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♫Erica♫

“So,” the director said, staring at me over his hands. “Miss Erica.”

I stared at him, wondering if he wanted me to speak. After several minutes, I decided I should actually reply.

“Yeah. Me.”

The director smiled, and I tried not to feel self-conscious.

He was honestly like no other director I’d worked with before. There was no other way to describe him, apart from…gangster. And not in a stereotypical way. He wore wrap-around shades, a diamond stud set in his ear, and his hair insanely messy. Was that meant to be some kind of new fashion? I ran my hands over my sleek, shiny locks that were finally free, after being stuck under a stuffy wig for so long.

He leaned back, and the gold necklace around his neck glinted.

The silence continued.

Suddenly, he slammed down a slab of paper in front of me. I jumped.

“The script,” he said, dramatically. My eyes fell to the desk.

Slowly, my trembling fingers reached to the document, but before I could touch the script, he slapped the desk again, and I withdrew my fingers hastily. I look up, unto his sunglass-covered eyes.

“Before you read it, though, Miss Erica…there is something I want to tell you.”

***

╣Daniel╠

“So, do you know what she said? She said ‘shut up’! Isn’t that the cutest thing you’ve ever heard? She’s like that, Erica.”

He didn’t reply, but I still smiled to myself.

“Do you think I like her? Maybe I do.”

Why wasn’t he waking up?

“Maybe I really like her.”

He didn’t even twitch.

“Maybe I even lo –”

I stopped myself, before I could say something I would definitely regret later. I decided to change the subject.

“So the nurse said there was some brain activity today. I was so happy…you know how much you mean to be, right? Well, you should. You’re my brother. We have no one else in the world. Well, apart from the crap we have left of our parents. I think I still have Dad’s old watch somewhere…”

I focused, suddenly remembering. “Oh, that’s right! You got that ring from Mom. You were meant to give it to the girl you loved. You’ll find her, you know. I believe in you.”

His heart rate spiked, and I stared at the beeping machine, suddenly hopeful. It fell again, and I sighed.

That’d happened a couple times before. It would’ve been funny, but this was my brother.

“Hey,” I said, standing up and moving closer. At this angle, I can see my brother’s face so clearly. It’s emotionless, and pale. It’s so much like mine, it’s almost eerie. But I ignored this, and I felt for the ring at my chest. I pulled it off, and watched the little diamond shine in the sliver of sunlight let through by the drawn curtains. I smiled. “This is the ring, right? I always keep it with me. Don’t ask me why, I’m just used to it, I guess.”

He remained unresponsive, even when I picked up his hand. It felt smooth and cold in my hand.

“Take it,” I whispered, pressing the ring into his hand. “It’s meant to be yours, anyway. It’s Mom would’ve wanted…”

I held his hand closed around the ring.

“Give it to the girl you love, yeah?”

My heart skipped a beat, before I broke the silence with an awkward laugh.

“Sorry, I don’t know why I’m so emotion…I just have this feeling. You know? This feeling, just like the day you hit…I don’t know.”

His hand twitched, and I froze.

What the hell was that?

His hand moved again. Oh my God.

“Nurse!” I screamed.

***

♫Erica♫

“I don’t understand,” I said, through unmoving lips. “What…?”

“I’m sorry. I just think…”

“Are you kidding me?!” I screamed, jumping up. “After weeks in that stupid placer, surrounded by idiotic men, made to dance and sing, and even twisting me ankle, you…?”

“I’m sorry, but I think you’re too…vanilla. You have to be crazy. You have to show raw passion, hate, love, everything. If I asked you to do that, would you be able to?”

I swallowed.

“Exactly. You don’t have what it takes.”

I stood still for a moment, utterly humiliated. I can’t believe I’d been through all that, and then he tell me… my eyes filled with tears.

“Fine,” I whispered.

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