Interview 4 of 12
Written By: The 61 Minutes News Team (Pink-Green-White-4ever and Shawn30)
Summary: With two years of false news reports, lies written in many articles, privacy-invading prime time exposes, and unofficial books written about them and their former lives as Power Rangers the original twelve decide to finally set the record straight in a series of one-on-one interviews with Barbara Walters.
Timeline: Early 2007. Power Rangers Dino Thunder took place, although Tommy and Kim reunited during it. All will be explained in their own words. EVERYTHING else is canon, but keep in mind the Rangers are adults now and we're writing this as if the events in the PR universe happened in real life.
Rating: R for no holds barred adult language.
Couples: Outside of Tommy and Kim just keep your eyes open evil grin
Notes 1. In early 2005 secret Government files were accidentally opened to the public revealing the names of the first twelve Power Rangers. The C.I.A were covertly keeping tabs on everything that took place in Angel Grove during the Rangers tour of duty and discovered over the years the identities of the Power Rangers. They never learned all the details of what happened behind the scenes with Zordon or the various enemies they fought, but enough intelligence was gathered that names and addresses were discovered. Upon being outed to the public, the former Rangers anonymous lives were over as they became instant, overnight celebrities.
But the lights of stardom tend to fade and after while their privacy was being invaded from all sides. Former friends and family members began writing books and giving interviews for money. News crews hounded their residences. Paparazzi hounded them everywhere they went, as well as their work places. Nighttime news programs ran intense exposť on their lives, loves, and pieced-together history as Power Rangers. Outright Lies, crazy assumptions, and rude invasions of privacy have led the former Rangers to finally break their silence and tell their story in their own words.
As is posted on the ABC:The profile of Barbara Walters, she has arguably interviewed more statesmen, Presidents, and stars than any other journalist in history. She is so well known that her name and a brief biography is listed in the American Heritage Dictionary. And when the former Ranger's new publicist contacted her to conduct the interviews she jumped at the chance to bring the story of Earth's greatest heroes to the world in their own words, while humanizing the larger than life warriors that risked their lives to protect the world for so many years.
Choosing a small, intimate studio audience while allowing call-in questions to be taken live on the air, the former Power Rangers will at last tell their story, answer Barbara's pointed questions as well as your own concerning their professional and private lives. Expect the unexpected as this prime time interview series will air on HBO instead of network television.
Authors Notes 2: Kimberly Ann Hart-Oliver opens the new groundbreaking series, followed by her husband Dr. Tommy Oliver, Jason Lee Scott and Trini Kwan. The next series will involve Dr. Billy Cranston, Adam Park, Katherine Hillard, and Aisha Campbell. The last series gives us Tanya Sloan, Rocky Desantos, Zackary Taylor and Justin Stewart. Concluding things will be a huge round table discussion with all of the Rangers present.
Authors Notes 3. Rita Repulsa first attacked the Earth on August 28, 1993. That's twelve and a half years ago. Our walk down memory lane begins now...
"Good evening, I'm Barbara Walters." Loud audience applause greeted the veteran journalist as she walked onto the stage.
"Welcome to our fourth installment of the 'Setting the Record Straight' interview series. An in depth look into the once secret lives of Earth's first twelve Power Rangers, where we allow those mysterious men and women behind the masks to finally tell their story in their own words, as well as give us an intimate glimpse into their personal lives."
Walking slowly across the small quaint stage, Barbara Walters stood center while addressing the packed audience and huge television viewing public. "Last weeks shocking interview not only revealed to us a remarkable individual in Jason Lee Scott, but the revelation of a secret romance that's spawned into a nationwide phenomena." The crowd ohhhed and ahhhed at the mention of controversy. "Ladies and gentleman, Jini has arrived."
(Footage of last weeks revealing interview, complete with Jason's deer-in-headlights reaction to his relationship with Trini being outed on national television, as well as Kim Oliver's surprise call-in was shown on a 60'inch large wide-screen HD-monitor.)
The audience clapped wildly, enjoying the moment as Barbara continued. "Star crossed romance aside, tonight we will be graced with the presence of the original Yellow Ranger. A woman who's fearless spirit in defending the earth was equally matched by her dedication to making a difference in it as well. She has traveled all over the world working for the Geneva Peace Conference and later on the United Nations as a goodwill ambassador. A self-professed quiet soul, she's worked diligently to raise awareness for many issues such as worldwide hunger and the Aids epidemic in Africa, as well as lived through first hand the events of 9/11."
(Video footage of the
"Our guest tonight was one of the first five Mighty Morphing Power Rangers. From the very beginning she fought to protect the world from the forces of evil."
(An exciting video montage is shown of the Yellow Ranger somersaulting into action, singlehandedly fighting off a group of Putties in the streets of downtown Angel Grove. Next the TigerZord was shown leaping into action, lunging fangs bared at a towering creature, and then linking up with the other Zords to form the Mega Zord.)
"Post her career as a Ranger we will learn of the triumph and heartbreak behind the woman who's life has personified the meaning of selfless dedication. Now unexpectedly thrust into the public spotlight, her newly outed romance with Jason Lee Scott has garnered global attention as the entertainment press, and particularly People Magazine have dubbed them 'Jini'. Watch out Bradgelina. Your days are numbered." The studio audience cheered once more.
(Still shots of the February 14, 2007 People Magazine Valentines Day cover with Jason and Trini walking hand-in-hand along the shores of a beach in California are shown, as well as candid photos of the couple on the covers of the National Enquirer, The Star, and The Globe tabloid newspapers.)
"I am sincerely honored to meet tonights guest. Please give a heartfelt welcome to a truly genuine, gifted, and courageous woman. The one... the only... Trini Kwan."
Beautiful and elegant in a gray Prada women's suit, Trini calmly walked across the stage towards Barbara amidst thunderous applause and whistles from the male contingent in the audience. She waved to the crowd, politely shook Ms. Walters hand and then was escorted to the comfortable maroon chairs where they would conduct the interview. Far too many eyes were on her as she tried to simply breathe so that her nerves would calm.
Sensing the spotlight was becoming a bit much for her guest, Barbara reached out and covered Trini's hand, giving it a gentle squeeze. "Still getting used to this, aren't you?"
Trini nodded after a deep breath. "I blend into crowds, not get acknowledged by them. I don't know what to do with all this so called celebrity status. I never sought it before. Its taking some getting used too, even two years after our secret was outed."
"Speaking of the Rangers secret, how do you respond to new criticism in yesterdays Washington Post that if you and the other Rangers truly wanted to live simple, quiet lives you wouldn't go on national television for twelve consecutive weeks where you'd be the coffee machine talk of the day the next morning worldwide?"
"Barbara, put yourself in our shoes for a moment," Trini began. "Imagine that one day your personal life is turned upside down and a spotlight is thrown over every move that you make. You're constantly hounded for information, you have your privacy invaded, have books written about you without your consent that in some cases are nothing but lies, as well as trashy tabloid TV shows picking apart every relationship you've ever had. Imagine your family members and friends being harassed for your personal information, and even ex-boyfriends and girlfriends being paid money for interviews and photos and all sorts of strange things."
Trini continued, "We reached a breaking point where we realized the publics fascination with our lives wasn't dying down. After long talks and a vote between the team, we decided that if we couldn't get our old lives back at least this new one could come with the truth from our own lips. We could set the record straight and have our say. After that we'd at least be dealing with the truth rather than refuting or refusing to address the lies written about us."
"Well said," Barbara respectfully acknowledged. "I think all of us can understand that viewpoint. You're human beings after all, with every right to privacy irregardless of any supposed celebrity status."
"Thank you, Barbara." Having dodged the
first bullet of the evening, Trini felt herself begin to relax a bit. Although the three teenagers wearing 'Team JINI' t-shirts weirded her out a bit. "We never wanted to be
celebrities and dearly hope that after our interview series we will all be
considered boring and yesterdays news. I'm sure some
Barbara playfully crossed her fingers in support. "Moving along now, I've heard many people try and guess your full nationality. Would you please clear that up for us?"
"Sure. My mother is Chinese and Vietnamese. My father is French. I'm a triple scoop of all that," she added at the end to the chorus of a couple of whistles. She suddenly fought off a casual blush.
Barbara noted her timid response to the obvious male appreciation she was getting. She noted to return to that sometime later in the interview. "Before we go to our studio audience for questions, I wanted to ask you about the first night you became a Power Ranger. After you received your powers and used them, tell me about that first night?"
Taking a trip down memory lane, a fond note of innocence curled Trini's lips. "I remember lying in bed on top of the covers just staring at my ceiling and wondering if I dreamed it all. Here I was 16 years old and hadn't even had a date yet," she chuckled in remembrance. "All of a sudden I'm given super powers, a huge robotic Sabertooth tiger, a secret identity and told to go save the world. And trust me, none of us had time to think about if we could do the job or not. In fact, we didn't even have time to be scared. Attacks came nearly every single day, except weekends for some strange reason."
Barbara considered, "That was odd indeed. I suppose evil took the weekends off."
"Apparently so. And most summers, not that we minded." Trini replied as the audience seemed genuinely amused by their exchange. "To continue my answer, I was lying in bed and then Kim called. When I picked up the phone she asked me if I did anything cool today. Suffice to say we were both overwhelmed and ended up talking for three hours."
"No second thoughts?"
"None. We had a job to do and we did it. Especially when people began to die," she noted seriously. "We grew up really quick, Barbara. One moment we were like kids with the best brand new toys ever. And then it became a matter of life and death. But that first night... it was something truly special."
Noting a cue from one of the stage producers, Barbara looked toward the small microphone stand in the right aisle of the audience. "I think we're ready for our first question from the audience."
A young woman with short, blond hair wearing a USC sweatshirt stood at the podium. "Hello Barbara. Hello Trini. My name is Susan."
"Good evening, Susan," Barbara greeted her.
"Its a pleasure to meet you, Susan." Trini braced herself for the first audience question, which after watching her friends interviews she knew could tend to get very personal and even racy at times. "Ask away."
"A month ago the National Enquirer posted exclusive pictures of Kimberly Hart-Oliver's bachelorette party." Susan saw Trini duck her head, tongue firmly planted in cheek. The audience revved up for this one. "Those pics looked wicked wild. Care to dish on just how wild things got?"
"Why yes, I'd love to discuss President
Bush's policies on troop deployment in
"The cover was of you, Kim, Tanya, Aisha, and Katherine twirling your bras over your heads while surrounded by men in G-strings."
Blushing, Trini recalled that cover all to well. "Ex-Power Ranger girls, lap dances, and Tequila shots don't mix. And my mom had a field day over that cover. Rocky even made a poster of it. It hangs in his office, the bastard," she laughed at the end, remembering the first time she saw it and wanted to ring his neck. "All in all we had a great time that night. We went wild on Kim's last night as a single woman. Trust me, there were several other girls there with us having just as great a time. But since they weren't ex-Rangers their faces and bras weren't plastered on the covers of the tabloids."
"Thanks, Trini. You're the best."
"Thank you too."
Sensing that a gentle shift towards something not of the strip club variety else was in order, Barbara set out to do just that. "Trini, I've always wanted to know what about the Geneva Peace Conference made it so alluring and special that you gave up being a Power Ranger for it? Most people couldn't imagine walking away from such an important and exciting lifestyle to one filled with unpredictable elements. Especially at the age that you did."
"Well, I can only speak for myself, but I
lived kind of a sheltered, normal life growing up. At least until I became a
Power Ranger," she smiled. "I think that after a year I had proved to
myself that I could handle the responsibility of being a Ranger, as well as the
sacrifices and reality of the life we led. But when the chance to go to the
Geneva Peace Conference came my way it seemed to offer so much more to me. I
was going to travel all around the world and learn about other cultures and
governments first hand. I was going to be a part of the solution to the worlds most ugly problems, and that was a huge deal to me.
As a Power Ranger I might make the nightly news in one way or another, but the
desperate situation the people of
"But to give up a life of living above normal people?"
"None of us saw it that we. We were just normal teenagers helping people. Maybe it was for the best we were a bit naive about it at first, but we never saw ourselves as better than anyone or anything like that."
"Did you miss being a Ranger?"
"The first six months were hell. And not only mentally as far as missing our friends and the excitement and rush of being a Ranger. The physical pain involved in being separated from the power was stronger than any of us anticipated or were prepared for. The connection is just so powerful."
"That's so interesting and after our first commercial break I'd like to later on return to the issues of how the Power feels and how you feel when its gone. We'll be back shorty with Setting the Record Straight featuring Trini Kwan in just a moment."
As the studio stage lights bloomed luminously once more Barbara greeted the studio audience and those watching at home. "Welcome back to 'Setting the Record Straight'. Our gracious guest this week is the lovely Trini Kwan."
With a faint blush tinging her cheeks from the compliment, Trini waved at the crowd, "Thank you, Barbara." The swelling cheers from the boisterous studio audience were still taking some getting used to for the former Yellow Ranger, a quiet soul in her own right.
"Trini, I'd like to talk about your parents next," Barbara began as Trini nodded. "Specifically, what was their reaction when the news broke about you being a former Power Ranger?"
That unforeseen fateful day was one Trini would never forget for the rest of her life. "The interesting thing about your question is that my parents were the ones who told me about the news report first," she explained amidst a sense of awe as if it happened just yesterday. "After that my cell phone absolutely exploded as everyone was calling everyone every five minutes. My parents thought it was some crazy practical joke on some new reality TV show or something. There was a real sense of disbelief going on for everyone involved."
"The same could be said for the public at large," Barbara declared. "For the longest time despite the few instances of Power Rangers speaking in what sounded like normal human voices most people thought the Rangers were aliens."
"And that was just the way we wanted it to stay," Trini confided. "Back to my story, as the news program my parents were watching continued divulging indisputable evidence I began to panic. NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, CNN, MSNBC, and even ESPN quickly picked up the story. At that point I was forced to come clean with my parents about everything. Stunned silence was followed by even more stunned silence," she smiled.
With her hands folded comfortably in her lap, Trini continued, "You have to understand, Barbara. All of the first five Rangers families were still very close to each other, so when the reports surfaced they were all shocked. They began accusing each other of who knew what, when they knew it, and how much did they know. My parents were ranting and raving at first when they began to piece together all the lies I told and the lies my friends told as well. It was unbelievable to them that I could have kept something so important and dangerous from them. Now don't get me wrong. They weren't so much truly angry as they were floored that their only child used to be a super hero and they never thought she was any weirder than having a particular affinity for yellow clothes."
That brought about a couple more chuckles from the studio audience. Barbara seemed amused as well, adding, "How long was it before they calmed down?"
"About three days later," Trini fondly
remembered wearing a grin. "At that point all of the original Rangers; myself, Kim, Jason, Billy, and Zack were able to get our
families together at Jason's parent's new home in
"What was the end result?"
"We had to make two things perfectly clear. First, Zordon's rules were non-negotiable when it came to anyone knowing the Rangers true identities. And that was for a ton of good reasons as well as the same rules past Ranger teams lived by. Second, how unaware we all were as far as what we were getting ourselves into. The real danger and violence that we faced on a daily basis didn't really sink in until some time later. At first it was this huge, larger than life adventure that was literally thrown in our laps and the thrill of it blinded us to the reality of how important the work was. But as time passed it quickly evolved into the most serious responsibility any of us had ever had before."
Trini was happy to report, "All in all at the end of the day my parents are very, very proud of me. I gave them all the credit for raising me the way they did and now its kinda funny because they had these t-shirts printed up that read on the front 'Your Kids Might Have Gotten All A's, But My Kid Saved The World.'" The audience chuckled along with the guest and her host. "My parents are strange, wonderful human beings. They're my best friends... as long as they don't hound me about grandkids. Alas, that's the burden of being an only, unmarried child and on the doorstep of thirty years old."
"Oh, I believe your accomplishments thus far have them very pleased, grandkids or not."
"From your mouth to God's ears."
Barbara gave a curt nod as her studio producer signaled in her ear that the first caller of the second segment was waiting. The details came a moment later. "Trini, are you ready for a couple more call-in questions?"
Easily the tougher of the queries she would face, Trini was game nonetheless. "Go for it."
"I believe we have Heather from
"Hi Barbara. Hello Trini," came a nervously cheerful voice. "I can't believe I got through," Heather laughed.
"Hey, Heather. Congratulations," Trini offered politely.
"Thanks, Trini. I just want to say that you've been such a role model for me and my friends ever since the story of your life came out. I'm 19 and I'm going to be living overseas for the next two years in the Army, so I have an idea what its like to give your life to something greater than yourself. You are a true inspiration for me."
Willing back tears behind misty eyes, Trini graciously accepted the praise. "Thank you for the kind words, Heather. I appreciate them."
"Heather?" Barbara interjected. "The floor is yours."
Having debated asking this one in particular due to its delicate nature, Heather decided to bite the bullet. "Trini, if this is too personal just say so and its cool. But there are rumors that you suffered a miscarriage or had an abortion some years ago and I hate how some in the media want to portray your character as lacking due to unconfirmed reports about your life at that time when no one knows what really happened. Its not anyones business and I get that, but maybe its a issue you can have your say on for once. Again, if you want to not answer I'll understand."
Suddenly the bright lights felt especially heavy as Trini could sense all eyes were on her. It was as if the air was being sucked out of the studio around her and the pressure that was left felt suffocating. Nonetheless, she rose to the occasion as this was an opportunity to lay some of her demons to rest. She had the courage to come on this show with no rules beforehand on what she could be asked so she wasn't going to back down now.
Softly clearing her throat, Trini addressed the question head-on. "I suffered a miscarriage in March of 2000," she explained. "I was in a committed relationship at the time with a guy I was in love with, and though the pregnancy was unplanned we chose to have the baby. While I am not a person myself who could have an abortion I am Pro-Choice. As for the miscarriage, its an unfortunate occurrence for many women and can take place with no rhyme or reason. That was a very tough period in my life."
After a calming sip of water, Trini continued, "I want to set the record straight on one undeniable fact everyone has to understand. Despite the life we led as Power Rangers and the accomplishments each of us have enjoyed on an individual basis we are all human. Very human, meaning we make mistakes, are not perfect, battle our own personal demons and suffer tragedies just like everyone else does. If you choose to feel inspired by the life we've all led and take from that some positive perspective on your own then we accept that. But please do not hold us up on some pedestal as perfect people who are above anyone else. We are daughters and sons, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives who deserve no more or less respect than anyone else."
Finishing up, Trini concluded with, "As for those attacks on my character based on false assumptions, lies, and the need to sell tabloids newspapers I only ask that you treat me and extend to me the same courtesy you would want for yourself. Your personal life is your own and mine is mine."
"Trini, you're the best," Heather stated while clapping over the phone as did the entire studio audience. Barbara joined in the praise of her guests maturity. Trini blushed while thanking Heather and the audience.
Barbara addressed the caller once more. "Thank you, Heather."
"Thanks again for taking my call. Goodnight Trini and Barbara."
"Night." While deciding to tread lightly, Barbra nonetheless owed it to the viewers to dig deeper when the opportunity arose. "Trini, as we've gone over the sad news of your miscarriage, I have to ask about the father. Paul McPherson has been identified as your significant other at the time." Pictures of a very handsome man with short dark hair and dimples was shown on the wide-screen monitor. "He has steadfastly refused any interviews or statements regarding your past romance. My question isn't about him as much as wanting to know have you and the others had to contact people you all used to have relationships with to ask them not to give out personal information?"
Trini sighed on the wing tips of shaking her head. "Yes, and that's been a huge issue with all of us. Personally, I've contacted three ex-boyfriends and asked them to please respect my privacy and not give into the gossip mongers. So far I've been lucky as they've abided by my wishes, but Kim, Billy, Katherine, and Rocky haven't been so lucky."
"The lure of easy money and the chance to appear on trashy reality TV shows seems to call out to some, morals be damned."
"Indeed." Trini pressed on. "Its a crazy world we live in where people can get paid to tell the private details of someoneís life for money no matter the damage, embarrassment, or invasion of privacy that might cause. What's worse is they don't care. When one of Katherine's ex-boyfriend sold pictures he took of her in a bikini to the National Enquirer for $50,000 each we really got a sense of just how bad things were going to be."
"The voracious appetite some have for taking anything and turning it into a salacious story boggles the mind."
"And they don't care who gets hurt in the process."
"I've dealt with things of that nature as well, Trini," Barbara alluded to as interviewer and guest shared a quiet moment. "I think we need to lighten the mood up a bit." Something of a wicked smile came over her face as her guest seemed to notice it as well, fidgeting in hr seat. "Please describe for us the man in your life?"
Boisterous chatter lifted about the studio as the more gossipy side of things reared its head. Trini centered her thoughts and came up with a most interesting way to deal. "He's just the most wonderful, special person I have ever know," she began to a chorus of Ahhh's from the 'Jini' contingent in the front row. "He's smart and so affectionate I just can't stop kissing him. He's supportive, cute, and always warmly greets me when I walk through the front door."
Trini added quiet sarcastically, "And his tongue can do some incredible things."
Barbara blushed slightly, playing to the audiences obvious interest. "Now that's information of an intimate nature I'm sure will keep people talking."
"Well, when someone can lick there own butt I'd call that incredible," she laughed as the audience barely blinked before she continued. "He sleeps on my bed most of the day, pees around fire hydrants, and seems to love SpongeBob SquarePants. I usually leave the DVD on when I walk out of my apartment."
Barbara playfully rolled her eyes as snickers sounded round them. "Is this where you say hardy har har?"
Trini shrugged. "The man in my life is my
Great Dane puppy, Butters. I'm a
"Nice way to avoid the 'real' question, Ms. Kwan."
"Nice way to pry, Ms. Walters," the former Ranger teased, to which Barbara acknowledged a quiet touchť.
Going over a few of her notes, Barbara felt ending this segment on this particular note would shift things back to a more serious air. "Its been well documented that Tommy Oliver, Adam Park, and Jason Lee Scott among others have at times of dire need taken up the mantle of Power Ranger again. Should the need arise would you?"
What came to mind first was tempered by maturity and age as Trini gave the question its proper weight. "I wouldn't hesitate if I was needed and I didn't have any children," she detailed. "I honestly think there are more than enough good, well-trained people who want the Ranger life that I shouldn't be needed. But if I was I would do whatever it takes to the best of my ability. The only thing that would effect that choice would be if I had children at the time. Then I would have to honestly think about it."
"Why do you think some of the former Rangers are so drawn to that lifestyle even now?"
"I'm a choco-holic and I will never recover no matter how many Twelve-Step programs you send me to or patches you stick on my arm," she joked a bit. "We all have our vices, though some are much more extreme than others. And those of us who served as Rangers longer have a much tougher time leaving it behind."
"Are you sure its not an addiction to spandex?" Barbara joked as the audience laughed.
"In Tommy's case it might be."
Turning towards the television cameras, Barbara said, "We'll be right back with the interesting, mysterious Trini Kwan. And yes, we will get into the 'Jini' craze sweeping the nation." Trini ducked her head as the audience whooped and cheered.
"Welcome back to 'Setting the Record Straight'. This is our final segment with the wonderful Trini Kwan," Barbara announced to another appreciative round of applause. Trini gave a polite wave to the audience. "Trini," she began. "Tell us how your life has changed since the true history of the Power Rangers and your part in it were revealed?"
"Privacy, privacy, privacy," Trini repeated in a serious tone of voice that clearly echoed her annoyance with it all. "The lack of it my life currently enjoys has been something we're all adjusting to the best way we can. For me personally, with all the time that has past since everything came out I still don't understand why we're so newsworthy."
Trini continued after a pause. "I'm getting followed by the paparazzi and can't even rent a DVD without having someone shove a camera in my face or ask my opinion on the Oscars. I just don't understand the extreme fascination people have with us. When the story first broke then yes, I can understand the feeding frenzy of the media and public at large. But that was almost two full years ago. None of us are Rangers anymore, and some haven't been for nearly a decade." Sighing, she added, "I'm just looking to get back to something of a quiet, normal life, though I'm not sure that will ever be possible again and that's tough for me to deal with because I'm a very trusting person. Now I have to be very careful who I confide in. I have to be more aware of what I say because someone could be recording it. There's a sense of paranoia that I truly dislike."
Barbara truly sympathized with her guest as the weight of public opinion could be suffocating. "You have to understand, Trini. You helped save the world in a larger than life sort of way. You've experienced things people never thought anyone would experience. You've seen and done things up until the Rangers arrived that was only thought of in Sci-fi movie. It's given you and all the former Rangers a cult status that has people constantly talking. Add into it the fact that the Rangers were multi-racial which broadens the worldwide appeal and with hours and hours of absolutely incredible footage of the Rangers saving the world makes for a compelling story. Especially now that we have a face and a voice to match to the uniforms and powers you've all become cultural phenomenons."
"So what you're saying is I'd better get used to having nut case tabloid reporters sifting threw my trash?" Trini smiled brightly.
"Many people have wished they weren't so appealing and interesting to the public," Barbara half-teased. "Unfortunately the public deems who is and isn't the current apple of their eye. In addition, it would probably be smart to shred or burn just about anything remotely personal that you toss in your trash."
"I'll keep that in mind." Trini gave a small, disbelieving shake of her head. "I never wanted praise or glory for my time as a Ranger. I was performing a duty no different than a doctor, police officer, or fireman. I just wore yellow spandex, flipped in the air allot, fought retarded Putties by the dozens, and rode in super cool robots."
"See Trini," Barbara pointed out. "That's the attitude people adore about you."
"I'm just being myself."
"That's all you ever have to be." Taking a cue from the her studio producer, Barbara looked towards the center aisle where a clean-shaven man appearing to be in his twenties of Hispanic descent waited at a small podium.. "Trini, I think we'll take a question from the audience if you don't mind?"
"Go right ahead."
"Sir," Barbara acknowledged. "What is your name and where are you from?"
"Hi, Barbara, Hello, Trini. My name is Juan and I'm from
"Nice to meet you, Juan," Trini greeted him. "What can I answer for you?"
He adjusted the microphone to his height. "Since you've lived such an incredible life with your past as a Power Ranger and your many years overseas working for the Peace Conference I was wondering if you'd describe a typical day in your life now?"
"Well, I usually wake up to the unruly tongue of an overly affectionate dog," Trini began to a chorus of chuckles. "After a quick shower I obsessively check my email, delete the penis enlargement spam and all references to online contests, and then check my answering machine. I erase 80 percent of the messages as they are from people I don't know who somehow got my home phone number. Then I get dressed..."
Juan's eyes widened. "So you do all of that in the nude before you dress?"
"In your dreams," Trini taunted tongue firmly planted in cheek as the audience cheered and the guy blushed hard. "Anyway, I'm usually out of the house inside of forty-five minutes post waking up. I work at the United Nations Secretariat eight hours a day, though I goof on AIM with Kim and Sha when no ones looking."
"Around noon I usually call my," she
paused as this was no doubt going to open Pandora's Box. "My boyfriend and
make sure he hasn't gone nuts with road rage or anything. Watch out
The audience erupted, especially those wearing the 'Jini' t-shirts as it seemed Trini was finally ready to open up about her relationship.
"I'll probably exchange a couple of emails with Rocky over the insane pictures of crazy things he sends all the ex-Rangers every day in a mass email. Then I'll call my parents to check on them and give instructions on how to use the DVD player... Look, I lead a pretty typical life outside of the photographers following me around and all that. Sorry, no wild orgies to speak of."
"Thanks, Trini. You're the best."
"Thank you, Juan."
Barbara thanked him once more and then faced her guest again. It was time to get personal as the evening was winding down. "Trini, after last weeks public reveal of your relationship with Jason Scott Lee the press has been going wild over it. All he world loves a sweet romance and the coined name of 'Jini' seems to be sweeping the nation. And while I absolutely respect your right to privacy, forums such as this one give you the chance to set the record straight, pun intended," she smiled brightly. "Would you mind if we talk about your personal life?"
Having prepared for this all week long as best she could, never mind the damage control with Kim, Trini exhaled a calm, deep breath and nodded.
"Are you in love?"
"Yes," came swiftly and without doubt, her lips curled into a pleasing smile. "Very much so."
"Last week Jason revealed that it was just after 9/11 that you and him began to slowly cross the line from friendship to romance. And then at the Oliversí wedding things began to move forward."
Trini lived it all again in the span of a second, unable to fend off the loving expression that came over her face. "Jason and I aren't star-crossed like Tommy and Kim. That's not to say what we share is any less powerful, but we didn't have that 'meant to be' sort of courtship. We grew up together and our time overseas with Zack saw us grow into adults who were closer than ever. I honestly wasn't attracted to him for a number of years. And I thought he had a big head. Literally." The audience laughed as she knew she'd be hearing about that one later on from the man himself.
After a drink of water, Trini continued. "In many ways Jason is my very best friend. He's such a kind soul. He's strong and sweet at the same time and even when he pisses me off I just want to kiss him." The 'Jini' fans in the audience "awwed" after she revealed that. "We've spent more time together than with anyone else in the last ten years and we've grown as individuals. I never, ever thought I would fall in love with him. I mean I've known him since I was a child and if I never felt anything for him all those years ago then why now? But something slowly changed between us and that attraction, chemistry and heat grew until we couldn't take it anymore."
"But you chose to hide the relationship. Why?"
"Well, not long after Tommy and Kim were married Peanut Butter was born. So we..."
"That's our group nickname for Tanya and Adam's daughter. The best kid on Earth in my opinion. Anyway, after she was born and the wedding there was so much going on that Jason and I wanted a little privacy until we knew for certain if we were going to work out or if it was an affair that might flicker out after a time."
A shy quality she wore so well came over Barbara's guest as she watched her closely. "Something tells me you two figured that one out."
"We found our good place, yes. We never set out to lie to our friends, but we had to know for ourselves if this was the real deal," Trini spoke from the heart. "We're bets friends who fell in love by accident and itís the most wonderful experience of my life. Jason makes me very happy."
"That's all any of us hope for, dear." Offering a sweet gesture of patting Trini's hand, Barbara just had to ask, "So how did you deal with Kim after last weeks show? I can only assume Mrs. Oliver wasn't too pleased with you judging by her response to Jason last week on-air."
Blanching slightly, Trini recalled last weekend.
"I flew out the night of Jason's interview to
"What's so funny about a good friend tossing a shoe at you?"
"Well, it was one of a pair I actually lent to her. When I reminded her of that she got even madder and threw the other shoe at me. I dodged it while listening to Tommy try to calm her down inside. And with the photographers camped out on their front lawn expect the tabloids to have a field day with the pictures of me cart wheeling out of the way of a flying high heel."
"Now that's a photo even I want to see."
"Thankfully, Tommy snuck me in through the back of the house and after a couple of minutes of zany arguing over my relationship with Jason and why I never told her, the real fate of Billy's pet hamster when we were nine, who got their period first, and how they get the jelly in jelly donuts we were able to reach an agreement that preserved our friendship."
"Can we get any details of this agreement?"
"I owe her ten million dollars in nickels and dimes. She gave me eighty years to pay up."
"Thank goodness you're gainfully employed," Barbara enjoyed teasing her guest.
"Well Trini, you've been a wonderful guest tonight. I am truly honored to have had the chance to interview you and give the world a side of you that's the truth in your own words."
"Thank you so much, Barbara. Itís been my honor as well."
"Before we say goodnight what would you like everyone to know about Trini Kwan."
Sighing as the evening came to an end, Trini's eyes lifted to the cameras as she shared a bit of her beautiful soul. "Anyone can live a spectacular if they put others above themselves. That's how I live my life. It means something to me to go to bed at night knowing I tried to make the world a better place. And whether that was in skin tight yellow spandex piloting a Mega Zord or speaking out on the hunger and the growing Aids epidemic in Africa or just volunteering one day a month at a homeless shelter we can all do something no matter how big or small it is to help someone else. I do my very best in that regard."
"Thank you so much for your time, patience, and candor," Barbara offered as she stood with Trini amidst a round of claps and cheers. "Next week on 'Setting the Record Straight' we will visited by one of the longest serving Rangers in history, the enigmatic Adam Park. Goodnight everyone."