SHORT STORY

 

To Those Who Wait

As featured in ArtAscent “Yellow” Issue (December 2018)

 
 

Stephanie Vale wasn’t in a hurry, this opportunity was priceless. Her sedan illegally parked a block away would beg to differ. She told herself it was worth every penny, every parking ticket. 

“You understand,” the publicist said leaning in closer, “Logan’s been under such pressure.”

“Really, I don’t mind waiting,” Stephanie lied. 

The publicist was ticking, each wasted minute marked by the crack of a knuckle. “Anyways… he’s handling it well, the split.” 

“Why wouldn’t he be?” Stephanie said. “He initiated—” 

A strained chuckle, followed by another crepitation. “Let’s not concede to speculation Miss Vale. We’ll leave that to the dailies.” 

With that, the publicist got up from their poolside table eager to find his wayward client. But this was the Chateau Marmont, and there were stars orbiting everywhere, even in the blazing daylight.

Stephanie yawned and tapped her notepad. So far, her investigation into Logan Labreck was rather dull. He was just shy of twenty, well coiffed and, until recently, one third of some boy band. 

When Stephanie received the call to meet Logan at noon she was shocked. 

For the past month he had evaded daylight, becoming a fixture amongst Hollywood’s most elusive nocturnal circles. The narrative was all too predictable until he completely disappeared.

But Stephanie had already been forewarned by Logan’s handlers not to question his past, it was strictly off limits. She was told to speak only about the prospects of his future.

“Then get him alone,” her editor had demanded, “he’ll eventually slip.” 

A passing cloud dialed back the afternoon’s scorching rays. Stephanie basked in the shade, her pantsuit hadn’t been the wisest choice after all. She’d lost track of time, but Logan was at least an hour late by now. Just as she began scribbling down a note on his lack of punctuality, a shadow came barreling toward her. It hollered, but the collision was inevitable. 

They tumbled backward into a cluster of palms and sweet honeysuckle, but all Stephanie could smell was a heady cologne wafting from the body collapsed on top of her.

A few of the golden statues sparkling in the pool glanced in their direction, but none moved to offer any help. 

“Dude,” the stranger said, buried in her chest, “I think I might’ve sprained something.”

When the body finally lifted its head, Stephanie gaped. She was staring at her subject, at least she thought so. 

“Logan? Logan Labreck?”

The hollow cheeks were unmistakably his, but the stubble was new. His hair, typically brown and swept into a pompadour, was unkempt and streaked with dull lavender highlights. He was far lankier than she expected too, made all the more evident by a baggy windbreaker that swam off his shoulders.

“You’re not seriously looking for an autograph right now,” he groaned. 

Stephanie rolled her eyes. “No. I’m actually here to interview you, for Vanity Fair.” 

“Shit that’s today?”

Logan attempted to stand but slipped almost immediately. Stephanie looked down at his feet and found the culprit of his reckless instability, a scuffed pair of rollerblades. He spun onto his back then sat up to unclip them. 

“Here let me help,” she said, reaching towards his left foot. He winced as she slipped off the skate. Even with a sock on, she could tell his ankle was beginning to swell. 

“I’m a size eleven,” he smirked, “you can write that down.” 

She didn’t but noted his cleverness. “You need to get ice on that. Do you have any in your room?” 

“Not sure, I’m in a cottage over there.”

Within minutes Stephanie had Logan alone, just as her editor had instructed, in the most intimate environment short of his actual bedroom. The cottage was sparsely furnished and surprisingly neat. 

Stephanie deposited Logan on a worn sofa and walked into the kitchen. Judging by the accumulation of dishes piled in the sink, he had been staying here for quite some time. She looked in the freezer but found no ice. 

“No luck,” she called out, “we’ll have to call room service.” 

As she dialed, Stephanie observed Logan softly humming with his eyes closed. He would open them only briefly to scrawl something in a nearby journal before returning to his melodious meditation.

“I’m tired of waiting,” he sighed after some time had passed, failing to remember his own earlier indiscretion. 

“Isn’t everybody in this town,” Stephanie mused.

The ice still hadn't materialized. As the afternoon wound down, Stephanie realized there was no story here. No drugs or booze, no spiraling fallen idol. Logan Labreck was merely a frustrated boy tired of titillating the hormones of millions while keeping his own in perpetual stasis. 

Stephanie wasn’t going to write the feature she’d come to do. She was done with duplicity, done writing exploitative yellow journalism pieces her editor demanded. She was done waiting for opportunity and validation, and she knew Logan was too.

“So where should we start,” he said. 

“You tell me.”

It was the first time anyone had granted him control and, by the look on his face, he liked it.

 
OMeara_Christopher_Get Away.jpg

Get Away

MEDIA COLLAGE / 2018