Sunday, May 6, 2012

Chapter 4-4: Draw the Line

                It felt like it had been weeks since she had been out. Ever since the awful incident with Lyric, Yalena had been avoiding going out at all. However, being cooped up in the house was starting to drive her mad. She called Jeanie just so she could get out for one night, away from Brielyn (Watcher love her, but talking to someone who can’t talk back is frustrating), away from responsibilities, and away from the ever more noticeable loneliness of her apartment.

                 She and Jeanie arrived around the same time at J&J, their favorite hangout spot.
                “You know, I still haven’t found a job yet,” Yalena confided in her friend.
                “Well, what have you applied for,” Jeanie asked, ever the reliable and pragmatic of the two.
                “Nothing really. Everything I look for just doesn’t sound like something I want to do. Or, if it does sound interesting, I’m not qualified for it.”
                “Yalena, you’re not going to have money forever. You need to hurry up and find something, even if it does sound boring.”
                “Jeanie, you’re such a buzzkill.”

                 They took their conversation to the darts and then to the pool tables, avoiding all topics centered around jobs or Lyric. Jeanie wasn’t disappointed that Lyric was no longer as strong of a fixture in Yalena’s life, though she didn’t know why. Yalena hadn’t seen fit to confide in her and she wasn’t going to break down and call him.

                 At some point in the night, the two women decided to go sing karaoke together. It was at that moment that Jeanie had a fantastic idea.

                 “That’s what you should be doing! Singing,” she exclaimed.
                “Yeah, in my dreams. I’ve never had formal training. I’m not that great and how am I supposed to even start out.”
                “If you want it bad enough, you’ll figure it out. Start playing out in public, take a jar for tips. Maybe someone will like what they hear,” Jeanie recommended.

                Yalena wasn’t really sure about playing for tips out for the random public to hear. What if she was horrible? What if people booed her or threw things at her? Sure, singing karaoke out at a bar was fine; most people expected you to do horribly and thought it was fun and games. Playing outside, trying to coax money from people was a different story. She might have to think on this a bit.

                However, after thinking a little while and slowly watching her bank account dwindle, she decided that she really had nothing to lose. She and her guitar made their way to one of the clubs downtown and set up shop on the sidewalk. People walked past, mostly ignoring her. A few people tossed in some change, though none stayed to linger and listen. “They feel sorry for me,” she realized.

                 Performing once had helped Yalena break her fear of failing in public and she now felt the need to prove herself. She began performing all over town, any time she could get a babysitter for Brielyn. She performed with her guitar sometimes and, others, she just sang. Her favorite place to perform was the park in downtown. No matter the time, there always seemed to be people there. Some days she did really well for herself and could go home with §50 from just an hour or two of playing.

                 One day, she was out singing with her guitar near the large water sculpture in the arts district. A man stopped and listened for a few moments before he approached her and interrupted her performance.

                 “I’m Trevor Martin and I own the Memorial Performing Arts Studio. I think you might have what it takes to work for me,” he cut straight to the point.
                “Really? You think so?” Yalena knew the famous building. Not in its glory days now, but, 20 years ago, famous performers had come from far reaches of the country to perform there. It would be an honor to perform under those same lights.
                “I think so. Here’s my card. Come by tomorrow around 1 and you can audition for me.”

                 She arrived 20 minutes early the next day. She had been unable to sleep the night before, so excited by the prospect of possibly booking a job. She waited outside for Mr. Martin for another 30 minutes before he finally decided he was ready to see her.

                During her entire audition, he looked anywhere but her. She knew some of the artists’ pictures on the wall; all big names, all big time shows that had performed at the studio years ago. She felt frustrated that Mr. Martin was practically ignoring her but she just continued to do her best as she sang her piece.

                 “Yeah, yeah, that’ll do. Go on over to the dressing room and Maria will get you dressed and made up.”

                The dressing room was not what she had expected. The Studio had once held famous musicians and now the walls were covered in graffiti with boxes stacked in corners. When she looked in the mirror, her ensemble was not what she expected either. I look like a prostitute!

                 Mr. Martin strolled in then, ready to discuss her new position.
                “Mr, Martin, this is not what I had in mind. It’s not really ‘me’. When I perform, I’d like to stay true to myself.”
                He burst into laughter. “Did you think you’d be performing on the big stage? Oh, that’s just so…innocent. I hired you to go around and sing for people. Back in the day, they were called sing-o-grams. People dressed up like rabbits or clowns or all other manners of things to perform these songs.”
                “And I’m what?”
                “You are the personification of sex. Everywhere you go, you end with a catchphrase about the Studio. Anytime people see you they will think sex. Then, when they think sex, it will make them think of the Studio. And, in case you have been living under a rock, sex sells. I plan on making this place a big name again.”

                 “I don’t think I can do this,” she griped. “I have a daughter.”
                “Half the famous people in Simmywood have kids. And they’re hotter than they were before. You’ll do this or you’ll go back to performing in parks.”
                “That’s fine with me, Mr. Martin.”
                Instead of being angry, he smiled. “When you change your mind, let me know.”

                She went home thinking about her options. She knew that long term performing on the streets wasn’t really an option. She wasn’t making enough to pay her bills and the chances of the tips getting better were pretty slim. Maybe she could find somewhere else that saw her potential.

                She managed to secure an interview at the theatre company where Xander worked. She hoped that her connection to him might land her a job. Even a job as part of the choral line would be better than what she was doing now. When she left though, she had been turned down. It seemed that her lack of education and training weren’t enough to land her a lead or even a supporting part. However, her voice and looks would detract from the main roles and that would not be beneficial to the other stars. “What am I going to do?

                 When her landlord sent a man to repossess some of her belongings because she had failed to pay the bills on time, she knew that she was running out of options. 

                 “Mr. Martin, I’ve considered your offer. If the position is still available, I’d like to take it.”
                ‘Have you gained 10 pounds since we last spoke?”
                “Okay, we’ll see you in tomorrow.”

                Mr. Martin had a list of people that needed to be sung to: firemen, police officers, anyone who was a red-blooded male (or who was known to be interested in woman) and who had money to contribute either in donations to fix up the model or who would be sure to obtain tickets when his first show went live.

                The worst part of her new job was not the outfit. Yalena could get used to the skimpy attire, though she wasn’t particularly comfortable in it. No, the worst was having to take her daughter along. Ever since she had been visited by the repoman, she hadn’t had enough money to afford a sitter so Brielyn had to go around town with her when she did her work. At least she was young enough to not quite realize what was going on.

                 Even after she started working for Mr. Martin, Yalena was less than forthcoming with Ace about her job. She just told him that she was delivery person for the studio. She wasn’t sure why she was so embarrassed about what she did because, of itself, it really wasn’t that bad. The costume was what made the difference to her.

                “I miss you,” she admitted to Ace one afternoon.
                “I miss you too,” he acknowledged. “I’m sorry about Brielyn’s birthday. It was just so much to take in. I want to be with you and it’s hard trying to stay away and not get too involved. I just hate the idea of sharing you with someone who has such a strong connection to you.”
                “I know. But Glen is old news. I haven’t even seen him since that day. Maybe we can get together later.”
                “How about you come over for dinner,” he invited her and Brielyn over for the next night and she agreed.

                 She spent the next day excited and nervous about her dinner date. She felt like she and Ace were ready for the next step. Though neither had actually broached the subject, they had been exclusive before Brielyn’s party and she felt that now it could be official. Also, now that she was an adult, she felt that their relationship may be ready for intimacy. She had been unwilling to go there before, partly because of Brielyn and because she felt that she had matured from her relationship with Glen. She didn’t need someone else worrying about getting arrested for having a relationship with a minor.

                If the two of them made it to that point in their relationship, maybe Ace would be more comfortable with Glen in the picture. It was true, he hadn’t tried to call her but she had told him she would let him know. So the ball was in her court and, at some point, she was going to have to let him visit his daughter if she didn’t want to end up in real court. If she and Ace were officially together, in more ways than one, maybe he wouldn’t feel so jealous and territorial.

                When she arrived at the apartment, he buzzed her up immediately. She stepped into the elevator, suddenly nervous about her plan. What if he says no? What if he isn’t interested anymore?

                “Hey there, I’m happy to see you. Where’s Brielyn,” he asked opening the door.
                She untied and dropped her trench coat. “I left her with the sitter. I was hoping we could have the night to ourselves.”

Chapter 4.3                                                                                                                                              Chapter 4.5


  1. *head -> desk

    It must be said. Yalena, you're a slut.

    Is it wrong that I want Ace to shoot her down and break her heart?

  2. Woah Yalena!! Sexy Mama! Yes, Cece, that's wrong! lol

    At the start of this chapter I was still seeing Yalena as a little girl in my head but by the end of it she's definitely become an adult. Money worries, taking crappy jobs to get by, not being able to afford a sitter, possibility of a custody battle looming over her head...reality gave her a good, hard kick in the chops, she deserves a little night of worry-free fun! I just hope she's doing it because she wants to and not because she thinks it's the only way to keep him :/ I am surprised she went back to Ace after the way he behaved at the party, fingers crossed it's just a fling that ends on her terms, he seems too impulsive and jealous for a real, long-term relationship with a single mother.

    Loving the sets and pics again, especially the last one; that pose is awesome!

  3. Oh my gah! Yalena looks sexay! Lol.

    I'm intrigued to see where she ends up relationship-wise. There's just so many floating around that I'm not entirely sure (albeit, I'm crossing my fingers that it's Lyric) who she'll end up with.

  4. I need to go back and read a couple of chapters, I forget what is happening lol but gawd Yalena is a sexy beast lol

  5. Oh go Yalena, i really like this girl, she's tough and just deals with all the stuff that comes her way, sure she's made some awful choices when it comes to men but in my opinion thats exactly what makes her so relatable and real. Nice work Heaven.

  6. Damn Yalena, you sexy! Ahaha. I may have already shipped Yalena with Lyric, so I'm hoping this thing with Ace doesn't work out, but maybe she can at least get some sexy fun time out of it. That girl needs some fun in her life.