I wrote this novel in 2012, based on an earlier play by the same name....!
And then for those of you who have been reading since the beginning, here's PART TWO, CHAPTERS 17 and 18.
David is not happy. He is in the hotel lobby with Jones and a few members of the Private Security force he had hired to keep Lily safe. Lily walks in with Officer Dominguez.
“David!” she shouts.
“Lily!” he cries. “Oh my god.” he runs to her, holds her, squeezes her tight. She lets him hold her ever tighter. She kisses his cheek.
“I’m sorry to bring you any pain,” she says, “I went away. And then I woke up. It was the last time. I promise.”
Jones puts his hand on her shoulder.
“You woke up while you went away?” he smiles. “That’s great! That’s progress!”
“How did you go away? The bodyguard… he was outside the door the entire time.” David searches her eyes for understanding.
“You didn’t tell my mother, did you?” she asks.
“No, Jones wouldn’t let me… yet.”
“I was only gone a few short hours,” Lily says.
“Two days,” David says.
“Oh.” She is very surprised.
“When did you wake up? At what point?” Jones asks.
“A few hours ago, on the beach in
Monica. Two days!?”
She finds herself disappointed that she was gone that long, and that no one found her even though they were looking, because she now wonders where she was. She feels great distress at David’s obvious pain.
“I am so sorry, David,” she says, “I hope the show isn’t angry…”
“They don’t know,” Jones says, “I told him you would be back before taping… you cut it close, girl, and we were about to call the police because…”
“Because I have to be at the studio soon,” she says, filling in the blanks.
David holds her against him again.
“I won’t leave your side,” he promises.
“It’s okay. I found out where I go,” she says. “And I broke the pattern.”
“Where do you go, then?”
“To the beach.”
“I’ll not leave your side until we get this cleared up.”
“It’s time we see doctors about this, Lily,” David says.
Lily does not like the sound of this. Doctor diagnose mental disorders for which they prescribe medication, which she fears. She shakes her head, no.
“Maybe you should think about it,” Jones says.
“Then I will lose my skill and you will lose a show,” she says, not veiling her threat. “Give me a chance to prove that it will never happen again. Never. I swear.”
David holds her, leans his cheek against hers.
“I don’t care about the show,” he whispers in her ear.
Lily’s heart stops for a moment.
“You don’t?” she asks. David pulls back.
Shakes his head.
“Not compared to you,” he whispers.
She holds his gaze.
“Think about it,” he says.
Jones looks away. He is uncomfortable.
“Okay,” she says. “For you. I’ll think about it.”
Harley is rushing around, nervous, excited. There is yet another new makeup artist, a girl, Deanna. She is very shy and smiles a lot, too. Harley likes her. She likes this show. She loves Lily. Everyone on this show is nice, or is definitely getting nicer. Harley smiles, realizing, she’s been getting nicer, too, since working on this show. And she likes it. She spies the shirt she was looking for.
The show is becoming something of its own entity: like the unpredictable but ever flowing running water of a river. Lily’s channel is the water, and her body is the water bed. The audience and the callers and the guests and the executives are rocks on the floor of the river and Lily’s voice runs over them, smoothly polishing them, until one day, after time and after time and after time, the water will have washed them all away. Lily would like to say David is the river bed, but the river bed is actually beyond all their understanding.
Lily thinks of her homeless friends and feels them feeling her. She doubts herself. She wonders if they exist.
David is wearing a suit jacket over jeans. Lily likes the way the jeans fit around his butt, the pockets riding low. He turns and smiles at her, all joyful dimples. Dimples.
“And finally, Lily,” he says, walking toward her… the stage lights dim and there is a spot on David, following him as he grows closer and closer. Now, their two spotlights have joined as one.
“Yes, David?” Her heart beats faster at the nearness of him and what no one else- or maybe everyone else- knows about the energy between them…
“One last special guest. DONALD TRUMP!”
The crowd erupts in applause, and a few “boos.”
Lily is truly surprised that he is on the show, but then again, she is at a point in the process of working in
wherein, as much as everything is a surprise, nothing is a surprise.
Donald Trump enters from behind stage while the audience cheers.
“Lily, I have only one question for you,” he says, his shoulders pulsing back and forth in confidence. Lily wonders if that is a nervous tic or if he was once a boxer.
“What are my winning lottery numbers for this evening’s Super Lotto?”
“What about any of this show has told you I could predict lottery numbers?”
“You predicted sports scores.”
The clock ticks.
“I lay no claim to this,” she says…
The sound of the clock ticking resounds within her and speaks from the inside equation of the clock ticking, almost as if she were turning the combination of a lock to the rhythm of the seconds of time falling away.
“17, 34, 42, 12, 5.”
“And the winning Super Lotto number?”
“Lily?” David is asking. Suddenly the numbers are appearing across a screen that has come down and she laughs.
“The Super Lotto Number is 11.”
“We’ll see, Lily,” Donald begins, and she knows what’s coming and it takes everything in her not to groan… “Or…”
The audience actually chimes in
Lily smiles and nod. David laughs. And sighs big.
Then Lily laughs.
And David laughs.
And Donald laughs.
And suddenly they are all laughing, almost uncontrollably, the audience, David, Lily, Donald, the PAs, the producers, everyone, almost like some strange scene out of a fun house, wild, crazy laughter….
“And we’ll see you next week!” David is announcing as the room seems to be spinning and they have all gone into the fun house, and everyone is changing shapes and heads are widening and narrowing and looking rather like squash.
Donald Trump walks up to Lily after the show. He has a true question in his heart, but he will never go look at it…
“Great to meet you, Lily. Any stock tips?”
Lily quickly reads him.
“You know more than everyone else on the planet about money… when you’re out of your ego,” she says. “Why ask me about stocks!?”
“Yes, but that’s so rare. Besides, I don’t go for that new age ego stuff.” His accent makes it sound like rayuh.
Lily smiles pleasantly.
“A pleasure meeting you,” she says.
They shake hands and Mr. Trump walks away.