Life As I Know It: Chapter Two
I had assumed that there would be tons of girls waiting to audition, but this was just ridiculous. The enormous waiting hall was filled with girls my age, most of them very pretty and very thin, and I could tell by most of their conversations that they were ten times more excited to be here than I was. Apparently, the show, which I found out was titled A World of Secrets, was more popular than I had anticipated.
"This is ridiculous," I hissed, shooting a dirty look at my best friend, "I didn't think there would be this many girls!"
Looking quite guilty, Jacob shrugged, "Neither did I, but we're already here, right? And don't worry; these girls have nothing on you."
"You said only an hour of my time!" I shouted, gaining a large number of strange looks from the surrounding girls.
"It will be! John said we could surpass the line, since he's expecting you. Just come on," he insisted, grabbing my hand and dragging me along.
"Jacob!" I whined, glancing at what the other girls were wearing, "I think I'm under dressed! Look at them! They're all made up."
My best friend paused and glanced down at my favorite pair of jeans with the hole in the knee and my plain black tee. He cocked his head before reaching behind me and pulling my hair out of its ponytail, allowing my hair to fall down my back. "You look great, Sal," he said, ruffling my hair a bit as an afterthought, "Now come on!"
I didn't miss the lustful looks that Jacob was getting from most of the girls we passed. It was obvious that they wouldn't have minded if he dragged them around a little bit and maybe did a few other things. Then their gaze fell on our joined hands and then on me, and the looks transformed into one of immediate dislike and slight jealousy. 'Stupid girls,' I couldn't help but think.
"Hi, I'm Jacob Pearson," I heard Jacob say to the middle-aged lady sitting behind a large desk that halfway blocked a set of double doors.
"That's nice," she replied sarcastically, "Can I help you?"
Jacob looked a bit surprised by her rude sarcasm, especially since he hadn't done anything to offend her, "Yes, I believe John Rochester is expecting me and Sophia Laurent."
The lady looked at Jacob and then at me with suspicious eyes, "You're friends of Mr. Rochester's?" Her tone was rude and full of condescension. It was easy to see that she would've preferred to be anywhere other than here. If she could, she probably would have chased us away with her clipboard in hand.
I noticed the way Jacob's jaw clenched in irritation and couldn't help but smirk. He was too nice of a guy to ever disrespect the lady, but I knew he was dying to. I had to admit that I was dying for him to tell her off as well.
"Yes ma'am," he replied, attempting to give her a convincing smile, "Now, if you could please let us through."
The woman looked down at the list in front of her, "Oh yes, I see it here. Very well, you may go on in. Just take a seat and wait your turn."
I scoffed as Jacob thanked the undeserving and unkind woman. He quickly took my hand again and led me through the double doors. The new room was nothing extraordinary. It was long with bare, black walls and had dimmed lighting. I could see three professional-looking people seated on the side with pens in hand and about five girls were sitting on the side, waiting anxiously.
There was one tall girl stood before the professional-looking people slowly reciting a monologue. There was no doubt that she was a pretty girl, but her skills were not quite as impressive. And I could tell by the looks on the other peoples' faces that I wasn't the only one who thought so.
Surprisingly, I realized that I did recognize one of the official-looking men. John Rochester was no more than thirty years old, with clean cut brown hair and welcoming brown eyes. Even I would admit that he was handsome and I vaguely remembered thinking so the night of the wedding.
Jacob must have caught his eye, because John suddenly looked in our direction and smiled, looking happy and somewhat relieved to see us. I copied Jacob's action and waved awkwardly at John, earning a few glares from the girls on the side. Of course, Jacob hardly even noticed the glares and angry vibes from the other girls as we quietly took a seat at the end of the short line.
Turning his attention back to the girl in front of him, John gave her a somewhat forced smile, "Thank you, Ms. Jameson. You're a very lovely young woman from what I've seen today. I'm not quite sure if you're what I'm looking for, but we'll give you a call if we're interested in having you."
"Oh," the poor girl replied, looking crestfallen and near tears, "Thank you very much, Mr. Rochester."
"Have a nice day, Ms. Jameson," John said as kindly as possible.
Ms. Jameson looked like she would cry as she nodded and made her way to the exit. I found myself wondering how John would react when I was up there. I probably wouldn't be too upset if he absolutely hated my acting, but it would be terribly embarrassing if I was horrible in front of all these people.
The next five girls walked up, one after the other. Most of them were pretty awful and got similar responses to the one Ms. Jameson got, but one girl was actually pretty good. In fact, she had been amazing. Her name had been Lillian Reyes and John didn't have to force a smile as he told her to expect a callback from the studio within the next week. She had let out a squeal of excitement before she left.
Finally, it was my turn, and all of a sudden, I was nervous.
"Finally," John exclaimed, chuckling as he got up to give Jacob and I brief hugs, "How are you two? I hope all is well for you both."
"I'm good, John," Jacob replied, reaching for my hand to give it a light squeeze. It was almost as though he could sense my anxiety and it instantly relaxed me. He definitely did know me better than anyone else in the world, and I couldn't have been more grateful for the fact.
"Hi Mr. Rochester, it's great to see you again," I greeted with a smile.
"And you," he replied, returning my smile, "But please, it's John to you, not Mr. Rochester."
I answered with an awkward giggle that didn't seem quite natural coming from me. From beside me, I could her Jacob snicker.
John's expression remained pleasant as he gestured to the other two people, "This is Mike Port, one of the producers, and this is Vivian Swift, the director of the show. Guys, this is Sophia Laurent, the one I've been expecting all day."
Vivian was probably in her mid thirties, but her face looked slightly aged and tired. I could only assume that she dedicated her life to her work. I smiled as I greeted her, and she returned it with a slight nod of her head.
Mike, on the other hand, was a big man, who was probably in his late forties, but by his demeanor, you'd guess that he was half his age. He boisterously reached across the table and shook my hand. I could see myself easily getting along with them both.
"You're much lovelier than you were when I first met you," John complimented, possessing all the charm that every guy should, "Thank you so much for coming. And Jacob thanks for bringing her. When the screenwriters described the character of Stephanie Porter, you were very much what I had in mind, Sophia, so let's get started, shall we?"
I nodded at him and stepped back so that I now stood in the dim spotlight that all the other girls had been in earlier. Jacob took a few steps to the side and gave me two thumbs up for encouragement.
"When you're ready, Ms. Laurent," Vivian said, still with the warm smile.
I knew there was really no need for an introduction, but I began with one anyway, "My name is Sophia Laurent, from Los Angeles. I don't have much experience in this field, but I hope to impress you all the same. I'd like to thank you all in advance for having me here."
I inhaled deeply and averted my gaze as I finally began my monologue. It was easier to pretend that I was performing for a wall than for my best friend and three professionals in the field. I had chosen a monologue that an old drama teacher had written about a young woman who had reached the point of insanity after losing her son and her husband. The piece was a minute long and covered anger, sadness, and love, all at once. It had always been one of my favorites.
When I finished, I hesitantly looked up to study everyone's reaction. Jacob was grinning from ear to ear, with his eyes shining brightly. I could tell that he was proud for me, and it comforted me a bit. I looked at Vivian who nodding as she scribbled away on her notepad. I could see the corners of her mouth were upturned, but most of her face was hidden as she looked down.
Mike winked at me once I looked in his direction. He looked overjoyed and kept on nudging John and giving him significant looks. Meanwhile, John smiled at me without any trace of surprise. I noticed him glance at Jacob and nod slightly. The lack of verbal response was going to kill me.
"Now what?" I asked, meekly, hoping I didn't sound rude or impatient.
"Don't be shy, Ms. Laurent," Mike laughed, helping me to relax a bit, "You just did a marvelous job for us. I'm impressed."
John nodded in agreement and held out a short stack of stapled papers for me to take, "This is a scene between Stephanie Porter and another character. If you could go ahead and read her lines, I will read the part of Shawn. Unless, of course, you wanted Jacob to read opposite of you, then maybe he'd help us out."
I glanced at Jacob and almost laughed because he suddenly looked quite flustered. I knew he hadn't been expecting to do anything but watch, so I grinned wickedly as I nodded, "Come on, Jacob, and help me out."
"Go ahead, Jake," John encouraged as Jacob hesitantly grabbed the second copy of the script and made his way under the spotlight with me.
"I'm going to get you for this," he whispered softly for only me to hear.
"Thank you so very much Jacob," I replied, smiling brightly at him, "You're just too kind to me."
"Alright Ms. Laurent, whenever you're ready to begin," Vivian urged, watching us both carefully.
We both focused our attention back onto the scripts in our hands. After taking a moment to read through the lines, I began to read. "Ok, what is your problem? Can I help you with something?" I pretended to snap.
"I think you've got it backwards," Jacob chuckled, surprising me by how convincing he sounded, "Can I help you with something?"
I was pretty impressed by him. As outgoing and friendly as he had been, Jacob had always been prone to stage fright. Now, it was obvious that his stage fright had held him back a lot, because he was an excellent actor. Mrs. Robertson, my old theatre teacher, would've loved to get her hands on Jacob.
"Well, you could probably get lost," I sneered, looking him up and down before rolling my eyes, "I don't need anything from you, except maybe a disappearing act. Actually, that would be perfect right now, so vanish!"
"Well, well, aren't you a little snippy," he replied mockingly, "Who the hell are you, anyway?"
"Someone who's way too good to be dealing with you," my character snapped again. Wow, she seemed like a very angry bitch. If I were in a room with her, I'd probably slap her as hard as I could.
"Is that so?" Jacob's character chuckled. Jacob was a lot better at this than anyone ever gave him credit for. I almost wanted to applaud him.
"As a matter of fact, it is," I replied, my voice dripping with arrogance, "And who the hell are you?"
"Well, that depends," he answered coolly, "Are you Stephanie Porter?"
I raised an eyebrow and tried to look suspicious. Hopefully, I succeeded and didn't look constipated or something instead. "How do you know my name?" I grumbled angrily.
"Well, Stephanie Porter, it's nice to meet you," Jacob said, sounding convincingly smooth, "I guess you're my new roommate."
I contorted my face to look both shocked and outraged, "You're what? You can't be! This has got to be some kind of joke. My cousin told me I could move into her apartment in her place and said I'd have to share a room with Celeste, so unless you're Celeste, I think you need to stop screwing around."
"You're sharing a room with Celeste," Jacob read, "But we all live in the same apartment, my dear. Hate to be the one to break it to you, roomie."
I gave Jacob my best glare and practically growled out my next few lines, "You have got to be kidding me. I can't wait to get my hands around my cousin's neck. I hope you weren't too fond of her, because odds are, you won't be seeing her again."
"Alright," John interrupted, looking even more pleased now than he had earlier, "That was really great, guys. Jacob, you never told me you could act! I'll definitely keep you in mind if I need a male character."
Jacob became a bit flustered a second time, "Oh no, John, I don't act. This is just a one time thing."
"What are you talking about, Jacob?" I asked, giving him a wicked smile, "You said you'd love to get into the field. John, definitely keep this boy in mind."
"Of course," John chuckled, catching on to our little game, though Vivian and Mike looked a bit confused, "Well, Sophia, you did excellent here today, and I already told you that you're pretty much exactly what I had in mind, and you're as talented as we were hoping you'd be.. I believe the consensus is that we like you, so expect a call from me within a few days, ok?"
"Alright," I replied, uncertain of what a callback would entail.
John must have sensed my uncertainty because he chuckled again, "We'll have you come back and meet one of the other producers and one of the screenwriters. Then, we may have you run lines with a couple of the other members in the cast. Does that sound alright?"
"Sounds perfect, John, thanks!" Jacob answered for me, grabbing my arm and smirking at me in a way that told me he wanted to torture me immensely, "We'll get out of your way now. Good luck with the rest of the auditions!"
"Thanks Jacob," he laughed, "And thank you for coming, Sophia. I'm sure you're a very busy girl and I know it wasn't your initial idea to come today."
"It was my pleasure, really," I replied, smiling brightly at him.
John's smile never waned as I exchanged goodbyes with him and the others. They kindly expressed their wishes to see me again soon and it was definitely a good feeling. Now, I was more than ready to leave, but of course, John chose to stop us at the last moment.
"Jacob, are you sure you two aren't dating? Even Julie said that you were," John said, eyeing our joined hands.
Holding hands was just such a natural action for us both. Neither of us could really help it. Jacob and I exchanged embarrassed looks as Jacob mumbled a "Shut up, I already told you we weren't!"
But that wasn't even the worst part. Before we made it far enough away, we could hear the faint voices of Vivian and Mike expressing their surprise that we weren't a couple. I believe I heard Vivian mention something about how she thought we'd make such a cute couple.
"How embarrassing," I murmured, gently pulling my hand out of his.
Jacob looked down at our now empty hands and frowned, "Yeah, it was."
We walked in silence to Jacob's car. I could tell he was deep in thought, but not for the first time, I had no idea what he was thinking about. It worried me though.
"What's wrong, Jake?" I asked as I buckled in my seatbelt. For some odd reason, I couldn't bring myself to look over at him.
"Nothing is," he replied with a weak smile, "I'm just thinking is all. So what did you think about the audition?"
I just stared at him for a moment, unsure if I should let him get away with the unsubtle change in conversation, "It was actually kind of fun. They were all so nice and encouraging. I feel somewhat confident that I did well."
"Somewhat," he scoffed, rolling his eyes, "You were incredible. I can't believe I didn't force you to do this sooner. You're bound to get the part."
"Maybe," I laughed, "But don't jinx it! And how did you get so good, anyway?"
"Maybe it's just easy when I'm acting opposite of you," he replied, lacing his voice with sweetness and charm, "So are you excited about this now? Do you really want the part?"
I brushed off his first comment and shrugged, "Yeah, I guess I am kind of excited. Now that I know I really have a good shot at it, I do kind of want it. It would be nice to quit working at the restaurant, though I'll hate having to tell Will. He's been so nice to me since I've started working for him."
"Yeah, well it definitely would be nice to be able to see my best friend under more normal conditions," Jacob chuckled, "And maybe we could actually go out for dinner and catch a movie instead of having butchered conversations in a hot kitchen."
"Yeah," I agreed, "It would be pretty nice, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. I don't have the part yet."
"Don't worry, Sal," he scoffed, "You'll get the role and life will be good for you, as it should be. You only deserve the very best, Sophia."
I grinned at him, "Thanks, Jacob. You're the best."
"I know," he laughed, taking his eyes of the road for a moment to wink at me.
Not caring if he could see me or not, I rolled my eyes at him. I guess I set that up perfectly for him, so I shouldn't be surprised.
Maybe the day wasn't so bad after all. In fact, it was quite interesting. Hopefully, things would continue to stay this good for a while, but one can only hope.
Author's Note: Hello! Ok so here's chapter two. Thanks for the review, HGiel!