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Open the Door 

Not Your Average Love Story


Dani Peterson 

As I looked back later in life, I never would have placed Kitty at the place  where I first saw her, the "Caminos Grill" in downtown Hollywood. At the time, I was a cocky thirty-something actor, king of summer movies. I was all  that, according to entertainment columns across the Western Hemisphere.  Needless to say, all heterosexual women wanted me. I had never had a steady girl, owning to the fact that I was only attracted to their physical appearance, and never to anything else.

Kitty Aler, however, was quite the opposite. One of those girls who  never had a boyfriend, on account of she was so cynical. Nor was she  extremely striking, but she had a subtle beauty that I would soon learn to praise.

I remember how I first saw her. My first impression as I saw her was  that she had snuck in here under false pretences. She looked no older than seventeen while she was absentmindedly stirring a Mai Tai, pausing once or twice to pour it down her throat and nod along to the music.

That night I had a date. I don't remember her exact name, something like Tina or Nina or something. I was just thinking about going home with the 'Tina' when I glanced at her and was stuck by her, well, something. I couldn't quite place my finger on it then and I can't still. I tried to 
catch her eye and make some sort of indication that I wanted to talk to her.  I eventually did, but if she knew who I was, she never expressed it. 

As soon  as I did this however, the 'Tina' grabbed my shoulder and mumbled something in a high pitched tone. I looked up, only seconds later, but she was gone.

I didn't really give her much thought until later that night in bed. I was lying perfectly still, listening to the flowing sounds of traffic. It was when I was in this white noise state that my thoughts drifted from one thing to  another, then finally landed on the mystery woman I had seen in the bar. At the risk of sounding like a cliché, she had something of a hold on me, or at least on my mind. 

I sluggishly rolled over, knocking into the lamp on the nightstand. I was  sort of hung over and forgot what side of the bed I was on.

The next morning I hurried down to my lawyer's office. I was already in  the middle of a contract arrangement, which is really something considering I still had to finish filming a movie on my old contract.

As I stood in the mirror-lined elevator, thinking about an appearance on  Conan O'Brien later that day, once again I found my self thinking about Ms. Mai Tai, which my brain was currently calling her, for what seemed  the to be the hundredth time since last night. 

Once into the flat, I just waltzed into the office, not detecting the  secretary asking me who I was.

She must be new, I thought. The old secretary, Amii, never would have asked; I came here far too often to bother with pleasantries.

I meandered through the meeting. I had no idea what most of the legal  jargon meant, I just signed where he told me. Anyway, my mind was still stuck on Ms. Mai Tai. Soon it was over, and I walked out of the office, froze when I got to the door, and turned around to see Ms. Mai Tai behind a nameplate that said "Kitty Aler."

She however was paying me no attention at all. She tried to give off the  impression that she was indeed working hard, but by the reflection in her eyes, I could tell she was playing solitaire. 

"Hello Ms. Aler."

I must have said it wrong, because she replied in monotone, her eyes  never leaving the computer screen, "Aler. Like someone who makes ale."

"Sorry. Haven't I seen you somewhere before?"

"Yes. Last night. You were with a bimbo in a backless cocktail dress."

I flashed the smile that has won me so many cover stories. "You seem to  have paid more attention to my date than anything else. Are you a lesbian?" I asked, hoping I had somehow concealed my worry at the question.


I could feel my confidence returning. "You know who I am?"

"The egotistical Evan Davidson." She didn't miss a thing.

I had never really been confronted like this before. I didn't know really  what to say. "Tell me, is Kitty your real name?"

"No," without any further explanation.

I was getting nowhere so I decided to let it drop. "How long have you  been working here?"

She sighed and looked up from her screen. Kitty had the most remarkable deep brown eyes, like a well of life, I would say, if I ever said anything that stupid. "Look, I've seen how you ogle me, last night at the bar and now, and the answer is no."

I was beginning to feel discouraged. "C'mon, how often is it that a star  falls in love with you?"

"I think the real question is how often does a star want to sleep with  me," and at that the phone rang and I reluctantly left the office.

Now, your common man would have given up at this point, but I was  determined. I phoned Paul, my lawyer, and threatened to leave him unless he gave me her address. At this point all I needed was a pretense to get over there. I bought a sweater at Target on the way there that looked like the one she had been wearing earlier that day and pulled all the tags off it on my way up to her apartment.

She pulled open the door, and seeing me, was half tempted to close it and probably would have had I not said anything.

"Uh. What?" 

I pulled the sweater out from my jacket. "You left this at the office."

"No, I didn't. This is just a pathetic attempt at gaining entrance to me." However, she did leave the door open and I took this as an invitation to come in, which I did.

Boxes where cluttered everywhere. "Just moving in?"

"Yes. Have a seat."

I looked around and couldn't find anywhere to sit, so I sort of leaned  against the door. "So?"

"Look, Evan, I have a boyfriend. And as flattered as I am at the fact that you find me attractive doesn't mean I'm going to dump a four-year  relationship down the drain."

"Four years? You just got here a week or so ago."

"It's long distance. He's quite a guy."

"What does he do then?"

"He's receptionist at a dental clinic."

I snorted. "He's a secretary?"

Kitty sat down rather abruptly on the couch hidden behind a tower of  boxes. "I know, I know," she wailed, "he's a loser. He lives in his parent's basement and collects Star Trek memorabilia. He actually has a chair from the original set. I keep telling him to sell it to a museum and buy a car so he doesn't have to take the bus to work, but no, he made a web page devoted to the damned thing. And he calls me Janeway or something. It's perverse."

I saunter over to the couch and would have sat down except I was afraid she would have hit me. "Why don't you dump him."

She leaned back and positioned her head so that it was staring at the  light fixture on the ceiling. "I just don't have the heart to do it. At least I don't have to be near him or go on dates anymore."

This hung in the air for a while. I could hear the cars from the highway,  like some sort of urban waterfall. 

"Look, why don't I take you out for a drink or something?"

Kitty's eyes were half closed. "Promise you won't hit on me. And don't even think about trying to lower my inhibitions. I can hold my booze  better than you think."

"Actually I thought you would hold your booze well."

That night I made good on my promise, but also I didn't eye any other  women, even the ones that stared at me. Through bottles of Kokannee and Coors Light she told me of her job working as a telemarketer in Sandpoint, Idaho, until one day she grew so tired of annoying people and her boss ordering her to be more determined to keep them on the line that she lost it completely and lit off bottle rockets in the employee lounge.

In the months that followed I saw her on a semi-regular basis. Whenever I came to my lawyer's office, I'd ask what she was doing that night and always it was nothing, she said, although once I heard her call her friend Cathy and decline on a dinner date while I was talking to Paul. 

One day after we went to dinner I was talking to my friend, Neil.

"Evan, saw you at dinner last night."

"Oh." I didn't look at him, instead concentrated on the baseball game on 


A long pause followed.

"What, Neil?" I could virtually hear his grin.

"Who's the chick?" Neil was one of those idiots who tossed buzzwords  around like so many piles of elephant dung.

"Friend of mine."

"How long have you two been shagging?"

"I swear to God Neil, if you don't stop using that word I'm gonna hollow you out and make a fruit bowl out of you."


I sighed lightly. "We haven't."

"Doesn't she dig you?"

"No, Neil."

"Man, what's up with her?" Neil leaned back and reached for some pretzels.

"I don't know, Neil."

That night on the way home I took the exit that lead to Kitty's. Once  there I hesitated before I knocked on the door.

A clamor of voices could be heard from within when she opened the door.

"My parents are here. This had better be very important."

I grabbed her arm and pulled her out into the hall and closed the door. 

"Do you dig me?"


"Do you dig me?" This really wasn't such an unprecedented question. There had been some very awkward moments between us, and once when we went to a premier together the paparazzi took our picture and labelled us as a couple.  Kitty had even bought the article and pinned it up in her room. I asked her about this, but she claimed it was because she had never been in the paper, but then she blushed and quickly changed the subject.

"Are you drunk?"



"No, Kitty."

She bit her lip. "I, well.."

"I got to know."

Kitty turned from me and faced the road. "Then in that case I do. Yes,  Evan, I dig you very much."

At that second the door opened and out came her mother. "Everything all right, sweetie?"

"Yes mother." And she went in.

The next day I walked into Paul's and instantly noticed something was  wrong with Kitty, as in she wasn't there.

I walked up to the secretary. "You're not Kitty."

The woman stood up. "I'm Lauren Melanie Constar. I loved your work on 'Coalminer,' Mr. Davidson."

"What happened to Ms. Aler?" I said very hurriedly, almost panicked.

"Oh, I think she went home."

"Did she get sick?"

"No, actually, she called this morning and said that she went back to  Sandpoint last night."

Lauren continued to say something, but I didn't hear it. All I could hear was a voice in the back of my head condemning me for the actions I did just a few hours ago.

You scared her. She left and went back home, far away from you. She was just humoring you last night. She thought you were high on something and was afraid of what you'd do if she said no. You've driven off the only person you found yourself drawn to time and time again.

And then immediately following my humility came the great equalizer,  revenge and jealousy.

Why are you so torn up. She never even told you what Kitty stood for, did she. It's not your fault, it's hers, for not recognizing what a fantastic guy you are. A big star. You can have any woman in the world but you found the one you couldn't. She must have some major issues if she ran back to that idiot.  Just get on with your life as soon as possible.

I tried to run back to my car, but didn't back it to the elevator. Don't get me wrong, I was all torn up, but I never show my emotions. Instead of  pulling into an empty office to cry or curse, I pulled into an empty office and took out my little black book. I searched it for someone whom I could stand to be around.

Three days after I had made my announcement to the press that I had  indeed proposed to washed-up model HĂ©lène DeMuni the time had come to return to Paul's and make some pre nups.

Kitty was at her desk typing away.

I smiled and said, "Well, where have you been."

In the deep recesses of my mind I hoped that she would have said 
something like. "Nowhere silly. Now let's go grab some grub on my lunch  break," and then the past three days would disappear like a Styrofoam coffee cup in a campfire.

Sadly, these sort of pleasantries only happen in the world of soap operas  and cheap novels. In real life, reality doesn't fade and time doesn't heal  all wounds. 

"I have been in Sandpoint, yes, but I never went back to Phil. I was  visiting my sister, who just happened to have a baby while my parents were on vacation in Nevada. On their way back they stopped by my place to tell me. I went back with them."

Kitty looked up but not at me, at the plant resting by one of the chairs. "I  left a message on your phone phone; you should check them sometime."

I was numb now, and when I was going into the main office I heard her  voice drift from behind me. "I also broke up with Phil, you know, just in  case."

No matter how I tried for the next fifteen minutes, no matter how many  explanations, apologies, and confessions I made, she wouldn't talk to me. She would not even look at me.

That night I had no idea what to do. HĂ©lène was buzzing about the place while I sat, staring at the ceiling. HĂ©lène was extremely happy, hoping that this marriage would help her budding and struggling acting career. 

I had never gotten such coldness from anyone before. The first time I had talked to her looked like a Jacuzzi compared to the artic front I was  currently receiving. I sat and thought for hours, each idea seeming more and more pathetic and hopeless than the last.

Finally, after what seemed days of thought, I came upon what looked like my best option. At about 8:27, December 17, for the first time in a while I was going to humble myself.

I knocked on Kitty's door.

"Go away!"

"Look, I know you're not going to open the door now, probably not even  tonight. So I'm going to stay here until you do."

"Have a sit then. Hope you're not doing any work for the rest of your life, because I'm not letting you in!" 

I was not, however, discouraged. I told the studio I was heading towards a nervous breakdown and needed two weeks alone in the Vermont Hills. If she didn't let me in after two weeks I was going to abandon the project; no one needs love that badly.

All night I sat there, nodding off from time to time, and the next  morning the door opened. I was filled with hope that maybe she had come to  accept my apology, but she was just going to work, and when she returned that night she had not softened towards my plight.

The next morning, however, before she usually went to work, the door  squeaked open. I was asleep but regained my ground instantly. 

"Are you still here?"


She sighed and said "Want to come in and get something to eat?"

Normally I would be very excited about this, but I hadn't eaten since I  got there and all I had to drink was a warm Pepsi that I bribed a little kid  who lived down the hall to fetch me. So I sort of half-sauntered,  half-staggered to her kitchen, where she tossed me an apple and poured some coffee.

"You know, Kitty, you never told me what your real name was."

"There's a good reason for that, you know."

"What?" I said between bites of apple.

"Katherine is what Kitty is derived from."

I shrugged. "That's not that bad of a name."

"Katherine is my middle name. Gladys is my first. "


"I never liked that name. I don't think anyone does."



"Will you marry me?"

"Will you stop being such an idiot if I do?"

"Of course."

"Ok then, Evan." 

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