29 | Be Brave
"There are two great days in a person’s life - the day we are the born and the day we discover why.”
“Jason, what are you talking about?” Is the first thing I ask him, after his declaration.
Jason sighs and rolls his shoulders, relaxing them. “I’m talking saying it’s over. I managed to find a loophole in the contract we signed and told my lawyer about it. I threatened that if he didn’t go through with the action, I would quit. So naturally, he went through with it.” Jason explains, in a neutral voice. His face is expressionless as well. “It’s done. We don’t have to fake date anymore, the Vogue campaign has been cancelled.”
Holy sh*t. That’s all I can think. Jason actually did it! I don’t even know how to describe my relief right now. The campaign has caused nothing but trouble. And now we don't have to worry about it anymore.
“Oh my god,” I whisper more to myself than him. “Oh my god. What did Lulu say?” I ask, turning to Casey now for the answers. Nervously, I bite my lip, eager to hear what she has to say.
“Well,” Casey begins, slowly, “She wasn’t pleased.” I snort at that, thinking that would be an understatement. I can imagine Lulu being furious right now. “She wants to see you tomorrow for a meeting.”
That can’t be good.
"Great,” I mutter sarcastically. I just can’t wait to see Lulu again. That was sarcasm.“Jason, can I talk to you?”
Jason peers up at me, regarding me with unsteady eyes. It’s like he doesn’t know how to look at me. Does he know that I know?
“I’m busy Whitney, maybe some other time.” He answers quickly and marches off before I can argue against him. Damn him.
“Whit-” Casey starts but I cut her off with a hand.
“I want to go home,” I tell her. She gives me a stiff nod, discreetly eyeing me. She stares at me as if I’m going to break or crumble. I don’t know why - it’s not like I’m on the verge of tears. I am strong. I can handle something petty like this.
“Let’s go then,” she declares, throwing a smile my way.
After stopping off at the hotel for my belongings, we head home. The journey is quiet and peaceful. Casey doesn’t bother me with work and I am glad about that. All I can think about is Jason and his actions.
Why would he cancel the deal?
I didn’t see what motive he would have to end it. If anything, it would bring me closer to him - which is something I thought he wanted. Perhaps I was wrong.
Or maybe he did it for me. Jason could tell the contract was destroying me. I was losing friends because of it. Perhaps he decided to be selfless and rescue me.
I am obviously speculating here. I cannot be certain until I speak to Jason. He has all the answers.
When I arrive home, I quickly march upstairs and lye down on my bed, contemplating everything. What would Lulu be like tomorrow? What would she say to me? There isn’t a slither of doubt in my mind that she would be cross - beyond cross - about the deal being terminated.
I skip tea that night, claiming I have no appetite and instead, let my mind drift off to what would happen tomorrow.
“This is unacceptable,” Lulu snaps, sending me a harsh, icy glare. “This deal was supposed to go through ’till the end. I will talk to Jason’s manager and inform him that Jason needs to change his mind at once.”
I watch amused as Lulu gets out her new iPhone and starts furiously clicking on buttons. Just as she’s about to dial the phone, I step forward, stopping her.
I don’t want this to go through. It’s not right. Not right for Jason, Callum, or for me.
“Lulu, put the phone down,” I demand, feeling a burst of confidence.
For a second, she looks shocked. Shocked that I am going against her.
“What did you just say?” She nearly screeches, outraged. If it is possible, her icy blue eyes got colder. The veins on her forehead enlarge, looking as if they are about to burst.
“I said put the phone down,” I repeat, calmly. Lulu raises an eyebrow at my defiance and for some reason, it eggs me on further. For too long, I let her control me. I let her be the puppet master, to bully me into things. But that ends. It ends right now.
“You think you have the right to order me around Whitney? Huh?” She asks, bitterly. Lulu takes a step forward so that she is a lot closer to me. Close enough so that I can stare directly into her detached eyes. Close enough that I can smell the expensive perfume she has showered on herself. I want to gag right in front of her at the amount she put on. “You are nothing. I made you a star. I made you Whitney Winters. Without me, you would be nobody.”
I don’t say anything. It angers me that she takes credit for my own success right in front of me. I climbed the ladder with the help of Casey--Lulu was never present.
“You are this close to being fired Whitney,” Lulu exclaims, pinching her lips close together. ”This close! And I will do it, mark my words.”
I know she has the power to do it. She could fire me any day but it would cost her a lot of press time and paperwork. Is she really willing to go through all of that?
“Hmm, that’s what I thought,” Lulu smirks cruelly. “You’re all bark and no bite.”
I don’t know why that sparked something in me but it did. I don’t want Lulu controlling me anymore. If it means losing my acting career to be free, it would be worth it.
“Lulu, I’m sorry.”
“Good, I’m glad you’re sorry. Just remember I’m your boss.” She says, misinterpreting my words.
Internally, I smirk. “Oh wait, I think you misunderstood that.” I smile, innocently. “I was apologizing now for the future.”
Lulu’s confident face falters. Her eyes hold confusion and even dread. A part of her knows where this is going. She knows what I'm going to say.
“W--what are you talking about Whitney?” She asks me, her voice wavering slightly. For the first time in a long time, Lulu doesn’t have complete control of a situation. She has always been the controller so this to her must feel foreign. It must feel wrong.
“I’m really sorry you are going to have to explain everything to the media and you’re going to have to cancel all upcoming, future events. Really, I am. But...” I pause, dramatically. I am enjoying this. A lot. “I quit.”
And that’s when everything explodes. Lulu’s eyes widen and she quickly starts rambling about how I can’t quit. Casey storms into the room and begs me to reconsider. She knows I love acting but what she doesn’t understand is that I don’t have to be a famous movie actor. I can’t deal with people like Lulu in my life.
I want freedom. I want some normalcy. I want to focus on school. I want to help my friends.
“I’m quitting!” I shout loudly, silencing them both up. “I’ve already decided it. I, Whitney Winters, also known as Anastasia Claire, resign from this agency officially.”
Lulu’s face crumbles. She is now facing the repercussions of her actions. She losing one of her top actors.
“But--” She cries.
“Leave Lulu. I’m done.” I command, coldly.
Lulu splutters, glancing at Casey, who pretends to be oblivious. Realizing I’m done, Lulu straightens her posture and clears her throat. She throws a frosty glare my way and stomps out of the house. I watch her leave, already feeling lighter.
It’s weird but I feel as if I can breathe properly again. I don’t have to worry about upsetting her anymore.
Now that I’m agentless, I won’t be featuring in films or shoots anymore. I will eventually become one of those actors that aren’t forgotten but isn’t cared about. In time, the media will find someone new to torment.
I feel free.
“Are you okay Whit?” Casey asks me once Lulu has left. Concern is etched on her face.
I nod my head, “Almost. I just have one more thing to do before I’ll be okay." I tell her, thinking of Jason. He can’t avoid me forever.
It's time we talk.
This update is super late. I'm so sorry about that. I hope you enjoyed it though. Until the next time.