Genre: Realistic Fiction, Literary, Adult, LGBTQ.
Summary: Like every other human, Erin Reed makes mistakes. Growing up in rural Montana allowed Erin to create a dream life, consisting of riches and fame. When she finally leaves home for college, Erin knows she has finally made it. Free from the reigns of her past, Erin gambles her future for a chance at success in Los Angeles. She leaves everything behind to pursue an acting career. Everything goes according to plan, until Erin meets with the cruel reality of life.
When Erin becomes pregnant, she is alone in a city without a friend. There she meets Priscilla, a woman that offers to solve all of her problems for a high price. Time and time again, Erin stumbles with the fragments of her past, unable to run away from them forever.
The agent’s office smelled like old books. Probably because the small space was filled with them. Old, dusty books, stacked near the ceiling. The mint green walls were covered in headshots of TV actors she recognized, and some she didn’t. His brown desk was cluttered in folders and empty food wrappers. It certainly didn’t fit the profile she’d previously formed about Benjamin Leroy. Was he a reader or was he an agent? Could a person be both?
Erin instantly regretted coming to see Benji alone. She should have waited for Alberto. She should have at least told him that she was coming. But she didn’t want to get him excited without reason. She wasn’t even sure why she was here. It had been an impulse decision—one she was hoping wouldn’t screw her over.
Behind the desk sat Benji. He was an average sized man, with a head full of reddish-brown hair. Benji wore black slacks and a white long sleeve, half un-tucked. His polka dotted tie was loose around his neck. To say the least, the man looked as big of a mess as his office.
I’m putting my last bit of hope on this person. I must be out of my mind.
“So, you’re the famous Erin Reed,” Benji said, smiling up at her while pushing some of his folders aside. “Have a seat, don’t be shy.”
Erin went over to one of the chairs on the opposite side of the desk and sat down on the edge, her knee bouncing up and down. “What’s with all the books?”
Benji waved a hand, dismissively. “I just got divorced. I’m moving all my crap out of my house, but I didn’t know what to do with my family library.” He made a face at one of the book towers in the corner. “It’s more of an inheritance. Talk about fool’s gold.”
“I see,” Erin said, biting her lip. What the hell am I doing here?
“Did you bring your headshots?” Benji asked.
Erin dug in her purse for the manila envelope in which she’d stashed the pictures. The process of going to get her headshots done had been ridiculous. She didn’t feel comfortable in front of a camera. She knew she looked good, but she didn’t have to flaunt it. That probably wasn’t the best mindset to be in considering the reason she’d even gotten the headshots done.
Benji took the pictures out, examining them closely and seriously. “Good. These are good.” He put them down and smiled at Erin again. He was being too nice. Erin didn’t think he should be this nice to her. Erin was just wasting his time, after all.
“Look,” Erin said, fixing her eyes behind Benji, avoiding his eyes. “I’m going to be honest with you. I don’t know the first thing about acting. I don’t have any practice. And I don’t want to embarrass myself at an audition.”
“That’s not what Alberto told me,” Benji said, smile fading away. It made it easier for Erin to look directly at him. “He said you had real talent. He said you were beautiful. Erin, what exactly are you afraid of?”
Furrowing her brow, Erin stared at her hands splayed on her lap. “I don’t know.” Her five-year old self would have smacked Erin for being so stupid. She was finally here, in Los Angeles, sitting with an agent who was eager to take her under his wing. Years of indecision had kept her from getting here, but Alberto had influenced her enough to get her to take that first step. But that wasn’t the only reason she was here. Erin had always wanted this. She’d wanted to play important roles on TV shows that people obsessed over. She wanted to be in big Blockbuster films.
In her mind, she never really connected putting in any effort to end up on the screen. She always figured fame would find her before she found it. But this was a good start. This would get her where she needed to be.
“Do you want to do this?” Benji asked. “Because if you do, then I’m the guy to help you.”
“Yeah, okay, let’s do this,” Erin said, nodding her head. “I’m in. I can do this. Just tell me where to be and I’ll be there.”
“That’s the Erin I was expecting,” Benji said.
“I’m glad I didn’t disappoint you, then,” Erin said.
For the first time in her life, Erin was sure she had chosen the right path. It was only a matter of time before she got everything she’d always wanted.