chapter twenty-three

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As expected, Hendery came in the studio with a visible hangover: dark circles, lack of concentration, and tiredness. The director grounded him for ten minutes straight and I think I saw him crying in the back of the hallway.

Other than that, the shooting went pretty well. I cheered for Lisa when it was her turn and she did the same thing for me. It seemed like we both want to forget about our last few fights and move one which is great. I prefer being around a happy Lisa rather than a grumpy Lisa.

Elijah was happy when I told her on the phone that Lisa and I somewhat patched things up. We are not as close as before but we talk.

Talk is good.

I tried to hold back myself when I saw Somi talking to her with a seductive look during the shooting. They are friends, maybe more.

Thinking about it doesn't please me but I know my limit now. It's none of my business. The only thing that I should be focusing on is keeping my unsteady friendship with her.

She is not giving the cold shoulders and she talks to me when we are in the same room now.

"Pennies for your thoughts?" someone said near my ear causing me to jump out of my chair.

I move back, hand on my chest and glare at my opponent. The features on my face soothe when I see the cheeky smile of Lisa.

God, it's just her.

"You scared me!"

I want to scold her for startling me but I can't be mad at her for having the brightest smile.

"What are you doing here all alone?" she softly asked me with her hands on her back.

As time goes by, I grow distant to people around me. They always disappointed me and I don't want to redo the same mistake. Most of them were hiding their problems to me, showing me all their best characteristics and achievements. None of them were real because all of them wanted to take my place.

Lisa is the only one I trust in this industry full of fake people.

"Where do you want me to be?" I sigh.

There's a beat of silence making me look at her. According to her expression, I think she hasn't expected this question. I don't want her pity because I'm perfectly fine working alone. My manager is enough for me to feel surrounded. As the saying goes 'better alone than in bad company'.

"What?" I ask after hearing no response from her.

She doesn't stop looking at me as if I was coming from another planet. Deciding it would be safer to keep some distance with her, I take another step back. She still has the same vivid brown gaze and it's starting to destabilize me.

Lisa tilts her hand and leans on me, "I wish you could see how much you're messing with my heart."

I don't know if I should be offended by her words but I let it pass because it's Lisa. She can blurt out things that don't make sense sometimes and it's totally normal.

"For being introvert? Sorry, I guess."

Lisa's features soften while her gaze is on me, "You're perfect the way you are."

I smile at her and hug her without an ounce of hesitation. She's always been sweet and kind to me since the very first day we met. I'm so glad we are friends after all the things we go through these past few days.

"You're sweet. Thanks, Lili." I tell her and lodge my head on the crook of her neck.

It takes her a few moments to relax and wraps her arms around me. I can hear the loud throbbing of her heart and smell the gentle scent of her perfume.

"What are you doing tonight?" I ask her, still hugging her like a teddy bear.

I'm hoping that we could grab some pizzas and watch a movie like the good old days.

"Niki and Jackson are taking me to the Wynn Las Vegas Casino," she responds and breaks our hug. "You want to come? It'll be fun."

I shrug.

"I don't really like gambling and stuff..."

She seems a little disappointed but she quickly takes it off with a smile.

"It's okay, I'll ask So--"

"Gotcha! Of course I'm coming. Be ready at nine," I cut her off and wave her goodbye before leaving my dressing-room.

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