Part 8 Dare to Dream

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I ENTER OC LIKE I AM TAKING THE WALK OF SHAME. Although Tom did an amazing job on my exterior, my interior is still a hacked up mess. I just pray I can get through this day without crying.

I see Peggy in the distance coming towards me like a bat out of hell. "Good morning, how was the Roxy?"

"Great. Muno was great. Is Freddy here yet?"

Peggy puts her arm around my shoulders and redirects me. "He's in Richard's office already. Got here early. Come on, the meeting is now."


"Yep, got pushed up. I guess everyone is anxious to get this party started."

My stomach is doing backflips the closer we get to Richard's office. I enter with a fake smile and glance around the room.

Freddy sits up front with an empty seat next to him—my seat. I always sit next to him in these meetings. His eyes meet mine and my heart explodes.

I quickly look past him to everyone else in the room.

Simon and Richard stand in the front with each of their assistants off to the side. Several other finance guys and department heads are present in the back. Everyone is here.

There is nothing left to do but take a seat next to Freddy, which I do calmly with a blank face.

Peggy sits behind us.

The tension is palpable.

Richard, a tall but lanky character in his mid-sixties with brown eyes and grey hair clears his throat. "Alright, so I understand that Freddy and Brenda went to The Roxy and scouted Muno. So, I assume he's the one we are backing, correct?"

"Absolutely Richard," Freddy says. "He meets all the criteria."

Richard leans against his desk. "Excellent." He then turns to me. "Brenda, you're quiet this morning. What do you think?"

Inside I am dying. I casually glance at Freddy then back to Richard. "Great. Good vibe. Great crowd. Great performance."

Richard folds his arms. "Really?"

I nod my head.

"Well, then I guess there's nothing further to discuss," Richard says, leaning forward from the desk.

And there goes my chance. I stare down at the ground and close my eyes. This is really done. I take a deep breath and feel the sickness in my stomach begin to form.

"What's that noise?" Richard asks.

I open my eyes quickly and look around.

Everyone in the room looks around puzzled by the intrusion.

A ringtone blasts out of my purse like a bullhorn pointing all blame at me.

My face turns bright red. The rule is all phones are to be turned off before entering any meeting in Richard's office, but I forgot to do it.

"You know I find that extremely rude," Richard says.

I smile and bend my embarrassed ass over to turn off my phone. "I am so sorry Richard." I take the forbidden glance anyway to discover it is an e-mail blast for Modeus's next show:

'Modeus performing this Saturday at The Roxy. Get your tickets now.'

I quickly look up and smile.

"Let's just move on Richard," Freddy says. "Some of us shouldn't even be in this meeting."

I look at Freddy and imagine punching him in the face.

"Brenda," Richard says. "Earth to Brenda."

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