Part chaperone, part babysitter, part therapist... all business.

Hello, Friend.  My name is Ester Sharpe—of the Buckhead, Atlanta Sharpes.  Yes, my father is THAT Sharpe, the media mogul, and yes, my mother is THAT supermodel, from the 1980s.  (I look like my father.)  You probably noticed my family has been getting its own fair share of media itself lately since my dad lost his ever-loving mind and did some incredibly stupid things, including having an affair with a girl who’s my age—twenty-six.  In case you missed it, my mother went nuclear on his assets and they seem determined to murder each other in the tabloids and over social media.  They each want me on their side, which is amusing considering they’ve pretty much ignored me most of my life.

With all the unpleasantness associated with being a Sharpe at the moment, everyone thought it best if I left my marketing position with my father’s company and found something else until things quiet down.  Easier said than done, but I finally landed a job as an Escort Girl. No, not THAT kind of escort.  I work for a local PR firm and it’s my job to meet, greet, and be discreet with VIPs who come to Atlanta to publicize their music, books, movies, TV shows, politics, clothing, beauty products, food, housewares, charitable causes, or anything else they’re hawking to the masses.

I’m part chaperone, part babysitter, part therapist to these needy, attention-seeking celebrities, and I’m on call round the clock.  Because my family has always been in the spotlight, I know how to avoid a scandal, but my clients don’t always listen.  Still, my goal is to get them where they need to be (on time and sober), keep them out of trouble while they’re here, and send them on their way with as little damage to themselves and to others as possible.

I don’t want to do this forever… but for now it’s a good diversion from my own messed-up life.

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August 12, Friday

I wasn’t wild about escorting Dr. David on his return to town, but I conceded it was because my mother fancied herself in love with the gauze-wearing, sandal-footed Jesus-clone.  In the time since the man had last visited Atlanta, his popularity had exploded.  This time he was able to fill half the arena in the Georgia World Congress Center.

But his message was, as far as I could tell, about the same—wispy and mystical, peppered with words like “aura” and “soul power.”  And while one might think a larger audience would dilute the hold he seemed to have over his followers, I realized while watching from backstage that the crowd seemed swept up in itself.  The energy created was a self-fulfilling prophecy that was attributed solely to Dr. David’s electric personality.

Once again, my mother was front and center in the audience, arms lifted and swaying as she chanted along with thousands of other devotees.

And while I watched, a memory slid into my brain.  Dollie had attended the man’s last event at the Fox Theater, had been completely caught up in his program.  It occurred to me that if she were in hiding of her own volition to sort out some kind of emotional issue, she might emerge to attend this event, too.

I tasked a backstage hand to find a pair of binoculars, which I used to slowly scan the audience, looking for a sign of Dollie.  It was laborious and headache-inducing and after fifteen minutes I was ready to give up.

There.

I stopped.  Something about the brunette near the end of a row seemed familiar—the way she held her head, maybe.  Could it be Dollie in a wig?  I stared at her so hard my eyes crossed, but I couldn’t make out her face.  I lowered the binoculars and scrambled to exit the stage to the floor.  Every passing second seemed interminable as I threaded my way through bodies and flashed my badge to security.  When I reached the area where I’d seen the brunette, I couldn’t find her.

And then I wondered if I’d concocted the entire scenario in my mind.  ~

A Note from the Author