"Morning, sleepyhead." I smiled smugly at Amanda. She had spent all night at my bedside, sleeping in the uncomfortable infirmary chair. I spent most of the night watching her, not being able to sleep in case I actually woke up. I was still having a hard time believing that she was finally back in my life. Hopefully she would stay there this time. I had spent ten years waiting for her; it was worth it.
"Huh?" She rubbed her powder blue eyes and stretched out in the chair before finally realizing that I was the one beside her. Obviously she wasn’t used to waking up to me. "Ryan, are you okay?" She immediately asked, moving from the chair to the bed. She moved a hand to my head where I'd fallen. It hurt, but in a good way.
"I'm fine." I laughed at her caring actions, taking her hand in mine and moving it away from my head. When silence overtook us, she blushed. I only smiled at her more. She was still Amanda McKenna. The girl I remembered from my teen years. She hadn't changed an awful lot, I still recognized her and she clearly had no problem recognizing me.
"We should talk." I said, swinging myself out of bed and pulling on a shirt. But, before I did, I saw her eyeing me up. "Like what you see?" I teased. It was like when we were younger all over again. I had loved those days of waking up beside Amanda in her hotel bed and, call it an inkling, I knew she missed them too.
"...Whatever!" Amanda stumbled out. I chuckled to myself. She was still the same girl I had met ten years ago. "We do need to talk, though."
Mom had spent the night out. I had no idea where she was, but I wasn't too concerned for her. Okay, she refused to tell me where, but not concerned, all the same. I had to stay with Hazel at her house. I'd only just met the girl, but mom had known her for years. I liked her. She was really friendly and caring and loving. And her boyfriend, who she lived with, was really funny. He's an actor, too. Spencer Smith. I naturally knew him from some big time movies, but I had never met him before. All in all, I had a good night.
Hazel took me back to the studio in the morning, only to find out that I still had no costumes for the show. It was annoying having to watch everybody else acting and not being able to myself. It was like being taken to McDonalds and not able to tip coke over the brat behind you! Most of the time, I sat in Jon's chair reading my script while everyone was setting up the backdrops and props and everything that goes with that. For the main character who the movie was named after, I had hardly any lines. It was mostly 'my parents' getting it on. Eww. Seriously, eww!
"Yo, lil' girl?" I looked up from my script to see some old man standing in front of me. He was wearing an open blue shirt with a white vest underneath and tanned kaki's. His black hair was greying, so you could tell he was getting on in is age. But he was fighting it like there was no tomorrow. Which there may not have been for him...No, seriously. He was THAT old!
"What?" I replied harshly. I hated being interrupted by people who think they know best. Also known as adults and other grown up type people.
"You need to get out of here!" He yelled, obviously not someone who should work with kids.
"Make me!" I screamed back. When the old man didn't reply, I decided to see how far I could test his patience. "Who are you anyway?" To be honest, I didn't know exactly who he was, anyway.
"W-WHO AM I?" He shouted, face starting to go red. I wanted to start laughing, but that would have broken the purpose of it. So I kept my face deadly straight. "I THINK THE QUESTION IS, WHO ARE YOU?"
"I'm Melissa Ross, the best child actress on the planet." I smiled smugly at him, hoping to knock some sort of sense through to his very little brain.
"I'm Daniel McLean! A better actor than you will ever be." He shot me a similar look back, but I knew how to handle people like him. I had been in the business long enough to know how to cope in that situation.
"Well, DUH! Girls are actresses, not actors." I replied sarcastically. "Plus, you may have Botox every other day, but you could NEVER pass as a child actor, which was what I said I am!" I think that did it. The cup of coffee he had been holding in his hand had burst. His fingers had dug right through the foam cup thing it had been in. I didn't hesitate to do a runner on that part. I could see he wasn't against hurting innocent children.
I had no idea where I was going, but I just kept running. When I finally stopped, I found myself in a new part of the massive studio. I was slumped on the floor and when I looked up I saw a sign that read 'infirmary' in bright red letters. At least I didn't have to go far if I had an asthma attack from all the exercise I had just done. I wasn't one for things like that. Give me a TV and a video game any day.
I was about to continue moving down the corridor, crawling because my knee caps had caved in, when I heard a voice come from inside the nurses station. It wasn't just any voice, either. It was Ryan.
"Why would you think I wouldn't want her?" He asked. I shuffled across the passage way and pressed my ear against the open door.
"You were a player, a rockstar. I didn't want to ruin your reputation with a kid." It was mom. And, by the sound of her voice, she was crying. I hated it when mom cried. She usually did it in secret, but I always comforted her. I wanted to comfort her then, but I didn't want to give away my position. And I wanted to see where the conversation was going.
"Mandy, that is ridiculous. I loved you. I still do! I would do anything for you, including help raise our daughter." Ryan paused and sighed before continuing with his mini-speech. "Ever since Mel told me she didn't have a father, I kept thinking about what a scum bag, jack-assed, bastard that guy was. Mel is the most adventurous, outgoing, funny, charismatic girl I have ever met. And now, I find out that guy is me."
"If I could turn back the clock, Ryan, I would." Mom swallowed hard and I didn't have to look to know she was scared, worried. Her voice was clear enough to me.
"And do what? Stop us from doing what we did that night? Why would you want to do that, Mandy?" Was Ryan actually concerned or was I still delirious from all the exercise I had endured? "Mel is the best thing that ever happened to you. I can see it in your eyes, Mandy. You love Mel with all your heart, you wouldn't want to change that."
Silence. I didn't like the silence. It gave me time to think and I didn't want time to think. So when mom and Ryan started talking again, I pushed all thoughts that buried my mind away.
"So, now what?" Mom asked, obviously as stumped about the situation as the rest of us. Which was strange. Mom always knew what to do. And when she didn't know what to do, the whole world stopped and went into an eternal panic.
"I don't know. I really don't know." Ryan answered. "We have to tell Mel the truth."
"No!" Mom quickly replied, "It would crush her!" I took that as my opportunity to get noticed.
"Too late!" I shouted, running into the darkness of the corridor.
"MEL!" I heard my mother calling me, but I kept running. I didn't want to face her, I didn't want to face Ryan. I wanted to be as far away from the two of them as possible.
When I stopped running this time, I was in an abandoned part of the studio. I wasn't quite sure how I had got there, but everything was dust covered. That way I knew no one would find me ever again. I took a seat on the floor in the corner and started crying. I never cry. But, at that moment, my whole world had seemed to have changed in one conversation. THAT I WASN'T EVEN A PART OF! I found out my idol was really my dad, my mom had lied to me my whole life and that neither of them were gonna tell me the truth.
I sat on the floor by the side of the sofa that Mel was lying on. After she heard everything that went down between Ryan and I, she had run off crying. Luckily, Ryan went after her. He found her asleep, soaked by her own tears, in one of the old film lots. I was grateful to him for that. However, that didn't change the fact I didn't want him in Mel's life. I know I sound like I'm being a horrible, uptight, selfish mother, but I'm not. I only want what's best for my daughter and I knew that Ryan wasn't it. If anyone knew Ryan the way I did, they'd understand why I was doing it.
Mel stretched out in her place, yawning herself awake. It took her a few moments to realize where she was, "Mom?" She sat up and looked around, before throwing herself back down. "Why am I here?" Arms folded across her chest, no eye contact with me; I could tell she was mad that she'd been brought back to her dressing room.
"Ry-We found you in an old film lot and brought you back here." I corrected myself from saying his name. "Mel, you weren't meant to hear what was said last night."
"I know I wasn't, but I'm glad I did." She got up from the sofa and made her way to the door. But when she saw the suitcases she froze. "Mom, why are our suitcases packed?"
"I'm pulling you out of the movie. There's been too much drama here already." I explained, knowing she was only going to hate me even more. But this had to be done. I was only thinking about Mel. "We're going to go home and see if there are any other movie offers for you."
"NO!" Mel yelled at me. "I want to stay on this movie!" She ran out the door, pushing the suitcases out the way.
"MEL!" I called after her, but she had gone. And chances were she wasn't coming back anytime soon.
It was time to put on my best acting skills. There was no way I was letting mom take me out of this movie. I loved this movie. Even if I hadn't filmed any of it yet...I'd already learnt all my lines and made so many new friends. I didn't want her take it all away from me before I'd even got any of it. So Ryan was here. I didn't see what the big deal was and I was determined to make sure he didn't ruin it for me.
I saw Jon sitting in her director chair, going over some paperwork. I knew exactly what to do. I started thinking about when my mom's Aunt Sophie died two years previous. It was the saddest memory I had as I had a pretty decent childhood. Soon I found tears were rolling off my cheeks and I made a dash for Jon.
"Jon!" I cried, jumping into his arms. "Mommy wants to take me off the move. Don't let her do it! Please, please, don't let her take me away!" Jon cradled me in his arms. I loved Jon like he was my grandfather or something. He was always in a good mood. Friendly, funny. And he knew exactly how to make me feel better. Grandfather material.
"It's okay, Mel." He cooed. "There'll be other movies." Not helping.
"Other movies!" I shouted, pulling away from the embrace. "But, I want to be in this movie!" I started crying even harder. This time it was real tears, though. I really didn't want to be taken away from this movie.
"Jon, please go talk to her. Please!" I begged. Jon took one look at my pleading eyes and sighed. He was like putty in my hands.
"Alright." He sighed, "I'll see if I can talk some sense into her." I hugged him tightly.
"Thank you." I whispered in Jon's ear, jumping down from his lap for him to go talk to mom. I knew going to Jon had been the best idea I had ever had. There was no way I was going to be taken off the movie. I just knew it!
"Come in!" I called. Jon walked into Mel's dressing room. Mel must have gone to Jon for help. I was still sitting on the floor by the sofa. I didn't have the strength to move, after everything that happened, I wasn't able to. I wanted to pretend that none of it was real. That all of it was just a nightmare and I'd wake up my old sixteen-year-old self again. But I knew that wasn't going to happen. My life was real. The nightmare was real.
"Mandy, you can't pull Mel out of the movie." Jon sat beside me on the floor and pulled me into a hug. Tears started to fall from my eye's and stain his shirt, but let me stay there, holding onto me tightly. "Mel really wants to stay in this. Don't let Ryan ruin it all for you." He was right. Ryan was already messing with me and Mel. He always got what he wanted, always won the wars. There was no way I'd let him win this one.
"And..." He whispered gently, "I still have an open part for you." Jon tempted me. I smiled deviously into his shirt. Now, I couldn't refuse that offer. It was an offer to annoy the hell out of Ryan. And what was more fun than that?