“Cheyenne, you’re on the
new road construction,” Dan Bowers, the newspaper’s editor says, pointing to
me. “Drew, you’re on the upcoming elections, and Liza you’re on the Dave
Once again I have received the short stick in news stories. Drew gets the exciting and
close election story that everyone who cares an ounce about politics will read
and Liza gets the intriguing and recently obsessed over case about Dave
Hilliard who is accused of stealing money from over a hundred families. I get the
one that gets tossed aside and perhaps even gets to serve as stuffing around
breakables being packed away.
After Bowers finishes handing out assignments everyone collects their things and head
on their way to start on their stories. I stay back and walk over to Bowers,
figuring I’d at least give it a try to get a new and better assignment.
“Cheyenne, what do you need?” Bowers asks, sounding a little annoyed.
“I’ve been doing a good job here, correct?” I ask.
“You think you would be here if you turned in crap?” Bowers says.
“Well, no. But since I have and have been pretty dedicated to this job, do you think I
could get a more…advanced story assignment?” I ask nervously.
“You have gotten what you have gotten and the only way to get a different sort of
assignment is to bring in something that will blow my mind and prove you are up
to the task,” he explains.
So I left the building, frustrated and with a mission. So I have the new road
construction a few miles from here. It’s a brand new road that will connect
more roads and make it easier to travel to the main strip of shops. It’s
interesting, but nothing eye-popping and entertaining. In order for it to get
noticed by the people, it needs to catch their eye, there needs to be a reason
for concern in order to turn to my page and soak it up. When I get to my office
at home I look up the company doing the construction and ask for the manager. Unfortunately
they told me he is out of the office and doesn’t have time for any reporters. I
slam my phone down, copy the address down and hop right into my car. I’m going
to get the information that I need.
The office of the construction company is not too far away; it’s located in an office
building near a hardware store and is probably one of the few companies that
actually use that building. On my way up to the third floor I practice what I’m going to say. I need to be stern and straight forward; they
need to know I mean business and not just a waste of their time. Initially I
was going to interview them and see if I could find an inspirational message
that will bring the community together, the cheesy stuff. But then I realized
that it’s the complications and drama that brings in the readers. Excuse
me sir, I am here to talk about the new road construction by the main strip.
It’s a great contribution to our community, how do you feel it’s going so far?
Have there been any concerns brought up by the local citizens? I’ve heard that
people are worried it will bring more traffic to the neighborhoods surrounding
the area, and possibly endangering the children at play. What are your thoughts
on that? Slowly, I need to pull out the information I need, I can’t scare
him off by seeming malicious or any sort of threat. I can’t let myself rant on
again, or else I’ll be in the same boat as last time, and I just can’t do that
When I get to his office I take a deep breath and knock on the door. After only a minute he
opens it up.
“Yes?” He says, with the door only halfway open.
“Hi, my name’s Cheyenne Williams, I want to talk to you about the road construction
you’re doing near the main strip,” I explain.
“It’s going fine, that’s all you need to know,” he says, rubs his forehead and begins to
shut the door. I wasn’t going to let him just toss me aside, so I stick my foot
in the doorway and welcome myself in. He lets out a deep sigh and takes a seat
behind his desk.
“Fine, make this quick. What’s your name again?” he says, resigned.
“Amanda Lane, I mean–”
“Amanda? Okay, I swore I heard something different earlier,” he says.
“I mean, Cheyenne Williams, my name’s Cheyenne Williams,” I can feel my cheeks burning;
I’m so embarrassed of my slip-up. So much for keeping things in the past. If
I’m lucky, he won’t question it.
“Amanda Lane, haven’t I heard that name before? I think I have, wasn’t there a story in the
paper about an Amanda Lane
a while ago?” He says, looking me right in the eye, waiting for my answer.
I don’t want to answer that, Amanda Lane
is gone, she disappeared a while ago out of mortification of her last heated
story. She made a mistake and it was blown up all around the country.
“There might have been,” I say quietly. I just want to jump into this story and stray
away from this topic.
“So are you Amanda Lane?” he asks. Nothing like a straightforward question. There’s not an easy way out of this one.
“It doesn’t matter, I’m Cheyenne,
that’s all you need to know, now let’s move on,” I say, perhaps with a little
too much attitude than I should have given I’m here to pry into his business
“No, no it does matter, because if you’re Amanda
Lane then I have something to worry about. Amanda Lane got
into a lot of trouble in the public eye because she went on a mad rant about
bad parenting and insinuated that every single teen is going to get herself
pregnant due to the parents’ bad parenting. That didn’t go over well, now did
it?” he says.
“Well that was a bit overdramatized, that’s not how it was intended at all,” I explain,
trying to save some of my dignity. While I’m here, I might as well kiss Cheyenne goodbye, her
cover has been blown.
“Then what did this Amanda Lane, or you mean by
that story, then?” he questions. He looks as if he honestly wants to hear it,
not just attack me.
“The intention was not to offend a vast amount of people, I was just writing a story
that described how outrageous irresponsible parenting was, I happen to witness
several incidents where parents allowed their children to behave badly and be
disrespectful. I wasn’t trying to attack parents but to merely point out the
damaging effects of well, bad parenting. I got out of control and on a mad rant
and said things I shouldn’t have, including that their parenting will get their
teens pregnant,” I explain, horrified.
“That’s a bit extreme, don’t you think?” He asks.
“Well, yes, I shouldn’t have gone there and I realize that, but then I did try to take it
back and apologize, but the words were already out there, they can’t be
forgotten,” I say with my head down. I’m completely defeated.
“So you changed your name and what? Moved away?” he accuses correctly.
“Sure, perhaps it was cowardly but there was no way of me continuing on with this
career if I had such a bad reputation from the start, I’m just starting out, I
can’t be on the wrong foot of anyone,” I say.
“So you want me, the manager of this project to spill all of my secrets, all of my
complications and worries about this project, to you, a reporter who’s screwed
up terribly one before and wreaked havoc in her old town?” He says sternly,
leaning back in his chair.
“Yes, I do, I need this revival and I promise I won’t vandalize your reputation in the
process,” I plead. Coming out of here without a juicy complication to announce
the world wasn’t exactly my plan, but if I can get something I’ll be happy.
“Sounds fair, I do believe in second chances, Miss. But I’ll give you what I want to
give you, there will be no prying for information, got it?” He informs.
I pull out my notebook and begin writing; he goes on for a while, giving me many details
on the project that seemed to be of interest to the people who are watching the
progress. I left there feeling like I have something to present, I just need to
write in some flare that will make the piece flow and come alive.
In my office I type it out, nearly finished and about to print out my final copy. But
something doesn’t look right, there’s something there that is keeping me from
printing it out and taking it to the office to be published. I need to find the
mistake so I can turn this in, get a better position at my work and hopefully
work my way up to bigger and better papers. While scanning through it my eyes
stop at the byline, Cheyenne Williams. If I want to turn in a genuine piece for
the people to read, what’s the point if the name is far from genuine? The only
way to redeem myself from the mistakes of the past is if I accept my mistakes
and move on, but only Amanda Lane
can do that, not my second persona.
I delete my fake name and replace it with the old one, the one who’s been through so much
more and is me at heart. I print it out with hope for the future and confidence
that this time things will be different. It will only be a matter of time for
me to pick myself up from my rough patch and be in a place with my dream job
and a better me.