chapter two

At 1pm Keri and I headed for the station. The whole way there, I tried desperately to get my sister to tell me who I was interviewing.

“No such luck, darling, you heard Jeff. No hints!” she smiled slyly. I growled under my breath, cursing Jeff for the insane rules he placed against me.

After failing miserably at trying to get information, I sat for the rest of the drive in silence. As we passed the tall buildings in downtown Orlando, I grew tense. Our station was only two blocks away. I breathed a sigh of relief, though, when I noticed that the musician I was to interview hadn’t arrived yet. Inside, I was greeted with the usual cheerfulness.

“Hey Cass!” Jay called, pulling me into a bear hug. “Is my partner in crime ready to tackle the big leagues?”

“About as ready as scared kitten.” I replied.

Jay hugged me again. “Poor baby! well, when the guys get here, you’ll see that there’s nothing to worry about!”

“Whoa, wait hold on up there....GUYS??? As in more than one??” I exclaimed.

When Jay didn’t answer me, I went over board. “Why did everyone keep me under the impression that there would only be one person here today? Now I have to interview 2?”

“Um, Cass?” Jay began, wringing his hands nervously. “No one said there were two guys.”

“WHAT?!?!” I exclaimed, raising my voice. I glanced at Gina, who was coming out of her office. She looked at Jay and grinned.

“Way to break the news, hot stuff.” she told him, hitting his arm slightly. I felt my stomach churn, and I knew I wasn’t going to make it through the day.

“Gina,” I started. “I can’t make it. I have to get outta here! This is crazy!”

“Cassie, now you know thats not true. You can handle yourself like no one else. You can do it, trust me!” Gina reassured me. I still wasn’t buying it.

“No, I can’t do this...” I started rambling, as Jay led me to the couch in the lounge and sat me down.

“Hey everyone!” Laurel called cheerfully, strolling into the room. I took one look at her and got even more hysterical.

“YOU!! Why?? Why do you do this to me?” I shouted. Laurel looked at me in disbelief.

“Cass! You’re shaking! Whats going on?” she asked worriedly.

“HOW MANY GUYS AM I INTERVIEWING TODAY?!?!?!?!” I asked her, grabbing her shoulders and shaking them. Laurel, who was taller then me by three inches, grabbed a hold of me and sat me down.

“Is that it, Cass? Is that why you’re all nuts right now?” she asked me gently. I nodded. “Oh Cassie! Its not bad, trust me! I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t know you couldn’t handle it! You know I’m not a horrible person hon! Besides, those guys are really cool, they won’t give you a hard time!”

Laurel’s words managed to calm me. I was blowing the whole situation way out of proportion. She was right. What exactly was it that I couldn’t handle? A few questions? Taking some calls from the listeners? I sighed and took the cup of water Gina handed me.

“OK, you’re right. But I have one question that I think deserves to be answered. I don’t care about the initiation rules anymore. Screw that.” I said, regaining my composure slowly.

“OK, thats fair,” Laurel said. “Shoot.”

“How many guys am I interviewing today?”

“I can answer that,” Keri said, walking in with a clipboard. She gazed at her list and looked down at me. “Five.”

“Five?” I asked incredulously. “Five? I hope they don’t all talk at once!” I felt myself loosing my cool again. “Excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom.” I got up and headed out the door.

“But Cass, wait!” Laurel called from the lounge. “They’re already here! They're headed towards the lounge, you have to meet them!”

“They can wait!” I yelled as I made my way down the hall. I went into our co-ed bathroom and sat in a stall. I held my head in my hands as I tried to recollect myself. It was then that I heard some unfamiliar voices.

“Dude! A co-ed bathroom!” a male voice exclaimed.

“What the hell is this? Ally McBeal?” the other male voice said. I studied the contrast between the two: one was semi-childish, and the other was deep and raspy.

“Come on guys, just do your stuff and lets get this show on the road.” the third voice said. That was Mike, my wonderful “Midnight Mike.” I smiled at his attempt to run the show, and grinned even more when they other two guys finally gave in to his orders.

I stepped out of the stall when I found myself alone again, and fixed myself up a bit in front of the mirror. I was fixing my wild curls when Keri walked into the bathroom.

“Did you meet them?” she asked me. I shook my head no. “Two of them were just in here!” she said.

“I heard them and Mike, I was in a stall trying to collect my thoughts. I stayed quiet until they left.” I replied simply. “But I should meet them all, huh? Lets get that over with now.” I grabbed my bag and my sister’s hand and walked out of the bathroom. I stopped in the studio to drop my bag in my cubby, and said a quick hello to Mark, who was getting ready to do a traffic report.

“How’s my favorite jerk today?” I teased him. He gave me his trademark goofy grin and thumbs up sign and hit the “On Air” button. I laughed softly as I shut the door to his sound booth.

As I neared the lounge, I took some deep breaths, attempting successfully to calm myself. I opened the door to the lounge...and hit someone.

[chapter 01 | chapter index | chapter 03]