Edward's Night of the Premiere
The limo came to an abrupt halt in front of the red carpet and I could already make out the roar of the crowd nearby. I cringed and shook my head. It was this one part of becoming famous that I still hadn't become accustomed to.
"Relax, Edward," Tanya, my aunt, said. She patted my hand as the limo driver came around the car. "Take a deep breath, you'll do fine."
This was my first red carpet appearance since I left television and started in big budget films. The past year had been nothing but filming, photo shoots and press junkets. I missed the days where I was just filming episodes of Power Rangers. The people I had worked with on the set were genuine and I missed sparring with Jasper and James, my fellow Rangers. Despite that, I had to get away from the stereotyping the show had brought upon me. I wanted to be s serious actor, and that wouldn't happen as long as I donned the white spandex suit.
"I can do this," I said, swallowing a quick glass of water. "I can do this."
"Honey," Tanya said softly. I turned to her, her strawberry blond hair lightly dusted with white and grey hair, which made her all the more approachable. "I'm proud of you. This film will be the one that gets you the multi-million dollar pay days."
"It's not about the money, T," I said with a sigh. "I want to do roles where they take me seriously. I'm twenty-five years old, and I shouldn't be playing lovesick seventeen year olds."
"They'll take you a little more seriously after this one."
I nodded and stepped out of the car when the door opened. Immediately, I heard the screams and hundreds of cameras flashed in my direction. I did my best to smile and nodded toward the cameras as they continued to blind me. With a small wave, I turned my attention to the limo and took Tanya's hand to assist her.
She was my rock, the only person that really, truly believed in me. My father was an asshole and didn't see acting as respectable work. My mother supported me, but she turned the other cheek while in my father's presence. Without Tanya, I would've been stuck doing underwear ads and diarrhea commercials for the rest of my life.
I walked along the red carpet when Tanya pointed out a small group of children. "Those kids are from the local school and hospital. They're White Ranger's fans. The ones that I had see a pre-screening of your movie already." I smiled at that and shook my head. It amazed me that even after a year since the show that I still had kids that admired me for my work as Kyle Jacobs, The White Ranger.
"Let's say hi," I said, leading the way there. I knew how much the nearby children's hospital meant to her, and it meant a lot to me, too. Tanya nodded and helped me navigate through a throng of reporters under the night sky. I realized it was getting a little chilly as I stepped toward the bleachers that held some of the kids that came out to see me and the other actors from the show.
"Hello there," I said to the group. They all greeted me with smiles and excited words as they reached out to shake my hand. I noticed some had small masks covering their faces, a parent nearby as they looked up at me from their wheelchairs. Then I remembered that Tanya had said about some of them were from a local hospital, so most of them had been ill or were ill.
I started to sign DVD's, photos and posters as they came into my hand. I was lucky to have Tanya with me; she was guaranteeing that I got every child.
"I need to talk to him," a voice said. "Please excuse me. I need to talk to him." Someone almost tumbled toward me, and I smiled down out at little brown-eyed boy, not much older than six with very pale skin. His eyes were rimmed with red as he struggled through the other children to get to the front.
"Well, hi there," I said, extending my hand.
His eyes widened and his pale pink lips parted. He blinked a few times and shook his head. With a big smile spreading across his face, he took my hand in an enthusiastic shake. His little red baseball hat did little to mask the fact that he had no hair, but he was still quite adorable for a little boy. The tip of his nose and the apples of his cheeks were tinged pink as his big brown eyes were the most expressive I've ever seen. His little ears stuck out on either side of his head and when he smiled I noticed two teeth missing.
"Hi, I'm Riley Biers the second," he said brightly. "I'm your biggest fan." I grinned and continued to shake his hand.
I measured him to just below my chest. "You're absolutely right. You're definitely my biggest fan."
His smile got wider as he asked over his shoulder. "My momma let me take karate because of you. She liked the show, too. So she's a big fan also."
"Riley," a soft voice called out for her as stepped behind the little boy. "You shouldn't run away from me like that."
"Sorry, Mom," he said, rolling his eyes. "Edward Cullen, this my mom, Bella Swan." He smiled up at the figure standing behind him.
I looked up to meet wide, luminous brown eyes, very much like Riley's. She was beautiful in a natural way, not in the artificially tanned and fake way of most of Hollywood. Her lips were plump and soft looking, her eyes heavily lashed. Her skin was almost as pale as her son's but not from some sort of illness.
My heart broke for her, because it was so clear in her eyes. There was sadness, the weariness of long years and pain. I had those for the last few years, though I was sure it hardly compared to hers.
"Mom," Riley said firmly. "You're supposed to shake his hand, not stare." Several onlookers laughed, including Tanya. Bella's eyes widened at her son's words and she blushed brightly. I couldn't help but laugh softly. Taking his mother's hand in his, Riley placed it in my outstretched hand.
I could hear camera's clicking as our little audience "oohed" and "ahhed." Chuckling, I took Bella's hand and brought to my lips, placing a small kiss there. "Thanks for bringing out my biggest fan out to see me."
"It was a pleasure," she said softly. "He'll be talking about this for the rest of his life." Her eyes closed as if what she said pained her. Alarmed at the scope of her son's illness, I turned back to see his face light up as he looked up at me again. Tanya tapped my shoulder and smiled.
"We need to go, sweetheart," she whispered softly, before looking at the Riley who stood before us. I could see the pain in Tanya's eyes. She had lost a daughter, my sweet cousin, Irina, to leukemia when she was nine. She looked up at his mother and smiled. Taking Bella's hand, she leaned toward her and whispered something in her ear.
Bella's eyes closed and she nodded at whatever Tanya had said to her. As Tanya pulled away, she smiled. "You're very brave," she said to Riley. "Did you see Edward's new movie?"
Riley nodded happily. "Yes, and thank you for letting me and my friends see it. Momma said you helped put it together for us."
"I sure did," Tanya said softly. "How about one picture with him before we head inside?" Riley nodded as I looked up at Bella to see her eyes on her son.
"Is it all right if I pick him up?" I asked as Bella pulled out her camera from her jacket pocket. She nodded. "Come on, big guy," I said about to pick him up when he suddenly climbed me! Laughing, I caught him around his waist and turned toward Bella.
"Smile, Riley," Bella said as she held the camera up.
"Ma! I'm already smiling!" Riley said, giggling. "Hurry, Edward needs to go!"
"To my biggest fan, Riley," I winked at him, "From your biggest fan, Edward," I said as I signed Riley's photo of me.
"I don't do anything for you be a fan," Riley pointed out. I smile wider and stage whispered so that Bella could hear me. "You make your mom smile every day." I got the reaction I thought I'd get. A beautiful blush flushed her lovely face. I want to laugh, but know that it would make her blush more.
"There you go, smart guy." I said pulled at his ear. "See you around."
"You will!" he said loudly. "See you around!" He gave a quick karate chop mid air and stuck the same pose my character had done on many occasions on the show.
Laughing again, I smiled at his mother. "You have a great kid there," I said softly. Concern must've been written all over my face because she tried to reassure me.
"He's doing all right…for now," she whispered softly. "And thank you for making his day – hell, his year."
"You're welcome," I said as I turned back toward Tanya. I looked over my shoulder one more time to see Riley showing off his autographed photo and jumping around excitingly. "Tanya."
"What did you tell her?" I asked as I plastered a smile on my face.
"I told her that it'd be all right," she said softly, moving away for a few moments so that I'd be photographed alone for a few shots. Afterward, she stepped back by my side and we continued down the red carpet. "And to enjoy what time she has with him."
My eyes snapped to hers. "Are you saying that –" I looked around, afraid that someone might overhear. I learned closer to her and whispered, "He's not going to make it?"
"No, he won't."