~Saturday, August 25;
The famed and reclusive vaudevillian dancer Bonnie Hanover just announced that she will be having a one-night-only performance at the Chicago Theater. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that you won't want to miss. And maybe you'll be lucky enough to get an autograph, should she feel that you're worthy enough.
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"I'm surprised to see you here," Ben said. I was standing at his apartment door.
"Really?" I asked.
"Well, you've been with the doctor for the last week."
"Does that mean that I don't have time for you?"
"Seems like it." I looked into his eyes and he looked into mine. I wondered what he was thinking.
Yes, I had been sleeping with the doctor. But mostly because I didn't have anywhere else to sleep. I had been evicted out of my apartment; there was no where for me to go.
"Are you gonna let me come in?" I asked, waiting.
"Sure, doll." He opened his door. His apartment was very familiar to me. Ben was a neat freak; everything had its place. "I'm guessing you're going with the doctor to see Bonnie Hanover tonight."
"Actually, no. I'm not staying with him anymore."
"You aren't?" Ben asked.
"Yeah..." I had packed my few things at the doctor's place and left just that morning. I told him I'd be back soon, but I didn't really mean it. The whole time I had been staying with him, I couldn't help thinking about my mom. I felt dirty.
"Just needed a change."
"So who has been watching your apartment while you've been gone?" Ben asked, walking into the kitchen.
"Umm... I've actually been evicted out of my apartment."
"What?" He didn't actually look all that surprised though.
"Yeah. It's not that I'm not making money. Just not nearly enough."
"Maybe if you spent your money on the bills rather than new clothes, you wouldn't have this problem."
"I really don't need you to act like you're my dad or something."
"I'm sorry, Baby. I'm just a little balled up about what's going on. So what are you going to do?"
"Not sure yes. Maybe ask a friend if I can stay with them. Maybe Cecilia... or Izzy." Ben laughed.
"Do you really think that staying with either of those dolls is a good idea? I mean, both of them have some interesting lifestyles." I rolled my eyes. I knew both of those girls were involved in the gangs and would bump someone off in a heatbeat. But they were my friends. And they both had it good. "Then again, so do you." I sighed.
"Anyways, I was headed over to meet up with Izzy now. Just dropping by on the way."
"No, don't go. Stay a minute. Coffee?"
"Please." I hadn't eaten anything all day. He poured a mug and sat next to me on his sofa.
"Betty, why don't you go home?"
"Ben, why don't you mind your own beeswax!"
"Why don't you get a real job? You can't hang onto Sugar Daddies forever."
"I don't hang onto Sugar Daddies now," I objected, getting angry.
"Oh yeah. Go tell that to Sweeney."
"If you're going to be all wet, I'm leaving."
"No, Betty!" I ignored his call and walked out of the door.
- - - - - - - - - - -
I met Isabella at THE BOULANGERIE. She looked gorgeous in her silky dress. She was a class- A doll.
"What's eating you?" She asked as soon as I sat down.
"Oh, there's no beef over her," I told her.
"SOMETHING is eating you." I looked away.
"I got evicted."
"Wow. How are you doing?"
"Not so good, actually," I told her, honestly.
"Well, what can I do to help?"
"I hate to ask. I really do. I need a place to stay." Isabella looked nervous.
"Wow. I really wish I could help you, I really, really do. But, I can't. At least not right now. I can help you find someone else, or find another place, or to get a better job... or anything."
I thought about Izzy's words. None of those suggestions were bad. Honestly, I didn't want another place to live or a better, steady, job. I wanted to be in Hollywood already. Where I wouldn't have to worry about these kinds of things.
"Thanks, Izzy. Thanks."
"I'm so, so sorry, I couldn't do anything more. Umm... I guess I'll be seeing you at the theater tonight."
"I don't think I'm going."
"What? You, Betty? Not going to a show? You certainly aren't the Betty I know." I laughed.
"I need to find somewhere to sleep tonight!" I exclaimed, finally getting hit with the seriousness of the situation. When I talked to Cecelia about it, she was really disappointed in me. The same way Ben was. But neither of them were surprised that it happened. I was irresponsible, at the least. I just liked nice things...
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Cecelia and Michael didn't look very happy that evening. She seemed eager to see me.
"Betty!" She greeted with open arms.
"Hello, doll," I said, a little less chipper than usual.
"Oh, Baby, you aren't letting this eviction thing get you down, are you?"
"No, not at all," I lied.
"Let's enjoy tonight. Michael, Betty should sit with us," she almost begged. Michael looked reluctant, but shrugged. "We have front row seats. Might even get to meet Bonnie Hanover!" I smiled at that possibility and followed the couple to the front.
The night continued and my troubles were washed away by Bonnie's performance. The stars returned to my eyes, and I knew I was destined to be something more than a homeless cabaret singer.
"Thank you for such a great night, Chicago. You're looking so beautiful tonight, gals. So handsome, guys. We painted the town red together, and I thank you!" The crowd clapped, she curtsied, and the curtains closed.
"We have to go," I heard Michael mutter under his breath. Cecilia rolled her eyes.
"Thanks for a lovely night, Betty," Cecelia said resentfully. "See you around."
I watched everyone leave. Where would I sleep? I looked around. It was nearly empty, there was no cleaning crew. Maybe, just maybe, I could sleep there. It was a long shot, but what were my options. I crept up the stares I knew led backstage, hoping Bonnie was long gone. I heard chatter.
"I'm tired of this act," Bonnie said.
"Well, until we get someone else, you have to," I heard a deep voice say. Someone else?
"This is baloney. Why do you need to wait for someone else for me to leave? I'm sick and tired of this life."
"Find me a replacement, Bonnie. That's all you gotta do, doll. Now beat it." I heard a door slam, and decided to just take a chance, going into the dressing room. "Who are you?" I now saw thee man. He was older than me, but very handsome.
"My name is Betty. I heard your situation. I have a swell solution."
"Oh, you do?"
"I do. I'm a singer." He laughed.
"The Real McCoy. I'm on the up and up with some of the best."
"Oh, you are?"
"Well, I'm going to need to hear it to believe it."
"Okay." I cleared my throat and opened my mouth to sing possible the most important note of my life. The familiar Someone to Watch Over Me came out, and I got lost in the moment. By the time I finished, I forgot where I was, until I heard the clapping of two sets of hands.
"Looks like I've found my replacement," Bonnie said.
Used: @jolieenrose @martasmiling