Chapter 15

Monday morning arrives, and Dottie forces herself to concentrate on her accounting work. As Vangela and Chris continue to pass receipts and invoices to her, there are times when she will put them in the correct column. But as soon as Jessica resurfaces in her mind, she will carelessly credit an invoice or debit a receipt, or accidentally mix up numbers, or add an extra zero or two. She will even put the receipt or invoice aside and not look at it. She even does this with the balance sheet for October. Melissa comes into the office, and when she inspects her work, she is surprised and concerned.

"Dottie, you've filled half of this accounting chart with mistakes," she points out. "The numbers on this balance sheet are not going to even out like this." She is shocked by the papers on the side of her desk. "Dottie, you completely forgot these orders and purchases! This isn't like you to be so forgetful and careless!"

Finally, Dottie lays her head on her desk, feeling as if she's going to be sick. Melissa looks a bit alarmed, then a bit sympathetic.

"Oh, I should've known something would be bothering you," Melissa says. "Uh, this wouldn't have anything to do with your weekend travels, now would it?"

"God, Melissa, methinks I should've traded in one of my Florida visits for a trip to England," Dottie replies. "When Dad e-mailed me that one time in August, telling me not to come because of the weather warnings, that's when I should've changed my reservations. I shouldn't have stayed in the city then."

She swivels around in her chair to face Melissa. "In all the times I went to visit Dad and Kevin on the set of If You Steal My Sunshine, I never once went to see Jessica and her Karma Chameleon set. And here, I went thirteen years without speaking to her, and was advised to work on our relationship. She's probably upset and crying, wondering why I never came by to see her. Oh, sure, I've e-mailed her on occasion, but I don't think that's enough for her." She places her hands on her forehead, clutching the bangs of her hair. "She's going to be so mad at me. I'll be lucky if she doesn't throw me out of her place."

Melissa removes Dottie's hands and makes her look at her. She says, "Okay, there's something that I never revealed to you in your job interview. You see, before I started this business, I studied fashion and design, and I modelled my way through college. After graduation, I spent five years travelling to London, Paris, Italy, Spain, even Tokyo for photo shoots. When I switched from modelling to designing clothes, I had stores in New York, London and Rome, boutiques in France, even stores in Sydney, highly interested in buying my stuff. I had such impressive ideas."

Dottie can guess what her point will be. "And all that travel did you in?"

"You should've seen what jet lag I had when I arrived in Europe, and back in California," Melissa says. "I pretty much thanked God for hotels and soft pillows on the beds – and that my work started the day after I arrived. When I travelled across the Atlantic, I had layovers in New York, Washington and Boston that lasted anywhere from three to eight hours. And this was from flying three hours from here. Do you know how long the flights from the East Coast to England are?"

"Around six hours," Dottie answers. "I checked on a flight website."

"Exactly," Melissa replies. "With fifteen hours of travelling, I didn't get to my destination until the next day. Now, if you were to fly to England instead of Miami every weekend, I would have to give you Thursday and Friday off for travelling purposes if you ever wanted to hang out with your sister – and that includes further travel from Heathrow to wherever Jessica may be along the Thames. Add the fact that you have to go home on Sunday, and I'd also have you give you Monday off for traveling and recovery purposes. Even if you went to England the weekend your Miami trip was cancelled, you'd still have to endure that kind of time off. Two days of work per week is not professional, you know. And what if you came to work on Monday after a long flight on Sunday? You'd be too exhausted to work, also not professional, and the books would be sloppier than what I'm seeing right now. It'd be a miracle if you didn't drop dead. Eventually, I'd have to discipline or fire you."

"That's what I told Jessica," Dottie says. "I simply cannot handle that kind of travel every weekend, and I said so in the e-mail. I'd be done in both physically and professionally."

"If your sister is as loving and caring as you say she is," Melissa confides, "she'll understand why you could never see her. Let's hope that her next project doesn't take her so far out of the country – or better yet, keeps her here in the States. Now, see if you can fix this and get back to work."

The phone rings, and Melissa goes to her desk. Dottie returns to her computer and takes several deep breaths to psych herself back into her work.

The phone rings while Dottie is eating dinner. She goes to answer it, then heads back to the table. "Hello?"

"Dottie? It's Cousin Graham!" the voice on the other end responds.

"Graham? Thank goodness it's you and Celeste!" Dottie responds. She hopes they will ask if she's available to do something. It may be Monday, but she doesn't want to stay home alone tonight. She hopes that going out will get her mind off her sister.

"Celeste and I are just about done here at the studio for the day, and we're thinking of going out for some drinks after," Graham says. "Would you like to join us?"

"I would love to," Dottie says. "Oh, God, we need to talk about Jessica. Have you heard from her or Uncle Dennis since they left for England?"

"Not in recent weeks," Graham says, "but Jessica has wondered when you were going to see her."

Dottie groans. "She's going to be so mad at me." She breathes in deeply a few times, but is still worried. "Where do you wish to meet?"

"How about the Bona Vista Lounge at the Westin?" Graham suggests. "On South Figueroa. Would seven-thirty be okay?"

South Figueroa, where Gold's Gym is. And in just an hour, too. Dottie smiles a relieving smile, as she knows where to go. "Sure, I'd love to join you guys," she says.

She hangs up and speed-dials Sherry's cell phone number. When she answers, Dottie says, "Sherry, are you doing anything tonight?"

"Not really, why?" Sherry answers. "You want me to meet you somewhere?"

Dottie tells about Graham's invitation to go for drinks and says, "I need some cousins to open up to. When Jessica gets back from England and filming Karma Chameleon, I'm going to have some mighty good explaining to do. What's your address, Sherry; I may end up having to live with you."

At the lounge, Dottie repeats what she and Melissa talked about at work this day, everything she told her about how travelling to London all those weekends would affect Dottie, and the apologetic e-mail she sent Jessica.

"I'm lucky that Melissa is gracious enough to give me Friday off these past weekends just so I can fly to Florida," Dottie laments as she sips a Diet Pepsi. "Mind you, I'm still pretty pepped up when I see Dad at the airport, and when I watch Kevin and his co-stars do their acting. I don't even mind being an extra in some of their scenes. But when I fly back here, that's when I start to wear out a bit, and I drive home thinking about my warm bed. Heck, I have to buy a cappuccino at the airport Starbucks to help keep me from falling asleep while I drive. Imagine what it would be like if I went to London for even that one weekend when Dad told me not to come to Miami. I'd have to find a hotel to lodge for the night, then go to work from there. I might have even been late that day." She takes a bigger drink of her soda, then signals the waitress for more.

Celeste sips her apple martini and says, "Well, if it's any consolation, Uncle Dennis sent Dad and Uncle Larry e-mail telling them he, Paul Robinson and Jess arrived safely in London. In it, Dad told me, Dennis said that both of them experienced some jet lag after six hours of flying. They had to delay filming until the next day, so they could sleep and recover."

"Exactly," Dottie replies. "Probably if it hadn't been for that, both director and star wouldn't have been able to do a good job in the beginning. If I had gone to see her instead of Kevin, I'd be drop dead exhausted, and my brain would be scrambled and fried after only several weeks."

Graham stares at her as he sips his wine cooler. "No," he says. "You are not strong enough to handle all that."

"This is why I never accept scripts for movie set or filmed outside North America," Sherry agrees, drinking some ginger ale. "I know the real Mississippi has gotten a little bit too modern for nineteenth-century standards in the past fifty years, but still, they have to fly all the way to the Thames River? I'd like to know Jessica's secret for having survived a flight that long. I would think that Red Bull and any other energy drink would mess up her stripper body. I know that if I had to fly to Italy or Japan or anywhere like that, I'd be too exhausted to even eat."

"She'll probably counteract that by saying she does twenty abdominal crunches every day," Graham laughs. "Red Bull wouldn't hurt her a bit."

Celeste takes Dottie's hand. "Listen, Dottie," she says, "Uncle Dennis is probably just reminding her what the travel would've done to you if you'd gone to see her even once. If she complains – which would be quite likely – come talk to us. I'm sure Uncle Jack and Cousin Kevin would get through to her. And we'll help."

Dottie looks trusted at her cousin, and sips her drink a little slower.

As each day passes, Dottie's nervousness increases, and she has to force herself to work effectively on her accounting, hiding her worries from everyone else. She knows that Melissa has an all-day motivational seminar coming up, and Dottie will have to run the business in her absence, so she constantly reminds herself to not think of Jessica at all that day. Fortunately, she's done this several times since she started working, so she knows about checking supplies, writing invoices, handling customer requests and complaints. On the first Monday in November, she is on the phone with Helen, talking about Jessica when she logs on to her e-mail and sees a new message alert. She clicks on her "inbox" and sees a new message from Dennis.

She reads this message to her mother. "Hi, Dottie. Hope you're doing well. Well, it's just about a wrap, at least here in England. We're just about finished filming scenes along the Mississippi, and it's almost time for Karma to go back to New York. We'll be back in Toronto sometime this week to shoot the final scenes. At the same time, Jack should be finished with Kevin's movie, so he's agreed to let you come to Toronto to see Jessica. He says that, due to the hurricane that devastated Miami back in August, and clean-up is still in process, he and Kevin plan to be back in Los Angeles at this time."

Dottie smiles and says, "I guess the wrap-up party's going to be here, then. That's great. I can talk to my boss about a fashionable new outfit."

When she hangs up with her mother, Dottie clicks the "Reply" button and types, "Hi, Uncle Dennis. I accept the invitation to spend the weekend in Toronto. Thank you."

Dottie comes to work early the next day. She meets Melissa and helps her open up the store, packing some stylish merchandise to serve as visual aids. As they do, Dottie tells about her upcoming weekend trip to Toronto. "I know I have to be at the counter tending to the customers all day today," she says, "but I have to book my flight for Friday perhaps. You don't mind if I use your computer, do you?"

Melissa looks sceptical at her. "All the flights shown online are anywhere from seven hundred dollars upwards. I'd perhaps call a travel agent to see what's cheap," she suggests.

"All right," Dottie agrees. "And Kevin's movie is pretty much done. After this, I hope I never have to travel this frequently ever again."

Before she leaves, Melissa gives Dottie some last minute tips on making business calls and writing business e-mails if necessary. Dottie shakes her hand goodbye and says, "Let me know how the seminar turned out." She walks into the store and takes her place at the cash register, ready for the customers. Perhaps acting as fashion consultant for some A-list celebrities will give her a new-found respect.

Dottie spends much of the day at the front desk looking out for customers who need her assistance. In between, she completes the routine accounting and answers the phone, taking messages for Melissa. An inventory report from Chris prompts Dottie to make calls ordering more women's suit jackets and dress pants, as well as men's jeans. So far, no celebrity sightings or wardrobe department heads; Dottie would notice a flashy outfit or a business suit. However, at around quarter after one in the afternoon, in walks a young man who captures Dottie's interest.

His chocolate-coloured hair is very short, like a military style crew-cut, and he has an arresting face – olive skin like a hero in Greek mythology, and a very Roman nose. Too bad she can't get a look at his eyes from a far distance. Dottie is sure he's young enough to be in her age group, but looks a little older, especially given that he looks close to six feet tall. He is dressed in a very classy outfit for late fall – khaki dress pants, light blue button-down dress shirt. Dottie can't stop staring at him as he walks around the store, heading towards the men's section. Suddenly, she's interrupted by a loud female voice, then turns to her customer, looking impatient about a return sale.

"Sorry, what's the problem again?" Dottie asks.

"I said this blouse is in the wrong colour, and the top is a bit small for my well-matured chest," the customer says. "I'm looking for this in blue, for starters."

"I'm sorry about that," Dottie apologizes. "I'll refund that and get someone to help you." She takes the customer's credit card and swipes it, punching in numbers to make the refund. She spots Vangela in the women's pants section and flags her down. She explains the customer's problem to her and adds, "She's going to need something in a larger chest size. Do you think you can take her measurements?"

"No problem," Vangela says, then takes the customer to the women's shirts section.

Dottie's eyes return to the young man in the men's section. He selects a few colourful men's dress shirts and T-shirts, and takes them all into the fitting room. Momentarily distracted, Dottie takes the refunded item information to the office and enters it into the accounting books. She comes back out to see her "dream man" still in the fitting rooms, so she looks out for the female customer, and watches out for others.

Soon, Dottie is busy with three customers, taking orders, ringing up purchases, entering receipts into the accounting books, and answering the phone in between. When she's finished, she finds her potential love interest standing in front of the register counter. She smiles. She wants to look flirtatious at him, but she reminds herself she's in a place of business.

"Yes, I'd like to purchase these, please," he says. He hands her three T-shirts, one blue, one black and one red, and three men's dress shirts, two in different shades of blue and two white. She scans all the tags, and enters each price into the cash register. As she does this, she asks, "You shop here often? I'm sorry to intrude, but I'm normally the girl who tends to the books in the office. I don't think I've seen you here before."

"About maybe once a month," the young man replies. "I like to shop for myself when I'm off-shift. And I'm just preparing to serve an evening shift this evening, so I want to use the afternoon to get some shut-eye."

"Shifts?" Dottie asks. "Let me guess, you're a security guard in a hospital. A factory?"

"Nope," he says. "I'm actually a police officer. On the force for a couple of years now." He reaches into his pants pocket and pulls out his badge.

"Nice," she says. "I think it's a good idea to carry a badge around just in case you see crimes and trouble off-shift. And I've dreamed of a relationship with a cop." Dottie puts all his purchases in a bag and gives him the total amount. He pays for his purchases, then decides to stay around and keep talking with her.

"You mean you never had a serious boyfriend?" he asks.

"Nope," she answers. "I've been too consumed in my accounting studies and work."

"Accounting work?" he asks. "You mean you're just the accountant for Fit and Fashionable? How long have you been here?"

"Yes, I've been here for around three months now," Dottie answers. "Like I said, you'll normally find me in the office entering copies of the receipts into the accounting system. But with Melissa away at these 'lose the weight and change your life' seminars like she is today, she usually trusts me to run the store in her absence." She smiles at him. "I'm Dottie Pembroke."

"I'm Brett Salisbury," the young man replies. "Nice to meet you." He clears his throat. "So, if you're free this weekend, I'd like to take you out to lunch."

"Actually, this weekend won't do," Dottie replies. "My sister, Jessica, she's just finishing up a movie, and her final scenes are being shot in Toronto, and I'm flying out there this weekend to see her. In fact, I was just about to call a travel agent and look on the computer for cheap flights. Maybe we can set up a date when we get home. Maybe Monday evening, with it being the Veteran's Day holiday."

Suddenly, some other customers are approaching the counter and dumping their purchases in front of Dottie. "Excuse me, miss," one woman says. "But I've been standing in line for several minutes now, and I have places to be."

Dottie sighs and checks the clothes as Brett says, "Sure thing, Dottie. Can I call you?" She smiles and motions at him to hold on a minute. When she gives the woman her bags and receipt, and makes a copy for her own, she pulls some extra blank paper out of the cash register and writes her name and phone number on it. Brett takes it, smiles at her and leaves.

Vangela has overheard the conversation between Brett and Dottie and is surprised. She approaches the line and watches her work with the other customers. When Dottie is finished and taking all the receipts to the office, Vangela follows her.

"Dottie, are you insane?" she asks incredulously. "What is your deal? You do know you fraternized with a customer, right?"

"Oh, come on, Vangela," Dottie says. "He was incredibly gorgeous, like something that stepped out of GQ magazine. And he's not involved with acting or modelling or music or anything like that. He's an actual cop! I can't wait to introduce him to Mom; she'll love him for sure."

"Yeah, but then you go and give him your phone number?" Vangela says. "Um, I would think it'd be against store policy for employees to date customers."

"No, it'd be against store policy for co-workers to date each other," Dottie assures her. "That's why although Chris is kind of cute and would have competition with Brett, he and I are remaining friends only. Melissa would frown on Chris and me dating, but she'd have no problem with Brett an me dating. Trust me, Vangela."

Vangela sighs and leaves the office. When Dottie is done entering receipts in the accounting system, she checks the time. It's already past two. She realizes she indeed hasn't ordered her flight tickets yet. She goes to Melissa's computer and looks at cheap flights to Toronto.

Friday morning, and Dottie is on a non-stop flight to Toronto. She'd e-mailed the itinerary to Dennis, telling her she's arriving in the afternoon. But as she gets closer to Toronto, her nervousness increases. She spends fifteen minutes at a time in the lavatory, using the toilet until her stomach pains pass, fixing her makeup, silently rehearsing what she'd tell Jessica, all her apologies. She gets up one more time, but the flight attendant tells her, "Miss, we'll be landing in Toronto soon. You'll have to take your seat and fasten your seatbelt." Dottie nods and returns to her seat, retrieving her makeup kit from her carry-on bag. She applies more foundation to her cheeks and combs her hair.

Just like it was last time, only Dennis is there to greet her. They hug hello, then she asks, "How's Jessica been?"

Dennis finds it hard to answer, then finally says, "She's been forcing herself to concentrate just a tad. She tries to read over her lines and rehearse in between scenes, but she tends to think of you and how she's missed you these past few months."

"How mad is she?" Dottie asks.

"She gets pretty peeved whenever you come up," he answers. "She tends not to get all worked up, but she's been crying herself to sleep every night these past few nights. Somehow, she gets the feeling that you never supported this project."

At this point, she knows she can't fight it anymore. "Well, I must say, I looked at the script, and truthfully, I don't think Karma Chameleon is going to do very well at the theatres. For starters, I thought the very concept of going to sleep in the present and just waking up in another time is unbelievable. I told Jessica this over and over, but she's never listened to me."

"Well, she has been looking at this as her crowning achievement," Dennis tells her as they head to the carousel. "You should know Jessica by now, she always looks at her current movie project as being better than the last. That's how she puts her energy into acting. And, um, as the producer, I'm kind of obligated to look at this as if it's going to be a success. But really, you don't know how well this is going to do until it's actually released in theatres. Maybe if you could give this project a chance the way you've been doing with your father and brother's movie, you could see it'd actually be a hit." He helps her look for her luggage.

"I'm praying you're right, Uncle Dennis," she says.

They head to the same apartment building in Scarborough where they filmed the opening scenes, back to the apartment 1024. Dennis knocks and announces himself and Dottie. Mr. Robinson smiles and lets them both in. It is already evening, so Dottie already notices a green screen covering the windows, making it like it's still day in the editing process.

Dennis takes Dottie into the bathroom, where Jessica is fixing her own hair and makeup, wearing a short-sleeved dress o her character's signature colours. Dennis says, "Jessica, look who's here to see you. Dottie!"

Jessica turns to give Dottie a sneering look, then returns to her hair and makeup.

Dennis gives a small smile then says, "Well, I'll leave you girls to talk. Mr. Robinson and I have to go over some things with the crew." He leaves, then Dottie approaches her twin, looking forlorn.

"Listen, Jessica," she says, "I'm really sorry that I never came to England to see you."

Jessica avoids looking at her sister and stays silent.

"I know you're mad at me, and I understand that," Dottie continues, "and I want you to know that if I'd been able to travel to the River Thames, I would have."

Jessica still gives no response.

Dottie starts to lose her patience, and says, "Oh, I get it, this is exactly why you won't talk to me, right? Uncle Dennis told you he was inviting me here and you wouldn't be having it."

Jessica still won't respond, so Dottie resorts to pleading, "Jess, please say something. What do I have to do in order for you to talk to me?"

Mr. Robinson tells Jessica it's time to shoot. Wordlessly, Jessica goes to the living room futon and sits with her legs together. She glares at Dottie one last time, and Dottie takes this as a sign to leave.

Outside, Dottie stands with Dennis and the others producers and production crew members. At the door, an actor who looks like an older version of Jake Ronalds stands waiting for his cue. Could this be Karma's new boyfriend?, Dottie wonders. She's pretty much forgotten how the script ends. She takes off her shoes and paces up and down the length of the hallway, wondering how to talk to Jessica and get her to accept her apology. She really is sorry she could never come to see her, but a load of circumstances had prevented her. She stays out for three hours as Jessica is acting out her final scenes. As time passes, Dottie feels more like crying and pleading. When it's over, Mr. Robinson calls, "Cut, and print that." He calls everyone in the apartment, but Dottie stays outside. She overhears him say, "Ladies and gentlemen, one final scene and then we wrap on Karma Chameleon."

Dottie goes into the apartment to see Jessica, but she stops her from coming closer. She looks at her like she's ready to cry, pouting, and she looks away from Dottie. Everyone looks at her with great concern until Jessica says, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to speak to Dottie in private, please." Dennis and the rest of the cast and crew shrug at each other, then they leave the twins alone in the apartment set.

Immediately, Jessica starts sobbing, her back still away from Dottie. After a few minutes, she turns to glare at her. She says, "You have a lot of nerve showing up here, Dottie. I can't believe Uncle Dennis invited you!"

"Jess, I said I was sorry," Dottie says. "Over and over again, in fact. What do you want, an apology written in blood?"

"No," Jessica responds with hostility. "I wanted you to come out and see me while I was filming scenes on the riverboat."

"You know I couldn't do that," Dottie says. "In the first place, Dad said I had to come out to see him and Kevin, and in the second place, all that travel would've done me in."

"What a load of garbage!" Jessica cries. "Dottie, when I was in Winnipeg and looking over my Karma Chameleon script, all you did was hurl insults and say how poor the script was and how this movie's going to fail. I'll bet you continued to tell others that while I was away and you stayed in L.A. too."

Dottie decides to keep her mouth closed on that.

"I was the one who decided to repair my relationship with you, Dottie," she says. "I was the one who flew all the way out to Winnipeg to see you. I was the one who brought you to Dad and Kevin and the rest of the family so you could improve and start up relationships with them. I even let you live in my apartment with me, for God's sake! And this is the thanks I get? I went three months – three months – without seeing your face or hearing your voice. And all I ever got was that one e-mail that basically said travelling to England to see me would've inconvenienced you. If anything, that hurt my feelings. I was so upset to get that from you, Dottie."

"I didn't mean to upset you," Dottie says. "I was just telling the truth. Jessica, how was that flight to England you and Uncle Dennis and all the rest of them were on? I'll bet you were tired, flattened and unattractive looking after flying six hours from here to London. I heard you guys had a little bit of jet lag that you needed to recover from before you could start filming. Think of what that could've done to me if I flew in to see you every weekend."

"Oh, come on!" Jessica replies harshly. "Yes, I had to take time to recover, but a little jet lag wouldn't have killed you. All you had to do was come out one weekend a month. Maybe if you'd asked Dad to get out of one weekend with him. Maybe if you'd come out the weekend of the Florida hurricane." She feels herself starting to cry, and fights the urge. "If it hadn't been for Manuel taking time from his acting to come see me, I wouldn't have ever gotten through it. I missed him. I missed you."

Dottie scoffs and says, "Jess, even if I did that, I'd still be exhausted from all that jet lag. You should have seen Melissa Agnelli when I told her I had to take weekends off to see Dad and Kevin in Florida. She wasn't very happy about that; I tried to take Friday afternoons off and ended up having to take whole Fridays off just for travel purposes. Heck, she wasn't happy with what I told Kevin about his movie. Now, if I had come to see you in England, I'd have to take Thursday and Friday off to fly all the way from Los Angeles if I had any hope of spending time with you. Then depending on how early or late I left on Sunday, I'd also have to take Monday off for extra travel and/or recovery purposes. Yes, recovery; I would've had serious jet lag. I'd be working at Fit and Fashionable two days a week, just like Melissa told me, and I'd lose my job for taking too many vacation days. I'd have to bust my butt for many weekends and all summer if I had any hope of staying there."

"You don't get it, do you?" Jessica responds. "The point is, I needed my sister's support most of all! Especially since you never ever supported Karma Chameleon in the first place. And yet you come up with all these excuses about jet lag and missing to much work to avoid seeing me."

"They're not excuses, they're perfectly legitimate reasons!" Dottie insists. "Remember, I'm the only one of us with a business career. Do you think I can afford to take unnecessary time off when my superiors will need me to work? If I got fired and can't get accounting work because of this, I'd put this on your head. I'd be blaming you entirely. Then you'd be kicking yourself."

Jessica folds her arms and pouts. Dottie sighs harshly and comes up with another logic. "Put it this way, Jess. Imagine that I was the actress and you were the advertising manager I said you'd be good at. If I were shooting a movie in Brazil, for example, and you e-mailed me saying that you couldn't come to see me for weekends because of projects and client dinners, I'd probably say something like, 'It's okay. Stay in Los Angeles. I don't want you to get fired because of me.' I know it'd sound like I don't care about family matters, but it'd be more important for you to pay the rent and buy yourself groceries while I was gone."

"And what if you didn't have much of your family around, and you needed to talk to them?" Jessica asks. "I think you'd need more than just-e-mails and homemade videos."

"Well then, I guess that another difference between you and me, isn't it?" Dottie responds. "Even if I were an actress, I'd be strong enough to concentrate on my movie project for six weeks or so without constantly checking my e-mail to see if my sister is checking up on me every day. Wasn't Uncle Dennis enough for you on this one? How did you survive on movie projects before I came back in the picture? Did you long to hear Dad and Kevin's voices before you went to sleep every night? Did you hope that Dad was working with you? Did Manuel keep you warm on the set of your last movie? You give me one good reason why I couldn't support you from afar!"

Instead of answering, Jessica looks stunned and disgusted. "Is this how much you care about me after all I've done for you?" she says. Dottie sighs harshly again and leaves without another word.

"Such a dramatic diva," she mutters to herself in the elevator going to the lobby. When she gets there, she sits in the foyer and waits for everyone else.

That night, Jessica films one final date scene at the Guvernment, which has been transformed into another New York nightclub. Dottie is an extra in the scene, but decides to not be shown on camera for this scene, making sure her back in shown, staying silent as she orders one soda after another, spending time in the ladies' room. She avoids the dance floor and waits for the shoot to be over, when Jessica's character of Karma kisses her new boyfriend, having found true love. Afterwards, when she hears Mr. Robinson call, "Cut! Print that last shot!" she hears him say further. "Ladies and gentlemen, that is a wrap on Karma Chameleon." The whole club applauds wildly, and bartenders announce drinks on the house. Dottie tries to celebrate and be happy for Jessica. But when she approaches her for a congratulatory hug, she pushes her away. Jessica looks sullen, moody and angry at her, in no mood to do any celebrating.

For the next hour, Dottie is befriending other extras, looking for someone to sympathize with her about Jessica's unreasonable attitude. "There were several good reasons why I couldn't be there for the meat of the movie," she tells them. "I have a day job of my own, and a schedule that I had to keep without exhausting myself so much. Why can't Jessica see past herself and her own needs." People around her buy her rum and coke and fruity wine coolers to console herself. Fortunately, she sips them all so she doesn't get too drunk.

Meanwhile, Jessica is complaining to other co-stars and crew members about the lack of support she got from Dottie. When Dennis and Mr. Robinson try to reason with her one more time, she says, "One weekend a month would've sufficed, just like Manuel did with his schedule. I'm so glad he was that considerate."

"Jessica, listen to reason," Dennis pleads.

"Uncle Dennis, Dottie has always believed that her little accounting career was superior to our careers in the movies," Jessica laments. "I won't get into it here, but you should've heard the vile things she said about this picture. It's almost as if she wants this to fail just to prove a point to me."

Dennis thinks about what Dottie already told him. "She has told me she doesn't think it'll be a box office hit," he says. "But I'm sure that's not the reason she hasn't come out to see you."

"And Melissa from Fit and Fashionable is very sweet and considerate for a businesswoman," Jessica continues. "I'm sure she would've allowed Dottie to come out once a month if only Dottie kept her mouth shut about Kevin's movie. Even if she did have to take extra days off for travel, I'm sure Dottie wouldn't have lost her precious job over it. She's being unreasonable just as she always did." She excuses herself and goes to the bar for some consoling drinks.

Afterwards, Dennis tells the disc jockeys to halt the music so he can make an announcement. "Attention, ladies and gentlemen, I've received word that the wrap-up party is going to be held right here at the Guvernment next Friday night. For all your contributions, you people are invited to attend." As the cast, crew and extras applaud wildly, Jessica approaches Dennis and takes the microphone.

"I would just like to add that everyone is indeed invited," she says, "except for Dottie Pembroke, the sister who values her little business career over my movies after I went out of my way for her!"

Dottie is shocked and hurt to hear this. She sees everyone looking at her as the club goes quiet. They are wondering what kind of sister, what kind of person Dottie is, and what an unappreciative girl like her would be doing on the movie set. Dottie looks embarrassed, like she wants to crawl into a grave. How can Jessica be so snobbish and say something like that, make her feel unwanted? Those sitting around Dottie are still feeling sorry for her, but she feels their sympathy is no longer enough. She quickly finishes her last drink, gets up and starts to leave. Dennis spots her walking towards the exit and catches up to her. But Dottie has already made her decision.

"I'm sorry, Uncle Dennis, this was a mistake," she says. "I'm going back home. I obviously know where I'm not wanted." Dennis offers to drive her to the hotel and the airport, and she accepts. She gets there before midnight.

At the airport, Dottie gives her uncle a goodbye hug and says, "See you back in Hollywood, Uncle Dennis."

"I'm really sorry for the way things went," Dennis replies.

Dottie looks sorrowful and she walks to the ticket counter. Fighting her need to cry, she takes a few deep breaths, presents her credit card and says, "Next flight to Los Angeles, please?"