WAITING IN THE TWILIGHT
I was so thrilled at the coming possibilities. I unlocked the front door, threw my purse on the table turned on my stereo at a deafening level and literally jumped into a laying position on my sofa. I laughed when I realized my favorite song, “Super Massive Black Hole” by Muse, was playing. I had just quit my job and I was elated. That song always made me feel like kicking ass and since I had done just that (verbally), it was freakin’ perfect that it was blaring from my speakers.
After ten years of taking all their bullshit for a meager wage and just making enough money to get by on, I had had it. When my boss denied me yet another raise for my evaluation on some bullshit standard, I told him exactly what he could do with his job and then offered to do it for him if he would move his head out of the way first. I laughed as an image of doing exactly that popped into my mind. I laughed until I got a serious case of the giggles. The mind is a funny and powerful thing.
That thought sobered me instantly. All my life I had suspected there was something different about me, about the way my mind worked and, little by little, my fears were being recognized. I remembered what I had said to my boss as I walked out the door and I now regretted it. As I had started to storm out of his office, he grabbed me by the arm, gently but still, he shouldn’t have put his hands on me at all.
“Be careful Bella.” he’d said. “Don’t make any rash decisions. Just take the e-Val for what it says and come back Monday and try to improve.” I looked at his hand pointedly and then slowly, very slowly, raised my eyes to meet his. Fury poured from me and I thought he could sense it.
“Take your damn hands off me!” I said through gritted teeth. I never cussed, never lost my temper with anyone except here. Over the past ten years this place had brought out the worst and, more directly, the anger and rage inside me that only existed here. Outside of work, I was the most docile, meek and gentle person on the planet.
“Yes, of course. I’m …” He trailed off in mid-sentence. The jerk couldn’t even say he was sorry. Over the years, I had learned to despise this man and several other members of the management staff around here. It was a lesson they had taught me well.
“For years, I have taken your verbal degradation and mental abuse. For years, I have done everything you’ve asked me to do without question and without fail. But every year you put me on a D-Day and fix it so that I don’t get a raise. Do you really think I am so stupid that I don’t realize the raise that’s due me goes into your pocket every year? Well, let me tell you Mr. Lawson, I’m not stupid. Until you do right by me, everything you attempt is going to turn to shit. Every person you try to impress is going to hate you or see right through you for the ass-kissing, cheapskate, coward you truly are. Until you admit the wrong doing you have committed on my behalf, everything you hope for and dream of is going to crumble right before your very eyes. All that you have already achieved is going to turn to shit, little by little, and you are going to step right in it every time. But, in case that’s not clear enough for you Mr. Lawson, you can take your job and shove it. I Quit!” I yelled that last bit and stormed out of his office. Yeah, it had sounded great at the time and it had felt absofreakinlutely wonderful to say but, I regret having said it now.
The mind, the ability to believe in something, was incredibly powerful, and frightening in some cases. I knew that for a fact. I had proven it. Case in point: in my first year with the company, I had been there only about three months when I had gotten an excellent on my review. Everyone seemed to like me and it seemed my bosses couldn’t praise me enough. It was embarrassing actually, all the wonderful things they said to me every day about what great work I did. When my boss transferred to a new location and the company hired a replacement, everything changed. Patrick was just a couple of years older than I was at the time. He was really nice in the beginning and everything went along fine for a few weeks. Then he started winking at me every morning as he handed out the assignments. I didn’t think anything of it at first. In fact, I was naive about the whole thing. I thought the wink was just a sign of encouragement. A way of telling me I was doing good work and not to let the job get me down. Every morning after he winked, I smiled and went about my tasks. After about a month of this, he asked me out. I told him no, it was against company policy and we could both be fired. Still he persisted. I eventually told him I wasn’t interested in him that way so it didn’t matter about our jobs; really, I just wasn’t interested.
The next day, he called me into his office and literally made a pass at me. I flat out put him in his place and then punched him in the face when he still made advances. I stormed out of the office and considered reporting him, but I didn’t. I didn’t like to make waves and I hated confrontations. Besides, I needed that job. After that, I couldn’t do anything right in his eyes. He called me into the office nearly every week, always making sure there was another female member of management in the room with him. I often wondered if he did that for his own protection (I still smile at the thought of that) or if it was so that I couldn’t claim sexual harassment as I should have the first time. He gave me coachings on better performance, verbal warnings for 30 seconds of overtime, written warnings and D-Days every chance he got. Each time I left the office, he would manage to grin at me as if to say, “If you won’t leave, I’ll force you out eventually.” Within a year of all this, he had every manager in the building watching my every move and treating me like dirt. I couldn’t do anything to please any of them and I suspected it was because Patrick was slandering me to anyone who would listen and making things up as he went along. I believed he even convinced them I was stealing but that no one had caught me at it yet. I had no proof of anything though and I was completely shunned by every member of management. Finally, Patrick actually called me into his office in what would be the last time. He tried to write me up for something I had not only not done but hadn’t even been working the day it had supposedly happened. That was his last mistake. I was supposed to sign a statement saying I understood that I was being written up and that the write up was deserved and then I was expected to write a statement describing what I intended to do to improve the situation. I refused. We argued back and forth; the female member of management kept her mouth shut and stayed out of it, but she watched me closely. Patrick finally shoved the clipboard at my chest and said,
“Sign it or you’re fired.”
“Fine!” I said, and I scribbled on the dotted line. I took the clip board to the door with me and whirled around on him.
“You know all this is bullshit, Patrick, and one of these days, not far from now, everything you have put me through is going to come back on you ten-fold.” At that, I threw the clipboard on his desk; it clattered so loudly they both jumped, and stormed out the door. (I would have loved to have seen the look on his face when he saw I had written “Fuck Off” on the dotted line). I don’t know what had possessed me to write such a thing and I don’t know why they didn’t fire me after that. I chalked it up to karma (I hadn’t done a single thing wrong and Patrick was lying through his teeth) and forgot about it.
The bad part? Less than a month later, I came to work and was greeted in the cafeteria by my friends with stunned expressions on their faces.
“What’s up Angela, Jessica? You look like someone stepped on your graves.” I said.
“You didn’t hear what happened?” Jessica asked.
“About what?” I asked.
“She’s gonna freak Jes.” Angela said
“I know, right?” Jessica replied.
“Give her the newspaper. I can’t say it.” Angela told her.
“Sit down Bella, before you get hurt.”
“What are you guys talking about?” I asked, taking a chair next to Angela. It was no secret Jessica and I were acquaintances more than friends. We had one thing in common, our friendship with Angela. Jessica handed me the morning paper. There was a story on the front page about a car accident.
“I don’t see anything.” I laughed.
“This!” Jes said, tapping the article about the car accident.
I took a moment and read the story. Apparently, some elderly woman had suffered a mild stroke while driving her vintage Lincoln Continental. She swerved into oncoming traffic and veered off the road to land safely in a cornfield. However, as she veered off the road, a man driving a small sports car had been speeding towards her and, in order to avoid hitting the old lady, he swerved, over corrected and, in a panic, hit the accelerator instead of the brake. He crashed into a steel reinforced concrete median at 90 miles an hour. The driver of the sports car had been 24 year old Patrick, my boss. When I finally read the name of the driver, I burst out laughing. I laughed so hard tears ran from my cheeks.
“Bella, that’s not funny!” Jessica said, appalled.
“What? The jerk wrecked his car. Big deal, he deserved it. I told him everything he’d done was going to come back on him ten-fold and it did. It serves him right.”
Angela put her hand on my arm and squeezed it hard enough to get my attention. She was shaking her head slowly. “No, Bella, he didn’t just wreck his car. They called this morning and told Mr. Lawson. His legs were crushed. He will never walk again. He may lose both legs.” Angela said.
The smile fell off my face like an anvil dropping to the ground. Patrick was 6’4″ tall and a basketball enthusiast. He never talked about anything but basketball. If he wasn’t working, he was playing basketball.
“His actions came back on him 100-fold Bella! Great job!” Jessica replied angrily. She stormed out of the room making it clear she thought his accident was my fault. I agreed with her. It was no secret Jessica had lusted after our tall, athletic boss.
I didn’t know what to say or do. I was drowning in guilt. I had said he would pay ten-fold. I had believed it and, by the stunned expression on Patrick’s face that day, I knew I’d made him believe it too. The mind is a powerful thing capable of untold abilities. Of three things I was absolutely certain; my mind didn’t work the same as other people’s minds did. I didn’t know how different or if I would ever fully get the answer I needed, but I knew I was different. And third, I knew I had crippled Patrick with my thoughts of ten-fold vengeance.
I had been incredibly happy about quitting my job a few moments ago and now I was working myself into a depression. I knew I had to do something that would help me stop thinking about what was wrong with my mind. I decided to fix myself something to eat and then play on the computer for a while. You could always lose your thoughts in a computer; it could take you anywhere you wanted to go.
My little cousin would be coming over tomorrow. She always called me her aunt and I claimed her as my niece but, technically, we were cousins. I needed to find a new pic of the beautiful Vampire Robert. My niece was such a Drama Queen, I couldn’t resist teasing her. She had liked the movie but she was just 11 years old and she liked Taylor, the werewolf character in the movie. She absolutely hated the Vampire Robert. I laughed remembering how she had reacted when she came over and saw his pale, inhumanly perfect face as my computer wallpaper.
“Aunt Bella! Are you nuts? He’s DEAD! How can you like him? EWWW!” Every week it was the same thing. She Drama Queened over my latest pic of Vampire Robert and would promptly replace my pic with one of Taylor the werewolf and then we’d carry on all night about the pros and cons of dating vampires versus werewolves. She had started sending me pictures of Taylor on Facebook to irritate me so I had to reciprocate with pictures of Vamp Rob. I had a file full of the vampire’s pictures in my computer and I knew I had to go through them, put one up as wallpaper and search for more. She and I had a standing date for Facebook, hot-vampire vs. hot -werewolf picture war!
I sat my dinner on the table and went to get my laptop from my bedroom. I saw my novel sitting on the desk and smiled. I knew what I could do now that I was among the unemployed. I was going to work on my novels! For the first time in my life, I had the time on my hands to spend some serious hours working on them. I had a brand new computer at my disposal and endless hours to devote to my research and writing. As I plugged in my laptop and started to search for the beautiful vamp, I was once again happy about being unemployed.
Another day of filming was finally over. I needed to get back to my trailer and get my “fix”. It had been a long day and I was longing for release from all the tension of the day.
I would be glad when this saga was finally wrapped up and I could get onto other things. No one had expected this little teen novel series turned low budget film to become an Epic Movie with an unheard of massive fan base. The teen novel had hit the stores and gained enough of a following to warrant the inexpensive film but, by the time the thing hit the theatres, the book and anticipation for the movie had snowballed all over the world. It was everywhere and apparently loved by everybody.
In that first year, I had auditioned for the part without ever having read the bloody book. I had agreed to take the part long before it caught on and soon after the filming of the first movie had been sent to the cutting room floor I started to see it everywhere. “Twilight”, that one word could cause “Squees” heard all over the world now. Even though I could still walk around, “out and about” as they say, back then I couldn’t go anywhere without small groups of paparazzi and 12 year old fan girls screaming my name or my character’s name at the top of their lungs. Didn’t they know I was not Robert the vampire but Edward the actor? Even though I knew it was coming and could turn and smile at the world and be sweet and polite, their enthusiasm and volume and sheer devotion to the vampire Robert still startled me. Imagine my surprise the first time the screaming fan girls turned out to be “Twi-Moms”.
Here it was 6 years later and we were only halfway through with the final film. of the fourth book, Breaking Dawn, was being filmed in two parts. The first part was to be released in just a few months. Currently, we were only halfway done with the second half of Breaking Dawn. However, now I was confined to the film “compound” due to the overwhelming popularity of this little “teen novel series” and I was going stir crazy.
I wanted to get out of here and go sing at a night club, get drunk and play darts at a bar, go to the freakin store and buy some hot pockets and Heineken by myself, not have it handed to me at my trailer. I wanted to walk down some random road at one in the morning just because I wanted to! My family had thought I was nuts when I said I wanted to try to be an actor. Sometimes I wondered if they weren’t right. My dear brother and PA, Jasper, was always good at calming me down when I got too restless. He was part of my entourage, as was Emmitt, my muscle-bound brother and bodyguard. Geez! Bodyguard, I thought rolling my eyes. I now had to be protected from hordes of 6,000 screaming women and children? WTF? Seriously?
I thought that was the worst of it until we arrived in Baton Rouge several months ago and learned that Bill Condon had clamped down on security. He was refusing to allow anyone in or out of the compound for fear of “leaks” or “spoilers” getting out. Plus, he had the bright idea that if the public didn’t see any of the cast until the premiere then it would build excitement and anticipation for the finale’. As if! As if this movie/novel series needed a larger fan base or more excitement to fuel it.
I feared, as did Alice (poor girl was pouting cause all her fashion sense as my fashion consultant was going to waste locked down in Bill Condon’s compound), that being confined and held in seclusion just may push a few fans away. It wasn’t like the movie couldn’t afford to lose a few fans but it only took one bad apple, one misstep to bring the whole thing down. The little leaks and sightings of the Twilight saga cast in the past had kept up the excitement. But this idea of Bill’s had me worried. This fear was what kept me checking my computer every chance I got for the latest news.
And checking my computer kept me, as crazy as it sounded, laughing and entertained and humble and awed and grateful and happy that I had made the decision to go into making movies.
God love those crazy fan girls with “OCD” “Obsessive Cullen Disorder”! It still made me laugh to think of it. They had created websites dedicated to their obsession. One was called, “Letters to Edward” that was a total laugh riot and another that tended to get really raunchy at times called, “My Edward on the Web” in other words, MEoW! I loved that. They were all blogs that were wicked funny and kept me apprised of what was going on “OUT THERE”. I actually had to be careful about eating or drinking around my computer because these bloggers were so hysterical and wickedly funny and at times downright shocking that I would wind up spewing my food or drink all over my laptop. They had created an entire new vocabulary and dictionary (Edcabulary and Edwardictionary) and they had even created “Edisms”. God that tickled me! It was all because this Twilight film had taken off in popularity like a rocket. I wasn’t so egotistical that I believed they were referring to me, Edward Cullen, the actor but rather it was Robert the vampire they were crazy about. I knew that. I just happened to have his face off camera.
I’d never admit it, though the author of Twilight, Stephanie Meyer had nearly let it slip, that she, my “entourage” and myself were seriously addicted to their blogs. They were my “fix”. They were my drug of choice. They were my release. They were my salvation. I absolutely insisted no, I was downright adamant that no one in my family signed on to one of these blogs, even under an assumed identity as a fan or anything else. I didn’t want anyone to change or influence anything about these blogs! They were perfect just the way they were. They were my saving grace. I loved all the women on those blogs so much. I didn’t know what I would have done during these past months had it not been for these blogs and these women.
As I approached my trailer, I was not happy to see that Rose, my sister and make-up artist, was leaning against my steps waiting for me. I loved Rose very much but seriously, how self-centered and egotistical could one woman get?
“Edward,” she said, with a nod of her head. That was the warmest greeting anyone got from Rose. She must be in a good mood.
“Rose,” I replied. I lit a cigarette because I wanted one and to piss her off. When life offered you little moments of joy, you should take them. I let the cigarette dangle from my lips as I returned my lighter to my pocket. This too pissed her off and I tried not to smile as she rolled her eyes at me. “Where is the rest of the clan?” I asked. Rose was only tolerable when my other siblings were near.
“Oh, I’m sure they are rushing right over as soon as Bill Condon is done talking to them. We couldn’t go a single day without hearing how wonderful you are from you adoring fans.” She sniped, rolling her eyes yet again. She didn’t fool me. She laughed her butt off just as much as the rest of us did.
I entered my trailer and slammed the door, not bothering to hold it for her or even check to see if she was following me. For all I knew; I could have slammed the door right in her face. We honestly did love each other. I’d die for Rose; or any of my other siblings, it’s just the way we were around each other. If Rose wasn’t the center of attention and being fawned over and doted on then Rose was not happy.
She was totally different when Emmett was around her. Without him, she was cold and hard. But with him, she always did a 180; she was actually happy and could even be funny. Jasper and I often joked that Emmett kept her heart and her soul with him, one in each bicep.
I had showered, changed my clothes, had a Heineken in my hand and was logging on to my computer by the time they all entered my trailer, each with their own laptop. I was eager to see what “My Girls”; as I had come to call them, had posted today. I tried desperately to stop the smile that was spreading across my face but as my monitor opened up to “Letters to Edward”; I knew I had lost that battle.