Thursday, September 14, 2006
CHAPTER FOURTEEN - HEART'S DESIRE
March 19, 2005
Los Angeles, CA
Jennifer smiled up at Brad as they walked slowly through a near deserted park. It was early afternoon, midweek and the park was oddly empty. It helped that they were half a city away from the usual Tinsel town hot spots. “Thank you for the movie.” For all their harsh words over the past few weeks, things seemed to have calmed down. They were now able to spend a few moments together without going for the jugular. “This was a surprise. Especially since you left before I arrived at ShoWest. I thought that you would at least stick around to see me accept my award.”
Brad glanced down at his estranged wife. He wasn’t really in the mood for small talk and he didn’t want to lead her down that path. But he also had her feelings to consider. They had always been friends and he didn’t want to destroy that. “Well, in light of everything that has been going on, I thought that it would be better if our paths didn’t cross.” he stopped walking and led Jennifer over to an available park bench.
“Hmm…probably didn’t help that you were with her…”
The warning came quickly “Jen…”
“I know…I’m not trying to start anything. I’m just saying that it would have…probably been real uncomfortable, that’s all.” Jennifer gave Brad her best ‘girl next door’ smile, her lawyer who had no desire to go up against Brad and his legal powerhouse had warned her against antagonizing Brad. “So what do you really want, Brad?”
He stared at the woman who had been part of his life for the last seven years and wondered how they had come to this moment. As he stared at Jennifer he waited for the rush of regret and old feelings to arise, but he felt only relief at what he was about to ask. Waiting no longer he spoke slowly and clearly. “I want you to file for a divorce.”
The request gave Jennifer pause. She’d known they were coming to this but it still took her breath away. “I know…we discussed this already.”
Brad shook his head. “No. I want you…I need you to file now, not summer.”
“Oh.” She felt as though her world was beginning to sink. He was…had been her life preserver. Who would help her now? “May I ask why?”
“I just don’t think that anything can be served by dragging this out. We both agreed to this last year.” Brad answered softly. He was still waiting for the flood of overwhelming emotion…still nothing.
“That’s all? Nothing to do with…” She deserved the truth.
He knew she deserved the truth, but what was the truth? “If I say yes, does that change anything? If I say no what will the outcome be? The truth is whether or not Angelina is involved; we need to end this chapter. There’s simply nothing else to write.”
Jennifer’s laughed was a forced one. What could she say? “So seven years together is reduced to a book analogy? That’s so like you.”
“Jennifer, I don’t want to fight with you.” Brad stood up from the bench, glancing around to make sure that they were still relatively alone. “No, better yet, I’m not going to fight with you. I’m giving you the chance to file first. Appearances will be in your favor.”
“And if I decide not to, what then?” Jennifer stared up at him, waiting.
“Then to hell with appearances…that was for your benefit. I’ll file on my own.” He smiled down at her sadly, realizing that this was their final good bye. “Please, lets keep this friendly…please.”
That was it…they were over…he wanted her to file. So she would. “Fine I’ll file.”
”When?” He hated to push but he needed closure and so did she.
“I don’t know Brad! I do have a schedule to keep. I’ll be heading to Chicago to begin shooting my new movie.” She ran her fingers through her newly cut hair. “Don’t you have a schedule to keep these days?”
You’re right, I’m sorry. I’ll be at the Parker Palm Springs for the W shoot, this weekend.” He apologized.
“Okay.” She vaguely remembered him speaking about it last spring but she hadn’t really paid close attention to the details or his excitement about the project. Now it was here to slap her dead in the face. Him posing as a family man with ‘her’; that she did remember. “I’ll let you know.”
“Okay, I’ll call my family and give them a heads up. Good bye Jen.” He turned slowly and walked away. Two steps and it blind sided him. A very important time of his life was coming to a close. He would miss her. Brad blinked several times, but still the wetness found its way to his cheek. Swiping at the trail he pushed his sunglasses back into place and kept walking.
Jennifer watched him walk away, realizing that he wasn’t coming back. They were going in separate directions now…no longer walking the same path. Had they ever? She stood and walked in the opposite direction widening the already he void between them. Casting one last glance over her shoulder, she whispered. “Goodbye Brad.” Lifting her head proudly, she moved on.
March 21, 2006
Brad’s new Beachfront Estate
Brad listened to his mother’s voice on the other line as he watched the waves roll onto the sands of the private beach below. He loved his new home; it offered him the privacy that he wanted. “Mom, this is our decision. We talked it out. There is no working through it anymore. The decision is final.”
Jane didn’t know what to say. She felt as though her son was giving up without a fight. “Divorce isn’t always the answer Bradley.”
“Mom, it is for us. You guys are going to have to accept that Jennifer and I are not you and dad; that this is not a happily ever after story ending.”
Hearing the stubbornness in her firstborn’s voice, Jane stopped pushing. “Okay. I love very much Brad but I would be lying if I didn’t say just how disappointed I am in you and Jennifer. It’s your life, so I have to let you live it.”
“I know mom. I love you, tell dad and grandma I love them.” Brad ended the conversation and sat staring at the ocean. Why? Why couldn’t his parents just face the fact that he and Jennifer weren’t happy together, that they weren’t traveling the same path? His parents knew about the children issue and had tried to intervene but Jen had only gotten upset with him and the family. That should have been a hint for them. But his parents believed that all marriages were ‘death do you part’.
March 25, 2006
Los Angeles, CA
Parker Palm Springs Hotel
To readers: A funny bit of coincidence: I wrote this between March 25-26, 2006 exactly one year from the date of the photo shoot and Jennifer’s filing for divorce.
Steven Klein, shouted instructions over the set commotion. He called for touch ups on both his stars and decided to walk through the next series of shots. “Okay Brad…Angie, the next series of shots are progressive. Brad, Angie has just made a remark that you don’t like. You’re pissed. Throw down the shirt you’re packing and confront her. Angie you argue back until you realize that you’ve gone too far. I want you to turn and crawl across the bed away from Brad. Brad you stop her, grab her skirt…ankle, whatever just stop her. Angie, when he grabs you I want you to give him a look, fear…anger…lust all in one! Pull her towards you, flip her over…Angie, you’re still fighting him at this point. Brad you need to subdue her. Hold her down with one hand; I want you to dominate her. Let the domination turn into lust, still holding her with one hand allow the other to express how much you want her at that point.” He watch them take in his instructions/ “Got it?”
Both stars nodded and returned to the bedroom set.
Steven Klein couldn’t have been happier with the outcome. Brad’s idea for a ‘perfect on the outside, collapsing on the inside marriage’ pictorial was a brilliant one. Steven didn’t think that Brad could have chosen his wife better. Angelina Jolie was a gem; she remained in character throughout the entire day. Steven really believed that the two were married and that Angelina was truly a disillusioned housewife. Steven knew about the Brad’s marital woes and was impressed that despite the tabloid frenzy the actor had decided to complete the project. Looking at his watch he read the time; two-thirty “Alright let’s call it a day. I’ll see everyone back here tomorrow morning.”
Brad turned to Angelina; he was still feeling the effects of the last shoot. A man could only act so much. “So how do you think this is going to come out?”
Angelina smiled up at Brad, still trying to bring her breathing back to normal, the last series of shoots having taken their toll on her. “I think that I’m glad that I said yes. This was definitely a stroke of genius.”
“So how are you planning on spending the rest of the day? We still have a few hours of daylight left.” Brad walked with Angelina to the waiting cars, that would transport them back to the hotel.
“Well, I thought since Mad is spending this weekend with my mom, I might relax a bit…get some sun.”
Nodding Brad offered. “Maybe I’ll grab some rays myself.” Wiggling his perfect brows, he asked. “So could you use a little help with your suntan lotion?”
Giggling at the crazy expression, Angie agreed. “Sure, see you at the pool in half-hour…forty-five minutes.”
“Here let me.” Brad took the suntan lotion from Angelina, poured a small amount in the palm of his hand and applied it to her back. Her skin was so soft and warm. He knew that they were on center stage so he kept it as platonic as he could. But he still took his time massaging the lotion into her skin. Soon he would be free to massage her head to foot. Soon every inch of her would belong to him.
Angelina moaned as Brad’s strong hands worked the now warm lotion into her muscles. The man had wonderful hands…so capable. She always felt so safe when he was around. She knew she could count on him. Turning around she faced him, pouring a bit of lotion she began applying it to his bare chest, paying close attention to his famous six pack. She knew men twenty years younger whose bodies couldn’t touch Brad’s. He was a work of art and she couldn’t help but feel a bit territorial even though she wasn’t sure she had a right to be.
March 30-31, 2006
Los Angeles, CA
(Excerpts taken from June 2005 issue of GQ)
Don’t know if you’ve heard, but Brad Pitt is on his own again. (Doing just fine, thanks.) Yet as the eternally underestimated superstar confides to Lucy Kaylin, nothing-most of all, him- is ever what it seems.
Lucy seated herself on the couch facing a lit fireplace. She watched Brad move casually around the room, her eyes lighting upon his well manicured hands. His wedding band gone, but on the middle finger of his right hand was a large silver ring with a curious space where a gem would normally be – “the anti-ring ring. “Was that a gift?” Lucy nodded toward the ring.
“This one? Yes…from a friend actually.” Moving over to wrestle with a standing lamp, Brad effectively ended that avenue of questioning.
What friend Lucy wondered, but knew she’d get no more answers about it. It would remain a mystery. She decided to move on. “Have you talked to your family about the divorce?”
“Yeah, I have had the usual phone calls from my mother and grandmother. “ His voice raised an octave. “Son I’m disappointed in you. I’m angry with you, but whatever you do I’ll always love you.” He quoted his mother, thoroughly enjoying himself. “All my bitches are mad at me right now” He laughed not bothering to elaborate.
“There are a lot of rumors going around regarding the divorce.” Lucy paused before reeling off the rumors. “One rumor is that you wanted children and Jennifer did not.”
Brad shook his head. “That’s total bullshit.”
“There is also the Angelina Jolie factor.” Lucy offered up another rumor.
“And it’s pretty much still going that way, I hear.” Brad answered, unperturbed by the mention of that radioactive name.
Lucy laughs, glancing around she noticed a pile cash on the table that Pitt pulls from when delivery guys show up, usually bearing booze and food, like the platter of cheeses and prissily cut fruit now sitting next to the money. Over by the couch, there’s an open bag of jelly beans; by the door, a red motorcycle helmet. “Marriage can be a hard business.”
“But it’s fantastic,” Brad whispered, his eyes wide with delectation.
“Yeah but it can be a beast…”
“Anything worth anything is a beast,” he responded. “The thing I don’t understand is looking at this as a failure. It’s talked about like it failed, I guess because it wasn’t flawless. Me, I embrace the messiness of life. I find it so beautiful actually.”
“What about acting? Do you think that you’ll ever give up acting?” Lucy asked, her gaze memorizing every perfect angle of the only man to be voted ‘Sexiest man alive’ twice.
“I don’t think I’ll do it forever,” he rubbed his hands over his short buzz cut. “It’s a younger man’s game. I’ve got a few years left of a good run. And truthfully, I’m interested in other things now. Like family.”
“So we’ve heard. So what kind of father do you think you’ll make?”
Brad’s lips lifted into a whimsical smile. “I’ll be able to figure it out when I get there. I have great faith in that. I’m just really aware of the responsibility of putting your life second, and your job is to show this little one around the world.”
Lucy offered her own brand of reassurance. “I’m sure that you’ll have that family one day.”
“Oh I’m not worry that it’s not gonna happen. I’ll make it happen. You go make the things that you want.” Brad assured her.
“Would you consider adopting?”
“I don’t know how I can’t now, seeing what I have seen these past months. Yeah-it makes all the sense in the world to me. I’m going back in a couple of weeks. There are some kids I want to visit; it’s as much for me as for them.” Brad answered, his voice hushed and humbled. He was remembering two young girls he’d met last November on his first visit to South Africa.
“Was Angelina influential in getting you involved with this?” Lucy mentioned Angelina’s name once more.
“Ummm,” Brad started, his words almost guarded, “I certainly respect what she has done, but many people have been. Bono especially…and yeah her as well. She contributes staggering amounts of money…staggering amounts. In fact, she probably makes money so she can give it away. That seems to be more her concern than films.” He answered, a hint of pride warming his smooth voice.
“She’s certainly setting an A-list trend.” Lucy remarked. “She’s on top as are you. That’s got to be exciting. Do you hope to garner an Oscar before you retire?”
Shaking his head, Brad laughed. “No…you know I like my place. I don’t want to be first: I don’t even want to be second. I just like being in the game.”
April 3, 2006
Brad’s Attorney’s Offices
Brad read the divorce papers and settlement agreement before him. His lawyer sat waiting patiently. “Are you sure that this is what you want?”
Brad glanced up, his expression one of calm. “Oh yes, I’m sure.” Grabbing the pen he signed.
“The standard processing time is six months. Though technically the divorce won’t be final until October 3, 2006, you marriage is for all intents and purposes over. However, if you decide to embark on a relationship, be careful what you admit to. Take a page from my book…admit nothing. Don’t say yes…don’t sya no…say nothing.”
“Understood, thank you.” Smiling Brad tood and shook his attorney’s hand.
The attorney felt honor bound to ask one more question. “One question.”
Brad glanced at his attorney. “Yeah?”
“Are you sure that Jennifer won’t be leveling any charges against you?”
“Adultery.” The attorney held his hand up stopping Brad’s onslaught before it began. “Look, I’ve heard…just as everyone else has, about the whole Angelina Jolie factor. If you tell me that you two haven’t committed adultery, I’ll believe you. But I’m not stupid; I know there something going on between you two. I saw you both at the wrap party. You couldn’t take your eyes off of her and she tried her best to stay away from whatever side of the room you were on.”
Shaking his head Brad answered. “No we haven’t and trust me it has been hard not to consummate our relationship. I don’t know…there’s just something about her.”
“Well whatever it is, please be careful, huh?”
“Yeahm I will and thanks again.” Brad waved as he left the office Leaving the lawyer in a state of bemusement, mumbling to himself. “Well, I guess I’d chance all too if Angelina Jolie was on my to-do-list.”
April 8, 2006
Angelina grabbed her 3 year old son Maddox and wrapped his wiggling body in a pool towel. She was in the middle of tickling the boy silly when the phone rang. She sat Maddox down on the lounge chair beside her. Pointing she chirped out a quick command to the precocious toddler. “Don’t you move young man!” picking up the phone she spoke into the handset. “Hello?” Her heart skipping at the sound of the voice on the line.
“It’s over. She filed.” He didn’t need to finish. They both knew what was filed and who ‘she’ was. “I want to see you. I’ve missed you and Mad.”
“I’ve missed you too. Mad has been asking for you. But, I have some UN work in Africa, next week. Then Mad and I are going to take a break. I thought you were working on ‘Babel’?” Angelina was still wrapping her mind around the fact that he was free. Drying her son, her son she put his pullover on and let him go play in the sand box.
“That doesn’t start for a couple of weeks yet.” He repeated himself. “I want to see you…I want you…now!” Brad calmed himself a bit before continuing. “I went along with you going back to England because I thought that it would be for the better, but if this is what it led to then…maybe I shouldn’t have.”
“Brad…you didn’t let me do anything. We both agreed that since we had separate interviews it would be better if we gave ourselves some time apart.” She couldn’t deny her leaping pulse or her spiking emotions. They finally had a chance to move forward. So why did she also feel a sliver of reticence. Perhaps they should slow down a bit. That encounter on the plane was still scratching its way in and out of her consciousness. What if that was all he really wanted? “Brad, we…our schedules are so crazy I have…”
He never let her finish. “Okay we’ll do it this way. After your UN work where will you be?”
“Kenya on the 19th, I’ve booked a hotel there…”
“Cancel it…I’ll book a villa in Diani. I’m in Morocco for ‘Babel, so I’ll just meet you there.”
“Brad…”She wanted this. So why was she so frightened of the outcome?
“Oh no…babe, you and I have danced around each other for a year and I’m tired of dancing. Don’t run now…I’ll just chase you down. I’ll see you on the 19th.”
Copyright © 2006 all rights reserved By ‘Rica’
Posted by Rica at 4:11 PM