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ONE COOL CHICK, THE BECHDEL TEST

ONE COOL CHICK: THE BECHDEL TEST

By Joe Reister

 “I really… really… don’t think it’s necessary,” the woman with the blotchy make up and blood shot eyes said as they drove past the one-mile to Rancho Mirage sign.  “It was like a couple drinks, Jen.  That’s all.”

“That.  Is.  Not.  All.  Caitlyn,” Jen said in the driver’s seat, her eyes on the road.  “Again, and I quote, I really… really… do think it’s necessary.  You took a shot…”

“Which I paid for, like I pay for all the bills,” Caitlyn said, sitting up and facing Jen.  “I should be able to have as many drinks as I want, and…”

“I pay the bills, Caitlyn.”

“With my checking account.”

“Which is running out of money,” Jen said and looked at Caitlyn.  “Because you’re not working and need to get your act together, which is why you hired me.”

“Maybe that’s the problem.”

“Excuse me?”

“The lack of work and you, Jen.  It…”

“The studios stopped calling you long before we met, Caitlyn,” Jen said, quieting the sudden beep on her cell.  “Because you had a little substance abuse and impulse control problem, and we still have the thank you notes from TMZ.  Remember those?”

“I do not.”

“I’ll them to you when we get home.”

“Shut up,” Caitlyn said, slumping back into her seat as they turned off the Rancho Mirage exit. 

“Yeah.  I will if you will,” Jen said, rolling the car to a stop sign and checking her cell.

March 5, 2014

Alejandra Jane:

Reminder.  Dinner with Mom and Dad at 7.  Brings wine, and try to make it for once.

“Great, Alex.  Thanks,” Jen said and turned to see Caitlyn texting furiously.  “What are you doing?” 

“I don’t need rehab,” Caitlyn said and put the phone down.  “Three drinks in three months is not a crisis, Jen.”

“But ten drinks in two hours is, Caitlyn,” Jen said, frowning at the car’s GPS and the ‘detour’ sign.  “Our little self-help program isn’t working when you’re half naked an hour in and start doing Vodka shots from Vlad’s belly button.”

“We were all living in the moment, Jen.”

“I was talking to your agent, Caitlyn.”

“Just talking?” Caitlyn said, nudging Jen.  “Zach’s your type, and it’s been a while.”

“He’s married,” Jen said, turning left. 

“So?”

Jen eyed Caitlyn when her phone buzzed and a face and the name ‘Nick’ appeared on the screen.  “Crap,” she said, letting out her breath.

“I thought you were done with him.”

“I am,” Jen said, reaching for her cell.  “But Nick obviously wants to get his ass kicked.”

“Let me handle this,” Caitlyn said and grabbed the phone.  “You swore you’d never talk to Nick, and I blew off Vlad last night.”

“Is that what that was?”

“I didn’t argue when we left, did I?” Caitlyn said, answering the call and hitting speaker.  “Nick, you need to stop calling.”

Jen focused on the road.

“Caitlyn?” Nick said.  “What a joy to hear your voice.  You know, I just rewatched The Truth this weekend, and you were really good in it.”

“Thanks, Nick,” Caitlyn said and rolled her eyes.  “It holds up…”

“It does, Caitlyn, but what’s next.  You’re 23, in the heyday of your career, and you haven’t even done a local commercial in the last year.”

“Hey,” Jen said, reaching for the phone.

“Wow,” Caitlyn said, waving off Jen and laughing.  “I haven’t heard that, Nick.  Ever.  That’s really…. really… insightful.

“I do what I can,” Nick said.

“Of course most people aren’t so direct, Nick,” Caitlyn said, pulling the phone closer and talking directly into it.  “Except Jen.  She said she’d kick your ass if she ever heard from you again.  Remember that?”

“Yes, twice,” Nick said, sighing.  “Just before she slammed the door in my face.”

“Yet here you are calling again, Nick.  Do you think Jen changed her mind?”

“I hope so, but I’m guessing ‘no’.”

“She could totally kick your ass too, Nick,” Caitlyn said, winking at Jen.  “You know it, and yet you’ve called what, ten times?  Give it up, hon.”

“This is only the second time in three months, Caitlyn, and Jen didn’t take that call either.”

“Well, you can see why since you’re a criminal looking for one last big score, her sister’s a cop and all you wanted to do was get laid.”

“She didn’t complain.”

“That’s not what she told me.” Caitlyn said, laughing.

“Right,” Nick said and laughed too.  “Look, just tell her I sent her something, okay?  Nothing fancy, just something I saw that made me think of her, and no, I’m not trying to get back with her.  Okay, Caitlyn?  I get that we’re done.  It’s just a last gesture.  That’s all.  All right?”

“All right,” Caitlyn said, rolling her eyes.  “So, you’re not going to call this number again.  Is that what you’re saying?”

“Just have her open the gift, Caitlyn.  If your drug addled brain can process that, okay?

“And we’re done,” Caitlyn said, getting the nod from Jen and hanging up.  “What did you see in him?”

“The sex was actually pretty good.”

“But that not good, right?  You can do better.”

“Well, I can,” Jen said with a shrug.  “But I’m not sure about anybody else.”

Caitlyn stared at her, blinking.  “You need get a new number, Jen.  Nick was kind of a dick.”

“He was, but that’s the number your management, agent, publicist and any interested producers have, Caitlyn,” Jen said, spotting the right street sign.  “It’s kind of your life line right now.”

“So, call them with the change.”

“Most of them aren’t taking our calls right now, Caitlyn.

She turned to Jen and shrugged.  “Doesn’t matter.  Screw them.  They know how to reach me if they want to, and you need a new number.”

“Thanks.  That means a lot,” Jen said and smiled.  “But I can deal with Nick.  We’ll figure something else out okay?”

“No, not really, Jen,” Caitlyn said, noticing the medical building in front of them.  “This is a really… really…”

“You’re doing rehab, Caitlyn,” Jen said, noticing the police cruiser pull up behind them, and frowned.  “You really need it.”

“We’ll see,” Caitlyn said and smiled, seeing the cruiser too.  “And who’s Betty Ford?”

“She had similar issues, and you’re the one who told me that,” Jen said with a look, and noticed a policeman get out of the cruiser and walk in their direction.  “Anything else you want to tell me, Caitlyn?”  The policeman tapped on the window and Jen rolled it down.  “Officer?”

“We got a call about a kidnapping, miss,” the policeman said, looking at Jen and then recognizing Caitlyn.  “Oh.  Okay.”

“Yes, I’m Caitlyn Kelly, and this woman has brought me here against my will,” Caitlyn said, flashing her phone.  “I texted my mother about it and she called the police.”

“Uh huh.  Yeah,” the policeman said and shook his head, looking at Jen.  “You have some ID, miss?”

“I do,” Jen said and put on a practiced smile, showing the policeman her driver’s license, her business card and her sister’s card that said Det. Alexandra Alvarez, LAPD.  “I’m Ms. Kelly’s personal assistant, and I understand how this might look, sir, but Ms. Kelly is in need of some assistance with her substance abuse problem…”

“I’m fine, officer,” Caitlyn said, smiling and leaning forward to show off her loose fitting top.  “I’ve never felt better, actually.  Honest.”

The policeman looked at Jen’s license and business cards, and then looked up from Caitlyn’s cleavage to stare at the circles under eyes.  “Right.” 

“That’s my sister’s direct line, officer,” Jen said, still smiling her practiced smile.  “She can vouch for me.”

“That’s not necessary, miss,” the policeman said, looking at Caitlyn again and then turning to Jen.  “Ms. Kelly isn’t the first to call us on her way to Betty Ford, Ms. Alvarez.” 

“No, sir,” Jen said. 

“Please note, Ms. Kelly, that calling in a false kidnapping is a felony,” the policeman said, handing Jen back her license and the two business cards.  “I could arrest you and apparently your mother, but instead we’ll just tell the clinic instead.”

Caitlyn’s mouth fell open.

“My apologies, sir,” Jen said.  “And thank you for your time.”

“You’re welcome,” the policeman said and started back to the cruiser.

“I’m still not going, Jen,” Caitlyn said as Jen took the keys from ignition.  “And you’re fired.  I’m not paying you severance and you can forget about any references.”

“Fair enough,” Jen said and stepped out of the car, walking around to Caitlyn’s side and holding up her phone.  “I’m going to call you agent, manager, publicist and all the producers I know and tell them how you got shit faced and naked last night after promising to never drink again, and then refused rehab even though you already agreed to it and even prepaid for a month’s stay?” 

Caitlyn stared right into Jen’s eyes, and Jen smiled her practiced smile.  

“We’re going to get you straightened out, Caitlyn, show the world you’ve cleaned up and then get you working again,” Jen said, holding out her hand.  “And I promise I’ll be with you every step of the way.  Okay?”

Caitlyn saw the nurses coming out to meet them and looked into Jen’s eyes. 

“You’re better than this and you know it,” Jen said.  “So, let’s kick some real ass, okay?”

“Okay,” Caitlyn said and took Jen’s hand.  “You’ll come get me in a month.

“Yeah, and visit too,” Jen said, taking Caitlyn into a hug.  “Just like you helped me with Nick.”

“Right,” Caitlyn said and wiped her face.  “Thanks, Jen.”

“You’re welcome, hon,” Jen said and waited in front of the building until Caitlyn made it into the clinic and her phone beeped again.

March 5, 2014

Alejandra Jane:

Dinner?  Yes or no?

Jen smiled, typing, ‘Yes.  On my way, but a little late.  Had work,’ and then started the car again and headed back.

 

Of course Jen has more adventures. 

Read how Jen finds herself in a cluster when famous movie star, Jimmy Roberts, kills her boss, movie star, Caitlyn ‘Cake’ Kelly, and lands in the crossfire of the famous actor and his P.A./head of security, local criminals and the police, including her older sister, Sergeant Alejandra Jones.  She struggles to stay free and alive while proving her innocence and revealing the truth.

All in One Cool Chick: The P.A.

 

 

 

All material copyrighted by Joe. Please contact him at joe@joestories.com if you have any comments, queries or questions.
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