I knew you when – Chapter 6

Being back home was a nightmare, Auditions never ending and hearing no so often I began to question myself and if the choice I had made to be an actor was still the best thing for me.
Henry too was having a bit of a rough time getting roles and worked at a local club to pay his bills at the same time saving bits to get back to LA for more auditions.
In our home countries we both found it harder to grab acting jobs and we both knew we needed to be back in Los Angeles if we wanted better jobs.

Months went by with nothing at all and I found myself on the phone with Henry crying over it all.
He was always the sweetheart reassuring me that we had made the right decision and that we both had what it took to make it we just needed to be given the opportunity.

Henry and I finally managed to get back to LA in the summer of 2004 and both of us found work quiet quickly at separate restaurants.
This time however we were not as lucky in the apartment hunt as we’d previously been so for the first few weeks we bunked at Corin’s house sleeping on his sofa which really was not the ideal thing for either of us making getting a good night’s rest difficult.

Auditions were hell and I started taking mundane jobs just to keep building my profile. Henry however was a little more concerned with quality over quantity then I was and held out for better jobs.
I respected him for that but we were both in need of money and our visa’s only lasted so long so the more we worked in the industry the longer we’d be able to stay.

We finally managed to get our own “room” apartment and it was literally like living in a fishbowl.
It worked though as we only had a month to month lease and could walk away at any time.
We had nothing with us but our closes so when Corin’s partner Andy asked us if we wanted his sofa bed we jumped at it. “Yey, no more sleeping on the floor.” we joked.
People think the life of an actor is glamorous and for some it really can be. Henry and I were not living the life. Not even close. Yet week after week we trenched into the audition pools and waded through script line after script line in the hopes of getting that “break”.

We’d been in town for a couple months when our agents called us letting us know about an upcoming movie being shot in Prague. We looked at one another in shock, Our agents had lined us up to audition for the same movie.
“What are the odds?” Henry asked laughing.
“I know right? Us in a movie together again?” I laughed.
The script was a story of love, honor and betrayal and Henry would be auditioning for the lead part.
“Are you up for the female lead Nika?” He asked.
“No honey, just a small bit. But that’s ok I will take what I can get.” I laughed.
I was excited he was auditioning for the lead but sad at the same time as I had hoped my agent would have listed myself for a larger part.
Our auditions were a day apart and Henry had his first. When he came in he had a huge smile on his face.
“Things went well?” I asked him.
“Yeah I think they really did.”
He was pea cocking and proud as he marched around our fishbowl.
“Easy now Henry, don’t be getting a big head on me now!”
He began to laugh. “No, won’t happen.”
“Better not, I’ll kick your ass.”
“I actually have no doubt that you would Nika.” He laughed some more.
He picked up his cell phone and rang his mother to let her know of the news.
She was so proud of him, Both his parents were in fact.
Henry had even hired his dad as his media and PR rep and had planned to work on building his own media company with his dad heading it.
The next day my audition was a simple photo session, I knew in that moment my role would be either a non speaking one or so small I wouldn’t even get credit at the end of the film.
The pay however was rather decent and I would be travelling to Prague a place I had never been and that would be an exciting experience in itself.
Walking through the door I threw my purse to the floor and slumped on the sofa.
“What’s wrong?” Henry asked.
“The audition was just a couple photos.”
He looked down to the floor with a look on sorrow on his face.
“Don’t pity me please.” I asked sternly.
“I don’t pity you Nika, I feel bad because I know how hard you’ve worked and I’ve been there as well. The excitement then the let down.”
I jumped from the couch and headed to the kitchen and grabbed a beer.
“Nika it’s 2pm?”
“Your point?”
Raising his hands in the air he backed away.
“I’m going to go for a walk and let you have a moment alone.” He said.
“Yep, Ok.” I shrugged.
In that moment I realized how rude I was being to him. I was filled with such hurt. Here I was taking all these shit jobs and that’s all that kept coming my way and Henry holds out and lands a lead audition.
I felt the slight sting of bitterness in my heart and even though every part of me knew it was not his fault I could not help the jealous rage.
As Henry walked out the door I fell to the floor and began to sob.
I couldn’t contain the tears, I was sad due to my career, I was sad at the anger I felt towards Henry, I was so sad at the way I was looking at life.
Burying my head in my hands I felt Henry sit down next to me.
He’d not actually left, as he heard my tears he’d come back in.
He placed his arm around me and pulled me close to him.
We said nothing, Henry just simply let me cry on his shoulder.

A few days later I received a call. I had landed a small bit part in the movie and my scenes would be shot in Prague in the upcoming months.
I would be playing “Lady Marke” the girlfriend/lover of a character named Melot.
That same day Henry’s agent called to inform him that he had lost the lead role of Tristan but that they really liked him and were considering him for another lead part if he would be interest.
He sat on the sofa and sighed. “What’s the part?” He asked.
They told him he would be the best friend of Tristan, The one who would betray him.
Henry pondered. “A bad guy?” He questioned.
“Yes.” His agent told him. “I think this is a good move for you.”
Henry agreed to take the part and the script was to be sent over for him to begin going over.
He hung up the phone and looked up at me. “I lost the main lead to another actor.”
“Sorry Henry.” I said sitting next to him. “Do you know who got the part?”
“No, not yet. But they offered me another role, Not as big but still a critical part of the storyline so I said I would take it.”
“Who will you be playing?” I asked.
“Melot, the bad friend.” He laughed.
Just then I fell over with laugher. “Your fucking with me right?”
Henry’s brow frowned as he looked at me with question all over his face.
“No really Henry, Your taking the piss right?”
“No.” He said sternly.
I began to laugh even harder. “Henry, I am playing Lady Marke. Melot’s lover!”
A grin grew over his face as he busted into laughter.
“Now who’s fucking with who?” he asked.
“I’m not kidding Henry, I just got the call today.”
We slumped back onto the sofa bed and continued to laugh.
The world was a funny place and it had a way of making things even more hilarious.

Henry was to leave for Ireland first where some of the primary shots were being done for the movie which now had the running title “Tristan and Isolde” then he would head off to Prague 4 weeks later where I would meet up with him for 2 weeks of filming my own scenes.
We gave up our fish bowl of an apartment and bunked once more with Corin who was now living with Andy.

On Henry’s last night in LA we decided to head out for a night on the town. It was always fun partying with the guys and we shared so many laughs.
Henry and I bought a round of drinks for our LA group who’d really become like family to us and we sat back and shared many more laughs.
Corin being Corin loved poking fun at Henry when it came to his looks. “Pretty Boy” was thrown around a lot that night.
Henry had grown out his hair which made his curls look even more lush I would occasionally lean over and run my hands through it till he got fed up with people playing with it and tied it back in a ponytail which only made the jokes worse but Henry has a great sense of humor and was able to laugh it all off.

That night Henry fell asleep before me and I sat down and just looked down at him. He looked so peaceful and happy.
“You’re so handsome” I whispered “One day the world will see you the way I do and they will love you just as much.” I leaned down and kissed his cheek which caused him to stir. He opened his eyes and a faint smile came over his lips. “Get some sleep Nika” he whispered.
I laid down behind him and placed my arms around his chest. I would miss him when he left, I always missed not being with him.

Henry’s flight left early that morning and he woke me so we could have breakfast and say our “See you soon” I didn’t travel to the airport to see him off as I knew it would just bring me down. Besides 4 weeks would go faster than I thought and we’d be hanging out in Prague soon enough.
“Call me when you get there.” I said as he left.
“I will” He smiled.
“Don’t have too much fun without me.” I laughed.
“Hey now” He joked “You can’t be my only fun buddy.”
My eyes widened and I stared at him. “Pardon?”
“That did not come out correctly.” He laughed. “What I meant was you cannot be the only person I hang out with and have fun with. You are however the only one I have FUN with.” He winked.
“Asshole.” I laughed.
“Oh you grouch, go back to bed.” He laughed “See you in a few weeks.”
“Get out of here will you? You’re going to be late.”
“BYE” He shouted as he shut the door behind him.
“BYE” I yelled.

The next day Henry called and he did not sound happy.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Nothing, Just don’t really like some of the people I am working with.”
“What? are you kidding? You not actually liking someone is strange Henry. You like everyone.”
“He’s just hard to work with. He thinks he’s this great actor who is above others.”
“Who are we talking about?” I asked.
“Don’t worry Nika. It’s not worth it. I will do my job and be done.”
“Henry.” I pleaded. “Don’t keep it in. You know you can trust me.”
“James.” He said quietly.
Henry had lost the lead part in Tristan and Isolde to James Franco. James had a reputation in Hollywood for being a pain in the ass to work with.
“I hate that guy.” I said. “Ever since he got Spiderman he thinks he’s the best thing since swiss cheese. But what he does not know is swiss cheese sucks!”
Henry began to laugh. “Yeah I am not a fan of swiss cheese either.”
“Don’t let him get to you.” I said. “Do your thing and know at the end of the day your better.”
“Thanks Nika.”
“No thanks needed Henners, I got your back baby.” I laughed.
“I know you always will.”
“How dirty are you?” I asked out of the blue.
“What?” He laughed.
“Well it’s a period piece so I was wondering how mucky they are making you look.”
Henry laughed for a few moments more. “I am a very dirty boy Nika.”
“Now now Hen don’t get me going there.” I laughed.
“You started it.”
“Ok then I shall end it. Next topic?”
“How’ve you been?” He asked.
“Bored.”
“You won’t be in a few weeks.”
“I know and I am very much looking forward to it.”
“Yeah I can’t wait for you to be here too. A friendly face is what I need.”
“Awe Henry you say the sweetest shit.” I laughed.
“As do you.” He laughed.
“I try.”
We talked for a little longer till he had to head to bed for an early wake up call to be on set.
I hated knowing he was not happy and wished there was more I could do for him but I was stuck in LA and too far away to do anything for him. May these next few weeks past quick I prayed.

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