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THIS IS THE NEW YEAR- Part I

THIS IS THE NEW YEAR

Say everything you’ve always wanted

Be not afraid of who you really are

’Cause in the end we have each other

And that’s at least one thing worth living for

And I will give the world to you.

I

Lucy tilted her phone to open the YouTube video in full screen and Harriet shifted closer to her on the hotel bed. They were in New York where they happened to cross paths for a couple of days on their respective trips after Christmas.

Lucy pressed the play button and the video started: James was sitting on a black sofa, his left ankle resting on his right knee, his hand casually on his thighs, he looked simply handsome in a pair of black trousers, a caramel jumper and white trainers.

A man in a checkers shirt sitting opposite him started to talk.

“Thank you, James, for agreeing to see us in between festivities, it was really nice of you.”

“No problem mate, my pleasure,” James said, passing his hand through his hair.

“So, this has been quite a year for you with the big success of The silent Klimt that has seen you both in front and behind the camera in your first role as a director, plus numerous appearances on a ridiculous number of tv shows.”

James laughed heartily.

“We all know you are a very talented and prolific individual but this sure has been a year like no others.”

“Yes, I must admit it has been a bit of a rollercoaster but I enjoyed every single moment of my professional journey and I am ever so grateful that I met the people who allowed me to express myself in that way.”

The journalist gave a cheeky look.

“Are you aware of the rumours of an Oscar nomination?”

James chuckled and licked his lower lip, distractedly removing lint from his trousers.

“I didn’t hear any of them, no but I guess we will find out soon. I would only be honoured if that happened.”

“Well, I’m rooting for you,” the man said.

James nodded and thanked him.

“So what does next year have in store for you?”

James swapped the position of his legs and knotted his hands together on his lap.

“I have a big project coming up, we will start shooting next month in Vancouver. I can’t say too much about it at the moment but it is a psychological thriller and I play the lead role as Ted Bundy so...pretty gnarly stuff.”

“That sounds absolutely terrific! Never catching a break eh?”

James shook his head.

“Until interesting projects will come my way I will take as many as I can!”

“I’m so happy to hear that! Did you manage to get a break over Christmas? Except for today of course!”

James laughed softly again.

“C’mon this is not really working, and I’ve interviewed with you before so it’s a bit like seeing an old friend! But yeah, I’ve spent Christmas with my family, had loads of food, put on some weight, usual stuff.”

“Oh that sounds lovely but let’s not talk about food and weight gain, please!” The man said, rubbing his stomach.

They both laughed.

“Let me ask you, do you Google yourself?”

James bit his lower lip and passed his fingers through his hair again.

“Believe it or not, I don’t.”

“Are you never curious?” asked the interviewer.

“No mate, that’s dangerous ground. I am one of those people who can read a thousand kind words and a nasty one and inevitably focus on the bad stuff.”

“Well, we’ve done some of the work for you today, if you don’t mind playing the Google search game with us? Don’t worry, no nasty words for you!”

James nodded and chuckled.

“I’ll hold it against you if that’s the case.”

The interviewer passed James a board with printed lines hidden by double tape.

“So we’ve googled the five W questions with your name and wrote down the first search bar suggestion, hoping you can answer that for us and your fans.”

James lifted his foot from his knee and placed it on the ground, leaving his legs parted, then looked down at the board in his hands.

“Ok, do I remove the tape one at a time? I feel like an eighties game show starlet.” And he gave a cheeky look straight into the camera.

The interviewer laughed.

“Usually yes, one at a time.”

James removed the first tape.

Where is James Kent now?

“He’s in a studio in London, convenient for commuting,” he said, throwing the tape on the side, then moved to the second one.

How tall is James Kent?

“Fun fact, I always thought I was 6′1 but I was measured recently for a photo shoot and turned out I’m only 6′. That’s depressing.”

Laughers out of camera could be heard, James revealed the next question.

What is James Kent net worth?

James giggled and nodded slightly.

“Are people trying to do my tax returns? Because be my guest! Erm, according to Forbes it was something like eighty-two point five million,” he shrugged. “That’s a very specific number, I don’t know how they got to that figure. But I can confidently say it’s at least fifty pounds”.

“Between fifty and a hundred, right?” asked the interviewer.

“Oh absolutely!” James replied then moved to the next question.

When did James Kent die?

“What?” he looked at the interviewer and producers off-camera, laughing. “Wow, I think I did just now a little inside.”

He threw the tape on the side and moved to the last question.

Who is James Kent’s girlfriend?

James chuckled, licking his lower lip and briefly looked away from the camera.

“I fell right into this one, didn’t I? My girlfriend is...a breath of fresh air,” he said eventually and, looking straight into the camera, he winked.

“Smooth, man,” said the interviewer and James laughed.

“Sorry to bring this up man, and you can tell me to piss off if I’m crossing the line but not long ago you mentioned your girlfriend in an interview after a couple pictures of you together went viral overnight, like out of the blue. After that, you haven’t been seen together for a long time until a couple of days before Christmas, when you were spotted at a charity event and the press went crazy! Was that like an official appearance together? I’m only asking because I’m fanboying quite badly, I mean you two look adorable together...”

James nodded and smiled.

“No that’s right, no soft limits passed. No, that wasn’t supposed to be an official appearance, I was her plus one at a dinner she was invited to and the press happened to recognize me. But thank you, I appreciate your support and Lucy will too for sure.”

“Well thank you, James, for being such a treat as usual and for playing with us. It was an absolute pleasure.”

The two men shook hands and the video ended.

“I think I’m in love with your boyfriend,” said Harriet. “Interested in a four-way?”

Lucy laughed and pushed her friend gently.

“I think he managed the situation quite well, and he said your name.” Harriet made a heart shape with her thumbs and indexes.

“Yes, he did very well, he’s just so natural at it. If I can share a guilty secret, I liked that...him saying my name”.

“Oh, someone’s got delusions of grandeur!”

Lucy laughed and blushed a little.

“It’s not that! What I meant is that I am proud that he is my boyfriend and I am proud of being his girlfriend. I think I’m finally realizing we’re a real couple, with real feelings and I want to shout it loudly not shy away from it. Fuck the haters, you know what I mean?”

“Alright, calm down. You’ve been listening to too much Cypress Hill,” said Harriet teasing her. Then with a softer look added. “But I know what you mean. It’s so cute and I’m so happy for you.”

Lucy smiled and got up from the bed starting to put on her boots then, noticing that her friend still hadn’t moved, she looked up at her. The blond was staring at her in silence with a sly look.

Lucy sighed.

“I don’t know his net worth, Harriet, stop looking at me like that,” she said, shoving her friend on the shoulder.

Harriet threw her arms up.

“Just enquiring, a little trivia.”

“Come on, get ready,” said Lucy. “I want to do some shopping and I haven’t bought him a present yet. I need to find something today in case plan A shouldn’t happen...”

“Any ideas?” asked Harriet, putting on her coat and hat.

Lucy shook her head and they walked out of the room into the carpeted corridor.

“Not a single one, Harry. I’m freaking out!” She said pressing the lift button.

“I mean, he’s so good at gifts! He has such good taste and gave me the most beautiful presents so far. What if he comes again with a vintage, never-seen-before, unique piece of something and all I can get him is a phone charger from the duty-free trolley?”

The doors opened and they walked into the big, shiny hotel lobby.

“Lucy relax. I’m sure he won’t expect anything you can’t afford.”

The two girls shielded their faces from the cold as they left the hotel and a gust of gelid wind blew against them.

“True, but that’s not the point. It doesn’t need to be expensive but at least decent.”

Harriet shrugged and stuffed her hands in the big coat pockets.

“Honey, they’re men, they don’t care. Worst comes to worst you show him your tits and call it a day.”

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