Holly had hired a limo for the occasion, somewhere along the line someone had insisted that was the way she was supposed to do it. As the car pulled up to the red carpet and someone opened her door for her, Holly squared her shoulders, mentally set aside the issue of Lionel and Grant and stepped out. She had thought the first premiere she had attended was large and overwhelming, but she saw it had nothing on this. TV crews were scattered around interviewing people and roping actors into conversations. There was a line of famous faces posing for photographers along one side of the carpet. There was lots of noise and lots of movement and this time Holly had to face it alone. She expected to feel overwhelmed, but as she started down the carpet, making her way towards the theater, she realized that she wasn’t just pretending to look confident, she actually felt it. It was just lights and sounds and certainly nothing to worry about.
She reached the lobby of the theater and grabbed a drink off a passing waiter. Maybe tonight might even be a little enjoyable. A chance to relax after a stressful week.
“Holly!” Nikki hurried over and grabbed hold of her arm a little too tightly. “I’m so glad you’re here!”
“Of course. I can’t wait to see your movie.”
“Oh gosh I wish I could wait. I wish everyone would. A very, very long time. Maybe forever. If I could be sure the only copy in existence was in this theater, I wouldn’t be averse to burning the whole building down.”
“Nikki! What are you talking about? It’s going to be wonderful.”
“It’s not. It’s really, really not. Because the script is horrible. I reread it last night. I knew it was bad but I had no idea. What was I thinking? Why are on earth couldn’t I listen to a little reason?”
“Calm down. I’m sure you’re over reacting.”
“I’m not. I’m not the only one who thinks it’s terrible. Clint did too. And I just went ahead and did the movie anyways. And now I’m going to have to sit through the whole thing and it’s going to absolutely embarrassing. Maybe I could make a dash for it? No one would notice would they?” she asked hopefully.
“Not notice the star leaving the premiere? I think someone might just notice that.”
Nikki sighed and nodded. “I just have to face the music don’t I? Oh Holly, take my advice. Never be in a bad movie.”
Holly laughed. “I’ll try not to.”
“Of course,” said Nikki, suddenly brightening up and releasing her grasp on Holly’s arm. “Here’s someone who’s made rather an art form of bad movies. Hello Peter!”
Peter, who had just emerged out of the crowd smiled and shook Nikki’s hand. “Hey Nikki. Did I just hear the master piece Crocodiles in Space being slandered?”
“Oh no. We were just comparing it favorably to Citizen Kane. I didn’t know you’d be here tonight.”
“One of the producers sent me the invitation. He’s hoping to sign me up for his latest film. I’ve no intention of doing it, but I thought I might find Holly here…and you,” he added, a little late. “Good to see you again Nikki.”
Nikki tried to hide a smile and Holly took a sip of her drink.
“I’d better go make some rounds anyways,” said Nikki. “I’ll see you both later. And apologies in advance for the film you are about to endure.”
Left alone, Peter turned his full attention on Holly. “I just wanted to see how you’re doing. You seemed upset the last time we talked.”
“I know. But right now I don’t want to think about it,” said Holly. “I’m going to talk to Victor tonight after the premiere and see what he thinks I should do. But I do have to do something Peter. I just can’t ignore what’s happened.”
“I understand that.”
“You don’t agree?”
“I don’t know.”
Holly smiled. “Come on, let’s go watch a terrible movie.”
“Hey, as long as there aren’t any crocodiles in it, it’s better than mine. I’m not going to cast stones.”