CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE
“Thank you very much for coming in Kyara,” Angela says sitting in the middle of the long desk.
Rob and Donna are also seated accompanied by one of the producers, Steven Adaminski. Until today, I hadn’t realize how big this movie is going to be, Steven Adaminski is an incredible producer! Initially they are shocked to see my leg, so I tell them about my accident, how long it will take to recover and the fact that I’m recovering much quicker than predicted. At first they seem a little hesitant, but then Angela and I have a ten minute conversation about Lost Diamonds, my short film. She actually watched it! That takes all the pressure off my leg. I perform the dialogue and then finish, unable to complete the fitness tests.
I wait patiently for Angela to continue speaking as I stand in the middle of the room on one crutch. I didn’t need to use it much for the actual audition, thank God, my recovery is going quicker than we all had thought. I just balanced around on one leg, but now I’m standing for too long so I need some support. I see Angela and Steven lean back into their chairs, their necks arch further back behind Rob’s seat as they discuss something in a whisper. Then they return to their normal positions. Steven looks directly at me with a sympathetic smile and Angela seems a little anxious as she gazes down at her papers before looking up and me.
“Kyara, you are our ideal actress, you fit the role perfectly and we are very impressed with your auditions so far,” Angela talks.
I twinkle of hope lights up in my heart.
“However, due to your accident, which we are extremely sorry for, we have been unable to see your obstacle course and fitness tests. Furthermore, we will begin filming in a few weeks and your recovery time is much longer than that,” she’s genuinely sympathetic.
Steven takes over, “Kyara, unfortunately we cannot reschedule shoot dates due to the location and the scene is physical. Therefore, we are sorry to tell you that on this occasion you have not been selected. You were perfect for the role, but unfortunately we can’t change the circumstances. We are deeply sorry.”
The twinkle fades. They would have chosen me? They actually would have chosen me? What the heck God?! Why did you do this to me? I question everything in my head, speechless, unsure how to respond. I could plead with them but that’s unprofessional and the situation is not the kind that can be pleaded with. I want to leave a good impression but I’m so broken after hearing that they would have actually selected me, that I don’t feel like saying anything. My face turns sore and my eyes begin to water. I blink to counteract the tears. I actually had hope. My hope was right but what the hell has happened! I try to keep my emotions under control, it’s okay Kye. How can I be upset over something I never had? A nod is the most I can respond with.
Angela apologizes again, “We are sorry Kyara, I’ve got your files on the system, if there’s anything else we find you suitable for, we will be in touch. We hope you get well soon. Thank you for coming.”
They all considerately nod at me. I want to thank them too, but if I open my mouth and relax my tense muscles, I’ll cry. Words will not come out. So I just swallow and nod with a forced smile and then crutch my way out. Donna runs to help me with the door.
“Sorry Kyara,” she whispers.
Deq and Rio told me to call them when I’m done so that they could come and pick me up. However, I am so disoriented right now that I decide to just make my own way back. The wind makes it hard for me to walk but my misery is so much that I push against it, hoping for the wind to blow it all away. My ears are cold from the gusts and I can just hear it howling. All my life, all I ever wanted was to become an actress, to be in a movie, play a good, inspiring role. I worked towards that dream every day, I took every opportunity possible and I always had faith that one day an opportunity would lead me right to my dreams. It’s crazy where I am now, I took the opportunity, I got through the auditions, I even got selected but fate had other plans. God, why did you bring this opportunity to me? Why did you get me so far only to have me rejected because of something outside of my control – an accident? This was in your hands God! What are you writing up there? What are you planning! I had faith! You broke it. You broke it, God! I grit my teeth. I’m so fed up of everything. I feel like the fire inside me has burnt out so much that all that is left is smoke and soot. I need to let it all out but there’s nothing there! It’s as if my tears have ran out.
I crawl up the quiet stairs and walk inside my apartment. I throw down my crutch in the hallway and hop through the rest of it. I stop at Jen’s door. I need someone to talk to. Usually this would be her. I lift my hand yet I pause just before I touch the handle. She’s already devastated from the whole project thing, I’ll only make her feel worse. Plus, I really don’t want to argue right now. I turn around to enter my room but I hear the wind howling through the living room. I stop and listen. Then I walk through the arch. I look towards the kitchen, everything is fine. I look to my left. The balcony doors are wide open, wind gushes through and the curtains are blown inwards. I see the shadow. A figure through the curtains. I walk towards the balcony and gasp. Jen stands on the balcony rail, teetering on the edge. I can hear her shuddering breaths of anxiety and I hear her cries clearly past the roaring wind. My heart beats rapidly, forcing blood through my body and into my brain. I’m scared to call her, scared that she might slip. She pushes herself against the gales to stay balanced. She’s… she’s distraught. Not thinking right. God, what is she doing!
“Jen…” I breathe softly, frightened by what is happening in front of my eyes. Frightened of what she is about to do.
She turns her head only, still balancing, petrified and unsure of what to do. Her face is red and wet with tears, she finds her way into my eyes, crying. Then… her foot slips!
My feet move. My arms stretch out long. I leap. Her shriek pierces my ears. I close my eyes and for a split second, my whole world stops.
I open my eyes and feel my arm being pulled down. I slip, hitting my back on the ground. I’m being pulled forward by the weight. My casted leg finds a way through between the bars of the rail and my left foot pushes against the bars on the other side. I come to a sliding halt but I’m still being pulled as my hands hold Jen’s arm. I put in every spec of energy I have left to pull her up. I push fiercely against the bar with my left foot. “Don’t let go!” I groan as I push my leg, straightening it, sliding backwards as I pull her up. But I can’t do this alone. I can’t take her weight.
“Jen!” I shout at her to help me, “Hold on!”
Her other hand reaches a bar. I pull with all my might! She pulls too with the shattered energy that she has left. She scrambles over the rail with me still holding onto her. I slip back, past the doors and just into the living room pulling her with me. Jen falls onto me. She tries to talk but her voice is wheezy. I hold her head onto my heart. I breathe heavily. My face scrunches up and I let it all out. We both let it out. Tears remanufactured.
“Are you crazy!?” I yell, weeping. “Are you fricking crazy Jen! Don’t you dare ever even think about doing that again!”
“I’m… I’m sorry!” she pants. Her speech is slurred from crying, “I…I got expelled! They found out Kye. They caught me. It’s all over Kye. It’s all over!”
She got expelled! When…how…what? Now is not the time to ask questions. I lean my head onto hers and she clings onto my arm.
“I’m sorry,” she cries.
I slow my breaths down but I need to let out my emotions, my pain, my anger, my sorrow so I continue weeping, “Shh…It’s okay. It’s okay.”
“Dreams don’t come true! Who were we kidding? It’s all over Kye. No hope! No faith! I have had enough!”
We release our emotions. There’s no holding back today. Everything comes out. All of those tears, all that ache that has built up inside us, we let it out. If you could measure it, our tears could fill a bath and we’ll continue to let the bath fill until there’s no more water left. Then, we’ll pull the plug.
* * *
Afternoon turns to night and we still sit on the floor. The plug has been pulled. Our eyes are sore and tears are dry. We have cried to our hearts contents and now we are empty.
Jen breaks the silence, “How did your audition go?” her voice is croaky.
“I didn’t get the part. I would have, but my leg got in the way,” I reply in my strained voice.
“Sorry Kye. I’m sorry for everything. I’m sorry for being a bitch and not talking to you. I don’t know what came over me,” she apologizes.
“I’m sorry too,” I say.
Jen starts giggling quietly.
“What?” I giggle back.
She shakes her head, “Nothing, just… it’s so weird. Look how far we’ve come. It’s the final few weeks of university, well, days for me. And we got through almost three whole years of it. I just never imagined this happening. But it’s strange because thinking about it now, I don’t know what I imagined actually happening in the end.”
“You’re right. I didn’t imagine this part either. Damn, has it really been that long? It feels like we started all this shit yesterday,” I laugh pitifully.
“Just think about everything that we’ve done. Your scripts, your book and all those online casting calls and auditions. All that medical training and flight training I did, then the big mission – which now I’ve been caught for. Just everything.”
“About that, aren’t we all in trouble?” I ask.
Jen shakes her head, “Nope. I didn’t name you guys. You’ve done a lot for me. I wasn’t going to drag you all down with me. And knowing Kennedy, he would’ve expelled us all.”
“You are a crazy person Jen,”
“We’ve done some crazy shit Kye. And it’s not even crazy shit like drugs or weed or something that kids do these days. This is like different stuff that people wouldn’t really think of doing.”
“Ha, yeah. Still, I’d rather do what we’ve done than all that crap. Everyone knows the outcome of that, poor health, rehab and regret. This outcome…” I pause.
“…What is our outcome?” Jen questions both me and herself. But we don’t have an answer. “Do you regret any of this Kye?”
I wonder, then make a face, “Right now? Strangely, no. I don’t. I really don’t. Do you?”
“Having cried it out, no. The only thing I regret is doing what I was when you walked in-”
“Don’t talk about that,” I cut her off.
“Sorry. No, no I don’t regret it either. I mean, we did something different, right? Like we’ve done something that we wanted to. We tried doing something that I don’t think anybody has ever done before and we got pretty far.”
“Yeah. Yeah we did.”
“We worked so hard. It’s funny how the bad things in life come for free and the good stuff you have to work for, and I mean work a lot for.”
I completely understand that but I’m not angry about it. My mind and thoughts are clear, so clear that risks don’t seem risky anymore, “I… I don’t think we should stop.”
Jen sits up and looks at me raising an eyebrow, “What?” she has a sparkle in her eyes as she smiles from them.
I raise my eyebrows back. “You’ve only got a few days left here, technically, but realistically we have a few weeks left altogether.”
Jen looks intrigued, “Well, I don’t have anything left to lose but I don’t see what more we can do.”
“I do. And to be honest, it’s you doing all of it. I’ll still continue my stuff like I have been, my writing is mine forever and no one can take that away from me. And I’m going to tell you now Jen, that if you are getting expelled, then so am I. But, as it stands, I’m still here doing a master’s next year. So to give this some context, I personally have a lot I could lose.
Jen waits for the plan.
“First of all, you will finish your final English assignment and you will hand it in. You will sit all of your final exams – the lecturers aren’t allowed into the examinations so you’ll get away with that. And finally, you will rebuild and finish your project-”
“In like three weeks?” Jen hypes up.
“In three weeks. Use whatever you have left, the essay is done. It’s just the build, Jen. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to be reasonable and innovative,” I explain with determination.
Jen looks attentive. I know she wants to finish off her project and show it to NASA. She’s motivated and this is her only chance.
“Jen, you’ve done so much. You might as well try and finish it off. Give it a go. Take your chance. What’s the worst that could happen?” I motivate her further.
Jen nods with enthusiasm, “Yeah, I’m expelled anyway,” she chuckles. “Oh boy, I’m going to need a whole lot of help.”
“We’ve got our boys and Lia. And you’ve got me. Always.”