“Hi.” I heard DJ Malone sigh. “Could you please tell Lauren to come out from under there when she’s ready?”
“Lauren,” Katie giggled as she looked down at me, “could you come out from under there when you’re ready? Someone wants to see you.”
Katie then did an about face, kicked me lightly in the tummy and walked away. I took a deep breath, rose to my feet and put on a smile, “DJ…it is DJ, right?”
DJ Malone rolled his eyes, winked and said, “Oh you know it is girl. I guess now I know where you’ve been hiding.”
“Yeah,” I sighed attempting to occupy myself, “I’m sorry I missed your call the other day – I’ve been super busy.”
“Oh, uh that was probably my assistant.”
“Right.” I said coming out from behind the counter and making my way to the other side of the store.
DJ Malone followed me all the way to the New Fiction section asking me how I’d been and what I was doing tomorrow night, “Listen, DJ,” I sighed, “you’re really nice and everything but I just don’t think I’m the right girl for you.”
He hit the bookcase and looked the other way pensively. Dear god, I thought, please don’t let him be going into character right now.
Suddenly, he turned to face me and wrapped me in his arms. He kissed my forehead softly and began brushing his fingers through my ponytail. “God, Lauren.” he sniffled, “I don’t know why you can’t just let me in. These walls you have up…I just don’t know how…”
“All right, all right!” I screamed, pushing him off me, “That’s enough! Listen I…” – the words escaped me. I looked closely at DJ Malone, narrowed my eyes and asked, “Are you…crying?”
DJ Malone wiped his eyes, smiled and took my hand, “Yes, Lauren. I’m not afraid to show my emotions. I guess that’s the beauty of being an actor…”
“YOU WERE BYSTANDER 2 ON CSI! GET OVER YOURSELF!”
He looked taken aback and I could see the pain in his eyes. In fact, a little part of me felt guilty for being so careless with his feelings. The guy obviously couldn’t take a hint and here I was ragging on his dreams.
“Look, Lauren,” he mumbled, looking at the floor. “I’m taking my sister to Canz right now and um, well…I, uh…I think we should talk when I get back. What time are you out tonight?”
“Um…you’re coming back tonight?”
“Yes?” he replied, confused.
“You’re going to Cannes and coming back tonight?”
“It’s right down the street, Lauren.”
“Cannes Film Festival is in the French Riviera.” I corrected.
“Oh, Lauren,” he said smiling, “you do care. I’ll be back tonight.”