Dumping Taylor Swift
A story by Budgie Bigelow, starring Budgie Bigelow
The following is a work of “fiction”:
Prologue: OK. Let’s get you all up to speed.
Budgie Bigelow turned the water off and stepped out of the huge shower. He walked toward the mirror over the sink and wiped at the condensation with his hand so he could see his reflection. He left his glasses on the nightstand, so he was blurry.
“Who are you?” Budgie asked his reflection. He watched his silent self, wondering why it wasn’t answering. He once knew the answer to that question, but so much had changed over the course of the last eighteen months.
It all started with an email. A production company got ahold of an ebook he wrote called Askharoth, and they were very interested in buying the rights and filming. Around the same time, a pilot for his sitcom, Freedom Lane, was made, and a bidding war for the show ensued once it was passed around. A deal was reached, bringing Budgie and his wife and daughter from Connecticut to Hollywood to write and produce with the company who wanted him so badly while the movie based on his book was filmed.
Things went from good to bad as he put in long days to get the show out. He promised his family and himself that Hollywood wouldn’t change him back at the end of twenty-sixteen, but that wasn’t how things worked on the West Coast. He was meeting celebrities, hobnobbing, partying, and everything in between. Things got worse after Askharoth premiered to glorious reviews from both fans and critics.
Budgie’s wife, Melanie, returned to Connecticut. She filed for divorce as soon as her plane touched down in Hartford. Their daughter went with her. All he had was a note about how he had changed, and they weren’t willing to change with him. She wished him well and only asked for what she needed for their daughter. He couldn’t decide if she was being noble or passive-aggressive, so he agreed to it along with some extra to help her out as she started her old life anew on the opposite side of the country.
Budgie spiraled after his wife left. How could he not? The woman he counted as his soulmate had left him after an almost twenty year relationship. The two had dated since they were nineteen, and it was over a little over a year after he signed the contract to put Askharoth on the big screen. The months that followed were lonely, so it was no wonder he had done what he had just done.
“You showered fast,” Taylor Swift said, coming into the huge bathroom of her mansion, wearing nothing but Budgie’s Vagabond Saints tee-shirt. “I was coming to join you.”
“Then why’d you put my shirt on?” Budgie asked.
Taylor giggled. “It smells like you,” she said.
Budgie smiled, not knowing where to go from here. He had met Taylor by chance a week earlier. The two were at the same ass-kissing charity event, and he had ended up at the bar the same time as she did. “Give me a Captain and Diet Coke,” he said. Budgie felt out of place and only knew a few people (who were too busy networking to talk). Melanie was always the one who initiated mingling at parties, and he was lost without her.
“Make that two,” Taylor said, coming up on his left side. He recognized who she was immediately, but he’d never admit it. The bartender nodded, grabbed two glasses, and started making the drinks.
“You’re a Captain Morgan girl?” Budgie asked, already tipsy.
“Sometimes,” Taylor said. “I just never know what to order, so I follow guys to the bar and ask for the same thing they just got. It makes things easier.”
Budgie didn’t know if she was joking or not, and it took him a moment to start laughing. Taylor paused before laughing too. “I’m Taylor,” she said.
“Hi,” Budgie said, lightly shaking Taylor’s slender and soft hand. “I’m Budgie. Nice to meet you.”
The drinks were placed in front of them, the dark brown liquid fizzed as the bartender dropped a small slice of lime in each. Taylor picked her’s up and took a sip through the straw. She winced and shivered. Budgie laughed again. “Not used to rum?” he asked.
“Is that what’s in Captain Morgan?” Taylor asked, looking at her glass.
The two had a short conversion about the party. Taylor was pulled away by some Hollywood big shot who wanted a picture, and Budgie went back into the background. He wasn’t famous enough to be known by site and be pulled away for publicity photos.
They ran into each other again in a coffee shop on a lukewarm February day, living the cliché. Taylor had her hair tied back and wore a hat and sunglasses in an effort to be able to go out without the paparazzi snapping her photo. She had to pull her dark aviator sunglasses down to show Budgie who she was. She seemed much different in street clothes rather than the party dress she was wearing the first time they had met.
“You on your way to something good?” Taylor asked, sitting across from Budgie at one of the small coffee shop tables.
“Just listening to some voice actors put speech to my sitcom,” Budgie said. “Standard animation thing I’m guessing.”
“Oh, you’re doing a cartoon?” Taylor asked. “I love those. Think you can get me a guest star part?”
“I don’t know,” Budgie said thinking. “I’m sure there’s a character somewhere you can voice. I did write an episode where two of my characters run into you at a concert.”
“Really?” Taylor asked. “What happens?”
“One of them threatens to strip off your skin you and use it as a condom,” Budgie said.
Taylor looked shocked, then she started laughing. “You’re sick,” she said.
Budgie shrugged. “That’s what I hear,” he said. “Sorry. The stuff I write is a little dark sometimes.”
“It’s OK,” Taylor said, taking a sip of her iced latte. “I like a little dark.”
They decided to meet up after their respective appointments, and Taylor had made herself up in the short time since their coffee. They had a quick dinner at a dark and private restaurant, and Taylor’s driver took them back to her house when they were done. The two got rambunctious in the back of the limo, making out and grabbing at each other. When they got back to her bedroom, they had made love in a frenzy.
Taylor looked at Budgie now, staring at his eyes while wearing his shirt. He knew what that look meant. It meant that she didn’t want him to leave. He didn’t get her attraction to him. He wasn’t tall, fit, or handsome by Hollywood standards. He wasn’t even as rich as her former boyfriends the tabloids constantly listed.
Budgie kissed Taylor, and she returned the gesture, leaning into him. “Do you need to go?” she asked when she pulled way, confirming Budgie’s theory.
Budgie thought about it. If he left, he’d have to head back to his house, small compared to the one Taylor lived in by herself. He would climb into his king-sized bed by himself and stare at the ceiling until his eyes got too heavy to stay open. He still wasn’t sure how he actually felt about Taylor, but spending the night in her mansion definitely felt like the lesser of two evils.
“I don’t need to go,” Budgie said. “I’ll stay the night if you’ll have me.”
Taylor smiled and kissed Budgie again. She took him by the hand and walked him back toward her bed.
Chapter 1: Budgie is dating Taylor Swift now. Deal with it.
Days passed since Budgie’s first real tryst with Taylor Swift. He went to work getting Freedom Lane ready for its series premiere in the spring. He tried not to read his texts of answer his emails while he did this. Askharoth was up for multiple Oscars, including best picture, and Budgie didn’t want to jinx it by being wished luck too many times. He’s superstitious like that.
“Hey, Budge,” a voice said from the doorway to Budgie’s office. It was Harvey Pitsberg, who told everyone his name was “like the city, except spelled how the Jews spell it”. He was overseeing Freedom Lane’s transition from non-existence to animated sitcom. He wasn’t exactly Budgie’s boss. He’d probably be considered a partner who can make or break the show and Budgie’s career.
“Hey, Harvey,” Budgie said. “What’s up? You get the new scripts?”
“The editors are pouring over them as we speak,” Harvey said. He was bald with a bad combover, brown as if he’d spent a couple minutes too long in the tanning bed, and wore small, circular glasses on top of his nose. He was exactly how Budgie imagined Hollywood producer types before he was out there. “But that’s not why I’m here.”
“What can I do for you?” Budgie asked, feigning politeness. He hated the way Harvey liked to tease a conversation before getting into it.
“I want to know who you’re bringing to the Oscars,” Harvey said, smiling a set of whitened teeth. “You thinking of anyone?”
“Not really,” Budgie said. He knew what Harvey wanted: confirmation that he was dating Taylor Swift. He probably had TMZ on hold in his office.
The truth was Budgie planned on going to the Oscars alone. He negotiated to be a producer on the film, and he was eligible to take home the statue if it won best picture. He was allowed a plus-one on his invitation, but he hadn’t thought of bringing anyone. He still imagined Melanie there, sitting next to him and clapping politely whether he won or lost.
“I’m sure there’s someone you have in mind,” Harvey said. “There’s nobody you’d want on your arm while you walk the red carpet?”
Budgie sighed. “Is TMZ on the phone right now?” he asked.
Harvey laughed. “Come on,” he pleaded. “Do you have any idea the favor they’d owe me if I got you to admit you’re dating Taylor Swift?!”
“You’re going to owe me a gigantic favor,” Budgie said. “Yes, I’m currently…dating… Taylor Swift.”
“And you’re taking her to the Oscars?” Harvey asked. “They specifically want to know -”
“I haven’t asked her,” Budgie said. “You want me to call her right now and ask her to go with me before you leak the story and your shorts?!”
“Can you?” Harvey asked, folding his hands in front of him. He pushed out his bottom lip like a gigantic, ugly baby.
“Shit,” Budgie said, picking his cellphone up from his desk. “I see why Manny stayed in Jersey.”
Budgie climbed off of Taylor after completing his mediocre orgasm after love-making he’d put somewhere in the category of nailing a deflated blowup doll with bones and fake tits. He remembered the first time with Taylor being spectacular, but the combination of booze and desperation had probably made it feel better than it was. The more they did it, the less work Taylor put in. He couldn’t even get her to flip over this time. What’s the point of a prosthetic ass of you don’t let your boyfriend bounce off it a bit?
“What are you thinking about?” Taylor asked, draping her arm on Budgie’s chest.
“This,” Budgie lied, pulling her close. He was mainly thinking about how bad his dick was going to hurt after the toothy blow job she had given him. It felt like he was face-fucking a rabid beaver.
“I can’t wait for the Oscars,” Taylor said. “I think I already know what I want to wear.”
“That’s nice,” Budgie said with a yawn. The last thing he wanted to do was talk about the Oscars, which were less than a week away.
“Do you think you’ll win?” Taylor asked.
Budgie didn’t answer. He didn’t want to jinx it with a yes or a no. “I can’t talk about it,” he said. “Sorry, but I’m superstitious when it comes to this stuff. I used to always think that Freedom Lane would never be made if I kept thinking about it being made. I know, it’s silly.”
“But it will be awesome if you win!” Taylor said.
Budgie groaned. He wondered how much of what he just said she had actually heard. “I don’t want to talk about it,” he said.
“OK,” Taylor said, sounding a little upset. “I can take your mind off it.” She started kissing his neck and moving her hands onto his body. Soon after, they were making love again.
Budgie wished they had talked about the Oscars instead.
Budgie and Taylor were having dinner the night before the Oscars. News of their relationship was out thanks to a story from an anonymous source on TMZ, so they didn’t have to sneak out in secret. Budgie never understood why Taylor had a need to keep things quiet until they were leaked.
Taylor was no longer bringing up the Oscars per Budgie’s request. Instead, she was asking him about something he equally didn’t want to talk about. “So, do you hear from your ex-wife much?” Taylor asked, between dinner and dessert.
“Not really,” Budgie answered.
Taylor picked up on his discomfort. “I’m sorry for bringing it up,” Taylor said. “Talking about the breakup helps. Heartbreak is the national anthem. We sing it proudly.”
Budgie snapped out of his brief memories of the good times with his wife. “What?” he asked. “Where’d you get that? ‘Heartbreak is the national anthem’? It most certainly is not.”
“It’s from my song, ‘New Romantics’,” Taylor replied.
“And you definitely shouldn’t be proud of how many times you’ve been dumped,” Budgie said. “Holy shit. That’s a real song lyric of your?!”
Taylor looked away, and Budgie wished he hadn’t said anything. He didn’t even know why he was being a dick. Maybe he was more annoyed with Taylor bringing up his wife than he let on. “Sorry,” she said. “I just know what it’s like breaking up.”
Budgie sighed. She wasn’t wrong. She was in the news enough for getting dumped by a who’s who of DJs, musicians, actors, and rich politician kids. He made a mental note to get himself checked out for STDs.
“I’m sorry,” Budgie said. “I guess the wounds of losing my wife are still fresh, fresher than I thought.”
“It’s alright,” Taylor said, smiling and putting her hand on top of his. “I’ll stick around for a bit and help you out.”
“Thanks,” Budgie said, not knowing how he felt about her sticking around.
“Do you know of any Oscar after parties?” Taylor asked. “I bet you’ll want to party pretty hard after you get your statue.”
Budgie sighed, biting his tongue and holding back the stream of obscenities begging to burst from his mouth. He turned his head and saw someone walking through the restaurant. “Holy shit,” he said.
“What?” Taylor said, looking around.
“It’s fuckin’ Loki!” Budgie said, starstruck.
“Who?” Taylor asked.
Budgie was up as Tom Hiddleston walked past his table. “Hi,” he said. “I’m sorry, but I’m a huge fan of the Avengers. You were great in that and the Thor movies.”
“Thank you,” Tom said. He glanced at Taylor, who had not gotten up. “Good to see you.”
Taylor crossed her arms and looked away. “Tom,” she said.
Tom looked back to Budgie. “I saw your film,” he said. “The whole thing from the villain’s point of view was brilliant. I’d love to work with you if you have anything else like that up your sleeve.”
“Hey, it’s Hollywood,” Budgie said. “Have your guy call my guy. Can I snap a quick pic?”
“Sure,” Tom said, smiling as if he was hoping he could go eat soon. Budgie pulled out his phone from his pocket and took a selfie with Tom.
“Thanks,” Budgie said.
“No problem,” Tom said, moving away. “Enjoy your night.”
“You too,” Budgie said, sitting down. “What a great guy. I’m putting that pic right up on my Instagram.”
“I used to date him, you know,” Taylor said, visibly annoyed, “but you must’ve not known, being new to Hollywood and all.”
“Oh, I knew,” Budgie said, punching the face of his phone to post the picture, “but it’s fuckin’ Loki!”
“The tabloids are going to love that picture, by the way,” Taylor said, frowning. “I can’t wait.”
“Fuckin’ Loki,” Budgie said, finishing his post and putting his phone away again. “What were we talking about?”
Chapter 2: The Oscars are, always were, and always will be bullshit.
Oscar night came un-climatically. Taylor spent four hours getting ready while Budgie typed on his iPad, putting his suit on fifteen minutes before the arrival of their limo. Her fake body parts looked spectacular in the tiny dress she wore, and Budgie didn’t regret letting her stick around so much.
”Ready?” Taylor asked, holding Budgie’s hand as they left her mansion for the waiting limo.
”Ready,” Budgie replied.
Budgie was not ready.
The red carpet was a brand new Hell. He had dealt with this during the premiere of Askharoth, but the fanfare was much smaller. He was still mostly unknown then, and nobody thought his movie was going to do as well as it had. There was that, and he hadn’t had a pop music super-diva on his arm.
They were stopped every few minutes to pose for pictures from every tabloid, celebrity “news” show, and various internet sites. Budgie hadn’t even heard of half of them, and he was doing his best of feign interest in the constant snapping of pictures and requests to answer a few questions. Taylor seemed to be loving it.
“It gets easier,” a voice said to his side. He turned to see Bradley Cooper, who was up for Best Supporting Actor as Henry Charmont in Askharoth.
“Thanks, Brad,” Budgie said, shaking his hand. He was aware of the cameras snapping their pictures, but he was trying to be as calm as Bradley was.
“Nice pull, by the way,” Bradley said, nodding toward Taylor, who was talking up some interviewer about being there with someone up for Best Picture and comparing it to her many Grammy wins. “She tried to get me a while back, but I turned her down. I don’t need that kind of drama. She sent me the filthiest texts though. You should be having fun.”
“Thanks,” Budgie said. Taylor came over to them, gave Bradley a small smile, and the two walked away as the interviewer was asking him about being nominated again.
“He’s such a jerk,” Taylor whispered, “always talking about how I tried to do him. It’s such bullshit. I hope whatever movie he’s in doesn’t win a damn thing.”
“For fuck’s sake, Taylor!” Budgie snapped. “He’s in my movie!”
The actual show wasn’t much better than the clusterfuck of the long walk down the red carpet. Budgie sat with his stomach turning over itself. He was happy Taylor was there, even though he hadn’t talked to her much after her cursing of Bradley Cooper. He gripped her hand hard during the three plus hour show, especially when a category for which Askharoth had been nominated had been presented.
Askharoth had won quite a few awards, including Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor (Budgie clapped exuberantly while Taylor lightly clapped with a grumble). Bradley even thanked Budgie in his acceptance speech for writing such an incredible story. Askharoth did not win for Best Director, which wasn’t a good sign. Budgie decided to stay cautiously optimistic. Finally, after what felt like days, it was time for the final Oscar to be awarded: Best Picture.
“You got this,” Taylor whispered in Budgie’s ear. He only nodded. He knew if he’d talk, what little of what he’d been able to eat might have come back up. The first book he wrote had become his first movie, and it was his first nomination for an Oscar. He didn’t know how many opportunities he’d have to win if Askharoth lost.
Budgie pushed the thoughts of losing out of his head as the names of the other movies were read. He hadn’t seen one of them, so he had no idea what he was up against. All he knew was his movie was named, and his stomach leapt again. He grasped Taylor’s hand tighter, wishing it was Melanie’s.
“And the winner,” some bubbly actress Budgie didn’t know said, ripping open the envelope. “Forrest Gump!”
Budgie relinquished his grip on Taylor’s hand. He was shocked and more upset than he thought he would be. How could that shitty reboot of Forrest Gump win an Oscar anyway?! Melissa McCarthy as Forrest Gump?! What the hell were they thinking?!
But it paid off for them. The director and producers waltzed up to the stage, high-fiving each other. Budgie clapped politely, feeling no joy for the winners. He knew he shouldn’t be surprised or feel so full of rage, but he couldn’t help it. It was his first Oscar loss after all.
“It’s alright,” Taylor said, walking back to the limo with Budgie. “You’ll feel better at the after-party.”
“I don’t feel much like partying,” Budgie said. He had just got done being interviewed again, this time about his loss. He was suppose to talk about how much of an honor it was just to be nominated, but he didn’t have it in him. He gave some polite responses, and he hoped they wouldn’t be played. There were more interesting people to talk to anyway.
“Just be lucky Kanye West didn’t interrupt your acceptance speech,” Taylor said. “He did that to me when I won a VMA. It was…”
“Wait,” Budgie said. “Are you trying to be empathetic by bringing up that time Kanye interrupted you on stage?”
“Yeah,” Taylor said. “It was humiliating.”
“But you won,” Budgie said, “and you’ve won tons of awards since then too.”
“Yeah,” Taylor said. “I can’t even count how many.”
“So don’t try to be empathetic,” Budgie said, not caring how much of a tantrum he was throwing. “Just let me silently vent and get over it. I’ll be fine.”
“Sorry,” Taylor said, rolling her eyes. “I hope you’re not like this when I take you to the Grammys.”
Budgie mumbled a phrase under his breath as they got into the limo that started with the word “dirty” and ended with “cunt”.
Chapter 3: Budgie finally comes to his senses and decides to dump that harpy.
Days passed since the Oscars. Budgie tried to avoid Taylor and stayed at his own house. He got a text from Taylor as he worked at his desk. “Are you and I OK?” it read.
Budgie sighed. They weren’t, and he knew it. He also knew Taylor would try to hang on despite the ups and downs they had gone through since they started dating. He knew he was going to have to dump her, but he wouldn’t do it through a text message. She deserved to have a face-to-face breakup, and he might even get some goodbye sex out of it, and maybe the last time might be as decent as the first time.
“I need to see you,” Budgie texted back. “What are you doing today?”
“I’m doing some recording,” Taylor’s almost immediate text back read, but in much more horrible grammar. “You can come here at two, and we can go for lunch after.”
“OK,” was all Budgie sent back. He put his phone down on his desk and put his face in his hands. It was going to be a long afternoon.
Budgie’s taxi took him to the recording studio Taylor used, and he got out and walked up to the third floor, where Taylor was recording some of her signature generic pop music. Budgie sat in the waiting area. He had gotten there a little early, but he had always prided himself on being prompt.
“Budgie!” Taylor’s agent, Lou Masterberg, said, holding out his arms. He was tall, in his late thirties, had a familiar fake tan, and slicked back hair. “I heard you were coming by. Sorry to hear about the snub at the Oscars. A remake should never win.”
“Thanks,” Budgie said. “Fuckin’ prudes probably didn’t like all the sex and the rape scene in a movie about Cinderella too much.”
“Look, I need to talk to you about Taylor,” Lou said, changing the subject.
“Is she OK?” Budgie asked, not wanting to hear the answer. The last thing he wanted to hear was that she was terminally ill or something. Then he’d never be able to ditch her.
“I’ve been with that girl a long time,” Lou said. “I’ve seen a lot of guys come and go, so I know the signs. I can read them as easily as Doctor Seuss.”
“What are you talking about?” Budgie asked.
“You’re going to dump her, right?” Lou asked, sitting down across from Budgie. “Be honest.”
“Yeah,” Budgie said. “So what?! We’re both better off. She’ll probably be all for it.”
“No,” Lou said, shaking his head, “she won’t be, but you’re going to have to do it anyway, right?”
“This isn’t going to work out,” Budgie said. “Am I breaking up with her through you or something? You Hollywood bastards are weird as fuck.”
“I want to make a deal with you,” Lou said. “I’ve seen that girl get dumped time after time after time, and it never gets easier. You’ve probably heard her music. It’s mostly about failed relationships or relationships doomed to fail. Artists like Katy Perry and Demi Lovato are all writing songs about being empowered, independent women, and Taylor is still stuck in dump music. It’s goddamn sad if you ask me.”
“So what do you want me to do?” Budgie asked, “marry her or something?”
“God no,” Lou said. “I want you to let her breakup with you. She’s clingy though, so you’ll have to force her to do it.”
“That’s bullshit,” Budgie said. “I’m ending it now. I’m not getting sucked into your sick game.”
“Five million dollars,” Lou said. There was no hint of a smile on his face.
“Excuse me?” Budgie asked.
“I’ll pay five million dollars if you can get her to dump you,” Lou said, “ten million if it’s public.”
“That’s a lot of money,” Budgie said, mulling.
“How much do you think she’s worth to us?” Lou asked.
“I don’t know,” Budgie said. “Just under five million?”
“What?!” Lou exclaimed, almost jumping backwards. “It’s a lot more than that! I just offered you ten!”
“I was joking,” Budgie said.
“I’ll have you know I’m friends with Chris Pratt’s agent too,” Lou said. “Rumor is, he’s interested in your book, ‘Desperately Seeking Shemale’. On top of the money, I’ll set up a dialogue between you two dynamos.”
“Is this really that important to you?” Budgie asked.
“Yes,” Lou said. “Formulaic pop music is great and all, but image is everything. Taylor’s fans are getting sick of the dump music. She needs something more, a new edge. Let her change the dynamic. Let her dump you, Budgie. It’ll benefit you both.”
Budgie thought about it, allowing Lou to watch him do so. “I don’t know,” he said. “It seems kind of evil.”
“She’ll be out in a minute or two,” Lou said, rising from his chair. “Dump her over lunch if you want. Get her to dump you, and you’ll get the money and another shot at the Oscars with Pratt. You know the academy will eat that romantic transexual comedy shit up.”
“Yeah,” Budgie said, “and Chris Pratt is kind of perfect for that role.”
“If she’s not dumped by later this afternoon, I’ll have the contract sent to your office,” Lou said. “Keep in mind: if you do break up with her after you sign, we will take legal action against you. Enjoy your lunch.”
Budgie watched Lou leave, wishing again that Hollywood wasn’t the scum hole it was. He only wanted to create with his writing, and now he was tit-deep in pop star drama and deals with weirdo agents. He imagined what might have been going on back in Connecticut, and he wondered if freezing his ass off and shoveling the sidewalk was better than what he was going through here. It was less complicated anyway.
“Hi,” Taylor said, smiling as she came in only moments after Lou had left. “You ready?”
“Yeah,” Budgie said, standing up. “Let’s go.”
Budgie and Taylor went out for lunch. Taylor had a salad with a side of lite dressing. Budgie had a sandwich and fries. “I know your wanted to come out to talk to me,” Taylor said. “What did you want to talk about?”
Budgie looked into Taylor’s face. He knew she was expecting the breakup right there. She had been through it too many times not to know it. Budgie thought about Lou. He thought about the money. He thought about Chris Pratt and Desperately Seeking Shemale. Most of all, the thought about the poor girl, sitting in front of him, waiting to be dumped, again.
“I wanted to say that I’m sorry,” Budgie said. “I blew up after the Oscars, and I shouldn’t have. You were just trying to help, and I threw it back in your face.”
“Is that it?” Taylor asked.
“That’s it,” Budgie said. He reached across the table and put his hand over her’s. He was hoping she wanted to breakup as much as he did. If he was lucky, she’d throw a full-on hissy fit, earning him and extra five million.
“I forgive you,” Taylor said, smiling. “It was a hard night for you. In fairness, I don’t really know what it’s like not to win.”
Budgie held his rage in check. What was wrong with this bitch? Couldn’t she see that their relationship was dead inside? He realized that getting himself dumped was going to be much harder than he originally thought.
“Do you want to head back to my place after lunch?” Taylor asked. “My bed has felt lonely without you these last few nights.”
Budgie shivered. “Sure,” he said, forcing a smile. In his mind, he was contemplating his next move.
“Oh wait,” Budgie said. “I just have to swing by my office sometime first. I have some contracts to sign.”
Chapter 4: Budgie loves jalapeño poppers
March came, and it brought in a whole new era for the relationship of Budgie Bigelow and Taylor Swift. Budgie was unleashing every plan the thought would make Taylor dump him, but she shrugged it all off.
Taylor Swift was being interviewed for a TV spot, and Budgie felt it was the perfect opportunity to tag along to cause some much-needed mischief. Taylor thought it was a great idea too, but for other reasons.
“I’m so happy you came,” Taylor said, putting makeup on her face in her green room. “I love that you’re taking an interest in my career and music.”
“Yeah,” Budgie sad, helping himself to his fourth and fifth jalapeño popper from the assortment of food and beverages that Taylor had scarcely touched. “Your music is trash, but it pays the bills, right?”
Taylor huffed. “I wish you wouldn’t talk like that,” she said. “My music has a message.”
“Yeah it does,” Budgie said. “I hear it loud and clear, too: change the station.”
Taylor looked at Budgie in the mirror for a moment, and he was sure she was going to flip. Instead, she laughed. “You almost had me,” she said. “I love that deadpan humor of yours.”
“Right,” Budgie groaned. He was hoping he would be able to throw her off during the interview, and that would mean history for their relationship. He thought quickly, trying to come up with another plan other than eating jalapeño poppers and insulting her. He licked some pepper juice from his fingers and came up with a Plan B.
“Hey,” Budgie said. “You know what’ll be kinky?”
“What?” Taylor asked, still looking at him from the mirror.
“If we made love in this green room, minutes before your interview,” Budgie replied.
“No,” Taylor said. “That’s gross.”
“No it’s not,” Budgie said. “It’s hot as fuck. Besides, aren’t you nervous at all? It’ll help relax you. Think of it as blowing off steam.”
Taylor looked at Budgie, her friskiness overtaking her common sense. “Sure,” she said, getting up, “but it needs to be quick.”
“Baby,” Budgie said, popping one last jalapeño popper into his mouth. “I don’t know any other way.
Taylor sat down in the cushioned chair, across from her interviewer. Her microphone was fixed by an intern, and he quickly backed away after he looked at Taylor’s head. Budgie stood by the cameras, smiling.
“Alright,” the interview said, settling in her own chair. She was much older than Taylor, wearing her blonde hair in a bun. She was probably jealous interviewing the younger, richer girl in front of her. “Let’s jump right in.”
“OK,” Taylor said, nodding.
The interviewer looked at a card in front of her. “Your last album sold phenomenally,” she said. “To what do you attribute your success?”
Taylor looked uncomfortable. It wasn’t the question that bothered her, but something else. Her hand twitched, aching to move to where it was so badly needed. “People love my music,” Taylor said. It wasn’t how she would have normally answered the question, but she was incredibly distracted.
“They do in spades,” the interviewer continued. “What, do you think, is the reason so many people relate to your songs?”
“I know a lot of people have experienced what I have,” Taylor said, no longer able to control her hand. It went to her crotch, scratching at it. Budgie thought she’d have to embarrassingly run out to wash the jalapeño juice that he haphazardly had on his hands before his exploratory love making, but this was even better.
“Are you alright?” The interviewer asked. Taylor looked surprised by the question. Maybe she figured nobody would notice, even though all attention as on her.
“Sorry,” Taylor said. “Can we start over?”
“Sure,” the interviewer replied. “How about we talk about… What the hell is that in your hair?!”
There was some snickering behind Budgie as the stagehands nearly fell over themselves. Apparently they had noticed what the interviewer had neglected to see until a second ago.
“What?” Taylor asked. She ran her fingers through her hair, and looked at it when it came back wet and sticky. “Oh my God. Budgie!”
“Sorry,” Budgie said, shrugging as the laughter behind him doubled and Taylor ran back toward the green room. “I guess my aim was a little off today.”
“Classic,” the cameraman said, wiping a tear.
“Hey,” Budgie said, walking up to him. “I’ll give you a hundred bucks to make sure that makes it on YouTube.”
“I can lose my job for doing that,” the cameraman said, eying Budgie. “Make it two.”
“Here’s three,” Budgie said, taking three hundred dollar bills from his wallet. “Make it happen.”
“She’s going to dump your ass,” the cameraman said, tucking the bills into his shirt pocket.
“Shit,” Budgie muttered. “I’m counting on it.”
“You couldn’t tell me you blew your load in my hair?!” Taylor asked, sitting in the back of her limo on the way home.
“I didn’t see it,” Budgie said.
“And the poppers?!” Taylor exclaimed. “Do you have any idea how badly my vagina burns right now?!”
“Hey,” Budgie said. “Your the one who wanted to do it so badly.”
“Me?!” Taylor shouted. “That wasn’t me!”
“Yes it was!” Budgie shouted in return. “I was practically raped in there!”
“What?!” Taylor shouted. “Rape?!”
“Yeah,” Budgie replied. “I went there, Bill Cosby. My innocence is gone forever.”
Taylor huffed and looked out the window. Budgie tried not to smile as he did the same, feigning anger.
“Look,” Taylor said after a few minutes, turning around. “I don’t want to fight anymore.”
Budgie turned to look at Taylor, a prayer in his head. “Then don’t,” he said with a shrug. “I don’t give a fuck what you do.”
“You know I love you,” Taylor said. “I’m sorry I snapped. That interview just went really terribly.”
“What?” Budgie asked.
“Don’t talk,” Taylor said, “just listen. I’ve jumped from boyfriend to boyfriend, but you’re different than all the others, and I just don’t mean physically. I don’t know why, but I feel like you might be the one, and I don’t want to throw away that chance. I love you, Budgie, and I’m not going anywhere.”
Budgie watched Taylor as she looked out the window again, a loving smile on her face.
“You’ve got to be shitting me.”
Chapter 5: Damn, Taylor Swift is clingy as fuck!
“I’m sorry about the fart,” Budgie said, after he had finished making mediocre love to Taylor. “Farts, I mean. Guess I shouldn’t do Taco Bell drive-thru on date night, huh?”
“That’s probably a good idea,” Taylor said, getting up. “I need to shower.”
“Oh,” Budgie said, getting up from the bed. “I’ll join you.”
“No,” Taylor said, holding up a hand. “I’ll be in and out.”
“So will I,” Budgie said with a wink.
“Just wait here,” Taylor said. “You can use one of my other six bathrooms if you really need to shower that bad.”
“I call dibs on the jacuzzi!” Budgie exclaimed, running from her room, nude, pausing only to grab his glasses and book from the nightstand. He didn’t even turn back to look to see the look of disgust he hoped was on her face as he went to bathe himself in Taylor’s jacuzzi.
Budgie turned the jets on, settled into the warm water, and opened his paperback to where he had left off. He relished the time alone. Taylor was extremely hard to upset to the point of having her dump him. He thought he had her the night before when he dumped soup on her at a restaurant in front of everyone, earning him a public dumping and ten million dollars, but she just stormed out, cleaned herself off at home, and rode him like it had never happened.
Drastic measures were needed, and Budgie needed some new ideas. Otherwise, he was apt to get annoyed and end it himself. Just the other night, Taylor was singing her own songs while he was inside her, and he nearly slapped her in the face and left her for good.
Budgie turned the page of his book, aware that he was barely taking in what was on the pages. He wanted this relationship to end, and he wanted to do it sooner, rather than later. Finally, a metaphoric lightbulb appeared over his head.
“So the meeting is all set up?” Budgie asked Harvey the following day. “Three o’clock at the coffee shop?”
“It’s all set up,” Harvey said. “Are you sure you want me to call TMZ on this one?”
“Yes,” Budgie said. “They’ll owe you a huge favor, right?”
“For this one?” Harvey asked. “They’ll owe me a yacht.”
“Good,” Budgie said, smiling. “I hope you get it.”
Budgie checked his watch. It was ten after three. He looked around, and he noticed he was being watched. Good. It was probably someone from TMZ with a camera waiting under their table. If he played his cards right, Taylor was going to dump him by the end of the day.
“Sorry I’m late,” singer-songwriter Lana del Rey said, sitting across from Budgie. She placed her cappuccino on the table. “I hit a little bit of a snag getting here.”
Budgie was starstruck again. His plan was contingent on him not gushing like a teenage girl, but he felt the gushing coming on nonetheless. “I love you,” he blurted.
“Excuse me?” Lana asked.
“Sorry,” Budgie said, turning a shade of red he didn’t think possible. “I meant that I love your music. I heard it the first time back when I was doing the utility thing. We were doing storm cleanup after a hurricane came through. I was on day sixteen or seventeen of twelve hour shifts, and I was ready to burn out. Then your song ‘Diet Mountain Dew’ came on the radio. I must have skipped back and listened to it a hundred times. It got me through the day. I’ve been a fan ever since.”
“Thank you,” Lana said, unsure as to what to do with that information. “I’m glad I could help. Is that why you wanted to meet me?”
Budgie was aware of the guy in the corner, taking pictures with his phone. He had a notebook on the table, and he’d jot a note or two after each picture. Budgie remembered the plan and got himself under control.
“No,” Budgie said. “I wanted to talk to you about doing some voice work for Freedom Lane, the animated sitcom I have coming out this spring.”
“Really?” Lana asked. “Why me.”
Budgie shrugged. “I need a talented singer,” he said, “and you’re the first one that popped into my mind.”
“You’re sweet,” Lana said. “Last I heard, you were dating Taylor Swift. Why not ask her?”
“That thing with Taylor is pretty much done,” Budgie lied. The truth was that he wished that it was done, but with luck this meeting with Lana would prove its downfall.
“That’s too bad,” Lana said, looking seductively at Budgie with just the hint of a smile, “for her. I can see why she liked you.” She put her finger into the foam of her drink, put it to her dark red lips, and licked it form her finger.
“Holy shit,” Budgie muttered. His plan had gone better than he thought.
“You fucked Lana del Rey?!” Taylor shouted in the living room of Budgie’s home. He wanted to do this in public, but she had come over unannounced when TMZ blasted the news that he had cheated on her. “How could you?!”
“Every way I could,” Budgie calmly answered. Fuck it, he figured. As an old saying went: what can he do with ten million that he can’t do with five? At this point, he was willing to give up the five million dollars to be done with Taylor for good.
Taylor took in a breath as if she was going to exhale flames. “I don’t blame you,” she said. “My management is always trying to tell me I have to sound more like her.”
“What?” Budgie said, shocked.
“Look,” Lana said, sitting down. “If there’s something I’m not doing, some need I’m not fulfilling… I don’t know. Couldn’t you have just talked to me before you went off and did what you did?”
Budgie sat down too. He couldn’t believe it. Even cheating on her with a superior singer wasn’t enough to get rid of her. This was a level of clingy of which Budgie had never even heard. “She’s a better singer than you,” he said, hoping this would start the fight back up.
“I know,” Taylor replied.
“Her songs are better written too,” Budgie added. “She doesn’t follow that shit formula you do.”
“Budgie,” Taylor said, looking at him with tears swimming in her eyes. “I know.”
Budgie just looked at her, wondering what he could say next. To his surprise, she was the one who spoke first.
“If you want to break up with me for her,” Taylor said, taking a deep breath after her words, “I will let you go.”
Budgie couldn’t speak. He wanted to tell her yes, but his common sense reminded him of the contract. Taylor was an expert at what she was doing. He started to wonder if she was in on this, making some kind of twisted game over how long she could string him along while he tried to get her to dump him. She would have to be the greatest actress of all time to pull this off, but if she acted like she made music…
“I want to stay together,” Budgie said, grimacing.
“OK,” Taylor said, smiling through the pain on her face, “but try not to sleep with other artists.”
“Wait,” Budgie said, deciding to reopen the wound one last time in desperation. “Did you just call yourself an artist?”
“Yeah,” Taylor said. “Why?”
“Because I’ve never seen a canvas or paints around you,” Budgie replied. “That’s why.”
Taylor got up and walked to the door. Budgie felt as if he’d finally done it. “I’ll see you tonight,” she said, grasping the doorknob. “I’ll send the car to pick you up around seven. Maybe we can show TMZ that our relationship is stronger than what they think. I love you.” She left.
Budgie stared in disbelief. He picked up his lamp and threw it at the door, shattering it in hundreds of pieces. “YOU STUPID BITCH!” he shouted. “DUMP ME!”
Budgie’s doorbell rang while he was lying on the couch and cursing his life. He looked at his phone, and it said the time was quarter after six. “Bitch is early,” he said, stowing the phone in his pocket. He wasn’t even remotely ready for his date, but maybe that was better. He was out of ideas. He’d end up married to Taylor fucking Swift at this rate.
Budgie opened his door, expecting to find Taylor’s driver, Noli, a fat Albanian who always had the most disgusting of dirty jokes. Instead, he saw the face he’d want to see more than any other, even if he’d never admit it out loud.
“Can I come in?” Melanie asked, standing in front of Budgie’s door, a look of worry on her face.
“Sure,” Budgie replied, stepping aside to let his ex-wife come into his home, crunching the pieces of broken lamp on the floor.
Chapter 6: Oh shit, Budgie’s ex-wife is back!
Budgie made two iced coffees in his iced coffee maker. He had all that stuff in his apartment. Everyone in Hollywood does. He handed one to Melanie and sat across from her, placing his own on the table. “Hi,” he said awkwardly.
“Hi,” Melanie replied, taking a sip of her coffee. She was just as he remembered: shoulder-length red hair, pale skin, freckles, and curvy in all the right areas. “Your place looks good. I was expecting you to live like a pig after I left.”
“I tried,” Budgie said, “but the cleaning lady keeps it neat in here. Plus I’m only here a couple days a week now.”
“Oh,” Melanie said. “You must be with Taylor Swift a lot.”
“Yeah,” Budgie said, not meeting his ex-wife’s green eyes. “There’s that.”
“What’s wrong?” Melanie asked.
“Nothing,” Budgie replied.
“Don’t do that,” Melanie said. “You know I know when something’s bothering you.”
“Why did you come back?” Budgie asked. “Are you really here to torment me?”
“I’m just trying to help,” Melanie replied. “I almost came back for the Oscars. I know you must have been clawing at the walls with that coming up. I saw how nutty you used to get when you were just publishing your stuff for a dozen or so fans on Twitter.”
“Your’e being generous,” Budgie said with a short laugh.
“You know what I mean,” Melanie said. “But I saw you were dating Taylor Swift, so I didn’t want to intrude. I’m sorry you lost, by the way.”
“It’s OK,” Budgie said. “I tried not to get my hopes up about it. Taylor was there, but she wasn’t much of a help after I lost.”
“Is that why you seem so miserable?” Melanie asked. “Is your relationship with a pop star not going too well?”
Budgie laughed. Melanie always did know how to use sarcasm without sounding like it. Anyone else wouldn’t have picked up on it. “It’s not going too well at all actually,” Budgie said, knowing he wasn’t going to be able to successfully lie. “I’ll soon be next in a long line of Taylor Swift ex-boyfriends.”
“Yeah,” Melanie said. “You should get tested, by the way.”
“Already on it,” Budgie said. “Surprisingly, I do not have HPV. Shit is so fucked up in Hollywood. You wouldn’t believe what I’ve gotten myself into if I told you. I couldn’t even write anything this fucked up on my best day.”
“Tell me,” Melanie said. “It might help to talk about it.”
Budgie looked into her face. He knew he shouldn’t unload his relationship troubles to his ex-wife, but he couldn’t help it. He had no friends in Hollywood other than money-hungry producers, fair-weather actors, and Taylor Swift. He started from the beginning, and told her everything. She didn’t stop him while he vented and confessed. She listened, the look of concern growing on her face.
“And you signed the contract?” Melanie asked when Budgie had finished, “Hollywood Budgie?!”
Budgie let a laugh go. He wasn’t expecting that. “Hollywood Budgie” was what she called him during arguments about his priorities being ass-backwards.
“Is this why I’m seeing all these articles online about you and her having trouble?” Melanie asked.
Budgie finally understood why Melanie had finally come back. “I’ve tried everything I could think of to get rid of her,” he said, not saying what he really wanted to say.
“I saw,” Melanie said. “You had the tabloids thinking you slept with Lana del Rey.”
“I did,” Budgie said, laughing a bit. “I cheated on her with a superior artist, and it only phased her for a few minutes. She nearly apologized to me!”
“You fucked Lana del Rey?” Melanie asked. “Holy shit. You must have loved that. How was it?”
“It was beautiful,” Budgie said. “Her vagina was more glorious than I ever imagined. But it didn’t get Taylor to dump me. Hell, we’re still having date night tonight. I’m going to have to climb on Skeletor’s niece again in a few hours.”
“Why can’t you just tell you that you don’t love her?” Melanie asked. “She’d probably leave you if you did that.”
“I checked,” Budgie sighed. “It’ll void the contract. Apparently that counts as me breaking up with her.”
“I can help,” Melanie said. “Just ask.”
“What are you thinking?” Budgie asked.
“There’s one thing you haven’t tried,” Melanie said with a smirk, “she needs to get acquainted with your crazy bitch of an ex-wife.”
Budgie sat at the table in the restaurant across from Melanie. They had ordered and were waiting for their food. They didn’t talk much on the way over, and the air was still heavy with what had happened between them.
“Do you know why I left?” Melanie asked, breaking the silence.
“I got your note,” Budgie replied. “I was ‘too Hollywood’.”
“I thought I was holding you back,” Melanie said. “Also, you were too Hollywood. Do you remember when you yelled at me for calling you ‘Dan’ in public? It was all about your image.”
“Not one of my finer moments,” Budgie admitted. “But I think I’m doing better now. I think losing the Oscar knocked me down a few deserved pegs. Now I just need to get rid of Taylor, and I’ll be all set to move on with my life, modestly.”
“Why are you with her?” Melanie asked. “She’s far from your type, and you could never stand her music.”
“I don’t know,” Budgie said. “I think it was a combination of being alone and knowing barely anyone out here. Plus my primal need to stick my dick in something moving.”
Melanie laughed. “Well hopefully we can put all that behind us,” she said.
“And soon I hope,” Budgie added. “She’s coming right now.”
“What is this?!” Taylor exclaimed, coming up to the table. Everyone in the place was turning around and whispering. Some phones came out for video and photos. It was perfect.
“What?” Budgie asked. “Have you not met my ex-wife? Taylor, this is Mel…”
“Stop it!” Taylor exclaimed. “First you’re caught cheating on me with Lana del Rey, and now you’re out with HER!”
“She’s the mother of my child,” Budgie said. “I have every right to see her.”
“Did you forget our date night?” Taylor asked. “I’ve been calling and texting you for the last hour.”
“Oh,” Budgie said. “I must have left my phone at home. Oops.”
“Look,” Melanie said. “I don’t want to be a bother…”
“Hey,” Budgie said. “This may be awkward, but do you guys want to have threesome later?”
Melanie looked over Taylor. “Nah,” she said. “Not my type.”
“Come on, Budgie,” Taylor said. “We are going back to my place to talk.”
“The fuck he is!” Melanie said. “We just ordered, and you’re not sticking me with two meals and the bill!”
“Fine,” Taylor said. “Come by when you’re done. We need to talk.” She turned around and trotted off, the whispering growing as she walked out the door.
“Holy shit,” Budgie said. “I wish I called you in earlier. Think she’ll do it tonight?”
“She should,” Melanie said, “unless she’s completely shit-nuts.”
“I don’t know,” Budgie said. “She forgave me after I fucked Lana del Rey, and I never even apologized.”
“It’s too bad she didn’t do it here,” Melanie said. “She’s costing you five million right now.”
“I’d gladly give it up to get rid of her,” Budgie said. “I may just go OJ on her if she doesn’t dump me tonight.”
Chapter 7: Budgie probably doesn’t have the balls to go OJ on Taylor Swift
“How did you end up doing last night?” Melanie asked, sitting across from Budgie. She had texted him in the morning, asking if he wanted to have breakfast. She was only in Hollywood until the end of the week, and she didn’t have any friends out there. They both figured somewhere public would be best. This way, the fact that he was hanging out with his ex-wife could more easily enrage Taylor.
“Not well,” Budgie said. “I ended up nailing her.”
“What?!” Melanie said. “What happened?”
“We had that talk about our relationship,” Budgie said. “I thought for sure it was over. I was being such a jerk about it all. I even farted during it, loud too. I almost shit my pants actually.”
“Wow,” Melanie said.
“Yeah,” Budgie said. “She thought we made up somehow, and she jumped me. She kept not-so-subtly suggesting I go down on her, and I finally had to do it. It tastes so funny.”
“Is it that bad?” Melanie asked.
“It doesn’t taste bad,” Budgie replied. “Just funny.”
“So what are you going to do now?” Melanie asked.
“I have no idea,” Budgie replied. “I think I’m going to get stuck marrying the bitch at this rate.”
“Give me one more chance,” Melanie said.
“What?” Budgie asked. “Why? What are you going to have me do?”
“Trust me,” Melanie said, putting her hand on top of his. “If it’s one thing I know, it’s how to dump you.”
Budgie sighed. “Alright.”
“So I’ve started my next album,” Taylor said, making conversation as she rested her feet on Budgie’s lap in one of the dens in her mansion.
“Oh yeah?” Budgie asked. “Still following that tired formula?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Taylor asked.
“I broke the pop song code a while back,” Budgie replied. “It wasn’t that hard. I’m not a total idiot you know.”
“What code?” Taylor asked.
“You know,” Budgie said. “Verse one, a chorus, verse two, a chorus, breakdown, another chorus, and one last chorus with you screaming behind it. Keep it around three minutes and change, and you got a hit, babe.”
“That’s not…” Taylor stammered. “Why did you figure that out?”
Budgie shrugged. “I just notice these things,” he said. “Your songs are all exactly the same, shit is brown, etcetera.”
Taylor’s phone buzzed in her pocket before she could retort. She opened in and read a text. “Tell me you didn’t send a picture of your dick to Katy Perry,” she said, seething.
“Yeah I did,” Budgie said. “I almost forgot I did that.”
“Why?” Taylor asked. “You know how I feel about her.”
“She responded to something I posted on Twitter,” Budgie said, “so I figured she’d want to see it.”
“I can’t believe you’d…” Taylor said. She was pissed, but she was still looking at her phone. “Wait. That’s not your dick. You’re much bigger and thicker. Plus, this one isn’t even curved.”
“She forwarded it to you?” Budgie asked.
“Here,” Taylor said, texting something Budgie couldn’t see. “I let her know about your dark sense of humor and that’s not really your dick. She’ll probably check out that show of yours.”
Budgie looked at Taylor, dumbfounded again by her.
“You’re lucky you have me,” Taylor said, giving Budgie a light kick.
Budgie stared at Taylor, thinking about all he had done. He had basically tortured this girl, trying to get her to dump him, and she had just gone out of her way to smooth things over with Katy Perry rather than blowing up at him. She was a human being, and she loved him despite the amount of shit he had heaped upon her. He felt like he should call off the lunch he and Melanie had secretly planned. Maybe it was time to try and end things with a little more dignity than the ambush at the deli.
“I bet it’s not too hard to write a book or something,” Taylor said, changing the subject as she stared off. “I wish I had time to do it like you.”
“What?” Budgie asked.
“I mean, I have all these great ideas,” Taylor said. “If I wasn’t so busy with my career, I can write a book and have them turn it into a movie or a show. It can’t be that hard, right? You do it after all.”
“You can’t even use entire words in your songs,” Budgie said. “What does ‘Shake it ah’ even mean?!”
“Look,” Taylor said, “I’m not trying to insult you. I’m just saying I could write something amazing if I had time to just hang around and do it. I’d probably nab an Oscar or two.”
Budgie sighed. “Hey,” he said. “I know this really great deli where we can have lunch.”
“This place is a little crowded,” Taylor said, putting down her menu.
“Don’t worry about it,” Budgie said, not looking up from his own. “This is a great place. You’ll love it.”
“I don’t love all these carbs,” Taylor said, looking back at the menu. “I think I’ll just get a salad. I’m on week one of my four-week lettuce cleanse anyway.”
“Don’t worry about the carbs,” Budgie said. “You’re lucky your so thin anyway.”
“Excuse me?” Taylor asked.
“What?” Budgie said, finally looking up. “I said you’re lucky your thin. It was a compliment. That lettuce nonsense is a load of bullshit. It actually pisses me off.”
“It’s not luck or bullshit,” Taylor said. “I watch what I eat every meal, and I work out every day. Maybe you should do the same.”
“Oh,” Budgie said. “Is that necessary? I box with my heavy bag three times a week.”
“You know what?” Taylor said. “I can’t do this.”
“Do what?” Budgie asked. “Have lunch with me?”
“No,” Taylor said. “This.” She pointed from Budgie to herself and back again. “You’re bad for my diet. If you can’t respect my regimen, then I don’t think I can hang around and watch you eat bread and ice cream.”
“I’m not that fat,” Budgie said. “I’m just a little chubby, but all writers are. You can fit two of me in George R. R. Martin’s gunt for fuck’s sake.”
“And all the farting!” Taylor went on. Everyone was turning to look at her. “Maybe if you ate better, you wouldn’t fart so much. I’m going to have to throw my mattress away.”
“Now you’re just being hurtful on purpose,” Budgie said.
Melanie walked in, ready to exact their plan, but Taylor had inadvertently started without her.
“And why on earth won’t you go down on me without an argument?!” Taylor said, uncaring that video was now being taken of her telling her boyfriend off. “What’s the point in having a prosthetic vagina if my boyfriend won’t even give my bean a decent tongue-shellacking?!”
An old lady at a nearby table pushed her plate away and got up.
Taylor finally noticed Melanie, walking toward the table. “And there’s her,” she said, pointing.
“What’s wrong with her?” Budgie asked.
“You’re still in love with her!” Taylor shouted. Melanie looked embarrassed.
“No,” Budgie said. “We’re… divorced.”
“You talk in your sleep,” Taylor said, “and you almost always say the name ‘Melanie’.”
“Oh,” Budgie said, not knowing what to say.
“That’s it,” Taylor said. “You don’t even know what to say. I can make the tables turn, Budgie.”
“Did you just quote your own song?” Melanie asked.
“Stay out of this!” Taylor said. “I’m done, Budgie. Goodbye forever!”
Taylor stormed out, kicking over her chair and shoving her way out the door. The place erupted in applause. They apparently enjoyed the show.
Budgie and Melanie walked away form the deli, heading toward his home. “That’s that I guess,” Budgie said. His phone buzzed in his pocket. He looked at it. “Her agency just transferred the ten million. I was wondering if he’d actually pay me for that.”
“You sound kind of upset,” Melanie said. “You sure you’re going to be OK?”
“Yeah,” Budgie said. “I just don’t know if that was too much, you know. I put that girl through a ton of shit.”
“Yeah,” Melanie said, “but shame on her for not being strong enough to leave you when she should have.”
“Maybe her scumbag agent is right,” Budgie said. “Maybe she’ll be stronger and empowered now that she’s given someone an epic dumping.”
“Maybe,” Melanie said.
“I’m kind of upset I missed your big plan,” Budgie said. “What we’re you going to do?”
“Nothing really,” Melanie replied. “I was just going to punch her in the face and call her a cunt.”
“Nice,” Budgie said.
The two walked on in silence for a bit. Finally, Budgie stopped in front of a park. “Look,” he said. “About what she said about me and you…”
“It’s alright,” Melanie said. “I thought nothing of it.”
“I’m just glad you and I can still be cool after all that’s happened,” Budgie said. “We are cool, right?”
“Yeah,” Melanie said. “We’re cool.”
They looked at each other for a moment, sharing the silence. After they had enough of it, they started making out.
Epilogue: The Oscars are still bullshit
Budgie sat through the second Oscar presentation in his life, and it seemed longer and more boring than the first. The only thing that made him happy was that he had Melanie by his side, looking beautiful in her black dress. They two had made fun of most of what was going on around them, but they had quieted for the last award of the night.
“And the winner,” Bradley Cooper, actor and Oscar presenter, said, “of the Academy Award for Best Picture is…”
Budgie could’ve strangled him for prolonging the announcement of the name. He gripped Melanie’s hand, and she held it firmly.
Bradley took a deep breath. “Desperately Seeking Shemale!”
Budgie stood up along with his wife. They kissed, hard. Budgie got up and walked down the aisle through the applause and pats on his back. Chris Pratt was already standing up, letting his own wife hold the two Oscars he had already won; one for acting and one for directing, both for Desperately Seeking Shemale.
Chris hugged Budgie, nearly lifting him from the ground. They walked toward the stage together, climbing the steps and approaching the podium. Chris took his award, shaking Bradley’s hand. Bradley shook Budgie’s next saying “I told you you’d get one!” while Chris took the mic.
“Three times up here for one movie,” Chris said. “I bet you’re tired of seeing me!”
The audience laughed.
“Let me give this time up to someone else,” Chris said, “the creator of Desperately Seeking Shemale, and a damn good partner to make a movie with: Budgie Bigelow.”
The audience clapped and cheered again and Budgie approached the podium, holding his own Oscar. He looked at it and then up, his throat closing as the tears threatened to come. He didn’t want to sob like a girl before he even made his speech, so he pushed it back, being as macho as humanly possible.
“Thank you, Chris,” Budgie said, happy that his voice didn’t crack. “You know, the journey from start to finish with this movie spans years, so I want to thank those who were there in the beginning, back when Desperately Seeking Shemale was only a short story on my blog.”
The audience cheered again.
“I also want to thank the most important person in my life,” Budgie said, looking toward Melanie. “You supported me in the beginning and throughout this career of mine. Even through the bad times, you never stopped believing in me. You are ‘tough love’ incarnate, giving me the kicks I needed to point me in the right direction.”
Now the tears were forcing their way out.
“You are everything to me,” Budgie continued to the silent auditorium. “I lost you, but you came back, and we’ve been stronger than ever. I wouldn’t have made it this point without you, and I’m so happy that this moment waited for you to be by my side. And I just want you to know, Melanie, that I’m going to try hard, really hard, not to put this award inside you tonight.
There was a deafening roar as Budgie made his way back through the crowd, where he was greeted by his wife.
“Will you put that thing away,” Budgie said, joining his wife at the small square table with two drinks in his hand. She was alone, save the Oscar statue that was sitting at the center of their table. They were at some private bar, enjoying an after party thrown by Chris Pratt.
His wife put her phone back into her purse. “I wanted to see what they’re saying about you,” she said. “I think you’ll be banned from ever getting an Oscar again for that last comment.”
“It was worth it,” Budgie said, laughing at his own wit. “How many of these does one person need anyway? It’ll look great with the two Emmys I got for Freedom Lane.”
“They’re also talking about how you snubbed Taylor Swift in your speech,” Melanie said.
“Snubbed?!” Budgie said, nearly snorting his Captain and Diet Coke through this nose. “I wasn’t aware you had to mention your ex-girlfriends in your Oscar acceptance speeches.”
“In your defense,” Melanie continued, “there is a lot of mentions how her other four ex-boyfriends aren’t being chastised for their speeches.”
“They’re just mad because I dumped her for you,” Budgie said.
“She dumped you,” Melanie said. “Remember?”
“Thanks, babe,” Budgie said. “I don’t want to be in breach of contract.”
Melanie laughed. “I really do love coming out here,” she said, looking around the party. “I wouldn’t want to live here though.”
“Me neither,” Budgie said. “They’re a little fucked up out here.” They touched their glasses together as more people came by to congratulate him.
They left soon after, having their car pick them up out front. They were both more than tipsy, and Budgie knew he was about to get lucky as hell. He held his wife’s hand as they walked outside into the warm Los Angeles night.
“You want to invite Lana over?” Melanie asked. “”She can help us celebrate.”
“No,” Budgie said. “I think tonight is a ‘husband and wife’ kind of celebration.”
“Oh, the Oscars were on tonight,” a voice said just feet from them. Budgie turned to see Taylor Swift, walking with some young actor whom the tabloids reported as her newest boyfriend. “I’d never be satisfied with just one silly Oscar anyway. I have dozens of various awards. My new album did phenomenal.”
Taylor wasn’t lying. Her newest album, the not-so-subtly titled “Empowered”, had won a ton of awards. Taylor’s agent had been right about her needing to be the one to do an epic dumping. Budgie had been chastised by her fans, but it was only a minor speed-bump in his career. It seemed to give more power to the premiere of Freedom Lane and his standing in Hollywood.
“What a stupid bitch,” Melanie said, loud enough for Taylor to hear.
“Don’t worry about her,” Budgie said. “Some people just can’t move on.”
“I guess not,” Melanie said. Their car pulled up to the curb. “Where were we?”
Budgie kissed his wife, and she pulled him close. “Oh yeah,” she said. “We were on our way home.” She slapped him lightly on the cheek. “Let’s go.”
Budgie smiled and followed his wife into the back of the limo.