I laid back, naked, staring at the ceiling in exhaustion.
“That was incredible,” she said, wrapping the sheet around her.
“I’m glad you thought so, Charlize Theron. You can leave the money on the dresser.”
“Five thousand, right?” She said, pulling a wad of bills from her purse. Did acting pay that well?
“Same as last time.”
She unfolded a stack of bills and gave me a hungry look.
“Same time Monday?”
“I don’t know, Charlize.” I took a drag on my cigarette. “I’ll have to check my schedule.”
The door burst open. John flung himself into the room.
“Dave!” He turned. “Oh. I’m sorry, Charlize Theron. I didn’t realize you had an appointment.”
“She’s finished,” I said, nodding toward the money on the dresser. “You were just leaving, weren’t you Charlize?”
John thrust an object toward me. It was a paperback novel.
“Look at that.”
“What is it?”
His eyes blazed, like a magician ready to unveil a new trick to an audience while his eyes were on fire.
He had a page marked with a folded slip of paper. I turned the paperback over in my hand. I looked at the cover…nothing remarkable. Then I opened to the page he had marked, and read a highlighted passage. I froze.
This… this can’t be real.
“This has our names in it, John.”
“But… the scene they’re depicting here in the book… this really happened. Only nobody else was present when this happened. No one could have known.”
“So what do you think it means?”
“I think it means we’re living a novel. This novel.”
I turned the book over in my hand and studied the cover:
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, by Ann Brashares. I glanced over at the chair at the foot of the bed. At my pants.
Charlize Theron began screaming.