This story is taking quite a bit longer than I was anticipating. But I'm enjoying telling it, so I hope you don't mind the length. There will be another installment this afternoon, then we'll take a break for the weekend and I'll continue next week. The whole saga will wrap up by Tuesday. The full story in one week. I've read epic novels in less time.
If you need to play catch up, you can find the whole love story in order by clicking here.
The Fall of 2002 is seared in my memory as a season of firsts. My first red carpet premiere. My first trip to New York City. Taking on the temporary role as the personal assistant to the director and the main talent while they were promoting the movie afforded me lots of advantages, despite how crummy I was at the position.
I dyed my blonde hair shiny black as a symbol of my transformation. It looked just horrible against my pale skin, but I felt like a new person and I wanted to look like one. The final months of the year were a blur of press events and parties and wherever the director went, I wasn’t far behind.
My job as his assistant ended just before the holidays, but when I returned from Christmas in Oklahoma he called with the news that he had purchased a home in the Hollywood Hills. Neither of us were working at the time, so we spent weeks and weeks furnishing the new home and pouring over house magazines and websites.
His long term relationship had ended not long after the release of the movie and emotionally he was in hiding. We spent our days together but I never pushed the friendship boundaries. I wasn’t ever sure how he felt about me, even as our friendship grew and the time we were spending together kept mounting.
A television show that he had been developing for several months finally came to fruition in the late Spring of 2003 and naturally he asked me to work on it. In the meantime I had been working on a different show for MTV starring a famous rapper, but I leapt at the chance to return to the director’s crew.
We both lived in Hollywood and the new show’s offices were in Santa Monica. We started carpooling to work, almost an hour each way. You’ll learn a lot about a person when you’re stuck in the car together for two hours a day. We talked a lot, about work and our childhoods and music and movies. We were silent a lot, too. Both were comfortable.
It had been just a little over a year since our first real conversation in Florida while shooting the movie. From that first night, things had never really changed between us, just gotten bigger. We had grown very close, even though we were so different on the surface and our age gap was wide. But as much as we talked, often the first and last conversation of each other’s day, we rarely touched. We did not hug hello or goodbye, we had not so much as touched hands in the car or the bar or anyplace else.
And it would stay that way for another year.