AN- This idea came from random DMs on Twitter with ChiTwiGal about famous people we would use freebie cards for, and I just ran with it. The end result led me out of my comfort zone, but I enjoyed writing it. I just hope everyone enjoys it. This is my story cdonation for the Fandom Against Domestic Violence which has raised an amazing $2645! Thanks to everyone who has donated, be it a story, money or simply time.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Facebook was my guilty secret. No-one from real life knew I had an account and no-one I spoke to online knew the 'real' me. I had no personal pictures of myself on display. My profile picture was always Jasper Whitlock.
Jasper Whitlock...The man of my dreams. Literally. He had a recurring role that played out in my head. It wasn't always the same dream, but he was always there. Ever since I'd seen him in 'Oceanwalk' I was transfixed. Then I discovered that he was a musician and I was done. I had a thing for them, in bands, solo artists, it didn't matter. Jasper was a solo artist who was full of charisma and cheeky charm. He was an interviewer's dream. Forthcoming, easygoing and a bit of a chatterbox. I watched interview after interview to glean off any information that I could. Some called me obsessed, some called me a freak, I called myself a bit of a loser.
Being a single parent was hard, but I loved my kids dearly. They were literally the reason I got up every morning. It had been just the three of us for so long now, that I couldn't imagine anyone else coming into our little family bubble. I worked part time in a supermarket and constantly felt I could do better. It wasn't that I felt the job was beneath me or anything. I felt no shame in doing my job, and being proud of myself because I was doing it to support my kids, but there was always that 'what if' floating around my mind as I worked.
A quiet kid at school, all those years ago, I had dreams like everyone else. While they all wanted to be famous singers, actors, sports stars and such like, I wanted to be able to just sit somewhere, surrounded by my enormous music collection and write. As a teenager, i did nothing but write. Short stories, poems, songs. I didn't care what it was, I just wanted to write it. I had notebook upon notebook full of scribbles and crossings out. Even now, as an adult, I never went anywhere without one and a couple of pens.
My kids thought I was crazy, but weren't they supposed to think that about me? They were both coming up to their teens and were becoming so independent it almost broke my heart. Secondary school and 'study' dates with friends left me with a lot of time to myself. I knew they both loved me and that we were a unit, but they also needed to go out and experience the world. Within limits of course.
Facebook was quiet so I shut it down, but I didn't turn off the computer. I opened up a new word document and just started typing. I never did this. I was a pen and paper person through and through. I wasn't scared of technology, but I was a bit old school at the same time. I couldn't stop typing, and didn't know where the words were coming from, but they just seemed to flow with ease.
I stopped for a break when I realised I had been going for three hours straight. I checked the word count and was amazed to discover I'd typed almost thirty thousand words, and it wasn't complete rubbish. I headed into the kitchen to make a start on dinner knowing the kids would be home from school shortly. i couldn't get my word document out of my head and was constantly having to run back to it to add things and change things.
The evening dragged as I ensured the kids ate, did their homework then showered before heading off to their respective bedrooms for the night. I poured myself a glass of beer and sat back down at the computer and typed. I typed and typed and typed. I couldn't seem to be able to stop. The next time I looked at a clock of any kind, it was nearly two in the morning.
I had two choices. Switch the computer off and attempt to get some sleep even though I wasn't tired at all or continue typing and see where things went. After refreshing my beer, I went with option two. I changed the cd to a Jasper Whitlock cd and continued.
I finally ground to a halt at five am amidst yawning and heavy eyes. I saved the document and shut everything down. Although I was exhausted, I couldn't help but feel exhilarated at the same time. I wanted to catch a few hours before packing the kids off to school and continuing, but I was on an early shift and needed to get into work. I stretched out on the sofa and dropped off.
The following days continued in pretty much the same fashion. Any chance I could get, i was sat at the computer typing away until one day I realised I had finished. Over five or six days, I had written nearly three hundred thousand words over twenty eight chapters. I couldn't believe it. I had written what some would see as a novel. I had printed it off as I went and the pile of paper was now sat on my desk waiting fr me to do something with it. I sat looking at the pile of my words, not sure whether I should just shred the whole lot or what.
The kids had noticed how distracted I had been and when they asked, I told them the truth, but didn't let them read anything. They both wanted to read it when it was finished, but I wasn't sure how I felt about that. I knew they wouldn't take the piss or ridicule me, but I realised that I had put a lot of myself into the words and that scared me a little. I was open and honest with them and encouraged them to return the favour, but there were some things I kept hidden. I left what the kids referred to as 'the manuscript' on my desk and decided to head out for a walk to try and clear my head.
I wandered along the canal for hours trying to work out what my options were. Could I even entertain the thought of sending it off to a publisher or would I forever be an 'almost author'? Type and print up a manuscript then leave it to gather dust under the bed or on top of the wardrobe?
I arrived back home to find the kids and a couple of friends sat round the dining table working on homework. I smiled at them all and went to prepare some food for them. i assumed we were having guests for dinner, again. I loved the fact that my kids felt able to just bring their friends home and that said friends felt comfortable enough here.
I stood behind the tobacco counter at work waiting for someone to approach me. It was dead during the morning shift as most people were at work now, and the only people I seemed to be serving were the elderly who had just been to cash in their pensions before buy the morning paper and their smokes for the day. They'd all been coming to me for years that they knew me by name and knew to ask after the kids. I made polite conversation as I did every time, told them the kids were doing well and that we were all happy and healthy, but it never went any further than that. I was intensely private which was I couldn't decide what to do with the manuscript. I'd tucked it away in my filing cabinet a few days ago and tried to forget about it.
Weeks went by and I was stuck in the same old routine. Get the kids sorted for school, work, keep the house decent. I picked up a fair bit of overtime in the run up to Christmas and started to get presents sorted. It was always this time of year that I felt bad for the kids. Everything was so family orientated, and although we were a family, only having the one parent must have had some kind of effect on them. I put the thought to the back of my mind as I prepared the typical family Christmas I'd learnt from my parents and that I knew the kids loved.
We weren't long into the new year when I decided that I was going to do something with the manuscript. I was at work, stuck in the stockroom sorting through boxes and boxes of crushed goods that were unsellable. it just hit me. What did I have to lose from sending it off to a couple of publishers? The worst they could say was that it was total crap and I shouldn't give up my day job, which is actually what I was expecting, but I knew I had to give it a go. If I didn't, I would continually kick myself for the rest of my days. I resolved to do a bit of research when I got home see how I would go about it. I finished my shift and trundled off home, nervous as hell, but excited at the same time.
I got home to a pile of post, mostly bills as usual. The joy of single parenthood I guess. I didn't even bother opening those, but there was one envelope with no markings. I set it next to the kettle as I made myself some lunch. I sat at my desk and opened the envelope, expecting another bill or someone telling me i owed them money.
I sat staring, open mouthed at the words on the page in front of me. I didn't understand what was written clearly in black and white in front of me in black and white. I put it down and went to my filing cabinet. The manuscript was still there, untouched. I heard the kids come in from school and something clicked. I headed down to speak to them. Eventually they told me that they had printed off another copy of my manuscript and had sent it off to a couple of publishing houses as a Christmas present. They admitted that they had hoped they'd get a reply before now so they could surprise me. I showed them the letter I had just read. Cue lots of jumping and yelling. They wanted to know if I was going to be famous now and if I would start hanging around with film stars. I explained that just because a independent film studio wanted to adapt it into a film, didn't mean that any big names would be in it, if it even went ahead.
I felt like I'd stepped onto a rollercoaster the following weeks. From the day I got the letter telling me that although my 'novel' wasn't going to be published, it was being considered for film adaptation by After Hours Productions. I had been in contact with both the publishing company and the studio to go over permissions and contracts. It was all a bit of a whirlwind and kept me on my toes and my head was constantly spinning. I met with some scriptwriters and we discussed what changes that needed to make that would make the story translate to film better.
Soon enough, the first draft of a script had been produced so that auditions could begin. The casting director wanted me to sit in with him for these so that I could share how I imagined the characters to be portrayed and if it matched up with what I saw as I wrote it. The kids were more excited about this, they enjoyed themselves trying to work out who would audition. Some of the names they suggested were ridiculous. As if Johnny Depp would do a film like this. Would be interesting to say the least. Afterall, he was gorgeous.
My first day with the casting director was mind numbingly boring. Lots of waiting around, watching godawful acting. As soon as the first audition for the male lead started I was pissed off. I had a particular idea about how he should look and act. Tape deck was very particular in the telling of hardship and overcoming obstacles. Not one of them seemed able to portray that. The second day wasn't much better. I was beginning to regret the whole thing if I was honest with myself. I took myself to the pub for a long lunch and a good book. I sat in the corner, hiding from the other customers. I sat, not really reading and barely touching my bottle of beer. Had I made the right choice or was I in way over my head? I knew how I wanted the main character to be. The problem was, I had written it with Jasper Whitlock in the back of mind, and I couldn't seem to get past that. I was constantly comparing everyone to him. I would finish up today then tell the casting director that I couldn't take any more time off work and that they would have to continue without me.
I headed back to the auditions intent on yawning my way through hours of talentless wannabees. The casting director was excited when I got back.
"Ah, Edward. there you are. We've just had some great news." I looked at him, confused.
"Oh?" I was just about to open my mouth to tell him I couldn't do any more auditions after today when the door to the casting room opened slowly. We both turned to see who had entered. My breath hitched.
"That's our good news. Edward Cullen, meet Jasper Whitlock, who wants to audition for Tape Deck."