Tuesday, 6 November 2012
Apologies for the lack of posts. Sandy is an evil bitch and I've been trying to get in contact with people and sort some junk out behind the scenes Grrrrrr!
Tuesday, 30 October 2012
I didn’t sleep last night, but hadn’t really expected to. I had the same thoughts swirling around my head over and over and over. My eyes felt as though they had dried out from being open so long and sleeping just wasn’t an option. I was up at 3am icing cupcakes, but that didn’t take as long as I had hoped, even being obsessively neat about it.
I turned on my laptop, reported the three new hate groups, read a few messages from the delightful people on Twitter just to make myself feel even shittier, and went on to Van’s page. He hadn’t updated it again since the photo. I put on the TV, trying to find the most mindless show that I could. I wanted to turn my brain off and be distracted. Unfortunately, for once, everything was of an intelligent nature; documentaries, history shows and debates. I searched the movie channels and found one of Van’s. It was halfway through but I didn’t care. Seeing him on the screen caused the tears to start, and I sat there, wrapped in his robe, bawling my eyes out like a complete lunatic. The movie itself seemed to be a thriller, and my beloved was the bad guy, which was slightly unreal considering how sweet he was. His voice was lower, his sandy hair dyed brown and it was longer so it hung in his eyes. His character was utterly heartless and without morals, but I just enjoyed hearing his voice again. I dozed for a little while, and when I woke again, the sun was fully up and the flat was full of an orange glow.
I was still shattered, but at least now I could get out of the flat. I boxed up some of the cupcakes and took them to the sweet guy at reception (he was very flattered and wouldn’t stop saying thank you.)
The sun blazed in a way I hadn’t experienced since I’d been here, but I wasn’t about to complain. I was still in love with the sun despite the thick coating of sunscreen I’d drowned myself in before leaving the building.
I’d had an idea last night (whilst staring at the ceiling for hours) and wanted to make a start on it. I would need a newsagent’s and an art supply shop. I could have asked for directions, but I really hadn’t explored as much as I should have. If I was still going to New York I wouldn’t be here much longer and needed to make the most of it. Besides, I had too much time to kill as it was.
As I walked, I texted Sofia. I asked how she and Luke were and mentioned that I hadn’t heard from Van. She replied instantly saying that Van seemed really down, but insisted he was fine. He was hiding it well enough from Luke, but when he wasn’t around he looked morose and depressed. She said he was catching a flight back to me at 6pm, so probably wouldn’t be back at the flat until late. I thanked her and carried on searching for the shops I needed. This was not good. If he wouldn’t even talk to Sofia (and she is the easiest person on the planet to talk to) something must be really wrong. I ignored the guilt gnawing away at my insides as I really had no clue as to what I could have done. It was still there though, trying to get me to feed it with even more things I should feel bad about.
I eventually found a newsagent that sold everything under the sun, or somewhere close. They had a scrapbook in the size I wanted, and a whole wall dedicated to magazines. I quickly had a look through them and grabbed any with Van in (over 20!) I was searching for more, when I saw a girl who looked a lot like me on the front cover of a magazine that is notorious for made up stories. I was on the front page of a magazine! How scary! They were still running the story that I was pregnant, but this time with triplets and I was only three months gone apparently. That was reassuring to know. We’d have to think up a third crazy name for when the triplets are born. I rolled my eyes as I read on, but had to buy three copies as I was so in shock at being a front page story (even if it was complete tosh.) I would send one to my mum, but I wasn’t sure if she’d find it as funny as I did.
Lugging all the magazines back to the flat was not fun. The sun was getting insanely hot and the bags were really heavy. I made it eventually and laid them all out on the table to hack to pieces. Yes, I was scrapbooking. No I was not getting to that point where I was making them of Van so I could look at them and cry every time I missed him. I was making them for Luke. I knew his parents did everything they could to protect him from the craziness of their lives, which wasn’t always possible unfortunately, so I was trying to document everything his dad had done as much as possible for him to look over when he was older. Sure, he was twelve, but they were still keeping him out of photos and the media as much as was possible (not easy when you constantly have a camera shoved in your face.)
I was happily cutting up magazines, surrounded by a sea of scrap paper, my hands covered in glue, and with a paper cut bleeding on to the table, when Van walked in. Fuck. I look like shit and the table is a complete mess! I was supposed to have time to clear up and make myself look…well, not pretty, but at least remove the glue from my skin and tidy myself up. I was staring at him in shock, my hands dropping to my sides. The blood dripped in a steady pattern onto the carpet. The cream carpet that we didn’t own. I barely noticed. Van’s expression was guarded, a frown on his face as he met my eyes. He was angry at me, it was obvious. I just wish he’d tell me what I’d done so I could at least try and fix it.
“It would be nice to see you just once when you’ve not been injured.” He said in a clipped voice.
“Shit!” I said, catching the blood in my other hand and running to the sink.
I washed my hands off and stuck a plaster over the paper cut. It was pretty pathetic, but wouldn’t stop bleeding. I grabbed a cloth and rushed over to the stain, dabbing it and scrubbing manically. It began to spread, turning pink and bleeding outwards. I was making it worse. To add to the fun, the plaster came off my finger and it began bleeding over the stain some more. Awesome. I could feel the tears coming and gave up trying to stop them. I was exhausted, confused and making things worse. I covered my face with my hands and just sobbed.
I jumped when his hand began rubbing my back.
“It’s just a carpet, it’s not worth getting upset about.” He said softly.
“I don’t care about the fucking carpet!” I said between sobs. “I’ve been freaking out since you left about what I’ve done wrong and I still have no clue. If you want me to leave, I will, but please tell me what I did wrong.” I dissolved into a new round of tears, sniffling like an idiot.
He took a tissue from his pocket and pulled my hands from my face. He proceeded to gently wipe away all my tears, then the blood I’d managed to smear across my cheek. He sighed deeply, looking for the right words.
“I haven’t been fair to you, I stormed off in a mood without any explanation…Let me get you cleaned up then we’ll sit down and talk about it ok?”
I nodded, swallowing hard to stop the tears from starting again. He lead me over to the sink and cleaned my hand up, wiping the dried blood that had run down my forearm to my elbow. His hands were deft and gentle. Being the coward that I am, I couldn’t meet his eyes, I looked at my feet, noticing droplets of blood on my socks. This country made me bleed a lot it seemed. I didn’t know what to do, what to say, so I stood there in silence as he stuck a plaster on my finger and lead me to the sofa. He sat and patted the cushion next to him. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
This was going to be ‘the talk’. The ‘I don’t think we should work together anymore’ talk, or the ‘I don’t think we should live together anymore’ talk, or the ‘I’m taking out a restraining order against you’ talk. Regardless of its subject matter, the pained expression on his face made me think it couldn’t be good. Everything had been going so well though, we got on, we laughed at the same stupid things, we were good for each other, even if it was just as friends. Just as employer and employee. I didn’t want to think what my life would be like without him. It was pathetic and needy, but I’d never felt like this about anyone before, and it was pulling me to pieces.
“I know Sofia told you about my last PA, but did she tell you about my latest ex?”
I shook my head, watching my hands fighting in my lap. I didn’t want to see if there was hatred in his eyes, regardless of how soft and gentle his voice was. This was the trouble with actors.
“She was a lot like you actually; sweet, grounded, compassionate. She encouraged me to quit smoking, cut down on the drinking and made sure I ate three meals a day. She was also sleeping with most of the actors I worked with. She had one thing on her mind and it was her ambition. She didn’t care about me and stole phone number for contacts, insisted I introduce her to people she had no need to know… but I wanted to help her because she had helped me so much. Things fell apart quite quickly when she started selling stories to the papers about my alcoholism, drug taking and anything else she thought they might pay to hear. They didn’t care if it was true or not, and nor did she. There was no evidence, but that didn’t matter. My career was in shreds as no one wanted to hire someone with so many issues. Sofia and Luke were the only things that got me through it. Sofia would counter every story she told, providing evidence. Things gradually improved again, then I had the PA do almost exactly the same thing to me. My ex is still selling kiss and tells about all the people she has slept with, and none of them seem to learn from it. I ran away because…Georgiana I care about you far more than as a PA, as a friend. I thought you felt the same way until you said to your mom that I was just your boss. It scared me because it was starting to play out like it had with my ex and PA. You looked after me and ensured I looked after myself, you genuinely seemed to care and…” He trailed off.
“I’ve never asked for anything from you.” I said. “Just your company and attention occasionally.” I said in a feeble voice.
“I know. I pinned my hopes on this being different, but what you said on the phone…”
“I said that so YOU didn’t freak out! Jesus Van, you are so bloody blonde! I hang on to your every word! You’re all I think about, all I care about. The last two days have been utterly miserable. I haven’t known what to do with myself and I’ve spent a lot of it staring at walls and cyber stalking you!” I stopped myself before I sounded any more desperate than I already did. Well, the cards were now of the table, I would be kicked out in an instant.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” His eyes were incredulous.
“Hmmmm, I wonder. Could it be that you’re a hugely successful movie star and I’m just a freak from a small town in England? Or the fact that one of your ex’s is a frigging super model? Or it could be the fear of losing a job that I love. Why in God’s name would I tell you? That just leaves me open for fifteen thousand different kinds of rejection!” I met his eye and regretted it. His mouth was hanging open in horror, his eyes almost as wide. Excellent. Good going George, you’re not going to see him for dust.
He shook his head and thought for a moment.
“This is entirely too grade school to be true. I like liked you and you like liked me and neither of us told each other.” He said in a cutesy sing song voice.
“What?” I asked, my mouth echoing what his had just done.
“George, I’m crazy about you and I don’t even think I’m very good at hiding it. In fact, I suck. First thing Sofia said to me when I mentioned you was; ‘You like her don’t you?’” His eyes were shining brightly.
“Sofia is psychic I swear.” I said. “You…you want to be with me?”
“A little slow on the uptake aren’t you Mac?” He said with a grin.
Well I was not expecting that, in fact it was the antithesis of what I had been predicting him to say. I’d actually packed my case this morning because I had expected this to go in the opposite direction.
“I’ve been wandering around the flat wearing your robe. I even slept in it.” I said in a small voice.
“And now you’re making a scrapbook of me?” He asked, looking over at the table, his left eyebrow raised.
“No, it’s for Luke. I know you don’t let him read about you in the papers so I thought I’d start collecting them for when he’s older. I’m not completely whacked out just yet.”
His expression softened.
“You’re doing it for Luke? That’s…that’s really sweet Iana.” His smile was contagious.
I took a minute to study him for the first time since he’d returned to me. He looked even more tired than usual, his eyes ringed, but perky and alive. He was growing stubble which was incredibly cute and made him look a little closer to his actual age. I still couldn’t associate him with a 30 something year old man, that was just insane. He was my age if not younger mentally. But we were both a pair of big kids. He wore a long sleeved blue top with the sleeves rolled back. I was guessing New York wasn’t as warm as Hollywood. He had the usual well-loved jeans which matched the ones I was wearing. He looked like a softer version of himself in the sense that his eyes were slightly dreamy, his voice almost a whisper when he spoke now. I guessed it was so I would have to lean in to hear what he was saying.
“I really, really missed you.” He said, taking my hand between his and pressing it to his lips. “Like you wouldn’t believe. I was unbearable in NY. Sofia was getting seriously pissed off at the pining. She LOVED her picture by the way.”
“How’s Luke?” I said, ignoring the fact that he missed me. I would be getting a gigantic ego if I thought about it too much. It was enough to know it and feel the relief in every part of me that he cared as much as I did.
“He made you a comic book. He’s obsessed with drawing at the moment. It’s about Zombies as I told him you were a fan.”
“AWESOME!” I said with a grin. “I made cupcakes. Pink, especially for you.”
“You know me so well.” He rolled his eyes. “I only had three cigarettes the whole time I was away.” He said proudly, looking at my through his eye lashes. The sleeve on his top fell down and he twisted it around his fingers almost shyly.
“If I asked you out on a date, what would you say?” He asked, pretending to be coy.
“I’d have to check my schedule. I’m a very busy girl.” I said sarcastically.
“So I gather from your voice mail. How in the hell did you get those tight fisted bastards to agree to that?”
“I’m a girl of many talents. It was good to vent at someone as I wasn’t in the best mood over the weekend. I got recognised which was scary. This girl just came up to me, staring at my stomach to see if I actually was pregnant. She was hoping you were with me.”
“Where was this?” He asked, still holding my hand. He traced circles into the back of it with his thumb.
“I was out with Masa. See, I’m fighting men off with a stick at the moment.”
“Masa?” I saw the exact second his eyes darkened and his hackles rose. I loved it. He was actually jealous! Don’t get me wrong, obviously I don’t want him to be unhappy, but at the same time, I was so flattered I felt like doing a little happy dance around the couch.
“Masa is the guy that ran the Vegan bakery where I got the cupcakes. He asked me out. I’ve seen him a couple of times…” He was about to interrupt me. “…but nothing’s happened and I spent the whole time thinking of you. We haven’t even held hands, he acts like he’s scared of me. I really, really wanted to feel something for him because he is an incredibly sweet, good guy, but I couldn’t. I was just comparing him to you the whole time and it wasn’t fair.”
He smiled at that, clearly flattered, but it was the gospel truth. I didn’t think there had been more than two minutes where I hadn’t been thinking of Van when I’d been with Masa. It was awful because he deserved better. I would have to talk to him about where he thought we were going, because it wasn’t fair to make him think we were going to end up together. Maybe that wasn’t even what he wanted. I was leaving town soon anyway, so even if we had worked out, I wouldn’t have been around long enough to make a proper commitment anyway. Poor, sweet, lovely Masa. I didn’t think there was a girl in the world that would be good enough for him in my opinion. He was such a gentle, shy spirit. Actually, I’d pair him up with Sofia, she’d bring him out of his shell, but it wasn’t an option, not least because of the distance thing again.
Van was staring at me as all these thoughts were buzzing around my skull. I’d spent all weekend waiting for him to come home, and now that he was here, I was having weird little ‘thought spasms’ where I was linking a million things that I really didn’t want to be thinking about when that beautiful man had his eyes on me.
But what now? Did we carry on as we had done or did the fact that we (and I hated this phrase) ‘liked’ each other now make everything weird?
“So, you gunna ask me out or what?” I said.
“I’m going to wait until you least expect it.” He said, twisting his sleeve.
I took a cushion from the sofa and hit him with it repeatedly.
when I looked in the mirror every morning.
We spent the afternoon practicing for his auditions by going through lines and looking over the notes I’d written for each one. He said he found them invaluable, and it was probably something he should have started doing years ago, but everyone wanted Van, he didn’t really even have to try. It was a lot of fun actually, and I got to show him how utterly horrific an actress I was. The dying swan act for one of the scenes was pretty spectacular if I do say so myself, even if I will be bruised tomorrow from throwing myself over the back of the sofa.
Mid-afternoon there was a knock on the door. It was the lovely guy from the desk with a huge, thick envelope for Van.
“I also wanted to thank you again for those cupcakes. My waistline doesn’t appreciate them, but my taste buds did.” He smiled warmly.
“I’m so glad you liked them. They’re vegan.” I said, knowing that would shock him.
“Really? I’ve never had vegan food before.” He said with a smile, excusing himself politely as he had to get back to the desk.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him that he frequently ate ‘vegan’, every time he ate a piece of fruit or had a salad with certain dressings. Masa’s recipe was proving popular. I’d have to make some for Sofia and Luke when we moved to New York. I was looking forward to seeing somewhere new. It seemed the girl who used to be scared to step outside her front door in the town she grew up in, had finally found her feet and grown a pair of balls.
“Delivery Mr. Murphy. I’m guessing it’s scripts. I obviously put the fear of God into your agents if they’re hand delivering on weekends.”
He grinned, kissed the tip of my nose and opened the envelope. It was full to bursting. I had been right, they were scripts of every kind; TV, movies, even ones for music videos - now that would be cool. Van had already done three or four, but I wanted to see how it was different from a ‘normal’ shoot. Had he ever had to do a dance routine? Now that was something I would pay good money to see.
We ate too many cupcakes, the wrappers all over the evil coffee table and the floor around it, as we picked through the scripts. They were all good scripts. The agents were obviously vetting them as before whenever they’d sent them over, there’s be three or four and most of them would be awful.
“Miss. MacManus, I believe I have you to thank for this.” He said waving a handful of papers around. “I don’t think I’ve ever had this many options at one time. I’m going to struggle to pick.” He didn’t look so tired anymore, a new energy awaked within him.
“Leave them. I’ll go through it all whilst you’re at auditions tomorrow. I won’t have anything to do otherwise and will spend the time looking up how hated I am on the internet. At least now there’ll be a good reason.” I winked at him in a cocky way, he just shook his head.
“I was thinking, in a couple of months, we should borrow someone’s baby just to freak everyone out.” His grin was so utterly evil I had to laugh.
“I don’t think my mum could handle that. Wanna watch Breaking Bad?”
“I would love to Miss. MacManus, but first please take the cupcakes away or I will keep eating them until I vomit. Who’d have thought your hippy vegan crap would taste so good.”
I rolled my eyes and let out a sigh of righteous indignation.
“You love my fake meat crap, you said it was just like chicken.” The amount of times I’ve switched meat for fake meat on unsuspecting people is not funny, and they can NEVER tell the difference!
“I never did ask what it was made from…”
“Mushroom protein. It’s not so appealing when you know that is it, especially as I hate mushrooms. C’est la vie.”
I put the cupcakes away as I was starting to feel like I’d had about six too many, and wandered back to the sofa. Van stood, scooped me up in his arms and plonked down on the seat with me on his lap. He moved to lie down and I did the same, spooning in front of him. His arm snaked around my waist and his breath was tickling the back of my neck. Breaking Bad had never been so good. If I could die right now, I’d die so euphorically happy.
Saturday, 27 October 2012
I woke up aching everywhere. The sofa was ridiculously comfy to sit on, but not so much to sleep on. My shoulder was wedged at a weird angle and I’d reopened the cut on my wrist by pulling the gauze on in my sleep. At least it wasn’t bleeding everywhere. I got up reluctantly, switching off the TV and seeking out some plasters to cover my cut.
I showered and all the usual junk, then sat and stared out of the window for far too long. What the hell was I supposed to do with myself today? I flipped open my laptop and reeled off an angry email to Van’s agent who had been withholding scripts. I suspected it was because they also represented an actor who tended to take similar roles to Van and they were showing him preference. I then looked up other agents just in case this all fell through, searched laws about breaking contracts in Hollywood and looked up similar cases online. I then checked Van’s twitter feed. There was a lovely photo of him and Luke; both were smiling, but it didn’t look convincing from Van. What had I done to him? Or was I being completely self-absorbed to think I could affect him so badly?
I reported two new hate groups on face book, not bothering to update my status. All the people who had ‘friended’ me were haters anyway. I’d gotten bored of baiting them now that I was sat in an empty flat missing Van.
I spent the rest of the morning looking up the movers and shakers in Hollywood, projects that were up and coming for Van and just researching my job as much as I could. I didn’t have much else to do as he had nothing until Monday, and that was two straight days of auditions (7 in total) so I set about researching the directors of those and writing notes of what they liked in an actor and basically cyber stalking them. I had pages and pages of notes by the time I was done, but didn’t know if it would be of any use to him.
God I was bored. The problem with this being a temporary accommodation was that Van hadn’t brought much with him; no books I could read (I hadn’t brought any of mine as I didn’t want to carry them around in my case) no DVDs apart from the Breaking Bad sets we’d bought, and I couldn’t watch them without him. It was either stare at a wall, go out or watch videos of cute kittens on the internet.
When my phone rang I jumped clean out of my skin as the flat had been so quiet all day. I rushed to answer it, but it wasn’t my beloved, Masa or even my mum.
“Miss. MacManus? This is Stacey Oberon from the *Agency’s name* Agency. I trust I find you well?”
Oh snap. I was going to kick this woman’s ass if she thought she was fobbing me off. It was easier over the phone when you didn’t have to look the person in the eye. Plus she couldn’t kick my ass if she didn’t know where I was.
“Ms. Oberon, I’m glad you called. I assume this is regarding the concerns I outlined in my email?”
“It is. I’ve called to apologise profusely for the delays we have been experiencing of late. The person responsible has been let go due to this and I can assure you it will not be happening again.”
“My problem is, Ms. Oberon, Mr. Murphy could have lost out on several of those roles as he has not been receiving the scripts. I can only assume this was done to secure the roles for another actor on your books, and as such, Mr. Murphy would be well within his rights to find alternative representation that is able to accommodate his needs and behave in a more professional manner.”
I could hear her stuttering on the other end of the line. She hadn’t been expecting that. I had encountered two types of business interactions since coming here. There was the ‘we’re bestest buddies forever’ bullshit where nothing ever got sorted out as everyone was too busy flattering each other and never coming to a proper agreement. The other was the badass, douche bag approach where screaming and threats were involved. I agreed with neither, so was trying a different tack. I was pissed off and I made it clear, but I saw no reason to shout or swear. I had threatened to leave their agency, but only because it was something that would potentially happen. I don’t make empty threats. I also liked to think that the over the top snobby British accent I put on helped. It sounded quite impressive if I did say so myself. There was no way she was going to tell me it was ‘cute’.
“Ms. MacManus, I can assure you…”
“Mr. Murphy and I are not impressed at how he has been treated recently and are in talks with several other agencies who are offering smaller commission rates and have better success stories than you are able to provide.”
It wasn’t true that we were in talks, but I had found other companies that looked a lot better on paper and did in fact take a smaller cut. They were newbie companies, but that just meant they’d try a lot harder to impress. They might not have the same contacts, but Van’s name was enough to get scripts, the agents didn’t actually do anything anymore other than receive his mail.
She stuttered again, not sure how to save this. He must bring them in a lot of money, and he was high profile. To lose him would not only cause a loss of cash, but also a loss of face. They couldn’t afford that, it would be all over Hollywood before a week was out, and would lead to other stars on their books thinking of jumping ship.
“Would you both give us the chance to prove ourselves to you? We are very proud to have Mr. Murphy under our representation and would very much like to repair the damage done to the relationship.”
“I would be willing to put it to Mr. Murphy, but I can only assume you will be working without commission for two months for a trial period, and I want first refusal on ALL scripts that come through your doors that may be suitable for Mr. Murphy.”
“I…I can’t… I…”
“Then I am very sorry, but it is unlikely that Mr. Murphy will wish to stay with you. Your agency has done serious long term damage to his reputation by withholding scripts. It makes him look unprofessional for not at least acknowledging that he has received them. It is utterly unacceptable and…”
“Ok, ok Ms. MacManus, you have us over a barrel. Two months without commission and first refusal.”
“Can I take you at your word Ms. Oberon? I would very much like that in writing via e-mail and also to Mr. Murphy’s account.”
“Of course.” She said, sounding defeated, hanging up.
Wow, that had actually worked! Research rocks! I was feeling slightly proud of myself, and couldn’t wait to tell Van. I tried his mobile, but it went straight to answer machine. I hate those things.
“Hi Van, I’ve spoken to your agency and they’ve agreed to work commission free for two months and you will get first refusal on ALL scripts that suit you, before anyone else. They’re going to email these details to you so we have proof if they try anything. I hope you’re ok. Give my love to Sofia and Luke for me. The flat is seriously depressing when you’re not here.” I said, regretting it instantly. Crap, crap, crap. “Uh…bye.”
After banging my head on the table for five minutes, I felt I had punished myself enough for telling Van I missed him. Urgh. I had been all uber professional and kicked his agent’s ass, then I’d called him and undone all my awesome work and been unprofessional to a fault. No wonder he’s run away to another state. Hell, what an idiot!
I spent the rest of the day channel surfing. 400+ channels and nothing was on. I watched a marathon of a reality show about someone who made cakes. It just made me hungry. I still hadn’t heard from Van, Masa or mum and was feeling pretty miserable. I decided I needed to get out of the house. It was yet another glorious day, I should not be moping about indoors. I’m British, I should be out getting red like a lobster. What was the saying? Only mad dogs and English men go out in the midday sun? Well, it was mid-afternoon, but whatever. Besides, I didn’t feel like I’d get murdered if I went out in this neighbourhood.
I threw on some flip-flops, my most well-loved jeans and a strappy top, locking up behind me. I was greeted warmly by the man behind the desk and stopped to make polite conversation with him. He must get incredibly bored sat there all day, and he was the sweetest guy! Mid-fifties with salt and pepper hair and eyes that creased at the edges when he smiled, which he did a lot. I introduced myself properly as before it had just been ‘hellos’ and was mid-way through answering one of his hundred questions about England, when my phone rang. I excused myself, heart in my mouth. It dropped a little when I saw it was Masa rather than Van, and I felt guilty for that. I wandered out into the sun and answered it, wanting to feel a little of the excitement I had when I thought it was my beloved calling.
“Hey Masanobu, how are you?” I tried to inject the right amount of enthusiasm into my voice.
“I’m ok, are you free? I thought we could get a drink.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
We arranged where to meet and I headed off, not caring that I probably should have changed. I was a lazy cow, but if he didn’t like me for me, it wouldn’t matter what I wore. It was casual, or so I told myself. There wasn’t anything left of the left knee of my jeans, but that was apparently in fashion right now.
I walked inside the bar and grabbed a table, ordering with a waiter that passed me. I got Masanobu the same thing he’d drunk last time, and sat humming to myself, looking around at the movie posters that graced the walls. Just about every bar in Hollywood was decorated with either sports memorabilia or movie props. It was great, but I was yet to see anything from my favourite movies, which was a little disappointing.
I was checking my phone, when I noticed a girl staring at me from the corner of my eye. I looked up and smiled at her, but she just carried on looking. The waiter brought the drinks and I sipped my diet coke slowly, wondering what the hell the girl’s problem was.
She began to edge closer, her steps nervous, her eyes still fixed on me.
“Can I help you?” I asked when she reached me, trying to hide my irritation.
“You’re Georgiana aren’t you?” She said, her voice shaking.
I nodded, unsure as to where this was going. I just hoped she didn’t have a knife -I had enough wounds as it was.
“I just wanted to say that I thought what happened to you at the premiere was awful, and it wasn’t fair.” She said, looking at her feet.
Her gaze moved up to my stomach. I hoped she didn’t think I was actually pregnant. Van and I had taken to the social networking sites to point out it had been a joke, but some people chose to believe that we were hiding our secret relationship. I was painted as a black widow, intending to move on to the next movie star when I was done with Van.
“Were you there hun?” I asked. She was wearing a t-shirt from one of Van’s movies. “Love the t-shirt.” I said trying to smile, but feeling really uncomfortable.
“No, I couldn’t make it. Is Van here?” She asked, looking around desperately.
“Sorry hun, he’s in New York at the moment. I’m just meeting a friend.”
Masanobu appeared then, smiling brightly.
“Oh…I see.” She said, shuffling away. How weird.
“Who was that?” Masa asked.
“One of Van’s fans. Try saying that ten times fast.” I pushed his drink towards him and was about to ask about his day when he cut in.
“I saw you at the premiere, I didn’t realise you were so famous.” He looked even more uneasy with me than he ever had before. This wasn’t just shyness, it was intimidation. I wasn’t famous! I just wanted to be a PA and be left alone! I had no desire to be in front of the cameras, and I was thoroughly fed up with people thinking I was.
“Masa, I’m not famous at all, apart from for being the most hated person in town. It was the first premiere I’ve ever been to.” I stopped before I blurted out how rabid and insane his fans were, and how many death threats I got a day.
“You’re Van Murphy’s PA, he’s huge.” He said with wide eyes.
“Yeah he is, which I didn’t realise when I took the job. I had no idea who he was.” I said with a laugh.
“I had to buy all the newspapers you were in, I got a bit excited.” He admitted with a self-depreciative smile, his eyes on the table. He was so incredibly sweet, humble, grounded –just like My Van, but he didn’t have that spark that Van did. He was too much of all those things to the point where he almost seemed scared to be alive.
“So did I. I also asked my mum to buy all the ones in England. No one’s interested in me Hon, it’s just that I was with Van.” I hadn’t noticed any paps following me when I was alone thank god, so I took that to be true. Small town, skinny, pale Brit girl- who’d want to see that in a magazine?
“It said you’re pregnant.” He said sadly.
I snorted, coughing up coke.
“It was a joke my sweet. Van likes winding up the paps. Look at me, do I look six months pregnant?”
“I guess not.” He said looking relieved. “Are you and Van…?”
“Nope. But try telling his fans that! They want my blood!”
We chatted about work, though I wasn’t able to say much as I didn’t want to risk leaking anything about Van. Who knows whose listening. Besides, I lived my life, I wanted to talk about something else. I demanded Masa give me his recipes for the gorgeous cupcakes he’d made. He blushed and wrote it on a napkin for me. He knew it by heart it seemed. I was going to make a shit load of cupcakes for when Van came back. The whole flat was going to be full to bursting with them. All with pink icing of course and little sugar flowers. I needed to stop thinking about Van, it was getting obsessive. I didn’t want to end up on face book making hate groups for every woman he had a conversation with as that’s where it seemed to end up with his fans.
I gave Masa my full attention and banned myself from thinking about Van for the rest of the day.
One of the great things about America is that there is always SOMEWHERE open. I bought no end of cupcake ingredients from a local health food store that was open practically 24/7. They were a Vegan’s idea of heaven with every kind of fake meat and fake cheese you could think of. I spent way too much in there, but I figured I don’t really spoil myself very often. The most recent thing I bought of any value was the picture for Sofia. I should text her, just to check Van’s ok. I should text her because I love her to pieces, but also to check on Van. I could pretend it was purely in a professional sense, but I knew she’d see through it. She had a read on me that I’d never experienced with anyone else before, even people I’d known since childhood.
I got back to the flat, the caffeine from the coke streaming through my veins. I wasn’t going to sleep. I set about making batch after batch of cupcakes, leaving the TV on in the background so I didn’t feel so lonely. It just so happened the cake program was having another marathon, so I could compare mine to the ones on the TV. Theirs won obviously, but mine were ok considering I’m not someone who bakes very often. I’d leave them to ice tomorrow, it was gone midnight when I was done, and regardless of how little sleep I thought I would get, I needed to try.