday party; their upcoming wedding, which Jennifer insists must be on Shira's 15th birthday (coming later in the story), will merely formalize what has been the fact for a decade.

Jennifer makes the facts clear to Dorian Fleer, the most popular of the school "mean girls", with whom she frequently clashes, mainly over Shira:
Dorian: "So what is it between you two?"

Jennifer: "True love."

Dorian: "That's silly."

Jennifer: "Let me put it to you this way: Did I act like a jealous wife that time we met on the bus?"

Dorian: "*sigh* You sure did."

Jennifer: "That's because I really am her wife. Shira's not joking. I'll explain:

"I was already hopelessly in love with her when I was four, so I had my mother buy me the most beautiful dress we could find so I could be beautiful for Shira on her fourth birthday. When she saw me, I took her breath away. She said I looked like an angel from heaven. She told me she fell in love with me right then. I thought I was going to die of joy. We vowed eternal love.

"I brought some special gifts for her. I gave her a heart-shaped locket as a token of my eternal love, and an engagement ring. True, it was a 'Disney princess' kind of toy ring, but I asked her to marry me and made her swear that we would get married on her birthday. But I gave her two even more special birthday gifts: my heart and my vow of eternal devotion. Technically, we're engaged to be married. But in truth we we're married in our hearts. Our wedding will only make legal what is in fact truth.

"So does that answer your question?"

Dorian: (says nothing, merely gapes wide-eyed in shock)

Jennifer: "So now you know."
And when Jennifer and Shira encounter Rev. Joseph Creel (the very same preacher who is the creationist crushed in debate by Jennifer's psychologist mother, Dr. Willa Richter-Thomas) and his congregation in the coffee shop the day the Winkie's diner (East Bremerton location) is bombed by terrorists from the Socialist Revolutionary Organization:
Rev. Creel: (enraged) "Do you have any idea of the sacredness of marriage?"

Jennifer: "As a matter of fact, I do. That's why I'm marrying Shira, the one true love of my life."
In the bus scene in #1, Dorian, smitten with Shira, sits down beside her while Jennifer is up front asking the driver a question, and then asks her if she's accepted Jesus. This provokes only Shira's suspicion and Jennifer's jealousy. When Dorian has slunk to the back and Jennifer is back beside Shira, she continues to insist on talking about their wedding. I originally put a terrorist in this scene, and now I have a reason to keep him: when the Islamic suicide bomber overhears Shira and Jennifer kissing each other and talking about marriage, he becomes enraged. He decides to blow up the bus right then and there. But when he screams out the Shahada, Shira and Jennifer shoot him dead — with their cellphone cameras! (Ah, superstition...)

And what are they doing in the coffee shop? Why, Jennifer insisted on bringing them there so they can plan their wedding, which Jennifer wants them to do on Shira's upcoming 15th birthday. One reason is that she wants the cute teenage barista girl there, Jennifer's (paternal) cousin Samantha Blair, to be her maid of honor. (She also insists that her and Shira's mutual cousin, Karen Kubota, be Shira's maid of honor.) However, the aforementioned black church congregation just happens to also be there, so there's a confrontation: against their Christian attacks, Jennifer defends her love for Shira and her insistence on marrying her. And then the Winkie's across the parking lot explodes...

Shira calls Jennifer "the rock of my chaotic life." Jennifer explains it thus:
"I know Shira 'strays,' as you put it. It's simply the way she is. She's a rare and special kind of person. She needs to love other people. The more she loves others, the more her love overflows to me. And I adore her for it.

"I'm nothing like that. I'm strictly a one-woman woman, and that woman is Shira. She's always been the one true love of my life. I can never love another person the way I love her. She always comes back to me because she knows I'm totally devoted to her. And that's why we're getting married."
She explains their peculiar personality dynamics:
"We're the poster children for the saying 'opposites attract.' In fact, we're like two halves of one person: I'm her reason, and she's my passion. We complement each other perfectly. Sometimes I find it impossible to tell where she ends and I begin; that's how much we love each other."
I realize that this entry is as much about Spanner #1 as it is about Shira and Jennifer's lifelong love. Well, I was dissatisfied with the way I originally scripted it, so I felt the need to rewrite it. That's when Jennifer announced to me that Shira is her one true love. By doing so, she saved the story. But the scenes of Shira and Jennifer together in #1 merely establish their relationship, their intense and passionate love of and devotion to each other. By the time Leila Shelley comes into the picture later, the stage is already set...

Back to Spanner‘s World...

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