4-Oceanside Talent Agency (Edited)

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**Picture of Gabe is now available ------------------------------------------------------>

My heart pounded in my ears and the first thing I thought was, "That's just great. What a perfect way to my craptacular day. I forgot to change the locks," but that was before I processed whose voice had spoken.

"Good grief, Gabe! You scared the crap out me. I thought you were..." I stopped mid-sentence refusing to say his name. "You can't just waltz in my apartment unannounced! I don't care if you're my brother or the Pope. Haven't you ever heard of knocking?"

My brother raised his hands in surrender. "Iin my defense I knocked several times and no one came to the door. So I just let myself in. I thought maybe you were in the bathroom; the last thing I expected was to find you playing your guitar again, or Crystal on the keyboard for that matter. Nice job by the way. So what's the occasion? I haven't seen a duet from you two in... well, years."

"Hey Gabe." Crystal interjected with a blush.

"Oh, hey Crystal." He replied with an air of nonchalance and a quick glance in her direction.

My eyes had to be the size of saucers as I absorbed the pink tint in her cheeks and his inability to maintain eye contact with my best friend.  In all the years we'd been friends I'd never noticed either of them have a reaction of that kind, at least not in regards to eachother. Then again, I had been so wrapped up in myself and Nate, that it wouldn't surprise me if they'd been looking like that for a while.

Without meaning to, I found myself scowling over the idea that I'd been such a crappy friend.

"Hey what's the matter Lizzie?"

The laugh that escaped my lips surprised even me, because it sounded so caustic and world weary. I hated it. Though the blow that he'd dealt me had occured mere hours ago, the well storing the tears I was willing to shed on his behalf had already run dry. All that was left was the cold, empty, calculating hate that had been steadily developing since the morning. It was a feeling I wasn't familar with, and I hated that I hated him.

Never had I fully comprehended the weight of life's two very important four letter words. They held the power to make or break someone and I refused to broken by either.

So with a deep calming breath, I relayed all of the day's drama and our plans to go big or go home. I left out the small detail of it being for revenge, because I doubted that it would go over well with my brother. He'd feel obligated to be the voice of reason and would sit there all full of concern. He would try to convince me to only do it for me.

The truth of the matter was that I wasn't ready to be reasonable. Despite the fact that I hated to be angry, I was content to stew in it for a bit longer.

Gabe's exuberance brought me out of my thoughts and I was better for it since they were only getting darker as the seconds wore on.

"Finally Lizzie! Don't take this the wrong way, but I'm ecstatic that he's out of the picture. I never liked that a-hole. As for this new motivation to make your musical aspirations come to life, I'm so happy for you. Do you have a camcorder or camera so you can upload to Youtube and make a demo for the recording companies, or have you not gotten that far?"

The three of us discussed our plans for Poetic Justice late into the night. In his excitement for us, Gabe had called up a long term friend of his who worked at a local talent agency and convinced him to schedule a tentative interview with the stipulation that we get him a demo by Friday. Since it was already the wee hours of Wednesday it gave us two days to get the rest of our ducks in a row. When I laid down to sleep that night I was determined to make my dreams a reality. We finally had a game plan, and with the help of my best friend, I was going to show Nate that he messed with the wrong woman.

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