You’ve been you all along, you just couldn’t see it.
“Ms. Davenport I just wanted to thank you for allowing us into your home,” the young female reporter said. The cameraman worked frantically setting up for the live broadcast they were doing for the six o’clock news.
“You are more than welcome,” she said. “I’m just glad to have this opportunity to let my fans know the changes I’ve gone through over the past few months since returning to my hometown.”
“Two minutes, Janice,” the cameraman said with one hand on his earphones.
“Well, let’s make the public fall in love with you again,” Janice said. “You ready?”
“I was born ready.”
The interview went quickly. They hit all the major points Liza wanted to address and then a few Janice wanted but she kept her from getting too personal. The recent altercations, the tragic death of her mother, they covered both. By the time it was over even the camera man had tears in his eyes.
It wasn’t hard playing to the woman’s interest; from head to toe the woman advertised her allegiance to her sorority and all things glamourous. The hardest part was changing the woman’s impression of Trina.
When they were done Janice even asked her to become a part of the Big Sister program her sorority sponsored. She also asked Liza to attend an exclusive ball her organization threw every Christmas. It was only a week away but by the woman’s tone Liza knew she was supposed to feel honored. She made sure not to disappoint.
By the time the interview was finished and the crew had left, Liza knew she’d accomplished what she’d set out to do.
If she was going to stay, there was no way she could continue with Trina’s old bad behavior, and now was the perfect time to try to reach out to people. Get them on her side and stop hating the woman Trina used to be. The only way to do that was to get them to see another side of Trina.
With all the networks seeking content to fill the air between sitcom reruns and Christmas movie marathons it was easy to set up. It took one call to Trina’s manager to get the ball running.
She’d done some fast talking, but once she convinced her she’d turned over a new leaf she was in. It wasn’t like she wanted a spot on the next season of Dancing with the Stars, she just wanted Trina to not be a social pariah anymore. Liza had plans for her long lost sister- big plans. It was going to take baby steps to make the train wreck of a life she’d had into something salvageable, but she’d made up her mind. This was her time now, and she didn’t plan to spend the rest of her life hiding.
She wasn’t the poor girl born on the wrong side of the tracks that was adopted into the Davenports home- at least not anymore. Nor was she the young woman with a chip on her shoulder that lashed out at everyone and everything.
It was ratings gold. Even Trina’s worst enemies would have to have a heart of stone to not feel sympathy for her after watching the interview. It was all going to plan.
By the end of the news broadcast, Trina’s manager had called saying her phone was ringing off the hook from national press interested in broadcasting pieces of the interview.
Even Leena, usually sour, seemed impressed by the reaction. Leena had to turn the ringer off and let the answering machine pick up saying, “let them leave a message, and you can call them back when you feel like it.”
“Thanks, sis,” Liza said returning Leena’s smile.
“Oh, you know Blackfoot came into the restaurant this morning.”
“Yeah,” Leena said her lips pursed. “He asked about you.”
“Really? What for?” Liza asked ignoring her pointed stare.
“What you think?” Leena said. “You know you don’t have to act like you don’t care. He’s a nice man,” she said rolling her eyes. “Look I don’t know what that was about that happened between you too, I’m just saying that was completely out of character for him,” she said. Liza couldn’t help notice her emphasis on the word him.
“You know he and his ex-wife had a hard time of it. A few years ago, she left him when he said he wanted to stay here. She wasn’t a local and as soon as she realized he wasn’t leaving she was out of here, but not before she’d slept with his partner.”
“ Dumb bitch,”
“You telling me,” Leena said. “Anyone who would let that go needs to turn their lady card in. Well, well, well, do I see interest in that face? What?” Leena said.
“Shut up,” Liza said swatting her with a dish towel.
“Okay, looks like sister is finally wising up. You could do worse than Blackfoot, way worse. Getting some common sense in there, I see,” she said. “I’m impressed.”
“As well you should be.”
It was after midnight when her cell phone rang. Liza didn’t recognize the number, but she knew better than to not answer.
“Who is this?”
“I bet you’re pretty pleased with yourself.” Liza recognized the voice instantly. She prayed for the calmness, but as usual it abandoned her- with him. Heat burned through her veins heavy and fast like a speedball. She sat on the side of the bed her feet resting on the floor.
“What you’re doing, you need to stop,” the voice said. “I’ve been very patient, but you have taken one too many liberties.”
The voice had the robotic tone that Liza would never forget.
“You weren’t supposed to call me again.” Her voice sounded steadier than she felt, but she didn’t feel pride in that. They both knew it was just a ruse.
Laughter was his response. “You don’t tell me what to do. You forget yourself,” the voice said. “Don’t do it again.”
“Finish your fun, take care of the girl, and come home,” the voice said. “Otherwise I might have to…” the sound of a man screaming erupted from the phone.
“You have a week,” the voice said, “then I’m pulling you in. We still have work to do.”
“Yes, sir,” Liza said feeling the shadows return the pool of calm lapping at its edges. Then the phone died. She had no doubt of what the Mastermind could and would do. If she didn’t return, she knew he would come for her this time.
She could run, or at least try, but no matter what she did it was going to end up the same way.
Liza had planned for this, but she hadn’t planned on the fear she felt. She’d tried so hard to break free of Central, but it seemed it was all for nothing. There was no escaping Him.