The Job Interview
Chapter 1: The Job Interview
Los Angeles 1934
Misa-Misa, the dance hall queen, arrived back in L.A after a month long holiday in the Caribbean to find a black envelop awaiting her. It had been pressed down with an old fashioned seal and the stamp was evidence that it had come from England.
I am afraid to say that I am the bearer of bad news. Our newest in-house tutor has died. It was another suicide Madam. There is even more bad news, more death… the death of someone you loved so please brace yourself Madam. We are not sure of everything that transpired between them but…
As she read on, Misa gasped slightly and fell backwards, conveniently into an arm chair. "Oh no," she whined, putting her hand to her head. "Oh dear. What a frightful bore it'll be to organise both of their funerals. TAKADA!"
A very harried and stressed Maid laden down with several bags and suitcases entered the room. Her brown bob was stuck to her face and neck from perspiration, her face red and swollen from the effort of carrying so much.
"Yes Madam?" She ground out through gritted teeth.
"Why is my life so unfair?" sighed Misa. "Hurry and put those away, then make me some tea."
Trying not to roll her eyes, Takada shuffled back outside to obey her Mistress.
Matsuda excitedly jumped off the tram and practically waltzed across the street and into an important looking high rise tower. This was so amazing! Not only was this his first time in a big city, not only was this his first interview, but he was going to meet the, THE Misa- Misa Amane!
Inside the foyer he walked up to a snooty bunch of receptionists, all trying to look very glam and very busy.
"Erm, excuse me?"
They ignored him.
"Excuse me? Miss?"
With a quiet sigh one receptionist deemed herself to look at him archly. She offered a stiff smile given too late to be real. "Yes? May I help you?" she over emphasised the 'm' in 'may' which would have irritated anyone else but Matsuda.
"Oh yes please!" Matsuda eyes lit up in childlike glee. "I have an appointment with Miss Misa Amane." He practically yelled it, and could not help a furtive glance around the area to see if anyone had noticed. No one looked his way.
Hah! They were probably all too caught up in jealousy…
"Miss Amane?" She over pronounced the 'M' again in her incredulity.
He nodded eagerly.
With a raised eyebrow she began to search down a list of names.
"Matsuda Touta Ma'am!"
She gaped momentarily like a fish, before recovering quickly (she did want to make it into Hollywood one day.) She beamed a winning, Hollywood smile at him showing off all her dental work. "Welcome Mr Touta. Miss Amane is on the seventh floor in room eight. Our bell boy, Martin…"
Matsuda looked to the left, where the receptionist was gesturing, and leapt. A freckly, red haired boy was standing right next to him, stiff as a board and ready for room-leading action. "He must have the skills of a ninja," thought Matsuda hazily.
"…will lead you the rest of the way." She finished.
Martin led the way silently, as Matsuda cooed and gasped unrestrainedly at all the art work and sculptures on the walls, as well as all the glam looking people in the corridors. He seemed not to notice their nasty smirks at his country bumpkin suit and obvious naivety.
Martin knocked on a wooden oak door.
"Come in." Drawled a high pitch voice Matsuda recognised.
"Oh my Gawd!" He thought nearly peeing himself with joy.
The door opened and there she was draped so elegantly on a leather settee, the, yes THE Misa-Misa, the Queen of the Dance Halls.
Matsuda gasped and openly stared.
She was even more beautiful in reality! He had only seen her on the silver screen, but in real life she was three-dimensional and all colour and glitter! Her hair was golden, her eyes a brilliant blue, her body slender (he blushed,) she was the American Dream girl, most assuredly!
He must have been in some sort of daze because next thing he knew he was sitting down on a leather couch, a drink of bourbon in his hand. He was amazed, first of all he never drank and second of all he was in an interview to be an in-house tutor! It was hardly appropriate, even though she must have been the one to give it him, and he must have taken it without a second thought. Or even a first thought, as the case may be.
What if it had been a test? She offers him a drink and he should have said no if he wanted to have a chance of getting the job! It was in the heat of the depression and people were turning to alcohol.
He was not one of them! No sir, mama raised him better than that! He hastily placed it back on the table. He did not want to make a bad impression.
During this dilemma, Misa had been mincing around the room, fluffing pillows and other irrelevant activities, constantly talking.
"…but Matt's a real dear," she finished, looking at Matsuda and smiling. He nodded and grinned, not knowing who Matt was. She sat down opposite him. "But little ole Mello will turn up later. Poor dears were orphaned. Their dada, my bother-in-law, killed himself 'cause he never got over the things he witnessed in the war. Then their poor mama, my dear, dear sister, she killed herself too," Misa related with all the emotion of someone talking about their dead goldfish.
She smiled and gestured to herself. "I'm their only relative, but, I can hardly raise children! I'm young and have a great career; an important too, I'm helping keep America's spirits up!" She squeaked the last word and Matsuda did his patented eager nod.
"D-definitely! My family love watching you-"
"So I sent them to live in a family home in England." Misa interrupted, silencing Matsuda immediately. "It's been in my family for years. It's in the countryside, very beautiful and they have all the servants in the world." She sighed. "They're so lucky! They live like Princes. And you will too. So, you want the job?"
"Ah, oh, well…." This was unexpected. Matsuda had prepared himself for a barrage of questions. He was new to the job, inexperienced and young. Yet, she was offering it immediately? And it was based in…?
"…It's in England?" He continued after recovering a little of his wits.
She nodded, still smiling.
"The advert never said…"
The smile faded.
"Mr Touta…ah… Matsuda, can I call you that?"
He nodded as she sat down next to him. He could smell her perfume, feel her body heat…
"Matsuda this is a great opportunity." She pouted. "And you should be impressed that someone of…your background, is being given such an opportunity."
Matsuda understood. He could hardly go back home. His family were suffering under the economic crash and were still suffering the after affects of the horrific world war. Nearly all their money and savings had gone on his education (which despite his best efforts, he had only done moderately well in his exams) and travel costs into L.A.
God knows he could not screw up!
"Your right, I'll take the job!" He grinned and shook her hand.
"Okies, well there's just one weensy request. I am a busy, busy young woman and I do not want to be disturbed, at any cost." She ground out the last three words, her voice losing it childish charms and becoming seriously adult like and demanding. "I do not care if they are being naughty. I do not want letters of praise. Nothing. Nada. It is your responsibility. The old tutor…well…I had high hopes and he failed me." She looked at him with those big baby blues. "You won't fail me will you, Matsu?" She coyly stroked his hand whilst making her breathy supplication.
Breathing heavily and blushing, Matsuda assured her he would not let her down. "Good," she crooned, "then in a few months, I might come visit you. It will be sweet; we'll be like mommy and daddy with the children." She was still tracing small circles on his hand with her manicured nails.
"That would be nice, ma'am."
The very next day, Matsuda was on a boat to Winchester, England, to meet his new students, brothers Matt and Mello.