Blake sat alone on the couch of his penthouse, his face somber. He already missed Hailey.
She had just been here for another visit and he had to drop her off at the airport this morning, received the text a little while ago that she was back in her home safe and sound.
He looked around and thought about the ‘grass always greener on the other side’ adage.
So much truth to it, as he found out the hard way.
When he lived at home with his grandparents in sleepy Brindleton Bay, all he wanted was get out, get away, live the high life in the big town in a fancy home being famous, people recognizing him everywhere. The urban lifestyle. The fast lane of life.
Now that he had all he used to want, all he wanted now was get out. Get away. Be a nobody again. In the sleepy, small town he was born in. Or even in rural Windenburg with Hailey. Anywhere but here.
He looked at a stack of magazines on the coffee table. His manager always brought over anything featuring him whether Blake wanted to see it or not.
And he never did.
Just like the news stories they were playing on TV now. He turned it off.
Blake thought about Hailey and how she had always been there for him.
And then he thought about all the way he had betrayed her for a career he now loathed, and still betrayed her in a way, whether it was real or not.
All that made him loathe himself.
Hopefully she would not see the latest drama his studio manufactured with posed pictures.
Instead of feeling extremely manly and virile, Blake felt like a mangy feral dog.
That endless parade of nameless, faceless women, the forbidden fruit of being unattached and free to do whatever – and whomever – tasted bitter to him now. What used to be far out of reach was low-hanging and rotten.
A long time ago he had already come to the conclusion that he was, had been and always would be a small town boy with a small town mindset and big dreams.
The sensitive type.
The outdoorsy type who loved fishing and camping. And music.
The exact opposite of Drake.
Being forced to live so out of character while having to be in character all the time had taken its toll.
He hated himself.
Hated his life.
Hated what it had done to people he never realized how important he was to them. And they to him.
Hindsight was always twenty twenty.
And all that collateral damage chasing the dream he really wanted, that still had not happened and there was nothing on the horizon saying it would happen anytime soon: a music career.
Only dreams of it that kept getting crushed.
He had tried so hard to merge over from acting into music, but while the reviews were generally good, he had been told to stick with acting and once even that he would sound best around a campfire with his friends, but wasn’t chart-topping material.
That had stung bad.
Music had always been what he really wanted his career to be.
All else he had sacrificed to make it in acting, had only ever been a stepping stone for him to get his chance to be a real musician, have people wanting to listen to his music, see him perform, but it looked more and more that all that had been in vain.
Instead it nearly cost him his family, especially his grandpa, not to forget Hailey, were it not for her tenacity.
All that for nothing.
He inhaled deeply and let out a sigh.
Glancing at a stack of papers on his coffee table he frowned.
The new contract. His old one would expire in a little less than a week.
Now he had to sign his soul away again if he wanted another chance on transitioning his acting into a music career.
If he didn’t, he’d be kicked off his pedestal in no time flat, his manager and his legal team had left that warning along with the contract when Blake refused to sign it right then and there.
Either way, he’d lose.
Some days later.
The Starlight Accolades ceremony.
Blake arrived on stage after his name was called as the winner, he was congratulated, kisses on the cheeks left and right by a big celebrity actress, a handshake by her male counterpart, as the audience gave standing ovations.
He was handed the award, he made an excited face and held it up in the air victoriously, just like they had rehearsed.
The clapping stopped, everyone on and off stage looked at him expectantly, he saw his manager/producer in the front row.
Whom he did not see was his family or Hailey. The studios had not approved tickets for them to come. Drake wouldn’t do that, so neither should Blake.
That had made him incredibly upset. And still did now.
He got four nominations to the Starlight Accolades, now he was holding an ugly golden trophy for best actor in a leading role. He wanted so badly to hit all those grinning people in the face with it, who almost ruined his life.
“Say something!” the woman now hissed impatiently through her fake smile, while Darim Devarim, his manager and producer gave him hand signals to get a move on.
“Good evening ….” Blake said into the microphone as his gaze fell to the first few rows with all the other actors and actresses, their significant others, families all staring back at him … his seat was empty, next to him only people from the studios.
It upset him.
At the very least his grandpa and Hailey should be sitting right there. But he was denied his invitations to them by his manager, as a sweet country girl and a grandpa were not the right look for a ‘Drake’.
He stepped to the microphone again and cleared his throat, interrupted by more ovations.
All that did was anger him more, he decided if it was Drake they wanted, they would get Drake. A performance none of them would ever forget.
He blurted into the microphone as loudly as he could, causing some high pitched screeching along with his first words.
“Calm down, bitches, will ya?! OK, now that I have your attention I would like to tell you what a great honor this award is – NOT.
Yeah, you heard me right.
I am only up here because I am bound by some enslaving contract only an idiot like me would sign, when the people I wanted here most were not allowed to come.
My grandfather KC is one of the finest people the world will ever know inside and out, I have the most excellent father, even though for way too long I was too blind to see that, my entire family is the most beautiful mess known to mankind, every single one of them, they are all real and there is so much love, even still for me and I am telling you, I did little to deserve it, but they still love me anyway.
And speaking of love, there is only ONE girl I love, only one I ever loved, ever wanted, still want, now more than ever, and she has stood by my side through all this bullshit like no other would have.
All those models, actresses and singers you all have cheered and jeered me about, they were nothing but some staged drama, at the very best some decent pieces of ass to scratch an itch you may have if you can get over listening to them talking about themselves during the entire act while you are banging them. No wonder all men like blowjobs so much, at least that shuts those bitches up long enough to make the ringing in the ears from their high-pitched nasal jabbering stop!”
Blake was so upset and angry and on a mission to insult all of them, but then he remembered that Hailey might be watching, so his face softened as he looked straight into one of the cameras before he continued
“While this is not the rooftops I promised you, it still reaches pretty far, and trust me, this will have a lot more impact than rooftops, so here goes: HAILEY, I LOVE YOU AND I AM COMING HOME, BABY! Screw all those other hoes – not literally though! Fuck everyone here. Also not literally, cos I am done with this BS!
On that very note I will tell you all and especially all the fucking jokers at that Mickey Mouse Club called PBP Studios that they can take this here award and stare holes into it while rolling up my contract renewal and shoving it up their asses till it won’t go any further! I ain’t signing that shit again!
If that wasn’t clear enough, I’ll repeat something my grandpa likes to say in situations like this, namely ‘take this job and shove it, cos I ain’t workin’ here no mo!’
Thanks to you sound guys for not cutting me off yet, though no real surprise, we all know how the world just loves some Drake-drama. You got it and then some!
Well, fuckers, enjoy it while you can, cos this was the last of it! Over and FUCKING out!”
Blake dropped the microphone, turned on his heel slamming the award into the chest of someone waiting to receive it at the stage exit, one last look at everyone on and off stage stiff for shock and surprise as Blake exited as fast as he could.
The little gate to the otherwise dark front yard squeaked, which sounded magnified in the otherwise complete silence of the rural setting.
Blake inhaled the crisp, fresh, clean air, finally he could breathe again, and enjoyed hearing nothing but his own footsteps on the gravel until suddenly the porch lights turned on and the front door of the small log cabin flew open, Hailey appeared, with a small squeal she ran into his arms, he caught her, twirling her around, kissing.
When he finally put her down she smiled up at him
“That was some epic exit speech, Mr. Cameron.”
“Wanted to make sure they all got the message. Been having a rough time lately, especially when they wouldn’t let me invite you and my family to the ceremony. That was the last drop that overflowed my bucket. Fuck them, fuck all of it.”
She just kissed him.
“I don’t think you’ll ever have to worry about them again. They’ll be curled up in balls sucking their thumbs for days after that verbal reaming you gave them all.”
“Grandpa loved it too.”
“Figured as much. So, you staying here overnight?”
“For as along as you’ll have me.”
“Where’s your luggage?”
“At my grandparents’ Beach House. They sold the big house and moved now too. Got a little guest room, which I was told I can occupy for as long as I want. One thing is for sure, those bridges back to Del Sol Valley are burned for good. Gonna meet with uncle Nick soon to figure out how to cover my butt legally. But enough about all that, what really interests me now is: am I still banned from actual physical contact beyond hugging and kissing?” Blake asked.
“Hmmm … I am gonna go mull that over in my warm, soft, comfy, cozy bed …” Hailey turned away and he followed her into the cabin.
She giggled and went into her bedroom, leaving him standing there, but left the door cracked, then gave him a certain look, beckoning him with her eyes.
“You little tease!” he ran after her and tackled her onto the bed.
-to be continued-