See me when you look at me

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Old life and friends

-Samantha's POV

I never thought I would be so comfortable standing for a camera again, but it was. Doing this shoot was so much fun, but I had to be on top of everything. The outfits, the make-up, the hair and setting.

I could never thank Millie and Isabella enough for agreeing to help me out, but they were not models. It was obvious that they felt very uncomfortable at first, but thank goodness for Tyler!

He was on top of his game today! At first I thought he was just goofing around, but it was actually his way to make the girls relax. They were starting to have fun and it showed in the photo's we shot so far. They looked fierce, confident and like they were having the time of their lives.

''I can't get over the fact that you pulled this of,'' an amused voice says behind me.

''I can't get over the fact that she actually managed to make friends,'' another voice says. ''Friends who are willing to do this for free!''

''Shut up you two!'' I grumble.

I knew right away that I needed help for this shoot. I couldn't run it and be in it at the same time. So I swallowed my pride and I called the only two people who could help me. Skyler was in like that, just as I expected.

She was always like that. It was the best and the worst thing about her. Always living in the moment and never thinking ahead. Part of me understood it. Skylar's dream was to join the New York City Ballet company. I remembered seeing old dance videos of her and she was absolutely magnificent.

I was sure that she would made it to the top if she didn't broke her leg in that car accident. Suddenly her ballet days were over and she got addicted to her pain medication. Addicted, depressed and getting into serious trouble. The YCF program saved her life and I ended up with a friend for life.

She was here, after she gave me an earful about leaving the program without saying goodbye and for hardly staying in touch. Although I expected she was more upset about Alexander not being here. Apparently Gabriel kept her very well informed and she was almost drooling after I showed her some pictures of him.

I wished it was so easy with Damian. I actually had to meet him before he agreed to come. Things were complicated between us after Tess. She was my first friend in the program and Damian's girlfriend. Tess was bipolar and ended up in the program after a violent incident.

Something I could hardly believe. Tess was caring, funny and so sweet when she was on her medication. I only experienced her once when she had an episode and she was a completely different person then. Irrational, paranoid, manipulative and violent. She wasn't afraid to harm herself or to use it as a threat.

Tess and Damian finished the program before me. As far as I knew they were happy and getting used to life outside the facility. That's why it came as a shock when I got the news that Tess killed herself. I was a wreck at the funeral, but Damian not showing up made everything so much worse.

I accused him of not looking out for Tess. I blamed him for her death and I told him that to his face when he finally showed up. I didn't hear him out, I just went off against him. That was the last time we spoke and I regretted it ever since.

Seeing him last week was difficult, but it was good. We talked for ages and I told him about my plan to finish Gabriel's list. Damian respond was that he hardly recognised me and that was the biggest compliment he could have given me.

Damian was a professional runner like me and he knew me very well as Red. Him saying that I was nothing like that anymore felt amazing and I was so glad that he and Skylar were here. Helping me figuring all of this out.

They both had a lot of experience with professional shoots, so everything was going great so far. Not counting the comments they just made.

''I don't know how I got so lucky with them. I honestly don't know, you guys I get. You two are just as screwed up as I am!''

''Very funny, R...'' Damian stops and he shakes his head. ''It's so weird not calling you that anymore. Do you know that it took me years to figure out that Red was not your name? Everybody called you that, like literally everyone!''

I chuckle and frown at the outfit I pulled for Isabella. Something felt not right about this combination.

''Ditch the jacket, that dress doesn't need anything else,'' Skylar says and I agree with her.

''Well is it weird seeing other wearing clothes that Gabriel basically designed just for you?'' Skylar asks and she locks her arm with mine.

''It feels like the clothes are cheating on me and like I'm cheating on Gabe,'' I grin. ''I always felt beautiful and special in those clothes, but shouldn't every girl feel like that? To me that's the essence of Gabe's work. It will be the essence of his line, so I have to get over myself and go change.''

''Indeed,'' Damien says. ''According to a schedule we are already two minutes behind.''

''Crap!'' I hiss and I look for my clipboard. I see the smirk on Damian's face and I get a very bad feeling.

''No, you didn't.''

''Did what? Throw that damn schedule away as soon as I got the chance? Of course I did!''

''Why?'' I barely manage to get out.

''Because I have a photographic memory and I know the two of you. Eventually you will change every look, so don't worry. You do your thing and I will do mine.''

Skylar pushes me in the direction of the tent.

''You can't kill Damian yet, we still need him for the shoot tonight. So be patient, you can kill him afterwards. Happy thoughts, Samantha. How about you show me more pictures of that gorgeous boyfriend of yours?''

''How about I kill the both of you?'' I grumble.

Samantha's POV

It's done! We have plenty photo's and video material to work with. More then enough for the promo and the website. Tyler delivered excellent work, just like everyone else!
''Sam, can I ask you something and don't say I just did!''
I look to my right and I see that Tyler is putting the last of his camera stuff away.
''Don't be mad, but I tried to find some of your pictures. I can't find any of them online and I was wondering why that was.''
''Because most of them were removed. You can still find my pictures of Titans, although you wouldn't recognise me in those.''
I grab my phone and I pull them up, before giving my phone to Tyler. He scrolls through them and I see a deep frown appear on his face.
''You're right, I don't recognise you. It's not the red hair, but everything else. It's not you and I don't get why they made you pose like a stripper. Wasn't this supposed to be a shoot for sportswear?''
''That was me, Ty. I was called Red for a reason and I was asked to do shoots like this all the time.''
Tyler shakes his head again and he gives me back my phone.
''How old were you in those pictures?
''Thirteen,'' I mumble and I starting to feel uncomfortable.
''Sick bastards,'' Tyler grumbles, but then he sees my face.
''I'm sorry, Sam. We can talk about something else, name it!''
''If you insist,'' I say with a smile. '''Tell me, what is going on between you and Millie.''
Tyler groans and I laugh.
''Walked right into that one, didn't I? There is nothing going on between me and Millie, Sam. Yes, we hung out when you and Alex were in Vegas. We had fun and I enjoy her company, but I'm not looking for anything serious. I just want to have fun and Millie is not that kind of girl.''
Tyler yawns and he stretches himself out.
''Sorry to disappoint you, cousin. It's not going to happen, so my turn again. Where is your list and what's on it?''
''Well played, but I'm beat and so are you. Can we go to sleep now?''
Tyler gives up and nods. He doesn't even bother going back to his own bed and I don't bother telling him to move. I fell asleep on his bed so many time while we were watching a movie or just hanging out. The same thing goes for him, this was normal for us and I liked it.
''Tyler, before I forget or you do something that will piss me off. Thank you for helping me out with this, it really means a lot to me.''
''You're welcome, Sam. Now go to sleep, because you being so nice to me is freaking me out.''
''Do you know what is kind of freaking me out right now?''
Tyler turns on his side and he looks at me.
''That you are done with modelling?''
I stare at him in shock and I nod.
''How did you know that?''
''Because you were excited when you were getting ready for that meeting. You were excited when you were getting everything ready for this shoot. You were excited when you were running around like crazy with that clipboard. The only time you weren't excited was when you stood in front of the camera.''
Tyler yawns.
''You had fun, but it didn't make you happy and I think you realised that after the shoot was over.''
''I did,'' I mumble. ''And now it is freaking me out, because I always thought I would continue my modelling career.''
''Well, stop freaking out. Is is easy. You keep your old friends, since they are awesome and you ditch modelling. Figure out what makes you happy and go do that!''
I open my mouth to argue, but I can't.
''I know, I know. You're not the only smart one in the family!'' Tyler smirks and he trows a blanket over me. ''Just listen to your older and much wiser cousin and everything will be fine!''
''You're only five months older then me!''
''So you agree that I'm the wiser one, very good! Now go to sleep, Sam. We still have a very long drive ahead of us.''
I grumble, but I do lay down and close my eyes. I don't feel anxious anymore, only annoyed. Tyler's advice was so simple and still I would never came up with that on my own.
Keep my old friends, ditch my old life and figure out what makes me happy.
''Sam, I can still hear you think. Stop it or I will explain again why I think that referent was biased against Manchester!''
I can already feel myself drifting to sleep. I heard Tyler ranting about that damn referent so many times, that I could recite it word for word.
I still hate soccer, but at least it was boring enough to put me to sleep. So at least there was one good thing about that sport.
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