Knox (Merrick Brothers #1) - Prescott Lane
THANK YOU NOTE:
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “you don’t get anything in life for free.” Well, I don’t agree with that. I think you just have to know where to look.
I’m talking about a post of a kid in uniform on his first day of school. A cute monogramed school bag. A stick figure bumper sticker of a family and pets. A sign in front of a house celebrating a new baby or a child’s birthday. A selfie and a tagged location.
They tell me where someone lives, where their kid goes to school, his name and rough age, how many kids are in the family, their hobbies, whether family pets may bother me if I came by, unannounced, for a house visit.
These are things us “normal” people do. All such innocent information. All given away for free.
For me to use.
Now let’s talk about you “Hollywood” types.
You all are even worse—pretentious attention whores.
Knox, I’ve heard you say you try to avoid the spotlight, that having a social media presence is just part of the job. That made me laugh. We both know that’s not true. You post everything so freely.
I know where you’ve shopped, when and where you’re on vacation, which hotspots and fancy restaurants you’re at, what you drive, your favorite workout routines, who you hang out with, what kind of phone you have, what certain rooms in your houses look like.
You may not post quite as much as some others, but, like the rest of Hollywood, you crave the attention, seek it out, thrive on it. And you’ve given me more than enough to use.
So congratulations on a job well done.
You’ve got my attention. I’m watching.
Consider this a thank you for all the free information. I’ll make sure to use it!
THREE WEEKS EARLIER
“Welcome to The Breakup Bible. Ring the bells! Your Sunday night service is in session. Consider me the Mother Superior of broken hearts,” I say into the microphone of the radio booth that will be my home for the next two hours.
For the past couple of years, every Sunday from ten in the evening until midnight, this has been my gig. I give advice on how to break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend in a compassionate way, and how to handle being dumped without going off the deep end.
My personal experience with both has turned The Breakup Bible into a nationally syndicated radio show. In a time when streaming television and podcasts reign supreme, I’ve managed to bring people back to the radio. Of course, you can stream audio of my show on a radio app—we don’t live in the Stone Age. A little luck and the world’s epidemic of broken hearts made my show the success it is.
I hit the button on the switchboard to take the first caller. “What’s your name? And how can we break you?”
That’s my usual way to address a new caller. I don’t “break” people. That catchphrase started back on my very first show. I was nervous, and my words came out wrong. Somehow, it just stuck. It was my senior year of college, and I was doing an internship. Normally, I got coffee and took messages, but when the regular Sunday night DJ didn’t show one time, they put me in front of the mic. Before I knew it, I had my own show.
“Mother Superior,” the caller starts.
Most callers refer to me as Mother Superior or sometimes Sister, but my true identity remains a secret. Only those closest to me, my inner circle, know who I really am. Keeping my identity a secret started out as a way for me to maintain my privacy. After all, I do talk about some pretty private things. Anonymity also allows people to open up more freely, like talking to a stranger in an airplane, but the secrecy has become part of the draw of my show. There’s a mystique surrounding it, but I’m also a private person by nature, so it’s a win-win.
My show is syndicated, meaning that people across the nation listen to me. I don’t like to know how many people are actually tuning in. And unlike most radio personalities, I don’t make appearances. There can be big money in those side hustles, but my privacy is more important to me.
“Hi, my name is Sally.”
There is no way this young woman’s name is Sally. No one actually names their daughter Sally anymore, but I’m not using my real name, so I don’t expect my callers to, either.
“Confess,” I say.