My So-Called Bollywood Life(83)

By: Nisha Sharma


“Thanks. That means a lot.”

He rubbed the back of his neck. “It’s the least I could do. I don’t know if Mr. Reece said anything else to you, but after I came forward and said that I wasn’t with Jenny the whole night of the fund-raiser, Jenny caved. I don’t know the details, but she spoke with the school counselor and admitted to lying and putting the money in Dev’s locker.”

 “So Reece is going to clear Dev to be a part of the school’s film festival, too?”

“Most likely.”

“That’s awesome! Thank God. I know that probably meant you got detention, but I’m really glad you did it.”

“Yeah.” He looked down at the pamphlet. “And I’m grounded.”

“Wow, like a regular American kid?”

He laughed. “Exactly like that. My parents had to look it up just to make sure they were doing it right.”

“Well, if you’re out and about, it can’t be too bad. Are you staying?”

Raj nodded. “Is Dev cool with it, though?”

“I hope so.” She led him toward the movie hall and gave him one last hug before she checked in with her team.

When Eric called her name as she stood in the empty lobby, she knew she’d run out of time. Unless he’d slipped through, Dev hadn’t come. The truth was settling in fast now, like a roller-coaster drop.

“The show must go on,” she said with a sigh.





24





A BREAK FROM NORMAL MOVIE REVIEWS…


I know that I promised you all an awesome review this week, but I’ve been trying to fix things in my life, so I’ve been super busy. I will say this much: You know how I’m always talking about destiny and romance in Bollywood movies? Well, there is something that I forget to mention. If you try to avoid destiny, you’ll end up only hurting yourself. But if you go with it, kind of like a surfer with a wave, maneuvering the board and trusting your instincts, destiny can take you on one amazing ride.





Winnie was so happy she’d memorized her speech. After running through the schedule and thanking everyone, she teared up at the applause. With one final bow, she left the movie hall, and she snuck into the projection room just as the first film began to play.

“What are you doing here?” Henry asked.

She sat in one of the two folding chairs set up in front of the projection window. “I can’t be down there right now. Let me be annoyingly depressed for a minute. Do you mind if I take over for the first two clips? I need a moment. Mr. Reece is going to handle introducing the first panel, and then I’ll pretend to be chipper after that.”

Henry got up from his seat. “Fine, weirdo.”

 “Appreciate it, Henry.”

He shoved his phone in his pocket and left. When the space was quiet, she kicked off her skyscraper heels. Waiting for Dev with so many witnesses around was humiliating. At least she wasn’t standing in the middle of a baseball diamond like Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed. That would’ve been so much worse.

In the projection room, she could get herself together. It was just her, the hum of the machines, and the sound of the movies. She dropped her head and let her long hair drape over the chair. The movie began playing, and she closed her eyes, sinking deeper into the seat.

She heard the door creak open, but she didn’t open her eyes. “I’m fine, Eric or Daddy or Bridget. Whoever it is. I got things under control. Just because I used to work with film and not digital doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“That’s good to know.”

Winnie’s eyes popped open, and she jerked upright in her seat.

Dev held two Robert’s Sweets cups. “Sorry I’m late,” he said.

“You brought ice cream.”

You brought ice cream? What kind of hello is that after an incredibly long time of sadness and depression? Haven’t you learned anything?

Dev smirked as if he knew exactly what was going through her head. He motioned to the extra chair next to her. “Can I sit down, or is this a private viewing?”

 She smiled and waved him closer.

He handed her one of the cups before taking the spare seat.

He’d brought her Kit Kats and vanilla ice cream. Her favorite. They sat in silence, eating and watching the images play through the projection window.