Chapter 24: Magazine
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
-The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
I’m starting to hate my life more than I used to. Today is so boring and I hate it but
I reach my room with my new artbook, then placed it on the bed and use my phone to take a photo of the new painting I painted. Alex helped me buy a new one, the same as the one Mom got me.
It was a difficult job considering I was very annoyed with him when he couldn’t find it. We went to 3 different stores and found it in the fourth one.
Even though I got a new art book, it can never replace the other two I had. It contained all my art and everything. The first sketch I made, the portrait of Julian, Olivia, Lydia, and Mom. The unfinished portrait of Alex, everything is there.
I can’t believe she could stoop so low.
After posting the painting I made of a random girl, I throw the book on the bed and just stare into space. I finally come back into my senses and start playing GTA on my PlayStation.
The prank wars between Jayden and I are finished when Livia finally got tired and grounded the both of us for a week. The only time she lets me out is when mom video calls and we talk to her. We talk for like an hour then I go back to my room. The time difference is big so I only get to talk to her sometimes as she has a lot of work to do because she’s leading the team back in Kenya.
Ace helped me prank Jayden back by filling his entire room with roaches. I remember Livia being angry at us the whole day.
“Mom,” We all heard Jayden scream. Everyone went running to his room while Ace and I gave each other a high five before going to check it out too.
We waited until Jayden was in the bathroom to take a shower before we released 1000 roaches on the ground of his room. It was hard to get that many but Ace managed to get them.
I was totally against the idea because I hate insects but he made me wear some insect proof suite before we did it and locked all the windows and the door of his room. What we did was close all the doors and windows and seal the space under the door so that they don’t get out, then we placed the box on his bed and went outside, then used a stick to push the lid off and quickly lock the door.
The moment Livia opened the door, she screamed.
“Honey!” Ace screamed after her then pulled her away while the roaches came rushing out.I scooped Lydia from the ground and ran out of the house with the others trailing behind.
It was a Sunday and so the house-helps weren’t present.
“The entire house is filled with insects, we can’t go in. Let’s go to Alec’s,” Ace said and we all walked with him to Alec’s house after Ace locked the house. The funniest part was the shirtless Jayden walking around in only a towel. But I must say, he’s attractive.
We entered Alec’s house after their maid let us in.
“Hey! What are all of you doing here? Is everything OK? And why is Jayden…naked?“, Bianca asked.
No sooner, Alec also came down, with Alex. Jayden took Alex with him to wash up a bit because some of the roaches touched him and to get himself a shirt. Livia was fuming.
The moment Jayden came back down, Livia pulled his ear then came to me and did the same to me.
“I told the two of you so many times to stop pranking on each other, but no... You just couldn’t. You had to take the pranks this far,” She snapped, still pulling our ears even harder.
“Mummy! Mummy! I’m sorry. Stop it hurts,. Arrete!” Jayden whined.
“Livia, please. My ears would tear off,” I also whined, holding my ear for support. From the corner of my eye, I could see Jay recording and laughing with Alex.
“Mom, it was Kelly that put the roaches in my room,” Jayden said and my eyes widened.
“But Ace gave me the idea and helped me,” I snitched.
I could see Ace’s eyes widen when I said that. I winced, knowing that I got him in trouble. At once, Livia let go of our ears and went to Ace, who was by the table looking down at his feet.
“So, you’re the mastermind of this entire roach prank,” Livia grabbed his ear.
“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to it was just a prank. The roaches weren’t meant to get out!” He screamed, also holding his ear, trying to get it out of her hold while Jayden and I rub ours.
“You guys released so many roaches in the house and now we can’t even go in and you call it just a prank,” Livia snapped at all of us, looking at each of us for at least 3 seconds.
“Ow, ow, darling you’re hurting me,” Ace jumped.
She let go of him and then we were all made to sit on the couch.
Ace, Jayden, Jay, Alex and I were on one and Lydia, Briana and Anika were on the other. Alec was on the other side, laughing at all of us while Livia and Bianca were facing us.
“Alec join them,” Bianca ordered.
“What but what-” He started but got cut off by his wife.
“Now,” She said and he plopped down beside the kids with folded arms.
“Now I want each and every one of you to apologize to each other and end this war,” Bianca said
“But I did nothing” Alec pouted.
“But you were still laughing at them,” Bianca stated.
“Now everyone, apologize” Livia ordered.
We all apologized to each other, then they told the kids to go and play, leaving us.
“All of you are grounded for a week and yes including you Ace,” Bianca said.
“You can’t ground me,” Ace whined and folded his arms, looking all tough. Yeah, that whine really helped.
“Try me,” Livia challenged, giving him a deadly glare.
“No, I’m grounded,” He said, sinking lower into the couch.
“Now Kelly and Jayden, you guys are gonna have to stay locked up in a room together until you sort out your differences while we arrange a place for all of us to stay and get the pests out” Livia instructed.
We were then taken to the guest room of the house and locked in it with nothing. No phone, no tv, no computer, except board games.
I sat quietly at one end of the bed while Jayden sat on the other. I turned and took a glance at him but he was already looking at me and we both immediately looked away.
I was contemplating if I should talk to him.
“Jayd,” I said at the same time he said, “Kel.” We both chuckled and looked away.
“You... can go first,” He said and gestured me to continue.
“No, you may go first,” I smiled.
“No, you ma-” He started but I cut him off.
“Ok we are not starting a fight because of this,” I said sternly.
“Fine... I’m sorry. The reason I overreacted when you pushed my books was that I was angry,” He said with a little shrug.
“You don’t say,” I rolled my eyes, ”Why were you angry? What exactly did I do?“, I curiously asked.
“I saw you kissing Alex…” He said and looked away with a red face.
“I don’t see why you care if I kissed him or not,” I replied.
The entire war thing was due to something that never happened. That’s just stupid. He should have thought of asking me before getting angry, or even approached Alex if not me.No wonder he was being mean to Alex. I wonder what made him thin we kissed.
“Never mind,” He said and placed a game on the bed.
Of all games, the only game in the room was a monopoly. We were both quiet for some time until Jayden finally spoke up and asked if I wanted to play with him. I said yes.
We were playing until night came. Jayden was asked to sleep in another room and I had to share the guest room with Veronica.
Lydia shared a room with the kids and the twins shared a room with Alex. Ace and Livia, on the other hand, were spending the night at a hotel.
Now we are in an apartment. It’s a three-roomed apartment. The twins share a room, I share a room with Lydia. Ace and Livia have the third room. Veronica has been staying at her friends’.
We won’t be able to go to the mansion for the next two days. We have to stay here but the bad news is that all our clothes are ruined. Only a few of our clothes were saved.
As I stare at the ceiling, I hear the doorbell rings. I get off of the bed and go into the living room just as Veronica comes in.
“Just the person I was looking for,” She says and swings her arm around my shoulder and closes the door.
“Hey, Di!” Jayden and Jay said in unison.
“Bonjour!” She sings, “Now Kelly, I need you to come to the shoot with me!” She smiles, pushing me into the room again.
“What! I don’t wanna go to any shoot,” I say, pushing her hand off my shoulder.
“Come on! I need you to come with me, it’s important. I owe you one,” She says but I don’t reply, ”S’il vous plaît Venez avec Moi,” She pleads in french.
[Translation: Please Come with me]
I released a deep sigh and looked at her, “I know I’m gonna regret this,” I mutter.
“Great! But we can’t go with you wearing that so... Change into this,” She hands me some clothes. Knowing that its useless to argue, I just take the clothes and change into them, “Tell mom and dad that Kel is with me! Au revoir!” She says as we walk out.
She talks all the way to the photoshoot.This reminds me of when I went to school wearing nice clothes. I remember Alex almost thrashing Megan.
She banged my head on my locker so hard, which gave me a really bad headache. Then she slapped me more than 50 times. I swear my cheeks were swollen. She then almost killed me and that’s when Alex walked in and ripped her off of me.He wanted to smack her but he had to stop himself.
I have to admit, one part of me wanted him to smack her but the other didn’t care if he did or not. Afterwards, I don’t know what type of bad luck hit her but she had a series of unfortunate events. The last time I saw her, she had an allergic reaction to something in school and I’d be lying if I say that she didn’t look ugly.
We get out of the car once we reach the spot and go in. There are a lot of people around, some doing makeup, some posing and a few receiving the guests. I follow Veronica went into a room.
“Nika, tu es là juste à temps pour le shoot. Aller se préparer et avez-vous eu un partenaire,” A guy is instructing but then his eyes land on me and he walked towards me, “Parfait... Elle a obtenu les regards, le corps et tout... Les filles, obtenez-la en costume,” He claps his hands and before I could even react, I’m being pulled by three girls.
[Translation: Nika, you’re here right in time for the shoot. Go get ready and did you get a partner?
Perfect... She’s got the looks, the body, and everything. Girls, get her in costume]
They make me sit on a chair, then start cleansing my face. I try to stop them, but they are all just like ‘shh’ which gets on my nerve.
They put a facemask on my face and place cucumber to cover my eyes, then they start filing my nails.
Sometime later, the facemask is removed and my face is washed. Then they start applying makeup on my face. They cake my entire face, then style my hair, and give me a beautiful gown to wear.
It’s a golden shiny formfitting gown. I see Veronica in the corner, wearing the same gown and then a beautiful dark-skinned girl beside her wearing the same. That’s when I notice many other girls, all with different skin tones.
“Wow Kel, you look beautiful,” Veronica comments and I just smiled at her.
“Positions,” The guy comes in again and claps his hands. Veronica pulls me and makes me stand in between the her and the other girl. “Parfait. Je Suis… Ugh amazing!” He compliments, mixing English with French, then runs his fingers through his not so long hair, “Maintenant, Je veux que vous les gars de se tenir en position de plus sombre à la plus légère et poser,” He says.
[Translation: Perfect. I’m amazing
Now I want you guys to stand in position from darkest to lightest and pose]
Everyone takes their positions and I just try to blend as well as I can and after getting a spot, I just smile at the camera.
“Hey, new girl! What’s your name again?“, The guy asks.
“K-Kelly,” I say and he gives me the go again expression, “Kelly,” I repeat.
“You have a really low voice can someone translate,” He asks.
Ok, I have to admit, this guy is mean, like he is full of himself. He needs help.
“Kelly,” Veronica says.
“Right... Kelly. I want you to show some attitude in your expression. The one that shows that you love yourself and you’re proud of who you are,” He says in his French accent, showing me an example, which made him look weird if you ask me.
I wish I could.
I do the same as he did and he gives me a thumbs up and takes a bunch of photos. After that, we are given different clothes.
The new dress they give me is too short for my liking. It’s another golden dress, but this one stops at the thighs. It’s really short and also has short hands. I ask them to give me a leggings.
The director doesn’t obviously like the idea but he decides to make everyone wear skin tights. This is much better.
The pictures of us together are taken and then we are made to pose one by one again and then the shoot is done. I have to admit, it isn’t that bad. I never really liked taking pictures or should I say I never really took photos but this one is fun.
Then, we are shown our photos in a dark room.
“Perfect... This is gonna be on the cover of the magazine and this at the back to show our new model,” The guy says, showing the best group photo and a photo of me.
“No! You can’t use my photo, I don’t wanna be on a magazine,” I say confidently.
“Hahaha very funny,” Veronica laughs and turns to me, “Can I speak to you for a second?“, She asks and pulls me to a corner, “Kelly! What are you doing? You get a chance to show your beauty and you’re throwing it away,” She chides.
“But I really don’t wanna be on any magazine or even show my not so real beauty,” I mutter referring to the make-up and every other thing they put on my face.
And trust me... Being on the magazine could get me killed. Megan wouldn’t hesitate to push me off a cliff or stab a knife through my heart. I swear, the girl needs medical help. She needs to be sent to an asylum.
“What is your problem with showing yourself to the world? It’s just a photo that will be in a magazine and if you’re scared that your school mates might see them, I don’t think so,” She tries to assure me.
Little does she know.
But then again, what’s the worst Megan an do than kill me? And right now, I might have lost Julian but I have Alex. I might as well let it happen.
“Fine!” I say with a sigh and give in. We head back home after every formality is over.