Status: I'm working on it

A Scandal in Hollywood

Chance Meeting

I drove until I came to the ocean. Along the coast there was a small rock formation that jutted out over the water with a small, fenced in playground nearby. It was the perfect place to play, fish, or just go for a walk along the rock jetty. I pulled into the parking lot and stepped out into the cool night breeze. I remembered when I used to come here with Aimee all the time. She loved to walk out to the end of the jetty and feel the saltwater breeze against her face.

I swung my keys around my finger as I walked out onto the jetty. The darkness of the night, mixed with the moon reflecting against the water, made it look like a long stretch of dark blue, shimmering silk. The sound of the waves crashing against the rock put my mind at ease and I could hear an owl hooting in the distance as I took my sandals off and felt the wet, bumpy rock beneath my feet. I walked out to the end and stood at the edge before closing my eyes and feeling the drops of sea water hit my face.


I drove along the small, two-way street that wrapped around the hills of the California coast as Owl City seeped quietly through my speakers and I tapped my fingers against the steering wheel to the melody.

“It’s always a good time,” I mumbled, singing along absent mindedly. My headlight swept over a sign and I slowed down to read it. It took a few seconds and I almost had to stop the car because the sign was so weather-beaten.

‘Beachside Park’ it read in big, red cursive lettering. With a shrug I turned the wheel and pulled into the small parking lot. My headlights swept over the small playground and as soon as I pulled the key out of the ignition and locked the door behind me I headed for it. I walked up to the swing and sat down on it. I gripped the rusty chains of the swing in both hands and leaned back so I could see the moon. It was a crescent tonight, and I smiled when I remembered the story my mom always told me when I was a little girl.

She said that whenever the moon was full the man on the moon would always eat a little bit each night until it disappeared, then he would start to bake a new moon and add a little too it each night until it was full again. It was just a silly kid’s story, but I always loved those little moments with my mom when I was little. Sometimes she would fall asleep telling me a story when dad was working late nights at the attorney’s office and she would end up sleeping in my bed. Those moments seemed like bitter-sweet memories now. She hated me; I just knew it. I’d send them a letter only a week ago, and as if them not writing back wasn’t bad enough, they had my letter sent back to me, unopened.

After Tammy had been born I’d stand by her bedside when mom and dad were working late and tell her the same story mom told me when I was little. She would always laugh and smile at me with her toothless grin before drifting off to sleep. I think I missed her most of all since I’d been gone, and I knew I’d probably never see her again. I looked up at the moon and it reminded me of mom and Tammy.

Tears blurred my vision, making the moon seem bigger than it actually was. I sat up straight in the swing and leaned my head forward, wiping away my tears. I wrapped my arms around myself when I felt a sudden gust in the wind sweep over me. Why is it so cold in California? I leaned back a few seconds later and just stared at the crescent in the sky.

Suddenly the sound of something hitting the ground nearby made me nearly jump out of my skin. My fingers slipped from the metal chains and I fell back with a scream, hitting my head on the concrete. I heard someone yell in shock before I heard heavy footsteps running over to me. My mind was swimming but I forced my eyes open to see a figure hunched over me, peering down at me. What was he doing?!

With a scream I kicked my leg up and hit him in the jaw. He stumbled back, mumbling under his breath as he held his chin. I scrambled to my feet and took a few steps back.

“I’m not going to hurt you!” the guy said, groaning in pain when he moved his mouth. “I’m sorry if I scared you, I didn’t know anyone was here.”

‘I’m not going to hurt you’. Those were the only words that seemed to register in my mind when I realized I’d kicked a complete stranger who didn’t even want to hurt me. Along with a flood of relief I also felt guilty now. I bit down on my lip as I walked over to the guy to see if he was alright.

“I’m so sorry, I thought you were a rapist or a kidnapper or something. Sorry…I’ve been watching too much CSI and Criminal Minds lately,” I joked and I heard him laugh in response. “Are you Ok?”

“Well, my jaw doesn’t seem to be broken, so I’d say I’ll be fine,” he said, and in the dim street lamp light I could see him rubbing his jaw as he spoke. I squinted in the darkness, but I couldn’t make out what he looked like.


I looked over at the girl who was sitting up and rubbing her head while I rubbed my jaw. That girl had good aim and a good kick. I hadn’t meant to scare her, I didn’t even know she was here until I heard her scream and saw her fall off the swing. Nearly gave me a heart attack with her scream too…

I walked over to the girl and helped her up. She sat down on a swing and looked at me in the darkness. There was a street lamp nearby, but not enough light to really make out any features, except that she had black hair and her bangs cast shadows over her face.

“I’m really sorry,” she apologized again. I waved it off and sat down on the swing next to her.

“I don’t blame you. You’re out here all alone, I startle you and you fall off the swing and the next thing you see is a man you don’t know hovering over you. I’d probably kick the person too. I mean, how many people come out here at one in the morning?” I heard her chuckle a little.

“Apparently people like you and me. So, what are you doing out here at one a.m. in the morning?” she asked curiously as she gripped the chains and looked down at the ground.

“I just wanted to get some fresh air. What about you?”

“I had a nightmare and I knew I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep. I just needed to go somewhere.”

“What was your nightmare?” I asked, but when she looked up at me suddenly I knew that I’d asked the wrong question. She was a complete stranger than I’d just met, it was none of my business.

“You don’t have to answer if it’s personal or something…” I corrected myself. She shook her head.

“No it’s fine. You’ll probably think I’m crazy, but I had a dream that demonic letters and numbers were chasing me and wanted to eat me,” she said with a small laugh, and I couldn’t help but laugh too.

“What brought that on?”

“Probably studying. It’s my first year at college and I’m nervous,” she admitted.

“Don’t worry, the first year is always the hardest. It gets easier, trust me. Just know you have your family behind you and they’ll be with you every step of the way. That’s what helped me through college,” I said with a smile. She suddenly looked away and a moment later I saw her wipe something away from her eye. I suddenly realized she was crying.

“Did I say something wrong? Are you alright?” I asked, concerned. She nodded.

“Yeah. I’m fine,” she sniffled, wrapping her arms around herself.

“No, you’re not. What’s wrong?”

She was silent for a few minutes, waiting to see what I would do, but she finally spoke. “I don’t have my family.”

“What happened to them?”

“Nothing. They’re still alive and everything…but they hate me. They won’t even talk to me,” she cried.

“I’m sure they don’t hate you,” I comforted her. She shook her head.

“No, they do. They didn’t want me to go to college, but I did anyways. See, they wanted me to take care of my baby sister Tammy, so when I left they hated me for leaving.”

“Why did they want you to take care of her? Were they not able too?”

“They had to work, and since I’d just graduate they said I could take care of her until she went to Kindergarten, then they’d send me to college,” she said. “Do you ever feel like getting something you want means sacrificing something just as important?”

“I know what you’re talking about,” I nodded. When I’d first became a celebrity I had to sacrifice any sense of privacy. Nothing was a secret anything, nothing was confidential. I knew the feeling.

“But that’s life, you know? Sometimes you have to give something up to get something else you want,” I said with a shrug.

“I know, but I can’t help but second guess myself,” she said quietly.

“Tell me about your family.”

“Well, there’s my baby sister Tammy. She’s ten months old and she’s a little spitfire. She has a good grip and she’s a good kicker when she doesn’t want me to put her down for her nap.”

“Wonder where she got it from,” I said, pointing to my chin. The girl laughed and continued.

“And then there’s my parents. They’re both lawyers and they work for the same law firm. They’re pretty popular and they win a lot of their cases, so they have to be gone a lot. Mom took off the last two months while she was pregnant with Tammy, but after she had her she was just itching to get back to work, so I took on the responsibility.” She suddenly looked up at me. “I didn’t mind watching Tammy, I love her. But I wanted a career and maybe a family of my own…and four years seemed like a long time to wait.”

“If it helps, I think you did the right thing. I hate when people have children only to make their children take care of them. It’s not your responsibility, so you shouldn’t feel guilty for leaving.”

“I know. That’s what everyone tells me…but it’s hard to remember that when they sent my letter back to me without even opening it.”

“I’m sorry.” She nodded and I think I even saw her smile; it was hard to tell in the dark.

“That’s all I wanted, someone to understand.”


“So, anything in particular make you come here to get some fresh air?” I asked.

“I…needed some time to just relax and think,” he said slowly.

“About what?”

“Well, nothing in particular. My wife and I used to come here often, so I came here thinking maybe I could feel close to her again, I guess,” he said with a shrug.

“She died?” I asked. I felt almost stupid for asked, knowing that was what probably happened, but I knew she could have simply left, and I hated assuming.


“I’m sorry. What happened?” I asked and I jumped when he suddenly reached up and grabbed the chains.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” he said, his voice tense.

“Ok, then you don’t have too,” I said, trying to calm him down. He let out a sigh.

“I’m sorry…it’s just a sore spot for me right now.”

“Then I don’t want to pry.” After a few minutes of silence it was starting to feel awkward.

“So…you mentioned you like CSI?” he asked with a lighthearted tone. I nodded.

“Yeah, but I like Criminal Minds more. They focus more on the psychological side of investigations. Why criminals act the way they do. It’s interesting, you know?”

“I’ve only seen a couple episodes of Criminal Minds but it was interesting,” he said with a shrug.

“They’re both good, but I have a fascination with profiling and forensic science. In fact, I’m studying both in college.”

“Is that your major?”

“No, I haven’t picked a major yet. I’ll probably pick that as my major when I sign up for my spring classes though, right now I’m just seeing if I’m any good at it.”

“So, are you any good at profiling?”

“Yeah, I think so.”

“Think you could profile me?”

I smirked. “I could try.”

I took into account everything he’d said, his body language and what I could see of his appearance. “Your wife died in some kind of accident, judging by the way you tensed up and didn’t want to talk about it. You’re fairly well off if your jacket is real leather like it appears to be, which means your job must be fairly well paying. It usually takes time to get a job that good or move up in ranks so I’d estimate you must be between the ages of thirty and fifty. ”

He clapped his hands. “Impressive. You’re like a young, female Sherlock Holmes.”

“Ha, I’m nowhere near as smart as he is,” I laughed.

“So how is your jaw feeling?” I asked. He smiled.

“It’s fine. How is your head feeling? You must have hit it pretty hard.”

I reached back and winced in pain when I felt the lump forming on my head.

“Well, I’ll survive. But there will be a lump there tomorrow, I’m sure.”

“Do you need me to drive you to the hospital just to make sure?”


“No, it’s not that bad,” she assured me.

I looked down at my watch and saw that it was 1:30, and I had to be on set at 8 a.m. tomorrow, or rather this, morning.

“Well, I should be going now, it’s pretty late and I have to work in a little less than seven hours,” I said as I stood up and she nodded.

“Yeah, me too,” she said as she stood up. “Well, it was nice talking to you.”

“Yeah, you too,” I said with a smile before turning and walking back to my car. I got in my car and I watched to make sure she safely got in hers and drive away before turning the ignition. I looked back to see her driving her blue Mercedes down the road when I suddenly realized I didn’t catch her name. I frowned but shrugged before putting my car in reverse and driving the opposite direction she came from. That’s too bad, it had been nice talking to her.


I drove down the road, thinking about the guy I’d been talking too. I’d never revealed so much about my life to a complete stranger, much less break down in front of one. I mean, I didn’t even catch his name and I was crying about my family like he was my best friend or something. What was wrong with me?!

It’s not like I’d been holding my emotions in or anything but everything just came out when I started talking to him. He was a good listener. Oh well, I always had Brett and Erika to talk too.