After all the girls were dressed and fed, we walked across the street to the studio. It had been so long! Having that building in my view reminded me of how supportive Jes2G is of my dreams and aspirations. But, I’m supposed to be mad at her. Whatevs. We walked through the door, and the lobby was neat and tidy just as I left it. It still had that “new build” smell. I found myself getting excited as we marched up the stairs.
The corridors are so much brighter! Looks like she installed better lighting up here. That’s nice…still mad though. The closer we got to the conference room, I got even more excited. Giddy even. Those girls behind me definitely were. I could feel all of their eyes on me. I bet they all have stupid grins on their faces too. Heh, I don’t blame them though. They’re just so excited to have me back.
The girls filed in and got seated—well, most of them. I sat there and listened to them chat for a brief moment. I don’t really know why, but it was kind of a tender moment for me. I…I missed them. A lot.
“Geek…don’t you want to join us?”
“Seriously? Come on now. Let’s get this meeting started.”
“Well…before you do,” she said, “I have something I’m supposed to show you.”
“Oh? And what is that?”
“Uhhh…a surprise…from Jes2G,” she said quickly.
“Oh geez.” I’m sure you can imagine my eyes rolling all the way to the back of my head. I’m not quite sure I’m ready for her feeble attempts to apologize to me.
“Now, Jessica,” Jes2Gentle interjected, “keep an open mind. I’m sure there’s an explanation for everything.”
“Keep an open mind? Seriously? How open would your mind be if you got sent away for a couple of months and ended up being held prisoner for a year? Do you know she changed my name too?? I’m not exactly feeling open right now.”
“Dude! Seriously? She changed your name,” Jes2Geek asked. “What are we supposed to call you now?”
“You can call me Jessica! I’m not going by her name.”
She laughed. She actually laughed! “Jes2G? You’re Jes2G now?”
“Awwww, you’re like a proper ‘mini me’ now!”
“Shut up! Show me whatever you’re supposed to show me so we can get on with this!”
She was still laughing as she showed me out of the room. She’s so annoying sometimes! UGH! To my surprise, we went right next door to what was supposed to be the second conference room. It had been transformed into a nice looking meeting space.
“Ok,” I said flatly. “This is a nice space. So what? Why is it a surprise for me? If she thinks she can win me over with a room, she has several thinks coming.”
“Sheesh! You’re a feisty one when you’re trying to hold a grudge, eh?”
“Geek, I’m not in the mood for the goofball. What is this about??”
“Weeeell, it’s just one of the ways she wants to show you that she’s sorry…”
“Seriously? Oh please.”
“All of us have sets down in the studio except you, so she thought she’d give you one—
“I don’t have a set because I didn’t want one! I’m the producer here! Don’t you see? She’s only doing this because she already has something up her sleeve!”
She ignored me and kept trying to sell it to me. “The door behind you goes right to your dressing room! And, in those times when you need to do a little schmoozing and the conference room is too formal and your office is too impersonal, you have a nice meeting space as well. That’s nice…right?”It really was…I have to admit. Whatever her reason, I know she never means me any harm. Just like Gentle said, there’s probably a perfectly good explanation for everything. Ugh! I couldn’t hold a grudge for long if you paid me. Sometimes I hate being just like her.
“Yeah…it’s aight,” I said trying to fake getting over it.
“Whatever. You know you love it!”
“Ok, well…you two have things to work out, and we have things to talk about, so let’s get back to the meeting,” she said quickly.
We went back, and I resumed my place at the head of the table.
“Uhhh…if I’m going to lead the meeting, I should sit in your chair, right,” Jes2Geek asked.
“You just don’t know when to stop, do you? No!”
“Didn’t hurt to try, right?”
“Ok…I didn’t call this meeting, so someone start talking. You know what I want to know…”
No one said anything at first. I think my attitude alarmed them. I don’t think I said anything too harsh, did I? What are they sensing from me?
“All right,” Jes2Gourmet said finally. “First things first…Jamie Rose is here. She happily agreed to make the move and bought a house in Newcrest.”
What a relief! I should have known my sisters would take care of everything. “What about Joel and Cathy?”
“Joel is also in Newcrest, but Cathy went back home after her interview.”
Thinking about my old friends made me remember my new friends. I wonder if Allison had her baby yet. And, how many? I never would have pegged her to be the large family type, but I guess it’s true what they say: you can take the girl out of the legacy, but you can’t take the legacy out of the girl…or something like that.
“That’s good news,” I said. “I’m very glad to hear it. Ok…what else?”
“We…ehhh, her, you know…the fairy godmother boss lady?”
Oh geez…here we go again…
She continued, “She thought it would be best if we lived in the same…ummm…Geek, you explain it. You know how all this works.”
I see even after a year two of my sisters are just as clueless about game awareness as they were when I left.
“She thought it would be good if we moved to the Crazy Brady’s Boot Camp save,” Jes2Geek said.
“Is that so? I smell a plan brewing…”
“Well,” Jes2Gentle spoke up, “that’s the thing. We like this plan.”
When Gentle speaks, I listen…
“While you were away, boss lady began slacking on the episodes and they weren’t coming out as regularly for a while…”
Remember that grudge I’m not holding onto? Whatevs!
“So, regrettably the show never got as popular as it could have been.”
I took a deep breath and pushed what I really wanted to say out of my mind. “Ok…so what does this have to do with this plan that everyone is seemingly in love with and hopes that I fall in love it with too?”
“Well, things got really interesting in the middle. Nico has feelings for Braylon!”
“So, he keeps trying to talk to her and getting advice from Acacia…it’s really cute! The audience has been enjoying watching how he behaves around her and waiting for the moment when he tells her how he feels about her.”
“Ok, so why doesn’t he?”
“Well, he can’t now.”
“Because she got voted off last week,” Jes2Geek interrupted. “Geez! Didn’t you guys have cable where you were?”
“You can leave if you’d like, Geek,” I said.
“Nah. This is highly entertaining. Hey! We should get a popcorn maker in here!”
“UGH!! Don’t you ever shut up?! PLEASE continue, Gentle!”
“Ok…so, yes, Braylon got voted off, but everyone still wants to see if they will get together…do you see?”
“I get it. Jes2G wants us to do another show, you guys are onboard, and now we’re here to strong-arm me into getting onboard. I see quite clearly.”
Was that too much? They look disappointed. I’m just a bit on edge today. There’s no way they will ever be able to understand why. I mean, so what I took a few things from the mini fridge in my room? How was I supposed to know that stuff wasn’t free? I had never traveled before! How does that make me a criminal? I still can’t believe that Monaghan kept me there and made me write romance novels to pay my tab! GAAAH! Yeah, ok, I had fun there, but that’s besides the point! I was a prisoner…basically. Ok, I’m being totally dramatic, but whatever!
“So…what’s the idea,” I said. They all breathed a sigh of relief.
“Well,” Jes2Gourmet spoke up, “It turns out that Braylon didn’t go back home after she was kicked out.”
“Let me guess…she’s still here.”
“Yep! She bought a house in Newcrest! I also heard through the grapevine that Nico is thinking about not returning home as well.”
“Wait…does he know she’s still here?”
“And she has no idea he’s not going home.”
“Oh boy. Why do I smell a trap?”
“It’s not a trap! Ok, here’s what we’re thinking. What if we start a new show…kinda like a documentary or something where we follow a couple of contestants after the show to see how they’re doing and if they’re keeping up their habits?”
“And the contestants will be Braylon and Nico, of course…right?”
“So…let me get this straight…you guys want to follow them around in the guise that the world wants to see how they’ve got on after the show, but really you want to follow them around in hopes that they’ll randomly meet one day and hope something comes of it?”
They all thought about it for a couple seconds before they agreed that this crazy plan is what they intended.
“You know this crazy, right? Like, really really crazy.”
“We have to at least try it. We need some sort of resolve with their relationship,” Jes2Gourmet shouted excitedly.
“Soooo, we’re willing to exploit their personal lives for our own entertainment?”
“Duh, Jess,” Jes2Geek said. “That’s what reality television is all about! We’ve already done that once, he he.”
As silly as all of this was, there was no way I could say no to this. If I did, my sisters would be mad at me…and Jes2G would make us do it anyway. Why are we even having this meeting if my opinion doesn’t even matter?
“Ok,” I said, “So what does Braylon think?”
“We haven’t spoken with her,” Jes2Gentle said.
“Well…we don’t know her.”
“Neither do I! I mean, I know about her, but we’ve never met… Wait…you all have been waiting for me to get back so I can talk to her…haven’t you?”
I took their silence as agreement. Gosh! Do I have to do everything around here?