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  1. #11
    Sojourn

    Sidney's face did hurt a little. He wasn't lying when he told Amy she had a hell of a punch. Given his job, he understood that he could get hurt. It came with the territory. He just wasn't used to being slapped. He could tell that Amy was genuinely upset at what happened, though. He gave her a smile.

    "It's okay..."

    He moved his jaw and said with a wink.

    "No major harm done. At least you didn't puke on me, like the last girl did."

    That had not been a pleasant experience. Rich nodded his head to Amy.

    "Yes, really. I think you have some potential. Of course, we'd start you out in small parts at first. Help you get more experience. Then, if that works out, we'll go from there."

    Amy did have some potential, but she wasn't ready yet to Martin's leading lady. Of course, if she worked and did everything asked of her, then Amy might get a chance to star with Martin Hayes in one of his movies. He shook the young woman's hand and said.

    "You're welcome. Come back at nine o'clock tomorrow. We'll iron out the details of your contract then."

    He'd have Diane prepare a contract for Amy to sign today. Her pay would be nice, better then waitress or store clerk pay. Of course, she wouldn't make as much Martin did. She never would, if she did work out. She was a woman and women didn't make as much as their male co-stars. Rich smiled when Amy said she'd do anything she asked of him. He planned to take her up on that offer.

  2. #12
    Shades

    Amy felt really terrible knowing that she had hurt Sidney. He seemed like a really nice person, and definitely didn’t deserve to be slapped. She would have to practice fake slaps at home, and get it just right so she didn’t hurt anyone else.

    When Sidney mentioned that she had not puked on him, Amy couldn’t help but giggle soflty. “No, I didn’t indeed. But I’m still really sorry”. ‘And I don’t really have anything to puke’, Amy completed silently to herself. She was hungry, but that was something she would never admit.

    When Rich told her that she had potential, Amy let out a relieved sigh. It was starting! She was finally getting a break! Sure, it was a small break, but a small break was better than no break at all, right? That was just the beginning. She would rise to the top, she was sure, as long as she had a chance.

    Shaking Rich’s hand firmly, Amy showed a big smile. “I will be here at nine o’clock sharp”, she promised, feeling light enough to float.

    After thanking Rich profusely a few times, and apologizing to Sidney a few more times, Amy finally left the office. She thanked Rich’s secretary politely as well, and finally stepped out on the street. Everything seemed much better than when she had left the cheap motel room where she was. The sun felt warmer, the air fresher, and even the people looked better. Life was changing. She was gonna make it!

    Amy felt really happy and excited, and couldn’t help but smiling at each person she met on her path. It was due to this attention that she happened to notice, almost at the motel where she was staying, another young woman. She resembled Amy of herself when she had come to Hollywood. Feeling a sense of empathy and a will to help anyone she could, Amy couldn’t resist and approached the other girl carefully. One never knew the reaction people could have to being caught by surprise, after all. Stepping close to the girl, Amy waited to have her attention before speaking. “Hello. Do you need any help?”. Before the other one could reply, she completed as an explanation. “I have been there too, you know. Just getting here and not knowing anyone”. After these words, Amy finally stopped talking and waited for the other girl to either tell her to get lost or accept her offer of help.

  3. #13
    Sojourn

    Sidney couldn't stay mad at Amy, he could tell she was being genuine. He wondered how long it would take for Rich to destroy that. Rich made people very jaded. Maybe she'd get lucky and not end up like so many other girls that came through Rich's doors. He hoped so, Amy seemed like a very nice girl. He smiled at her.

    "I know and it's okay. I forgive you."

    He replied. Since Rich no longer needed him, he took his leave. He told Amy bye and that it was okay about the slap one last time as he left. Rich nodded his head to Amy.

    "Sounds good, I'll see you then."

    He replied, shaking her hand. She had better be on time. Rich hated when people were late. He dismissed her and went back to his chore list for Diane. She'd hate him today, he thought. Not only did she now have to make up a contract but she had to go buy his oldest son some new clothes. His wife, also named Mary, complained that their son was growing too fast. He had no idea what the boy would like, but he never seemed to object to the things Diane picked out. He'd also have to have her get a few groceries for him to pick up for Raquel. Tonight was Mary's night, so he'd tell Raquel that he had a meeting in Las Vegas with Martin. Meetings with Martin, always covered his ass with both women.

    ------------------------------

    Gloria had some big dreams, but the first thing she needed to do was find a place to sleep. Things were so much more expensive here then back home. Of course, it did make sense. People were far richer then in her hometown. It just left with her limited options of where to stay or what to eat. It would only be temporary, though. She'd find a job to make sure she had a bed and food and in her free time she'd work towards getting her big chance.

    Another thing different about Hollywood was how people acted. Back home, everyone was friendly and smiled to each to here. Always saying hello was they walked down the street. She knew the names of all people who owned shops on Main Street. Here...yeah, people seemed to keep more to themselves. That would take some time getting used to.

    Gloria was taken a little by surprise when Amy approached her. She was the first person since Gloria got off the bus that had talked to her. She smiled at Amy.

    "Yeah, a little. I literally just got off the bus."

    Gloria admitted to Amy. She wondered how long Amy had been here. She was dressed very nice and was very pretty. It wouldn't take much for Gloria to believe that Amy was in movies. She set her bag down and held out her hand.

    "I'm Gloria Neal."

  4. #14
    Shades

    Amy was really relieved to know that Sidney wasn’t mad at her. She would have felt terrible if he was still upset. When the man said he forgave her, Amy showed a bright smile. “Thank you so much”, she murmured, relaxing visibly.

    Waving to Sidney before he left, Amy turned her attention to Rich again.

    Once she had shaken his hand, Amy excused herself and left. For now, at least, she was happy and had no idea that Rich had more plans for her, other than just making her work for him. For now, she was still an innocent girl, not yet tainted by the life people lived in Hollywood behind closed doors.

    *********************************

    Back in the street, Amy was over the moon. She was going back to a cheap motel, but it was temporary. She would soon have a real apartment, even if small. And life would be good. She would make it!

    But for now, she was interested in talking to this girl. She reminded Amy so much of herself. She had stepped out of the bus alone, without knowing anyone, and that girl seemed to be just like she was over one year ago. But maybe she didn’t have to suffer like Amy had. Maybe, if she made it, she could try and help this girl, and make a friend. Amy would hate to admit, but she felt terribly lonely in that city, without one single real friend.

    Smiling when Gloria said that she had just gotten off the bus, Amy nodded. “I can imagine how scary this looks for you”, she commented kindly. Leaning forward, Amy picked Gloria’s bag back up and handed it to her. “Amy Stevens - struggling actress, like everyone else”, she introduced herself. “Lesson number one. Never let your purse or bag away from your hands and eyes in this town”, she instructed. “People will rob you blind if you’re not careful”.

    After this explanation, Amy continued. “I’m going back to the place where I’m staying. It’s a cheap motel, but the rooms are clean. Would you like to come along and see if you like it?”, she asked, assuming that Gloria didn’t know where she was staying. If she had come, like Amy, with too many dreams and not enough knowledge, she probably didn’t anyway.

  5. #15
    Sojourn

    Sidney told Amy she was welcome. He was tempted to joke that next they met for her to not slap him but he held back. As upset as she had been at what happened, he decided to just it drop. If she worked out, maybe they could be friends and joke about the audition slap someday.

    -------------------------

    Gloria nodded her head to Amy.

    "A little...It's a lot different then home."

    Gloria admitted to the other girl. It would take time to get used to this large city. Gloria blushed when Amy handed her back her bag.

    "Oh, where I came from, you don't have to worry about stuff like that."

    Back home, if a lady dropped her bag, someone would give it back. Not take it from her. Hollywood wasn't home, though. It was a lot different then home. Crime was very uncommon there.

    "I'll remember that."

    She said, she would not forget get to keep a better eye on her things. It would take some time to get used to. She was used to just trusting people. Not questioning if they had bad intentions.

    When Amy offered to show her the motel, Gloria nodded her head with a smile.

    "Yes, if you don't mind. I need to find a place to stay."

    If it was cheap but clean, that would be good. Gloria couldn't be that picky right now, especially whens he didn't have type of job right now. However, she still had some standards. She didn't want to share a room with rats or cockroaches. Although she had just met Amy, Gloria felt she could trust her. That she understood exactly what Gloria was going through. It would be good to have a friend.

  6. #16
    Shades

    Amy was really relieved that Sidney didn’t joke with her slapping him right away. In the future, once she knew Sidney better, she probably wouldn’t mind it too much. While right now Amy was nervous and insecure, she was a very easy-going girl, with a pretty nice sense of humor, and would definitely be able to laugh at her own misstep in the future.

    **************************

    Smiling to Gloria, Amy nodded when she said Hollywood was very different from her home. She could imagine, since she had felt just the same when arriving at the city.

    Amy sighed when Gloria said that where she had come from, she didn’t have to worry about being robbed. “I can imagine. I came from a small town as well, where everyone always helped everyone else”, she replied quietly.

    When Gloria agreed to follow her to the motel, Amy smiled. She was happier there than she would have been elsewhere. The place wasn’t expensive, but it was pretty decent. Most of the people who lived there were people like Amy - people who kept menial jobs while looking for their break. Amy herself had done all kinds of jobs that didn’t involve taking her clothes off. Right now, she was working at a dentist’s office as a receptionist. It wasn’t a bad job, but it paid basically all she needed not to be out on the street.

    “Do you have any acting experience?”, she asked curiously. Amy was thinking that, if she actually made it, she could help Gloria in the future. But even now, she would be able to help Gloria learn the ropes and get a gig or two, shooting pictures for some company’s advertisement. It wasn’t acting, but it was a way of getting someone’s face out there. “I haven’t gotten the right break yet, but if you want to, we can talk about things here and I can tell you what I have learned since I have gotten here”, Amy offered.

    “We’re here”, she completed, turning to enter a building with a “Motel” sign. “I know it may sound a bit odd that I am offering this to a stranger”, she carried on while they walked to the counter. “I would like doing for you what nobody has done for me”, she explained, stopping by the counter and smiling to a lady in her mid-40s. “I’m back, Maggie, would you get my keys, please? This is Miss Gloria, and she would like to see a room too, if you have one”, she introduced, turning to Gloria. “This is Mrs. Maggie, she runs this place. You can trust her, she is a nice lady”.

  7. #17
    Sojourn

    Gloria smiled back at Amy. She was glad she had met someone who understood. Coming to a large city was a big adjustment. She didn't know anyone and the whole culture of the city was different. In small towns, people helped each other out. In large cities, you had to watch your back. Gloria felt very naive all the sudden. Who knew what could have happened to her if Amy had not found her first. She'd have to remember to be more careful.

    "Just local plays and stuff like that. I'm sure the agents hear that a lot, though."

    Gloria replied to Amy. She was quickly realizing she was just one of hundreds, maybe thousands, of people coming to Hollywood to make it big. Everyone had been a big deal back home. It was easy to be the best talented actor in small town. You were a big fish in a small bowl. Here, though, things were different. Everyone had been a big fish in a small bowl. Now, everyone was a big fish in a giant ocean. An ocean full of sharks.

    Gloria nodded her head to Amy, when she said she hadn't gotten her big break yet. She smiled at Amy's offer.

    "I'd like that, if you don't mind."

    She certainly would not expect Amy to help her out. Although the other girl was very nice.

    "Have you been here long?"

    She wondered how long Amy had been living in Hollywood. She nodded her head when they arrived at the Motel. It seemed nice for the price. It did sound a little odd about the offer. After all, in big cities, wasn't everyone out for themselves? But when Amy explained herself, Gloria understood.

    "Small town girls have to look out for each other."

    Gloria replied with a smile. The lady who ran the hotel seemed pretty nice.

    "Hello, ma'am."

    She told Maggie politely and nodded her head that she'd like to see a room.

    "That's good."

    She replied to Amy about Maggie. The older lady seemed like a nice lady.

  8. #18
    Shades

    Amy listened carefully to what Gloria had to say. It was good to make a new friend. Living in Hollywood, Amy had learned that she couldn’t really trust other people. Knowing someone like herself would be good for both of them. And having Gloria stay in the same place where she was would definitely make things easier for both girls.

    She nodded when Gloria told her that she had only done local plays. They all had, that was something Amy had learned in her time in Hollywood. And she had learned lots of other things, things she would happily share with Gloria. She had met people - both good and bad -, known places where gigs could be found for some money, and places where a girl who wanted to be an actress should never set foot. And she was more than willing to share everything with Gloria. And even - who knew - introduce her to Rich Porter if she ended up getting a big break.

    When Gloria asked if she had been there long, Amy sighed a little. “About eighteen months”, she admitted. “Things are tough here, but with patience and hard work, I’m sure we’ll make it”, the girl completed, showing a bright smile. She nodded again with a smile when Gloria said small town girls should look out for each other. “Right on”, she replied, relieved that Gloria was a friendly woman.

    Maggie looked at Gloria with some curiosity. She knew that her guests were not rich, but she liked having only nice and respectable people stay in the rooms she offered. Since Amy was a good girl, though, Maggie decided that Gloria should be a good girl as well. “Hello, dear”, the woman greeted her. She excused herself and turned around, going to the board where she kept the keys.

    The woman looked at all of them, and finally picked one set of keys. “There you go”, she said, handing the keys to Gloria. “It’s one quarter per night. We only offer cold water, but Hollywood is so hot all year round, you will barely notice. And the rooms are always clean and tidy”.

    Amy nodded in agreement. “She does have a point”, the girl replied. She checked the number on Gloria’s key. “Oh, she gave you the room next door to mine. Come on, I’ll show you to your new room”, the girl said, in her usual enthusiastic manner.

    P.S.: I have no idea about motel room prices back then, so I had to make something up.

  9. #19
    Sojourn

    Although Gloria had just met Amy, she felt they could be good friends. Amy seemed very nice and genuine. It would be good to have a friend who truly understood what she was going through. Maybe with Amy's help, she wouldn't have to run back home to her parents. Not that Gloria expected that she'd land a job right away. She was not that naive. She knew there were lots of people looking for acting jobs. She'd have to work hard, prove that she was worth an agent and a director to take a chance on. Still, it having even one friend was better then having none at all.

    Gloria was sure that everyone who came to Hollywood had done local plays. Everyone was looking for their big break. Everyone wanted to be successful like Martin Hayes. Eighteen months was a lot longer then the amount of time her father had made her promise to stay. He made her promise six months, she bit her lip at that. Although when Amy smiled, she smiled back.

    "You're right. Good things come to those who wait."

    Maybe she'd just tell a little white lie to her father about the jobs. If she hadn't landed an acting job in six months, but at least had some kind of job, then she'd say she was working. She could always say her very small scene got cut. She didn't like the idea of lying to her father but Gloria didn't want to give up on her dreams either.

    Gloria gave Maggie a friendly smile. She was a nice small town girl. She was also a respectable girl. The most she had ever done with the boys back home was kiss. She didn't want to get a job, any type of job, on her back. She didn't plan on making ends meet here in Hollywood by becoming a lady of the night.

    "Thank you, ma'am."

    She told Maggie as she grabbed the keys. Gloria liked the idea of staying next door to Amy, her new friend. She nodded her head and handed Maggie enough money to pay for her first week. She didn't mind the motel only have water. At least she wouldn't be thirsty. Since Amy spoke nicely of the place, she was sure it would be acceptable. It was affordable to Gloria. Although she would need to find a job soon.

    "Sounds good."

    Gloria replied, following Amy towards the room with a smile.

    "So, where do you work when you aren't auditioning?"

    Gloria assumed Amy had to work as a waitress, maid, store clerk, something. Everyone had to eat and although Maggie was nice, she wasn't going to let people stay here for free.

  10. #20
    Shades

    Amy also felt that she could be good friends with Gloria. The other girl seemed like a kind person, and a small town girl like she was. Amy could see herself in Gloria, and wanted Gloria to be as lucky as she had been. No, she hadn’t gotten the big break yet. But she hadn’t been forced into indecent movies, or forced to sleep with some agent to get a chance. So, things could have been a lot worse. And she wanted to offer Gloria the chance to get her break without having to stoop too low.

    Just like Gloria, Amy had come to Hollywood with a deadline given by her parents. Hers had been a little longer - twelve months. But she had to give proof that she was at least working, in any way it happened to be. Luck had smiled at her, and she had found a few photoshoots. It wasn’t her break, but it was proof to her parents that her face was out there. With that, and the jobs she had found to support herself, Amy had managed to stay where she was for a while longer. And she hoped that Gloria would find jobs as well.

    “You do have a point. I hope you hit it big, but don’t feel discouraged. It takes time, after all”, Amy replied to Gloria’s comment on good things coming for those who wait. She had waited, and now she was a few steps away from her dream, close enough to touch it. Gloria was young and good looking, she might make it too. Maybe Amy could even help her once she had found her spot and solidified her career, who knew? For now, though, they had to get Gloria settled. She should probably be tired.

    Maggie smiled back at Gloria. She seemed like a respectable girl, and hopefully wouldn’t cause any trouble in her motel. And since she seemed friendly with Amy, maybe Amy could talk to her in case something happened. With that in mind, the woman relaxed and decided that the girl would cause no trouble.

    Excusing herself, Amy led Gloria to the area where they would stay. She walked by the girl’s side and replied right away when Gloria asked where she worked. “I have done all kinds of jobs, but right now I’m working as a receptionist for a dentist. He is an older man, very respectable, and I really like this job. It doesn’t pay much, but it pays enough to keep me housed and fed”, she explained.

    Unlocking her room, she showed it to Gloria. It was small, and had just a bed and a dresser, with a tiny bathroom inside. Despite simple, it was clean and tidy. “Every room is like that. Mrs. Maggie keeps everything very clean here, and mostly young women like us live here, so you can relax, it’s a pretty safe place”, Amy explained, hoping to put her new friend at ease.

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