3 | Whitney Winters
“Haha, that’s hilarious.” She bursts out laughing, boisterously. “You are so scandalous Whitney Winters. I love it!” Hilary Heart praises and fans herself with the little question card she’s holding.
The audience in the television studio chuckle at her reaction whilst I just give them an award-winning smile. Today, my manager and best friend, Casey informed me that I have an interview with the infamous Hilary Heart. She has her own successful talk show, on prime time, which I like to watch some nights when I’m bored.
It’s an invite-only interview. To be invited is an honor. Many celebrities would kill to be in my position.
I was forced into this. I had to attend to promote my new film, Lovers Lie but so far, all I’ve been doing is sharing my crazy drunk stories from after-parties I went to. Its premiere is in two days and I just can’t wait to go. Partly because I will get to see my new friend: Jason O’Connor. He’s one of Hollywood’s heartthrobs because of his looks and charisma. Everybody loves him - they see him as a true icon. The fact I got to work alongside him was incredible.
I can’t wait to see him again, we are going to have a blast.
“So Whitney,” Hilary resumes her interview, getting ahold of herself. She shuffles around in her expensive, leather chair. She’s calmed down now, her face back to its soft look. There are no laughter lines from her earlier on her tanned face, which gives her a youthful look again. “Tell us what you enjoyed most about making Lovers Lie.”
I flash her a delighted smile and clear my throat, “Well, I guess pranking Jason O’Connor was the best. His face every time I pulled a prank on him was comical.”
Hilary chuckles and brushes a strand of her platinum blonde hair behind her ear. She’s dressed in a formal dress that reaches her knees and is wearing minimal makeup. Her pink eyeshadow makes her beautiful, soft brown eyes stand out on her face. For someone in her mid-thirties, she sure doesn’t look that age. If I didn’t know anything about her and her age, I’d say from one glance that she was in her mid-twenties.
“You sure are a menace,” Hilary comments and delicately shakes her head. “I see why everyone adores you now.”
Oddly enough, I blush at her comment. Two years after leaving my old home, I still can’t believe I’m here today, famous. They call me Hollywood’s golden girl - the biggest star.
I haven’t blushed in a long time, not like I used to. Talking to boys now is easy, especially the very attractive ones that I always seem to be around.
If I were to go back and speak to Callum today, I bet I would be the confident one. Callum. How strange, I haven’t thought about him for a long time.
After leaving my house, two years ago, I had gotten a bus to LA. From there, I stayed at a motel for the night. It was terrifying staying alone, without anybody I know. But I pushed the fear aside.
For a week I tried looking for work. I had to save as much money as possible, so it meant I had to be careful about what I bought.
After five days of looking for work, I began to think I would be homeless. But then a miracle happened. I bumped into Casey Jones, an acting agent. She saw the state I was in and took me in—gave me a home. Casey legally became my guardian, after I told the firm that I ran away from my family. They seemed skeptical to allow it to happen when they knew my family was alive but after telling them I had been neglected practically my whole life, they let it happen.
One night at her house when having tea, I asked if I could become an actress. Anastasia would have never thought of this. But after becoming Casey’s guardian and choosing a new name, I vowed to be stronger. I said goodbye to Anastasia Claire and became Whitney Winters. Whitney is confident and beautiful. She doesn’t get pushed around. She never shows weakness.
Casey eventually relented after she saw how much this meant to me. She got me a job and was having me audition right away.
Luck was on my side again because a month later, I got cast in my first role. The film was a success straight away; film directors saw something in me. I had loads of people wanting me in films and TV shows. I even had famous brands wanting me to model for them. After a life of being unwanted and hated, I suddenly became wanted.
And so I became an A-list star.
After finishing my second big hit, I got a letter in the post. From my family. It said they missed me so much and wanted me to come home. I cried that night for the first time in a while. But I never replied to their letter.
Casey said it would be best if I didn’t. She said that I left that life behind; all I would cause is more heartache for myself. However, she did say that one day, I should visit them. When I was ready.
Occasionally I would wonder what they thought of me. Did they see my face plastered on billboards, TV, and posters. Have they seen any of my movies? Do they think I was good? Would they cry at my image? Or would they smile and be proud?
A small part of me wishes they would. Is it selfish to wish that after running away from them?
“Thank you, Hilary,” I shyly say and bite my bottom lip.
As soon as we finish the interview, Catherine--my make-up artist--is going to scold me for ruining her 'masterpiece'. The woman spent fifteen minutes applying my cherry red lipstick on. The small woman is probably cursing me right now behind the camera.
“You’re welcome sweetie, it’s been a pleasure interviewing you. Good luck with your new film.” She wishes and then turns her body to face the camera. “And that’s all we have time for tonight. It’s been an exciting evening. Join me next week when I interview Khloe Kardashian about the cheating accusations against her boyfriend and father to her baby.”
The audience rises to their feet and clap. And then the cameraman sends us a thumbs up, announcing we are no longer being filmed. A blaring alarm sounds and multiple staff members begin exiting the studio.
Hilary spins back in her chair to face me. “You did amazing Whitney, I hope we can meet again soon.”
I grin at her and nod my head. “That would be wonderful. Are you free this weekend?”
She cocks her head to the side slightly, confused. “Yes, I am.”
“Great!” I beam. “You can join me at the premiere.”
“Aww, that’s so sweet. Thanks, I’m sure my husband will be thrilled.” She then stands up and smooths the creases on her dress. “I shall see you soon then.”
I wave goodbye to her and strutt off of the stage, my five-inch stilettos clinking on the polished floor. When I make it over to a grinning Casey, I release a breath I hadn't realized I was holding.
I am so tired - I can’t wait to get home. I had three interviews today and a photoshoot for Vogue. All in all, I am knackered.
“Ready to go home?” Casey asks, seeming to be in the same boat too. I eagerly nod my head. My mind projects images of my comfortable king-sized bed with Egyptian cotton sheets.
Casey laughs at my expression and leads me to the dressing room I was assigned. When I get into the brightly lit room, I collapse onto the leather seat whilst she heads over to the small couch and plonks herself on it.
I stare at my reflection in the mirror for a moment and then wipe the heavy layer of make-up off my face.
After removing it, I undo my braided hair. My once ash blonde hair is now a golden color. Some people say it’s the color of the sun.
My bright blue eyes look vibrant. They glimmer in the light with happiness. Two years ago, I always saw them as dull and dead but now, they look so enchanting.
They don't look dead anymore.
“Ugh, I can’t wait until I can sleep. My body is literally running on caffeine right now.”
Casey rolls her eyes, "You're exaggerating.”
“I’m not!” I protest, firmly.
I huff and cross my sleeveless arms over my chest. My arms are nicely tanned, along with the rest of my body. Courtesy of the sunny weather we've been having recently
“Anyways,” I seriously say, changing the subject. "What’s my schedule tomorrow?”
“Well,” Casey says in a dry voice. “You have to go for a long run tomorrow to lose all of those calories you gained.”
“I haven’t put on weight!” I interject, sharply. I always hate talking about my weight.
Casey raises an eyebrow and I gaze down at my skinny body. Many times, I have been ordered to be mindful of my weight. Hollywood is very big on having the 'perfect figure'. As disgusting as it is having to stay borderline unhealthy, I stick to the rules in fear of losing my job.
I love acting and modeling. It’s my whole life now. Luckily I have someone as amazing as Casey who always checks to make sure I’m alright. She’s constantly checking my weight and is in complete charge of my diet.
"Anyways, as I was saying before I was rudely interrupted,” She sends me a pointed look. “After, you have to do a shoot with Jason for promotional reasons. We then have to talk to Lulu.”
Lulu is Casey’s big boss. She’s a tall, willowy woman—like me—who scares the living crap out of me on some days. She has cold; distant blue eyes that always has me shivering. And that’s not from the cold. She is just an icy woman.
She oversees everything Casey does. She has the final say in all decisions so if she doesn't like something Casey says, she can override her.
“Great, can we go now? I’m about to drop.” Casey grumbles under her breath and heaves herself up.
“Let’s go kiddo.” I scowl at the nickname ‘kiddo’ whilst she smirks. Casey is only twenty-five years old but she likes to act older. She’s always teasing me about being younger than her, even though I’m technically an adult now.
Casey ties her ebony hair up in a ponytail and hands me my sunglasses. I quickly slip them on and put a thin jacket over my white crop top.
Casey exits the room first. Her blue eyes skim over the corridor. When she sees nobody there, we shuffle out. Even though it’s dark outside, I like to wear sunglasses. They are the closest thing to a mask I have.
As soon as I exit the large building, using the small side door, the paparazzi swarm me. They are like vultures, coming in for their prey—which unfortunately has to be me.
Casey links her arm with me and tugs me to the black SUV. One of my bodyguards, Alan Kurt, is already holding the door open for us. I slide in first, Casey after. Once we’re in, Alan gets into the front seat and orders the driver to drive.
My eyes look out of the tinted windows, at the flashing cameras and hollering photographers.
Two years ago, if you had told me this would be my life, I would have laughed my ass off and instantly dismiss the thought.
I guess a lot can change.