Never A Day
Goes By 2
Silence filled the phone line as Chris sat up and looked around.
He thought he'd heard something, but he wasn't sure if it was something or
if he was being paranoid. His house had been so quiet that had heard
every little creak and crack.
"Are you still there?"
Chris made a shushing noise then sat still. "I think someone is
at the door."
The sound of knocking on his front door startled him and he started to
move to go answer it, keeping his earpiece from his phone in his ear as
he moved through the room. It was strange to be walking through the
house talking on the phone. He'd gotten used to the whole cordless
phone thing, but now having only an earpiece in his ear and not holding
the phone was strange.
"So you're really sorry?"
He'd broken down and called her that morning when he'd gone through the
list of people that he knew were in town and they all had told him they had
plans. Kelly invited him over to hang with Joey and Steve and some
of Joey's cousins, but Chris declined when Kelly said that the bridesmaids
might end up coming over. He didn't want to see Dani until he had to
see her at the wedding.
"Are you going to rub this in forever?" he asked, "I'm sorry I was a
dick. There I said it. I'm a dick. Can you please forgive
me now so I don't have to kiss ass this whole conversation?"
"Kiss ass?" Laughter filled the line. "I never said you had to kiss my
ass...although it doesn't hurt any."
The sudden swear words escaped his gritted teeth and echoed against the
four by four set of framed comic book covers and the deep green walls of
the room. His toe had caught on the edge of his black DC skate shoe
causing a chain reaction that left him swearing and hurt.
Normally he didn't leave his shoes just lying around, but he'd been tired
and hadn't cared. It was something he was going to be regretting
for a while. He hadn't remembered to pick up that morning when the
alarm had roused him from a deep sleep after he'd accidentally hit some
button the night before that had set the alarm that usually woke him up
In the past he had tried to curb his swearing habit, he'd even made it
a new years resolution the year before, but that day all he could remember
was the pain poking him just above his right eye, the ankle that hurt and
the sound of someone at his door. He'd hadn't taken into account that
the dark color of the shoes would blend into the carpet, causing him to
trip, which then caused him to twist the opposite ankle when he stepped
down. He now limped towards the door dropping a pill bottle that
had been in his hand while he'd been sitting quietly in the corner trying
He wasn't that clumsy, but he'd had the lights low in the already dark
colored room due to a headache that he'd woken up with, hence the glasses
that were now sliding down his nose. He'd gotten contacts early on
in life, but the glasses still were pulled out when he couldn't put in
his contacts, which happened ever so often, like now, due to the fact that
he'd flown back to Orlando from LA at three in the morning.
His glasses had been a part of his life for so long, but it was just
recently that he had started to wear them for their looks. It was
yet another thing that had changed since he and Dani had broken things
off. His life had taken an interesting turn. Some people would
say for the better, some would say for the worse, but either way her reasons
for leaving were a real wake up call to him. The sudden independance
had left him with a lot of time to take a step back and really look at his
One look he'd taken was to try and see himself with another woman, but
that hadn't worked out that well. He dated Michele for a few weeks,
something he said he'd never do. Mixing and business and work on
that kind of level wasn't something he'd ever do. Working with Dani
on the business had happened for other reasons, but he'd never dated someone
that he worked directly with. It hadn't taken a long time to figure
out that it wouldn't work for them, causing yet another change to his life
in the last year.
It didn't take long to decide that he needed a change. He was over
thirty now and he knew that he needed to start to act like it. Of
course there would be the practical joke playing part of his personality
that would never truly go away, but the rest of him needed to start acting
more mature, if not for his own personal sake then for the sake of the business.
"Are you ok?"
"Sorry for the swearing, but I just tripped over my fu--" He sighed.
"I tripped over my freaking shoes," he said angrily taking off his glasses
for a moment to bend the wire frame a little so that they would stay on
His tiny fat bellied dog almost smiled at him. It was amazing how
in the old days Busta and his side kick Korea could make him smile, but these
days troubles were a little bigger and the methods to get him to truly smile
again, a little more complicated. Today though he was feeling a little
sympathetic for the dog, since he'd been away the day before, only hours
after promising both dogs that he would spend time with them, not that they
really cared either way.
"Are you sure you're ok over there?"
"I was trying to go answer the door, tripped and I think I sprained my
The knock on the door sounded again, then the sound of the doorbell filled
the mostly empty house. Early on in his career he'd thought that
by this age he'd be long retired and having an assistant opening the door
to the world, but with his schedule it wasn't worth getting an assistant
to do his dirty work. He wouldn't make anyone do what he had to do
on a daily basis.
"Yeah, yeah," he yelled as he moved towards the door, pausing only a
moment to step carefully over Busta. He was angry at the dog for
being so calm that morning, but he'd never really hurt him. He'd once
stepped on him when he was a puppy and had rushed him to the local vet because
Busta had made such a horrible noise when he'd done it. "I'm freaking
coming." He limped out of his office towards the front of the house.
When he reached the doorway he could see a few people through the etched
glass. "I don't know what's going on," he said into the phone.
"Can I talk to you later?"
"Sure. Thanks for calling and apologizing to me."
"I didn't mean to be a dick yesterday."
"It's all good," Michele said, "I'll talk to you later on this week I'm
sure since I'll be over there practicing with Luis for his performance in
"Ok," he said, "I'll call you later if I get a chance."
"Ian is taking me to dinner tonight and Chantal and I are going shopping
for the Luis show so call me tomorrow."
The doorbell rang again.
"I'll see ya."
After hanging up the phone, he pulled the earpiece out of his ear and
stuck it in his pocket. He looked at his watch then tried to think
if he was expecting anyone, but he couldn't think of anything that had been
scheduled. In the old days his watch reminded him of places that he
had to be and now it was the only way to remind himself how many hours until
he didn't have to be someplace. That morning though he wasn't sure
what he should think of the people on the other side of the door. He
hadn't slept much the night before due to Dani haunting his thoughts and could
barely remember what day it was.
The door opened and Busta was now joined by Korea, who from the looks
of her sluggishness, had probably been asleep in the sunny part of the carpet
in the living room. The twins growled at the group of people on the
doorstep. Finally Chris pushed them both back with his injured foot
and stepped out onto the porch to talk to the people. It happened
all so fast that it was a few moments before he realized who was on his
A camera crew.
A just out of college aged cameraman, an older director, a snotty looking
producer, and two other college production assistants. He didn't
need nametags. He'd seen their type before...they were here to film
something, but for the life of him, Chris couldn't remember what.
His chin dropped and he looked at himself. The sweatsocks, long
skater style cargo shorts, and baggy sweatshirt were sure to make an impression
on them. He wasn't normally one to worry about that stuff, but even
he knew that he looked like shit. He'd planned to take a shower just
after his phone call came that evening, just in time for his visitor.
He'd put off any kind of shaving, chosing only to brush his teeth due to
the fact that that he didn't like that taste in his mouth that was left over
from the coke he'd had on the plane.
"Is that thing on?" he asked as he squinted at the bright light outside
while motioning to the camera on the man's shoulder. He hated to ignore
the man standing behind the camera, but it wasn't like the camera could be
ignored. No one just ran around with a hundred thousand dollars worth
of camera equipment on their shoulder unless it was a big deal.
"Yes," the producer said moving her microphone headset away from her
mouth to smile at him. "We're from MTV's Diary. We're going
to spend the weekend with you..." She paused and frowned at him, "And from
the look on your face, your manager didn't remind you of this."
"No," he said shortly, "Lemme make a call real quick..." He turned
back to the door to go inside and thought better of it. He needed
to invite them in or all hell would break lose with the story of how Chris
Kirkpatrick was rude to a camera crew. He turned back and put on a
fake smile just in case the camera was still on. He hadn't seen the
director tell the camera to shut off. "I gotta put the dogs out...hold
Chris entered the house, moving to scoop up the two tiny dogs as they
tried to get out, then pushed the door shut and limped towards the back french
doors. He opened one door that led to the backyard, set both dogs out
then closed the door on them, looking back only quickly to make sure that
they were ok. Both dogs pressed their noses up to the glass door like
always so he swung by the kitchen to grab the house phone before heading
back to the front of the house.
He'd already dialed Johnny's number by the time he had headed back to
the door. Quickly seeing the orange and white pill bottle on the floor
he grabbed it up knowing that if he left it there it could cause trouble.
Not only would the dogs try to chew on it, but he didn't need any outsiders
seeing the pill bottle. It wasn't anything to be ashamed of really,
but he knew information about him taking medication wasn't something he
wanted to read about on the internet.
He opened up the front door again and shoved the pills back into his
pocket. He looked at the people there. "Come on in," he said
moving the phone to be perched on his shoulder as he half listened to the
ringing, "But turn the camera off for me...ok?"
The director nodded and the camera came down off the man's shoulder as
the production crew entered the front hallway of the house. They
stood next to the door, but he could already see them looking around.
He hated to be paranoid like that, but he'd never had a crew in the house
before. Most of the photoshoots that they'd done had taken place
over at the compound. He was even surprised that they knew his address
and had the access codes to get up to the house. He didn't have a
gate at the driveway, but the community he lived in, just outside of Orlando,
was definitely not a place that just anyone drove into...and that had been
the reason he'd chosen to live there. There was a time and a place
for fans and once inside those gates he at least knew that the whole world
wasn't going to end up on his doorstep, although after today anything seemed
"This is Johnny," the voice on the phone finally said.
"I've got an MTV crew in my entryway...what's going on?"
"Kirkpatrick you knew that they were coming. I sent you a page
and left a message last night."
He remembered that they had spoken briefly about this happening, but
that had been two weeks before and he couldn't remember if they had agreed
on a date or if it had still been up in the air. He decided to go
with the idea that he didn't remember and he was busy rather than telling
his manager that he'd forgotten completely about the arrangements.
"I turned off my phone when I got home," he said curbing his need to
use a string of profanity that his mother would have washed his mouth out
for, "I wasn't sleeping well last night and it kept ringing and I thought
I'd at least get part of my vacation to myself."
"Are they standing right there?" Johnny asked.
"Hey Monica," she said when the line was picked up.
"Hey girly girl," she said with a laugh, "What's up? How's Calvin?"
"I don't know," she said and looked out the window watching the familiar
streets roll by. "I only saw him for like two seconds yesterday.
He was with Michele so left things alone. I haven't been here in
weeks, and it's spooky to be here ya know? Everything is sooo different,
but so the same though...does that make sense? I think I need a nap...right
now I wanna laugh and cry and swear and spit and--"
Monica sighed. "Girl you said you'd give him another chance."
"No I said I wouldn't kill him while I was out here because I didn't
want to upset Kelly."
"You were the one that broke up with him."
"Maybe he's changed."
"Thats the thing Mon," she said, "I don't want him to change, but I don't
think that I can be with him." She put her hand to her forehead,
"I just want it to be not so complicated anymore. I just want to
be home with him sitting on the couch watching playstation games being
played...This is going to be sooo strange. I mean being back in Orlando
again....I mean...Thank God Justin is letting me stay in the guest bedroom.
I know I'll have to put up with him and Meredith being all lovey dovey in
their new house, but it's better than being at Chris's."
"I know what you mean Dani," Monica said, "Remember, I've been through
all this with you. I know that this is going to be strange.
I just hope that things turn out well."
"I just wish this was all over. I wish that my stupid head and
stupid heart would get together and have a meeting and make up their--"
Dani took a deep stressed breath, "I'm just frustrated with the fact that
I can't just relax about this and play along...I'm just praying that I
don't break down in front of him. I almost did yesterday and I barely
said hi to him."
"Then do that Dani," she said, "Don't worry about what it's gonna look
like and what people are gonna say or whatever...just go and be with him.
I think you both know that you're lost without each other."
Tears came to her eyes. "I just don't know..." She took a breath,
"Its hard to be--"
"Dani I know you don't want to do this, but just pretend--just pretend
that you're friends. You keep complaining about how he's been looking
bad lately...and believe me...you need to get some rest--"
"The man has cartoon characters in his bedroom Monica. I need a
man, not a little boy." She sighed, "Remember Las Vegas? Remember
how much I hated to deal with him and covering up for him."
[ six months before... ]
Dani checked her watch again, pushing her sleeve back up her arm to her
elbow. When the time was clear to her she pulled her phone from her
pocket and looked back over at her stack of samples boxes. She dialed
the phone from her memory and then held the phone to her ear.
"Hemmo?" a gruff voice spoke back at him.
Dani curbed her urge to scream at him for a moment so that he could at
least give her an excuse on why he was late. "Chris please tell me
you're asleep in the limo on the way over here."
"What time is it?" he asked.
"Please Chris," she begged knowing full well that her thoughts about
him just being stuck in traffic were now being dashed.
"What time is it?" he asked.
"Dani stop saying my name," he sighed and she could hear noise in the
room behind him as if he was moving around in it knocking things over.
"I don't have my contacts in and I can't find my glasses."
"Chr--It's just about two in the afternoon."
"Awe FUCK Dani!" he said angrily. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
She could hear him get up and move around from where he'd originally been.
"I'm still in Vegas. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I went to
sleep last night then got up around two in the morning and went out with
the guys...I'm sorry...I came back here and I went to get a shower so I
could catch my flight, but I guess they thought I already left because I
"Save it Chris," she said, "You should have been here YOU should be here
with me for this. FuMan is YOUR company. It's YOUR responsibility."
"I know Dani," he said.
"Don't say I know Dani," she said with a sigh, "I quit. I'm going
to go in there and save your sorry butt once again, but I mean it Chris,
I'm out of here. I can't do this anymore."
"No butts," she said and moved herself across the walkway to see if the
doorman could get her some sort of cart to bring her clothes up to the conference
room. "It's over...and I don't just mean this way of doing business."
She paused to put her hand to her forhead. "Chris you need to grow
up and until you do I'm not going to take part in this. I don't just
mean the business Chris. I mean us too Chris."
"Who are you trying to convince?" Monica asked.
Dani took a deep breath as they got to the corner of the Cascade Shores
housing area. The huge sign and fountain out front welcomed her, but
she also saw the gates and wondered if she wanted to be locked in or locked
out of the place. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"You need love, who cares about the package."
(c) 2002 Pit