An Affair to Remember
Claudia and Laura have a fight. Laura blames Claudia that her life is a cluster-fuck.
This could have happened:
After carefully considering her accusations, Laura recognizes that Claudia didn’t actually do anything. Laura has had issues of self-hatred for a while. With help from a therapist and many hours crying over animated movies, Laura begins to see some improvement and stops “projecting”.
Claudia, in turn, compromises with Laura and gives her the space she needs. Claudia has always been somewhat clingy, and only ever stops talking when she is reading or asleep. In an effort to show support for Laura, Claudia resists contact with her and instead begins knitting three hats per day that she donates to the homeless shelter.
(Note: Claudia goes broke from buying too much yarn.)
Laura eventually apologizes to Claudia and is pleased that Claudia has learned some coping strategies that do not involve Laura’s time or sympathy, which Laura has always been lacking when it comes to real people but quite good at when it applies to cartoons.
They continue to be friends – attending each other’s graduation and are bridesmaids at each other’s weddings. Their kids turn out to be best friends with not nearly as many problems as their mothers.
But this is more likely:
Laura accuses Claudia of having problems, being too needy, and never accepting responsibility for what is under her control. She regards Claudia as an obligation, and tells her so. Laura tells Claudia that she doesn’t want to talk to her while she figures out if she wants to continue being friends. After not speaking for five weeks, Laura sends Claudia an email telling her good-bye and to keep trying to change those areas of her life she is unsatisfied with.
The friendship is over. Claudia doesn’t know what to do. She has never been able to handle rejection well.
(Note: Claudia once pursued a boy with a heart condition that left him unable to have sex. He had to reject her in order to remain alive, but that just made Claudia want him more.)
Claudia is extremely lonely at school. Most of her friends attend college in other states. Her roommate is sick of hearing about the issue with Laura and suggests Claudia get laid to distract herself. Claudia bounces back and forth from blaming herself for what happened to being so irrationally angry with Laura that she blames her for everything from a bad grade to a broken nail. Her anger, which has always been relatively internal, comes forth and she becomes privately violent, flinging heavy books across the room at the walls when her roommate is out. The girls next door complain to the RA, but Claudia feigns ignorance at what could be making the noise. She then settles for beating the crap out of pillows and ripping up every picture of Laura that she has.
Eventually Claudia begins to overeat. She finds she is happiest when she is eating chewy candy, and so buys it in bulk. Her parents and siblings begin giving her crap about things like her weight, her constant single-status, and how much medicine she takes for her newfound insomnia. Claudia’s inability to sleep at night results in even less social activities than before.
Claudia distances herself from people through the rest of her time in college. She is paranoid that anyone she allows to come close to her will disappoint her as well. She doesn’t want to ever have to explain Laura’s absence to her family.
(Note: Her family frequently told Claudia how happy they were that she finally had a friend.)
Claudia doesn’t want to see anyone who knew Laura ever again. In an attempt to be free, she moves as far away from her home as possible to a small town in Connecticut.
This might have happened as well:
Laura eventually realizes that her feelings of discomfort around Claudia are due to the fact that she is a lesbian and likes Claudia as more than a friend. Distraught by this realization and fearful that her religious family will find out, Laura hides it.
Laura becomes jealous when Claudia starts dating a boy at her school. Claudia refuses to make time for her friend, insisting that she has found her soul mate and proclaims that she wants to spend every waking and sleeping moment with him. When Laura is unable to reach Claudia as much as she likes, she decides to seek counseling. Her counselor, tragically, is a bitter, somewhat unsympathetic homophobe. He convinces Laura that the only way she will be happy is to conform to society and have a sex change.
Laura does not feel that she is a man in a woman’s body, but is distressed by the life she is envisioning if she does not do something. She can see only a life of loneliness where she is misunderstood. Worse, she can’t stop thinking about her friend in wildly inappropriate scenarios.
Unable to see another way to possibly get what she wants, Laura seeks a change, and after graduating college and distancing herself geographically from her family, Laura becomes Larry. Claudia, whom Laura talks to several times a week on the phone or through email, is too distracted by her boyfriend to notice anything is odd. Laura/Larry is careful to keep her voice high despite taking hormones because he/she does not want to give any hints to Claudia of what is going on.
Laura re-enters Claudia’s life as Larry.
(Note: Larry/Laura does not tell Claudia, and Claudia does not recognize Laura/Larry.)
Claudia is intrigued by Larry, but is deeply infatuated with her boyfriend. Only after Larry tells Claudia quite plainly that he is in love with her does Claudia firmly reject him, leaving no room for hope or imagination.
Crippled by Claudia’s rejection and indifference, Laura has extreme regret that she became a man. Laura attempts to hide herself by living as Larry in Connecticut. Her family and Claudia are never able to locate Laura because they are looking for a female.
And why not this possibility:
Laura has feelings for Claudia.
(Note: Claudia is detached from her sexuality because of an abusive high school boyfriend.)
Laura does not see the point in withholding her feelings from Claudia, feeling it will do more damage to suppress the emotions. However, she finds it difficult to tell her out of embarrassment.
One summer night, Laura, who had never been one to know her limits, drinks too much and makes a move on Claudia, which involves quite a bit of groping before puking.
Of course Laura is very important to Claudia, so when Laura reveals these feelings, Claudia indulges her with a casual relationship under the condition that Laura not touch her below the belt.
Laura is happy with this arrangement for a couple months, but eventually wants to go further despite Claudia’s refusal. Laura can’t help but notice that Claudia is not quite as infatuated with her as she is. At the same time Claudia is annoyed that Laura isn’t satisfied by what she has given already.
Claudia, sensing a huge mistake was made, seeks advice from her friend Susan. Susan, who has never been a fan of Laura, and is furious that Laura would disclose her feelings in the first place, encourages Claudia to break off the casual friends-with-benefits relationship.
(Note: Susan hates Laura because she made a joke about not waxing her mustache one time.)
Claudia, though unwilling to hurt Laura, tells her she is uncomfortable and offers to set Laura up with someone else. Laura agrees. She is in fact confident that if some time passes Claudia will grow to miss her and be jealous of the new relationship.
So Claudia sets Laura up with Jango, a girl who used to be a boy and hasn’t got around to legally changing her name. Jango also wears earmuffs all year round and drives a beat up old pick-up truck that she has decorated with many smeared lip prints in various colors. Laura does not find herself to be attracted to Jango, and the more she sees of her, the more convinced Laura becomes of Jango’s insanity. In addition, Jango has an affinity for wearing wigs whenever they go to clubs and Laura is revolted because Jango reminds her of Cher, of whom she has never been a fan.
Laura tells Claudia that things with Jango are not working and tries to rekindle the arrangement that she and Claudia previously had. However, after the brief relief Claudia felt while Laura was with Jango, Claudia realizes that she does not want to continue on any level. When Claudia refuses, Laura is humiliated and disappointed so she decides to seek revenge. Unknown to Claudia, Laura had taken videos of their encounters and puts them on YouTube.
Now publicly humiliated, Claudia is fired from her job as a corporate lawyer, whereby she has a fugue episode and disappears to a small town in Connecticut. She does not return to her old life and continues to work anonymously as a newspaper delivery woman.
But this is just ridiculous:
Laura cuts Claudia out of her life for what she says is for good. Several months later when Claudia is at the mall, she notices Laura, who is now clearly pregnant. Figuring the pregnancy to have happened around the time when Laura stopped talking to her, Claudia approaches her and gently asks to take her out to lunch. Laura is unwilling at first, but can’t run very fast since she is pregnant and has never been the type to want to make a scene in public.
Over lunch Laura and Claudia make up, but Laura still holds Claudia at arms length. Laura refuses to tell Claudia why she abandoned their friendship in the first place, and Claudia, too overjoyed at having her best friend back and the promise of a soon-to-come baby to squeal over and spoil, does not push it.
Claudia notices that Laura refuses to talk much about the child she is carrying. After assuring Claudia that she plans to keep the baby, Laura does not permit any other questions.
When Laura is in labor and under the influence of various medications, she reveals that it was Claudia’s boyfriend who fathered her child. Claudia leaves the hospital before the baby is born. She walks around in a state of shock for a while before she concludes that Laura must be lying. Claudia believes Laura has always been jealous of her relationship, which had been going for quite awhile. She speculates that perhaps jealousy and maybe a hidden passion for her boyfriend might have been why Laura refused to talk to her for all those months.
Claudia asks her boyfriend Charles to take a paternity test. She tells Charles that she does not believe Laura. After all, Laura has not been the most reliable person lately.
Charles refuses to take the paternity test, which makes Claudia suspicious. Claudia returns to Laura in the hospital and demands to know what happened. Laura tells her that she and Charles had sex in a funhouse during the St. Mary’s Day feast. Claudia recalls that when she met up with them at the carnival after she got out of work that they both looked disheveled. However, Claudia had attributed it to riding roller coasters.
Claudia calls Charles and demands he move out that day. She does not ask Charles why he slept with her best friend. The relationship had been rocky for a while, what with Charlie dropping out of graduate school to pursue the art of candle making. Claudia does, however, ask Laura why she would betray her best friend. Laura explains that she felt so distant from Claudia and wanted to get closer to her. She reveals that having sex with Charles felt like having sex with Claudia.
(Note: Claudia is creeped out by this description.)
Claudia, unable to make a connection between Laura’s feelings and actions, leaves the hospital. Claudia and Laura never see each other again because Claudia moves away to Connecticut. (Note: Or maybe to Cincinnati.)
One more for good measure:
Laura is afraid for her life following a psychology course, during which she diagnoses Claudia as a psychopath. Laura’s life is complicated enough already. She just adopted a bulldog with diabetes and really needs to be home to give him insulin shots. Claudia berates Laura for her charitable deed, suggesting they release Benjamin into the wild and put survival of the fittest to the test.
(Note: Laura names her dog Benjamin because she likes that it is only a little pretentious)
Laura begins to notice how bloodthirsty Claudia is as they watch violent slasher movies and Claudia cheers when people are beheaded. Claudia suggests to Laura that perhaps they should make a movie. Laura perceives this as a clever scheme Claudia is cooking up in the hope of murdering her, and so she attempts to flee.
Claudia chases Laura as she drives away, unsure why Laura just ran out of her house screaming. Laura begins to panic and loses control of the vehicle when she sees Claudia chasing after her in the rear-view mirror. Laura crashes into a tree and is rushed to the hospital with severe head trauma.
Laura loses full mobility of the right side of her body. Devastated and convinced Claudia that will now be able to murder her more easily, Laura attempts to kill herself. Laura tries cutting some of the wires, but the only one she can successfully severe is the saline drip. The nurses tie Laura’s left side down to prevent her from moving.
As a result of her handicap Laura becomes so frustrated with her life that when she returns home she tries to abuse Benjamin. Fortunately Benjamin can outrun Laura due to her having limited movement on her right side, but Laura withholds his food in bitter anger, convinced that her dog is mocking her.
Perhaps it is because Benjamin is too adorable to abuse or because Laura’s brain is more damaged than the doctors originally predicted, but Laura’s sadistic focus moves onto Claudia.
(Note: Benjamin is pleased about this, but Laura’s inconsistent behavior leaves him unsure of his actions. As a result, he shits on the carpet more than he used to.)
Laura sends Claudia viruses via email, but Claudia never seems to check it anymore. Laura mails child-pornography to Claudia’s apartment, and then calls the cops, but her speech is slurred due to her partial paralysis and the police dispatcher has no idea what she is trying to say. Laura enlists the help of a witch doctor named Tethyus to assist in her revenge. Tethyus tells Laura that he needs to move in with her in order to harness Laura’s anger.
(Note: Tethyus tells Laura her rage will make the spell stronger, but Tethyus was actually evicted from his apartment for using it to run a prostitution ring in conjunction with a cupcake mail-order service)
Claudia is convinced that Laura’s strange behavior is due to the smell of dog poop that is now permanent in Laura’s house.
(Note: Laura has lost multiple in-home caregivers because of the smell and Tethyus’ demonic chanting)
Claudia offers to help Laura re-train Benjamin, but Laura makes Claudia clean up the dog poop when she arrives. While Claudia is cleaning she finds voodoo dolls that look suspiciously like her. Claudia doesn’t think much of it until she sees a poster of herself taped to the wall with the words “This is the one we have to kill” written across it.
Claudia gathers Benjamin and leaves, convinced that Laura is beyond rehabilitation and has most likely succumbed to a drug addiction that has caused her to become psychotic. Claudia drives herself and Benjamin to Route 95 South with the intention to travel all the way to Florida. Claudia begins to worry that her chakras or something are out of balance, so she picked up a hitchhiker in the hope of bringing in some good karma.
The man tells Claudia that he ran away from a bad life, that he wants to start over and finally do all the things he dreamed of, such as being a painter, writer, model, guidance counselor, hit man, chef, and professional philosopher. If the time warrants it, he intends to move onto acting, then producing, but he must end on professional ballet dancer. Claudia admires the man’s ambition and strayed focus. Claudia realizes she has found a kindred spirit.
(Note: The man is Tethyus.)