Brush With Fame

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Chapter 11

The rest of the day is horrible. Part of me is missing yet again and I know exactly where it is – on a plane to London. Ryan took my heart with him. I miss him already. How am I going to make it through two months? Well, hopefully less if I’m able to go visit London.

Being by myself now, I can see that I am going to be obsessive about feeling safe in my house. I triple check the locks on the doors and windows and make sure the alarm is on. I keep the blinds and curtains closed so it doesn’t feel like someone is watching me. I jump every time I hear the house creek from settling. I have to stop myself from getting up and checking just one more time. Taylor, Sarah and Ally all call me ask how I am doing. I lie and tell them I am fine. Even though I am terrified to be in the house by myself, I want to wallow in my self-pity all by myself.

I go to bed early, although I cannot sleep. Whether it is because I am depressed or too frightened to go to sleep, I am not certain why. Most likely a combination of both. So, I turn on the TV and flip through the channels. An old movie catches my attention and I leave the TV on that channel. I fall asleep sometime during the middle of it.

Ryan calls me like he promised when he got to London to let me know he arrived there safe.

“Lo?” I answer groggily, still somewhat asleep.

“Hello my Beautiful Angel.”

“Ryan!” I wake right up.

“I’m sorry I woke you up,” he says.

“Don’t be sorry. I’m not sorry. Thank you for calling. I love you. I miss you so much.”

He laughs at my rumblings.

“I know. I miss you, too. And I love you. Thank God I’ll have this film to keep me busy. Hopefully time will go by fast. But I’m going to let you go so you can get back to sleep. I’ve got lots to do before filming plus I need to sleep too. I love you. God, I miss you so much. See what you can do about coming here.”

The next week is hell. Thankfully, work is extremely busy and I have to work late every night, which is good because the days go by really fast. Most of the time, I am so exhausted when I get home that I fall asleep early every night, not even really giving myself a chance to be frightened although it is constantly on my mind. On the Wednesday after Ryan left, I get a beautiful bouquet of pink roses from him.

Two more weeks go by in a flash. Then I get a pleasant surprise in the form of a phone call from Leslie Day. It has been way too long since I have talked to her.

“I hope you don’t mind me calling.”

“Of course, not. I don’t mind at all. In fact, I was hoping you would call. You’ll take my mind off Ryan.”

“You miss Ryan, huh?”

“Um, that’s an understatement.”

“I miss him, too. He’s fun to hang out with. I miss you, too. I wanted to apologize for not calling for a while. I didn’t want to interrupt your time with Ryan. Plus, I have talked to him a few times and he kept me up-to-date with how you were doing. You’re still doing ok?”

“Yes. I’m good. I just got my cast off my leg last week. I got so used to the cast; it feels weird now that it’s off.”

“Good, good. Should be so much easier without that cast. How’s work?”

“Work’s good. Been keeping me very busy. I don’t have time to be miserable about Ryan.”

“I talked to Ryan earlier today and he said he was missing you really bad.”

“Yeah, we’ve been trying to talk every day. We don’t always get to though. So, are you not in London yet?” I asked.

“No, I leave next week. They’re doing some scenes without me. And I just found out they’re having some problems and my scenes have been delayed. I thought I wouldn’t go until they’re ready for me.”

“What problems are they having? Ryan hasn’t said anything.”

“I’m not sure either. I was just told they wouldn’t need me until late next week or early the following week.”

“Hmm. I wish I could get away, but work has been so busy right now; there’s no way I could get away without everyone killing me.”

“I believe that. I wish you were in LA. We could hang out, go shopping. I’d take you to some hangouts and meet lots of people. Help me check out guys. I’d love your opinion of them. It’d be a blast.”

“We’ll have to plan some time when I can come and hang out with you.”

“Definitely. I’m going to hold you to that. And I can always come see you in Kansas City. I’ve never been there. But for now, I’ve got to let you go. I’ve got a hot date with a new actor.”

“Have fun. Anyone I’ve heard of? Hope he’s decent.”

“He’s not decent,” she says with a sinister laugh. “He gorgeous and knows it and makes it work for him, and not necessarily in a good way. And no, you probably haven’t heard of him – yet. He’s working his way up.”

I laugh and shake my head.

“Well, in that case, be careful. Thanks for calling, Leslie. I enjoyed talking with you. It distracted me at least for a little while.”

I really like Leslie and am glad she is the one playing the main character in Surrender. I don’t have to worry about any flirtation going on between her and Ryan.

A couple of days later my parents show up to visit me again for a few days. They want to make sure I am doing alright. I welcome their presence both to distract me and to make me feel safer.

I can feel them watching me the whole week. I try to hide my desolate mood. I also try to disguise my nerves and not be so jumpy around them but I don’t’ think I do a good job. I still jump at the slightest noises.

Before they leave, my parents sit me down to ask me about everything. I admit that I am terrified that this other person is still out there. He or she is watching me, waiting for me. They ask me to promise them that I would talk to someone about this. I tell them I will think about it.

Then they ask about Ryan, about how serious we are. I am honest with them and tell them that I love him. I love him more than I knew I could love someone; and that I am beyond miserable without him. Mom suggests that I go over and visit him, too. They are pleased when I tell them I am already trying to work out when I can take off work and go to London.

Mom and Dad leave as planned that afternoon. The house seems absolutely empty again without them here. Noises start spooking me once again. I close all the blinds in the house so I don’t feel like some is watching me.

With my parents gone, it allows me to have more time to think about and miss Ryan. I talk to him every few days, but he is so busy with filming and the time difference that we rarely say more than hi. I can hear in his voice that he doesn’t sound himself, but he won’t say anything when I ask him about it, just blames it on filming. Insecurities creep in. I hope he hasn’t found someone else already and is trying to push me off. I think he would have a little more respect for me than that, especially after he knows what I went through with Craig. But because he won’t open up, so doubts worm their way into my mind.

Ryan is always so adamant about me being open and honest with him that it doesn’t cross my mind that me might be holding back and not telling me things.

Time passes slowly and I have been having more trouble hiding my depression from my friends. Ryan has been in London for six weeks working on the film. They have extended filming an extra 4 weeks because it isn’t going well. Our conversation continues to be short and tense. I keep trying to tell myself that he is just busy and doesn’t have time to talk, but that doesn’t always work. That stupid, sneaky suspicion always slithers in, particularly because of Craig’s previous behavior.

Taylor finally intervenes and comments on my mood.

“Olivia. You cannot let yourself get so depressed over Ryan. And even though filming was extended, he’s still only gone for a few months.”

“I know.”

“You also know you can’t be with him all the time. He has to work, so do you. The difference is that he is working in London right now. You need to get out of this rut.”

“Yes, Taylor, I know,” I says, placating her.

“Hey, don’t be a smart-ass with me. You know you’ve been moping around,” Taylor scolds me.

“I’m sorry. I just feel so lost without him. And… something is going on with him, but he won’t talk about it. I’m a little worried about that,” I sigh. “But, ok. Help. I need to do something fun.”

“Wait, wait,” Taylor says. “What do you mean something’s going on with him. What is he doing?”

“He’s not doing anything. I don’t know. He seems…distant…quiet when we talk. I’ve asked him what’s wrong but he just says it filming. It gives me an uneasy feeling.”

“Do you think he’s cheating on you?” she asks.

“No…I don’t know.”

“I don’t think he’d cheat on you, not with everything Craig put you though. He saw all that crap.”

“I know. That’s what I’ve been trying to convince myself. I honestly don’t think he would either. But something is bothering him and he won’t talk to me. I feel…frustrated.”

Taylor is quiet for a bit. “We’ll figure something out. But for now, you’re going to forget about everything. We’re going out.”

That night we go out to a club with Ally and Dhara. We all have a lot of fun and my dismal mood lightens. I am able to relax and actually have some fun. A few people recognize me from the tabloids, but most are pretty cool about it. A some people want autographs and others want selfies with me. Quite a few guys hit on me, which of course makes me feel even better; it boosts my ego. We stay out until last call.

The next morning, I am awakened by Ryan calling. He is trying to sound cheerful, but he can’t conceal his depressed mood.

“Hi Beautiful,” he says.

“Hi Ryan! Oohh!”

“What’s wrong?” he asks immediately.

“I guess I’m a little hung over. Taylor, Ally and Dhara took me out last night. We had lots of fun. People actually recognized me. But most were really cool about it and left me alone. I got hit on too,” I tease.

Ryan is quiet and I can hear him breathing deeply into the phone.

“What the hell are they hitting on you for if they know you’re with me?” he explodes. “And why did your friends let that happen?”

Whoa. Ok, so he hasn’t lost interest in me if he is getting this upset because I got hit on. But he doesn’t need to be jealous.

“Ryan, calm down. I think they hit on me because I’m with you.”

“I should be there to protect you.”

“Now you’re just going to piss me off, Ryan. Why the hell do you need to protect me? I am fine on my own. Besides, I’m not interested in anyone but you.”

“I’m sorry. We never did talk about being exclusive. I just hoped you wouldn’t be interested in anyone else. I’m having a really hard time with this film and I miss you so much it hurts me. I’m kind of worthless right now.”

“Ryan, Honey. I miss you too. And when I told you I loved you, it means I’m committed to us, no one else. OK?” I don’t wait for him to answer. “Now, what are you having a hard time with on the film?”

“Oh, God. I don’t know, just being able to get into the character. I’m having trouble capturing him. I’m not able to concentrate enough to just fall into character like I normally can. The film was actually delayed because of me,” he confesses.

“Baby, I’m sorry you’re having troubles. What’s causing you to struggle?”

“It’s nothing. I just need to get my head in the game.”

I should press him to talk about it some more, but I can tell he’ll just avoid it. We talk some more about the movie and London and eventually hang up. The call leaves me feeling troubled. Why is Ryan having such a hard time with his character? He was perfect in the first movie. I think there is more bothering him than what he is telling me. I wonder why he doesn’t trust me enough to tell me.

A couple of long, frustrating days later, Leslie calls me in a panic.

“Olivia, I’m sorry to do this to you. But we’re desperate and need your help.”

“My help? How can I help? Wait, who’s we?”

“We is me and the crew. It’s Ryan. He’s been extremely difficult to work with. He’s grouchy and depressed. And a couple days ago it got worse.”

“Why haven’t you told me this before?”

“Ryan begged me not to say anything. He doesn’t want to worry you. I didn’t want to irritate Ryan any more by saying anything to you. But he needs, I don’t know, like an intervention – now”.

“I talked to him a couple nights ago. He finally told me he’d been having trouble capturing the character.”

“That’s an understatement. He’s been horrible to work with. He snaps at everyone and forgets lines. It takes lots of tries to get one scene done. That’s not him. I’ve never seen him like this. We’re running way behind. We were supposed to be almost done by now.”

“Yes, he did tell me that he was the reason for the delay. So, what do you want me do?”

“Olivia, I know it’s a lot to ask, but I’m begging you. I think he’s depressed without you. Maybe he’s worried about you being so far away that he can’t help if you need it or that he just can’t see you. And I know you two have had a hard time even trying to catch each other on the phone. Please come here. Make him happy. It’ll be so much easier to work with him when he’s happy.”

“Oh.” He is as miserable without me as I am without him.

“Look. I know it’s a lot to ask. But Olivia. Listen to me. I’m ninety-nine percent sure that you are what is causing him to be this way. …And no, it’s not your fault. Don’t you dare feel guilty about this or I swear I will come kick your ass. He needs to figure out how to deal with being away from you. But I think a visit from you would help. He’s been talking about you coming here for vacation but didn’t know when or if you could.”

“Yes, work had been keeping me extremely busy.”


“Yes, it’s slowed down to normal again. And I’ve been thinking about a little vacation overseas. And I have actually been looking at tickets. So, yes I feel comfortable about taking time off again.”

“You’ll come?” she asks, hopeful.

“Yes, I’ll come.”

“Yay! Woo hoo! Thank you, thank you! I can’t wait.”

I picture her doing a happy dance. I wonder if she is doing a happy dance.

“Oh, I just had the best idea” Leslie says. “Don’t tell Ryan you’re coming.”

“What?” I ask.

“Surprise him. He’ll love it,” she says. “Well, he will hate it at first but then he’ll love it.”

“I guess I could surprise him,” I agree. “He’ll be shocked.”

“It will be awesome to see his face when you just show up,” Leslie laughs.

We work it all out. I got on line and booked my plane tickets. Leslie will meet me at the airport and take me to the hotel first and then to the set where they are filming. She has already talked with the director and let him know what she was going to try to do. He told Leslie he will even pay for my plane ticket. Ryan will be working the first day I arrive, but the director will give Ryan a break the next two days.

Later, Ryan calls. It is so hard not to say anything to him, but I keep my mouth shut. I am curious to see how he reacts, too. Plus, I am anxious to see for myself just how badly he has been behaving on set. I ask him how the filming is going. He groans and says he doesn’t want to talk about it. He says he just wants to hear my voice. To me he sounds genuinely depressed and like he is struggling with everything. I feel so sorry for him. But knowing that I will make him extremely happy in a few days – at least I hope so – I can deal with fibbing to him.

After talking with Ryan, I call Taylor, Sarah and my parents to let them know what is going on and that I am leaving for a couple weeks. Taylor is excited for me and tells me I need to sit down with Ryan and have a serious talk about our future. My parents are excited too, but also cautious. They want me to be happy but don’t want to see me hurt again. And I can’t blame them for their concern. Everything is settled and all I have to do is pack for the trip.

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