Living Life for Real

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
After famous TV star Roxanne passes out due to low blood sugar, she realizes that she never gets the opportunity to live life. She only lives a pretend life when she is on set. She ends up staying with a family that teaches her more than she could ever imagine was possible about the real life.

Submitted: October 30, 2014

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Submitted: October 30, 2014

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Chapter 1

 

“And action!” the director called.

“How are you feeling, Mandy?” Dr. Johansen asked as he entered the hospital room.

“I am feeling better,” I answered.

Dr. Johansen started pressing his fingers on my abdomen. It was a little awkward but I knew we were just acting. There was nothing wrong with me.

Dr. Johansen finished his examination and the director cut the scene.

“Great job!” he called. “Go take a five minute break.”

“Was that as awkward for you as it was for me, Roxanne?” Tom, the guy who plays Dr. Johansen asked.

“Quite a bit,” I admitted. “I do not like how Mandy the nurse is sick for this episode.”

“Well, she should be feeling better by next episode,” Tom said.

I play the part of Mandy, a nurse, on a medical TV drama called The Patient. But this week’s episode has Mandy sick and in the hospital. I was not enjoying this episode.

“All right, let’s get back to work,” the director called.

I reluctantly got back into the hospital bed and pulled the blankets over me.

“Action!” the director called.

Dr. Johansen was going to be running a test on Mandy. As he was pretending to stick the syringe in my arm, it suddenly hit me. I felt really weird. My vision began to cloud and I felt clammy.

“Are you all right, Roxanne?” Tom asked in concern.

“I think I am going to pass out,” I said.

“What is going on?” the director asked.

“Roxanne is going to pass out!” Tom said.

“Get your head between your knees, Roxanne! Someone go find Dr. Stone.”

Dr. Stone is the medical advisor for the show.

“What is going on?” Dr. Stone asked as he came rushing onto the set.

“Suddenly, Roxanne’s skin felt clammy and she said she was going to pass out,” Tom explained.

“Please give us some privacy,” Dr. Stone ordered. He took my pulse and then took my blood pressure with one of the props on the set.

The dizzy feeling had finally passed and I was now feeling a little embarrassed.

“What is going on?” I asked.

“Probably low blood sugar,” Dr. Stone said. “What did you eat for breakfast?”

“Just a small bowl of cereal.”

“Please bring Roxanne some juice and something to eat,” Dr. Stone ordered.

Someone on the set brought me a glass or orange juice and a banana. After eating, I felt a lot better.

“When was the last time you saw a doctor?” Dr. Stone asked.

“I see doctors everyday,” I said sarcastically.

“When was the last time you were examined by a real doctor?” he asked firmly.

“I guess it has been awhile.”

“Make an appointment to get checked for hypoglycemia.”

“What happens if I have it?”

“Then the doctor will probably exam you and make sure there is not an underlying cause. Otherwise, you just need to watch what you eat.”

“Joy,” I said as I rolled my eyes.

“I will be checking to make sure you see your doctor,” Dr. Stone said.

 

Chapter 2

 

“So what is the diagnosis?” I asked Dr. Wesselman.

I had been poked and prodded for awhile now and I was ready to get out of here. And despite playing a nurse on a medical TV show and dealing with people who pretend to be patients, I did not like the gown I was forced to wear.

“You need to eat,” Dr. Wesselman said. “Otherwise, you are just going to experience hypoglycemia again.”

“I am an actress. I have to watch my weight.”

“You can still maintain your figure and eat right. I can set you up with a dietitian if that is going to be an issue.”

“No, I have seen enough doctors the last few days.”

“Roxanne, you are an actress on a medical TV drama but you do not like doctors?”

“It is completely different on the show. There is never anything really wrong. Besides, I am not usually the patient.”

“Well, you had better get used to seeing doctors. You have avoided me for too long.”

“What, you are making me come back?”

“It will just be for a follow up appointment, Roxanne.”

“But why is that even necessary? I am not dying, am I? All I really need to do is watch what I eat.”

“Roxanne, it will not hurt you to come back and see me. And in the meantime, watch what you eat and try to get over your fear of doctors while on the show.”

Dr. Wesselman left and I changed back into my clothes. I guess I should be thankful that there was not anything seriously wrong with me but I just could not get over my fear of doctors. It should not bother me this way. Why was I afraid of Dr. Wesselman? I was surrounded by doctors everyday.

Of course, I got to do a lot of things being an actress. But everything I did was for the cameras. Very little of it was real. It was almost like I was playing life but never actually getting to live it.

That did not even sound right. I knew there was only one thing to do. It was time for me to experience normal, everyday life.

 

Chapter 3

 

The next afternoon, I decided to talk to the producer after we had finished filming for the day.

“Hi, Roxanne!” Mr. Chase said when he saw me. “Come on in. I heard about your incident the other day. How are you feeling?”

“The doctor said it was hypoglycemia. I just need to watch what I eat.”

“Please let me know if there is anything I can do. I would hate for this to interfere with filming.”

“Yeah, that would not be good.”

“So what do I owe the pleasure?”

“Well, the other day when I was visiting with my doctor, it came to my attention that I am playing life for the camera but I am not actually living it.”

“So what are you saying?” I could tell Mr. Chase was very confused.

“I want the opportunity to live like a normal person for a few days.”

“Did you not have a normal childhood?”

“I was a child actress. I have never lived a normal life.”

“So what exactly do you have in mind?” I could tell Mr. Chase did not like where this conversation was going.

“I want to find someone normal and live their life for a few days.”

“Who do you know that is normal?”

Mr. Chase did have a point. My mom and dad were actors. My friends were actors. I really did not know any regular people.

“Tell you what, Roxanne. My niece works in an office. I will see is she will let you stay with her a few days so you can forget about this nonsense. I will give you one week to experience the normal life and then I expect you back here.”

“Thanks, Mr. Chase! This means so much to me!”

“I hope you find everything you are looking for.”

“Me too!”

 

Chapter 4

 

I arrived at Kim’s house late Saturday afternoon.

“Come on in,” a young woman about my age said when she opened the door. “It is so nice to meet you.”

“Thanks so much for having me.”

“This is Reagan and Hannah,” she said with a gesture towards twins that were probably about four years old. “And this is my husband Carlos.”

I shook hands with Carlos.

“Let me go show you to your room and then we can go get dinner started.”

Dinner was going to be interesting. I always ate lunch on the set and for dinner I usually went out or ordered in. I had never prepared a meal before.

Kim showed me to the small guest room where I dropped off my bag and then we went down to the kitchen.

“My uncle told me you had hypoglycemia,” Kim said. “I want to make sure you are eating right but I was not sure exactly what your diet should be like.”

“I just need to eat,” I said.

“Tonight, we will have spaghetti. Is that good?”

“That will be fine. I must warn you, I am not a cook.”

“By the end of the week, you will be a pro.”

Before long, I was rolling meatballs while Kim asked me about my career.

“So do you like working on The Patient?”

“Yeah, but I just needed a break. I wanted the opportunity to experience normal life.”

“There is no definition for normal. But I hope that God gives you exactly what you want.”

The mention of God made me feel uncomfortable. I believe in God but except for an occasional prayer, I really do not have a serious relationship with Him.

At long last, dinner was done and we all sat down at the table. I grabbed my fork and was about to start eating when one of the twins grabbed my hand. I looked around and saw everyone holding hands with their heads bowed.

“Lord,” Carlos prayed, “I thank You for the delicious food before us and the hands that prepared it. I thank You for brining Roxanne to our home this week and pray that You will help her find what she is looking for. Amen.”

“Amen,” everyone repeated before digging in.

The twins told a story of something that had happened at a church activity they had attended earlier in the day and I sat back to listen.

If I had not pursued a career in acting, this could be my family. I could have daughters and a husband that gathered around the dinner table every night. The thought of what I could have brought tears to my eyes.

“Are you all right, Roxanne?” Carlos asked.

“I am fine,” I said. “Please excuse me for a minute.”

I ran to my room and sat down on my bed. After a few minutes, I had calmed down enough to return to wash the dishes and then watch TV with the rest of the family.

It was all very simple, but I liked it. I could definitely be happy with this life.

 

Chapter 5

 

Kim and Carlos had told me that we would go to church the next morning. Though I was not looking forward to it, I knew it was necessary for me to go and experience real life.

I had never actually been to church before. I kind of knew the basis of Christianity from some friends I had when I was young but other than a few church scenes I have filmed, that is as far as religion goes for me.

Once we arrived at the church, we were instantly greeted. I was recognized from TV but thankfully, no one asked for pictures or autographs.

“Is that normal?” Carlos asked as we took seats (which were surprisingly not hard wooden benches but comfy chairs).

“I may not be a big movie star but I am on a fairly popular TV show,” I said. “I have had a lot of people ask for autographs but it is nice when everyone leaves you alone.”

We had to end the conversation then because several people came up front and positioned themselves behind guitars and microphones. I was expecting an organ that nobody could sing to, not a band.

Lyrics appeared on the screens in front of us. Even though I was not familiar with any of the songs, I found myself singing along to the modern music.

After a couple songs, the pastor came forward.

He began by reading about some bridesmaids that were waiting for the bridegroom to come. While they were waiting, some of the women ran out of oil for their lamps and had to get more. But while they were gone, the bridegroom arrived and those that had extra oil got to go in while the others were left outside when they finally arrived.

“There are two kinds of people,” the pastor said. “There are the people that are ready for Jesus and those that are not. You cannot loan out or share spiritual preparedness. Like the bridesmaids, you need oil for yourself.

“Like the bridesmaids did not know when the bridegroom was coming, we also do not know when Jesus is coming. Some people have tried to make predictions such as May 2011 but they were wrong. Even experts were surprised when Jesus first came. That is why we need to make preparations and keep watch, because Jesus is coming again.

“Pay attention. Be active, engaged, and focused on your faith. Do not let down your guard. Do not doze or go through the motions because Satan is looking for a way to attack.

“We have been invited to the wedding of a lifetime. Do not miss. Realize your need for Jesus. Say you are sorry for your sins. Verbalize your trust and confess that Jesus is Lord. And finally, erase your past by having your sins symbolically washed away through baptism.

“If you are ready to start a relationship with Jesus and accept the invitation for an eternity with Jesus in Heaven, I invite you to come forward now.”

Whoa. This was a big sermon. I had never given much thought to a relationship with Jesus before. I figured since I believed that was good enough. I mean, I was not a bad person. That should be good enough to get to Heaven. But after what the pastor said, I was having the feeling that it did not work that way.

Was it too late for me to accept the invitation? That was something I would need to talk to Carlos and Kim about.

My thoughts were interrupted though as a young woman came forward to say she was ready to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior and was ready to have her sins washed away through baptism.

It was interesting to watch as she was dunked in a tub of water. It made me wonder if I could have my sins washed away too even though my sins were not all that bad. Was there something I needed to do to be baptized? I would have to ask.

 

Chapter 6

 

“So what did you think of church, Roxanne?” Carlos asked at lunchtime.

“It really got me thinking,” I said.

“About what?”

“I guess the whole thing about accepting the invitation and being baptized is new to me.”

“Are you a Christian?” Kim asked.

That seemed like a personal question to me but I guess since Kim and Carlos were very devoted to their faith, I should be honest and try to learn as much as I can.

“I thought I was a Christian. I believe in Jesus and God. I try to be good so I figured I was going to Heaven. But now, I just do not know.”

“Thankfully, the Bible gives us the answer to that big question,” Carlos said.

“Really? Well, could you help clear up some of my confusion?”

“Everyone is a sinner, Roxanne,” Kim began. “All sins are equal in God’s eyes. But God loves us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die for all sins. Whoever accepts this forgiveness and surrenders their life to Christ will one day spend eternity in Heaven.”

“And where does baptism come in?” I asked.

“Typically, baptism is considered the final decision. After people decide they are ready for a relationship with Christ, they are baptized. Sins are symbolically washed away and a person joins God’s family. Then, they begin their new life with Christ.”

“What does a life with Christ look like?”

“It is different for everyone. God will reveal His plans in time. Usually, people use their gifts and talents for God.”

“Is there anything special a person needs to do to surrender their life to Christ?”

“Just pray. All you need to do is tell God you know you are a sinner but you thank Him for sending Jesus to die for your sins.”

“It just seems so easy.”

“It is. But yet, if you wait to long, there can be serious consequences.”

“Thanks. You have given me a lot to think about.”

“Let us know if you have any more questions.”

“Thanks. I will.”

 

Chapter 7

 

The next morning, Kim and I got up early to go to work. Kim worked in an office and had talked to her boss about me coming in for the week. Her boss did not want a famous TV actress distracting people from their work so I was going to work in the mailroom.

“Do you think the mailroom will be fun?” I asked Kim on the way there.

“I honestly cannot say. But I guess if you do not like it, you are only there for a week.”

“I guess you are right.”

We arrived and Kim led me down to the mailroom before anyone could see me. There, I was instructed on how to sort the mail.

The morning seemed to go on forever. I was not enjoying the mailroom. I could not wait to leave and get home.

“Do you enjoy your work?” I asked a woman when break time finally arrived.

“It is not the most exciting work, but it puts food on the table. And right now, I know this is where God wants me.”

“What can God do in the mailroom?”

“Do you know how many people I get to communicate with here? I have had the opportunity to tell so many people about Jesus. Of course, in your line of work, you have a much wider audience of people to tell.”

“I guess I have not really thought about it,” I admitted. She was right though. I could reach people through the press, websites, and social media. If I were to become a Christian, I could really make a difference.

“So what are you doing here?” the woman asked me.

“I wanted the opportunity to experience normal life.”

“Many people think it would be great to be famous but I do not envy you a bit. You have little privacy and you cannot do all the things that a regular person can do. I do now know why you put up with it everyday.”

That was easy to answer. I put up with it everyday because I like to act. There are downfalls to every job. But the good things about acting made me forget about the bad things. Of course, I came to that conclusion before I had the opportunity to experience life.

I thought back to yesterday. After lunch, I had played a game with the twins and then I had read a book. After dinner, I made a cake with Kim and the girls for dessert tonight. They were such simple activities but I had had so much fun.

“You look like you have a lot on your mind,” the woman said. “Can I pray for you?”

“Just pray for me to make the right decision at the end of the week,” I said.

 

Chapter 8

 

“So how was work?” Carlos asked me that evening at dinner.

“Well, the work was not that enjoyable but I guess I survived.”

“Not every ordinary job is like that, Roxanne,” Kim said with a laugh.

“I know that. But I met a woman who said that even though she did not exactly enjoy the mailroom, she stays because she knows God is using her to tell people she works with about Jesus.”

“God does work in mysterious ways,” Carlos said.

“Does that mean you are considering finalizing a relationship with Jesus?” Kim asked eagerly.

“I just cannot rush into such a big decision. If you have forgotten, I am using this week to discover life.”

“And I think you are getting more than you bargained for,” Kim said.

“That’s ok. I want to live this week to the fullest.”

“Well, there is a woman’s Bible study at the church tomorrow evening if you are interested.”

“I am in.” I really wanted to learn more about God.

Everyone had finished eating so I stood up and gathered the dishes to wash. That was one thing I was not enjoying about this experience. I hated chores. I could not wait to get back to having a housekeeper.

As soon as the dishes were washed though, I was rewarded with family TV time in the living room. And tonight’s show: The Patient, featuring Mandy as a sick nurse.

 

Chapter 9

 

“Hi, everyone,” Kim said.

We had just arrived at Bible study, which was being held at another woman’s house.

“This is Roxanne,” Kim said.

“Hey, you play Mandy on The Patient!” one of the women said excitedly. “What are you doing here?”

“I am experiencing everyday life,” I replied.

“Well, you chose a good night,” one of the women said. “We are sharing our favorite Bible verses.”

First, the women introduced themselves to me. There were five women: Kim, Quinn, Violet, Kirsten, and Amelia.

“So who wants to share their verse first?” Amelia asked.

“I’ll go,” Kim said.

She opened her Bible and found the highlighted verse.

“This one is Psalm 121:1-2. I lift my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

“I also really love that verse,” Kirsten said.

I liked it too. “That is a good verse to have for when life gets tough,” I said.

“You are absolutely right,” Violet agreed.

“I could have used this verse last week. I guess I am more scared of doctors than I should be. I could have prayed to God and asked Him to help me relax.”

“You will have to keep that in mind for next time,” Kim said.

“I will.” I wrote down the verse so I would have it as a reference when needed.

The next verse was from Quinn.

“This is from Matthew 28:19-20. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. I really like this verse because it reminds me of my purpose. Ever since I became a Christian, this verse has become important to me.”

I would have to keep this verse in my mind too. But so far, I did not know what God was doing in my life.

Violet shared the next verse from Matthew 7:7.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who ask, receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

“Wow,” I said incredulously. “God can do so much. He forgives sins and answers prayers. We do not even deserve any of it. I want a relationship with Him!”

All of the women applauded.

“Shall we pray?” Violet asked.

“Let me!” I begged.

“Go ahead.”

“Lord, I thank You for giving me this opportunity to live life for real. I also thank You for Kim and her church and Bible study. I thank You for surrendering Your Son to die for my sins. Now, I am ready to accept this forgiveness and live my life for You. Amen.”

“Welcome to the family!” Quinn said as everyone gave me a hug.

“I will need to be baptized.”

“How about we talk to the pastor about possibly doing is Sunday?” Kim suggested.

“That sounds good. But there is just one thing that bothers me. I still do not know what God wants me to do. Am I supposed to continue acting or live an ordinary life?”

“It is only Tuesday, Roxanne. You have time still this week to think. In the meantime, pray to God to ask Him to reveal His plans for you.”

“I can do that. Thanks for everyone’s verses and guidance.”

 

Chapter 10

 

Friday came all too soon and with it came a bunch of dread. I still was unable to make a decision. I was going home tomorrow and I had no idea if I was ready to go back to the TV star lifestyle or remain in the ordinary world.

“Lord, where do You want me? What plans do You have for my life? Where do You want me to do Your work?”

Why did this decision have to be so difficult? I was drawn to the TV star lifestyle because I loved acting and working on The Patient. But at the same time, I liked the ordinary world for its simplicity. I loved most of the ordinary activities.

“Roxanne!” Carlos called to me during dinner. “Are you listening?”

“I am sorry. What did you say?”

“You look like you have a lot on your mind. Is there anything we can do for you?”

“Sorry, this is something I have to do on my own.”

“Well, I was saying that we always have friends over on Friday to play cards.”

“That sounds fun. But I really do not really know how to play many games.”

“How can you not know how to play cards?” Kim asked incredulously.

“I just do not have much time to play cards.”

“That is ok. We will teach you how to play.”

Shortly after we got the kitchen cleaned up, Quinn and her husband showed up.

“So tomorrow is your last day here?” Quinn asked.

“Yes.”

“So what have you decided?”

“I do not know! I like acting but I also like the ordinary activities of this lifestyle.”

“You know, Roxanne, you can have the best of both worlds.”

“What do you mean?”

“Why not act during the day and then at night, you can play cards with friends or go to Bible studies?”

“I can see you do not know the life of an actress. It is very demanding.”

“How badly do you want the ordinary lifestyle?”

I guess Quinn had a point. God had given me the gift of acting as well as the world’s spotlight. I could use both for Him. And I would just have to manage my time well so that I could enjoy ordinary life as well.

“Thanks, Quinn. I am going to live the best of both worlds.”

“I will be praying for you, Roxanne.”

“I thank you Kim and Carlos for giving me the opportunity to really live life. This has been the best week ever.”

“We have really enjoyed having you, Roxanne. Feel free to come back and visit anytime.”

“Thanks. I will.”

Epilogue

 

Church on Sunday looked like the Emmys. There were so many stars from The Patient in attendance. Of course, that had to do with me inviting them to come watch me be baptized.

“If anyone has a decision to make, I invite them to come forward now,” the pastor said.

This was it. It was time to say goodbye to all my sins. I eagerly went forward to join the pastor.

“For those of you who do not know her, this is Roxanne. She plays Mandy the nurse on The Patient. She has come forward today to be baptized. But before we begin, she wants to say a few words.”

I took a deep breath and than began. “A little over a week ago, it came to my attention that as a TV star, I was not really living my life for real. I was just playing it for the cameras. That is why I talked to Mr. Chase, the producer at The Patient, and asked him for the opportunity to live an ordinary life. He arranged for me to stay with his niece Kim and her husband Carlos for a week.

“Last week was the best week of my life. I really got to experience life. But I also got to learn about God in my life. I realized that I am ready to have a relationship with Him. And I thank Mr. Chase, Carlos, and the women at the Bible study for helping me discover the most important part of my life.”

“Roxanne,” the pastor said. “I have one question for you. Do you accept the forgiveness given for all sins through the death of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord?”

“I do.”

We went to change into shorts and t-shirts. A few minutes later, I was being dunked in a tub of water.

As I emerged, I thought about how I could not wait to begin my new life with Christ as an actress who also lives an ordinary life away from the cameras.

 

 

 


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