I was walking out of a building onto a city street. The Angel is beside me. “This is Los Angeles, and you’re in film school. You know AJ, but you got your own place and a job at a local store. It’s March 15th, 2013.” She said. “Just follow me” The Angel starts walking in front of me. I follow her for a few blocks before we cut down an alley. There was this thin Asian girl with a short haircut in decent clothes digging in a trash can. The Angel just kept on walking while I stopped. “You need some help?” I asked.
She jumps back then looks at me. She didn’t have any makeup on, but I was drawn to her eyes. “I hate to ask but do you have any spare change?” She asked me with a southern draw.
I pulled out my wallet from my pocket to see that I only had twenty’s. “You’re not hooked on anything?” I asked.
She shakes her head no. “I got a hotel room, for a month so I could look for an apartment and a job. But I couldn’t find a job then I kept the room, but now I’m broke.” She said.
I pulled out a twenty and hand it to her. “I’m going to work; I can see if they’re hiring,” I said. “After I get off, we could get something to eat on me.”
She hugs me. “Thank you, I’m Taylor; they told me that there weren’t respectable people here, in LA.” I let out a chuckle. She stops hugging me then looks at me. “What’s funny?”
“I ain’t from here, you might call me a Yankee, but I like to think of myself as a southern boy or a Kentucky gentleman.” I proudly told her. “I’ve met a few decent people here. Let’s get our move on.” I said as I began to follow the Angel again. She walked by my side until I got to work then I walked in.
I started to walk into a fancy hotel room with a big screen on the wall with ugly floral bedding. The wardrobe was open showing a black suit jacket, black pants with a red shirt and black and red striped tie. I walked in, and the Angel follows me in. “Change into the suit.” She said as I shut the door.
“Who was that last girl, she seemed so familiar,” I asked being I know I saw her face before.
The Angel starts to take off my shirt while ignoring the question. “Come on you got to get ready for the awards banquet.” She said as she ripped off my shirt. “It’s the June 15th, 2011,” She said as she bringing my shirt over to me while I was taking off my pants. I quickly got dressed in the suit before transferring my wallet and phone to my suit pocket. The Angel hands me some index cards with speech on them. “This is your speech, it’s straightforward and looks at me while giving it.” She starts to push me out of the room as I put the index cards in my jacket pocket. The door shuts behind me. “You won a writing contest.” She said.
I stop to look at her. “What is it with me and the arts?”
She grabs my hand then pulls me forward. “After you have this experience, it will be like a thunderstorm in your head that you can’t control, it happens a lot.” She said as we started to walk down a flight of steps. She let’s go after we hit half way down, right before the lobby. People was in suits and long dresses. Some of them are heading into another room.
I follow the Angel as she leads me through the doorway and into a lounge. White name cards are on the tables. The Angel brings me to a small table that has three name cards. My name card is next to the wall with a good view of the podium that is next to the awards. I sit down at my name the wait for more people to walk in. It seems like I waited for like ten minutes or so before a stunning Asian woman in a red dress walks up to the table. She looks at the name card next to me. She starts to pull out her chair. “Let me get that for you?” I offered as I stood up.
She smiled then stuck out her hand. “I’m Rin of Fiver,” Rin said as I shook her soft hand.
I smile back. “I’m Josh, but you can call me Jay.” I pulled out her chair then pushed it back in for her. “Rin is an unusual name,” I said as I sat back down.
She chuckles. “My birth name is Stephanie, but Rin is easier for the fans in Korea. You can call me Steff if you want to Jay.” I nodded my head yes. “Your writing was something else. I can’t wait to read more.”
AJ walks over then sits down without a tie or the top button buttoned. He looks over at us. “I’m AJ,” He said as we look at him. AJ looks over Steff up and down while getting a grin on his face. “You’re a cutie if you want to dance at my club, feel free to stop by.” He said.
Steff looks at me then mouths “Just go with it” before turning back to him. “I guess, Jay and I will have to come by some night, won’t we hun?”
I know AJ isn’t buying the lie. “I guess as long as it’s not a bump and grind club,” I said playing along. “I just love to get lost in her eyes.”
AJ’s eyes look back and forth at us. “Y’all wouldn’t like it then.” He said before taking off again.
Steff turns around to me while snickering then I join in. “He was a creep, thanks for playing along.” She said as we stopped.
The lights dimmed while music plays before I could say anything. A spotlight is on the stage while a tall man with a good build walks up to the podium. “I would like to thank the winners and runners up for coming up as well as the judges.” He said. “I’m going to pass it off to Dean Crosby.”
We applause as an older man walks up. “I would like to call up the winner for film, AJ Tritt.” We begin to clap as no one walks up. Dean Crosby looks around, “Is there an AJ Tritt here?” The man from before walks up then whispers something to Dean Crosby while he nods his head. “AJ is here but is caught up with something. So, I’m going to ask for Josh Jackson, the winner of the short story, South region. Still story runner-up and our grand prize winner to come up.” I stand up while everyone is clapping for me, I walk over to the podium. Dean Crosby sticks out his hand before I get to the rostrum. I shake his hand then he leans in. “Make it a short, if you going to speak.” He whispers. I walk over to the podium before staring out into the small crowd that has finished clapping.
My eyes lock on the Angel who is sitting next to Steff. “This is an honor, I’m just speechless,” I said before I started to walk back to the table. The crowd claps as I walk back.
“Josh doesn’t want to clutter up the table with the awards.” The crowd laughs as Dean Crosby joked. “I can’t blame him either.”
I sat down next to Steff as the awards show went on. Steff presented the award for best music. Most people left after the awards while the rest drank themselves silly. Steff and I just got to know each other which was nice before I doorway.