"BUT I'LL NEVER, NO NEVER, NO NEVER AGAIN, IF I LIVE TO BE A HUNDRED OR A HUNDRED AND TEN, I FELL TO THE GROUND AND I COULD NOT GET UP AFTER DRINKING A QUART OF THE JOHNNY JUMP UP."
This is why I don't answer my phone anymore.
"NOW SING IT WITH ME, SAMMY. I'LL NEVER-"
"Acosta, are you drunk?"
He whispers, "You're mad at me. You hate me now." He sounds like a lost little boy and that breaks my heart. But I can't be weak. I can't let it show.
"I don't hate you, Casey."
"You do. Whhhhy. Come back, Sammy. Come back to me."
I run my fingers through my hair. "It's not permanent. It's just until you finish the movie."
"But why won't you stay with me, here?"
I stayed silent.
"Do you want to break up with me? Do you?"
"I just need some space right now, Case. I'm sorry I left like that, okay? I just-"
He interrupted. "I'll kill myself."
It took me a minute to process what he said. And when I did, I trembled and dropped the phone. Shit. I picked it up and asked, "Ca-sey? Are you- there?"
"Yeah…" His voice was quiet and serious.
"Were you serious? Casey, don't fuck with me like that, were you serious?"
He doesn't answer.
"Goddammit. Don't do anything stupid."
I hung up and did exactly what he expected me to do.
I got on a flight to Hollywood.
BREAK UP ALREADY, WAKE UP NOW, WALK AWAY TAKE IT ALL BACK NOW, DON'T BE QUICK TO LICK THE SCAB OFF, YOURE SPITTING IN IT HIS FACE WITH THE REST OF THEM, THE CHASM ISNT FIXED YET
I let myself into his hotel room, walked to his room, and found him on his bed staring at the wall.
I slapped him.
He looked at me and gave me this huge boyish grin and I couldn't help but crumble into his arms and start to cry. "I was so close to bringing a gun and killing you for even thinking of killing yourself."
"I'm sorry," he whispered. "I didn't mean to say that. I just- I wasn't thinking."
I shoved his chest. "Like hell you didn't! You knew I'd come running here if I thought you were in trouble."
He looked away and I grabbed his chin and forced him to look at me. His eyes looked…empty. As if the light in his eyes flickered out. "Hey…Casey? Are you okay?"
"I dunno. I don't think so. Sammy, you left me."
"Case, it isn't permanent."
"It feels permanent. Why'd you leave? Was it because of that tabloid? Sammy, I swear, it's full of bullshit. I'm not fucking my co-star, it's just some stupid thing with the fans of the book that the movie is about, she means nothing to me."
I sighed and buried my face in my hands. "It's not about that. I trust you. It's this stupid place."
"Oh. Shit. Sammy, I'm sorry. I can't believe I forgot."
Hollywood is just so bloody fake. But of course, that's not all. Three years ago, my mom got a movie deal. She was supposed to play Effie Trinket for The Hunger Games. But what does the inconsiderate ditz do?
She lets her new Hollywood friends convincer her to try drugs. That's how she started coping with the stress of being in what was expected to be a big hit. She began acting like even more of a diva.
Like sleeping around.
Getting shit-faced drunk every night.
Starting bar fights.
I think the final straw for the producers was when she accused someone of rape.
She swore to me that she wasn't lying, that this wasn't another stupid publicity stunt.
Of course, I eventually figured out she was lying. Which really sucked because all that did was perpetuate the belief that all women lie about rape.
Needless to say, she was fired from the movie and was ruined. No one in the movie industry would come near her.
A month later, she OD'd and died on the first 'O' of the Hollywood sign.
So I guess you could say I hated this place with a burning passion. I didn't want to lose Casey to the glam. I didn't want to lose myself and who I was. I wouldn't be able to handle it if Casey ended up like my mother.
After one particularly bad fight with Casey, I packed my bags and left after he fell asleep.
"Sammy! Did you seriously just flip off the paparazzi? I cannot believe you!"
Enraged, I shouted, "What did you expect me to do? They wouldn't get out of my face! They pissed me off so I acted on a whim! 'Sammy, what can you tell us about the budding relationship between your boyfriend and Shailene Woodley?' 'Is there any truth to the rumors about you and Casey Acosta splitting up?' 'Does it bother you how the fans are already hoping that Casey and his co-star will hook up, despite him dating you?' Casey, I can't handle this!"
"Then why'd you come in the first place?"
I glared at him. "What do you mean why did I come? Because you asked-no, begged- me to come with you! Maybe it was a mistake."
"Maybe it was," he told me coldly.
I punched him in the stomach, catching myself before I winced at how hard his goddamn abs were. Curse his sexiness.
He glared at me one last time before he walked into our room and slammed the door shut.
I stomped over to the closet, pulled out my suitcase, and began to pack.
Five hours later, I was sleeping on the couch at my Grams and Hudson's place when I got a call from Casey.
"Sammy? Sammy, where are you? Are you okay?" He sounded panicked, but after that fight I just didn't quite care. Don't get me wrong, I loved that man with everything in my heart. But after a month in Hollywood, the stress really got to him. His agent suggested he take something to take the edge off, but I interceded and made it clear to Casey that I'd never forgive him if he were to do something like take drugs.
"I needed to leave."
"You said asking me to come with you was a mistake."
He was silent. "You know I don't mean that. I was just stressed out. I'm sorry."
"I know you are. But I'm not coming back."
"…Are you breaking up with me?"
"No! Never. I just needed to get away."
"It doesn't have to do with you, Case, I promise."
"Uhhuh. I have to go. Goodbye."
"Bye," I whispered.
That was the last time we talked for a month until he called me up drunk.
I hit Casey again.
"Ow! Damn, you're abusive."
"With good fucking reason," I snarled. "How could you tell me you're gonna kill yourself? Were you serious?"
His answer was unexpected.
I mean, I didn't think he was actually considering it.
My throat was dry and the question came out hoarse.
"I couldn't handle it. I mean, I love this. The movie. It's amazing, I love the entire thing. And I'm the male lead. But this is my first major role. What if I'm not good enough? This is all I've ever wanted to do. I don't know if I can do anything else. And… you left me. I was all alone. I had to deal with all this stress by myself. It was tolerable before because when I came back from the set, you were there to make me laugh and smile and be happy. I thought you weren't coming back. And I don't know what to do without you, Sammy. I love you."
He yawned. "Are you gonna go back to Santa Martina?"
"You need me."
"Is that all?"
"No. I also need you."
He closed his eyes and rested his head on my shoulder. "Sammy?"
"Can you flush that prescription bottle that's over on the sink?"
"I don't need it anymore."
A rock settled itself in my stomach.
It finally sunk in.
He was going to kill himself.
He was really going to go through with it.
I tucked him into bed and promised I would join him soon.
I went to the bathroom and emptied the bottle of pills into the toilet. I didn't even want to know what it was. I just wanted it out of my sight.
I hopped into bed next to Casey and curled up next to him, reveling in the familiar warmth and comfort. I laid my head onto his chest and he wrapped both arms around my waist as if he was afraid I'd leave again.
"Sammy," he whispered. "The entire movie isn't actually going to be filmed in Hollywood, just so you know."
I looked up at him. "What."
"The rest of the movie is supposed to be filmed in Chicago, since that's where the book takes place. The directors just needed to film some of the indoor scenes in a set down at the studio. The Ferris Wheel scene is gonna be the last scene to be filmed here and then we're off to Chicago."
"… So I basically left and caused us both grief because you neglected to tell me that we weren't going to be staying here the whole time. Casey Acosta, I am going to murder you."
He smirked. "You'd get caught."
"Oh trust me, hun. I've watched enough Dexter episodes to know how to not get caught." I smiled evilly.
"Nice to know my girlfriend is a homicidal genius."
I leaned down to give him a chaste kiss on the lips. He growled, "You can do better than that."
"I could, but then I would have to kill you."
"Sex or Psych?"
"Hm?" I asked.
"Would you rather have sex or watch Psych?"
My eyes widened. "Shit! I missed last night's episode. Aghhh NOOO!"
"The one where Shawn and Gus really really screwed up?"
"Yes! You saw it?"
He smirked. "Maybe. I think there's still hope for Shules."
"We're watching it. Now."
Being the demanding and hormonal girlfriend that I am, I made him Netflix five Psych episodes and a few Dexter episodes before we turned off the TV.
I straddled his waist as soon as he turned off the lamp. I heard a sharp intake of air. I leaned closer to whisper in his ear, "Is there a problem?"
He managed to choke out, "N-no."
"Mm, that's good. What time are you supposed to be on set tomorrow?"
"It's gonna be a night scene."
"Perfect." I began unbuttoning his shirt. "When did you start wearing clothes with buttons?"
"No fucking idea… shit, Sammy."
I started lightly tracing his abs with my fingers. "Suffer."
"And I'm pregnant, shut up and undress me."
TAKE THIS WATER, DRINKING EVER DEEPER, LIVING WATER, THE CHASM ISNT FIXED YET
"Hand me my bra, Casey, I wanna go get something to eat before the line for breakfast gets too long downstairs."
He shot up from bed. "I'll go get it for you, Sammy."
I sighed. "Case, I'm perfectly capable of getting myself breakfast."
"I know, I just wanna get it for you."
I rolled my eyes. "Just order room service, I wanna watch House."
"What do you wanna eat?"
"You. Oh, wait. You meant food. I want chocolate chip pancakes and hash browns and bacon and eggs and a biscuit and a pickle dipped in chocolate sauce. Make sure its Hershey's."
He smiled at me. "I love you."
"And I love Hershey's sauce."
He gives me a look.
He laughed at me. "Ever the romantic."
IF I STUMBLE, THEYRE GONNA EAT ME ALIVE, HELP IM ALIVE MY HEART KEEPS BEATING LIKE A HAMMER
He pressed his lips to mine roughly, heatedly.
I gripped the hair on the back of his head and pulled his mouth closer to mine.
"Jeez Sams," he said into my mouth while still kissing me, "We're gonna make another baby if we keep this up."
"Did you fail Living Environment in high school? I'm pregnant so I'm not ovulating, therefore no babies will be formed in the next nine months."
"Leave it to you to find a way to educate me in the middle of sex. God, I love you."
A/N: pls end my suffering