Karen's POV Saturday Evening

Seating on a bench at a park, I am numb. I have exactly three hundred and fifty six dollars to my name, two suit cases, and no place to spend the night. Think about priorities: I need to find a place to stay for the next two days, I need food, and I need to remain a walking distance from my Monday meeting. I stayed at the park for nearly two hours lost in thought when I noticed it was getting dark. I need to focus and get it together. I walk north towards a gas station and I stop to ask for directions to the nearest motel available in the area. My room was not the greatest but it will have to do for the next two days.

I got in the shower and I let the water hit my tired body. I let myself cry for the first time in two days, sobbing for my broken life, for my only chance at love that I threw away. It does not matter that phase of my life is over and I need to keep moving forward. I promised myself that I will not go back to Iowa.


Derek's POV

We have been searching for Karen through the streets of Boston and we agreed to meet back at the theatre to regroup at 6PM. I have the strangest feeling in the pit of my stomach like I'm going to be sick. I pace back and forth until everyone got back on time. Eileen finally showed up after calling her for hours with a cynical smile on her face. Eileen urged for us to gather close and listen to her.

"Hello everyone, I would like to announce that I have wonderful news. I have fired Karen Cartwright and in her place I am hiring a Star." Eileen almost seemed happy, like she enjoyed racking havoc through our company. People were shocked and speechless and did not dare to move. First it was Michael who was fired for his bloody behavior and now Karen, all in the last 24 hours.

I recovered my voice and could not stand for it "Are you mad? You just fired the bloody leads to your show… How do you expect us to be ready in 6 weeks for Broadway without Marilyn and a Joe Dimaggio?"

"Derek, calm down... We can have Ivy fill in for Marilyn until I hire a new star and I'm sure one of those dancers would jump at a chance to be Joe Dimaggio. It will only be for a few weeks. You will see."

"Are you going to fire Tom and Julia too if they do not produce the songs you want? And me if you do not like the choreography?" I am shouting now but I do not care.

"Derek, don't be unreasonable. You know that it had to be done… If anyone does not like it they can leave the show too." Eileen scans the cast's faces. They are all avoiding looking directly in the eyes.

"Did you forget that Ivy is in rehab for that stunt she pulled? What? Are you checking her out too, so that she can play that part?" I am spitting sarcasm. " I will not stand for this foolishness." I am merely inches away from her face.

"Neither will I Derek. If you are not willing to work with me then leave... I expected loyalty out of you for the many years we have work together. I guess you are a part of them now. Those people who believe that I cannot make it on my own." Eileen stormed out.

The cast and crew look confused and unsure what to do. "Pack everything and let's get out of this horrible city." I cannot allow them to see me weak, to feel hurt for her betrayal, and lost without the woman of my dreams.

"Derek, where are you going? We need to do something about this…" Julia asked with concern in her eyes. "I'm going to drown my anger before I do something stupid," I cut her off.


Jessica's POV

Derek left the theatre so fast that I couldn't tell him I got a text from Karen. At least I know she is ok, but I have a feeling things are about to turn out so very wrong for our show.

"I got a text from Iowa" I blurt out, quickly earning the attention of Sue and Bobby. "Did she say where she went? Is she ok?" Bobby frantically asked. "All I know is that she is safe and that she will call when she can." Exasperated we go to work packing the show so that we can get out of here. No one else utter a word in fear that things will get worse.

Little did they know that things were only getting started.


Karen's POV

I have two hours to kill before my meeting. I'm starved so I head towards a small diner two blocks down from my motel. I need to get things figured out… My family and friends have no idea where I am but I cannot tell them that I'm a failure, I have no money, and depending on the outcome of today; I have to start making decisions. I arrived at the diner and I sit at a stool on the bar. A short elderly African American woman in her sixties approaches me and asks me, "What can I do for you darling?"

" What can I get with five dollars?" She looks at me with a smile. "How about a cup of coffee and slice of apple pie?" "That would be great…" She smiles in approval, "I'm being rude darling, my name is Ruth Parker and this Diner has been in the family since 1962." I shook her hand "Karen, Karen Cartwright." "What brings you to Los Angeles, California?" She looked concerned. "Well it's a long story, but I guess I'm here to figure out what my next move should be. I have a contact who told me to come out and see about a possible job if things didn't work out back home. I just don't know though…" I take a deep breath trying to calm my nerves. A couple walks in and sits at a booth. "Darling, I will grab their order and be right back."

A while later she returns and sits next to me. "Karen, the way I see it, you need to go after what you want in life and seize the moment." She is right… I look up and see time. "Ruth, I have to go. Thank you for listening to me. I really appreciate it". I reach inside my wallet and pull out a five dollar bill. Ruth shakes her head. "Darling, it's on the house. Come back some other time so we can talk." I quickly grab my things and head out.

I need to get to Sunset Boulevard in 45 minutes and I have plenty of time. While walking to my meeting I drink in the life and beauty in this busy city; people drive by, music feeling the air, I hear laughter as kids get on a school bus. I now realize that I miss New York the more.

As I walk in the building I quickly find the receptionist. "Name please?" she asks while placing a call on hold. "Karen, Karen Cartwright. I have an appointment at 9:30AM." She searches for my name and quickly finds it.

"Mr. Bobby Raskin is running 10 minutes late but he should be in shortly. If you would have a seat, one of his assistants should come grab you as soon as he is ready for you."


Derek's POV

I just returned to New York and I have no idea what to do. I need to see Karen as soon as possible to tell her how I feel, that it was not my fault, and how truly sorry I was for Eileen's crazy decision. Going against my better judgment I grab my keys and go straight to Karen's apartment. I knock on the door and I hear shuffling of feet. Dev answers the door and I feel sick.

"Derek, what do you want? " from behind I see the so called female co-worker coming to find out who is at the door and my blood is boiling. "So it was true. You slept with Ivy the same night you proposed to Karen. Does that woman know what you did?" "You are a piece of work. Who in their better judgment would cheat on Karen."

"I'm not any better than you Mister Director. I know about that late casting couch meeting. Oops…"

"I'm ashamed of that, and I apologized to her for that. But she did not deserve this from you. I take it she is not here if that woman is in there."

The woman comes to the door. "That woman has a name. RJ Quigley nice to meet you," she extends her hand. I just stare at her willing for her to disappear.

"No, she is not here. All her things were moved into storage 6 weeks ago upon her request. What happened?"

"Karen is missing." I take a deep breath trying to calm down. "Have you tried calling her parents?" "No, I don't have their number. Would you please give it to me?" I run my hand through my hair waiting impatiently. I take the number and turn to leave.

"Derek, for the record I do not blame you for our break up, it was my entire fault. I just hope you find her and let her know how you feel."

"Thank you, I think."

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