Chapter Two: Nate P.
“And You Think. . .
It’s so easy to forget me.”
-Forgotten by Nate Perch
“Nate, you’re going to miss your plane!” my mum screamed, slapping the back of my head as I sat- staring blankly out the window to where Chris lived. Him and his girlfriend, Teresa, were just sitting outside again. At 18, they were my old high school’s cutest new couple. For at least the hundredth time, tears smarted my eyes. That should be me sitting next to Teddy Teresa. Nicknames weren’t acceptable anymore. Not after her falling in love with my old best friend, Chris, who I just couldn’t bear to talk to anymore. It was too much now.
“Sorry, mum.” I sighed, standing up and rubbing the back of my head. She was all edgy since. . . ,uh, forever. As long as I’ve remembered her, she’s been up my ass with how she wants me to act. She doesn’t approve of me going to Hollywood, California, to become a singer and an actor, but that wasn’t her choice. I was going to make the world love me again.
I needed someone to love me at the very least. I don’t love me anymore. I’ve screwed up everything, you know? But, whatever, I tried my best. It just wasn't enough. It never was. It didn't keep Dad around.
“Yah, whatever; get lost and don’t come back until you decide to go to college!” she snapped, running a hand through her dark blond hair. It was the same as mine except slightly wavy where mine was straight. Her pale blue eyes were furious and her hands were on her hips again. My little sister, Annie, was at her side. Annie had dad’s curly, black hair and dark brown eyes. She looked nothing like my mum and I. I shrugged, sighing.
"This is my dream, mum. I'm not just going to give it up." I whispered to her. She shook her head angrily."I'm sorry for dissapointing you, but I won't change it for the world. College won't happen."
"Then you're an idiot like your damn father. Trust me to bring another Greg into the world." she snarled. "At least Annie will have the brains to go to college and make a life for herself. She'll actually live her dreams instead of poking around the world!"
"She'll be whatever she wants to be because Annie's my strong little sister. I'll become what I'm meant to be, but don't give up on me, Mum."
"Oh, can you just leave, you pest? I can't bear to look at that damned face of yours!" my mom screamed. I leaned over kissed my mum’s cheek and then hugged Annie tightly. I had nothing left to say to Mum. She wouldn't change her mind set for the world. I'll just have to deal with the consequences of my choices. "No wonder Teresa fell for Chris. He's going to Yale, that boy is!" That was a low blow, but I ignored it. Mum knew I had been distraught by their relationship. I just gave her a look before returning to look in Annie's eyes as I hugged her.
“I’ll miss you, Annie Perch.” I whispered before putting her down with a wink and little smile and hurrying out to the car. I was quick so that Teresa and Chris wouldn’t see me. I didn’t want them to ask me where I was going. If I was good, they’d know soon enough. Everyone would know then.
My plane experience was quite a weird experience, seeing as I had never been on a plane. Being alone, I had no idea what to expect and was nervous as hell. Usually I didn’t get nervous for any reason besides . . . um Teresa. She made me nervous as shit, but it was better to think of something else before getting on the plane. I was going to be jittery as is.
Boarding the plane was fairly easy. I was about 20 minutes early to the gate so I really had nothing to worry about except the actual plane ride. I talked to some nice motherly looking middle-aged woman to calm my nerves. She told me if her babies could manage a plane ride, I could and that there was nothing to be worried about. But then I got stuck next to some weird old man who kept asking for Orange-Muffins. I didn’t want to hear him ask again. It was driving me hay-wire, the nut-case was.
“Excuse me, miss?” he called to a stewardess. Oh, god! I knew he was going to ask again, but there weren’t any! Could he shut up? I shot him an aggravated look. She came over, smiling politely. Her eyes were just as annoyed as mine though. She could've been an actress or maybe the old guy was just blind or something because he didn't seem to notice her annoyance.
“Well, I know I’ve asked before, but I really just wish you’d go and check and make sure that there are absolutely no orange muffins. I just love them so much and I couldn’t find any at the shop.” He smiled meekly. “Usually planes have them to settle old people’s stomach and I fear I have the worst ache ever. I'm so sorry for bothering you.” She kept smiling.
“Well, ok, Sir.” She growled through her teeth. I chuckled. Maybe she wasn't such a great actress."
“Would you mind bringing me a Pepsi, please?” I asked, smiling. I was parched and wanted a drink to concentrate on. Maybe the taste would rid my head of "would you please get me some orange muffins?".
“They’re usually on the bottom of the food cart, miss.” The old man told her quite seriously. She nodded and hurried off to the cart at the end of the aisle. The old man looked at me with a grin on his face.
“Hey, kid, watch this.” He ordered and I looked in the aisle of the plane as she bent over, her back to us. He was totally checking her out and I couldn’t help, but aid his wandering eyes.
“Damn,” I whispered. She was hot.
“And that made me being annoying worth it, eh?” the old man cackled. We both roared with laughter. He wasn’t half bad.
A whole plane ride, many more pains from the thought of losing Teresa and a total of 3 days later, I was finally in front of Ms. Byrd, the famous Hollywood producer of movies like Too Bad, The Thing Is. . . , Break-Ups and so many other amazing movies. I had scheduled an audition with her using my Uncle Charlie, some big-wig classical musician or something who had dated her once upon a time. He usually dated blond bimbos so she wasn’t anything like I was expecting.
She was short and very young for someone so well-known. At her oldest, she could only be around 35. She was very pretty, in a fairy-like way with her lithe, short stature. Her face was very childish with huge, innocent brown eyes and pink lips. Her dark brown hair swung in little curls around her face. She shook my hand firmly with a huge grin on her face. Something about her made her look extremely happy.
“You must be Mr. Perch,” she smiled kindly at me. “I’m Lucie Byrd.” She gestured for me to sit in one of her elaborate chairs. This wasn’t what I was expecting for a casting, but I did expect the nervousness I felt deep in my stomach. I knew I wouldn't escape the nervousness. My Uncle told me he still felt it when he presented a new song.
“Please, it’s Nate, Ms. Byrd.”
“Oh, alright then, Nathanial.” She chirped, looking over some papers she had in a pile on the coffee table. “So . . . you haven’t been to college or have had any experience with acting?” The question made me blush with embarrassment.
“No, ma’am, I haven’t. I’ve been accepted into a couple colleges, but I honestly don’t have the desire to go.” I shrugged. “But I do promise that I’ll work hard and show up early. A bonus is the tabs don’t know who I am yet so I won’t be caught for being out or whatever unless I’m with someone famous. If I do happen to go out; which is a rare event seeing as I don’t know any people around here. Plus, I’m not old enough to drink at 20 years of age.”
“And you just graduated at 20?” Ms. Byrd asked, shocked by how old I was to be graduating. I was use to this question.
“I was sick as a child so I entered school later than expected.”
“Well, those things are beneficial yes, but when do you turn 21?” she asked.
“Well, in a few months actually.” I grin. “The 7th of January.”
“More like half a year, Nathanial.” Ms. Byrd laughs. “Well, anyway, just explain to me why you’re auditioning for the part of Samuel Bodnar.” I thought for a minute, trying to formulate the response I was looking for.
“Well, Samuel is a good man.” I began hesitantly. “He tries his hardest with what he has and wants to change society for the better with his already famous paintings of tulips and roses, the reason the name of the movie is Tulips & Roses. He makes the tulips and roses stand out while also melding together in a completely humane way to signify unity and trust and so many other needed things in human society. He loves people, plain and simple. That is his greatest strength and his greatest weakness.”
“Explain.” Ms. Byrd orders.
“Well, his girlfriend- Dee- is addicted to some type of drug. I apologize, but I forget the correct name for it. She is only dating him because of his money and he doesn’t realize that. He loves her too much and gives her the money, even though he knows what it’s really going to be used for. He’s given many people he shouldn’t trust money because of that trust he thinks should be in society. He’s become naïve to things happening right before his nose.” I sighed and shrugged. “But he’s strong and smart and caring and creative so I admire him. People should really try to be more like him.” Ms. Byrd smiles approvingly and makes a note on the pages before her.
“Okay, let’s act out the scene on the page I gave you. I’ll be Dee and you’ll be Sam.”
I looked at the page, giving the scene a quick scan to recall which one it was. I breathed in and out slowly, I could do this.
“Honey, sweetheart, I can’t give you the money today.” I whispered as if exhausted, running my hand through my hair. Ms. Byrd gave me a desperate, hollow look. I swear to god she could've been an actress with how realistic she made herself sound.
“But . . . Samuel! I need the money!” she whined. I looked away, as if saying ‘no’ to her was killing me inside.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t. I know what you use it for.” I shook my head.
“Shoes! I was going to buy a brand-new pair of shoes, baby!” Ms. Byrd protested quickly. I look at her as if choked by the lie, desperate.
“Don’t you dare lie to me, Dee.” I croak. “Don’t you dare ‘cause I’ll find out if you do- I swear to God I will. This is- this is my money and I work for it, Dee.” Ms. Byrd smiled at me. I could feel how much Samuel wanted to refuse to give her the money, but, at a simple look from her, his defenses would shatter. He loved her, he did.
“I swear to you, Samuel, that I just want a brand new pair of shoes. I swear it- you can even look straight at them when I get home, baby.”
“Oh, take it and be gone with you.” I sighed, shutting my eyes and resting my forehead on my hand.
"Oh, really? Thank you so much, baby-cakes!"
"Dee just leave. I'm sick and tired of company. I need to work." I whispered, not looking at her to save my life. Ms. Byrd started to clap at the end of the scene when it was all through and we had gone through 2 more that consisted of arguments and the showing of a painting.
“Bravo! Brava!” she cheered merrily. “Wonderful, Nathanial, just wonderful! I applaud your amazing performance!” She kept clapping and every time I tried to say something for about 5 minutes, she’d say ‘bravo’ or ‘bravo’ or just plain old ‘let your audience applaud you, God-damn-it, Nathanial!’ I didn’t think I was that great, but I did know I was good. I’m Nate Perch- I’m good at everything, eh? J
“Well, thank you, Ms. Byrd.” I mumbled, blushing slightly.
“Thank you, Nathanial! That amazing performance was just stunning!” Ms. Byrd chirped happily. “And you’re the best I’ve seen so far and all I have is one more audition. If you don’t get this part, I can almost guarantee your position in another role. I’ll call you later today to let you know, doll. After my last audition with Davante Redson, a devilishly handsome fellow that man is. Now goodbye and I’ll talk to you later, doll!” She chattered before pushing me out the door and ushering in a handsome, older man who was around 27.
“Good luck,” I murmured as I passed him, breathing in his strong cologne. God, the guy must be more arrogant than even me with how strong his cologne is. He’s handsome, yah. But not my type- I prefer girls. He has thick black hair that falls around his face in wavy locks and what Angel, my ex-girlfriend who I dated to try and make Teresa jealous, would say was “sexy five-o’clock man-shadow”. He had thin lips and tanned skin, standing a full head taller than I do. His chin had a dimple and his eyes were a stern shade of light gray. He chuckled, a deep sound.
“I don’t need luck, kid.” He snapped. “That’s for beginners like yourself.” Asshole, I thought as I walked outside, happily grinning and whooping in excitement.
Here comes Nate, Hollywood! Better watch out!