Emerald’s Point of View
School. I’d love to say I enjoyed it. But I realised studying on campus was harder than you would think. Having a massive chuck of your day, blacked out. I wasn’t used to it. Like Mum expected I fitted in perfectly when it came to grades and the work. I was capable of it. However finding a balance between school, the university studies I was doing as well and modelling was the problem. Work was applying more and more pressure. Demanding more of my time.
I rushed into the shoot. Megan spotted me right away.
“Ok so we have an hour and half here. Then you are off to do a runway appearance. It’s David Jones new line. From what I can work out, you are required to attend the after party.” Megan started throwing details at me as while walking to the wardrobe.
Indigo, the man who loves to be behind the camera at my shoots waved at me to come over.
“Coming!” I called out. “Ok at David Jones, how many hands do I have shake?” Which meant who did I have to thank for giving me the gig.
“Just the CEO. You are booked in with him after the after party for cocktails. I know you don’t drink but just one won’t kill you.” Megan kept up with me as I walked to Indigo.
“Emerald.” He quickly pulled me in for a hug. “How was your day at school?”
“Perfect.” I lied. It was far from perfect. When I wasn’t lost, I was tripping over my own darn feet. When I wasn’t cursing at myself. I wasn’t embarrassing myself further I was getting behind with assignments. Which reminded me. “Oh Megan.” I turned to her. “You have to black out my schedule on Tuesday at five. I’ve been roped in to a group assignment. I know I’m booked that date. But they picked the date and I didn’t have a choice in time. Seeing as I’m new.”
Megan threw down a stack of pictures. “Sign these.”
I started signing “Now what did you want Indigo?” I was scribbling my signature across images of me in my underwear. “Wait a sec, Megan, who are these for?”
“You’re fans tonight. I’m guessing you won’t have time to do a meet and greet?”
I nodded my head. She was right.
“So Em I was thinking.” Indigo started.
“What that happens to you too?” I smiled, and kept signing as Megan removed one picture and I signed the next.
“Yeah, you and this school dress. Do you mind if we do a few pictures?”
I looked up at him. “You’re joking right?”
“You’re hot as hell in it and they will sell.” He shrugged.
“Come on Em.”
“Emerald. It will fulfil fantasies and you’re killing it in the dress.” Megan started.
I groaned. It was bad enough that it was small on me. Making my breasts stand out. Anyway when it came down to it, it was just a school dress. “It’s a school dress. It doesn’t scream sex appeal.”
“Yeah it does.” Indigo pressed. “Come on Em. The commission I’ll get off it, should have you reconsidering. Come on for a friend.”
“Fine.” I put the marker down, signing the last one. “But after the shoot.” I took off towards wardrobe. “And that’s if I have time.” I yelled over my shoulder.
Megan was at my side. “I know we spoke about you doing a dawn shoot this week. Well I’ve locked in the next five days.”
I undid the buttons of my dress. “So is that night shoots as well?” I pulled the dress off. I was so used to being half naked in front of people. I didn’t even think twice about it. There were only professionals in the studio.
I sat down in the makeup chair and the makeup artist started to work her magic.
“Yes I’ve updated your schedule. Reflecting the changes. I know it is working you to a thin line but it will only be for the next month.”
I scoffed. “Really you are lying to me?”
The makeup artist started to apply foundation.
“Well we will try better balancing them.” Megan smiled. And I pulled out my phone going to my schedule. “Also Victoria Secret want you to front line a show.”
“They’ve given us a couple. But...”
“But?” I glanced from my phone to her.
“They are all weekend shows. Of a night. They clash with Dane’s games.”
“Dane comes first.” I looked back at my phone.
“Front lining you is a big deal Em. You know they don’t usually have models who aren’t owned by them modelling their clothes.”
“I can’t back out of Dane’s games.”
“I’ll talk to them see if we can get a week show. They have a new lingerie line coming out and they want your face on it. The money they are willing to give you is well it’s ridiculous.”
“I have money.”
“This could be the crown on top of your career.”
“How much access do they need to me?” I asked while reading the new contracts for a dress I was meant to be modelling tomorrow night. “Has Tony looked at these contracts? For Vine Dress?”
“Yes he has. They just need your approval. As for access. I’m not going to lie and say they won’t need you full time.”
“I can’t fit in the jobs I have on, school and give them full access.”
“Think about it Em. I really think this is your next big move and so does your Mum.”
The hairdresser started to curl my hair.
“See if they can even consider a mid week show before I even glance at what they are offering.”
“I think they’ll willing to arrange their whole show around you launching this brand. They want your fans and they want your success.”
The makeup artist applied lipstick and as soon as the hairdresser finished the last curl. I was out of the chair and heading for the clothes rack. Taking the first outfit off the line and heading for the change rooms.
I closed the door. “When is Dane’s first game?” I asked the closed door. Knowing Megan would be there.
“This Saturday. You might have noticed you have you have an interview with Dane and a magazine this week as well. It’s covering the wedding.”
I opened the change room doors. “Is it scheduled?”
“Then I’ll be there.”
Megan nodded her head and went to the side lines and I went to Indigo.
“Ok I’m all yours.” I smiled at him. Time to smile and pretend like my life wasn’t going to hell around me. I acted like I didn’t have a drop of doubt and pretended like I didn’t care how these pictures turned out. I made believe I didn’t care. So if I had to reshoot it wasn’t a big deal. But I swear if they pulled me in one more direction I was going to spilt.
I closed the bedroom door. It was after two in the morning and I had to be up and gone by six. Three hours sleep wasn’t much but it was better than nothing. I took my heels off and unzipped the dress I had modelled earlier this evening.
The after party was like all the others. The cocktails with the CEO was just him going on and on about how happy they were I was on board for the night.
I stepped out of the dress and collapsed on the bed. Sleep. I swear I hadn’t had much since school started earlier this week.
I hadn’t seen Dane either. He probably thought he married a ghost.
I set my alarms and rolled over in bed. Too tired to even get in the blankets. I still had makeup on and as much as I knew I should take it off. I couldn’t be fucked. I’d just have to get up earlier than six and squeeze in a shower.
So I fell asleep. On top of the blankets, with my school books on one side. Yep I was really succeeding at this school and work balance shit.
I had two hours sleep. I was showered and it was five thirty six. I picked up my school bag, had my phone in hand and was trying to be quiet. I hadn’t seen Dane in days. And I wasn’t about to wake him up.
I went down the stairs quietly. And was at the front door when the thought I had earlier this morning came back to me.
Should I leave Dane my number?
I stopped at the front door. Should I or shouldn’t I?
I dropped my bag on the floor and pulled out a note pad and pen.
Giving him my number wasn’t a big deal. Was it? I scribbled a note with my number and left it on the kitchen island.
Maybe he wouldn’t even see it.
I guess I tried. I didn’t want him to think I had completely forgot about him.
We had only spent one day together. I had spent more days without him, then I had with him. Still I felt like I needed to justify myself to him. Like I had to tell him where I was. I wanted to slap myself. Just because I wanted to tell him where I was, didn’t mean he wanted to know.
I opened the front door and closed it softly behind me.
Unlocking my car. Why did I care so much if he didn’t message me or call me? Wasn’t like I depended on him. I didn’t need anyone. Not my parents. Not my brother. Not my pretend husband. All I needed was me. I looked after myself.
I pulled out of the driveway, pulling up to the gate and punching in the code.
I was reminding myself just how independent I was when I pulled away from the house. I could and would handle my growing career and studies. I didn’t need a man to hold my hand.
The only reason I had agreed to marrying him was to get men off my back. Which had worked so far. At least the marriage proposals had decreased.
My phone started ringing. I quickly slid the Bluetooth on and connected it with the car. Answering it.
“Morning Megan.” I should have expected her to ring this morning.
“Heard you had a late night?” She sounded sorry for me.
“Not a big deal. I’m heading to the shoot now.” Sleep who needed it? Clearly God had decided it was overrated in my life, so he decided to remove it all together.
“Did you get any sleep?”
“I don’t want to burn you to the ground.”
“I wouldn’t let you. Are you coming to the shoot this morning or will I be seeing you tonight?”
“Tonight. I was just ringing to say sorry about the late night. I didn’t realise the CEO would talk your ear off.”
“Like I said not a big deal. I’ll see you tonight.” I hung up and my music started playing.
I relaxed hearing it. A few minutes of peace before I let the day take me.
Why did maths have to be so brain numbing? Was it the fact I had had no sleep this week. Or were the numbers really that confusing? Usually maths was my thing. Sure I wasn’t as strong in at compared to English but I still did good.
Till this afternoon.
When all the numbers decided to jumble up and give me a headache.
I put my pen down. Maybe I needed a break. I glanced around the classroom. Everyone was talking, laughing and didn’t look anywhere near as stressed as me.
I reached for my water. My phone vibrating in my pocket. Why would Megan message me now? She knew I would be in class. Maybe something had changed with the shoot tonight? I pulled my phone out. And saw a number that wasn’t stored in my phone.
Please tell me some random hadn’t got hold of my number. Last thing I needed was to have to be forced to change it. It was such a hassle. Everyone that did get hold of my number, knew not to share it without my permission.
I opened the message expecting it to be creepy and perverted. I’d have to arrange a new number.
Then I read the message.
Its Dane. I was going to ask your assistant for ur number. Till I just found it. Hows ur day? Will you be home tonight? Are you avoiding me? If you r I understand. R u even staying here?
Dane. It was Dane. Suddenly I couldn’t think straight and I couldn’t blame maths for it. Why had I forgotten I had left my number for him?
He thought I was avoiding him? He didn’t think I was staying there. One look in my room and you see I was basically living in it. I guess when I did go, I did take all my stuff.
What do I write back? Why the hell was I so nervous over a text message. It was a text message. Snap out of it Emerald.
First I saved his number. Really I was putting off replying to him. Ok start with basics. Like answer his questions.
Hey glad you got it. Sorry I didn’t give it to you earlier. You don’t want to know how my day is. Hows urs? I will be home tonight but it will be late. Guessing I won’t see u. I have been staying at ur place. Sorry for being a ghost. Definitely not avoiding u.
I hit send.
“Hey Emerald, how you finding the questions?”
I looked up from my phone looking at student. I had never met before. Was he even in this class? I frowned. How did he know my name? My phone buzzed in my hand and even though I was dying to check it. I couldn’t just ignore him.
“Sorry who are you?” I faked a smile. Trying to be charming, yet going to blame my hair colour if he had introduced himself to me and I had forgot.
“Ezra. Sorry I didn’t introduce myself.” He pulled up the chair next to me. “My friends have been egging me on to ask how you are.”
I looked over his shoulder, seeing a group of students, way too interested in this conversation.
“Well the questions are fine. Thanks for asking.” Now politely fuck off. I wasn’t a toy that you played with or poked to see what a reaction it had. I had a bitch inside me and being tested by other teenagers would bring it out.
My phone buzzed in my hand again. What was Dane saying? Why wasn’t this kid taking the hint?
“So I heard you’re a model?” Ezra kicked back in the chair. Not seeing one bit fazed that I wasn’t interested in having a conversation with him.
“That would be correct.” I was itching to check my phone. It was basically burning in my hand right now. “So you can tell your friends that too.” Now piss off.
He grinned. “Kind have seen your work. Surprised you are at school though. Wouldn’t someone as successful as you given up on the high school card? Come on it’s not like you are going to university.”
“Why because I’m a model and too dumb to make the grades?” My words were sharp and I wasn’t leaving room for them to be taken any other way.
“No. Because you’re so rich.” He looked at me shocked, like he hadn’t meant to be rude to me or imply I was stupid. “I know your smart. I’m in most of your classes. Kind have been taking a notice of you.”
Which was worse? Having him think I was stupid because I was a model or having him watching me?
I just blinked at him. Not giving a response. Suddenly I felt a need to run my hand with my wedding ring on it through my hair, so I did. Take the point boy. I’m taken.
“See it’s true your married.” He picked up on the ring.
Well I hadn’t flashed it to get more questions. “Yep.”
Why was that everyone’s first reaction? It had even been Dane’s. Thinking about Dane, what had he messaged me?
“Young, stupid and in love. What can I say?” I gave him a bitter smile, “I think your friends are missing you.”
“Nah not one of them are game enough to talk to you. Right now I’m a hero.”
“Why because you had a conversation with me?” Were teenagers really that stupid? I knew I didn’t think or act like a normal teenager. I was reminded of that daily by strangers. People in the industry. Even my mother.
“That and they all want to know.” His eyes flashed to my lips. “Do you have a free pass on someone your own age?”
Suddenly I was finished with this class. I knew it still had twenty minutes. But I was done.
I started to gather up my books.
“Come on I didn’t mean to insult you.”
“Please remove your hand from my books.” I leant in closer to him. “Before I snap your fucking wrist.”
“I didn’t know someone like you swore.” He stood up, he was taller than me. Looking down at me like a pretender would look at prey. “Are you as lippy in the bedroom?”
I picked up my books and walked around him. Not giving him a response. If I made one wrong move, it would be in a headline. And I would be the villain. It was bad enough I snapped at him. The teacher didn’t even look up as I exited.
I was nearly at my locker when I remembered about Dane. I stopped at my locker putting my books in and unlocking my phone.
Sorry it took me so long to find it. Tell me about ur day. I’m about to leave for a conference but I’ll wait up for u tonight.
I didn’t want him waiting up for me. God knows what time I’ll get to his place tonight.
Don’t wait for me.
I hit send and pulled out my bag. I had an extra twenty minutes. Maybe I could squeeze in emails. Be actually early for a shoot for the first time this week. My phone buzzed.
Y don’t want to c me?
That was the complete opposite.
No because I won’t be home till the early hours of the morning. & u have training to focus on.
I grabbed my car keys out and walked out through the canteen and heading for the car park. I unlocked my phone as soon as it buzzed.
So I’ll c u in the morning then?
Why did he want to see me?
Doubtful. I’ll be gone before you even wake.
I unlocked my car, throwing my bag in the backseat. I was watching the message, seeing he was writing back. Didn’t he have a conference to get to?
R u even sleeping?
No I wasn’t. The truth was I hadn’t slept all week. But I wasn’t telling anyone that. I was fine. Which was what I was telling everyone. I was fine.
So it was easy to write back.
I’m fine. Don’t be late for your conference.
I started my car up. And was about to put my phone down when his message popped up.
When will I c u?
The truth was I didn’t know. I couldn’t say bluntly I just didn’t have time. He was important and was up the top of my list. But I didn’t have time to form a friendship with him and maybe that was best, if we were to keep this professional.
After all in one day, had seen what my life was truly like. Right down to my issues with my brother. Then it didn’t help that when I was near him I was wanting him to touch me. Why was that? I had never wanted a mans attention. Yet, when it came to his, I couldn’t get enough.
Maybe that was the other reason I was making sure I was at his place late and gone before he woke. Because I didn’t want to have those feelings. Not the wanting. Not the needing. I never wanted to rely on anyone.
I locked my phone not replying.
Distance. It was the best thing when it came to Dane. If I stayed away from him and limited my time with him I wouldn’t be craving the need to have him act like my boyfriend. Caring for me, touching me. I couldn’t have that. Wouldn’t have that.