Featured Item: E.V.E Splashing Droplets (Chp. 4)
“How can he just ignore people like that?”
The question hung in the air for a few moments, as the journalist rubbed the back of his neck, his smartphone paused on its voice record function.
“What do you mean, Jason? ‘How can he just..’ – That’s The Herald, dude! He can do whatever he wants, “ Marty, the cameraman said, as he, too, had his vid recorder in ‘pause’.
The pair were stationed outside the lighted area of the photo studio where The Herald was being photographed. SPN, Stellar Public News, had sent them over to get an exclusive interview for the weeks feature on the success, fame, glamor of this cultural phenomenon that was The Herald. They’d been waiting while the commercial division of Stellar did the promotional shots.
The Artist known as “The Herald” was a pretty boy, a mop of stylish brown short cut hair, at least for the moment – the boy seemed to change his hairstyle more often than someone changes their socks. But he always looked good. His messy do was hiding his eyes at the moment and the photographer was trying to coax him to show off those amazing, and strange eyes that seemed to captivate and excite the public, especially the boys and girls that swooned for him.
The Herald swept his fringe to the side and tried to tuck it behind his ears, at least on the left side, so one eye was showing, and the photographer and assistant sounded like they were going to cream their jeans.
Jason gritted his teeth and shook his head, and turned away for a moment, making a soft, disgusted sound. Marty looked over at the journalist, and frowned, furrowing his brow.
“What’s up, buddy? What has you so uptight today? You got something going on at home? “
The reporter shook his head, and sighed, glancing back almost wistfully at The Herald. “No, nothing like that. Its just … “ He paused and pursed his lips, then sighed again. “I knew The Herald back in school. And this just doesn’t seem like him.. The ‘him’ I knew back then, anyway. “
Marty blinked a moment, and then his eyes grew wide, as an excitement blossomed in his face,
“You knew The Herald before he was famous? Oh… my… GAWD!” Marty said that last a bit too loud, and there were dark looks thrown from the photographer and one of his assistants. The young girl assitant stalked over and gave Marty a dark look. “Please,” She said in a prim, hushed tone. “Keep the noise down over here and let the professionals do their work, mmmkay?”
“Sister – we are professionals. Now go and get us some coffee or something? Your boss has wasted 2 hours of our time by mis-scheduling the interview time, and I’m not making a damned bit of anything just watching this photo shoot. “ Jason gave her a smile and made a shooing motion. The girl seemed a bit taken aback, but she frowned and huffed, and went off to probably do exactly that – get some coffee. He wouldn’t put it past her to spit in it though.
Marty seemed to mirror his thoughts, and whispered, “If she brings us coffee, don’t drink it. You know it’s going to be fouled somehow.”
Jason nodded, but remained quiet, until Marty nudged him. “Dude, you drop a bomb like that and then don’t clue me in? Spill!, “ he said in an emphatic hushed tone. “You gotta give me something. “
Jason, in his mid 20s, with shoulder-length brown hair that had several stripes of deep blue at the right side bangs, was dressed in dark green cords, a brown vest over top of a white long sleeved shirt, buttoned up to near his neck, His green eyes seemed almost gray as he shook his head, and shuffled his black doc martins on the floor. “Look, it was a long time ago.. And besides, apparently he’s a much different person now than he was then.
Marty slung his video recorder on its lanyard around his neck, and crossed his arms over his chest. “Look, dude, you can’t get away with evasion like that – not with me! I tell you everything!”
Jason rolled his eyes and fixed his partner with a long suffering look. “Yes, you do. I can’t get you to shut UP sometimes. “
Marty looked wounded for a moment, then grinned, “Oh BS – you know you love living vicariously through me!” Marty was about 20, though he looked like he was 17. Short cut blond hair, chiseled features, and a winning smile usually had him taking home someone – usually girls – when he went out on the town. Jason often shook his head at his friend’s choices, because he really wasn’t looking for quality, he was just looking to notch his belt. Black jeans, and t-shirt, with a work-vest over top of light brown, pockets everywhere, was what his friend wore, with his lucky shark’s tooth dangling like a “ask me about my near death experience involving the ocean” necklace as a welcome mat for anyone who might be near.
“Look, I knew Ralphie a long time ago.. .” Jason begun.
“His name’s Ralphie? “ Marty interrupted, a huge grin on his face. .
“No, not really. That’s just what his nickname was – we used to Dj at the same club when we were younger. He was .. well.. He was himself, for certain. “
“Oh, I didn’t know he DJed, too! Did you guys date or anything?” Marty was warming up to this crack into the past that Jason had opened for him, and he was going to use the Jaws of Life on it to get it open further if he had to.
Jason blushed as the question hit him and he laughed, rubbing the back of his neck. “We traded insults really – good natured ones – he used to call me a perv, and I would call him a smart ass, but we had our fair share of laughs. Those were good times. “
“But did you DATE..”
“No, we didn’t. We were friends. Those were the days, man.. Those were the days. And look at us now. He’s a mega-media darling. I doubt he even remembers my name. I think fame and fortune have wiped his past away. This interview is going to be horrible.“
Marty looked at Jason with a bit of dismay, and frowned. “Ahhh.. you really dug him back then, huh? You wanted to be more than besties? “
Jason didn’t answer, which was, in itself, an answer. Of course he’d wanted more.
The photoshoot was apparently over, as The Herald climbed out of the set-piece, a giant box with a cloud backdrop and the strange art-piece that was around the box. The star stretched like his back was stiff, and he yawned. The intern that had accosted the Marty and Jason rushed up with a mug of steaming coffee, which The Herald accepted with a grateful nod, as he sipped. His eyes fixed on Marty and Jason, as the intern read off of a clipboard something to the star, and there was a quiet exchange of words. Dressed in black jeans and a crimson sweater that was clearly too big for him, The Herald padded towards the duo on bare feet, brushing a lock of hair away from his eyes, his red lips pursed and almost pensive.
“Hey – you’re here from SPN, right? To do that interview?” The Herald said this almost shyly, as he glanced at the two young men, and crossed his arms over his chest, like he were cold. “I’m Del, by the way.. “
“So we should call you Del, not ‘The Herald’, then?” Jason said, a big pleased grin spread over his face, as he checked out the artist’s look, and perved on him far too obviously. The boy had no shame, thought Jason.
“If you call me ‘the Herald’, I’ll punch you right in the mouth, Jason Haven, you little shit. You didn’t even offer me a hug!”
Jason was stunned for a moment, and Marty was too, his grin growing bigger though, as Jason simply tilted his head and swallowed. “Wha..?”
Del smiled and shook his head, “You ass, come here! It’s been YEARS! “ he said, as he grabbed his old friend and dragged him into a crushing hug, Jason slowly embracing and squeezing back eventually with the same fervor.
Jason finally found his voice, and it wasn’t the sarcasting reporter’s tone that came out. He sounded 5 years younger, more carefree and less jaded. “I.. I didn’t think you’d recognize me, Del. Its been.. Well – so long – and you’ve changed so much – you’re like.. An icon now. “
Del’s eyes sparkled as he finally let Jason go, and brushed the bangs from his eyes once more. “Hey! Don’t box me in! You should know better than that, Mr Destroyer of Evildoers.. I’ve followed all your work on the Saudi Oil scandals, and your work to oust that asshole in Texas. All I do is cut records and get paintings sold – lucrative yes, and I sure sell a lot of records. But .. you.. You make a difference, and that’s what we said we’d do, wasn’t it?“
Jason was totally taken aback. While it was true he had done some high-level exposes’ and some hard hitting journalism, he had paid the price for his crusading, and was relegated to doing these kinds of pieces nowadays.
“Hey, don’t sell YOURself short, “ Jason returned, as he smiled back, warming to his old friend, seeing that perhaps he’d been wrong about Del. “Your foundation – that was a great idea..and helps all those kids. But what we should really focus on … “ Jason continued, but was interrupted, once more, by an elbow in the ribs from Marty.
“You could introduce your trusty sidekick, the visual media genius that captures that tough, hard bitten journalist media gold into visual memory? “ Marty pushed Jason’s shoulder, and held out his hand, “Marty Stantz.. Pleased to meet you, Del. “
Del crossed his arms over his chest and arched an eyebrow at Marty, before Jason said, “Ahh.. he’s a bit of a cheese-meister, but he’s ok. If you overlook that he’s a bit of a whore. “
“HEY!” Marty looked wounded. “But he’s right – I am.. “
Del shook his head and sighed, “Ok guys- let’s go do this over lunch.. I’m starved. I haven’t eaten all day. Who’s up for some noodles? There’s this great little place down the street.. “
Jason shook his head, and smiled for the first time in a while, as Del smiled back at him, and slung an arm around him. They padded off to the elevator, with Marty in tow, hungry for friendship and noodles. They had some catching up to do.
You can’t always put someone in a box. Life is too messy for that..
Sweater & Pants- AMRIE – Looong sleeve knit & Wide pants (TMD)
Box- 5prim wonder
Falls- E.V.E Splashing Droplets (Chp. 4)