January 11, 2015

Breaking a Life Story (Part VI)

(Read parts I-V by clicking here!)

The next morning I woke up and looked around the room. I had a headache, I blamed the Atomic Wine. I thought I had woke up on my own accord but there was a knock at the door. My foot was stiff but when I removed the towel the swelling had gone down, both of my feet looked normal. When I stood up my ankle still hurt but not nearly as bad as when it first occurred.

"Who is it?" My voice was a little raspy, I blamed the Atomic Wine again.

"Room service," said a man from the other side of the door.

I still had on my clothes from last night and I'm sure I looked awful, but I was also sure that the room service guy had seen much worse. I opened the door and the room service guy held out a large breakfast tray. I knew I didn't order room service and I intended to tell him so, but it smelled amazing and was presented in such a fancy manner I couldn't resist. Working as an editor didn't pay a whole heap but it was decent enough for one person. I lived in the country all my life, so the simple things like porcelain dishes and real crystal glassware fascinated me. I took the tray and limped back towards the bed, placing it on the wrinkled sheets. I felt uncomfortable and dirty so before I could enjoy my breakfast, I decided to shower.

After my shower I put on my pajamas, because I wasn't up for going out and I figured I should rest my ankle as Croix said. As I was headed back to bed another knock sounded at the door. "Who is it?" I said slightly frustrated because I was hungry.

"Room service!"

Again? I limped to the door wearing my favorite floral pajama shorts and tank, my curly hair was damp and my face was bare, my mother would kill me if she knew I was opening the door for anyone in such a manner. She always thought a woman should always put her best face forward, which explains why my father never saw her without makeup until a couple years ago when she was in the hospital.

I open the door and nearly fell backwards, it was Bryan and Croix.

"Bryan...Croix?" was all I could say.

Bryan spoke first, "Christina? I wanted to apologize for last night, I am truly sorry. Croix talked some sense into me and I'm really sorry about what happened. I just don't like reporters, you just don't know what we have go through. It's the absolute worst part of the job. Croix ordered room service for you, I hope it was ok?"

"I haven't eaten yet, but It's ok about last night...I could not imagine what it's like to be under the public eye 24/7. Please come in." I said opening the door allowing them inside. "Thank you" I whispered to Jason as he walked past me.

The front of the room was set up like a living room with a sofa and a couple chairs as well as a TV. Jason and Bryan sat on the couch and I sat in one of the chairs across from them.

"I'm not a tabloid reporter, I don't particularly care who you're dating, what you had for dinner, or if you have a love child somewhere out there." I could hear an audible sigh of relief from Bryan.

"ZWAP is a small station in Birmingham. There are three other news stations in the city and unfortunately we are ranked lowest in terms of viewership. I have been put in charge of a new entertainment segment. I was actually hoping you would either make an appearance or co-host with me for the first day or week, if you have time. Of course you will be paid for your time and presence, but those details are not available to me just yet. Honestly, I wasn't optimistic about you appearing on the show, I never thought I would meet you, but I am grateful that you're here. I can call the office and have all that information faxed over today for you and your team to review." I tried to sound professional but considering how we met and how I looked I hoped the noticed my sincerity.

In the better lighting I could see Bryan's face better. His skin was a flawless, smooth, and perfectly tanned. His dark hazel eyes twinkled as he seemed to be in thought. I felt my heart flutter, as it did every time I saw Nick Carter on TV in the 90's. I never thought I'd be so starstruck.

"Well, honestly after what I did to you, I'd be more than willing to make up for it. I'm not sure if I'd be able to stay the entire week but at least the first day or first few days. Here's my card, have your people fax the information to my people." He took out his wallet and gave me his card with a few names and numbers on it.

"Seriously? You'll do it? Oh my God, I can't believe it!" I nearly screamed but Bryan's phone went off before I get it out.

"Excuse me, I have to take this call." He stood up and walked outside of the room, taking the call.

I smiled and laughed and nearly jumped for joy as soon as he closed the door "Croix, I don't know how to thank you, this is amazing and it means the world to me." I thought I would cry but I held back the tears.

"No problem. I know how it is to be down on your luck and just waiting for a big break. After I graduated from college, I had no job and was almost homeless until I met up with Bryan again by chance. I just like to pay it forward."

Croix and I talked for at least an hour before Bryan returned to the room. He told me his parents were from the Dominican Republic and immigrated a few years before he was born. They ended up in Louisiana where his dad worked in a sugar cane field and his mom was a maid.

"You would think my parents moved here in the 1960's by the archaic jobs they had, but no they just had to make ends meet. When I was five, we moved to Atlanta because one of my relatives had opened up a successful janitorial service and promised my parents a better life. I don't remember much in Louisiana, but I do remember having a lot more fun once we moved here to Atlanta. We went on trips to Disney World at least a couple times a year, visited family in the Dominican Republic a couple times a year too, we were just much better and happier."

I thought Croix was interesting and I felt comfortable with him, more so than I ever have with the opposite sex. I told him about my parents, how they met, and where I grew up.

"I was sheltered from a lot of things and not intentionally. In Montana, there's not a lot to do and the nearest home was about 7 miles away. My parents chose to live the simple farm life. My mom grew up on a farm and even though my dad was from the city he likes the serenity of country life, no gunshots!" We both laughed.

"What about culture? There's not a lot of diversity in the mid-west compared to the south, did you have issues?"

"Not really, there were a couple black families in our area, and there were maybe four black people total at my high school. I never had any problems but it was kind of frustrating not being able to relate to my friends on certain topics, like hair styles. I did have an identity crisis my 9th grade year. I wanted straight hair and lighter skin, I begged my mom to straighten my hair and she did, I tried to look lighter and talk different but that wasn't me."

"Yeah, I understand completely. And if I might add, I like the way you are you hair, your skin, our voice are all unique and beautiful."

I was a little surprised, especially considering that I was in my pajamas with wet hair. I thanked him as I blushed, I was flattered, and could hardly look in his direction. Thank God Bryan walked in the door before I could say anything more. He looked troubled, sad, and his eyes were reddish color.

"B, what's wrong man?" Asked Croix.

"Christina, I'm sorry I can't do your show...I have some personal issues to handle and I just can't leave the city. I hope you understand. I'm sorry again, I've gotta go. Thanks for your hospitality and I hope things go well for you."

Yet again a complete topsy turvy. Bryan left and Croix stood up to chase after him. I sat there dumbfounded wondering why I was being tortured. I looked out of the window, was life worth the torture? I couldn't decide, I closed my eyes and imagined running, running as fast as I ever have, out of the window, over the balcony, on the ground finally free and content.



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