Trending tonight on Twitter: Tyler Beckett gears up for the most intense press tour ever seen or heard of in the history of movie premieres.
“So you’re telling me that you have to go on tour with Tyler?” Mary, one of my best friends, asks as she laughs in front of me. After I left Stephanie’s office, I had stopped at my cubicle in a daze. The first thing I did was send Mary an SOS text, then I sat there just staring at the black computer screen that I had turned off right before going into Stephanie’s office. There was no arguing and no talking my way out of it. I was expected to get on that plane in three days and smile and wave, then wave and kiss ass. I knew that once I sat down with Mary, she would more or less talk me off the ledge . . . just as she has been doing since we sat next to each other in psychology on the first day of college.
“It’s not funny, Mary,” I tell her. “In fact, it’s the opposite of funny.” I grab my wine glass and look around Nobu, but for what, I have no idea. Four tables over, the hottest reality television queen sits on her phone. No doubt she’s taking duck selfies, which is never a good look for someone her age. The press hovers outside, anxiously awaiting the next picture to show up on her social media.
“What is the plan?” she asks as she picks up a piece of salad all the while trying not to laugh at my current predicament.
“I have no idea.” Shrugging in defeat, I say, “None, all she said is pack your bags.”
Smirking at me, she says, “For one month, you’ll be on a plane, living out of a suitcase.” Picking up her water and taking a drink before continuing, she boasts, “I mean, talk about a dream job, right?”
“Mary, you know me. I’m going to hate every second.” I lean in, hissing the next words. “It’s one thing to get the in on who is screwing whom, finding out who got stopped for a DUI, or reporting which celebrity is dissing another celebrity, but I get to go home at five o’clock every night, let my hair down, and watch freaking Dateline.” Leaning back in my chair, I continue, “You know this about me. I’m not the type of person who will enjoy being on the job for thirty days straight.”
She sits up in her chair. “Then why are you still at the magazine?” I ask myself that same question each day; a reminder of a time not that long ago when I wanted to report the stories that no one knows about on this side of the world.
“Because I’m good at it, of course. I also have the best closet out of all my friends.” I look around, then lean forward. “And because I’m chicken shit to put it out there and be told that I’m nothing but a paparazzi journalist.” Admitting that out loud just made my stomach do this weird little flip thing . . . and was that bile that just creeped up my esophagus?
“No one thinks of you like that.” She rolls her eyes. “Oprah, freaking Oprah, demanded that you interview her.”
Now I’m the one rolling my eyes. “She didn’t make me do it. She called the magazine, and they swapped stories. It’s not like she picked up the phone, and said, ‘Hey, can you get Jessica to come over for lunch?’”
She puts her hands up. “Semantics . . . it’s almost the same thing.” I don’t bother pointing out to her the difference while she rolls her eyes at me. “Do you know how many people would die to be on that plane with Tyler freaking Beckett?” she asks me, and I just shake my head. “Me, for one. But that’s because I want to sleep with him, and I’m not ashamed to admit all the dirty things that he and I could do together. Some of them could quite possibly be award-winning performances, if I do say so myself.”
With that revelation, I almost choke on the drink I’d just taken and look at my bestie as if she’s lost her damn mind.
“It’s so top secret, they aren’t even telling us the exact itinerary. We will be getting dates and events but not where it will be,” I tell her. “Until then, I’m going to try to get replaced.”
“Tomorrow night, we convene at your place for food and wine before you leave me for a month,” she says while the waiter sets the bill down and clears away our empty plates. I throw my credit card in the check holder. “I’m letting you know now that I’m going to bring more wine than food. Then we can decide what to pack for your trip and make sure you stand out better than any of the other bitches do.” Her eyebrows wiggle.