"Caroline I fucking counted on you to get me a good act for this show! You know that I gave you this chance although Matt didn't agree. If you screw this you'll never get to be taken serious here... I told you if you organise that fine, you'll get the MJ tribute show. But til now every band you showed me just sucked." Mary slams the demo-tape from the latest band I played to her on her desk.
"I know. I'm.. I'm sorry." I don't know what else to say. She's totally right. All the bands I found are good but doesn't fit in the concept. And I was tired and depressed these days. I couldn't help myself. I look at the floor and press my lips fighting back the tears.
"Oh girl I know you're going through a rough time right now first your fiance dumped you because of this 19-year-old bitch and then your father passed away... and that's why I really was patient with you and defended you towards Matt... that's why I gave you this job so that you can distract yourself with something productive, something you can fully identify with and I know you can do it. You can make this show great! All you did til now is great! The only thing missing is a good music act that fits with the theme... without that the customer won't be satisfied, we won't get money and we loose our good reputation! That can't happen, Caroline! .... .... .... That's why I told Beverly to help you out. Ok?"
I look up when I hear her name. "Beverly? No! Please anybody but not her! Mary please! I can do that. Just give me a little bit more time. Please!"
"Caroline, I can't! It's only a month left! You know that Matt wants to fire you?"
I look at her worried. "What?"
"Don't worry. That won't happen! You know I love you girl. You're like my daughter. I could never fire you! But..." She stands up and goes around her desk towards me, lays her hands on my shoulder slightly massaging it. "But girl it's time! It's time to move on, get a life again, have fun! You grieved about all the shit going on the last half year enough! You're young, beautiful, talented and you deserve to be happy again! And you're my damn employee, I need you to be professional here! Alright?" She looks at me with her heart-warming smile and I smile back.
"You're so right Maryann. What should I ever do if I ain't got you?" I stand up and hug her tightly. She really became a second mother for me. Especially because my real mother lives so far away and I see her so rarely. "I'll do that. If you think with Beverly's help, then okay. I will take this professional and give my best! I don't wanna disappoint you!" I smile at her confidently.
She rubs my shoulders still smiling with a proud look. "Yeah girl. That's how I like you. That's how I KNOW you. Don't let you get down from some jerk who didn't deserve you. Anyways you know I never understood what you saw in him. I knew from the beginning he's some mother fucking idiot who only plays you and breaks your heart! Next time you better listen to me. I may be old but I still know the games going on out there. Aha!" She snaps her finger in front of her face and does this weird duck-face. I start laughing.
"You're the best Mary."
"Oh hell yeah!" She laughs too and hugs me again before she gets back to her desk and sits down. "And now get out of here and don't come back without a band that blowes me away!"
"Yes ma'am." I say and leave her bureau.
I go to the bathroom, quickly fix myself and then to Beverly's desk. She's talking with someone at the phone when I arrive. She smiles at me with her fake-smile pointing at the chair next to her desk. I sit down looking at her. I hate to say but she looks stunning. Her long blonde hair with little curls in it falls down perfectly. Her skin is flawless, she doesn't even need make-up I guess she only puts on some mascara to look fabolous. She wears a tight dark-grey female suit and a cream-colored blouse which would look professional if she didn't open it so much that you see her white bra and perfectly-formed boobs. Yeah I'm jealous of her looks but that's not why I don't like her. Since she started working here 6 months ago to assist me she only tries to take my job. She takes advantage of my bad situation whenever she can and try to harm me 24/7. I know it's a rough business here in LA and if you don't fight you won't make it. But she doesn't have a heart and that's why I hate to work with her... Whatever I need to get my emotions out of this and just focus on finding this show act. She finishes her call and writes something down, then she turns to me.
"Hey Carolinaaa how are you? Looks like I have to bail you out once again hm?!"
Urghh I hate her she only calls me Carolina with this emphasize on the A cause she knows exactly my name is written with an E. God she's so pathetic. And then her comment 'bail you out'... 'once again'... who does she think she is? I feel I tense up a little bit but try to stay calm knowing she only wanna provoke me. But this time she won't make me upset. I shake my head and smirk.
"Yeah... Beeevvv... I guess Mary already told you about the show... well like she just said when I was talking to her a couple of minutes ago... everything I organised til now is just GREAT..." I emphasize it to let her know that Mary is and always will be on my side no matter how much she harasses me "...the only thing missing is a good act that fits in the show theme... and that's where I'm lost... and yeah... need your help... You know any?"
"Oh girl Mary told me yesterday that she needs me on this job too 'cause like you know there's only a month left and you struggled a lot with finding a band. She told me you showed her about 10 shitty bands? haha haha haha" She laughs her annoying laugh and throws her head back. "But luckily I got some good connections and tonight we'll go to this open mic evening at a new bar in Santa Monica... I've got a good feeling there will be THE act I... I mean WE search for! So I suggest you get your cute little ass back home, dress up a little bit and we meet at 8 at the bar... alright?"
I nod and stand up. I just wanna get away from this cow as fast as I can, especially now that I have to spend my evening with her instead of watching Grey's Anatomy... "Alright! See you there!"
"Goooodd, here's the address. See you laaater." Why she always has to talk in this high voice and these long vocals? She hands me a paper with the address and I head out after saying my goodbye's to Mary and the rest.
When I arrive at home I immediately go take a bath. I have to have some relaxing, quiet time before this evening that seems to become very exhausting...
After getting ready I drive to the bar and walk inside. It's small but has an amazing atmosphere. The walls are full of signed guitars, pictures, buttons, metal signs that are related with music. I love it. Beverly isn't here yet, not that I expected her to be on time. Women like her always come too late, even they could make it in time just to have this special appearance, just to make sure everyone notices them... whatever I really have to stop thinking about her! I'm here to find a good act, just make your job, Caroline I tell myself. I buy a glass of white wine and walk around the bar looking at and reading all the stuff hanging on the wall. They even got a hand-signed guitar from Elvis. Wow where the hell did they get that from? I decide to ask the bar-keeper, anyways he's a cutie, he looks hawaiish, didn't Mary tell me to have some fun? Well if my boss tells me... I smirk at myself... oh god I'm so out of this whole flirting stuff... time to get back to it... I go to the counter and ask him about the guitar. He's a nice guy and takes his time talking to me. Or maybe he's just bored because he doesn't have to work much due to the almost empty bar... whatever... He tells me his name is Ryan and like I assumed he really comes from Hawaii 2 years ago to support his best friend Bruno to become a superstar... I smirk at this, I heard that too often here in LA, young men or women having a dream ending up playing on the street... some of them are good, but they lack on personality or entertainment or looks...
"This Elvis guitar you asked about it's actually Bruno's. He got that from his father for his 18th birthday just when he came to LA. He got signed by Motown you know!" He says proud.
"Motown? Really? Then why haven't I heard about him yet?" I ask surprised. I have a friend at Motown and know every current signed artist, but never heard of a Bruno...
"Yeah that was 5 years ago..." He becomes more serious. "...they dropped him after a couple of months...shame on them that they stopped believing in him! Since then he struggles a lot that's why he even decided to sell his Elvis guitar. I persuaded my boss to buy it so Bruno knows where it goes to and still can see it... and maybe some day buy it back when everything pays off... soon!" He smiles once again. I like his confidence and trust he has in his friend. It's always good to have friends they stuck with you in bad times.
I smile back at him. "You know if Motown signed him once, there should be something about him. They don't sign everybody! Maybe he was just too young?"
He nods affirmative. "Yeah that's exactly what I tell him every time he's down because of that... but anyways stop talking about him, let's talk about you. I don't even know your name, beautiful."
I shrug a bit. "Oh I'm so sorry. I'm Caroline." I say and put out my hand.
He takes it and gives me a hand kiss. I giggle but immediately stop realising I act like a little girl. Where's my confidence? My flirt skills? My sex appeal? I really have to learn these things again as soon as possible! I tell myself... and I start with this Ryan. He's such a cutie, tall, dark hair, brown eyes, muscles everywhere and a gentleman... I didn't know that gentlemen still exists... so time to enjoy this.
"And why you're here all alone, Caroline?" He asks me.
"Well actually I'm waiting for someone..."
"Your boyfriend I guess? I knew such a beautiful woman can't be single!"
"No, no not my boyfriend! I don't have a boyfriend. I'm waiting for my colleague, my annoying, fancy colleague Beverly. We're here to find a good music act for a show. We work for 'Perfect Success Event Management and Production Company'." I answer with a commercial-like voice. "Life is a series of events and together we'll make them a... perfect success." I smirk at my bluntless.
He laughs too. "You're funny I like that! Maybe you can hire Bruno? He's really really really good! Plus he performs tonight, so you can convince yourself about his talent..."
"Oh really? We'll see..." We smile at each other and I order another glass of wine. I hope a little bit wine ease me more. I think I want this Ryan and the way he looks at me just screams that he wants me too...
He gives me my glass and says. "By the way I know your annoying fancy colleague Beverly, we're friends."
I freeze. "What?"
He laughs, then bends towards me til he's very near to my face and whispers. "Don't worry. I won't tell her... maybe I think about her the same..." He winks at me and I shake my head laughing.
"RRRRyyyyyyaaaannnn..." I flinch from this shrill voice not doubting a second that it's Beverly's. She bends across the counter and flungs her arms around Ryan's neck. Then kisses him right and left, saying how good he looks and asking how he is. Does she have to touch him so much? I know she only does that to show me it's HER friend...whatever...
"Hi Beverly." I say bluntly hoping she doesn't hug me too.
She turns to me acting like she didn't recognize me from behind yet and greets me aswell and yeah like I assumed she hugs me too tightly with her whole kiss right and left shit.
"You look gooooooodd girl. Can't believe it's actually you, Carolinaaa!" There it is again, she's so uurrrggghhhh but I just smile and shrug my shoulder.
"Wasn't your name Caroline? With an E?" Ryan asks. Oh god I love this guy. I giggle inside but smile without an emotion outside waiting for Beverly's response.
She turns to Ryan again but instead of answering his question she just says. "You know this woman sometimes comes to the office with her sweatshirt on and a pair of old jeans, that I ask myself does she work for an event company or for Burger King haha haha... but now LUCKILY she found a good way to cover those curves haha haha haha" oh god this laugh!!! It's even worse than her voice... she's just here for three minutes but I already have enough of her and need a break... I don't even care she tries to malign me... In fact she's right the last months I really didn't care much about how I look... I stopped working out, try to eat away my frustration and due to that gained about 20 pounds... I'm not happy with my figure anymore... and I will change that soon, but I just had no power no reason to stay in shape... really that's why I don't like her, she can make me feel ugly immediately... I ask Ryan where the restrooms are and go there. I prolong to stay inside as long as it won't look too awkward.
I just finish washing my hands when I hear more voices talking and laughing through the door. Hm definitely mostly men voices and of course Beverly's. I take a last look into the mirror, say a little prayer to let this night end up with me finding an amazing band and survive Beverly's presence. I fix my hair and walk outside.
"Hey there you are finally back." Ryan says coming towards me whispering to me. "You look great. Everything's fine, ok?!" I smile at him, he's really cute comforting and reassuring me after Beverly's comments... or does he just keep in with me so that his friend gets the job?... He turns around and drags me to the counter. "Com'on I have to introduce you to someone..."
I follow him and when he steps aside I see this small cute guy who wears some black skinny jeans, black and white converses, a red and black plaid shirt and a dark-grey fedora. He has a big grin on his face and reaches out his hand.
"Hey, I'm Bruno... how are you?"