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“Then what do you suggest?” Jeff drank the beer. “Sean, do you know what happens to those celebrities who didn’t take care of their history? Media will find a way to have news to tell. And you, dear boy have a lot of dirt on you. You’re new at this industry you can’t make an impression without a big debut. And you’re not exactly memorable if we’re going to based on your looks. It’s just too common these days. Have you seen the other actors? It’s okay to be ugly if you’re a good actor. However you’re not a good actor. You’re just too… common.” He ended his insult with a shrug.

“You’re asking something impossible. I won’t go there.” Not in this life. I can’t face her. Not after all the years I’ve been through.

He shrugged again. “As your manager I suggest it’s the only way. Unless, you want to end your career the moment you first started it. Your choice, not mine.”

And I found no other way to stop this from happening. Sooner or later, I’m going to have to do this anyway. I’ve been avoiding it for too long. My car pulled up in a familiar place. I got out. Deep breaths Sean. Deep breaths. 

As soon as I step on the ground I wanted to go back inside and run away from this place. It’s just scary how everything around here didn’t change at all. It feels heavy because I know something’s going to happen. I walked the path I’ve been walking on ever since I was a child. Some of the houses weren’t familiar anymore. And people who pass by me don’t seem to recognize me as the boy who ran away. I could feel the pounding of my heart. I could see the house now. It looks dull and old. She didn’t bother for a repainting. But the plants were in good condition. The gate was rusty and orange. I opened it. The walk towards the door seemed so long but in reality it’s only a few meters. There was no middle-aged woman waiting for me at the door. Maybe she’s not here. But then the door opened.

“Who is it?” I watched her face as she saw me. Shock, pain, and joy.

I couldn’t stop it. The memories started playing in my head like a montage.

"Ambooy!" She called me. 

I approached her. “Good morning.” It seemed like something decent enough to say to a person you haven't seen for years. 

It took her a long time to speak. She was looking at me with searching eyes. She smiled. “What brings you here?”

“I have something to take care of.”

“Don’t listen to what others are telling you. Study hard. Only listen to the teacher’s lessons.”

We started walking towards the house. It was well-kept. Everything was in place just like the last time I’ve been here.

“Goodbye… mom.”

I pushed the memories out. The pain was too much to bear and I need to concentrate how to say all of it to her. I sat on the sofa, it was different than the one we had years ago. It was wooden not leather. My face is forming into a scowl but I changed it and did my best on a poker face. She went into the kitchen; I could see her getting water for me. I was about to stop her but stopped myself. The last thing I need is a personal interaction with her. She handed me the glass of water.

“Sorry the water’s warm. I sold the refrigerator.” I could see that. She sold the T.V too. Is this how she gets money?

I had to remind myself that I don’t care how she lives her life. I put down the glass. “I have a job now. I’m going to be an actor. But first, I have to arrange some things.” Wow, this is hard. I tried to find the right words. This is the first time I talked to her after a decade or more. She just listened and looked at me. “My manager said that I have to take care of my history because the media might want to look up on me… and uh—“

“You want me to act like any mother would and nothing extraordinary ever happened.”  I was surprised. She’s taking all this lightly after all that happened.

“Yes. It’ll be really helpful.”

“Is that all?”

I nodded. I stood up. “I’ll be going now.” A frail thin hand grabbed me by the wrist. 

“Wait.” She let go. The part where she touched me tingled. I waved it off. I looked at her. She sighed. “Just for a couple of minutes, I deserve that much.” I was itching to get out of this place. Memories has a way of replaying by itself. But she was right. I sat down.

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Chapter 1

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