“I think this might be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard come out of your mouth, Trina,” I said. I was finally sitting in front of her after a hectic day, and she was spewing this nonsense. I couldn’t believe it!
“The next time you talk to me like that, I’ll whack you upside the head with my newspaper. Plus, it would only be for five years,” she calmly said, as if five years was nothing.
“That is a long time!” I shouted. I took a deep breath and tried to calm down, but I couldn’t. Ever since my crash and burn, I’d been trying my hardest to get on the right path and it felt like the light at the end of the tunnel was nowhere in sight. She’d tried getting interviews on a few shows from time to time, but no one wanted anything to do with me. They didn’t trust me, and I didn’t blame them. There was no way it was going to take something like this to make people believe I wasn’t the same guy anymore, though.
Six years prior, at the ripe age of seventeen, I landed the role of a lifetime. As a brand new actor, I was cast in a movie they didn’t think was going to be as big as it had been. It was incredible. One minute, I’m a wanna-be actor, and the next, everyone knew my name. I won’t lie, the fame got to my head. I started partying, got involved with the wrong people, and ended up deep in a drug-addiction that I never saw coming. I never was the kind of person that was interested in drugs, so once I found myself in that pit, I decided it was what I deserved for abandoning the people that needed me.
“You don’t understand, Zane. You showed up to the set of a major film so high that you caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to the place. This is going to take time. Making sure the public, and more importantly, the producers, know you’re stable isn’t going to be a walk in the park. You’ve got to make up for quite a bit. You put all this time and effort into being a total bust, and people lost money on you. It’s time for you to put effort into showing Hollywood you’re reliable again.”
She had a point. As much as I wanted to get angry at her for calling me out, I couldn’t. She’d stood beside me from my perfect take off all the way through to my ugly landing. She was the one that found the rehab I went to, the one that dropped me off, and the one that came back months later to pick me up.
She was the one that fought for me every time a picture would surface with rumors of more drugs, more mistakes, and more dirty laundry ready to be aired.
I remembered the moment I had my final breakdown. I happened to be at their house, Trina and her husband, long before they had their son. I was a sloppy mess, but they didn’t let me walk back out the door. They sat me down on the couch and had the smallest intervention imaginable. Just the tree of us sat and talked for hours until I finally agreed to go to rehab. They convinced me to sign my things over to Trina while I was away so that she could protect everything, so I did.
She’d begged me to trust her, and I had. She never saw me as her ticket to riches; she saw a messed up kid that needed someone to step in and take control of his life. I can’t imagine where I’d be if she hadn’t done what was necessary.
I wouldn’t even be clean if it weren’t for her.
“Alright, Trina, I’ll do it.”
She sighed a breath of relief and pulled out a notepad. There was a knock on the door, and before she could utter a word, a tiny version of her and her husband opened the door and ran in. Grayson, her husband, followed shortly after.
“Sorry, guys,” he said. “I tried to stop him, but he was excited to see Zane.”
“It’s alright,” I said. I picked up the wiggling two-year-old and put him on my lap. “Hey, buddy.”
“Hi, Thane. Wanna play tarth with me?” he asked. He hadn’t mastered all his letter sounds yet, but if you ask me, it was one of the many things that made him adorable.
“I’d really love to, but right now I have to talk to your mommy.”
“Otay. Bye bye, Thane.”
“See ya later, Tan.”
Tanner raced out of the room, and Grayson stayed behind. “Are you going to do it?” he asked me.
“I’m going to give it a try,” I answered.
“Good luck finding someone who will agree,” he laughed. “Although, a million-dollar payout makes it more appealing.” He picked up Tanner and shut the door behind them as they left.
I looked at Trina, and she shot me a sad smile. “Why are you sad? I figured this would make you happy,” I said.
She sighed. “Zane, I look at you like a baby brother, you know that. I care about what happens to you as a person, not as an actor. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get you to the place you want to be, career-wise, but I just get scared.”
“This was your idea,” I reminded her.
“I said I’m willing to help you do whatever it takes to get back in the acting game, not that I want you to do those things. My plan is a solid one; I know that for a fact, I just want you to be careful. You’ve got things you don’t want to be uncovered and having a wife can make that complicated. I just want you to understand that, I guess.”
“I’m not worried about the skeletons in my closet,” I said through clenched teeth. I hated when she tried to bring this up.
“I wouldn’t call them skeletons when they’re living, breathing beings.” She cocked an eyebrow, daring me to argue, so I stood and shoved my hands into my pocket to hide the tremble. “I’ll call you tomorrow and let you know her name.”
She blanched. “You have someone in mind?”
“I do,” I said before turning and walking out her office door.
“Good luck!” she called from behind me, and I felt a weight settle in my gut. I was going to need all the luck I could get with this one.
Hope you enjoyed chapter two!