No. 256

“Excuse me, are you Rick Collins?” asked a young girl holding a pen and paper in her outstretched hands.
“No,” said Rick Collins, letting the short reply hang uncomfortably between them.
“Oh,” said the girl. “Sorry.”
She walked away, leaving Collins alone with his assistant.
“Why do they always do that?” he asked.
“Want your autograph?” asked Stacy Williams while she scanned her phone.
“Bother me,” Collins clarified.
“Maybe because you’re a famous movie star? I don’t know,” said Williams sarcastically. “Why would they be interested in you?”
“Exactly,” said Collins sincerely.
Williams dropped her phone down and looked up at Collins. “Wow.”
“And do you know what, Stace?”
“My chocolate milk isn’t going to grab itself.”
Stacy was shocked at his statement. Something inside her snapped and she threw the phone at Collins. He barely caught it as she began to tell him off.
“Rick, I’ve put up with a lot over the years, but I think that’s it. You act like there’s nobody else but you in your life, and maybe today is the day you learn that there is. I quit. You can get your own milk, and deal with your own problems. And, you know what? Maybe sign an autograph or two for some kids. It couldn’t possibly hurt you.”
She stormed off, leaving Collins with his phone, which was now buzzing with several urgent reminders. He stared at it blankly. This was Stacy’s job. He felt a sharp crush of fear in his belly.
Alone was scary.