How things have turned upside down? How could my world become so sad just like that? Why am I suffering? What have I done?
A suit coat hung carelessly from my hand and half of it was lying on the floor of the semi-dark room. The clock hanging on the lighted part of the room showed 01:00 am. I eyed the clock from my chair and suddenly sat upright. Time was tickling away; I could not bear the pain anymore.
I had to do something before it was too late, before she would go away from me forever...
Quickly I went outside my door and knocked on her door without thinking much. She was still up, by now she should have been in her bed sound asleep, but she was awake only because of me. I had caused all that pain. I had not realized things would lead this way; otherwise I would not have pushed her. She looked up towards me, her eyes red and puffy - due to lack of sleep or due to tears? There were bangs of dark circles under her eyes showing how all these had taken a toll on her. I felt ashamed, automatically my eyes looked down, and I just could not meet her eyes.
Her stare was boring into my skull and I knew I had to speak. After coming till her doorstep, I could not be a coward. She has been so special to me all this time, yet I had not conveyed it. I knew I was important for her, but things never surfaced, or should I say, things were ignored because of me.
"You wanted anything?" She asked oh-so-professionally and void of any emotion, it hurt, it hurt the very soul of me. All she wanted was a friendly atmosphere and look what I gave her. Guilt washed over my face for the hundredth time and I managed to choke out that word which she never expected me to say.
"Sorry." She did not say anything and just kept looking at me. My legs moved forward towards her not leaving eye-contact for a single millisecond also.
"I am sorry for the way I have been treating you, I don't want to hurt you, but... I have been so mean to you." This was the 14th day in a row, she had been working late night only because of me. "There is my loneliness, my anger for people from past that I have been so rude."
She still did not speak anything, but just got up from her chair as me, her boss, was standing near her.
"I am really sorry." I took two more steps towards her. "Unnecessarily I have been giving you so much work to finish within very less time and torturing you like anything, but lately I have realized that I am just hurting you and myself. Though I like to have your presence around me as long as possible, but I can't just.."
She silenced me by her tender lips which started to roam over my lips and my hands circled around her waist. I...
"Alex, what's happening?" Scott's voice roared through the silent room and all lights flickered all of a sudden blinding me momentarily. He marched towards me vigorously while Anya stood two steps away from me, a questioning look on her face.
"Alex, what's wrong with you? Look at the watch." My watch showed 6:30 pm." We have been practicing the same scene from last three days and till now; why you can't just God damn kiss her?"
"I did kiss her Scott." I said with my head down. I knew I was lying.
"Yeah..." He threw his hands up in exasperation. "Right, but where is the passion? It should have been a slice of cake for you."
I sighed and sat down on a chair, the crew dispersed and I was relaxed a bit that we didn't have such a big audience. It's the same thing every day for last three days. Till the kiss, the shooting would go perfect, but just when I was supposed to kiss Anya passionately, I just could not do it. While on the other hand, Anya was giving her hundred percent to it, she kissed me so passionately every time that it felt suffocating. I even wondered whether she was acting in the movie or was it in real or what it was.
Scott slowly sat on the chair next to me and slowly calmed his nerves, his breathing slowed down to normal.
"Alex, is there any problem?" He put his hand on my shoulder and asked friendly.
"No, no... it's just... I am not feeling very well. I think... I am... I am getting fever."
"Oh, you should take some rest then."
"Are you sure there is nothing else, I mean you look so out of place from last three days. Is it... is it because of the news or something?" There was slight concern in his voice which I could feel. Only if he knew in what turmoil I was for the last three days, only if anyone knew.
"No... no... there is absolutely noth..." We were interrupted by someone's presence and I could sense that someone before even they came near me. It was Catriona.
"Alex, this is your jacket and watch." She handed me my brown leather jacket and my expensive watch which I had handed over at the start of the day before the shoot began.
Not wanting her to leave at the moment I tried to make conversation, any excuse.
"I would not need these now. It's..."
"The weather has been bad lately and temperature is decreasing, so you would need your jacket."
"Yeah, she is right. I don't know why suddenly it's raining for last two days." It was Scott. Probably the sky was upset just like me, or like Cat. I turned back at her to say that I would need the watch later only to find her gone. It's the same like yesterday and day before yesterday. She would come to work in our limo, but before we leave for the day, she would leave the set. I had no idea where she spent the rest of the evening, but she didn't return before 12. The first day when I looked out for her and didn't find her, Rose informed me that she had left for the day.
When I reached hotel, her room was locked. I knocked on her door thinking it was locked from inside, but there was no response. I tried calling her, but her mobile came switched off. After turning and tossing on my bed for two long hours I could hear the rattling of keys from her door. My door was ajar, I quickly ran out of my room to talk to her, but by the time I made it to her door, she had slammed the door shut not realizing that I was behind her. And she had been deliberately avoiding me from then on, I had no option but to wait for a proper opportunity.
Monday when she appeared on my doorstep, for the first time, I was scared to see her to face her after seeing the news on TV. I tried to talk to her but all she said was "The limo is ready, hope Sean has already given your breakfast. Once you finish, we can leave."
I held her wrist as she turned and was about to leave.
"Cat, I have nothing to do with it." I didn't know why but I had a feeling that she was thinking I had done this purposefully. "I have no idea how they got pictures."
She didn't even struggle to leave her hand, just stood there like a statue. Even if she tried to hide any emotion that could surface, but her face, her eyes spoke a thousand words.
"Believe me Cat, I have nothing to do with it. I can't even phantom how they got pictures inside the hotel. I just don't understand. Somebody had been spying on me and you probably. Otherwise-"
"This is one thing I completely hate Mr. Fleming. I never want to come in news. Not now, not in the past and never. It's best if we keep it professional. Paparazzi will follow you everywhere and I don't think I can fit into your life in any way. These scandals might be your daily morning news, but for me they are life-changing. They have always been. I can't do it anymore."
With that she was gone; I had not realized when my hold on her wrist had become loose. She went away without looking back once. I came back to my room and looked her and there frantically.
"Whoever has done it is going to PAY for it." I smacked my fist into the wall which caused a sheer pain through my whole arm, but not enough to forget the pain that this morning news had caused. Groaning loudly I sat on my bed with my hands on my knees and palms covering my face. So many minutes had passed away until I hear another knock on my door. Expecting it to be Cat, I turned back quickly with expectant eyes only to be disappointed at seeing Anya. She was so happy, so cheerful as if everything in the world was happening according to her. My eyes quickly turned into questioning ones.
"Um... Good morning?" She said pushing one strand of her hair behind her ear. A single word didn't come out of my mouth and she probably understood that I was not in a talking mood.
"Uh... we are leaving now, are you coming?"
"I will be down in five minutes."
"Okay." And off she went.
Soon after five minutes I was down in the limo, everyone was already seated and looking at me as I entered except one pair of eyes which looked outside. I had wished only that one pair of eyes to look at me, but... And the rest of the time was a blur - me trying to get any attention from her, she being successful at avoiding me for the whole time till now, keeping it very professional as it was before we came to LA and everyone else except the two of us were happy. The way it affected both of us was noticeable actually.
People did ask me about the news and I firmly said that we were only friends and nothing else. Those who tried to ask more, I lashed out at them. So they stopped asking about me. I had strictly said to not entertain any visitor or any reporter for me and my assistant. I had no idea how Cat handled it when others asked her, I meant sure people would have asked her also. Poor she.
Just like me, she had bags of dark circles under her eyes. While my eyes looked sad and guilty, her eyes looked upset, tired and lost, like lost the battle all over again. It seemed like the sole purpose she was here was to get money for her job and given a chance she would leave the job any moment. This thought itself scared me to the core. I could not let it happen. I could not let it slip away from my hands. After so much effort, she had finally come out of her bubble and look where it landed her. It was all because of me. I had to do something to make everything all right - that included a lot of things.
I had to find out how things reached to media. I had to make Cat come back to her normal self again. I had to concentrate on my. And to start with I had done nothing for any of these. I was trapped in my own sadness; I had lost all my enthusiasm. I could not even concentrate on my shoots, the simple scene where I had to say sorry to Anya for unnecessarily torturing her and returning her kiss - was taking so long that every day I had to work extra hours.
On the other hand, Cat - she was suffering more. Somewhere she spent her time I had no idea about. The clock ticked showing it was 11 already. I had reached the room half an hour before and was sitting in the dark thinking about all the things. It was suffocating me and I decided to go to the park.
As I was sitting on the same bench, suddenly something clicked my mind. Monday morning she had said These scandals might be your daily morning news, but for me they are life-changing. They have always been.
What did she mean? She had already been into this sort of thing before. Is that what she was afraid of, hiding about? Was her past related to something like this? That was why it had affected her so much? It had to be. Yes, it had to be. Otherwise she was aware of the fact that paparazzi followed me everywhere, but she still became my friend. She might not have expected that she would be a part of a kind of scandal, but here is where she had landed as well as me. Suddenly, it seemed like a small candle was lightened in the darkness and it was enough to lighten the whole room.
I had finally seen something to cling on to; I had to ask her about this. Even if I had promised her that I would not ask her about anything, but I had to. If not me, at least to help her, I had to do this. The sound of wheels stopping at the gate of the hotel brought me back to the present situation. The taxi stopped there for some time before Cat came out of it. I could see her from here, but she was far for me to reach her. I stood up and started walking towards the exit of the park, when I noticed out of nowhere there was a reporter ready with her camera.
As he started clicking pictures of her, Cat quickened her pace, well-tried too. Her feet were here and there, she was not even able to stand properly. Was she drunk? As she started going into the hotel I wanted to get to that reporter, but I had more important things at hand. I had to talk to Cat. So while the reporter got away happily after getting a few clicks, I started running behind Cat. By the time, I managed to reach the receptionist, she had made into the elevator. Finding no other option I took the stairs and ran like a maniac.
When I reached on our floor, she was opening her room.
"Cat!" I called out to her. She looked once in my direction. From this distance also, I could clearly see the sadness, the anger, the rage, the fury in her eyes. She ignored me and opened her room. I ran for my life. She was just about to close it when I stopped her. She stumbled back a little leaving the door ajar. Taking one step inside the room, I started speaking to her when she turned to me furiously while throwing her shoes to one side.
The next thing I knew the glass was thrown across the room, water spilling on the carpet, the glass hit the tables and the floor near me and scattered into pieces causing me to move back. Almost immediately she came rushing towards the door in an attempt to close it. She didn't mind the glass pieces and walked right on top of them and closed the door ferociously not noticing my hand was there on the door. Even though my fingers and my whole hand pained like anything, but I remained silent while on the other hand she opened the door realizing what she had done. Her hands covered her mouth, but my eyes were glued to the blood dripping from her both feet.
Guys, tell me what you think? Do you think I will spill about Cat's past in the next chapter? Will I give a hint? Just to warn you this story is not about Cat's past, it's about their professional/personal relationship and this story will be more than Cat's past. Let's see, but her past is one very important part of this story.
@Tamika - Right, stars can't have their own without someone following them. I have recently bought one camera with 42x optical zoom, so I think these things are possible. Let's see from where Cat's past is popping up.
@Karen P - What you think of this chapter? Did you like it?
@Sammer - Well, it's just about Alex in this chapter, in the next chapter we will come to know about what Cat thinks.
@Isha - Belated Happy Diwali to you also and it's okay, don't be sorry. Education comes first. Keep reading.
@Soul Searcher - What Cat exactly thinks - we will find out in the next chapter, as of now it's all about Alex.
@Queenie - I am so happy that you read 'Two Loss Every Time'. It was my first story and tell you what, with lots of grammar mistakes. But I think the storyline was fine. Personally I like that singing scene, thanks for always liking my stories. Please keep reading.
@Tia - Well, it's something in the story and you got to believe it. Keep reading.
@XXscenegurlXx - Well, it has definitely affected their friendship. Let's see where their relationship goes.
@Thoobii - Hi, I hope this chapter has somewhat answered your questions. Stay tuned for more. Thanks a lot for commenting.
@Maha - Thanks, I try to post, but you know life sometimes can be too hectic...
@Terry - Thank you. How do you like this chapter? Please let me know.
@SPJY - But he is so serious in this chapter, right? How things change.