SOH – Part One

[August 2032]

Cleo: You’re logged on, right?

She asks her husband via ALL-USE DEVICE.

She giggles nervously when he proclaims to be recording the interview.

She blurts out−

Cleo: No, you’re not!

Then considering who her husband is, she questions−

Cleo: Are you? Really?

Sincerely, she begs−

Cleo: Please don’t.

Very supportively, her husband claims she’ll thank him later, that she’ll be fantastic on Blu Sun’s show, and that he loves her, which only makes her face illuminate from happiness. Warmly, she professes the same devotion back.

Producer: Ms. Swan, Blu is ready for you.

Cleo hangs up with her husband and tucks her AUD into her side bra pocket, by reaching down the collar of her pastel green blouse.

Roscoe, the hairdresser, and Ida, the make-up artist, walk with her as she follows the producer to the wing where she needs to be. Roscoe re-primps her hair, making sure her ginger brown locks rest perfectly on her petite shoulders. Ida touches up Cleo’s blush to assure Cleo is Smart Camera ready. Though Smart Cameras have built in tech to hide natural blemishes and flaws, it helps to have make-up done right.

Roscoe: Break a leg, Cleo!

He encourages Cleo with a very effeminate tone.

Cleo: Thanks, Roscoe.

Cleo smiles even though she senses she could have done a better job herself in the dark by the way her hair feels. Ida, a very tough, emo make-up artist, just walks off in silence once Cleo stops where the producer led her.

The Blu Sun Show, is the #1 live-streaming talk show across the globe… Believe it or not, people watch Blu in the middle of the night on the other side of the world.

On a simple black soundstage, before a live audience, rests a curved, light pink sofa. Dressed in a sun colored zoot-suit with a black shirt, black shoes, and suit matching tie, a tall, tan man, publicly known as Blu Sun, stands in front of the solo sofa on stage. His Elvis Presley inspired hair, the vibrant color a deep shiny blue, and his wide dreamy eyes, the exuberant shade of green. His posture is poised with an ambience of arrogance and his facial features are quite bird-like, with his pointy nose, wide-far-spaced-eyes, and small chin. He is like a human peacock. Oddly enough though, he isn’t ugly… just certainly unique.

Blu: I’m so excited to welcome our special guest for today, the Swan of Hollywood peoples is here to discuss her new film “Blue Mountain”, directed and written by Bianca Monica, this movie has an amazing cast− Chris Pratt, Scarlett Johansson, Cleo Swan, Jesse Pickering, and Jon Keats. Let’s give a heated welcome to−

He yells−

Blu: CLEO SWAN!

As the crowd erupts with cheer, Cleo walks out to join Blu onstage. Awkwardly, he quickly hugs her. She can tell he doesn’t want to hug her because he doesn’t really like her. Actually, he doesn’t like the Holy Spirit inside of her, but sometimes it feels like she repels people instead of God in her pricking people. In her mind, she prays for Blu’s salvation. Ending the embrace, they sit together on the lumpy, rock-like sofa.

Blu: First things first! How is that beautiful baby at home?

Cleo: Good- really good.

She laughs nervously.

Blu: I believe we got a pic of him, what is he, four months now?

Panic rises in Cleo’s heart. How did the show get a pic of her son? Her husband isn’t going to be very happy, and neither is she! A hologram image pops up before them, between them and the audience. Unable to stop laughing hysterically, Cleo loves that they photo-shopped Jensen Ackles’ head on a chubby, white baby in a cloth diaper.

Cleo: That’s so funny!

The intensity of her laughter has brought subtle tears to her eyes. Wiping her eyes, she confesses−

Cleo: When I was 17, I loved him! Actually, I think I had the biggest crush on him until I met my husband. But really, this is adorable.

[July 2018]

Cleo might be a little jealous… Bianca went away to college, just doing what God asked her to do, and met Mr. Right like the first day she started classes. And their story couldn’t be sweeter. 

First, they became really good friends, only hanging out with other mutual friends in public settings. Then, the following year, after working on a music class assignment together, Paul (that’s not his first name, but that’s what everyone calls him), asked her out on a legit date, after calling both of her parents to ask if he could court her. Of course, they went on dates, but never alone, they always had someone around to be held accountable. From the beginning of their courtship, they took pre-marital counseling to develop a healthy relationship from the start. Six months later, he proposed in the parking lot after a TobyMac concert. He was going to wait until later, but he never wanted to forget that concert.

Another six months later, they said, “I Do” to each other. Pastor Wellington, Paul’s dad’s best friend, even added in the joke instead of “Til Death Do You Part” he said “Til Rapture When You Ascend”! All the guests busted up laughing.

During the ceremony, they had everyone engage in worship, never had Cleo felt the presence of God stronger in her life! By far, the cutest part was when they were finally married, and the Pastor said, “You may kiss the Bride,” because everyone knew it was their first kiss. However, watching them kiss, you’d never know they’ve never kissed each other. They either have fantastic chemistry, or they’re lying.

At the reception, Cleo wasn’t stuck at the singles table, because she brought a date, Caleb Reed. Bianca kept glaring at them from the Wedding Party Table during dinner. Cleo knew Big Sis wasn’t happy, but hey, Caleb Reed was better company than Mark Santos, not that Mark wasn’t a great boyfriend… He was kind, funny, great butt, and everywhere he went people loved him… But him and Cleo were like water and oil, the two ingredients didn’t mix well.

And Caleb was different now. His faith in the Lord was on solid ground and he and Cleo always talked about Jesus and the Bible, way more than they ever had in the past. And being with him felt so natural… 

Paul randomly came over and interrupted Caleb talking about his take on the 144,000 in Revelation with the table. The first dance between husband and wife already occurred. Bianca ’s best friend, Brooke, sang Made by Dara McClean as they actually waltzed together. It was gorgeous, and made all the sensitive people ball with joy. The dance floor was open for everyone now, but Cleo wasn’t feeling the dancing, especially because it made her think of Mark. When they were alone, sometimes he’d act all crazy, trying to rap and Cleo would bust out her gangster moves… Then of course, like all other moments when it was just the two of them, the hip-hop dance party would end in a make-out session.

“Excuse me, Cleo, but my beautiful Bride demands I have one dance with you, so… may I have this dance?” Paul asked, holding out his hand.

Caleb commented, “Well, she hasn’t danced with me yet, so good luck with that.”

Ooo! Caleb Reed was still Caleb Reed at times…

From across the reception hall, Bianca chatted with some friends from Tucson, but out of the corner of her eye she glared at Cleo and Paul. Cleo had a feeling she shouldn’t say no.

“Okay,” Cleo hummed, taking Paul’s hand.

The astonishment on Caleb’s face was worth saying yes, he knew Paul didn’t have a chance, for obvious reasons, but he was jealous.

On the dance floor, dancing to Britt Nicole’s Amazing Life, Cleo accidentally backed into another dancer. She turned around to apologize, ready to place all the blame on Paul, when she noticed that dancer was the best man, Rafael Alvarez. He was about 6’2” with olive skin, maroon-brown hair, and golden-green eyes. As a slender man, he still looked like a teenager, even though he was a couple years older than Cleo. She knew that because Bianca couldn’t stop talking about Rafael a couple days ago, when she picked Cleo and Caleb up from the airport. As the Youth Minister at the church all three of them attend, at least ten people came to Christ at a time when he preached among a young crowd. Bianca admitted that could be an exaggeration but it seemed that way.

“I’m so sorry!” Cleo blurted out.

“It’s okay…” He said. “I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but you don’t have to apologize for accidents. They just happen.”

For some reason, Cleo’s heart just melted into her stomach. He was the gentleman Bianca declared. And the love of Christ oozed out of his glossy eyes. She couldn’t explain it, but deep down in her spirit she could sense her and this Rafael were connected.

“Excuse me… I can see the wife calling me over with her eyes.” Paul said as he walked off the dance floor.

“I was just dancing by myself… we could dance together, if you want to…” Rafael suggested.

“Or we could go grab some more cake and talk about what a terrible dancer you are?” Cleo’s heart fluttered as she hoped for him to agree with her flirty idea.

“Okay… I do love gluten free, rice tasting cake.” He smiled, flashing his mesmerizing cheek dimples. 

In sync, they chuckled out of randomness. They exited the dance floor, and headed for the cake. Cleo looked over her shoulder and saw Bianca and Paul standing side by side, totally satisfied a good plan worked out.

To be continued…


*Edited by Kristen Wenneborg

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