As he made his way out of the building after winning Best Screenplay, Bill Lawson was still being hounded by the press, chasing comments and photos. Through his prescription Ray Ban sunglasses and through the crowd Bill spotted a short, plump lady with the most beautiful face he had ever seen. His sunglasses prevented her from knowing that he was staring at her.

The woman was simply standing there holding out a business card atnd not jostling for a position. Bill made his way towards her and took the card. He paused as he looked at it. It read ‘Cheryl Maynard, Journalist,’ and her phone number. He looked at her & said “I may be seeing you later Cheryl.”

When Bill returned to his hotel he changed into a t-shirt & jeans then ordered a cab to take him home. Bill was very much a homebody & didn’t go much on Hollywood or accolades in general. He was actually better known as a beat poet and had won several awards so tonight was just another night for him.

He was also known for not giving interviews. He hadn’t given a single one. He was once heard saying to a fellow author, “Why should I give an interview? People are buying my books & getting the message. People are writing about it. Why waste my time talking to a half-baked journalist whose literary skills probably leave something to be desired?” He had a point.

He arrived home an hour latter and rang Cheryl Maynard who was still at the awards ceremony. “Mr Lawson?” she said. “When do you want to do the interview? Now? Certainly!” Bill gave her directions & Cheryl dropped everything. She arrived at Bills 45 minutes later. She was composed & ready.

Bill, still deliberately sporting his sunglasses, warmly invited Cheryl in. He invited her to take a seat as he made them a coffee.

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He produced an ashtray, put a cigarette into a short holder and lit it. He said to Cheryl, “I know you don’t mind me smoking. You smoke yourself.” Cheryl replied, “How do you know that?” Bill said, “Well apart from the fact you’ve just admitted it with that statement, you’re sitting with you legs crossed, left elbow resting on your leg &your  left hand is in the air as if holding a cigarette. You also have very slight nicotine stains on the fingers of your left hand.”

Cheryl was impressed. “You should be a detective Mr. Lawson.” Bill replied, “None of this Mr. Lawson business. Bill will do. As for being a detective, that would mean danger. I’m out.” Cheryl rolled back on the couch laughing then lit a cigarette, holding it in her left hand.

Bill went on to point out that Cheryl was ambidextrous. Cheryl said she was but asked how he knew. You’re drinking your coffee with your right hand & you have slight pressure points from writing on your right fingers.

The pair spent an hour chatting, mainly laughing about  how fake the industry was. By this time the Sun was up.

Cheryl then produced a digital tape recorder and sat it on the table. She asked Bill if anything was off limits. Bill said, “Not that I can think of. If I hit a stumbling block I just won’t speak & shake my head. You can edit it out.”

The interview went for 2 hours. Bill thought it went well. Cheryl asked all the right questions & covered his work as a poet in depth as well. What he didn’t know was that Cheryl had the scoop of the decade sitting in front of her in real life & time.

When they had finished Cheryl asked if a photo would be okay. Bill agreed. Cheryl asked if he would mind putting the cigarette out. Bill did mind. “They’re either going to print it  or they’re not,” he said. Cheryl took the photograph.

As Cheryl was about to leave, Bill took his sunglasses off. Cheryl melted & Bill knew it. He invited her for a coffee the next day. “How about  I bring the morning edition around?” said Cheryl, her voice shaking. “Hot off the press. 7am.” Bill said, “Sure,” as he was normally up at 5am anyway.

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Cheryl arrived right on time. Bill hadn’t slept. He was too nervous about seeing Cheryl again. He invited Cheryl in who promptly put the paper on the floor, lay down next to it & began rifling through it. As Bill waited for the kettle to boil Cheryl yelled, “Here we are!” Bill made his way to the newspaper & lay across the paper from Cheryl. She had secured Bill a 2 page spread in the ‘Arts’ section. They both read the lengthy article word for word then Bill laughed. “They printed the photo,” laughed Bill. Cheryl said, “This article is a scoop, Bill. It’s a big deal.” Bill asked why. Cheryl said, “You don’t do interviews.” Bill nodded, “I guess.” Cheryl asked Bill if he was happy with the piece. Bill was quietly delighted.

He then asked Cheryl if she would interview him again. Cheryl was taken aback and said, “Of course, Bill. What about  though?” Bill said that he wanted to talk about the resurgence in beat poetry. It was  actually just an excuse to see Cheryl again. Cheryl was a step ahead of him. “How about we do it as a series?” Bill replied, “Great idea. You’ve got that much pulling power?” Cheryl joked, “If you read the papers you’d know how much pulling power I’ve got. I only deal with the best.” Bill said, “What about  me?” Cheryl said, “You’re a big deal, Bill.”

As Cheryl left she turned and went to shake Bills hand Bill held her shoulders and kissed her. Cheryl blushed. “Can we start the interviews tomorrow Bill?” she asked. Bill said, “Any time will do. Just turn up. I’ll be here.

As the series of interviews began they became more laughter-filled as they found out more about each other. Their farewell kiss soon became obligatory.

During one interview Bill moved over to the couch and sat close to Cheryl. She knew what was coming next. Bill leaned towards her & they kissed. It wasn’t long before they were going out to restaurants and became known in literary circles as a couple.

During one such outing Bill suggested that Cheryl move in with him. Cheryl almost choked on her chicken. “….but I’ll be coming and going at all hours,” said Cheryl. Bill replied that he was awake at all hours. 2 weeks later Cheryl moved in with Bill.

Bill continued his writing and Cheryl continued to review his material between her normal job.

 

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