Chapter Twelve: Amy’s friend
David puts his hands against the door of Alex’s new apartment in town and shakes his head really disapprovingly.
“Never go in there without knocking. Trust me,” he informs Susan.
But the girl ridicules his words and pushes the front door wide open. Why the hell would they give David a key if they didn’t want him to use it?
Once entered, she finds them both barely dressed on the couch, quickly pulling their hair into ponytails. Their cheeks are flushed, but at the same time, they’re giggling.
David leans against the door frame and shrugs: “See?”
Surprise throws Susan a bit off. It’s the first time she gets to meet Alex Ochoa. Amy’s been planning this for weeks. She didn’t expect to walk in on a make out session.
“Gay!” Susan utters before shaking her head in a panic. “I mean, hey!”
A shameless Alex starts laughing out loud and gets up on her feet to button up the last of her shirt.
“It’s okay. Never too early to be enthusiastic about homosexuality.”
Susan, even more embarrassed than a second ago, remains stunned about her little slip of the tongue. Amy coughs distractingly and walks over to drag her best friend toward the love of her life. She’s dressed again, though her hair looks like a mess. Plus, there’s the obvious sex glow.
“Susan, Alex,” she points out. “Alex, Sue.”
The second Alex’s hand touches her dark skin, Susan gasps for air. It’s unreal.
“Oh, my God. You’re a supermodel.”
Amy starts laughing over her fangirling attitude. But it’s not like it’s the first time that Alex meets someone who turns out to be overwhelmed.
“And you’re not,” Alex playfully downplays the importance of her fame. “Nice to meet you.”
David puts down the food he took along and the group of friends sits down to talk about the past few days. Susan is intrigued by the complete normality Alex exhales. She’s just another girl that grew up in a small town. Except she scored a modeling contract and became a big star. Sadly, she also got cancer.
“You’ve been around the world,” the curious stranger notices after an hour of talking. “Do you feel like you’ve got life lessons to share?”
Amy informed her girlfriend about the overly blunt characteristics of her best friend. It’s fun to watch, until she targets you. But Alex can handle a girl or two. It takes her a few moments of pulling weird, thoughtful faces before she answers.
“Date girls with short nails,” she winks.
Amy pokes her waist and smiles. David, on the other hand, rolls his eyes. This teenage behavior never seems end.
“So it’s official then? You’re together-together again,” Susan dreamily asks.
Alex and Amy simultaneously nod – pretty proud about themselves: “Yes.”
David smirks and takes a sip of his beer: “Changing Facebook relationship statuses now?”
They all start laughing, until Amy bends her upper body over the table and shakes her head.
“Can’t. This one here doesn’t have an account anymore ever since she fled the country.”
But the cousins suddenly remain startled. They exchange looks and that’s when Alex decides to fess up.
“Oh, I do. I just blocked you when I left.”
Amy’s jaw drops while Susan and David start laughing.
“You did what?” the blonde utters in complete astonishment.
Susan sticks a piece of bread in her mouth, awaiting the disaster that’s about to happen right in front of her. Supermodel fight. This should be good. This cannot end well. Not even in dream sequence. Should she tweet about it?
“I’m sorry,” Alex amusingly apologizes. “It was the only logical thing to do. Here, I’ll unblock you right now.”
She grabs her phone and opens some apps to undo the bad. But her girlfriend can’t really understand how she can act so lightly about it.
“Are you freaking kidding me?” she scoffs while turning her hands toward the ceiling. “How about simply defriending?”
Alex’s face suddenly turns stoic. She softly shakes her head and expresses the most profound expression of aversion.
“Oh, no. That’s just rude,” she whispers all offended.
They both start smiling and just like that, the dream sequence sets in. There’s no fight, there’s no quarrel. And the simplicity with which they solve such a fragile topic leaves their friends speechless. Though, as memories strike David, they’ve used this inconvenient way of problem-solving before. It’s mesmerizing to see how these girls can forget about everyone around. They get sucked into their magical, mythical little world reserved for two. Nobody around gets granted even a second of their attention once they arrive to that place. AA-meetings, he recalls his own words.
“What did you guys do last night?” he changes the subject subtly, hoping they’ll snap back to reality.
“Just hog the couch, watch some movies. I actually think I didn’t move for four hours straight,” Alex recalls.
Her eyes grow big and her face glares up.
“It was amazing.”
Life has been so busy lately. Doing nothing is the closest to a weekend at a spa right now. Susan, still more restrained than usual, looks at her. The realization that she’s having dinner with a supermodel still scares her a bit. When they walked into this apartment building, there were three photographers roaming around the place. Word’s going around about Alex Ochoa’s mysterious move. The media have localized her fast. Then again, it’s not like she’s the hiding or camouflaging type. Alex couldn’t care less about the paparazzi interested in snapping some pictures. If you pay them some attention, they let you off pretty easy. Act like a bitch and they’ll hunt you down. The entire world knows Amy is her girlfriend by now. They are being photographed all the time, in the most adoring and affectionate situations. While they are out getting coffee or going to the movies, when they attend events or parties. Amy was impressed at first, when she started getting recognized as well. She got over it quickly, though, as Alex showed her how to deal with it. Public life is one big flashing event now, blinding your eyes – it’ll get familiar after a while.
As Amy’s phone suddenly starts beeping uncontrollably, David feels disappointed about the answer to his question.
“What? Why? Why have you become so boring?” he demands to know.
Amy grabs her smartphone and starts checking the notifications. Suddenly, her face lights up.
“I’m sorry,” Alex chuckles. “Not every day can be an excerpt from a lesbian porn movie.”
Susan starts laughing uncontrollably. She’s a big fan of this private Alex. Her cautious eyes notices just how happy her great friend Amy is looking. She’s been smiling for hours now, without even realizing it yet. Her entire face radiates an enchanting glow. Her cheeks must hurt.
“We watched a lot of old movies. It’s for research. Thinking about my career, you know,” the blonde completes the rather blunt explanation of her lady lover after laying down the phone.
“Like you ever watch the actual movie when you’re sitting next to Alex. You end up staring at her without even blinking,” David questions the authenticity of her review of last night.
“Well, I could stare at Alex all day and still think I’v been productive,” Amy proudly announces.
Susan, leaning her head on her fist, sighs through her all-consuming admiration of the great, famous Alex Ochoa and agrees: “Me too.”
When the rest turns their heads her way, she realizes her words weren’t said inside of her head. Alex thinks Susan is adorable and pats her hand. Amy, on the other hand, can’t believe how easily her girlfriend can make people question their sexual orientation. Suddenly, another beep reverberates.
“Alex, tell me. What does ‘shipping’ mean?” she suddenly wonders.
Alex turns her head and frowns: “What?”
“Shipping,” the blonde elaborates, pointing at her phone. “You added me, like, a minute ago and my Twitter feed’s blowing up with your fans telling me they ‘ship’ me with you. Where will they ship us to?”
Her famous girlfriends starts laughing uncontrollably and apologizes for the suddenly explosion of fame. This is what fans do, really. You add a new follower, they investigate. They’re Pit Bulls.
“It means they know who you are and they approve of me being with you,” Alex rapidly summarizes with one eyes squeezed shut.
“Why would I need someone’s approval?” Amy scoffs amusingly while discovering some new comments. “And what is an OTP? Is it a sexual thing?”
Alex, who thinks this might have been the cutest thing Amy ever said, cups her mouth with one hand: “Oh, you’re so new to this. How cute.”
“By the way, you said you’d call me. You didn’t,” David addresses his cousin in between bites of his meal, completely interrupting the conversation.
That was three days ago. In other words: three cities and two photoshoots ago. Somehow, Rick managed to organize four meetings as well.
“I’m sorry,” Alex apologizes, while turning to him again. “I had a lot of stuff to do.”
Her girlfriend is still determined to find out what the abbreviation means, so she draws Alex’s attention by yanking at her shirt.
“It’s nothing dirty, baby. It means ‘one true pairing,” the Latina explains in order to wash away the worried assumptions in Amy’s mind.
Holding himself in great esteem, the cute blogger looks up and demonstrates his prettiest smile: “What? Calling your cousin isn’t on your most important list?”
His cockiness enlightens a teasing fire inside of Alex. There are too many people talking.
“Well, there is a list, but I prioritize,” she explains. “It goes like …”
The girl puts her flat hand high up in the air. Susan and Amy sit quietly, watching her.
“If you have boobs,” Alex resumes.
She then lowers her hand until it nearly touches the floor. Her friends follow her movements.
“If you don’t have boobs.”
Amy slaps the table and bursts out into laughter. She calls out Alex’s name a few times but can’t seem to talk, let alone breathe decently.
It’s amazing how easy this entire night is going. How everyone is just so crazy about each other. The second Susan starts talking about the new movie project, though, the happy atmosphere shifts. Suddenly, Alex looks down and sad. Nobody except Amy knows what it is about.
“We won’t be seeing each other for a week. Victoria’s Angel over here has to go to New York for a fashion event. And I’ll be in Los Angeles.”
The more she hears it out loud, the more depressed Alex seems to find herself. Given, Amy’s not happy about it either. But that’s what you get with two careers in showbiz.
“And then Paris, London, Rome, … You name it,” she recalls.
“You’re going to wake up with tears in your eyes and then Rick will have to come drag you out of the bed, right?” Amy predicts, slightly dramatized.
But unlike Susan, who would feel rather offended after hearing those words, Alex remains quiet. An awkward silence fills the space for a while. Then she admittedly shrugs and faintly scrunches her nose: “Yes. He’s going to kill me again.”
Rick did it before. Amy’s aware.
“How does she know that?” Susan whispers to her dinner neighbor.
David smirks. Susan’s not used to this yet. Truth is there’s no answer. It has taken him a lifetime to discover that he will never understand either.
“I know everything about this girl,” Amy tells her, picking up on the secretive behavior. “She can’t stand sleeping alone. She used to call me every ten minutes when she was out of town for the job. Crocodile tears all the way.”
Alex starts pouting adorably. Almost like she’s proud of it.
“It was sweet,” she claims. “You thought it was sweet too. Trust me, you’re the only one that knows this side of me.”
The overly curious Susan giggles and insists that this behavior goes on for a while longer.
“Tell me something else about her. She can’t just be a great model, right? There must be other hidden talents,” she asks.
David wiggles his nose and interrupts the conversation: “Not really.”
But Alex defends herself by kicking him under the table. His face stiffens in pain. The girls mock him.
“One of her biggest talents is the fact that she can say the word fuck in so many varying tones that it actually expresses a gigantic range of emotions,” Amy finally answers.
Given it’s such an impressive characteristic, Alex starts to gloat.
“It’s true. I do that. And what else do I do that I’m not aware of, my dear?”
She kisses Amy’s temple adorably. Susan melts. Amy and Christopher never acted this way.
“You don’t do normal,” the blonde continues with a half smile. “You’re either ecstatic or depressed. There’s no in between.”
The fights and the romantic gestures. From zero to ten in a second. A lifetime of memories.
“Sorry,” Alex pouts.
But Amy refuses to accept the apology: “Don’t be. I love that about you.”
She bends over to kiss Alex on the tip of her nose. Susan secretly asks David if they do this all the time and he confirms her suspicion.
“What about you, Susan?” Alex snaps out of the ecstasy. “A boyfriend? Or two?”
The black girl runs some fingers through her short hair and scoffs self-confidently.
“At least three.”
That makes Amy burst into laughter: “Yeah, right. The imaginary ones, you’re talking about?”
Susan throws a piece of bread her way and misses Amy’s head by an inch.
“We can’t all have a supermodel to our disposal the minute we get bored with boys,” she viciously lashes out.
Alex can’t help but applaud appreciatively. Amy tells herself it’s just a joke.
“I can’t help it,” Susan then proceeds. “I need a man in control. Someone who will tell me what to do and who gets angry when I stay out too late. They don’t stand on the crossroads handing out their cellphone numbers.”
She sighs while dreaming about the man of her dreams. David awkwardly clears his throat. This isn’t his habitat. In fact, this conversation asks for another drink.
“So who wears the pants in your relationships?” Susan sneers, while looking at her blonde friend.
“A lot of times, neither of us,” she responds, a little too cocky.
David spits out the bit of beer left in his mouth and insists they stop talking like this around him.
“Now tell me,” Alex curiously addresses Susan while turning her head. “You just met me. What do you like most about me?”
She’s always passionate about finding out how people feel about her. So every now and then, she organizes a personal questionnaire. It’s good for her confidence, you see. Models like that a lot.
After taking a sip, Susan rotates her head as if she’s thinking this through thoroughly: “Your sarcasm and your homosexuality.”
Amy throws her head back and starts laughing hysterically. Just like David, she can’t belief how she comes up with this crap.
But Alex couldn’t be more impressed with Amy’s friend. She squeezes her eyes briefly and smirks.
“Good answer. I like you.”
It’s been seven days since the girls saw each other. Seven long, awful days, filled with dramatic phone calls and cheesy text messages. Funny, actually, since they’ve been apart for four years before that and survived with no more that a decent cry once in a while. But after their reunion, the realization that their love comes in such epic proportions that even those four years can’t change a thing, five minutes feels too long. Because now they call themselves ‘yours’ and ‘mine’. They are official, exclusive. And they can’t wait to see each other again, because unlike before, there’s no anger or hatred. There’s the certainty that they’ll kiss and make love and act like love sick puppies. It’s addictive and craving. It can’t be stopped. And they don’t mind.
At first, they’d meet on Wednesday, but Amy’s work got in the middle. So Alex wanted to fly back to Los Angeles, but sadly, Rick had other plans for her. Their schedules are killing their sweet lady kisses time.
“Kathy, how’s my hair? Is it alright?” Alex nervously asks.
The Asian hotness turns her brown eyes her way and starts laughing out loud.
“We are at a runway event. We are the special Victoria’s Secret guest Angels. Three hair specialist just worked on you like they were Picasso and you were their work of art,” she explains.
“So, that’s a yes?” Alex wonders.
It’s true. But none of that matters. All that matters is what Amy will think about her hair when she’s going to walk in later. Alex got her tickets for the event. It’s been a lifetime ago ever since she saw Alex run in person. Something about catwalk shows is so thrilling. Alex used to make fun of it, but now she craves for them when it’s not really the season. Paris, London, New York, even Brussels – she flies to all of them. Even better: she gets asked for all of them. The bizarre attitude a model must attain while posing like a Queen on high heels is exhilarating. People stare at you in awe and observe every single detail of your movements. You don’t just walk, no, you demonstrate a skill – a speciality that few people can master. It only takes a couple of seconds each time you make your way up and down that magical stage, but the thrill and pressure makes them last forever.
“Did you ever fall? Like … ‘flat on your face, hurt yourself a little and still got up to finish the act’-fall?” Alex wants to know.
One of her best friends looks her way and scoffs: “Of course I did. My first catwalk for Yves Saint-Laurent. It was terrible, but let me tell you: I went down and the world talked about it.”
Alex can’t seem to remember that one: “Epic proportions?”
Kathy nods, while running a finger through her hair: “Epic bruising as well. You?”
“Yeah,” Alex hesitantly admits while checking her abs in the mirror. “Just got out of my cancer thingy. Gravity was being a bitch back then. But I did it elegantly.”
Kathy knows she’s allowed, so she laughs about it: “Oh, yeah. I remember. You got up, yanked off your shoes and almost danced your way backstage.”
They both laugh and subsequently get sucked in by the catastrophic atmosphere behind the scenes. Catwalks, they consist of seconds glued together. In between those seconds, there’s stylists and designers, hunting the models and forcing them toward the X in front of the mysterious curtain that’ll lead to the most nervous seconds of a career. Every single one of them – it never gets old. That’s why it’s addictive.
“Alex, two minutes!” a sweaty assistant suddenly yells her way.
Kathy looks at her and chuckles: “Wow. And people always think we are being treated like angels.”
The Latina gets on her feet and checks herself out in the mirror again. She looks dazzling in that dress. Red, shiny fabric, deep cleavage, high split. She could get married in this dress.
“We are angels, Kathy,” she corrects her friend while picking up a tiny, tiny piece of fabric and clasping onto it with her fingers. “Let’s do this.”
As she’s making her way over to the area right behind the curtains, three assistant designers and one makeup artist perfect her look. Not much is needed, though, the girl looks drop dead gorgeous – as always. It’s remarkable how beautiful she is. Alex heaves a couple of nervous sighs. God, she’s been doing this too long to still feel like she’s about to throw up.
Truth is: it’s the change that you’ll fall. You need to walk in such a dramatic and expressive way that the little needles beneath your shoes have all the more reason to crack. Your ankles are way too fragile to not twist when you misstep slightly.
There’s a lot of noise behind the scenes. People are hysterically calling each other’s name, assistants are on the search for missing models, designers are freaking out about a little wrinkle in a delicate fabric. Alex enjoys it, she feeds on this active aggression. The chubby guy in front of her winks at her. Saying her name out loud probably wouldn’t gain her attention anyway. He taps his watch and gestures at the curtain.
“Twenty seconds,” he warns her.
She makes her way over to the X-marked spot and exhales through her pouted lips. Her fingers play around with the little piece of red fabric she took out of her purse a minute ago. It feels soft and important. She tries to hide if for the rest of her colleagues as good as possible.
“Relax,” she tells herself in a way to calm down a bit. “You can do this.”
It’s not really working. She reminds herself of her reflection in the mirror. Her eyes were painted dark – almost black. Her hair was pulled back in such a polished, tight ponytail. The skin of her head is starting to hurt already. She looks fierce – fiercer than normal. Her lips are fire red, so are her cheeks. The shoes she’s wearing cost around eight hundred dollar, yet they clasp her feet like a bear trap. But it’s okay. This is what a model is born for. These next forty seconds of fame, of admiration, of judgement. Of potential humiliation.
She counts down the seconds in silence now. Three, two, one.
The curtain opens majestically and that’s her cue. Her walk is self-sure and firm. It’s fast, yet according to the beat of the overwhelmingly loud music reverberating through the room. Her arms remain relatively stiff, while her shoulders wiggle elegantly from left to right. Her attitude is priceless, it exhales the definition of a diva. If she would look into the sun right now, the sun would go blind. She can’t see a thing, all the lights are aimed her way. Besides, she must remain focussed on the back of the room, the camera light that takes a shot of her in the far distance. That has always helped her. It prevents her from walking unsteady or askew. Luckily, she’s known to pull a weird face or two at events, so even when she would fail at keeping her miraculous act together, each and every single one of the people present would adore it. From the corner of her eyes, she goes looking for Amy. Maybe she’s running late. Maybe she’s not even here. That thought suddenly makes it a lot easier for her to pass the seconds with full concentration. See, Amy being absent would be a gift. It would take away all the pressure and anxiety she hasn’t experienced in years. But halfway through her routine, at the very end of the catwalk, she recognizes the face she has adored since forever. It’s her beautiful blonde goddess, looking at her with eyes she’s never come across before. It’s utter pride and adoration. It’s desire and astonishment. Her heart starts racing, like it’s the first time that anyone has ever made her feel beautiful. That’s rare, you see, when every single person in the world tells you you are.
Alex stops, puts both hands on her hips and curves her body in a way a true model would. She then holds her flat hand to her lips and blows a kiss Amy’s way. Totally unpredicted, totally unscripted, but the flashing lights go out of control. The media is crazy about the lesbian it-couple. It took the paparazzi three days before Alex and Amy were snapped kissing each other. It took them another six before Alex shrugged her shoulders over the question wether or not she was a lesbian. It took another five before she wore a T-shirt that said ‘I’m in love with Amy Wolfe’. She never lied about her sexuality. There were just never girls that were worth going public for. Or boys, for that matter. Alex Ochoa has been single since forever. Until now.
While staying at the edge of the stage, her other hand makes a swing and the piece of fabric she held onto so firmly flies through the air. A surprised Amy catches it properly, just a few yards in front of the focussed Alex. The blonde looks surprised and giggles, while poking her friend Sue all excited. Alex winks at her, turns around with a smirk that’ll appear on every fashion blog later tonight and continues her professional, dazzling stroll back to the dressing area and important fashion people behind the curtains. She’s gone, and the crowd has loved every moment of her appearance. Nothing new.
Amy looks at the fabric in her hands and starts to recognize just what it is. It’s a soft, snuggly red teddy bear-ish lap, folded into a little ball of cuteness. When she unravels the little toy to its original state, she notices the shinny little, white gold ring attached to its left paw. On its belly, there’s a message.
Susan’s jaw drops when she curiously looks down on Amy’s lap.
‘Marry me?’ it says.
The woman puts both hands in front of her mouth and gasps – speechless for the first time in her life. Just like Amy, who just sits there in complete shock, re-reading the text about twenty time to make sure the alternating darkness and flashing lights don’t play funny games with her mind. A couple of photographers recognize her from previous outings with Alex and are dying to know what keeps her busy to the point she can’t even be bothered to look up at the other models anymore.
Alex Ochoa just asked her to marry her, in the middle of a world famous fashion event, surrounded by the world press. Her fingers linger over the piece of art – the ring in fact. It has three little diamonds processed into the gold. It’s elegant, it’s beautiful, it’s perfect. Amy unties the little string that keeps it close to the teddy bear’s paw and starts smiling all of a sudden. She can’t believe Alex did this. Sure, something major was promised to her the last time she mocked a semi-attempt at a proposal, but this is way out of line. Dramatically out of proportion and of course: true Alex Ochoa style. Trembling fingers put the ring around her finger and the enchanting, all-consuming emotion of love might just swallow her whole while the rest of the fashion show happens like it’s a background noise.
Susan, still in shock, elbows her neighbor, a wealthy woman in her forties, and enthusiastically informs her about the purpose of the mysterious flying piece of fabric a minute ago. The photographers have picked up on it, though, and they shoot prove of the truly mesmerizing expression on Amy’s face. She can’t stop staring at the ring.
How is this even a proposal? She hasn’t even said yes yet. Given, her eyes do the talking right now. It’s such a yes that a simple yes can’t even compete.
When she finally looks up again, she finds a co-worker in the distance, walking her way. He hands her a piece of paper, with the directions to the backstage area. After her next walk, Alex expects Amy to be there. And kiss her. And squeeze her supermodel butt. Exact words.
The ever too modest Julia Danes is seated across the dressing room. Alex has barely spoken to her, so a faint wave and an unspoken ‘I’ll talk to you later’ made up for the lack of trying. Not just the placing arrangements are poor. There’s also the fact that Julia brought her badass boyfriend Justin with her. He’s such a tool – Alex would love to pierce his head with one of her high heels. But there’s no time for that. And those heels are way too expensive.
After calming herself down in record time after the spontaneous proposal, Alex gets pulled into a fairytale set of lingerie. It’s black lace covering barely any parts of her body now. People are gluing a perfected pattern of fake diamonds to her skin. Her back gets mounted with a thing that represents angel wings. She looks breathtakingly beautiful, now that her hair is curly and wild. The things these hairdressers and makeup artist can do in just a breath of time, it’s unbelievable. They have switched her from an uptight secretary into a naughty angel in a matter of minutes.
“So, the great Alex has yet another girlfriend.” a familiar voice suddenly reverberates from behind her. “I read it in the magazines.”
The voice alone makes her shiver. She looks over her shoulder to find the notoriously annoying Justin. This guy is so full of himself. Alex refrains herself from telling him it’s ‘shit’ actually.
“Shut up, Justin,” she snorts, rolling her eyes at the nerdy assistant designer pushing her boobs in the perfect way.
That person has trouble keeping an impressed smile to herself. It’s weird how touchy-feeling every single one in this industry is. People run around naked and nobody even cares. They pull up bras and panties with the models even in them and it’s the most natural thing in the world. Stress and a tight schedule has a lot to do with it. Plus, after a while, you simply get used to it. Must be how gynecologists feel.
“What? Must say, you certainly have a type,” he continues unrestrained, while glaring at the models surrounding them.
The way he lays his eyes on all the girls nauseates Alex. He’s a perv, a disgusting little prick. If it weren’t for his influential daddy, nobody would even let him in here. In fact, apart from him, only people that are work-related to this runway show are allowed in here.
“So do you, the ones that like running into your fist,” she reacts full of sarcasm and fierceness.
Kathy happens to pass by and after overhearing the comment, she laughs out loud. The guy’s expression changes instantly. He can’t stand that she figured out why Julia is always so fragile and bruised. ‘I fell down the stairs’ has stopped working months ago. The girl is terrified of him, constantly makes excuses for his behavior and stresses how much he loves her without people even asking about it. Alex’s not buying any of it, especially when he starts acting like a jerk to her face. He can’t stand it, though, the lack of intrigue creeping up on her whenever he’s nearby. This guy lives for women that are scared of him. Sadly, the only thing in the world that scares Alex is a disease called cancer. And she has beaten that one as well.
In a rather predictable twist of events, Justin steps up to her to yell at her. Alex couldn’t be less impressed. It’s like he’s air to her. What is he going to do? Slap her? She might fight like a girl, but girls fight dirty. He’d get a nasty scratch across the face somewhere along the line.
“What are you going to do?” she challenges him, raising her voice loud enough to catch the attention of all the people present. “Hit me? In front of all these people? No. That’ll be too public for you, right?”
His eyes rage like a burning fire. Oh, he wants to hit her, it’s just that she’s right. Nobody knows this part of him. Except Julia’s best friends. They are on to him. And he’s out of his mind over the fact that he lost that power.
It takes her a minute before the security removes him from the backstage area. In this little world of her, it’s simple. She’s one of the most important models at this event, she gets to call the shots, not this idiot. Besides, her colleagues don’t seem to appreciate the way he’s talking and staring at them. But it takes a brave Latina to stand up to him.
Suddenly, Julia appears and after their brief ‘hello’ from two hours ago, she doesn’t exactly look thrilled to see her old friend again.
“What the hell, Alex?” the second greeting goes.
Not even attempting to apologize, Alex throws her a serious look: “Seriously, ditch the asshole.”
It’s a warning, not an opinion.
”He’s not always like this,” Julia starts the standard explanation once again.
But Alex’s tired of it. Julia is an awesome girl. She’s gorgeous, she’s sweet, she’s massively talented. Guys would fight to be with her. And she just fights to convince herself she’s happy.
“No, only when he’s awake, right?” the Latina scoffs, while walking to the X mark once again.
The final round. She’ll get to see Amy’s face now. Nothing, not even the most insecure part of her heart makes her question the answer she’ll be receiving by the look on her lover’s face. It’ll be a yes. It’ll be a flabbergasted, overwhelmed, filled with love yes. Because she’d feel the same if it was the other way around.
“You don’t understand, Alex,” Julia calmly follows her.
The girl’s not even upset enough to appear believable. Her short hair is up in the sky, wild and hip. Her sharp face lacks emotion. The pink bikini covering her body fits her perfectly, though.
“No, you don’t understand,” Alex replies almost desperate enough to stop trying. “Life’s too short, trust me. He’s not worth it.”
It applies to many parts of her life. Many things she discovered. Julia looks at her and sighs too tired of all of this to even make up yet another excuse.
“You know, I just proposed to Amy,” Alex continues softly, almost not believing it herself. “I threw her a ring and as I walked back, I didn’t even see her face, but I felt it in my bones that it was a yes. Because she’s the reason that made me fight this cancer. It made me beat it. It’s her face and the way she looks at me that makes me feel special and loved. He doesn’t do that with you. You wouldn’t fight for him. He’s not worthy of you, Julia. There are a million other great guys out there, you just have to open your eyes.”
But through all of Alex’ enchanting and heartwarming words, the startled Julia suddenly snaps out of the spell.
“You tossed a ring at your girl?”
It almost sounds like a terrible thing to do. Like you’d ask a hooker to marry you after throwing her a hundred dollar bill. Alex starts shaking her head convincingly.
“No, I didn’t toss it. I majestically threw it her way. Oh, my God, I tossed it, didn’t I?”
She shakes her head and overthinks her own action, but then sticks to the initial idea: “No, it was epic. I was on the catwalk and it was a teddy bear made out of this pretty, red -”
But Julia needs further clarification: “Wait, just a second ago? You asked her to marry you, surrounded by the world press, by throwing her a teddy bear cloth – just a second ago?”
Alex, suddenly feeling rather insecure about her bald style, scrunches her eyebrows and hesitates before answering. This might be a deal breaker. What if her explanation just made the story even worse?
“Yes,” she stutters so insecure that it’s dead-cute.
But Julia’s face clears up and she starts clapping her hands uncontrollably: “Oh, my God, Alex. That’s so cheesy in such a badass way. I would marry you in an instant.”
Suddenly, Alex’s name reverberates. It’s that sweaty assistant again. She’s up. One last time.
This might have been the most magical catwalk she has ever done. Alex feels pumped and high from the adrenaline when she storms to her changing area. Everyone’s applauding. The show’s over. The crowd is happy. Only one model stumbled and the best news is: it wasn’t her. Her stylists gather around the perfection that is her body. A beautiful piece of lingerie and wings, that’s enough to appoint her most popular model of the night. But that doesn’t matter. All that matters is that Amy will be here in a second. She saw the look on her face while working her second run. She saw the shock and secret smiling that was happening. More importantly, she also saw Susan, enthusiastically pointing at her own ring finger which made it really hard for her not to burst out into hysterical laughter. The job had to be done. Not even her impromptu proposal could alter that. If she changed the way this show ended as well, the fashion designer would’ve killed her. Well, not really. He’d be mad at her for a good ten minutes, find her piercing, displeased eyes staring at him and end up apologizing instead of her.
She’s a total brat about abusing the power from time to time, but something about her scares people. It makes them bow whenever she passes and just give her everything she desires without a single discussion.
But now, she can’t think about anything. All that’s flashing through her are delayed nerves, late to the party. It’s always like that. She keeps up a strong act before going on stage and when it’s over, she collapses. Because things can go wrong. People can think she did a horrible job. It’s just that she blocks it out until there’s an opportunity to experience all those insecure emotions. Julia walks over to her friend and seems completely cooled down again. For a split second, Alex wonders if she forgot about her thrown-out boyfriend all together. The blonde has her short hair standing up straight now and she’s wearing a bathrobe.
“Are you okay?” she asks.
This ritual, where Alex’s hands start trembling and her eyes race through the room like she’s about to have an epileptic attack is one she recognizes from before. In a non-surprising twist of events, the cancer card makes people worry at all times. It annoys the crap out of Alex, but it’s better that someone cares than couldn’t care less.
Suddenly, her name reverberates from a corner. When Alex looks up, she finds an overwhelmed Amy, making her way through a bunch of famous people without looking at them once. Unlike Susan, who creeps up on every model – mouth agape and eyes about to pop out of her head. One of the male stylists draws Alex’s attention for a slight second, ordering her to stand still while he unties the back of her wings. When she manages to look up again, Amy’s right in front of her. Her eyes are shinny and emotional, but her lips are smiling softly. Alex’s heart stops beating. She just waits, without saying a word, until her girlfriend will start the conversation.
“Yes!” the blonde enthusiastically gloats, answering the unasked question. “A thousand times yes.”
The stylists and Julia throw a curious look. Everyone’s talking about what happened a few minutes ago. Everyone knows exactly what this is about. But Alex doesn’t care about anyone else. She’s still too worked up about everything that’s happening right now. The biggest weight seems to drop off her shoulders, though, because she relaxes and gets overcome with joy.
“Yes?” she asks, like it’s a complete surprise.
Amy nods excessively and cups the model’s cheeks to kiss her fiercely. There are sparks, not just from excitement, but also pride and love and relief and determination.
And they are all merged into one feeling. This indescribable feeling that takes total control of both girls right now. All around them, people start applauding. They’ve all waited for this.
“You can’t tell right now, but I’m really emotional,” Alex sighs once Amy lets go of her.
It’s the damn aftermath of the catwalk. The blonde wraps her arms around the love of her life and starts chuckling all amused. Her eyes are teared up as she caresses the Latina’s cheek.
“Hi Julia,” Amy suddenly reminds herself to be kind to the woman standing next to her.
Her excitement has prevented her from being invested in anyone else but Alex. Julia kisses her twice and congratulates them both before taking off. The male stylist has managed to release Alex from her wings by now. It’s a bit awkward, this whole confession of love in the midst of the crew, but they don’t care. All they care about is each other.
“So I guess you’ll have to officially move in with me then, huh?” Alex concludes.
She turns around and gestures at her fiancée to unhook her bra. A female member of the crew holds a white towel in front of her cleavage and waits until Alex frees herself from the gorgeous, yet completely uncomfortable piece of lingerie. It’s all happening so casually that nobody even notices that she’s half naked by now. There’s so much noise in this room that Amy has to raise her voice.
“What are you talking about?”
Her hands lovingly travel down Alex’s bare back. The little diamonds are starting to fall off her skin already. After squirming herself in a white bathrobe, the Latina faces her again.
“You know, we’re getting married.”
Amy stares at her very nicely decorated finger and experiences a little tingling down her spine after hearing Alex say the words.
“I am aware,” she proudly confirms, “but you do know that we’ve practically been living together since kindergarten, right? I mean, when you left, I had three friends help me get all my stuff out of your house.”
Susan is still in the background, making new friends among the famous part of the company. She introduces herself as a dear friend of Alex. The Latina overhears her words, but she’s too intrigued and amused by the curvy woman that she allows her to abuse their level of friendship. Besides, she’s Amy’s friend. That can never be wrong.
“I know,” Alex continues the conversation while remembering the half-empty room she discovered once she returned. “You even took my favorite CD with you.”
But Amy’s way too badass to let Alex play around with her: “I bought you that CD.”
Her lover holds both hands up to surrender.
“Anyway,” she resumes, “I want it to be official. Like … I don’t know.”
A male crew member hands her some clothes she took off earlier. He asks the girls if they want something to drink, but they decline the offer.
“Here …” Amy suddenly says.
Alex turns around and finds the house key she gave her earlier. It confuses her.
“Give it to me. Again,” Amy suggests, romantically.
The gorgeous woman in front of her ignores an incoming call from Rick and takes the little piece of metal in her hand. She then kneels in front of Amy and contains a straight expression while asking the love of her life to move in with her. Officially this time.
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