Love Unscripted Page 3

I looked at Marie for confirmation. Her eyes opened wider and she shrugged the slightest bit, which was absolutely no help. I started to panic a little inside; the last thing I wanted to do was to hurt his feelings.

Phil waved a twenty at me and gestured for the new pitcher of beer I still held in my hand.

“I wanted to ask you if you’ve tried that new steakhouse over by the mall yet?” Phil mumbled nervously, almost to the point that I didn’t understand him. As I processed his question, my eyes closed briefly and I took a deep breath through my nose. This was his opener to ask me on a date.

“No, I haven’t, but Marie has.” I hurried away to the cash register with his money in hand and punched the keys slowly, trying to figure out how to let him down easy. I could sense what was coming.

“Do you, I mean, maybe sometime, can I take you there for dinner?” It was hard for him to ask. I felt really bad for him and for what I was about to say next.

“Phil, that’s very sweet of you to offer, but I’m already seeing someone. I’m sorry.” My candy-coated lie sounded so convincing I almost believed it myself.

“So who are you dating these days? Your right hand or your left?” Marie jeered when Phil walked away.

I couldn’t help it – some juvenile instinct made me react. I stuck my tongue out at her.

“You know what your problem is? You need to get laid,” she mumbled under her breath. “And I’m not talking about the do-it-yourself kind of laid either. Just pick one of these guys and go have meaningless, mind-altering, sweaty sex already!”

I retaliated her snide remark by snapping her in the butt with my damp bar rag.

“So is that what you would do if you weren’t already married?” I laughed. “I just want to be clear with this wonderful advice you’re giving me because I don’t recall you selecting Gary from the masses here.”

“Ah…” She waved a disgruntled hand at me. “You’re hopeless.”

I left out a loud, agreeing sigh.

“Why don’t you go over there and be nice to him? I heard the Fire Department was called out to the movie set this morning. Maybe he could get us in?” Marie shrugged, a glimmer of hope infused her voice.

I wrinkled my nose at her and countered her suggestion with one of my own. “Why don’t you go be nice to him then? I have no desire to go flock around some movie set like a pathetic groupie.”

“Speaking of groupies, did you hear that the police had to escort his limo to his hotel last night?” she asked, tapping one of her long fingernails on Ryan Christensen’s picture in today’s newspaper. “Article says there was a mob of women there; they had his hotel surrounded again.”

I rolled my eyes and continued wiping the bar with a towel. I really could not be bothered with the trivial, but it was hard to ignore. Everyone wanted to know the most miniscule details about him and his fellow actors and their glamorous lives. The photographers and reporters hunted them down daily.

Every day the news reports had something to say about the actors, the movie, the set locations, or the disruptions caused by the hundreds of crazed fans that followed them here. It was all too absurd for my taste, but Ryan Christensen was a drug that everyone seemed hopelessly addicted to.

“Girls have been trying to sleep out on the sidewalk and everything… cops had to tell them to leave,” Marie babbled to a few female customers sitting at the bar as she shuffled the newspaper into a neat pile.

I shook my head while trying to imagine what the payoff would be to even consider sleeping on cold concrete in 50-degree weather. It was still nice out during the day, but it was the last day of September and the evenings were chilly.

“That’s ridiculous,” I muttered.

“They’ll have to sleep down on the beach now,” Sandy, our local beautician, chimed in. She took another sip of her martini while everyone waited in anticipation for her to explain.

“One of the girls who work at the Lexington Hotel was in the salon this afternoon,” Sandy babbled, like the information she had was no big deal.

“She said it was all hush-hush, but the hotel staff was informed that all of the actors were being relocated there today. Apparently the Lexington has better security and private garage entrances. I don’t know - whatever. Anyway, it sounds like they’re going to be right down the street from us now.”

“No shit!” Marie screeched excitedly. “You mean to tell me that Ryan and the entire cast are going to be only three teeny blocks down that street?” She pointed out the window in the direction of Mulberry Street.

Her exuberance about this entire topic was bordering on annoying.

“I still can’t believe they are filming the second Seaside movie right here in our town. This one is going to be even better than the first!” Marie gushed.

“Okay, that’s like the hundredth time you’ve said that,” I teased.

“Well maybe if you bothered to watch the first movie you’d know what all of us are so excited about,” she snapped back.

“I read in one of the magazines at the salon that he is sleeping with the girl who starred in his last movie… what’s her name, Suzette, Suzanne something?” Sandy commented.

“No Sandy, that’s not true,” Marie shot back, shaking her head in disagreement. “He was dating Lauren Delaney from that TV show Modern Times, but they broke up.”

Marie’s tone was almost sympathetic. She tossed her long chocolate-brown hair off her shoulders, looking like she felt sorry for this man she didn’t know personally.

“I heard that someone stole some of his clothes from the hotel last week and tried to sell them on eBay,” Traci added.

“Oh, that’s just wrong,” I blurted out, trying to imagine what type of sick-o would buy some guy’s used shorts. The thought made me shudder.

“Why on Earth would someone do that? Well, whoever did it, I hope they got arrested.”

My mind could not rationalize the actions. “It sure is a twisted world we live in.”

“If I had the chance, I’d twist on him several times!” Marie growled. I laughed when she wiggled her hips.

“Why don’t you twist your way over to the big table with this pitcher for me? Please? Our fire department looks like they still have fires to put out.”

I felt bad for turning Phil down, so I was trying to make it up to him with a free pitcher of beer. Secretly though I didn’t want to go anywhere near him.“

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