But, am currently cooking my dinner so am going to be jumping between the two during this 30 minutes so it might be more 25 minutes instead of 30 minutes. So, forgive me if I fail this week!
Anyway, onto the writing! See ya in the tick!
Previously on Other People’s Lives
The set had been closed during filming the scene, so no one saw my reaction. No one saw my face drop nor did anyone hear the deafening crack of my heart breaking, when it dawned on me.
It was hard to be the new executive producer of The Beach, trying to get my stories onto screen when I had to deal with the previous producers and their long running stories, but to be the only black female executive producer of a british soap opera, everyone was watching, waiting for me to slip.
And this was it. My big moment. The moment to kickstart two of the biggest storylines of the summer. My first real storylines - an affair between two popular (and married) characters and a stalking plot line, both to spiral together into a shocking climax in late September when Mark’s character, Bishop, was going to get shot in an attempted assassination.
It was all plotted.
But I had to change it now.
Now that I knew.
I was pacing my office, running my fingers through my hair when he knocked on the door.
I didn’t want to see him. I couldn’t. But I had to.
“Come.” That didn’t sound like my voice. It sounded wrong.
He came in and, with a glance at my face, he knew. His face collapsed and he knew that I knew.
“Viola, I -.” He started to say, but I raised my hand to silence him.
“Close the door.”
He did so, slowly.
I had walked round my desk and was standing close to him when he turned back to.
“Viola, I -.”
My hand slapped him so hard, the sound echoed.
“How long?” I demanded in a low voice.
“How long?” Pause. “I won’t ask again.”
“A… a few months.”
Something inside me cracked. I felt like I was crumbling into ash and dust. “A… a few months?” I repeated. “You two have been screwing each other for a few months?”
“Viola, please… let me explain…”
“No!” I raised my hands to my ears. I didn’t want to hear it. “No, save me the details.” I put distance between us. I stood behind my desk, and him by the door. “I don’t want to know.”
“It meant nothing.” He pleaded.
“LIAR!" I spat the word at him like a poison dart. “We’re engaged to be married! I planned the storyline’s conclusion so we can get married and have our honeymoon! And you - with her. With Crystal.” I started to shake. But I barked a laugh instead. “You two must have laughed yourselves sick when you got today’s scripts and saw Bishop was having an affair with Crystal’s character! You could continue your affair in plain sight and say it was for the story! God, I must be so stupid not to see it till now!”
It was the scene that did it. That made me realise that they were having an affair. It was the way they kissed. The way Mark ran his thumb over Crystal’s bottom lip. He used to do that with me when we kissed like that.
Used to. Past tense.
“Please, let me explain,” Mark pleaded. God, he was handsome. His dark brown hair, his full lips, his strong jawline and broad shoulders. I swooned when we first met all those years ago. No wonder he won Best Hunk in the Soap Awards for past two years. The good boy next door with the hunky body of the bad boy.
And he wanted to marry me.
“No,” I shook my head. “You - you -." I couldn’t get the words out. “I don’t know what to do. I don't know whether I want to scream or cry.”
He made a move, as if he wanted to come round the desk and comfort me. Put his arms around me and tell me that everything was going to be already. That we were going to fix this.
Not this time.
I could see it now. The media hated me, so they would have a field day, destroying the show, him, us. And blaming it all on me. He went off and cheated on me with a co-star, and it would be all my fault. I pushed him to it. I had more power that him so, of course, it would be my fault.
“I want you gone," I tried to take a breath, to breathe over the sound of my heart breaking. “I want you to go back to the flat, get your things and I want you gone.”
“You wrecked us! You destroyed us! Do you really think I want you in our flat, in our bed, when all this time…” I couldn’t get over the catch in my lung and my hands itched. I wanted to hurt him. I wanted to slap him again, claw his eyes out, run out of the office and rip Crystal’s hair out. “And I can’t do anything about you two on the show! The media will think I’m a woman scorned.” Every storyline and plot twist was going to be examined so finely by the media once this got out. “Oh God! You… you… get out! Just go! Get out! I don't want to see you anymore!”
“I will destroy you if you don’t leave.” I stared at him. “I will ruin you and Crystal's career on this show and every other if you don’t leave this office, right now.”
He looked at me like he had never seen me before. It was an empty threat, I knew I wouldn't never. But I got a sting of satisfaction to see him look at me that way.
“I - we’ll talk once you've calmed down…” He said gently, finally as he opened the door to leave.
I barked a laugh. “Good luck with that.” He was about to close the door when my voice came out of my mouth. “Tell Crystal I said hi!”
The door halted its journey for a split second then closed with a snap.
My legs gave out, then, and I was breathing carpet.
I have no idea how long I was on the floor, but it felt like forever. It felt as if time had stopped and sped up at the same time. My brain playing over every time I was with him, trying to figure out when he started cheating on me. Was that text from her? When he kissed me that one time and his eyes were open, he was looking at her?
My world was crumbling into sawdust and I had nothing. I didn’t have him, I didn’t have this job, I had nothing.
I pushed myself up onto my hands and knees.