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A Writer's Tale Part 3

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I sighed and said, “No. I’m kinda free at the moment.”

More gasps.

“oh okay then, well, any men on your mind?”

Lisa raised her eyebrows and I couldn’t help giggling. Men. Ha! The guys I knew should be called toddlers.

“Not really. I’m just a lone bird right now. But that’s never been a major problem for me. I can survive without a boyfriend. I’ve done it before.”

“Okay, any star crushes? The Jonas Brothers? Zac Effron? Jessie Diego?”

The last one was the most popular right now. Jessie Diego was tall, dark, and oh so handsome wrapped in one package. He had played the underdog in one of the recent movies that I hadn’t seen, which meant that the girls were going crazy for him. Most girls at my school had posters of him slathered on their lockers where they could drool all over him between classes. I thought he was cute, but I had to meet a guy first to consider him drool-worthy.

“I think they’re all cute but I have to meet a guy before I like him. Looks matter but I think a personality should count for something.”

Lisa Minor was bored out of her mind. And she was out of questions. I knew that with other teen prodigies those questions could fill up the hour alone. I really didn’t care though; I was happy I was the way I was. Smart. Friendly. Confident. And maybe a little stubborn and/or headstrong.

I saw Lisa Minor nod once to the camera and then said, “We’re going to have to take a short break but we’ll return to you after these messages.”

Then I heard the sound of the familiar “Froot Loop” commercial and saw Lisa Minor walk off. I followed suit and the moment I was off camera my mom and Jillian rushed up to me. My mom hugged me.

“oh Noelle, I’m so proud of you. You stood up for what you believed in even if it wasn’t normal.”

My mom had been my rock through this. We looked alike; we had the same hair; a coppery red color that wasn’t straight or curly but, too put it simply, frizzy, the same pale skin, the same nose and manner. I loved her with all my heart and soul; she was my mother and my friend.

Next was Jillian. I could tell she was completely cooled off by then. She patted my back and agreed with my mom.

“You did wonderful, Noelle. There are not many people like you: stubborn, headstrong, and true to your convictions. You don’t need a man just like your mother doesn’t.”

Jillian smiled at me; I was so happy I had her approval. I was relieved that I hadn’t screwed anything up; like saying too much about the movie. I was feeling proud of myself until Lisa Minor showed up.

“Noelle, dear, could you possibly make up a story or something dealing with guys. that’s what every person watching this show is looking for.”

I was about to respond when my mother stepped in.

“Absolutely not! Noelle will not tell lies just to please your viewers. And if that’s what you want her to do, we’ll walk out that door right now.”

Wow. Way to go, Mom.

Lisa Minor looked like she’d been slapped; I don’t think people said no to her very often. Her brown eyes were welling with tears and she began to remind me of a sullen toddler. Then, slowly, the tears disappeared and a look of annoyance and even anger formed on her face. I looked at Mom; she was calm, cool, and collected except or the angry fire that was burning in her eyes. Lisa Minor said, “Well, if you can’t make your daughter more interesting, I guess we could just switch to the new line of baggage products that were freshly ordered with my face on them. I’m sure they would be more interesting!”

She had started out softly, like a whisper, but then she increased the volume so that she was screaming. On the other hand Mom was still calm.

“Interesting? You haven’t asked my daughter about her future plans like what college she’s going to, when her next book is going to come out, and those kind of things, for instance. But no, you had ask about boys and just because my daughter isn’t boy-crazy, you have to ask her to lie? Your viewers pay your bills and you feed them lies.”

I was standing between them and even though they towered over me I could almost see what they were thinking in their eyes. They stared each other down until Lisa Minor couldn’t take it any more.

“Get out!,” she screeched, “and don’t think you’re coming back!”

Mom turned away from Lisa Minor, who was having a fit, and led us back to my dressing room. As Chloe packed up the make-up Jillian explained to her in Korean what had happened. Meanwhile my mother was surveying the hall, making sure Lisa Minor didn’t come back. I sat on my chair, watching everybody. Things were tense by the door but Jillian and Chloe were giggling about the whole thing. Finally we left.

In the black rental car with the tinted windows, I sat in the back. My mom was taking me back to the hotel to get packed and rest. We were leaving tomorrow. I couldn’t wait to tell Eva and Josie what had happened today.

They had been my best friends since first grade when I had first transferred from Massachusetts to L.A. We had lived there with my grandma for the first six years of my life. Then Mom decided to move us to L.A. Emilie started high school and I started first grade.

I powered up my phone and called my two best friends to let them know I was finally coming home.




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