Doria arrived at the airport, all of the belongings he would need were in three suitcases.
He retrieved his bags from luggage and caught a cab put in front of the airport and told the cabbie his new address.
His new apartment was absolutely tiny and he loved it. At eighteen, Doria was living on his own and enrolled in university. He unpacked his clothes in the drawers under his full-sized bed and he put his camera bag at the foot of his bed.
His kitchenette had a stove, a fridge and he saw an itty-bitty piece of counter to put either his microwave or coffee pot. The walls were painted white but soon Dory would hang up some pictures so it didn’t seem so bare.
He looked out his window at the somewhat busy street and smiled, before coming out he had already set up a job interview with a studio who could use some helping hands. Dory left, locking the door behind him as he checked the address saved in his phone.
The interview was in a two-story, brick warehouse it looked a little worn but he walked in and people were bustling around him with props and racks of clothes. Photographers praised models and ordered the people holding reflectors to move the lights.
Doria looked around in awe, it was hectic and he found it incredible how people managed to move around so quickly. A person stopped him, “are you one of the extras in today’s shoot?”
He stared at the woman for a moment then said, “um, no, I’m here for the job interview for helpers.”
Checking her clipboard, “huh, okay, this way.” She led him further into the madness, nearly getting run over with a cart of makeup.
He entered a room and was soon joined by an older man who looked short of breath and frazzled. “Hello, Mr Calhoun, it’s Calhoun correct? Ah, never mind, it is. You’re hired.”
Blinking, “just like that?”
Nodding, “we’re short of hands and I just wanted to see if you’d be strong enough to lift heavy equipment, so unless those muscles are inflatables...”
Dory shook his head and stood up, shaking the older man’s hand. “Thank you, Mr...?
“Willoughby. Willy.” Mr Willy checked his watch, “can you start today? We’re arranging plaster boulders and could use the help, you’ll be paid--”
Dory tailed him close behind as he manoeuvred his way through the busy building. As Mr Willy explained his job to him, Dory was pretty much the grunt work, but he was glad he could observe the shoots.
Currently, a female model dressed in bright colours with teased blond hair that had blue and yellow spray. The photographer was bossing her around to direct her poses, Dory watched in fascination. It was lovely.
His boss led him further back, there were tons of the plaster boulders, a couple of other guys were arranging them according to a set picture with some guidance from a superior. “This set is for tomorrow’s shoot with Ambrose Emsworth.”
Doria liked to think he was fairly well-versed in knowledge of models in the industry, but he had never heard of Ambrose Emsworth. Willy gave a brief explanation, “he recently graduated, he was scouted in West Yorkshire and relocated to London recently like yourself.”
Willy left and Doria got to work. The plastic boulders weren’t heavy so much as awkward to move around, especially with an indecisive photographer who didn’t know how he wanted them set up. It became tiring after a while, when he finished there he was whisked away to help carry lights, after the lights, it was a makeup case that broke a wheel.
On his break he sat with the others, drinking cold water as he ate a deli sandwich. “Oi, where from the states are you from, yank?”
Swallowing his food, “San Francisco, California.”
“What’s your name?” It was a pretty girl with tan skin, brown hair and brown eyes that looked nearly black.
He smiled, nice and friendly, “Dory. And you are?”
“Lucy.” He shook her hand and she smiled back. “Are you going to be here for the shoot tomorrow?”
“The Ambrose Emsworth one?” She nodded, “yeah, I am. Have you met him?”
Lucy looked happy, “I met him last month when he came to see Willy. He’s a lot of fun, has a bold personality.”
One of the guys snorted, “of course he does, he’s a queer.” Dory flinched at the sentence, the guy noticed, “you don’t like fags, either, huh?
Doria set his jaw, “my best friends back home are gay.”
“Doesn’t mean you have to like their relationship.”
This guy was annoying, Dory stared evenly at him, “I may not like watching them swap spit but they’re happy.” The talk of gays was over and they all went back to work.
When Doria went home that night he sighed in exhaustion and stripped before cramming his big build into his small shower to rinse off the sweat and grime. When he sat on his bed to dry his hair his phone began to ring.
“Hey, Dory!” Gabe’s voice chirped on the other side.
Gabe lived a couple hours away from him in Amsterdam with Archie. “What’s up, Gabe?”
“Archie and I are getting married at the end of next month. Our families are flying in along with Blake and Reese... and Nikki... Anyway, are you going to come?” His voice was hesitant.
Dory sighed and forced a chuckle, “course I’ll come. It’s my best friend’s wedding.”
Gabe laughed, “thank goodness. You can bring a date if you want.”
Without thinking, “is Nikki bringing a date?”
“... Yeah... Her new boyfriend.”
Doria bit the inside of his cheek. It had been over between them for a long time, it wasn’t surprising that Nikki found someone new to date. “Whatever. Either way, I’ll be there and I’ll bring someone too.”
“Okay, your official invite with the date won’t be arriving for a couple more days. I’ll talk to you later, Dory.”
“Uh-huh. Good night, Gabe.” He hung up and tossed his phone aside, plopping back and staring at his ceiling, hearing his neighbour walking around upstairs.
Now he’d have to find a date to the wedding. Fan-fucking-tastic.