Cancelled

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I Get Proposed To

"DON’T GO TOO far, Leila!” Lucas yells from the porch.

I chuckle, watching Leila act as if she didn’t hear him as she ran into the ocean. She welcomes the wave, which promptly knocked her off her feet and washes up to the white sand.

“I did tell you to be careful, didn’t I,” Lucas said, shaking his head at Leila as she spluttered water out of her mouth, laughing uncontrollably.

I take a seat on the rocking chair next to him watching Leila. She looks so happy in her adorable turquoise bathing suit, trying to stop the waves. I couldn’t help but grin watching her run towards the ocean again.

“Your sister has a hard head, doesn’t she?” Lucas said grinning at me. “I wonder where she gets it from.” He threw a sly smile at me.

I roll my eyes, landing a playful slap on his shoulder. He caught my hand mid-air and kissed it, working his way to my ring finger. Then he paused.

“Imani,” Lucas said suddenly.

His playful demeanor was now gone, his face earnest.

“Look at us. We have everything we ever wanted.”

It was true. I looked at my baby sister Leila: safe. Our house and our gardens, our money and our legacy. Him. It really was everything and anything I ever wanted from life, all in the palms of my hand.

“There’s nothing stopping us from keeping what we have forever. To eternalize it.”

Before I could register what he was doing, he sidled off the chair and onto the floor. Kneeling on his left knee, he rummaged into his pocket and produced a small box.

I got up from the chair, wiping stray tears from my eyes.

“Lucas.....” I started, choking.

“Imani, will you.... ding-dong“. Lucas said.

“What?” I asked, my tears stopping abruptly.

Lucas opened his mouth, and I heard it again. Ding-Dong, ding-dong, as if it came from far away...

I jolted upright in bed and immediately looked at the alarm clock next to my bed. Five-thirty A.M. I groaned, and lied back in bed, slapping a pillow on my face. Whoever could be at the door at such a time, ruining a perfectly good dream should be thrown into jail. The dream...

I feel myself involuntarily smiling thinking about it. I know, I probably look like the worlds biggest idiot, grinning to myself in the dark. But I have to tell Lucas about my dream and see how he reacts.

I turn over in bed. The real Leila is snuggled next to me, somehow still sleeping peacefully.

Unlike the Leila in my dreams, she is sallow and far too skinny for children her age. I slowly get out of bed and throw my comforter over her. As I’m crossing the cold marble floor, the doorbell rings again, and I rush over to answer it.

I slip down the hallway and reach the front door. Squinting through the peephole, I see the shock of frizzy pink hair I’ve grown used to and open the door.

Dressed in what appears to be a ridiculous bathrobe dress, Traci, my talent manager hugs me quickly taking me by surprise.

I’m surprised Traci’s hair is bubblegum pink today-- when she picked me up from the airport six months ago, it was electric blue. Other days, it’s black or yellow, or even an assortment of checkered colors. She claims its her way of self expression, but I think she might be going through a mid-life crisis.

“Imani, my sweet girl! Are you ready for today?” Traci said.

I felt my stomach sink. Of course, the Jedidah Spyra interview is today. My dream made me forget about it completely.

“Of course,” I said half-hardheartedly.

Traci smiled and welcomed herself inside my apartment. A timid blonde girl who was cowering behind Traci’s frame the whole time looked shocked to see her cover move so suddenly--she looked up at me, her brown eyes widening to the size of saucers.

“Hi.” The girl said timidly.

“Oh, Imani that’s my niece Olivia. Her parents had a sudden emergency and didn’t want her to be alone all day. I hope that’s not a problem.” Traci said.

“Oh, and she’s a big fan of yours,” Traci added in a carrying whisper, winking.

I looked down at Olivia, whose eyes couldn’t meet mine.

“Of course that’s no problem,” I said. “Come in Olivia!”

Olivia quickly crossed the threshold of my apartment and I shut the door. I turned around to see Olivia disappear behind Traci once again.

Traci chuckled, shaking her head. She rummaged through her bag and produced her detailed hourly schedule, complete with footnotes and colored indications.

“Let’s see here. We can knock out your advertisements in an hour and a half. Gustavo will be here in an hour to whip up breakfast for all of us, and we can re-visit your etiquette and manner skills. After that, you have about three hours of glam. Gustavo will require help on preparing the mid-morning snack for all the crew members-”

“Hang on. Crew-members? Isn’t it usually just Kat?”

Traci laughed and shook her head. “My love, this is the Jedidah Spyra show. While your glam team is admittedly amazing, we require the best of the best.” Traci said.

“Plus, Mr. Spyra requested personally that his team aid you in this process. Apparently, all guests must meet certain guidelines to star on the show.”

I wasn’t sure what meeting guidelines exactly meant, but the thought of it made me nervous.

“How many people are we talking here?” I asked, crossing my arms.

“Hm. Well in total, around thirty. I would have assumed-”

“Thirty people?” I repeated. “In this apartment?”

Traci nodded.

My mind instantly raced to Leila-- how she cried when three maintenance men showed up to fix the heater. If three people could frighten Leila, it didn’t take a genius to find out the effect of thirty.

“Yeah Traci, I’m not comfortable with having that many people over with my little sister here. Unless you can arrange for the babysitter to watch her for the entire time.” I said.

“Imani, you’re being unreasonable. Planning for babysitting requires at least a week’s notice. It comes down to you looking past this, or losing this opportunity.” Traci said, her arms crossed.

“Call off the interview then,” I say automatically. “We’ve discussed non-negotiables, remember? And safety was one of them.”

I start towards my bedroom, wondering if I can go back to sleep on an empty stomach.

“Wait,” Traci says. “I lied, the babysitter is attached to our team so she can show up today. You really love too much for your own good, Imani.”

“Besides, what does she need a babysitter for? Isn’t she eleven?” Traci says blankly.

“I’m eleven. And you brought me here.” Olivia pointed out suddenly.

I couldn’t help but laugh, and Olivia pokes her head out from behind Traci, grinning at me.

Traci grumbled under her breath. The doorbell rang abruptly and she yelps, her planner clattering to the ground. Olivia and I laugh at her frazzled state as she opened the door.

“Gustavo, you’re not due for another hour! Oh for crying out loud, okay come through.” Traci said, obviously flustered as she lead the kitchen crew into the kitchen.

“Imani, go film those advertisements dear and get ready. Olivia, make yourself useful to her.”

The smile disappears off Olivia’s face as she stares at me, frightened.

“It’s okay, come on,” I said smiling. “I’ll show you where the magic happens.”

_____________

Hello! :D

I hope you like the story so far, I have a lot planned hehe

please let me know what you think! i hope you’re having a nice day

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