‘She’s not going to be able to make it in today,’ I heard Sarah explain as I sat beside her. My state at the moment was near catatonic. ‘No, nothing too serious,’ I heard Sarah assure someone from school, probably Julie from admin. She was always so kind.
‘I’ve never taken a sick day before,’ I mumbled.
‘I think she might have a fever,’ Sarah frowned at me. ‘She seems to be delirious.’
‘I’m going to have to get a new school ID. I’m going to have to get a new drivers licence and I really liked that photo too.’ I complained as Sarah sat impatiently listening to whatever the person on the other end of the line had to say. ‘Oh god, I need to cancel my credit cards.’
‘I have to go I’m sorry Julie, it’s getting worse. I think she might need to be hospitalised.’ She grumbled before ending the call, cutting off whatever Julie was trying to tell her.
‘I need your phone,’ I said desperately.
‘You do not need to cancel your credit cards,’ Sarah scolded, holding her phone out of my reach. ‘A millionaire is not going to steal your money.’
‘Well, how do you suppose I go about getting everything back?’ I demanded, resting my hands angrily on my hips.
‘I think your credit cards are the least of your problems right now,’ Sarah muttered, slumping back on the couch beside me and I dove for her phone.
‘Ha,’ I shouted, jumping out of her reach and typing in her passcode. I was just about to bring up the keypad when the phone started to vibrate in my hand. I frowned at the unknown number and passed the phone back to Sarah. She had a matching frown on her face before she answered the call.
‘Hello?’ She asked. I couldn’t hear what was said on the other end but it seemed to make Sarah even more confused as her frown deepened.
‘Sarah, who’s this?’ She demanded and judging by her reaction it was someone she recognised or was at least excited to hear from.
‘You’re kidding,’ she breathed, pressing the phone tightly to her ear. ‘This is...It’s...oh my god this is unbelievable.’ She kept muttering until whoever was on the other end shut her up. By now I had migrated over to her side and was pressed as close as I could be to her on the couch trying to hear who was on the other end. Noticing my insistent curiosity Sarah put the phone on loudspeaker so I could hear and immediately I felt recognition flash through me. I knew that voice.
‘-is hurt or has been inconvenienced in any way.’
‘Well, I’d say she’s been pretty inconvenienced,’ Sarah shot back, shooting me a warning look. ‘She isn’t even able to go into work. There is going to be a bunch of second graders very disappointed that their teacher isn’t going to able to make it in today.’
‘Of course,’ he replied as I whisper-shouted at Sarah about missing out on making robots. ‘She’s not busy writing up some expose on me for her magazine.’
‘Magazine?’ Sarah asked, giving me a confused look to which I rolled my eyes. ‘Annie doesn’t even read magazines, why would she be writing something for one?’
‘Look, I understand you want to protect your friend,’ he sighed tiredly. ‘But, this is my career we’re talking about here, my life.’
‘Your life?’ I demanded completely ignoring Sarah’s warning arm movements. Before I snatched the phone from her hands. ‘What about my life? I can’t even take a step out my front door without being harassed by big men with big cameras. How am I ever meant to get to school if I have a procession of people following me the whole way?’
‘Hello Annie,’ he greeted and I could hear the amusement in his tone. ‘I see you’re still sticking to the same lies.’
‘I’m not lying. I was meant to be making robots today,’ I shouted as Sarah slapped her forehead with her palm and rested her head back against the couch. I had long since left the couch and was now pacing the length of our apartment. Which was only seven steps but it was stopping me from ripping both mine and Sarah’s hair out. I didn’t think we would look very attractive if we were both bald.
‘You really expect me to believe that you just ran into me by chance last night?’ He demanded, all amusement gone from his voice.
‘It was an accident, I was freaked out and I wasn’t watching where I was going. I apologise for any physical harm I may have caused you. Although, if I was able to do you any serious harm I think it’s time you went to one of these places called a gym.’ I growled back.
‘And then you tricked your way into my car just as the photographers made their appearance. That couldn’t have been a coincidence.’
‘You forced me into your car, I wanted to walk, remember?’ I shot back, looking over to see Sarah watching me with wide eyes.
‘You can’t help but lie, can you? You’re all the same you, journalists. Anything to get a story, right?’ He snapped back and I could hear the disgust in his tone as I sighed heavily.
‘The only stories I’ve been telling recently have been the Three little Pigs and somehow I assume that doesn’t pertain to you in any way.’
‘Just tell me what you’re going to write and we’ll be done,’ he demanded impatiently.
‘I’m not writing anything,’ I shouted in exasperation. ‘This is impossible, all I want is my things back.’
‘You’ll get them once you agree to not write anything about me in whatever magazine you work for.’
‘Done,’ I shrugged, deciding that the only way to deal with the mentally insane is to indulge them in their delusions.
‘Done?’ I could hear the frown in his voice and I shook my head in frustration, it was easier to have a conversation with a class full of eight-year-olds.
‘I told you I wouldn’t write anything,’ I replied. ‘Not that there is anything to write about,’ I muttered, wondering what he was so afraid of getting out. I still didn’t even know why this guy incited so much chaos but I was eager to have him as far away from my life as possible. I did not need this drama in my life.
‘We’ll see Annie,’ he answered cryptically before the line went dead.
‘Wait, what?’ I spluttered, taking the phone away from my ear in confusion.
‘What happened, what did he say?’ Sara demanded, getting up from her spot on the couch and crossing over to where I stood in the middle of our kitchen.
‘What does, “We’ll see,” mean?’ I demanded. Looking from the phone to Sarah in alarm. Was I going to get my stuff back or not?
‘What?’ Sarah frowned, taking the phone from me and looking at it accusingly. As if by staring at it might give her another answer.
‘I said I wasn’t going to write about him and then he said, “We’ll see”.’ I finished in an overly dramatic. I ran my hand through my hair, desperately looking for a solution. ‘What am I going to do? Not only have I lost my things but I have at least twenty reporters camped outside our apartment. Just waiting for me to come outside and I don’t even know why,’ I growled, flinging myself on our hard couch, landing face first. I couldn’t believe I thought last night was bad. It had nothing on this morning. I wondered how bad it could get before I made it to lunch. I should probably watch out for falling pianos and flying anvils because apparently, my life was becoming a comedy.
‘So, you really have no idea who he is?’ Sarah asked. I twisted from where I was lying to see her perched on our milk crate coffee table. She was looking down at me with a puzzled expression.
‘No,’ I sighed. ‘Is he a serial killer or something?’ With the way my luck was going it wouldn’t surprise me.
‘No, definitely not,’ Sarah chuckled, flicking through her phone in search of something. ‘So, you have absolutely no idea who Xander Collins is?’
‘No, Sarah,’ I answered feeling my frustration begin to grow.
‘Is this the guy who gave you a ride home last night?’ She asked holding a photo of the man I had run into last night. There was no denying that he was something to be admired. Too bad he had an attitude and an intelligence to rival that of a three-year-old.
‘Yeah, that’s him,’ I answered flatly, burying my face in the couch cushions again.
‘Annie, I don’t think you quite understand the gravity of what happened last night.’
‘I don’t care,’ I mumbled into the cushions.
‘I think you will when you read this,’ she stated ominously and reluctantly I pulled myself up and took the phone from her extended hand.
Xander Collins slays the competition at the box office
Our favourite daydream man has done it again with the third instalment to the ‘Nightmare Slayer,’ series raking in the money at the box office. ‘The Between Places,’ has been smashing records around the world, further shooting our favourite star into orbit.
Xander Collins, 29, has the Midas touch, without all the negative consequences. Every movie he has been involved in have been incalculable successes. Already signed on for two future action flicks this star is set to rise and it doesn’t appear he’s about to burn out anytime soon.
The man, modest as ever, had this to say about his success, ‘I’m just happy to be doing something I love and knowing that my family supports me every step of the way.’ It’s no secret that our favourite leading man is very family orientated. His first paycheque went to buying his parents a new house out in LA so he could be closer to them when he was filming. He even took his mother to Hollywood’s hottest awards last year after being nominated for an Oscar for his role in the Daniel Wells biopic.
Producing a very convincing and beautiful representation of a man who scaled the mountain of technology, creating many of the products we use today only to be snatched from life by a fast acting tumour. There wasn’t a dry eye in any movie house across the country as Xander flashed across our scenes showing the ups and downs of a great man’s life. He may not have won the award but he did win hearts across the country and around the globe. It won’t be long until this superstar takes home gold, it seems inevitable with his current upwards trajectory that he will achieve greatness and be rewarded for it by the academy.
Until then, we’ll just swoon over his glorious body in the latest ‘Nightmare Slayer; The Between Places’.
The picture that accompanied the article was one taken while he was apparently filming and there was no denying he had a very nice if somewhat mouthwatering body. I had been right in my assessment last night, no woman would dare kick him out of her bed.
‘Umm...’ I was speechless, this couldn’t have been the man I had run into last night. He was too...unreal to be believable. I scanned through some of the related articles and gasped. Quickly tapping on another article I felt my blood run cold as my face filled the small screen.
‘That’s me,’ I muttered in disbelief. Sarah quickly came over to join me, lifting my legs out of the way so she could sit down beside me.
‘Oh, this is so cool,’ she smiled goofily and I shot her an angry glare. ‘Sorry, but it is. You have to admit, this is pretty awesome?’
‘This is a nightmare,’ I groaned, turning my attention back to the article.
Spotted! Xander Collins with a new girl on the streets of New York City.
Who is she you asked? Well, we’re as stumped as you are by this mystery girl Xander has been sighted with. How long has their relationship been going? Is she here to stay or is she, like many do believe, just the rebound?
We all know our favourite heartthrob was callously and openly dumped by public enemy no. 1, Allison Kelly. Shocked was the least we could say about finding this news out two weeks ago but our hearts ached for our favourite boy as we watched the traumatic moment on every news station across the country.
We’ve been watching him closely but our leading man has been hiding away from the public eye since that fateful day on Kelly’s movie set.
It’s hard to think of Xander Collins without picturing that betrayed puppy dog look he had on his face when it all went down. Kelly, rather than hiding her face in the sand has flaunted her new relationship all over Hollywood despite all the negative press. Her and her costar, Jeremy Holmes, have been spotted loved up all over Hollywood.
So, who is the mystery girl? Well, she’s no model, that’s for sure. She may have a cute style in that colourful dress but she’s too short and too plain to be one of Xander’s girlfriends. Rebound or not, she probably won’t last long with our favourite leading man.
Accompany this article was both the picture of me as Xander lifted me into his car last night and a picture of Xander labelled as being taken a few weeks ago. He looked broken as a bunch of flowers dangled from one hand and a box of chocolates from the other. The chocolates were scattered around his feet as the lid lay on the ground. It was a sorry sight to see and a far cry from the confident man I had met last night.
‘Wow, he had a bad day,’ I scoffed, an amused smirk on my face as I continued to look at the image he cast.
‘Try bad two weeks, the media has been all over him about this. How would you like it if your disastrous breakup was plastered over every gossip magazine and gossip channel across the country, probably the world?’
‘Lucky I’m not him then,’ I laughed, tossing the phone back at Sarah.
‘No, you’re just the girl who everyone thinks is his rebound, much better,’ Sarah shot back.
‘Thanks for reminding me,’ I grumbled, moving to the fridge and looking inside just for something to do.
‘What are you going to do Annie?’ Sarah pestered, leaning over the door of the fridge and looking down at me.
‘I don’t know,’ I answered irritably. ‘Maybe it’ll just blow over.’
‘Have you seen how many people are standing outside our apartment building?’
‘I’m not that interesting Sarah. If I just lie low and show them how truly boring I can be they’ll give up. It’s not like he’s going to be beating my door down proclaiming his love for me. Hopefully, once I get my stuff back I’ll never have to see that man again.’
‘You’ve flipped over to the calm side Annie and it’s freaking me out. Just ten minutes ago you were catatonic and now...’
‘It’ll blow over Sarah,’ I answered firmly and I wasn’t sure if I was trying to convince her or myself.
‘I don’t know Annie. I mean this is Xander Collins.’
‘And I’m Annie Reiner, there’s nothing remarkable about me. I was just unfortunate enough to end up in a famous guy’s car. Tomorrow they’ll be talking about another breakup or the latest celebrity going into rehab. I’ll be yesterday’s news. It’ll be fine,’ I answered walking back down the corridor towards my bedroom.
‘Where are you going?’ Sarah demanded, following me down.
‘Back to bed, I did not sleep well last night,’ I muttered, rubbing my neck trying to get the kink out. ‘Night Sarah.’ She didn’t say anything else but I could tell even from her silence that she had more to say, I was just too tired to listen.
Once I finally made it to my room I closed the door. Leaning my back against it and sliding down to the floor.
‘This is one big mess,’ I muttered resting my head in my hands.
‘Hey, Miss Annie,’ I heard Jake call and an involuntary smile spread across my face. ‘You ready for that story now?’
‘Definitely, Jake,’ I smiled getting up and moving over to my bed and lying down. ‘Fire away old man.’
‘Who are you calling old? Haven’t you ever heard of respect your elders.’
‘You lost my respect when you told me you stole your superior officer’s clothes and hung them from a flagpole,’ I deadpanned, sitting up on my elbow and eying the old man.
‘Ah yes, good times,’ he smiled mischievously and in that moment I could see the young man he had once been. I loved it when he told me his stories.
Through my open window, I could hear the crowd of people growing restless. I sighed heavily falling back against my pillow again.
‘What’s wrong Miss Annie? Are those people down there bothering you? They’ve been there all morning, went crazy around forty minutes ago. Shouting about some Lander or Sander or something. Lost their damn minds, I think,’ he muttered.
‘Oh yeah,’ I answered weakly, desperately wanting to distract myself, but it appeared everyone in the city wanted to speak about Xander, even my oblivious neighbour Jake.
‘How about I tell you the story about how Harry and I accidentally released a thousand head of cattle onto a live battlefield?’
‘Accidentally?’ I asked, sitting up and raising my eyebrows at him. He gave me that mischievous look and then he was off.
I let his deep soothing voice lull me to sleep until there was nothing left to do but drift from my problems into the world where my subconscious reigned.