The Apartment - Part 2

THE APARTMENT - PART 2The Second Yes. The press got hold of Caroline on our first tour. She was usually around, smiling in the background and wearing outrageously sexy clothes. I don't think she planned the way things have turned out, she was just enjoying herself and showing off. But she got to collecting the newspaper articles, and started a scrapbook. I noted with amusement that the only pictures she kept of the band were those with a flamboyant Caroline sucking up to the camera.

And then she started getting calls from various agencies.

One day we were sitting quietly in the gallery. I was dreaming of moving into a big new stately home with masses of parkland, a minstrels' gallery, and stabling, and... well, the dream expanded quite a lot until I'd completely lost my way while wandering around this massive pile.

The phone rang. Caroline answered it. I presumed it was one of the girls.

“Say hello from me,” I called across the room almost without thinking.

Twenty minutes later she put down the receiver, and came and stood in front of me. “That was for me,” she said, beaming.

I looked a trifle puzzled. “You don't say.”

The sarcasm obviously floated off in a different direction. “They want me to do a fashion shoot.”

“Gosh. Fashion shoots pay rather well, don't they?”

“Very well, darling. Give me a couple of years and I'll be richer than you. When your next single flops you'll have to come crawling to Clever Caroline to bail you out. He he! They are flying me out to the Caribbean.”

I stopped dreaming rather suddenly. I looked up at her radiant face. “Who's a clever girl?”

“Will you miss me?”

“Darling, of course I'll miss you.” I stood up and gave her a big hug. “How long is this shoot?”

“They want me out there for five days.”

And then they wanted her in Paris for a few more days.

This was the life. Caroline was in her element.

“I know a really nice little restaurant; very romantic.”

The day's shooting is over, and they are hanging around for the last instructions for the next day's shoot.

She looks at him. He seems attractive, pleasant, and speaks excellent English. She had noticed him in the background. He was always holding sheets of paper. Maybe he is an agent for the company sponsoring the shoot.

She smiles. There is no reason not to be nice, but... All these decisions. It's so easy to say 'yes'.

Who wants to go back to the hotel? Who wants to eat alone? That's the big problem with this job. All the shoots seem to be away from home, and the one big snag is that the model is the main character. There isn't necessarily a camaraderie of girls on the shoot. And each shoot is different, so each time the crew is different. It's so easy to say 'yes' simply to spend the evening with someone.

And there's the problem. The first 'yes' is the easy one, but that lets one in for more decisions. The second 'yes' is not so easy at all. Caroline needs to sit for a moment and think.

“I'll have to look at my schedule.” She smiles sweetly, and disappears.

What is she doing tomorrow? This is a two day shoot and she doesn't have to be on set until nine thirty in the morning. That puts paid to the excuse of having to have an early night to cope with an early start.

On the other hand, make-up's at eight thirty, and she does need to have a leisurely shower and breakfast first, so...

On the other hand, he cant really expect her to do much on the first night.

On the other hand, he knows it's only a two day shoot, so there isn't going to be a second chance.

On the other hand, maybe he is lonely as well, and he simply doesn't want to spend the evening on his own.

On the other hand he is a male, and you know what males expect.

Actually he does seem rather nice.

Anyway, why shouldn't she have an evening out, even if it doesn't lead to anything?

In any case, what difference does it make if it leads to something? You-Know-Who cant complain. He has the whole gang at his disposal. Why shouldn't she splash out occasionally? If he doesn't like it, tough on him.

Yes, why not?

On the other hand. She is the leading lady. What does he do? Who is he? Should the leading lady make herself available to anyone who asks?

You've got to be joking. After all, she is the Great Goddess. The Great Goddess needs to keep herself aloof.

But that doesn't mean she has to stay home each night. Why shouldn't she go to the ball?

Yes, of course. She will go to the ball, but on her own terms, of course.

Ah yes, that leads on to that pesky second 'yes'. She needs to answer that right now. The second yes has to be considered before the first yes.

So, what is she going to say?

Of course, he may not ask the second question. He may just want that pleasant evening out, and to be seen with the great super-model.

No. Don't be silly, girl. He is a male, and he wants to go to bed with you. At some point he is going to ask you.

She pretends to be looking at her diary. This is a little more complicated than she first thought.

She closes her diary and walks out of the room.

She smiles as she heads to the bathroom. He can stew for a while.

Yes, that's another thing. She needs to set the tone. She needs to make it clear that she is the leading lady, and he is... well, whatever he is. She doesn't have to answer to him, and she can change her mind. After all, he was the one asking, not her.

Does she accept but with the all important caveat?

No, that would be silly. That may well lead to the offer of dinner being withdrawn. In any case, why lay her cards on the table? That is definitely not the way to play the scene.

He is a nice boy. He wants to take her to dinner. That's all he asked. After all...

But she needs the exit line before she gives the entry line. That is, after all, a girls' golden rule.

Going on to a night club?

Actually, wasn't she asked about that earlier today?

She should have checked the venue. Is it the hip place to be? Where the top models go to be seen?

And that's another point. Where is this restaurant? Is that the place to be seen? Or is it some tiny place down a back street in the wrong arrondissement?

He said it was romantic. That means it's quiet and not the place to be noticed. Oh dear, that's no good. This girl has a career to think of.

Bother. That means the answer has to be 'no'.

On the other hand, is that offer of the night club still on the table? There is no point in turning down one deal if the other isn't really there to fall back on.

She needs to sort this out rather quickly. She puts on her business face, and walks back to the studio.

He's hovering, gives a weak smile, and a questioning look.

“I have to find out what time I'm...” She stops suddenly. Stupid girl. Pull yourself together. She was about to give away her plan. She hastily re-worked the sentence. “What time I'm needed tomorrow morning.”

There is the agent for the fashion house. She crosses the room. “What was all this about attending a night club? Do I have to?” (She doesn't want to sound too keen.) “And am I supposed to be wearing house clothes if I go?”

He smiles. “It's not part of the contract, but of course we'd be delighted if you can make it. But on no circumstances must you wear what you've been showing here.” He smiles. “You could wear something else of ours, of course. Is there anything you particularly fancy?”

This sounds more promising. In fact this is more like it. A night out all expenses paid, a choice of fashion clothes, plenty of photo opportunities. The house would make sure of that. You're on, big boy. Give me a catalog, and make that gear available pretty pronto.

Sorry, nice boy, but I've had a better offer. A girl has to think of her future. The first answer is an easy 'no'. That means there is no problem at all with the second answer.

But he did look rather sweet.

She is thinking of the clothes and the flash-lights, and she smiles one of those gently glowing smiles.

A pity about the romantic table in a sexy restaurant in a discreet part of town, but discretion is not what a girl who's going places needs right now.

He is only slightly crestfallen. He probably expected the 'no'.

Maybe next time.

As she walks off she wonders what it would have been like. He was rather sweet. Maybe it would have been interesting. Maybe it would have been the start of... Well, who knows?

Read The Apartment - Part 1 - https://algarvedailynews.com/books/19008-the-apartment

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