Chapter 2

1427 Words
Kylie I'm in the car with my driver, wondering what the studio wants at this time of the morning. It's seven thirty. I should still be in bed-especially on a Friday morning. There's an emergency meeting and the car came to pick me up. Even Mom's nervous about it as she keeps holding my hand and stroking it. "I'm sure that everything's going to be all right." I wish I shared her enthusiasm. Apart from the fact that I haven't written a new song in three months and my contract's due for renewal in the fall, there's a lot to worry about. "I mean, they could just want to talk about the contract renewal." "Right, Mom. So, that's why they sent a car to the apartment at seven thirty in the morning." "Kylie, why do you have to be so negative all the time?" Because staying with her for the last couple of weeks had led me to be more irritable than when I was back home. I should just go home because I'm far from relaxed these days. She insisted that staying with her would help bring my mojo back, but I'm fucking losing it because she's driving me insane. I need to go back home, eat too much, drink a bit more, and not think about tomorrow. That's what I'm missing. This diet is not happening, and my clothes have changed from being skinny jeans to sweats and hoodies. "I'm just parking, ladies," the driver announces on the speakerphone. I don't want to go in. Ever since I sang that song like a million times and it became a hit, I've had a feeling of not wanting to sing anymore. It may sound crazy, but 'Loving' is the only song that made it. Nothing else reached Billboard the way that song did, and that's the real problem-not being able to replicate my success. "Here goes nothing," I say as he opens the car door. Why did he have to park so quickly? "Stop being so negative," Mom repeats as she takes my arm and walks with me. If anything, she looks like the star-perfect blonde hair all pushed up in a bun, a red Calvin Klein skirt suit, and everything that I should look like right now. I shouldn't be wearing a hoodie and sweats in the middle of the summer, but even a T-shirt makes me look fat. How's that even possible? As we follow the driver like lambs to slaughter, I wonder if maybe Mom's right and this is all good news. But as we walk into the boardroom, the fears start to reappear again. Everyone's here at eight. My manager, agent, choreographer, even my damn hair stylist. What the fuck? "Sorry, Kylie, to wake you up so early, but we had to get this out of the way. It's been a long time coming." I nod my head as no one greets me. To make matters worse, everyone's avoiding eye contact with me. Not Mom. She's going round the table waving to them as if they're her number one fans. "Ron, Tracey, Betty, and John... Nice that you all could make it." My agent, Ron, clears his throat, "Well, they knew about this meeting for a couple of weeks. We got together and decided that this would be the best way to talk to Kylie. Please, can you both sit down." I want to say something, like fuck, no! I mean, the fact that they've all known about this meeting kind of rocks me the wrong way. How come I never knew about it until now? "We've noticed that the latest pictures of you are not the image that we expected of you. We thought that we made it clear?" They start a presentation, one of me going to a concert in my sweats and hoodie, another of me going to Starbucks again in my sweats and hoodie. Then, there's another one of me going to Ellen's show. Guess what I was wearing? Okay, so I get the point. But again, what is Tracey doing here? She can feel my eyes boring onto her as she speaks. "I'm known as your makeup artist, so when you go around wearing black eye shadow..." Again, another picture. I can't watch any more of this, so I avoid it and just stare at her instead. "...and keep turning up to events like this..." Oh, God, it's horrible. Someone save me from this torture. "Then my reputation goes down the tube. I mean, poor Fred. He quit last week." "He told me that his mother was sick!" Tracey blurts out, "She is. Sick of you going everywhere with your hair like that. I mean it looks as if you put a mop on top of your head. You have a beautiful face, stunning hair, and..." She's searching for the words, but as the photos clearly show-nothing's stunning. I've gone full scale downward. "It's not that we're saying that you're not beautiful," Ron interjects with that killer smile. I swear, every time he talks there's a little twinkle sound. His teeth are perfect-a little too perfect for my liking. "You've not recorded in months. I mean, for an artist that's rare," John says. He's the head of Waters, my record label, who will drop me if I don't make a change. This is what the talks about. Tracey I can deal with cutting me-my label and agent, I can't. "What we're trying to say..." Mom starts crying and putting on the water works. "It's just that she's still grieving." I'm just about to ask her about what, but she kicks me under the table. "It's been hard for her the last few months. She just needs time." I start to nod my head. Silence will be my friend as my mom takes center stage. Damn! I never knew that she was an actress. She's damn good at it. It works, because before I know it, they're giving me six weeks to get my act together. Six weeks to lose some weight and six weeks to come up with a new hit. It sounds so easy, but how much can realistically happen in six weeks? "Thank you so much for the opportunity, but could we make it a little longer?" Mom's tears turn into a smile-a wicked one at that. She really should get into acting. The crazy part is, Mom classes herself as being my manager too. She vocally states that she's my manager, but she's just my mom. I make her think that she's my manager by financially supporting her and taking her wherever I go. Like here. One thing about this industry is that it's tough, and anyone can turn on you any time they feel like it just to be one step ahead of the game. I'm a little naive when it comes to that department, but Mom isn't. She can tell me when someone's taking me for a ride, what opportunities I should be grabbing, and the ones I shouldn't even think about involving myself in. John blurts out, as the other's nod around the room. But not Tracey. Her arms are folded and she's not budging. Fine, because most of the time she makes me feel like a clown. I didn't think that much of her makeup skills until she outed me and said that she wanted to dump me. "Eight weeks, not a moment later and that's a lot of time!" Mom smiles as she takes my hand, probably trying to get out of the meeting before the label changes their mind. Tracey says, "Well, I can't wait that long. I need to move on." John nods, "I can understand that. Besides, I assume Kylie will be out of the picture for the next few weeks." Mom nods and says, "She will." Then we leave the room so that they can all talk among themselves. We get to the elevator and the doors open. Mom laughs. "We needed to get rid of Tracey. She wasn't good at doing your makeup anyway. She always made you look like a clown." At least we agree on one thing. There just one issue. Mom's promised for me to turn things around in eight weeks, and I haven't been able to do that in three months. I sigh as the realization hits me. I felt good walking out of the boardroom, but now I feel shitty thinking about my reality and not knowing what got me into this phase in the first place didn't help.
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