Evy And James Darren’s Honeymoon
They’d had a few heavenly days together—Evy and Jim—on this lovely isle of Rhodes in the blue Aegean sea, off Greece. Now Evy Norlund Darren sat forlornly on a bench outside a little shop. The sun was golden on her face, but she wasn’t noticing its delicious warmth. Not even the picturesque little donkeys passing with their burdens, or the color and stir of the ancient town, could move her. Sitting there alone on her honeymoon—she fell lonely. Everything and everybody had been warm and wonderful on their visit home to Copenhagen to meet her folks, and then to Italy to took up relatives of Jim’s, before coming here. It had been a happy and exciting time. But now, with Jimmy gone every day from dawn to dark to work on the picture, she was so alone.
Looking at her watch, she saw that it was only noon. What would she do until seven or eight tonight, when, finally, Jim would come home to their seaside bungalow?
The first few days on Rhodes, they had walked hand in hand, kicking off their shoes to go barefoot on the sand, and ridden donkeys to the steep summit of the ancient Lindos Acropolis, explored the medieval city of Rhodes, picked delicious juicy oranges in the groves outside the quaint village of Archangelos, with its small white houses.
And every day, a hundred times a day, Evy would sigh, “This is the most marvelous honeymoon a girl could dream of. Oh, Jim, I’m so happy. I love you like crazy!”
Sitting on the bench with her chin in her hand, Evy wondered, how can everything change so in a few weeks? Now, Jim had to leave at four and five every morning, to prepare for the day’s shooting on “The Guns of Navarone,” being made here in this beautiful blue Aegean setting. He’d be gone all day, coming home late and exhausted. But there was no time to rest. No time to be together in peace and quiet. They had to get dinner over with fast, so Jim could study for tomorrow’s shooting. Every night, they walked to the huge dining room of the Miramare Hotel, ate, walked back to the bungalow—and so to work, with Evy watching him study, or trying to help him. And wondering what she’d do with herself, again, all day tomorrow.
Now, looking at her watch and seeing it was only noon, she sighed. The same old problem—what to do with so much time—and no Jim to share it. And why did she have a feeling that someone was staring at her? She looked around, and then she saw the woman in the doorway of the little shop. She was not young, but handsome with her dark eyes and coal-black hair drawn smoothly into a chignon.
The woman smiled at the blond girl sit-ting on her bench. In heavily accented English, she asked, “You have come to see me?” Evy stared, puzzled, and shook her head.
“Why no,” she said, “I was just—sitting.”
“Ah so,” the woman said. “Alone?”
“Well—yes.” Somehow, Evy didn’t like to say so . . .
“And you are feeling very lonely.” It wasn’t a question, it was a statement of fact. And of course it was true, but Evy felt strange about having a perfect stranger know this about her. It was as if she were a mind-reader.
Mind reader. Suddenly it came to Evy who this woman was. Of course! This must be the dressmaker that Gia Scala had told her about. The dressmaker who, if she took to you, also told your fortune. What was her name again? Oh, yes—Kyria Eleni.
Evy asked her, “Are you by any chance Kyria Eleni?” At the nod of yes, Evy smiled and said, “My friend, Gia Scala, spoke of you.”
Kyria said in a pleased voice, “Oh, so you did come to see me.”
Now Evy didn’t know what to say. To say No would sound rude. But to say Yes would mean to go in the shop, discuss a dress to be made, and start fittings—and maybe end up having your fortune told. “I don’t want my fortune told,” Evy thought to herself. “I don’t believe in it! I’m not superstitious, but I just don’t think it’s right to know what’s ahead before God lets it happen.”
Flustered, Evy said aloud, “I . . . I can’t stay now. I have an appointment that I must keep in a few minutes. I . . . I’ll be back some other time.” But, as she said goodbye and walked away, she knew she was only making polite excuses. She had no intention of coming back. At least that’s what she thought.
So Evy went back to her occupation of killing the long hours each day and waiting lonesomely for Jimmy to come home each evening. The other wives, Veronique Peck and Hjordis Niven and Dorothy Quayle, were all busy with their children. Evy offered to help them, but they all had nursemaids and didn’t need help. She read a lot but there was never a time to discuss, with Jim, the book she was reading, because in the evenings she must be quiet while he studied his lines. She took walks, but looking at lovely scenery without Jim didn’t give her heart the same lift as when she was with him. She went to the beach, only a few minutes’ walk from the bungalow, and lay in the sun after brief dips. But Jimmy wasn’t sprawled contentedly beside her on the big, bright beach towel, and so the beach wasn’t bliss.
Denmark was fun
“That’s why Denmark was so much fun,” Evy thought. “Jimmy was with me every minute.” Wistfully, she remembered the happy greetings at the Copenhagen airport where they were met by Mama and Papa Norlund and Evy’s three sisters—redheaded Yana, blond Inger and brunette Annie. And what a gay feast was waiting for the honeymooners at the apartment: a marvelous smorgasbord of smoked sturgeon, black caviar, of tiny meatballs, and white fish, shrimps, and all kinds of salads. Everything tasted different from Jim’s favorite Italian dishes, but he sampled everything and enjoyed it, praising it till his mother-in-law beamed.
There was only one thing wrong, she remembered—Jimmy’s discomfort because her dad wasn’t an easy man to get close to, and this her warmhearted bridegroom couldn’t understand. “You have to get to know Papa,” she’d whispered to Jimmy whenever he got uneasy that his father-in-law had nothing to say to him. “He’s sweet, but he’s shy, because words come hard to him.”
That was when she had the bright idea to let food help bridge the gap between the two so different men. Daddy enjoyed food—and wasn’t there a saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”? So she asked Jimmy, “Why don’t we cook the folks a dinner tonight, darling? A real good Italian meal.” And he agreed.
“Wait till you taste my husband’s native cooking,” she told her family proudly, as she and Jim set out gaily to buy the makings. All afternoon they wandered, hand in hand, through the colorful market stalls for tomatoes and the right cheeses, for spaghetti and veal and everything else they needed.
They came home and put everyone out of the kitchen. Together they cooked, laughed, and kissed, and the meal came out perfect.
For an appetizer, they served an antipasto of olives, celery and sliced cold cuts, and for the entree they prepared veal parmigiana, which made a big hit. There were side dishes of spaghetti a la oleo and a crisp tossed salad. And plenty of crusty Italian bread.
But it was the pizza that did it!
They’d been sitting talking for hours—so much to say in a week—until everyone got hungry again. So Evy and Jim went back to the kitchen. It was Jimmy who knew how to turn Danish muffins into little individual pizzas, and Evy just followed directions. When they were served, everybody “ummed,” they were so delicious.
And, in the middle of the raves, Mr. Norlund broke down and said, “I never tasted anything like this before. Aren’t they good, Mama?”
Mrs. Norlund beamed on Jimmy. “I want the recipe,” she said.
“Ah, you’re just flattering me,” Jim grinned at her.
And Evy’s father, sitting contented with another pizza in his hand, made what was for him quite a speech. Right to Jimmy, he made it. “It’s nice,” he said, “to look around and see everybody so happy. Especially my Evy. She brought us a good son, a fine son, my boy.” And after that the two men found a hundred things in common to talk about.
Later, alone, Evy giggled and whispered to Jimmy. “Who would ever dream that all it took was a piece of pizza to break the ice between you and Papa?”
Jimmy whispered back, “You dreamed it, you little witch!” And kissed her. He was happy. Now he felt part of the whole family, and it made Evy feel that much closer to him because he had such good strong feelings about families. “I love you, Jimmy,” she told him, close in his arms. “I never want to be away from you for one hour of my life.”
And then they had flown off to Rome. Together, they had looked up distant relatives of Jimmy’s, and enjoyed their warm hospitality. They spent a golden week basking in the sun, or driving through the winding roads in the hilly dark, green countryside to admire the pink stucco villas with their breathtaking rose gardens.
Then loneliness set in
Then they had come to Rhodes where, after a few luxurious days, the picture-making started—and the honeymoon was ended! The loneliness set in.
When the reading palled, and the empty hours on the beach, when embroidery produced nothing but a lot of pricked fingers and bloodstains on the fabric, Evy decided to go to Kyria Eleni after all. If she was as wonderful a dressmaker as Gia Scala said, it was silly to go home without a few of her dresses. And it would be something to do . . . someone to talk to.
And, indeed, Kyria always talked as she fitted Evy. She talked through a bunch of straight pins clenched between her teeth. “Broken pins-and-needles English,” Evy called it, and came to enjoy the conversations very much. Kyria asked her about the United States and Denmark. And Evy asked all about Greece, the ancient and beautiful country Kyria loved passionately. By the time they were started on the second dress, they knew and liked each other very well.
Until, one day, Kyria asked, “You are still lonely, no?”
Evy hedged. “Oh, a little.”
“Your husband . . . he is away all day?”
Evy was ashamed to complain. “He’s very busy with the movie,” she said. “It’s a wonderful, wonderful role for him, and I’m happy about it.”
“But you . . . what are you doing?” Kyria Eleni took a pin from her mouth and fitted the violet linen skirt tighter around Evy’s waist.
“Oh,” Evy tried to appear nonchalant, “I read and swim a little, and I take naps . . . and I come here!”
“But you miss him . your husband, eh?”
Evy wished Kyria Eleni would stop. It was all getting too personal.
But Kyria Eleni persisted. “Do you?”
“Well,” Evy answered, “I guess I’m just like anybody else that’s in love. I . . . I look forward to being with Jimmy.”
“I’ve been married,” Kyria Eleni said, “I know.”
Evy wasn’t sure what Kyria was getting at, so she didn’t answer.
“Let me make you a cup of Greek coffee,” Kyria said, “and we’ll sit outside while I tell you something.”
Evy waited on the sunny veranda with its black grillwork fence until Kyria came out with a silver tray. She served Evy a spoonful of rose-petal jam on a white china saucer. Then she poured a demitasse cup of Greek coffee from the long-handled brass jezbeh.
The two of them, sitting in the hot, dry sunshine of Rhodes, sipped the coffee slowly. Finally, Kyria Eleni spoke. “I know you are very much in love. I see it in your face. And it’s wonderful. But, my dear, you are now going to have to face yourself—and this isn’t easy.”
A honeymoon doesn’t last forever
Evy finished her coffee, Kyria Eleni reached over, took Evy’s cup, turned it over in the saucer. “I’m going to read your coffee grounds,” she said.
She turned the cup right side up again and closely scanned the grounds that stuck in it. “Hmmm,” she murmured, “you will have money.” She paused. “And love.” She frowned. “And you will suffer a personal disappointment with your career.”
“But how can you see all that—in a cup?”
“It’s what I’ve been taught. Little signs show me your future.”
Evy didn’t mean to laugh, it wasn’t polite, but somehow the giggle escaped. But Kyria wasn’t offended.
“Just wait,” she said serenely, “you will see. But this is not so important as what I want to tell you that is not in the cup—that I have learned from life.”
She sounded so darkly mysterious, that Evy wasn’t sure she wanted to hear it. But, finally, she half-whispered, “What? What did you learn?”
The dressmaker-fortune teller leaned forward intently. “That a honeymoon can not go on forever.”
Evy felt like a small girl who had been scolded.
“I never said it could!” she cried.
Evy nearly choked as she swallowed hard. How could Kyria Eleni know her innermost feelings like this?
“What you must learn, my dear, is that your husband will always have his work. And while he works, you must make a life for yourself so both of you can be happy.”
“What am I supposed to do?”
Evy asked. Her curiosity was piqued now.
But Kyria answered her question with another.
“What do you want to do?”
“I . . . I’m an actress,” Evy offered shyly, “so I guess I want to act.”
“Remember, I warned you,” Kyria replied quickly, “about a disappointment in your career.”
“Oh,” Evy said. And then, just as quickly, “It doesn’t matter. I’d rather have children than be an actress.”
“Then you will give yourself to motherhood,” Kyria nodded approvingly. “But now while you wait, what will you do?”
“I . . I don’t know.”
“Think about it,” Kyria Eleni said. She rose, picked up the silver tray with the silver and china and the cup with Evy’s fortune in it. “And remember what I tell you: that in life the worst thing is to do nothing, to sit and wait for something to happen. It never does. You have to make it happen. You have to find something which gives you happiness when you’re by yourself—even if it’s all day. Even if it’s all day and all night for weeks and months and years at a time.”
Evy rode back on the bumpy little bus, lost in thought over Kyria’s words. By the time she got out, she felt, “I know what she means! She doesn’t mean I have to keep busy with a pottery course or a job—or even a baby yet. If I can just change my own feelings about the loneliness and the waiting and not be unhappy about it. Because if I am, it’ll only make Jimmy unhappy, and spoil everything.
Their new happiness
By seven o’clock, Evy was freshened up with a shower and a crisp change of dress, waiting. But Jim was later than ever tonight. When he came, he walked in so wearily that Evy’s heart turned over with a kind of ache for him.
“Sit down a few minutes. Honey,” she said after their hello kiss, “and I’ll bring you some cold lemonade. We don’t have to rush to the hotel.”
He drank it gratefully and asked, “What kind of a day did you have, Sweetheart?”
Evy looked at him and thought, “Isn’t he nice, asking me that when he’d worked so hard?”
She smiled at him and said, “Oh, Honey, I had a wonderful day! I went to the beach, and I shopped, and to the dress-maker—she’s making me some lovely things.” But she didn’t tell him the rest—the fortune telling. That was her own secret.
Tired as he was, Jim smiled and said, “I’m glad you’re so contented here, Evy. It’s a load off my mind to know you’re not bored and lonely.”
Oh I love him, Evy thought. He’s so good and sweet. I adore him.
They went to the hotel for dinner. And then, before going back to the bungalow, they walked by the water. Evy leaned her head against Jim’s shoulder in the deepening dusk, and her hand was in his.
It was only a little walk, a few minutes, but it was enough to make her happy and content to sit quietly the rest of the evening while Jim studied tomorrow’s lines. And he was content too—working with his Evy sitting near him.
They didn’t dream, that night, what further happiness was in store for them. That before they left the island of Rhodes, late in the summer, a baby would be on its way for them. And that while she was waiting, Evy would have her opportunity to be an actress again—she’d get a small part in Jimmy’s picture.
All of this may ha,,e been in the coffee grounds, but Kyria Eleni wasn’t telling—and that was very wise of her. For, without knowing any of it, Evy had arrived at great happiness and peace of mind. She and Jimmy were on their kind of a honeymoon—the kind that lasts.
WATCH FOR JIMMY IN COL.’S “ALL THE YOUNG MEN” AND “LET NO MAN WRITE MY EPITAPH.” JIMMY AND EVY WILL APPEAR IN “THE GUNS OF NAVARONE.” JIMMY RECORDS ON THE COLPIX LABEL. BE SURE TO TUNE IN TO GEORGE CHRISTY’S “TEEN TOWN,” HEARD ON ABC RADIO.
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE AUGUST 1960