"Hey, Elaine, what was it you were about to say to me on the plane when it was going down?"
Jerry had this half smirk, with his mouth kind of opened. She looked at him, breathless. She hoped he didn't remember that. Oh, what the hell, she thought.
"I've always loved you..." she began to say, with the tenderest smile. When she was about to pronounce the last world, she changed her mind; she wasn't dying anymore. They were probably going to get out of there in a few minutes, she thought. There was no way they were going to jail. And they would continue their empty little lives, dating wrong persons and talking about nothing. She couldn't bring this up like this. It would be the "this, that and the other" ultimatum all over again. As much as she wanted to say it, she couldn't afford to lose Jerry's friendship. So, before she would finish the pronunciation of the word 'you', she prolonged the sentence. "...nited Airlines."
Jerry's face was the face of an unconvinced man. Damn, she thought, he had understood what she meant. Without having another word, the jury entered the room, and the whole court was silently, waiting for the verdict.
"The jury defines the defenders... guilty!"
Suddenly there was nothing else in Elaine, or even Jerry's mind. They were going to jail.
As they walk by the police station, going back to the holding cell, there was an uncommon, uncomfortable silence between the four. Elaine was quiet, still unbelievable shocked. She, Elaine Marie Benes, such a good, decent person, was going to jail. She still couldn't believe it.
"Well, it's only a year. That's not so bad. We'll be out in a year, and then we'll be back" Jerry said, trying to light up his friends by being positive.
"Could be fun. Don't have to worry about your meals, or what you're going to do Saturday night." Kramer got way into the positive thought. He kept going, talking nonsense. As usual. "And they do shows. Yeah, we could put on a show - maybe "Bye Bye Birdie" or "My Fair Lady". Elaine, you could be Eliza Doolittle!"
"Why don't you just blow it out your ass" Elaine finally said, annoyed. She would play Eliza Doolittle on Kramer's face if he kept talking about doing shows on jail.
As they entered the small cell, she began to realize what her life would be like for the next year. That didn't help to make the annoyance go away. She then realized the things she had let opened in her life.
"If I call Jill from prison, do you think that would make up for the other ones? Cause you only get one call. The prison call is like the king of calls." She wondered out loud, trying to make at least one good thing come out of this mess.
"I think that would be a very nice gesture", Jerry replied.
Kramer started to jump on one foot again, like he did on the plane. "I got it - it's out! How about that, huh? Oh, boy, what a relief."
Jerry, Elaine and George just looked at him, and Kramer understood; they could kill with their looks.
"See now, to me, that button is in the worst possible spot."
Oh, great. Everything that Elaine needed: small talk about nothing. As she looked to George and Jerry, discussing whether they had the same conversation god knows how long ago, it hit her how bad things were going to be.
"Who the hell cares about the stupid second button?" Elaine yelled, her annoyance at its best.
"Wow, calm down, Grumpy, what is wrong with you?" Jerry looked at her, annoyed with her annoyance.
The police officer went to the cell before she could reply. He had this dumb face, like he had done a great job by putting the New York Four behind the bars.
"Okay, now, I'll be getting you to your permanent cells one by one, in alphabetic order. Just to make sure you weirdos don't get cells right next to each other" he added, answering the four pair of eyes that looked surprised at him. "Constanza, you first!" He laughed.
George looked at the rest of them, desperation emanating from his small eyes. "We... we... we're not going to be together? I'll... please tell me there are separate cells. Like, one cell for each person! Please!" As the officer smiled, showing all his teeth, George was in shock. All the police station was enjoying all that, apparently. He got up, and followed the officer.
"I guess.. I'll see you around?" Before he left the hall, he looked back, with terror in his eyes. He was pushed out of the hall.
“Boy, this will be brutal for George.” Kramer commented. “You’re screwed, my friend!” He yelled at George, laughing.
And then there were three.
Kramer was sitting next to Jerry, and had started to talk again about how this would be the time of their lives. "You know... We may end up loving this place! Yeah, look, it will be great! Making new friends, having free time on our hands... Oh, this will be wonderful Jerry! Wonderful!"
Elaine couldn't take it anymore; she got up and pushed Kramer, making him fall from the bench. "Shut up! Shut up!" She kept pushing him, and as Kramer started to jump on the floor, like a fish when it's pulled out of water, Jerry got up and hold her arms as she had an angry attack.
"Hey, hey, hey, Elaine, ELAINE! What is your problem?"
The same police officer heard noises, and came back. "What is happening over here? C'mon, Kramer, you're next." Another laugh.
Kramer got up, still with the popped eyes, and looked over. "Uh, bye-bye" he said, swinging his fingers at his friends. And then, he put an arm around the officer "You know, I think we could be good friends around here, even share a good laughs!" And gave one of those weird laughs of his.
The police man looked at him, and took him by the collar. "No small talk, let's go". Kramer was pushed all the way until the end of the hall.
Elaine sat again in the bench, looking at the floor. Jerry sat in front of her, trying to figure out why she was so altered. "So, just the two of us huh. Weird, he said he was going to take us by alphabetic order... You should have gone first, right? Benes, before Constanza."
"Ugh, Jerry, don't you get it? I'm a woman."
Jerry smirked at her. "You know, I think I figured that out a while ago, when we started going out." Oh, the comedian could be arrested, but the humor could never get between bars. Too bad this was not a good time to make jokes.
"Are you stupid, Jerry? I will be going to another place. You three idiots may not be on the same cells, but at least you'll see each other. I'll be locked for good, one year, with all of those... women." Her voice got sharpen by the end of the sentence.
"Wait.. you're saying that me, and George, and Kramer will stay in one place..." he used his arms to talk, pointing to the right, and then to the left. It was a sort of indication that he was nervous. "...and you stay at other?"
"For a whole year? We don’t get to see you, and you don't get to see us for a year?" He was truly confused.
"Yes. I'm a woman. Women have different prisons. You were really expecting us to be at the same jail, all together? God, Jerry, you're an idiot." She said, half a smile in her face, still looking down.
"I guess I didn't even think about it. Geez, Elaine..." he sat right next to her, and put his hand on her back "I'm sorry. I... I don't know what to say."
"Yeah... Me neither. How could this happen? We were going to Paris. Paris, Jerry! We were going to have the time of our lives. And now I'm going to a place where... and you are screwed too. You're thin and neat and... Oh, Jerry, we’re both screwed!"
They both laughed. Elaine looked at him, thinking she would miss having him around. He looked back at her, and she knew he would miss her too.
"You know, Kramer was kind of right. It is just one year. Counting from today, so one day is already gone. And there’s the sleeping time, the eating time.. it will be more like 4 months, really. It will be over sooner than you think."
She smiled again. And then she realized. "Oh God, Kramer. I won't see him for a year! And I was pushing him and..."
"Hey, it's okay. It's Kramer. He was driving me nuts too." He rubbed her back, and they stared at each other for a long moment.
The officer came back one more time.
"Seinfeld, your turn. Ms. Benes, the representing of the women's prison will pick you up in half an hour."
Jerry got up, and was starting to leave the small cell. Elaine suddenly remembered something.
"Hey, Jerry? What was it that you were going to say to me on the plane?"
He stopped walking, looked back, and smiled for a moment. "Oh... I was going to say that I love United Airplanes, too."
She smiled,watching him disappear in the hall, and stayed there, sitting alone on the bench.
Jerry was right: it would be over soon.