Los Angeles, California 2020

Los Angeles, California 2020

December 9th, 2020 – Wednesday: 10:00 AM

WHAM! “Get UP GARY!” WHAM! “Come on Gary you have to read this with me!” WHAM! Constance Mallic Could not believe Gary was not up yet! Sure, they had been fighting about how much time he had been working to get them through their first film project! She was trying to make it up to him.

Brandon had finally gotten sick of her accusing Gary of hogging overtime, and he laid out the ledger and work hours of every person on set. Gary, filled in for 99% of every single injury during the filming, his only request was the sick person got their pay! During that time his workload never suffered! He even found time to print one of the gophers a simple 3-D prosthetic leg out of his own pocket! He only asked one thing of this person. Keep him on schedule no matter how long and taxing it was. Constance had called bullshit and Brandon had her talk with Novia Nadez. When she saw the leg and it functioned, pretty well even by her standards! She and Novia sat down and Constance considered, for the first time, if she had maybe, possibly, misjudged Gary.

Then she found out from another person he had helped to get their pay while they were sick and nearly missed their rent! That Gary had only worked this hard to not let Constance and Brandon down for their faith in giving him a second chance. She decided she needed to see for herself if this man was even real. She then made it her mission to watch Gary for a week and she was exhausted by the end of it. 16 to 18 hour days, four restroom breaks, 15 minute work out every single morning, and he only ate lunch while continuing to work! Despite the obvious fatigue this was causing him he kept at it with a single-minded determination. Eventually, while watching him, she started to notice his scars. One day she had asked him if he’d been hurt and he said no. The following day and every day afterwards he wore long sleeve shirts. He would not make eye contact with her and always deferred to her when she spoke. One day, she saw Novia give Brandon an electronic device of some kind. When she cornered her about it she found out Novia had asked him out for coffee and Gary had replied, “As long as it’s coffee and I am buying then fine, it can’t be anything else, you see I’m broken and not capable of such endeavors.” Was his goal to make everyone pity him?

She knew Brandon had done some digging and remembered that Gary had not lied about surviving Gramercy Penitentiary, or as it was commonly called, the Devil’s Rock. Constance could not reconcile the caring, give you the shirt off his back, workaholic that everyone saw him as with someone that could survive Gramercy! He even refused her previous attempts at accolades always citing that it was his team(s) that made him look good.

Now, ROBOT SWORDS – The Last Spark of Hope, had been out since last Saturday and the reviews and box office sales were off the chart! Nerdist, and a number of other geek related websites began to tout the more scientific approach to the practical and digital effects working in tandem. She knew this was Gary’s direct influence on set design, props, and the rules of the world being based in more hardcore science than sci-fi. Two hours ago Brandon got the call that the studio just green lit the sequel! With the next budget they would be able to double the workforce! They had worked very hard to help the sub-district of Norwood from Century Station. Their entire workforce had come from there. It wasn’t much, but any little bit helped. And now, thanks to Gary, they were on budget and able to double their staff!

This morning Brandon told her after the call they needed to thank him, especially since they had missed his birthday! This was when Constance finally felt horrible for how she had been considering him. She had been so cold and mean to him this whole time and why? Because she had never met someone who could be so selfless? She realized what she had felt as pity initially was something else entirely. As she came to this realization Brandon suggested they invite him out for a party. Constance told him to make the arrangements and she would go and let him know! WHAM! “Get UP GARY!” WHAM! “Gary, please be in there! WHAM! YOU’RE NOT GOING BELIEVE THE GREAT NEWS!” WHAM!

Suddenly a bolt latch moved and the door to his room creaked open. There in all 5’8″ stood Gary, Garrick, nearly naked except for his blue boxer briefs! She now had full view of every single scar on his body given they were the same height! He raised his arm rubs one of his eyes and muttered, “Brandon, it’s taken three days but I’ve scrubbed every reference you can find of Constance using that stage name for her Playboy shoot. No one other than the three of us will ever know that’s how she came up with her share of the seed money. I could really use some sleep. Can this wait?” Constance blinked, Brandon trusted him with this information and Garrick had been up for 72 hours scrubbing away any reference to her! She pushed him inside the room and shut the door!

“Gary, err Garrick why did you do that for me?”

“Con, Consta, Constance! Oh god! I’ve been up so long I’m hallucinating,” before she can do or say anything Gary hauls back and punches himself so hard he lands into the room door slumping to the floor! Constance steps back and turns to see three 1U servers stacked on a table with a monitor and keyboard resting on top of them. The screen is showing various terminal windows with completed scripts echoing success and 100% results. He had started this on his birthday and at Brandon’s request?

[RING]

“Yeah, Constance, what’s up?”

“I’m in Gary’s room, he’s finished scrubbing the Playboy references to my pseudonym, and thought he was hallucinating me and punched himself out!”

“On my way.”

[CLICK]

When Garrick began to come to Brandon and Constance were arguing about how many hours someone worked. Where was he? Why did his jaw hurt? When he asked them to shut up because they were being loud. Constance turned and rushed over to him on the bed making sure he was comfy, had water and some pain killers, and was saying a bunch of nice things. She never said nice things to him. Brandon stood there and just told him he had fallen over trying to answer the door, and thanking him for the Playboy favor. When Brandon asked him why he stayed up and started on his birthday Garrick said there was nothing he’d not do to help the two people that believed in him enough for a second chance. Never once had she heard him say a cross word about her in all the time she’d known him. They were all a success in large part because of his workaholic efforts! Even now he was just grateful for what Constance thought was fate pushing all of them together.

Brandon explained the good news realizing Constance was now fawning over Gary. Whenever Gary looked at Constance it was eye contact only, and a bit of confusion as to her change in demeanor. When Brandon brought up going out to celebrate at a place called the Saki Bar the other two thought it was a great idea! Brandon nearly had to drag Constance out of the room so Gary could get some sleep for the big night. In the hallway Brandon mentioned he needed her to try and get all the crew still in town there because he wanted to make it a surprise birthday party as well. Constance beamed and headed off right away to wrangle the guest list as Brandon called to reserve the whole place.

December 10th, 2020 – Thursday: 1:30 AM

The last six hours had been an amazing party, the Norwood crew still in town, directors, voice actors, various celebrities and producers all showed up to the party and were astounded that “Gary” made sure everyone knew the following. Any gifts given would be be distributed between orphanages in Los Angeles, Mission City, and Century Station. Twice they had to stop him from trying to serve people at the party. Everyone loved his answer that his father always said good manners breeds a gentleman. Each time he’d tip the wait staff a $100 bill and apologize. Traditional and Japanese fusion cuisine flowed alongside the Saki the bar was named for. 20 different brands were publicly available and Brandon had paid for access to their private stock for the three of them. About 1:20AM they realized it was finally just them and the manager whom was in the back room.

Gary and Constance were slow dancing because they were drunk and Constance realized he had only allowed this because he was drunk. Sober Gary was exceedingly polite but he seemed to tense up when women got to close. Drunk Gary was vivacious, honest to a fault, and his inhibitions were almost all gone. Drunk Gary was so much fun many people at the party asked if he could keep drinking all the time? He told jokes, did karaoke rap better than anyone would have believed, and made sure everyone was having a great time!

“Gary?”

“Yeah Constance.”

“Do you wanna go out.”

“Sure, let me find my phone though, I’ll call an Uber driver.”

“No dummy, do you want to go out on a date with me?”

“Constance I am going to treasure this moment and burn it into my brain. Because as long as your my boss I can’t it’s unethical for one. For two, you’re so goddamn hot and out of my league I would get trespassed just for trying to send you email!”

“Then you’re fired, so you wanna go out?”

“You’re hired back don’t listen to her Gary.”

Gary gave Brandon a thumbs up while Constance called him a cockblock and gave him the middle finger. Looking back at Gary, “I bet you I can get you to go out with me on a dinner date.”

“Doubt it, but you’re on sexy.”

“Okay if I win you have to bring me Chrysanthemum flowers. Dress nice because its a date.”

“And if I win I just get to be lonely, well shit.”

Constance grinned, “I’ll accept your surrender any time.”

“Raincheck then, maybe someday.”

Constance nodded, “Raincheck.”

Brandon was snoring on his table.


Art by: AZ_Artisan
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5 Replies to “Los Angeles, California 2020”

        1. Garrick only believes in pain. Pain tells you that you’re still alive. Pain tells you if something you’re doing is wrong. Understanding what pain is trying to tell you can be hard, but at this point in his life it has been 100% truthful.

          The moment in question he thought he’d wake up from the hallucination by punching himself. After 72 hours awake he misjudged and his body decided it must be sleepy time.

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