‘Whenever you are ready; track 8.’
That few words keep ringing in her ears… and in her mind.
Rainie lowered her head and looked at the CD in her hand while Perfect Nightmare is being played on the CD player right now.
Track 8: Take A Bow by Rihanna.
‘The meaning of each and every song is up to everyone’s interpretation. But all I know is you don’t need this song. This song will only remind you of him and brings you sadness.’
Rainie lifted her eyes to look at the CD player, because Perfect Nightmare is the song that Ken refers to: a song she doesn’t need.
She lowered her head again and looked at the CD.
“There must be a reason why he asked me to listen to this song…” she said.
‘This track is the right one for you.’
She remembered what he said. She looked straight at the CD player now.
“Gotta find out what song is this all about…” she walked to the CD player, and then pressed the ‘Stop’ button.
She ejected the 2010 CD from the CD player, and puts in the 2008 CD.
And she pressed for Track 8, and paid utmost attention to the song.
Don’t tell me you’re sorry ’cause you’re not
Baby when I know you’re only sorry you got caught
But you put on quite a show
Really had me going
But now it’s time to go
Curtain’s finally closing
That was quite a show
But it’s over now (but it’s over now)
Go on and take a bow.
She immediately lifted her head up, and her focus is at the CD player.
“I understand now…” she said. “Perfect Nightmare will remind me of Scott, about how I put up with him, about how a part of me wants to be with him… Take A Bow… is to tell me that I should stand firm on my feet about wanting him out of my life… and that Scott cheats on me, and possibly will never admit he cheats if not because I caught him with her on the street…”
She took a deep breath as her inner emotions stirred up.
“Ken is using songs to guide me and ask me to see things from a different perspective and how to move on with my life… how to move on from Scott…” she said. “Be tough… be firm with my decision… and I will succeed in moving on…”
Girl, I love you, you’re the one
This just looks like a re-run
She smirked slightly. “Exactly the same like he had said…” she lowered her head, and then her eyes strayed to the other CD in her hand.
“And this CD… he said… to listen after this song… I wonder what song is it about…?”
She then lifted the CD up and she looked at it.
“He said… Better In Time,” she said, looking at the list. “Track 10,”
And she ejects the 2008 CD and puts in the last CD.
She pressed for Track 10 and listens to the song.
If you didn’t notice, boy, you mean everything.
Quickly I’m learning to love again
All I know is I’m gonna be okay
Thought I couldn’t live without you
It’s gonna hurt when it heals too
Ooh yeah (It’ll all get better in time)
And even though I really love you
I’m gonna smile cause I deserve to
Ooooooh It’ll all get better in time
She smiled. “I know. I know I will get better… because you are there for me,”
She took a deep breath, and smiled at the CD player.
“I will be okay,”
“Rainie, I am back!” Ken said as he closed the door. “I’ve bought you fish n’ chips. One pack of chips is mine. So don’t overeat the chips!” he placed the box on the dining table.
Rainie emerged from her room. “Yay, food came,”
Ken smiled as he sits down on the table and Rainie took her seat in front of him.
She opened the box. “Nice,” she said. “Thanks for the meal,” she grabbed the plastic fork and plastic knife that are packed with the box.
“No problem,” he said.
She smiled. “How was your meeting with Vanness?”
“It was okay,” he smiled as he opened his pack of chips.
“Oh,” she said. “By the way,” she dives the fork and knife into the freshly fried fish fillet.
“Hmm?” he asked.
“Mr. Xavier has sent me an email about the details of photo shoot. I was wondering if you can print it for me,”
“Sure,” Ken said, munching the chips.
He stopped munching. His face went pale all of a sudden and he gazed at Rainie.
She then looked at him. “What?”
“You… haven’t checked your email, have you?” he asked.
“Why do you ask?” she asked, now anticipating what he’s going to say.
“I…” he slowly lifted up his hand and then he runs it thru his hair. “Just asking,”
“Really?” she asked, looking at him.
She smirked. “Just to reply to your question. I have already checked my email,” she said. “With your computer,”
He stared at her. He is not sure what to say; and not an answer he expects to hear. But, oh well… “So… I… I assume…” he stammered.
“I did not close your browser. I opened a new window and checked my email. So your stuffs are still there. I did not touch anything,” she said as she remained looking at him, “Why are you stammering?”
“You already knew,” he said, lowering his head.
She just smirked.
“I am afraid you would be mad because I didn’t tell you,”
“It’s just news between me and Scott. It’s all over the media. What is there to be mad about?” she asked.
“Oh…” he looked at her and said. “I… I see, umm… glad you are not mad…”
“But you seem to be keeping it secret from me, huh?” she said as she stuffed the fish into her mouth.
“I’m sorry, I just didn’t want you to be unhappy,” he said.
“What is there to be unhappy about?” she asked as she picked and stuffed a chip into her mouth.
“Because it’s about Scott?”
Rainie took a deep breath. She then lowered her head down and stares at the fish as she runs the knife thru. “Scott has difficulty in landing jobs. The jobs that he had accepted in the past but had not signed the contract with, got him kicked out. I know. I read them all,” she then looked at Ken. “How long have you know about the news?”
“About a week,” Ken said.
“I see,” she said, lowered her head down and stuffs the fish into her mouth.
He quiets as he looked at her eating her fish.
“And…” she said.
He looked at her.
“You’ve been searching about my news it seems,” she said.
That was the part that he didn’t want her to know.
“I should have closed the browser or switched off the computer last night,” he said.
“You hardly switched off the computer, Ken,” she said. “It would be more suspicious if you did,”
“Well… I didn’t want you to know I’ve been reading the things about you,”
She smiled slightly. “I have nothing to hide,” she then looked at him. “You can ask me if you want to know,” she said. “Or you trust the media more than what I might tell you?”
“What have you read from the page?” he asked.
“Why do you ask?” she looked down and continued eating her fish.
“Judging from the way you speak, I think you have read the news that is opened in one of the browsers and the other tab is the search result that I have done. Though I am not sure how much you have read while I was away for the last few hours,” Ken said. “Let me explain to you,”
“About?” she asked while she concentrates on her fish.
“It wasn’t my intention to search for your stuff. After I saw the news a week ago about Scott being sidelined from his job, I felt that I had known nothing more than what the article had stated. I didn’t know if they had any news about Scott right after the breakup of yours and him. I didn’t know anything so…”
She stopped for a while, before she continued cutting that fish and stuffs a piece of it into her mouth.
“That is how it relates from the news to the search. You can call me busybody. I have no intention to ask about your things from you. I am just catching up with the news that I have missed for the past 4 years when I was working like a dog,”
“Are you sure you did not read any news in the last 4 years?”
“Hmm… then I shall correct myself. It is the entertainment news that I have not been reading for the last 4 years,”
“So that is why you read things about me up to 2 years ago, even when Scott and I started?”
Ken bites his lower lip. “Well… it’s still within the 4 years range,”
“Your search keyword is ‘Scott and Rainie’. Not the year range,” she said.
She smiled faintly as she pokes another chip and then eats it.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
“For? Reading about me?”
He smiled. “I think I can’t be sorry about that because the news are everywhere in the Internet. I am sorry because I did not tell you about Scott’s current news, and that I did a search about you and him,”
“Why are you interested about the relationship between me and Scott all of a sudden?”
“To be really honest,” Ken said.
She lifted up her head and looked at him as she munched.
“I am pretty… pretty… err…”
“You are not pretty. You are handsome,” she said. “In fact, you are very, very handsome,”
His face went red.
She laughed. “Come on, ‘pretty’ is for ladies. And I’m just teasing you because you can’t continue the next word,”
She remained laughing before it slowly dies down to a form a small smile on her face. “Go on,”
He looked at her, not too sure how to say it. “I am just… I don’t know, Rainie. I really don’t know how to tell,”
“Ken, just tell me,” Rainie said. “I’ll be fine,”
“I am doubtful about him. I mean, him; not your relationship. There are a lot of questions in my mind about him and I am not sure if… well I just want to find out more about him,” Ken said. “I might be wrong about my perception. But that’s how I felt,”
“You can ask me, Ken,” Rainie said.
“Well, reading from media… allows you to see things from a different perspective. Whether it is true, or not,” Ken said. “I know that celebrities, perhaps, like you, tried not to read it from the media because you felt that they are not saying the right thing, and sometimes they might have written something that disgusts you. But don’t take it personal because I am sure you will say ‘that is not the truth’. But you have to remember that is what has been reported and being portrayed. So try digesting the facts from a 3rd party’s view. You will at least know what kind of perception it was to the public. Rather than you felt they had exaggerated it, or fabricated the truth. Because I believe, at this point of time, what you read about the past… won’t change anything in the past but may lead you to see things differently,”
She looked at him.
“I know the news might not be reporting exactly the way it is. But I read it from neutral’s perspective. They might be wrong, but they might be right too,” Ken said. “So… do you want me to ask you things that you believe from your perspective, or from the media or public’s perspective?”
She did not speak a word as she then cuts her fish fillet.
“I understand that if I asked you, you will tell me what you had believed and trusted. If I asked you about some incident where Scott has explained to you and it is different as reported in the media, you will definitely tell me what he had said to you because you trusted what Scott had said, even if it is not true, because he was in a relationship with you. If you don’t trust your boyfriend, who else would you trust? So, didn’t what you are going to tell me, is going to make you think and be reminded about him? I do not want to put more pressure on you to be reminded about things you don’t want to remember or try to forget. And you will be left wondering right now if what he had told you in the past is the truth, or he had actually lied to you. I’d rather know the things as much as the public knows, and as the way the public knows. Even if what the media had reported is not true, then I will just let it be. Because you know why? It is the past. And none of it matters as this is older news which nobody really cares about. And there is no need for me to seek the truth from you. It is your life, your privacy and even if I know the truth, what can I do, seriously? And it is exactly, not important at all since it happens so long ago. What happens now is more important,”
She looked at him again.
“What is spreading today is that you had broken up with Scott,” Ken said. “Which is the truth,”
“And he is getting fired from jobs,” Rainie said, immediately switched her sight to her chips. “I don’t think it’s fabricated,”
Ken looked at Rainie. “Yes, that is what has been reported. I have no comment about fabrication,”
She nodded. “Okay,” she continued eating.
There’s a brief silence.
“Let me print the details you have requested just now for you,” Ken said and he rose to his feet.
“Sure. I’ve copied and paste the details on a Word document. You will be able to see it,” Rainie said.
“Okay,” Ken said as he walked to his computer desk. He looked at the screen.
She knew he has been reading the articles.
But how much has SHE read instead while he was away?
“Thank you,” Rainie suddenly speaks, without looking at him.
“For?” he asked as he quickly opened the Word document.
“Not asking me,” she said.
He smiled. “I wasn’t at all concerned about that. I can read the news and choose to believe in those exaggerated and fabricated, past news,”
She smiled as she lowered her head and eats. “But I do not want you to believe in those,”
“I am just reading it from a public’s point of view. I don’t want to intervene into your private life,” Ken browsed the document.
“I don’t know if I should say thank you for not intervening into my life, or to say that you shouldn’t believe in those news,” Rainie said.
“Like I have said, I’m only reading it from neutral’s perspective. I just want to know as much as the public knows. I don’t really care about the truth and the past,” Ken said. “You only have to know that I care about what is happening now, and not your past. Because I don’t know you in the past, but I know you personally as a friend now,”
She smiled. “You have an interesting mindset,”
“Thank you,” he smiled.
“Assuming to what you have said, you don’t care about the past. Then why do you do the search for my past now?” she asked.
Ken immediately went dumbfounded. “Errr…”
She smiled, knowing that he cannot answer and didn’t want to make life difficult for him, she began a new topic, “I learned so much from you in just 6 weeks since I know you,”
“Life is a learning process. I do too,” Ken scrolls the document up and was about to click ‘Print’ when he stopped and frowned. “Rainie, I’m sorry for asking this, but… the photo shoot is tomorrow?”
“Yes,” Rainie said.
“That is pretty last minute I supposed?” Ken asked.
“They have been discussing it for over a week. The prospect is in a rush to put it into the advertisement as he had agreed to publish it for next month’s magazine. And they need to get the photo up within 3 days and they only have 2 days left to send it for production,”
“I’m lost. I’m sorry?” Ken asked.
“Well, did you notice that, you always get to read next month’s magazine about one week before the month even started? Like… you get to buy and read April’s magazine at the end of this month/March?”
“Yeah,” Ken said, as he pressed the button on the printer to start up the printer.
“They need to prepare for the magazine for printing by a designated time, for example, middle of month of this month, which is March. So right now, we are one week away from the printing time. Once I am done with the photo shoot, they have only one week to settle the remaining things, such as selecting the photo, the pose, the colors, how to put it, the words and everything before they send for production. This is the general term. It is quite complicated, and a long process to do but they are pretty rush this time,” Rainie said. “I hope it explains a bit and eases your confusion, at least a bit,”
“Yeah… partially,” he said as he prints the document.
She laughed as he still remained confused. “Anyway, while you are away, Mr. Xavier calls me and pretty much we had a discussion about the photo shoot. He understands that it is pretty rush. So we need to get it done tomorrow. By hook or by crook,”
“Okay…” Ken said as he looked at the printer prints out the document. “So… I send you to this location or someone will send you…?”
“All this while, it has been you sending me to places. Why do you ask? Unless you have stuffs to do tomorrow?”
“No, not at all. Because… because I thought you… well, you are a model and since you have accepted a job, the prospect probably is going to send someone to pick you up tomorrow,” Ken said.
“I requested not to. Because I said you will send me. You will go there with me tomorrow,”
“Oh?” Ken asked.
“Yeah,” she said. “I have already mentioned it before to Mr. Xavier. Anything to make me comfortable, remember?”
Ken smiled. “Yeah, alright,” he looked up at Rainie. “Can I read the details of your document?”
“Why not I briefly explain the details to you?” she sips the drink.
“Oh, that will be great too,” Ken said and he walked to her with the document, and then he sits down in front of her.
She then looked at the document. “Okay, so, this is a photo shoot about shoes. It will be placed in the magazine, as what I’ve told you earlier. The reason why I was picked for the photo shoot was because they wanted to promote that the shoes are comfortable… and since I am injured, I am picking these shoes to wear while I am…”
“AHHHHH… now I get it,” Ken said. “So, they are using your injuries to promote their comfortable shoes,”
“Yes, you are so right,” Rainie said. “A great marketing idea, huh?”
“Anyway, in some ways, I will be representing this brand. Ah, they are also willingly to sponsor these shoes for me since I have agreed to model for them,” Rainie pointed in the document.
“So, you are getting another pair of shoes, again?” Ken asked.
“I guess so,”
“You are getting more and more shoes! I thought you’ll be wearing only the few pairs of flats we bought, and maybe the one that you were given free from the fashion show!” Ken said.
“Well, it looks like my injury is going to bring me another free pair of shoes now,” she laughed. “Anyway, this was told by Mr. Xavier, and not written in this email. I will be taking the photos with a male model. Because they are promoting shoes for men at the same time,”
“Oh okay. I hope it’s not Scott?”
“No. Have you forgotten he is not with me now? They would not dare to park him with me, if they do, I will not agree to this photo shoot when Mr. Xavier told me earlier. And I had personally told Mr. Xavier that I DO NOT want Scott to take it with me,”
“Oh, so you know who he is already?”
“Yes, his name is Brandon. He is another hottie model,”
Ken glared at her.
“Why, you’re jealous?” she laughed when she saw his glare.
“It’s the same feeling you will have when I tell you some other girls are pretty,”
“Really? I don’t react like that,” she pointed at him.
“Oh really?” he wasn’t convinced.
“I thought I just told you that you are very, very handsome?” she asked. “So, why do you have to be jealous over some hottie?”
He is taken aback, and immediately he is embarrassed. “Umm…”
She laughed as she stuffed the remaining bite of fish into her mouth.
“Suddenly I pondered if you are a woman or a man, to talk something like that,” he said, as he resumed eating his chips.
“If I am a man and I said you are handsome… you better beware,” she smirked devilishly.
Ken instantly caught that look on her face and also understood the meaning behind what she had just said. “Oh, gosh… no! I AM NOT GAY!”
And she laughed hysterically at his three-second petrified face.