Riches to Rags

Chapter 6

I’m woken from a nagging, dull pain in my back, and from the thin strips of daylight streaming into the room. Seems like I slept in a weird position, and somehow ended up twisted up on the couch. So, last night went like so many others before... I arrive home late at night, exhausted from my work on the streets, not to mention my actual job. And then I’ll end up thinking back to my past, but before I get to the end, I’m fast asleep. Sometimes, I dream about those times, or have awful nightmares causing me to wake in a cold sweat, but thankfully, last night I dreamt about nothing, save for a pair of sharp, green eyes, boring straight into mine.

Yeah, that woman… she’s haunting me for sure. I glance towards my phone, which is face down on the coffee table, reach out to grab it, and swipe the screen. There’s no missed calls, no new messages. Nothing. Damn it… I knew she’d be stubborn. I feel disappointed more than annoyed, since I’d really like to help her. Then I see the time, shining brightly in the upper-right of the screen.

“Shit!” I curse loudly, a sudden spear of panic searing into my temples. I forgot to set the damn alarm again… I’m going to be late. Shit shit Shit! I send a quick text to Tenzin:

Me: Running late, rough night, forgot alarm, be there asap. SORRY!

Then I dash towards the bathroom, throwing my clothes off as I go, stumbling across the living room. “Fuck!” There’s a loud bang, and at the same time a sharp pain throbs up my foot, with each pulse the pain grows and grows until I’m almost in tears. Who the hell put that chair there? I think, as I sit down and check the damage, feeling grateful that nothing appears to be broken. Still, it’ll bruise, swell and probably hurt all day - a perfect addition to an already shitty start to the day. I manage to limp the rest of the way into the bathroom, throwing off my underwear and clamber into the shower cubicle, closing the glass door behind.

The tap handle twists with a quiet squeak, and I grit my teeth, shivering wildly as the cold water splashes against my bronze, clammy skin. Most people would step away, and let the water warm up first. Not me. I like the rush, the bitter cold is a much better way to wake up than coffee, or so I’ve always believed… not to mention the warm water just feels that much nicer when it eventually comes. I guess it’s like most things in life - if I allow myself to take something for granted, in this case something as simple as warm water, I won’t enjoy it anywhere nearly as much the next time. I don’t think I’d ever take my new life for granted either, certainly each day feels like it’s a blessing, even days where I’m late and almost break my toe, and I know I’ll never forget those who helped me to get here.

I scrub myself as quickly as I can, massaging shampoo into my hair, quickly rinsing and then going straight for the conditioner, bot not leaving it in my hair anywhere near as long as I’d like to. I’m gonna be late. Tenzin is so going to fire me. No sooner has the thought entered my mind than I hear my phone ringing, and from the ring tone I know it’s either Tenzin or his daughter, Jinora.

“Shit!” I curse again, knowing I’ll probably go to hell just for my use of language today alone. I finish up in the shower, towel off and pick up the phone. One missed call from Jinny. If I call back, I’ll be even later, and I pause in thought, wondering what to do. I almost drop the phone when it suddenly goes off again in my hands, but this time it’s just a message.

Jinora: I’m distracting Dad with some script adjustments, but u need to get your ass here asap :p

Me: Will do. Thanks Jinny <3

Sometimes I don’t know what I’d do without her. I throw on fresh underwear, a pair of slacks, and a thick jumper. Then I thrust my hands through the sleeves of my favourite thick, blue jacket, and wrap a cream coloured scarf around my neck and chin. The second I open my front door I almost instantly start to shiver, and I’m thinking of going back and getting gloves, but I carry on, locking the door and heading down the stairs. The pavements are coated with a thin sheen, somewhere between ice and water, and I know I’ll have to drive carefully, watching out for black ice on the roads.

As I pull out of the driveway, I think about the day ahead. Despite my love for acting, I’m not looking forwards to work. Tenzin’s going to be furious, even with Jinora’s distractions, not that I blame him. It’s expensive to make everyone wait. I just hope I can make it up to him, to everyone, by putting on my very best performance. Yeah, I’ll finish in as few takes as possible, and then maybe afterwards I’ll treat everyone to drinks. That’ll iron things out… I hope.

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