Junior sat staring at his laptop screen as he filtered through the throngs of e-mail. All of them were in desperate need of relationship advice and that's what he was there for. Even if it wasn't really him. How many of them would be writing to the Daily Gazette if they new that Allison was really a guy? And just a twentysomething at that? Not the middle-aged woman the picture suggested. It had been three years since he scored the gig, but the thought of it still made him laugh everytime Junior thought about it.
It was pure chance that the opportunity even came about in the first place. There could not have been a more perfect example of being in the right place at the right time. Junior had been doing some freelance articles for the Gazette's weekly entertainment paper when the editor approached him. He wasn't even looking for something new. He didn't even know it existed.
As it turned out, Allison was ready to retire. Betsy Peters was her real name. See...even the real Allison wasn't the real Allison. The picture was actually her though. She had been doing the column for nearly two decades and had grown weary of dispensing relationship advice to her regional readers. Even at her age she longed for something more.
The problem was the Gazette could not run the risk of losing the loyal Dear Allison fan-base. No one was certain how they would take to a new psycho-therapist. Especially once they had grown accustomed to the no-nonsense approach Allison had perfected. There were rumblings that the circulation of over 100,000 the paper had established had been due largely in part to the dedicated Dear Allison readers.
So how could editor-in-chief Rae Downs keep the column going without letting on that Allison was no longer giving out the classic nuggets herself? Simple. She would have to find someone to replace her that could make a seamless transition. Someone that could adapt the same writing style. That's where Junior came in.
Junior had written a scathing article about Dear Allison in one of his freelance pieces. A rather bold move on his part since it was biting the hand that fed him. He didn't see it that way though. He wasn't bound by contract to the paper. If they cut him loose, so what? He wasn't even thirty-years-old yet. He would go somewhere else. He still felt inclined to speak out about how Dear Allison was providing a false sense of entitlement and self-confidence to those people who were already lacking stability in the first place.
That was just the brash attitude Rae was looking for. There was one quick dinner meeting and she found that Junior's style had just the ingredients she desired. He wasn't the most eloquent speaker in person, but his written words spoke volumes. He could keep the tone of the column the same and no one would be none the wiser.
All in all, it was a pretty decent paycheck for Junior. He couldn't even get a staff writing position on his college newspaper and here he was penning an advice column for the largest newspaper in the city. People were hanging on his every word no matter how frank he would often be. Also regardless of the fact that he couldn't see to use his own advice to maintain his own romantic relationship. If only he could get his mouth and coordination to be as skillful as the words he typed.