The Arrangement

Cassie Morris is an aspiring actress, though she struggles to land a successful role. After another failed audition, the role of a lifetime falls into her life. Does she seize the opportunity, finally achieve her lifelong dream even if it goes against every moral she's ever held herself to? Can she handle being attached at the hip to someone she despises?

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2. Politics & Bullshit

  I nailed that audition. I fucking nailed it, I know I did. I could feel the emotion flowing through me, as if the words had come from my own heart and not a piece of paper. I nailed it.

 

Then how come all I can see in front of me is rejection? I’ve probably been to a hundred auditions in the two years that I’ve been in Los Angeles. And more than half of those have ended in a rejection and me in tears. All because I don't have the look.

 

So I knew what was coming for me as I stood in front of my judges and watched their faces. There were some forced smiles and pursed lips, some boredom.

 

“Ms. Morris…” Mr. Sanders started off. He hesitated as if he weren't sure what to say. “Your acting is... it's very good, you're very talented,” he complimented.

 

Great, here it comes…

 

“It's just...you don't really have the look we're going for,” he explained. “Do you understand?”

 

I made sure to keep my smile in place, though the tears threatened to spill over down my cheeks. “I do,” I said with a nod. “I understand. Thank you for your time.”

 

I handed the script back to Ms. Burns, who looked remorseful, then turned and walked away with my head held high. I noticed another exit and decided to take that one instead of the way I came; I didn't want to earn the looks of shame from the other girls as I ran out crying.

 

So I waited until the door shut behind me before letting the tears fall, then practically ran to my car. With shaky hands I unlocked the door and pulled a pack of cigarettes out of the glove compartment. I took one out and lit up, inhaling the smoke deeply.

 

I know, I know. Smoking is a disgusting habit. And I don't do it much. Mostly to take the edge off when I get stressed or upset.

 

I knew I was in no shape to drive so I climbed out of the car and leaned back against the hood, taking another hit of my cigarette.

 

“Ms. Morris?” I heard someone call out. I glanced up to see someone jogging towards me from the door I'd just left. I wiped the tears from my eyes to see Mr. Flores, the attractive younger guy at the table, coming towards me.

 

I scoffed. He slowed down as he got closer to me. “Look, you really don't need to say anything,” I told him, taking another drag. “I get it. I'm not blonde or skinny, I'm not what you're looking for.” I rolled my eyes as the words left my mouth. It seemed so ridiculous.

 

“Well, I wanted to apologize about that,” he explained as he approached me cautiously. He leaned against the wall in front of me, staring at me. “I don't think it's fair either, but I don't have much say.”

 

I sighed, looking at the ground. “It's fine,” I lied. “I mean, I should be used to it now. I just got my hopes up.”

 

He nodded slowly. “I get it,” he said. “It really sucks, all the politics and bullshit.”

 

I couldn't help but to laugh, but I didn't have anything else to say. So we sat in silence for a moment. “You know…” he said hesitantly. I looked up to see him struggling for words. “I, um...I'm part of another, uh... project. And I think you'd be perfect for it.”

 

I laughed, rolling my eyes again. “You can stop, Mr. Flores,” I told him.

 

He cut me off. “It's Alfredo. Everyone calls me Fredo, though.”

 

I chuckled. “Alright, Fredo. You can stop. I didn't get the part, that's fine. But I don't need your pity, you don't need to make up some bullshit project. I'm fine.”

 

“It's not bullshit,” he defended. “And I'm not taking pity on you. I really do think you'd be perfect for it.” He suddenly pulled out his wallet and dug around for a second. “Here,” he said, taking something out, “take my card so you'll have my number. I'll set up a um...audition for you, sometime tonight or tomorrow afternoon. I'll get your number off of your resumé and I'll give you a call. Okay?”

 

I hesitantly took his card and looked it over. It had the name 'Alfredo Flores’ on it with a phone number underneath. “Okay,” I said slowly as I looked up at him. “Sure, that sounds good. You better not be full of shit, though,” I chuckled.

 

He laughed. “I promise I'm not. I gotta get back inside though. It was nice to meet you, Ms. Morris.”

 

“It's Cassie,” I corrected him with a smile.

 

He gave me a quick nod. “Bye, Cassie.”


-----------------------------------------------------
 

As I unlocked and pushed the door to my apartment open, I suddenly realized how tired I felt. And defeated.

 

“Hey,” I heard my roommate Nancy call out. I glanced up to see her laid out on the couch, but she sat up at the sound of my entrance. “How'd it go?”

 

I made my way over to the couch and plopped down beside her, letting my purse fall to the floor. “Pretty bad,” I told her as I pulled my heels off and crossed my legs beneath me.

 

“I'm sorry,” she said, looking remorseful. “Want me to get the wine out?”

 

I chuckled. “No, it's fine. I mean...I might have another audition,” I said nervously as I thought back to my encounter with Fredo.

 

“What do you mean?” she asked, sitting up and hugging a pillow to her body as if this conversation was super intriguing.

 

I laughed at how intense she looked. “Well...one of the producers or whatever followed me out after they told me no. He basically said that he was working on something else and thought I would be good for it,” I explained. “He was really nice and said he would call me sometime today or tomorrow.”

 

Nancy looked at me nervously, her blonde brows wrinkled together like she was trying to figure out an advanced math equation.

 

“It's not like...a porno or anything right?” she laughed.

 

I couldn't help but to laugh at her. “No!” But as I thought about it more, I stopped. “Well...I hope not.”

 

I suddenly felt my phone vibrating in my back pocket; someone was calling me. But when I pulled my phone out, I didn't recognize the number. I pulled out Fredo’s business card to compare the phone numbers, and saw they were the same. “I think this is actually him,” I muttered, a feeling of panic invading my stomach.

 

I swear, Nancy jumped out of her skin. “Answer, answer, answer!” she whispered, as if he could hear her through the phone.

 

“Hello?” I answered as I put the phone to my ear and got up off the couch, with my back towards my roommate. I knew if I was looking at her I would lose my composure.

 

“Hey, Cassie? This is Fredo,” he answered cheerfully.

 

“Hey, Fredo!” I said, trying to disguise my nervousness as excitement. “What's up?”

 

“Well, I got that audition set up for you! Is 6 tonight okay with you?” he asked.

 

“Oh, um...yeah, that's great!” I answered.

 

“Cool. I'll text you the address in a few, alright?”

 

“Okay. Thanks again, Fredo, I really appreciate it!” I told him. Which was most definitely not a lie.

 

“Not a problem,” he chuckled nicely. “I’ll see you at 6.”  

 

Author's Note: hey guys! so i hope yall are enjoying the story so far, i haven't gotten any comments or likes or anything but im hoping that's because it's early and its kinda slow so far. it's about to pick up though! i will also be posting the next chapter to my other story Feels Like Home tonight, so be on the lookout for that! tell me what you guys think please! comment, like, favorite it, whatever you need to do. i would seriously love some constructive criticism on this story <3

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