Having just been in the hospital, I was expecting to get some phone calls, so when my cell rang I hit accept without checking the caller I.D. The voice at the other end was not one I was expecting, but it wasn't unfamiliar.
"Is... is this Aaron Schaffer?"
"Yes, it is! May I ask who's calling?"
"It's Kyra. Um, Kyra Lane? We had dinner together a few weeks ago?"
I swear the interior of my cab brightened when I heard that. Just after filming started, I had run into a fan at Admiral Snackbar, a small coffee house/restaurant near the hotel I was staying at. She approached me while I was eating, and I invited her to join me. We had a lovely conversation that was interrupted only by the fact that the restaurant was closing.
"Kyra! What a pleasant surprise! I was hoping to run into you again, but how'd you get my number?"
"Well it was no thanks to you," she teased, which was admittedly deserved. When I'd realized what time it was, I made a hasty departure. Filming started early, and Ms. Anderson didn't take kindly to late-comers. It wasn't until a few days later, when I'd thought to give Kyra a call, that I came to a disappointing conclusion: I'd left before we had a chance to swap numbers.
"Actually, I caught wind of a job opportunity" she said, with just enough emphasis to make me suspicious.
"What job opportunity?"
I could almost hear her eyebrow furrowing over the phone. "You-... you're hiring an assistant, right?"
To be honest I shouldn't have been surprised. Aaliyah was taking this whole "turn Aaron into a professional" thing more seriously with every passing day. At one point I might have found it endearing. Now it was bordering on, "this is a little concerning" territory.
I did feel bad about the trailer. There wasn't much that I remembered about the fire, but I'd been told the trailer looked worse than I did. I just prayed it was covered by my insurance. And I wondered how long it would be before Aaliyah pushed me into buying another one. Six hours was my guess.
"Um, yes! Yes, that is... a position. That I'm looking to hire a person for. And so far as I know, it's still open." I said that with the knowledge that my inbox contained thirty-six unread text messages, thirteen of which were from Aaliyah. But so long as I didn't open them until after I finished this conversation...
"That's great! Do I need to send in a resume or something?"
"Nope! There's just an interview which I will be conducting personally. Are you free tomorrow evening?"
"For an interview? Or a date?"
I blinked. The word I'd used was "interview," but her idea wasn't an unattractive one. Still, I had to be careful. I wasn't sure what the rules were about relationships, and I'd already thrown two loops in our production schedule. I didn't want to upset Ms. Anderson a third time.
"Let's call it an interview. For now. I am an equal opportunity employer after all."
"I don't think that means what you think it means, but I suppose that's fair. Same time, same place as our last encounter?"
I grinned, "You bet. See ya tomorrow!"
She hung up, but instead of pocketing my phone I took a deep breath, said a quick prayer to whatever god was in charge of relationships with hyperactive co-workers, and then dialed up Aaliyah.
"Aaron. Aar-on. Aar-on Scha-ffer! So good to hear your voice! The scary nurse finally let you sit up eh?"
"Well, I mean, I checked out about forty-five minutes ago, so yes. She did."
"Riiiiight, riiiiight, I knew that. Right. So. Did you get my texts?"
I snorted, "All thirteen of them, yes. I haven't opened yet though, I figured I'd just call you instead."
"Can't say I blame you. Not everyone has my dulcet voice on speed-dial. I'd take advantage of it too."
Frowning, I switched her over to speaker-phone and began swiping through my contacts.
"Aaliyah! How did you get into my phone?"
"I just asked you for your password and you told me. You don't remember?"
I just sat, speechless, in the back of the taxi, trying to rewind my memory. To no avail.
"I mean you were pretty out of it, so I guess you wouldn't remember. But no harm done right? I mean, now you can brag about how you know me. Also, I'm not sure whether to be impressed, disappointed, or suspicious at how clean your browsing history is. Not that I've had any major scandals, but I wouldn't have blamed you for at least trying-"
"Ooookay," I cut in, more than ready for a topic change, "mind just telling me what your texts were about?"
"Well, let's see," and Aaliyah began to speak as those she were ticking items off a grocery list, "Some people applied to be your assistant, I turned most of them down, I found the best candidate, and may also have found your future wife. Also Kamala and Alex are an item, but it's secret, and we're not allowed to tell anyone."
"But you just-"
"Anyone Aaron. It's a matter of national security."
"It's probably not, but we'll leave that alone for a minute. I actually might have found my own candidate for the assistant position..." I trailed off slowly and prepared my "wincing eyes," for Aaliyah's reaction.
"You... you did what?" asked Aaliyah, sounding hurt.
"A girl called me about the position and I promised her an interview."
"Ooooooh, a girl?! What's her name? Is she pretty?! What does she like to wear?!? And most importantly, does she like the Beach Boys?!?"
"I don't... I mean... she called so..."
"I don't want to tell you how to live your life Aaron," she started, which I'd later have a private chuckle over considering that seemed to be her life's mission at this point. "But my candidate is not only gorgeous, but she's also swedish. And I do mean gorgeous, like ten out of-... weelllll maybe nine out of ten gorgeous."
"I'm gonna have to stop you there Aar-on," cut in Aaliyah. "The ice queen summons me, and I must heed her call. Speaking of calls, how did your candidate get your phone number? It wasn't on the ad I posted and- Alright your highness, I'm on my way. Sheesh-"