14 | Time To Put My Acting Hat On
“If life were predictable, it would cease to be life, and be without flavour.”
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Hannah and I departed the cafe after I spoke with Jason. She told me she had to do some homework tonight, to which I teased that she was a little goody-two-shoes. I laughed harder when she didn’t deny it.
Alan drove me back home and fired questions at me. The guy couldn’t stop quizzing me on my friends. I told him everything I said and what they said but I left out how I felt regret for Athena and Ares. Technically, they hadn’t done anything wrong. But Alan might not see it that way. So to save arguments being caused, I left that out.
As soon as I arrived at the home, Casey pounces on me and starts grilling me on what happened as well. I swear the people in my life are so nosy.
“So, you had a run-in with your friends and kicked ass?” Casey clarifies once I finish telling her everything.
I shake my head and laugh at her question. ”No, I didn’t kick their ass. I simply...set boundaries.”
Casey smirks and raises her fist. Smiling, I bump my fist with hers and stand up from my seat.
“I’m going to do homework.” I lied to Casey and run up the stairs to my room before she can call me out on my lie. Little does Casey know I haven’t been set any homework yet. I feel so evil.
Alan gives me a knowing look when I pass him on the way to the stairs. I put a finger to my lips and he nods his head. That’s loyalty right there.
When I get to my new room, I head over to my bed and collapse, letting out a sigh. I mentally evaluate how the day went, how my confrontations were and how I appeared to everyone. Personally, I think I looked amazing. But I might be biased.
My eyelids begin to droop from sheer exhaustion. I may be alright physically but emotionally, I think I need a rest.
And with that, I fall into a nice slumber. My dreams being filled with pink fluffy unicorns and one handsome, green-eyed boy who I can argue is an evil monster.
“You want to know something interesting?” Hannah asks me at lunch the next day.
I stuff some salad into my mouth and nod my head, silently asking her to expand. Hannah decided to sit with us today, despite her friend’s obvious wish for her to sit with them. Or perhaps, their wish for both of us to sit with them. But of course, I didn’t even blink their way.
So we’re sat on the same table as yesterday, with a stoic-looking Alan.
“The royal family, in England, aren’t allowed to play Monopoly. Can you believe it?” Hannah exclaims. “I can’t. My family and I always play it - it’s my favourite game.”
“Wow, really?” I reply, pretending to be interested. I don’t want to upset Hannah’s feelings but I don’t really care about the royal family. Fortunately for me, Hannah is oblivious so she doesn’t notice how apathetic I am.
“Yeah,” she nods and continues. “I think that’s a stupid rule. Playing the game as a family is true family bonding.”
I agree with her on that. When my family and I were all close together, before Brock and I attended high school, we used to play Monopoly all of the time. At Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving etc. We would always argue with Martin because he would steal the money from the bank or some of our property cards.
“- and my mom would say that I suck at it because I try and buy everything at once. But I tell her that its the only way to get all the good places.” I hear Hannah say. Confused, I just go along with her and smile. What’s it the penguins do in the film Madagascar?
Smile and wave.
Just smile and wave.
That right there is the story of my Hollywood life.
“What about you Whitney?” Hannah questions. “What do you and your family do?”
My entire body freezes at her question and my blood runs cold. I forgot what my family would do now that they know I’m here. Sure, I knew they would find out but I never fully thought about what they would do. What would my parents do? A part of me hopes they will come to school or my new house and beg for my forgiveness after their neglect.
Its foolish of me to want that - they don’t deserve it.
I hate to admit that I miss them. Terribly.
My parents are always going to have a special place in my heart. No matter how much they hurt me.
I swallow and drop my fork. I plaster a smile, trying to stay strong and to not start bawling my eyes out. “We used to play Monopoly. But now...” I pause and dart my eyes to Brock. “I haven’t seen them in a long time. I don’t know what they do anymore.”
Hannah gives me a sad smile, sympathy shining in her eyes. She reaches over the table and grabs my hand; squeezes it tightly. “I’m sure you will see them soon. I have this feeling in my gut. I feel like I know that everything will work out for you, you just have to let things flow.”
My mouth opens in shock at her promise. Does she know something I don’t?
“You think I’m naive. A - And sometimes I am. Sometimes I am oblivious. I may not know exactly what happened to you, Whit but I know you were hurt badly. Emotionally. I’m guessing your family and friends hurt you - maybe even betrayed you - and you left them. But now you’re this amazing superstar... and I bet they’re proud.”
My eyes well up at her words. She couldn’t have hit the nail more perfectly. I honestly thought she was clueless but really, this girl is incredibly smart and kind. She has a heart of pure gold.
I hope my brother knows how special she is.
“Thanks, Hannah Banana,” I whisper, squeezing her hand back. She beams and starts talking about something else, which I’m grateful for.
“Anytime superstar.” She replies. I cock my head to the side at her nickname. “What? You think you can give me a nickname and I won’t give you one back? Ha! No.”
I chuckle and pick my fork back up to finish this delicious salad.
“Alan, can I ask you a question?” I mutter, walking with him to my last lesson of the day: drama.
“Sure thing kiddo.” He replies, his face passive. He’s wearing his black suit but minus the shades, which if it’s even possible, makes him appear scarier. But to me, he will always be like a brother.
Translation: not scary in the slightest.
I take a deep breath, twiddling my fingers together that are hanging by my side. I dropped my books off at my locker, figuring I wouldn't need them for drama.
“Do you think I should contact my parents?”
Silence. My answer from Alan is silence. Several minutes pass as Alan remains non-responsive. I begin to think he didn’t hear my question.
“Yes.” He eventually says, emotion leaking into his voice.
My head whips round to face him so quickly I think I got whiplash. “What?”
“I said yes, you should contact them. But not yet. In due time, when you’re ready.” He elaborates.
My mind races with thoughts. When I’m ready? How will I know when I’m ready? Is it when I feel confident, amazing or just forgiving?
The last one makes the most sense.
“Thanks,” I tell Alan and yank the doors to the main hall open. I feel as though I have been thanking people a lot recently. Everyone seems to be giving me advice or pep talks. It feels like I have many Yoda's with me.
My drama teacher springs up from her seat when she sees me and smiles brightly. I press my lips together at the sight of everyone’s eyes on me and walk to the seat I sat in yesterday.
She doesn’t discipline me for my lateness, for which I’m thankful. That would be awkward, not for me but for my teacher who would have to listen to me talk my way out of the punishment.
Mrs Sadie claps her hands together, standing straight and proud on the stage. “So today class, I’m going to be examing your acting skills. This is the second part of the auditions. Those who participated in the first part of the audition will be given a script and will have to recite the monologue using your own interpretation of it. I will hand out a different monologue from a different play to each person so that you can get an idea of what you are going to do up on the stage. In fifteen minutes, the first audition will begin.”
I groan and lean back in my chair. Why was I put in drama class? I honestly can’t be bothered right now.
Mrs Sadie starts handing out sheets of paper to everyone who auditioned yesterday. When I see her come over to me, I sink in my chair hoping that it will somehow make me invisible. Perhaps I could talk my way out of doing this. After all, she made me audition yesterday. I didn’t raise my hand - I didn't want to sing.
She stops in front of me, bouncing on the balls of her feet.
“Here you are Whitney,” she hands me a sheet and begrudgingly, I take it.
“But Mrs Sadie, I don’t want to audition. I only did it yesterday because you made me.” I protest, sitting up straighter in my seat. “So please don’t make me do this.”
Mrs Sadie stares at me for a few moments, assessing me. Eventually, she sighs and sits down on the seat beside me. “I’m sorry I’m making you do this, it isn’t nice of me. But I want you to be an example. You’re a successful actress, it’s not every day you have one of those in my drama class. I’d like the students to learn from you.”
Pursing my lips, I ponder over her words. All Mrs Sadie wants me to be is a mentor, in a way. She wants me to show how I would interpret things.
“Okay fine.” I relent and flash her a small, reluctant smile. If I just do this, that will be it. “I’ll do this audition but that’s it. I don’t want a role in Grease.”
Mrs Sadie happily nods and leaps to her feet, patting my shoulder. She then flaunters over to the next group of students, handing them their sheet.
When she’s gone, I start looking over my monologue from The Fault In Our Stars.
The book was absolutely brilliant, it nearly had me on the verge of tears. The script is from the film, the monologue being the opening scene. Mrs Sadie gave me a complicated character to portray in a short amount of time.
Nonetheless, I love a challenge, despite not being completely on board with this.
“What do you have?” Hannah asks, her brown eyes curiously gazing at my sheet. I blow out a breath and hand her my sheet. Instantly, she snatches it from me and scrolls over it.
“That’s such a good choice for you.” Hannah comments, her gaze not wavering from the sheet of paper. I grunt in agreement and drag my hand through my hair tiredly, keen for her to continue. “Hazel and you are both sad - and are both seeking love. It’s perfect.” She bites her thin, pink lip and hands the sheet back to me.
“Thanks. What about you?”
Hannah sighs and rubs her arm. “I have a scene from Mean Girls." I raise my eyebrows in surprise at her reply and sit up in my seat.
Hannah begins rolling her sheet up, her eyes glued to it. “The one where they are in the gym. It’s the bit where Tina Fey gives a speech.”
My mouth makes an ‘o’ shape in understanding. I’m surprised Hannah got something like that. In truth, I assumed Mrs Sadie would give us a script from an old book nobody remembers, with complex language that most people can’t grasp.
“Hannah, are you okay with your monologue?” I question her, taking in her slouched, dejected form. Right now, she doesn’t appear to be pleased with what she got. “It’s just, you don’t look very happy right now.”
Hannah lifts her head up and locks eyes with me. Some of her red hair covers her soft-featured face, and she makes no move to brush it away.
“I -,” Hannah stops and swallows. I put my hand on her shoulder and squeeze it lightly. She finally shakes her head, which effectively moves the hair covering her face away. She meets my eyes and smiles slightly when she reads my encouraging look. “I am afraid that I won’t be able to show off my talent. You have an emotional scene that you can do a lot with whilst I have some speech that is cliche and has been done a million times.”
Without a second thought, I hug Hannah. It looks like she needs one right now.
“I get you feel like you won’t be able to show your potential,” I whisper into her ear, whilst she clutches onto my crop top. “But you can. Make that speech your own, that’s the key. You have to become the character, act like they would, say it as they would. Don’t imagine you are them, be them."
Hannah remains silent for a few moments. Once I pulled away from her, she stared intently at something past my shoulder.
“You’re right,” Hannah blurts, dragging her eyes back to me. “I need to become my character. Thanks.”
A smile tugs at the ends of my lips that I don’t try to fight. “Anytime.”
“You know, you and I are always seeking each other’s advice on something.” Hannah states and I chuckle at how true that is. I’ve known this girl for a day and half of our conversations are about helping someone out.