Day after day, Kitty paid visits to her comatose mother. Days stretched into weeks with no change in Maryanne’s condition. Kitty was worn out from the stress of it all; bags had begun to creep up underneath her eyes and her normally luminous skin took on a listless pallor.
“It’s just unbelievable, Celeste,” Kitty told her sister one evening. “It’s like she’s here and yet not here at all. The doctors don’t think she’s suffered brain damage but with each day…I mean, I don’t know, it’s kind of hard to keep being hopeful.”
Celeste scooted closer to Kitty on the couch. “You have to be hopeful, Kitty. Without hope, what is there? People wake from comas all the time, and Maryanne will, too. Be positive.”
“I am positive but it’s just so frustrating. I’m exhausted.” Kitty rubbed her temples.
“I know. Maybe you should get away for a little while. Maybe a spa in Arizona for a few days. Some place warm and cheery. Come on, I’ll treat you.” Celeste’s azure eyes were plagued with concern. She was forever worrying over her half-sister–more so after having become a mother–and loathed seeing Kitty so distressed.
“Thanks, Celeste, but I can’t. What if Mom wakes up? I can’t leave. Not now.”
“You have to take care of yourself, too, Kitty. I don’t want you getting sick.” Celeste brushed a lock of hair away from Kitty’s face.
Kitty grabbed her cell out of her Reissue tote. “Hello?”
The supermodel furrowed her perfect brows. It couldn’t be who she thought it was. Surely not. And yet, that distinctive bark…“Speaking. Who is this?”
“How can you not recognize my fuckin’ voice? It’s Clarissa Goldenblatt.”
I knew it. That bitch’s voice is impossible to duplicate. “Uh, hi, Clarissa.”
Celeste shot Kitty a look of shock from across the room.
“Okay, to cut to the chase, because you know I don’t do bullshit,” said Clarissa, “I miss you, I miss the business you brought me, and I want you back. No hard feelings–let’s let bygones be bygones. Oh, and I received a call this morning from Tedd Westgate.”
“Okay…” Kitty tried to process the influx of information.
“You know, that major Scottish producer? He’s got a gazillion films under his belt.”
“Yeah, of course I know who he is,” said Kitty.
“He wants you for the lead in his new flick. He sent the script over and it’s fucking fantastic. Smart, sexy, you’ll love it. It’s perfect for you, especially for your first film. Eight hundred grand. I tried for nine, but his first offer was seven-fifty, so at least we got him up a little. So, girl, I gotta know–you in?”
Kitty sat back down. Her head was spinning. She thought of ways she could put her newfound cash to use–she could get her mother extra care and take her to a specialist. “Well…I mean, do you have any more details, Clarissa, or–”
“Shoots in L.A. next month. The girl he originally cast dropped out. Tedd said he saw an interview you gave and knew you’d be perfect. Also said your romance with a certain, umm, gangster reminded him of the character in his movie. So I guess I was wrong that Bobby Vitolli was shitty for your career. I stand corrected.”
Bobby. I wonder how he is. Kitty had severed all ties with the handsome renegade but thought about him every day and prayed he was safe. “Wow. I don’t know what to say…except that I’m going to gloat over all this someday, Clarissa, when my head is clearer.”
“Yeah, well, first things first. We need to jump on this, ’cause you know how this game is played. They’ve got twenty more girls lined up if you pass–”
“No,” Kitty said. “I’m not passing. Of course I want the part. God, do I ever want it. I’m just shocked you called. It’s not like you, being that you’re so stubborn.”
Clarissa snickered. “Yeah, I don’t usually do 180s. I had a weak moment, what can I say. So, did you miss me?”
“Barely. A little, maybe.”
“Well, I miss you, I don’t mind admitting. And I especially miss stuffing my bank account with the cash you brought in. Depresses me, the whole thing. Okay, enough of this sap. I’m emailing you the script and contract. Get it back to me today by five.”
“Good news?” Celeste asked when Kitty set her phone down.
Kitty wiggled her brows. “Clarissa has a movie for me. She’s a machine. She’s crazy, but I’m glad she’s back. And, get this, the producer–”
The phone interrupted Kitty. Really? Again? People, go away!
“Miss McClarren, this is Doctor Voight at Lenox Hill.”
Kitty sucked in her breath. Her heart rate accelerated to the speed of a Concorde. She gripped her phone tighter and braced herself for earth-shattering news. “Hi, doctor.”
Dr. Voight cleared his throat. “I thought you should know your moth–”
“Yes?” Kitty interjected.
“Your mother just opened her eyes. There’s also movement in her hands. This is excellent, Miss McClarren, excellent news…”
A smile spread across Kitty’s face. She exhaled, loudly, for what felt like the first time in years.