I tried to keep busy in between job applications. Exercise was good for both me and Primrose–and helped with the anxiety.
If only our usual walking itinerary didn’t take us right past a certain shop…
I was always tempted to peek inside. I wished I could resist the urge…but more often than not, I couldn’t.
The flowers were so beautiful. No wonder he liked them so much.
Dogs probably weren’t allowed inside, not with all the plants that could be harmful to pets…and the pets that could be harmful to plants. And Mr. Landon had always told me not to bother him while he was working, back when I was little.
So I never bothered him…
It was better that way. He probably never even noticed when Primrose and I passed by…
And then two good things happened: I had a job interview to prepare for, and Mom and Dad came to visit.
Dad said he was using this vacation as an opportunity for a “father-son camping trip” and I helped him set everything up–or tried to, until we had to call Mom and Dru to make the tents stand up straight.
Dad even brought a smaller one for Fozzie, along with a tiny trash can for him to knock over and eat out of.
Fozzie liked to wake Dad up in the morning with his raccoon noises…
But Dad always looked happy to see the raccoon-y face of his raccoon son.
And I was happy to see the vampire-y face of my vampire dad, too.
I needed that face. Especially since I was interviewing for a makeup artist job on the set of a vampire show, and there would probably be a lot of sun-starved actors with pale complexions.
Dad squirmed a lot less than Dru did when I practiced on him. It helped that I gave him a tablet to keep him distracted while I worked.
The mascara turned out a little clumpy, and I might try a subtler blush next time, but…I worked with what I had.
“So how’d my face do, kiddo?”
“I couldn’t ask for a manlier canvas,” I said. “It’s my makeup skills that need more work. If there’s a practical skills test during the interview…some people go to school for this, Dad.” Art school wasn’t the same as a specialized makeup artistry education, and everything was so competitive in Starlight Shores–not just for the stars, but for everyone who kept big productions running.
“I believe in my little girl.”
But I wasn’t a little girl anymore. I wanted Mr. Landon to know that too…I was an adult who could take care of herself and do things on her own. Dad never called Dru his “little girl.” Dru could do anything she set her mind to. She didn’t rely on anyone’s help.
“Hey, everything okay? Got bats in your stomach? Your mom has all the human medicine, but she’s right next door…”
“I’m fine.” My interview was that same day, but I needed to squeeze in all the practice I could before I left. “Hey Dad…what do you love about Mom?” She was tough like Dru. Was that what older men liked?
Dad didn’t hesitate. “Her bite-sized jubblies.”
“But I loved them when she was pregnant with you and Dru too, you know?”
“I can’t imagine my unlife without her. I’d be lost without your mom.”
It was hard to compare my feelings for Mr. Landon to Dad’s feelings for Mom when they’d been together for years, and I’d never been with Mr. Landon at all. It was just a dull ache when I thought of him. I didn’t even know how he felt about jubblies one way or another, but I hoped he liked smaller ones too.
“Don’t you worry about being so much older than her? You’re over three hundred…”
“Not one bit. She still looks as young as the night I saw her in a dimly lit club and mistook her for a boy…”
Dad liked to exaggerate a lot, but I could believe it. When I’d gone to a Starlight Shores restaurant with her earlier in the week, everyone kept mistaking us for sisters, and not in the fake way servers tried when they wanted better tips. It was kind of strange…
And then I was distracted by a knock at the door. “Speak of the jubblies,” Dad said.
“Reporting for duty,” Mom said after I let her in. “Me and Primrose will keep your dad out of trouble while you’re at your big interview. No promises about that damn raccoon though.”
Dad sank into an ottoman and looked up at her. “Hey, that’s your son you’re talking about.”
“My name’s not on the adoption certificate.” She sat down and took in the sight of Dad’s makeup job. “Huh. Better you than me.”
Just my luck that the women in my family outnumbered the men three to one, but I was the only one who liked wearing makeup.
But if I got a job as a makeup artist, I’d never run out of volunteers.
I wasn’t sure if I should try to change my own look much for the interview. At art school, so many of the other students had such bold, unique styles. Some of them teased me for my “basic Barbie” look, but I liked pink, flowers, and pastels.
Deep breaths. I could do this. I could get this job and make it as a makeup artist in Starlight Shores…
If I didn’t show up to the wardrobe department instead of the makeup one, at least…
Deep breaths, Lyanna. Walk tall.
The woman interviewing me wasn’t dressed outrageously or anything either…and she liked my earrings.
I could see myself working in a place like this, helping beautiful, talented people be beautiful and talented.
And in the end, my relative inexperience wasn’t an issue at all. The show I was being hired for was a “very low-budget production” and all the popular, experienced makeup artists had been scooped up for the taping of other pilots.
I got the job.
Now my twin and I were both gainfully employed in Starlight Shores. Dru would be so proud of me.
And maybe Mr. Landon would respect me a little more, but that was just the icing on the (pastel pink) cupcake…