B3AUT!FUL, D!RTY, R!CH;

Being Young In Hollywood

They always say, 'If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.'

Well, thats exactly what I was doing. Before I tell you anything, You need to know that being young in Hollywood isn't easy. Especially not in 1988. Basically EVERYONE was carefree. All of those magazines like Teen Beat, Bop, 16 and Tiger Beat you see in the drugstore are just a bunch of lies. Kirk Cameron and Jason Bateman weren't really going to 'date a fan.' But unfortunately, Corey Haim was really dating Alyssa Milano; thats about as real as the latest issue of Teen Beat got. Yeah, I know what you're thinking... THE Corey Haim? Yes, Corey Ian Haim. The Star of the TV show Roomies and movies like The Lost Boys and recently License to Drive. Also, My next door neighbor ever since he'd moved here from Ontario. But of course, you'd never know that if you watch our new reality show, Gigantic. Behind the Scenes is basically were all of our magic happens. We've been best friends ever since the day he'd moved in and since then, I've always had a Gigantic crush on him. (Ironic, huh?)

So all of this literally makes me the girl next door. But enough about this. I'm sure you'd love to hear about all of the teenage, Hollywood drama that I got mixed into this earlier this week. So I'll tell you.

I grabbed my water bottle from the craft services table and took a sip. My throat was dry from talking so much during filming for the edits. After we were finished editing and putting our comments in, we were having a photoshoot. Just basically me, Corey, and The other kids on the show. Shalane, who was my other best friend, Sean, Nicole and River. I took another look over the script for the edits and sat down. Corey, River and I weren't needed for the scene, so we got to hang out until we were called. Since River didn't really talk to anyone, Corey came over to me.

"Alphy's. You. Me. Tonight." Corey said, waving his totally fake I.D. around and giving me his 'crooked' smile. Ya know, the one EVERY girl talks about.

"Corey, you KNOW you don't need that thing." I said with the expression I usually use when he has an insane idea.

"They let us in anyway, everytime!" I finished.

"How else am I gonna break it in? Besides, what fun is it without some different way of getting in everytime?"

"Rebel, Rebel." I gave him a flirty and sort-of sarcastic smile. We'd definitely had some wild times at Alfie's Soda Pop Club. It was sort-of our place we'd found one night while just walking, before the show had started. Since I'm only 16 and Corey's 17, we aren't old enough to get in yet. The age is 18, which is stupid because there's absolutely no aclochol served there; just severe partying. We figured we could handle it, so we snuck in, through the roof. We got in with no problem, and no one even noticed we were "under-aged." Ever since then, we've been sneaking in, in so many different crazy ways. One time after the show had come on the air, we snuck in totally incognito. Earlier that day, we'd raided the wardrobe section at the studio. It was one of the most fun times I've ever had there, and we've been trying to top it ever since. All of the teen celebrities can get into any club even if they're underaged, but we decided this was way better.

We finished our edits and it was time for the photoshoot. After they re-touched my makeup and teased my bangs up a bit, I headed to the screen we were shooting infront of. Shalane was there with River.

"Alphy's tonight. You sure you don't wanna come?" I said in a sing-songy voice.

"Ugh, Nat, you know I hate that skeeze-ball. I thought maybe you two'd wanna be alone anyway." Shalane hated Corey. For reasons, we had no idea, but they ALWAYS argue on the show.

"Yeah, I know. But we always have such a good time there..." I continued to beg. She finally agreed. She'd known about our ways of sneaking in.

"Fine, Fine. I'll bring Brand." She smiled and i turned around to see everyone else coming in. Brand has been her boyfriend since Freshman year. It's pretty serious, considering were all Juniors.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" I said quickly, smiling. I've been trying to get her to come since we went the first time.

"See ya tonight, Coreeeee." Shalane said in a sort of mocking, annoyed voice as she flipped her blonde hair around. She was only saying this cause she knew it'd piss him off.

"Oh, just spectacular, Sha-LAME." Corey said, rolling his eyes. He turned back around to me as the producer told us to be quiet.

"Who invited the dipshit?" He whispered to me.

"Stop It! You know she's my OTHER best friend." I said, just to make him happy in a smiley-sarcastic tone.

"She's bringing Brand anyway, we probably won't even see them." I finished my thought. Corey gave me his 'pleased' look as someone came to place us. The typical order: Sean, Nicole, Corey, Me, Shalane, and River. Of course she put me in-between Corey and Shalane, being best friends with the two who hated eachother. First Shot: Our best poses and faces. I used my favorite expression, as did everyone. This was basically our glamour shot. Second Shot: bringing out the feelings from the show. Sean looking at Nicole, Corey making a face at Shalane, Shalane looking annoyed, Me trying to keep the peace and looking at Corey, Nicole thinking about who she liked more; River or Sean, and River standing alone. The rest of the shots were pretty much based off of those poses. Everyone added a personal element to it after that. After taking some solo shots, it was back to us. The trio. Me, Corey and Shalane. We were the most popular, since we provoked the most drama. After we'd finally finished, everyone found their belongings and gathered them, getting ready to leave.

"You Ready?" Corey said, dangling the keys to his Charcoal Grey Subaru XT he got for his sixteenth birthday last year. Even though I was 16, my parents were making me wait six months before I could get my License. Corey's parents, though, were ALWAYS M.I.A. - leaving him to do whatever. Corey practically drove me everywhere, but he said he didn't mind.

"Yep!" I said, Grabbing my turquoise Wayfarer sunglasses.

"See you tonight!" I shouted to Shalane as I stepped out of the door.

"Kay!" Shalane shouted with much excitement filling her voice. I felt the warm sun shine down on us we got in, slipped our sunglasses on, and started to drive. God, he looked so perfect, I thought as he flipped through radio stations. His sandy-brown hair was styled perfectly today, His black and silver Clubmaster sunglasses sat perfectly on his face, and his mouth was closed for once, even though he looked good either way. We talked about all the usual stuff, mostly about school and how Corey hated Shalane. We talked a little about the show, what was real and what was totally made-up. We also talked about how there weren't any couples on the show yet, but there needed to be.

You can make it happen, Corey. All you have to do is ask. Wishful thinking, huh? We pulled into my driveway.

"After you, Madam." Corey said, in the dorkiest yet cutest French-accent you've ever heard.

"Oh dear Haimy-Baby, practicing for tuesday's French test, are we?" I smiled and gave a flirty giggle. Haimy-Baby was a nick-name Shalane had made up for him, but we only used when we were joking around or if she was making fun of him.

"But you know me all too well." Corey said, getting back into his car after I was standing at my side door.

"See you at Seven?" I shouted back to him, since he was of course picking me up.

"Always." He opened his mouth, giving me that crooked smile I died for, and backed out. I ran inside the door and checked the clock. 5:45. I spent about fifteen minutes picking an outfit, but finally settled on my black mini dress, hot pink tights, and black, suede scrunchy boots. I threw it on and got started on my hair and makeup. Eyeliner, then shadow, and then Mascara. I lined my top and bottom lashes, making a cat-eye. One of the perks of being a teenager in Hollywood? Never too much makeup. And plus it was the 80s. By the time I'd finished teasing my side bangs just enough to get them off of my forehead, It was time to go down. I checked the mirror downstairs one more time and took a deep breath. I heard a car pull up outside and ran out the door.

"Corey!" I said, sounding almost surprised, even though I knew he was coming. I got in the passenger seat and examined him. He smiled, rolling up the sleeves on his grey, black, and white window pane plaid jacket.

"Natalie!" He imitated me.

"What crazy and possibly dangerous plan do you have to sneak into Alphy's tonight?" I got in, pulling down the visor to check myself in its mirror. My dark brown hair shined; the light bringing out the rich red highlights.

"Well, we could go get you a Fake I.D. Check this one out." He said in all seriousness, handing his to me.

"Dinger Holfield? Are you serious? Who would believe someone was named this!" I held it out, laughing a little, only because he thought he could pull it off.

"I don't know! It just came to me!" He shot back at me.

"You do realize they're gonna know it's you at the door, right? Were both only on national television every week." He obviously hadn't thought this plan through well enough.

"Fine, your right. I have to use it though! I paid good money for it!" He thought for a minute. "Brand's eighteen, right?" I smirked at him then answered his question.

"Yeah. He's the only one who can legally get in there."

"We get him to distract the bodyguard. He'll say some crazy shit, we'll sneak by, he'll flash his I.D. at them, and we'll all be in!" An expression of accomplishment overtook him.

"What would we do without you as our ringleader?" We drove off since our plan was a-go. "Trouble" by Nia Peeples came on the radio. Appropriate song of the moment, just for me to sing to him.

"Please, babe, save your skills for a different song." He hated when we sang this specific song, but loved when I sang INXS or something.

"I'm sorry! It just...so describes you!" It was so true, and he knew it. He just didn't want to admit it. He loved being a total badass, but what made him so cool was that he never talked about it. It was totally uncool for a guy to talk about his coolness; everyone knew that. We talked a bit more about the usual stuff until we were practically there. Then, something came out of Corey's mouth that shocked me.

"Do you have a date for the prom yet?" I was so caught-off guard, I didn't know what to say. I thought he already knew I didn't.

"Do I-" My door unexpectedly flew open after we'd parked. Shalane was standing there sporting a red and black tight fitting dress, which almost looked like rubber. Brand lingered behind her.

"Ace and Kimberly! Have we thought of a plan for tonight?" More nicknames. If you've ever played the video-game Space Ace, you'd know that Ace is a superhero and Kimberly is his girlfriend. I of course, don't mind when she calls us that, but I didn't know what Corey thought of it.

"Very funny." I said, getting out. Corey came around to the passenger side and locked the car.

"So is there a plan or not?" Shalane demanded. Corey motioned Brand to come over to us.

"Yes, there's a plan." Corey said, whining. "Brand, can you distract the guard while we sneak in?" He had to. It was either this or the paparazzi snapping a million pictures in our faces. Corey explained it to Brand. He hesitated, but knew what it meant if he didn't do it.

"Let's do it." Brand said as we broke our circle. Brand and Shalane linked arms. Corey and I looked at each other, a bit awkwardly. He gave me a 'what the hell' look and threw his arm around me. We figured if someone thought they'd recognized us, they'd think again, since you'd never see his arm around me on the show. We walked up to the door, partially covering our faces with our hands, avoiding the line. Belinda Carlise's 'I Feel Free' was blaring through the door. Brand got up to the bodyguard, reaching into his pocket. He kept digging around, the guard watching every move his hands made.

"Sir, my wallets stuck... I can't get it out." Brand continued to dig and argue with him. First Shalane ducked down, making sure she was hidden and snuck in. One down. The guard was totally focused on Brand's 'problem,' so we were pretty much safe. But that was only one end of the problem. All of the sudden I heard a girl screaming at one of her friends. This was the other end of it.

"Is that Corey Haim! With Natalie Anderson! Is It!" I couldn't look at her or she'd know it was us.

"I can't tell!" The friend yelled. It was amazing how not one other person near them cared. They probably thought we were a bunch of stupid sixteen year olds with I.D.'s. Before they could see anything else, Corey ducked down and darted in. He put out his hand and I grabbed it as he pulled me through. Were all in. Brand quickly got the I.D. out of his 'stuck' wallet, let the guard look at it and caught up with us. Mission Accomplished.

"Congrats, Ace! Another fabulous plan." I said so Corey could hear me. Now I was catching onto the nicknames. We all felt like celebrating, so we decided to dance. I mean, it was a club. What else were we gonna do, take pictures?

It only took us about an hour to get totally crazy. Corey was a complete animal. He was pretty much owning the dance floor, with us three around him. By the time his favorite dance song had come on, ('Crucial' by New Edition) he'd had about seven or eight orange sodas. He didn't exactly need all of that to get him going, since he was naturally just high on life. He had a random tie tied around his forehead, which was totally weird because he wasn't even wearing one. We figured he just found it somewhere.

"Yeah, Nat. You got yourself a real winner there." Shalane shouted.

The song had just switched to 'Tenderness' by General Public and we all stopped. Here come those feelings again, I thought. Shalane grabbed Brand. Everyone was dancing close.

"You wanna?" Corey said, changing his mood completely. I smiled.

"Of course." He reached up to take the tie off of his forehead as we stopped in a different spot.

"No. Keep the tie. I like it." We started to dance close together. Nothing could fight this feeling. This could actually be the day. The day I've been waiting for basically since 1984. Our hands were on each other. This was it.

"I'll be right back. Don't go anywhere." Corey said right into my ear as the song ended. I took a minute and collected myself, making sure not to scream out of pure joy.

I caught up with Shalane after that.

"Where is He? Did it Happen? She asked, sounding excited for us.

"Bathroom, I guess. And no! Not yet! I think it's about to, though!" I walked away to the so-called bar and got another Pepsi. I drank it pretty fast, getting even more energy. Where is he? It's been about ten minutes, I thought. I got up to look around the dance floor.

Now I knew. I kept cool, taking a few deep breaths. But it was too late, my heart had already dropped. Maybe they were just saying "hi." I made a break for the bathroom before I could do anything. What the hell was she doing here? Alyssa Milano at Alphy's Soda Pop Club on a saturday night? With her popularity she could get into a club and actually get a drink without being carded. Corey was always watching her show, which didn't thrill me. I fixed my hair in the mirror and checked my makeup. Of course, If I was gonna 'win' him back, I had to look my best for clubbing. I walked out the door to find Corey standing alone. I came up behind him and tapped his shoulder.

"Where were you?" He jumped, looking startled in a way.

"Bathroom! And, you?" I laughed at him.

"Oh, ya know," He hesitated. "Men's room." I knew he was covering up for being with Alyssa.

"And I thought I told you not to go anywhere." He quickly shot back, smirking.

"I'm so sorry. Just making sure I looked my best for a certain someone."

"Oh, and who would that be?" He leaned into me.

"Take a wild guess." This was actually it. I closed my eyes and our lips met. Corey Ian Haim. Kissing me. My heart pounded harder each second. It was just like a kiss from the movies, with the Cure's 'Let's Go to Bed' in the background. We pulled out, smiling at each other. Forget Alyssa. They were definitely just saying "Hi."

I walked into the studio bright and early, still grinning from last night. Nothing could describe this feeling. Even waking up this early to plan ideas for next week's episode couldn't bring me down today. After going through the numerous doors, I walked into our room. Shalane and Sean were the only ones who'd been there before me, so I walked over, throwing my bag on the couch.

"Well, aren't you smiley for this sunday morning?" She had to have known. Sunday is my least favorite day of the week.

"Yeah, she sure is." Sean hopped off the countertop he was sitting on and walked over to the two of us.

"You guys were outta there after about only an hour and a half. Details. Now." Shalane raised her eyebrow.

"Who! Natalie and...?" Sean butted in. We weren't great friends with him, but he wasn't bad to talk to.

"Corey! Now Shhh!" Shalane was trying to get it out of me. I just watched the two of them go back and forth. Sean almost looked stunned after she said that.

"Well...you know.. We sorta-"

"Ohmygod! No way! I can't stand him, but if he makes you this happy, he must be doing something right." I didn't even have to finish my sentence. The door flew open and in-came Corey. He was gleaming. Utterly perfect in his black sleeveless t-shirt, gray baggy sweatpants, and red 49ers hat.

"Well aren't you looking fierce this morning?" I copied Shalane's 'morning joke.' He did a 360ยบ spin in-front of us and just kept grinning. Then, I noticed something different.

"Ace..." I hesitated. "Your right ear. What Happened!" In the midst of all the craziness last night, Corey decided he wanted to get his ears pierced. I wasn't exactly for it, but he looked good in just about anything.

"Infected. It's either wearing just a left earring or none at all. That's okay though, I make it work." He said, looking proud of himself.

"Well, that you do. Let's set a trend." I said, taking the black and white dangly triangle earring out of my right ear. I threw it into my bag and sat down.

"You guys are making me sick. Just absolutely sick!" Shalane said, looking at us.

"Oh Yeah?" Corey made a face at her and plopped down...straight onto my lap. He was so unpredictable sometimes.

"Corey!" I laughed, trying to push him off of me. He refused to sit on the couch, though. He kept budging back as I pushed him off and I, of course, continued giggling.

"Ugh, you guys!" Shalane stormed over to the mini-kitchen where Sean was sitting and started talking to him again.

"Stop It!" I said, still laughing. He crossed his arms and smiled. I finally got him onto the open seat next to me, catching my breath. I was totally okay with all of this, even though we weren't official yet. It was honestly alot of fun. We would've never done this in-front of a producer or something, but since they always arrived late, we had some time to kill. Plus, Nicole and River are ALWAYS rolling in late. I rested my head on his shoulder and looked down to see his wrist. I grabbed the one, examining it.

"Corey! Your Les bracelets!"

"What!" We looked at eachother.

"License to Drive! Your prop bracelets! You never wear them!" They were just basically two friendship bracelets, one a pink-ish orangey color, and the other was the green. I played with the pink one, flipping it around and sliding it on his arm. After the movie premiere I'd asked him why he was wearing those throughout the movie. I concentrated on tiny details way too much.

"Oh. Found them this morning." He said, taking off the pink one and handing it to me.

"Really?" He pushed the green one up in-place of the pink one.

"But of Course."

He bit his lip. I tried not to melt, and got up off the couch as our producer rolled in, fifteen minutes late, as always. River and Nicole stumbled in right behind him. He ordered all of us to sit around the table as he got his notepad out. Sean practically jumped out of his seat as River held the door for Nicole. It was a constant battle for her between the two of them, but it looked like River was winning right now. We got to work immediately and finished just as quickly. Corey, oddly enough, said he couldn't drop me off or pick me up today. Everyone got up from the boring brainstorming session and grabbed their stuff.

"Boo!" I was talking to Nicole when Corey came up from behind me and hugged my waist, swaying us back and forth. I giggled, loving every single second of it.

"You getting excited?" I looked up at him, grinning. I never realized how little height difference there was between us. I was hoping I wouldn't hit a growth-spurt or anything, with him being 5'6 and me being 5'2.

"Course!"

"This is your like, what, twelfth game?" Nicole joked as we kept swaying.

"Third, thank you very much." Corey said, resting his chin on the top of my head.

"Oooh, I'm sorry, Mr. Popular." She shot back, examining the two of us. Corey took his chin off of my head.

"Oh god, I gotta go." He quickly took his arms off of me, grabbed his stuff and headed for the door. Why was he in such a rush? I wondered. He stopped infront of me as I stood there, a bit caught off guard.

"And I will see you later." He gave me one of his signature, to-die-for looks, and headed out of the door.

"Over here!" River yelled, motioning for me to come over. He was the first to notice me as I walked into the stadium. I grinned, feeling happier than outside on a day like this is something you definitely want to do. Music was blasting through the stadium speakers and there were a million kids I'd only ever seen on my tv. Corey wasn't here yet, which was odd because he's usually never late. It usually varies with me, depending on who drives. A driver's license would really come in handy right now, huh?

I greeted everyone I'd seen earlier and went over to another table to find some new people to talk to. Basically everyone was affected by fame, so I found about one person to talk to.

"Tiff!" I yelled, to my friend I only see at these kindof things. She held her long, red hair in her hand as she turned around to see me.

"Nat!" She looked surprised, coming up to hug me.

"How've you been?" I asked her.

"Pretty good! I've been watching your guys' show. You seem so bored!" She said to me. Her life definitely wasn't boring, with her single "I think were alone now" going crazy on the charts.

"Yeah, all that's about to change." I said, thinking out loud.

"What? Wait! Corey and-" I cut her off and turned around to see Corey was finally there, across the field.

"I'm really sorry! I gotta go! I'll call you this week!" I didn't even look at her, which made me feel bad, but I was just so caught-off guard and sort-of wanted to know why Corey was so late. I raced back over to find the paparazzi had already found it's way to our table. I stood there, looking at them, still remaining unnoticed by the paparazzi. All I heard was the paparazzi yelling everyone's names.

"Nicole, Nicole! Over here! Pose, babe! Shalane give it to me!" One creepy paparazzi guy shouted to them. Corey noticed me as he was giving his best crooked smiles for the camera. His mouth opened even wider as he whipped his head around to find me standing there. The DJ was spinning and soon Taylor Dayne's "Tell It to my Heart" came blasting through the stadium speakers. Corey quickly walked over to me and grabbed my arm, pulling me right up in front of the cameras, hugging my waist just as he did earlier.

"Corey! Stop!" I laughed as we just kept posing. It was just like the couch all over again. He was tickling me, which made me giggle even more. The paparazzi ate it right up. I definitely wasn't boring anymore. A million pictures of this would surely get us a big spot in Tiger Beat. Then suddenly, Corey turned his head to the right.

"Earring!" I heard one photographer yell. I then noticed that Corey had taken the earring I'd taken out of my right ear and put it in his left ear. I pushed my hair behind my ear and they snapped even more pictures.

"Trendsetting." Corey looked down at me, nodding. After the paparazzi had had enough of us, they moved on. After the game had started, we took our seats. I got up soon after to mingle with anyone who would talk because I didn't particularly care for baseball.

Time had gone by and the paparazzi was still at it with anyone who would pose for them. I hadn't talked to Corey in about an hour, either. We were actually alot closer when we were just friends.

A few days had passed since the game and it was now wednesday. The beginning of the week was boring, a little filming, but mostly homework.

"Natalie!" I heard a voice yell from down the hall. It was my best friend, Shannen. Shannen isn't on the show, but we've been best friends since about sixth grade. I feel bad, honestly, because I don't get to hang out with her a lot now. The show has done alot of things, some worse than others. She's always trying to keep up with us as much as possible.

"Are the cameras here yet?" I asked, as she fixed her bangs, making sure they went straight across her forehead again. Thats another perk, TV cameras on weekday mornings. Not during classes of course, but in the hallway to see what were talking about or what kind of school drama is going on. At first, almost everyone at Zion Heights High School was a little taken back by this, but eventually got used to it.

"Not yet, I don't think," She had a magazine in her hand. My heart raced. "You might wanna read this though." She held it out even further towards me and I grabbed it. She came and stood right beside me as I took a deep breath and closed my eyes.

"You read it yet?" I said opening my eyes. She shook her head.

"Picked it up on the way to school. I'm as nervous as you are." Even though we virtually have no time to hang out except for in the hall-ways, we knew everything about each other. Pretty much after every "Hollywood extravaganza," I'd call Shannen and tell her about it. She knew the things I couldn't tell Shalane. I, of course, talked to her sunday night after the game, telling her that I was worried about Corey being so distant.

"All right, you open it." I said to her. She reached over and flipped open the front cover. I could tell It'd be somewhere in the back, where all the good articles that everyone wanted to read were. But, to be safe, we started at the beginning. We got past the first few pages; they just showed a bunch of pinups and love quizzes.

"Is this It? It has to be!" The next page was all blue and white with millions of pictures on the side.

"Here it is," Shannen said slowly. "The Annual Dodger Game." The magazine was snatched out of our hands as she said the word "game."

"Hey, what do you think you're-"I stopped in mid-sentence and looked up to see Corey standing there. "Doing? Sam Emerson!" I said sarcastically. There he was, sporting yet another outfit from his movie wardrobe closet.

"Can we have our magazine back, please?" Shannen snapped.

"I don't think now is the best time for that." He said, popping the collar up on his Aqua shirt. I examined him up and down. He looked like he'd been partying or something, and I didn't have a clue as to why he'd wear this again, or to school, for that matter. I definitely saw a difference in his appearance. Shannen and I stared at him, until I decided I had to figure it out.

"What the hells going on, Sam? I'd decided to call him this all day for his sudden choice of metrosexual clothing. He was about to open his mouth when I started again.

"And your hair!" I ran my fingers through it. "Highlights? Seriously, did you turn gay last night?" His usual sandy-brown color was now very blonde on top and very dark underneath.