I step out of the limo, and almost everyone that has a phone or camera surrounded me. I breathe in slowly, bringing in the crisp air deep into my lungs, and place a fake smile on my face as I walk inside the huge building and down the red carpet earning gasps and awes. I was wearing the latest design that I made at home. It was an off-the-shoulder royal blue ombre dress that stretched down to the rug. It wasn’t plain but it wasn’t bling either. Just purely simple. It was quite the opposite of everyone else’s attires. And quite the opposite of my personality if you’d ask me. Although it had style and everyone seemed to love it. Doing different poses for the cameras and the crowd, I strut my way further down the red carpet answering questions, posing for pictures, you know the usual. Honestly, I still think that these are unnecessary and I still wonder how the hell I let my mother drag me into making music. Don’t get me wrong it’s not that I don’t like singing or writing music it’s just that, well, I’m just not quite used to these big crowds and concerts and things like that. I don’t think I’ll get used to it any time soon either.
“Kia! Kia Rogers!” exclaims a young boy as he shoves through the tight crowd and waves, releasing me from my inner thoughts.
“Hi, may we get your autograph please?”
“We?” I question as I lean down slightly to reach his height.
At that time, another boy gently comes from behind him, he looks so adorable with his messy dark hair and green eyes. He looks to be around 5 years old and he has the cutest little smile where his dimples were distractingly quirky.
“Sure thing little one. Anything for a cute one like you. What’s your name sweetheart?”
He takes his thumb out of his mouth long enough to say that his name was Nathaniel. What a sweet name I thought to myself, means ‘gift of God’.
I smile and take the small piece of ripped paper from him and signed it. Before I could give it to him, two men gently grabbed them by their shoulders and start to take them away.
“Hey! Where are you taking them!”
“They’re not supposed to be here ma’am. They’re orphans who snuck away from our outing to the park.”
“Did they now? I’m sure they didn’t mean anything by it. But you guys should be really careful especially since you’re without an adult present. You know what, how about I’ll do you one better. Here’s your autograph and I’ll be seeing you and your friends very soon okay?” I say winking at them.
The two boys smile even wider and nod at me. Nathaniel then grabs a handful of my dress and tugs on it slightly. He hesitantly steps closer, glances up at me, and then proceeds to hug my legs. I hug him back and smile to myself. Kids make my day no matter what, they just give me that feeling of warmth and happiness and I always love being around them.
“Sorry ma’am but we have to take them back now.”
“Wait! Before you go, may I ask what orphanage are they in?”
“It’s the one up the street from here. It’s called The Star Orphanage ma’am.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“You’re very welcome miss.”
I shake my head in sadness as they then took them away.
I sigh and try to smile, looking out into the crowd. What just happened would end up in the headlines for sure. I froze when I turned, I saw a tall man just staring at me. He didn’t say or do anything. He just stared into my eyes trying to find something. He didn’t have a camera or any device on him so he couldn’t be another reporter. He was too stiff to be a fan and he looked out of place just simply standing there. I quickly look away and walked further down putting on a big smile, trying to wipe his puzzled face out of my mind.
After what seemed like hours, the event was finally over. I quickly made my escape. My limo driver, Timothy, was in the back of the building as far away as possible. He was in a busted-up car as usual to avoid attention. I took my heels off and ran towards the car. I turned around, making sure no one followed me and I gasp. I saw the same strange man in the corner of the back door. I blinked and looked again. He was gone. I swore I just saw him there. I don’t think I could ever forget his questioning face. I shook my head and ran inside the car.
“Thank you, Timothy.”
“You know you don’t have to thank me every time I do this but your welcome.”
I sigh. Only Timothy knows about my secret. I have two lives or professions as you can say. At this time, it’s against the law. There are too many people in this world and not enough jobs for people since most have been taken over by some type of robot or computer. Yes, it does make our lives easier, but it also puts many people out of jobs that could help them so much. I am a famous singer and actor, Kia Rogers, but I’m also a young, and probably, an irrelevant lady named Gabriela George who lives in an apartment and owns a fashion boutique. Gabriela George is like an escape for me whenever I need a break from this hectic world. Some would say that I am selfish for breaking the law and taking a job that someone else could’ve had but I don’t think that it is. Being a celebrity isn’t something you can easily get. I think you have to earn it. And with my boutique, that was my first career so if you were to look under my file you would see Gabriela under name and Fashion Designer under occupation. Also, it’s not like I spend my money carelessly, I give my money to every possible thing in need. I only need enough money to keep my store open, pay rent, and keep myself healthy. I just like my careers and I’m really good at them both. I know it’s very risky, but I don’t want to choose between the two. And I don’t think that anyone else should either. I close my eyes for a second and the face of the man I saw by the red carpet and by the garage doors while I was making my getaway flashed in my mind again. That man. He made my blood turn cold. I shivered at the thought of him again. Why was he there? Was he following me? Studying me? And if so how long has he been doing this? Does he work for himself? Or is there someone else? My head hurt even more with all these questions I kept asking myself. Going back to reality, I notice that I was home.
“Thank you again, Tim. Have a nice day!”
“Anything for you miss. You too,” he replied.
I unlock the door and step inside to see my dog, Jenny, running towards me.
“Hey, Jenny! How’s my big girl?”
She barks happily trying to lick my face. I bend down to her so she could but made sure that she couldn’t touch my dress. She finally relaxes and I walk to my room peeling off the dress. What a day. I had to hurry or I would be late for work. But then again I own the place. I take off my brown wig to reveal my beautiful ginger hair. As I put it into a high ponytail, I also take off my brown contacts, freeing my green-colored eyes. Honestly, I should’ve kept my real hair and features to be Kia Rogers but these features were already under Gabriela George so that idea wasn’t going to work. Looking at every detail of my face, I smiled. I looked so much better as Gabriela George than Kia Rogers, to be honest. I grab my keys from the key holder and lock the door behind me as Jenny and I walked to my boutique.
“Hey Eric, Hey Anne!”
“Gabby!” They both said giving me a bear hug.
“Where have you been?” Asked Eric.
“I, I was busy with some family thing.” I lied.
“You’re a bad liar you know? Cause your dad disappeared and your mom is in another state and she doesn’t call or answer your calls unless she ran out of money or is in need of something from you. So what were you up to?”
“I was with someone.”
“Oooh, you gotta boyfriend! Or some love interest! What’s his name, what does he look like?”
I stayed quiet and smiled. I rather have him think that than tell him.
“Yeah anyway enough distractions, I’m here now so get back to work.”
Anne and Eric were interested in fashion since they were toddlers. Anne is 14 and Eric is one year older. He’s so much fun to be around. He’s super shy but he’s wildly energetic when you get to know him. Anne on the other hand is like a walking makeup bag. She loves giving people, and things, new look no matter where she goes. Other than that she is the sweetest thing ever. And such a cutie too.
I walk to my room in the back and get to work. I needed to finish off a wedding shoe for soon-to-be Mrs.Parker. She came to me, recommended by her friends who shop here all the time. I smile at the thought of her. She is a really unique woman. Halfway through making the bow for her shoe, the phone rang.
“Hello, this is Ms. George speaking.”
“Yes, hello Ms. George.”
“Whom am I speaking to please?”
“This is Mr. Resp, I am calling to ask for an interview with you. You were recommended by many people as a business.”
“Oh, of course! What day and what time?”
“If you’re free, I would like to have it tomorrow at lunchtime. Will you be available?”
“Yes, I’ll be free for that time.”
“Alright then, thank you for your time. Have a nice day.”
“You too, goodbye!” I said and hung up the phone.
I wondered what he wanted to talk about. I let out a small breath and looked at my clock. I realized that it was almost close to 4. I had to leave if I was going to make it in time for rehearsal.
I lock the door on my way out and call out to Eric and Anne.
“Hey guys, I’m gonna close up shop, unless y’all want to stay.”
“I think I’ll stay.“Said Anne.
“If I come back and see zebra prints all over, you’re in big trouble girl,” I said teasingly.
“In that case, I’ll stay too.”
“Behave,” I told them with a wave of my finger.
I smile and hug them goodbye as Jenny follows me out the door.
I get in the bathroom to check my wig once more to make sure it’s secure and in place before I go out to do my makeup. Walking out, I see everyone running about placing things where they need to be. Showtime.
“Hey Karol, when do I get on?”
“In roughly 35 minutes, that will give you enough time to do your makeup, change, and rehearse your lines.”
“Thank you, Karol.”
My makeup artist Linette did my makeup without any hesitation. I quickly thank her as I walk to my dressing room to change. Putting on the dress that was labeled “funeral”, I stare at my reflection in the mirror. I sigh, put on my shoes, and walk out. I look out to the dark hallway to my left to see a human figure watching me from the corner turn. I gasp and recognize the features. It had to be the same man who was at the red carpet event. I suddenly felt very unsafe. Was this man stalking me? Well, he messed with the wrong woman. I try to walk up to him but he escapes down the hall and was out of sight. I shake my head in confusion as the director yells for everyone to get in the scene. All I had to do was lay in that coffin. Good thing I’m the one dead, I could think in the casket while everyone did their thing. I wasn’t really in the mood to say anything to anyone, even if it wasn’t real. I’m kind of glad that they killed me off in this movie. It’ll give me some time to myself since the past three months have been nonstop, acting, writing music, and sketching out designs to the point where my hands hurt and I’m most likely sleep-deprived. A break would definitely do me some good. That strange man kept popping up inside of my head. Just thinking about him gave me all these emotions. I was overwhelmed, scared, and yet curious, interested at the same time. If this man was a stalker, he hasn’t done anything drastic yet, but then again this would be my first stalker ever. I just hope it doesn’t come to me having to defend myself. I did it once and I’ll do it again.