“Hello?” Phillip asked after answering his phone.
“Mr. Phillip Phillips?” a voice asked.
“Yes, who is this?”
“This is Joan Slanders, I’m calling in behalf of Mr. Simon Fuller.”
Why was the creator of Idol contacting him? He was dropped by the label that worked with the show after releasing his first album. He lived up to the failure-of-a-legacy the “White Guys with Guitar” era brought.
“What do you want?” he replied angrily. He did not want to be associated with the man’s show in any way possible anymore.
“We are glad your career has risen, congratulations on the hit single.”
“Listen, I know it’s been a while but as you know American Idol is coming to an end after this season. We wanted to bring back all the previous winners, from seasons 1 to 14.”
Of course they wanted that. This was their last chance to exploit the former contestants to earn a few more millions. He refused to be part of this. “If I don’t agree?” he asked.
“It’s in your contract. If you refuse there will be legal repercussions. Don’t worry we will take care of everything. Rehearsals will start one month from now but we need you in our LA studio in two weeks.”
“We’re making a compilation CD. 15 tracks. It will be released shortly after the winner of Season 15 is announced.”
That sounded exhausting. “You want all the winners to sing a track?”
“Well, sort of. A duet actually.”
“Yes. The winners and the runner-ups of the different seasons. Should be fun. You and Jessica are scheduled to record in two weeks.”
She will be with him. Suddenly, he couldn’t wait to do the Idol recording and rehearsals. “Has she confirmed the date?”
He hated American Idol and what it did to his career. The producers focused on his looks instead of his talent, that’s why he garnered a huge teenage following. That was probably why he won. He didn’t feel like much of a winner after realizing that. When he finally released his own material, the fan girls did not like it because it wasn’t poppy, so they moved on to another cute guy. Thus, the flop. But a contract is a contact, he had to oblige. He confirmed his appearance to the rep, gave his manager’s contact details and hung up.
He tried calling Jessica but she didn’t answer, again. The last time he saw her was a month ago at the Grammys. They haven’t communicated since. He sent her text messages and emails asking to meet up and also called her a few times but she never contacted him back. She must have been busy.
At least this stupid Idol thing will allow them a chance to have a real conversation. He kept thinking about the Grammys. She had this confused look in her face the whole time they talked. He wanted to congratulate her on her awards but she kept trying to end their conversation.
What made her feel so uncomfortable around him?
He was in a recording studio when his phone rang. It was Jessica. He nearly fell off his chair as he rushed to answer it.
“Hey Phillip. It’s Jessica.” she replied.
His heart beat faster. He missed her voice. “Hey Jess, how have you been? Thought you were avoiding me,” he responded. Well, that was blunt.
She laughed. “No I wasn’t. I’m sorry I have just been really busy lately. Did someone from Idol call you?” she asked.
“Yeah, Fuller’s rep. We are bound by our contracts.”
“I know. I don’t mind though. Anyway, I’ll see you in two weeks?” her voice seemed warmer now compared to a month ago.
“Actually, uh, I wanted to uh, to meet up with you before the uh, the - the recording.” He was mumbling again.
There was a pause.
“Jess?” he asked.
“Oh I’m sorry. Well, I’m in San Diego now with my family, haven’t seen them in a while. Where are you?”
“Cool! I’m in LA, pretty close. I can probably drive there?” he said excitedly.
“You would do that?” she asked. She sounded surprised.
“Yeah, my Ford car is still pretty useable you know.” he joked.
She giggled. “You still use the old one they gave us?” she asked.
What she said rubbed him the wrong way. “Yeah no, I couldn’t afford a fancy car. I’m not as successful as you, Jess.”
“Phillip, I didn’t mean to…”
“Actually, I’ll see you in two weeks. See ya.”
“Oh. Okay bye.”
He hung up. He threw his phone somewhere at the sofa and held his guitar. He took a swig from his beer and proceeded to recording his new material.
“Go hit it, Berty.” he signaled Robert, his manager, to start the track.
She felt bad. She didn’t mean to indirectly insult him.
It has been a month since they last talked but it seemed like forever to her. She had to confront her emotions towards him, both positive and negative. That’s why she didn’t return any of his calls or emails. She needed time. She kept telling herself that she was a mature adult; she couldn’t let a memory from her teenage years ruin everything she has built both personally and career-wise.
It happened so long ago. She and Phillip were actually good friends before all the confusion happened. She had to move on already. She felt guilty on how she acted during the Grammys, she didn’t even congratulate him on his comeback performance. That’s why she called him, but obviously that didn’t work out well.
She decided to just tweet him.
Jessica Sanchez Official @JSanchezOfficial
“Just wanted to again congratulate @phillips on his amazing performance last month in the Grammys. Hope to see you soon. :)”
She had to accept the fact that she and Phillip were going to see more of each other. His song was charting everywhere and his performance in the Grammys got rave reviews. She watched it again on Youtube because she was not able to appreciate it fully live. Her shock and her thoughts overwhelmed her.
The media went crazy about Phillip’s waist holding move. She hated scrolling over “paparazzi” sites but she wanted to know what they were all talking about. Before the site could fully load, Kendall slammed her laptop shut.
“Jay, really? You couldn’t date other successful men? A lot of guys have been trying to reach out to you but you warm up to Phillip Phillips? Heck I’d choose Bieber over him.” he asked.
“What are you talking about? You know how active I am in social media, I just clicked a link –“
“I saw you type his name on Google,” he said neutrally.
“Okay whatever. But he was my buddy! You know that.”
“He was not your buddy.”
He was too nosy she couldn’t stand it.
“Why are you so interested anyway? This is my personal life!” She snapped at him.
“Your personal life is my business too, Jessica. And what is this tweet of yours?” He showed her, her latest tweet about Phillip. “Are you creating some kind of media buzz or something? Because if so, I’m down with that.”
“I just forgot to congratulate him, that’s all.”
“Couldn’t do it over the phone?”
She walked out on him. That’s one thing she hated about Kendall. He was so keen on making her a star that he forgot who she really was. She wasn’t “BB Chez” all the time. She was Jessica, the person who just really loved to sing and interact with her supporters and tweet her friends. She appreciated all the opportunities fame has given her but that’s not the most important to her. She needed space from her manager.
She stopped by her favorite café and tried to calm herself down. Come to think of it, what if she dates Phillip? She could do it, just to piss Kendall off. He thinks she’s too good to date men who weren’t earning millions? Well guess what, she’s not. She had unsettled feelings towards Phillip but that shouldn’t stop them from becoming friends. She did not really want to catch up with him or anything because it might make things complicated, she was okay with just being civil, but Kendall made her rethink her decision.
She dialed Phillip’s phone. Voicemail: “Hey y’all I’m pretty busy right now but tell me what y’all thinkin’ after the beep, I’ll be sure to reply thanks.” Beep.
“Hey PP. Look, I’d really love for you to come visit me in San Diego. I’m sorry about what I said earlier; I didn’t mean it in that way. Please return my call. I – I miss you.” she said.
Kendall would be so pissed. She placed her phone back in her bag and took a sip of her white mocha latte. She knew the moment she pressed send she was going to go through an unstable, dangerous path. But she didn’t really care anymore.
Here we go.