Mel had gone for an adventure around the studio. I didn't mind, she was some sort of a sensible girl. Mel wouldn't go far enough to get actually lost. I hoped she wouldn't, at least. But I wasn't thinking too much about Mel at that moment.
"Amanda, what happened to you?" Jon asked. We hadn't seen each other since the fateful day I left. No one I knew back then had spoken to me since I had gone into hiding. I hadn't wanted to keep in contact with anyone; I wanted to stay as far away from my old life as possible. It wasn't just Ryan; it was everyone and everything.
"I-I had some things to take care of." I replied. It wasn't a total lie, was it? I mean, Mel needed to be taken care of, didn't she? Of course, no one knew that she existed in my life until I had just told Jon. It felt almost like a relief to tell someone who only had my best interests at heart. “What happened after I left?”
"We had more tours, and a few new albums. Everyone was expecting you to come back sometime, but you never showed." I looked up, into Jon's kind eyes. "We all worried for you..." He really cared about me. I caved in. I had to tell Jon the truth.
"Jon," I started. "The reason I just left without a trace was because...Because I was pregnant. With Mel." I heard a faint gasp escape his lips, but I tried not to acknowledge it. I didn't have the guts to face him, to look him in the eyes.
"P-Pregnant?" He was also having a hard time coming to terms with it, just like me and everyone else who I had told. "B-But you and...And...You were pregnant!" I nodded, almost in tears. In my mind I was a slut. Everything I did, everything I had done, it was wrong, disgusting, dirty. A no good slut, that was me.
Jon must have seen how badly I was hurting. He pulled me into a hug, whispering into my ear. "It's okay." He soothed, "I'm just shocked, that's all." I wanted to stay there, wrapped in Jon's arms. Not because I felt for him in that way, but because it was nice to have someone care about me for once.
“So, what happened to our other friends after I left?” I asked, smiling. I had missed all our friends, honestly, and was curious to find out where they were now.
“Well, Brendon’s a wedding planner.” Jon began. The mental image I received from that statement made me burst out laughing. Only Brendon would do that. "Hazel works around here. She's my assistant director slash the surf instructor and swim coach. You'll probably see her around." I must have smiled even brighter than before, though my stomach was doing back-flips at the very thought of seeing her again. Hazel had been my best friend since freshman year in high school. I would definitely be shocking her with an appearance and an apology. "She's still with Spencer, he's an actor now too. Along with Elise, who appears in Romances, Heidi, who appears in Horrors, Megan, who makes a great villain and-" I cut across Jon, knowing exactly what was coming next.
"Ryan, who is so famous he's everywhere I look." I chuckled on the inside, but I couldn't bring myself to do it on the outside. Ryan was still hurting me, even if we hadn't seen each other in ten years.
"Does he know about...Mel?" Jon asked, which took him all his courage and I knew why. Ryan was a touchy subject for me. It must have been for Jon, too. The two were close friends; Jon probably knew a lot more about him than I did. He probably knew that Ryan was hurt after I left. No. No, Ryan wasn't hurt after I left. Ryan moved on because that is just the sort of person he is.
"No..." I whispered, but soon cleared my throat. Ryan was not going to be a painful memory. "And I don't want him finding out." I wiped a stray tear from my eye. It was a painful memory, who was I kidding?
"I'm sorry, Mandy, I didn't mean to-"
"It's okay." I interrupted, "You didn't know." I put a brave face on, but I was still hurting on the inside. The same way I have been hurting since I left.
I left mom and Jon to talk. I wasn't really interested in what hey were going to talk about anyway, something about 'their past'. He's probably one of her ex-boyfriends or something. I shuddered at the thought of those two dating. Eww. But maybe if they did date before, then I could score sweetly with the best director in Hollywood.
I managed to find my way back to the dressing rooms. I wasn't planning on going there, but there was no way I was walking away from it. The right thing to do was barge in on one of my co-hosts and annoy the hell out of them. It was simply preparing them a bit for was going to be coming for the next few weeks. The first door I came to was bright yellow with a purple star on top. It probably said their name, but I decided to ignore it. I barged right into the dressing room, not knocking or anything like that. But it was empty.
It was a really big room and it made me pray that my dressing room was that big. It was painted red with a wooden floor, looking quite ordinary in that respect. Against one wall was a dressing table and a closet, both abnormally sized. Against the opposite wall was what looked to be a changing room with a single navy curtain on a rail. I stared in amazement at the view straight ahead of me, though. A window covered the entire wall, with a white sofa and a glass coffee table in front of it. The view looked straight out over the rest of Hollywood. In conclusion to the room tour, it was a room built for the famous.
I wanted to jump around with glee as instantly discovering the best dressing room, but the navy curtain was swept back and God stepped out from the changing room.
I stared in shock at the short person standing in my dressing room. My dressing room was strictly off limits to everyone but me and Jon. But I recognized her to be Melissa Ross; one of the world’s most famous child actresses. Rumor had it that Jon had cast her in the film, but none of us had been told the news officially. Though, it looked like that rumor was true. She was just standing there, staring at me with these eyes which sort of creeped me out. There were a lot of rumors going around and me and Melissa. Things such as we were related because we had the same surname. It was stupid, really. The only kids I was related to were my nieces and nephews and she didn't look half as cold blooded as they were.
"Can I help you, kid?" I asked, trying not to acknowledge her too much. I sat down at the vanity table, searching for hair gel, but I soon found Melissa standing at my side, grinning like a meerkat.
"OH. MY. GOD!" The little girl squealed in a way not unlike an ex of mine; annoying, if you ask me. "YOU'RE RYAN ROSS!" She was practically jumping up and down on the spot. All I wanted to do was give her sedatives, but that would have been inappropriate.
"What do you want, kid? An autograph?" I searched the desk for some paper, but couldn't find any, either way.
"No. It's cool." She replied, trying to be cool herself. It wasn't working, I could still see the way she wanted to start jumping around again. "I don't need an autograph. I have one already, actually." She seemed to go off into her own little world when she mentioned the one she already had. I rolled my eyes and headed for the door.
"Where are you going?" I heard Melissa call after me. Tiny footsteps were approaching behind me, so I bolted it out of the room. Somehow, she managed to catch up, though. Melissa was now clinging onto my arm. I looked down at her, not impressed. But the way she smiled at me made we wonder...
"Hi." She said, letting go of me and extending her hand for me. "I'm Mel Ross." She wanted me to shake her hand, finally turning on the mature button deep inside her.
"Ryan Ross." I replied, going to shake her hand. When I was about to grasp it, she moved it away, throwing all maturity out the window with it.
"Too slow." The girl laughed. I rolled my eyes again.
When I refocused back on Mel something struck me. She looked familiar. Not familiar as in I'd seen her on TV, but familiar as in I'd actually seen her before. I studied her face, her body, her clothes, her hair. It was an odd feeling that I got in the pit of my stomach, as if the two of us had actually met before. We hadn't. I honestly would have remembered meeting a brat like her.
"What?" She asked, putting her hand on her hip and raising an eyebrow at me. Amanda. The way her face looked so unimpressed with everything I said, the way her hand-on-hip action looked so familiar to me. Mel was almost an Amanda McKenna replica with her attitude. Amanda was an ex-girlfriend of mine. Well, technically, we never broke up, so she was sort of my girlfriend still.
Stop kidding yourself, Ryan. Amanda's gone!
I was right. Amanda had left ten years ago. I had to stop noticing the little things in other people. I always did it before. Eye color, hair color, odd habits that In picked out amongst everyone else. It all reminded me of Amanda, all reminded me of the heartache somehow. But there was something different about the little girl in front of me. She really did remind me of Amanda. Not the way everyone else did, genuinely reminded me of her...
"HELLO!" Mel yelled, standing on her tip-toes and waving her hands in my face. I blinked a few times, stumbling back a bit.
"You zoned out, dude." She smirked, almost mockingly. There was definitely something very odd about her. She certainly wasn't anything like other young girls I knew.
"Where are your parents?" I asked, wondering why a young girl was allowed to walk around on her own. Sure, she was on the movie, but the studio lot was massive. Someone like her could have easily gotten lost, someone should have been watching her at all times.
"My mom's talking to the director." She replied, still smirking at me. I didn't like it. The smirk was very irritation. As was everything about her, actually.
"What about your dad?" Both parents usually showed up for the first day of rehearsals, it was something I had picked up whilst hanging around sets I should have been around.
"I don't have a dad." She replied as cool as night, as if the question was something she was often asked. Which I suppose it would have been if there was no dad in the picture. "Well, I guess I do have a dad. But, I've never met him. And mom doesn't talk about him. I don't mind, though. Me and mom-" I zoned out again. This girl could definitely ramble on about anything and everything.
I somehow managed to convince Ryan to let me stay and hang out with him for a while. He said I could stay until mom and Jon finished their talk. Given the choice, I'd stay with Ryan my whole life...
The two of us were talking about anything that came to mind. It started about the movie we were in, then moved onto our addictions to Taco Bell and soon enough moved onto the deeper part of our personal lives.
"How come you never got married?" I asked. I was a big Ryan Ross fan. I knew everything about him. Or at least I knew the basics. He hardly ever did have girlfriends and most of the girls he was with were for show. He never got married, never proposed and got left at the altar, never had any children. It was quite a weird way to live for someone so old.
"I'm waiting for the right person." He answered, not looking me in the eyes anymore. He looked like he was deep in thought, but I had no idea what he was thinking about. He never had dated a girl who even came close to being the 'right person'. Well, that was my opinion, anyway.
"That's cool. I mean, you're only twenty-six. You have plenty of time to get married and start a family and stuff." I told him, trying to make him feel better about himself. He laughed. Why do people always laugh at me when I try to be serious? "What?"
"You are how old? And you're giving relationship advice." He managed to say through the chuckles. I didn't find it very funny. I was being deadly serious about it all.
"I'm ten." I told him, making sure he understood I wasn't some little kid. "And I know a lot for a ten-year-old." I crossed my arms and settled back down on the sofa.
"Didn't you just say you hated school?"
"You don't learn everything in school."
"Trust me, kid. Listen in school, now, otherwise you'll pay later." Ryan went on to explain to me about how he never listened in school and found it more difficult as he got older. He felt 'dumb' amongst his friends who had listened in school and now had decent jobs (Though, I do believe acting is a pretty decent job). Bored to tears, I fell asleep...
Mel looked so innocent as she slept on my sofa. We'd been talking for about two hours before she got knocked out from exhaustion. Her mother must have been wondering where she was by then, so I scooped the little girl up into my arms. I think if she'd woken up then she would have had a heart attack from me being so close to her, which made me chuckle at the very though. I've never been one for kids. They weren't my thing and never were going to be. But, there was something different about Mel. She was so bouncy and energetic; she wasn't like any of my cold hearted nieces or nephews. Mel was wise beyond her years and wasn't afraid to speak out for what she wanted. I always had a soft spot for people like that. I guess I don't mind her as much as I thought I would have, she wasn't what I had been expecting her to be.
I carried Mel out to the corridor and along to the nearest set. I saw Jon sitting in his director chair. He seemed far too deep in thought for me talk to him, so I walked up to him instead. He looked up to me and saw Mel in my arms. For a second his eye grew wider and he didn't smile like I had thought he would have. I wasn't one for co-star bonding, either.
"I'll take her." He said, getting to his feet. But, Jon looked worn out; I was worried he'd drop her or something. The last thing I needed was guilty conscious from letting Jon harm an innocent girl.
"No, it's okay. Just tell me where I'm putting her and I'll go." I told him, smiling down at Mel in my arms. Then it caught my eye. Over the bridge of her nose were a few little freckles, just like Amanda had. It was weird how this little girl reminded me so much of the girl I loved. But I knew I had to shake all the thoughts from my mind before I got too drawn in.