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A Day in the Life of...
I locked my arm with Noelle’s as we walked out of EJHS towards our apartments. “So, Noelle. How about we go shopping?” I asked her.
I laughed, then realized that it wasn’t a joke. “Well…because you really need a new bag.”
She looked at her dirty bag that was filled with writing and neon colored buttons. “But…”
“If you want to live in New York City and go to Elizabeth Jude and be popular, you have to have the best designer bag,” I informed her.
“Well, because. Then everyone will look up to you. Think about it. Wouldn’t you want to be walking down the hall with everyone staring at that new bag that there is a waiting list for, and you got it free?”
She looked confused. I pulled her in the direction of 5th avenue and hailed a cab. We got in and I said to the taxi driver, “Louis Vuitton, please.”
I stared out the window of the taxi and watched as the tall buildings quickly passed me. Tiffany’s, FAO Schwartz, Saks, and finally Louis Vuitton. The taxi stopped and Kat dragged me out. She paid the driver and we were escorted in by a uniformed doorman.
Kat’s heels clicked on the linoleum and I looked around, taking in the new smell of leather, and the view of the thousand dollar bags. Although I’d never admit it, this was amazing.
“Ms. Jensen!” a woman with a thick French accent quietly said across the store. “So nice to see you back! I see you brought a friend,” she said as she looked towards me, taking in the sight of me, and my bag.
“This is Noelle Graham, she lives in my apartment building, and she’s new in town. From Detroit!”
The saleswoman gasped and placed her perfectly manicured hand over her mouth. Then she stuck her hand out and said, “Sophie. Very nice to meet you Ms. Graham.”
“You can just call me Noelle,” I said, not realizing that they were too respectful to actually call me by my first name. I was officially royalty to them. Just like Kat.
She smiled and batted her eyelashes gesturing Kat towards the wall with all of the bags. “Um…” Kat said, skeptically. “We wanted something that’s not really on the market.”
Sophie smiled and walked towards the back. Kat and I followed. We went through some doors that said EMPLOYEES ONLY and CONFIDENTIAL. As we entered the last door, I looked around to see racks of bags and shoes labeled, LAST SEASON, and the same on the opposite side labeled NEXT SEASON.
Sophie walked to the next seasons and pulled out an oversized pink bag. It had the LV logo on front and the prettiest designs I had ever seen. Kat smiled and Sophie put the bag in my face. I carefully took it in my hands and marveled at it. Then I realized that I couldn’t afford it. “Kat, I can’t afford anything like this.”
Kat laughed. “Don’t worry, it’s free. I’m a regular here, so I get my pick of anything I want. And I mean anything.”
“But I can’t…”
“Yes, you can Noelle.”
I ran my hands over the bag and smelled the fresh leather. What would Dad and Mom think when I brought this home. Would they make me return it?
“Well, I guess so,” I said.
Sophie and Kat smiled. “Thanks Sophie,” Kat said as she led me out. Someone met us in the store and grabbed the bag. They wrapped it and put it in an LV bag. They handed it back to me and said, “Goodbye, ladies.”
Kat waved and we walked out onto the street. She hailed another taxi and this time said, “Barney’s please.”
“Oh, no Kat! I really can’t accept anything else.”
She looked at me, shocked. “OMG, Noelle. Don’t worry. This stuff is all free. My dad knows people.” And she winked.
“Don’t worry Noelle, it’s not illegal or anything. He’s like the richest guy in this city. He’s made a living off of his investments. The economy may be bad, but he’s actually doing better than he ever did.”
“Yes, of course. This is nothing. I walk into stores all the time and they throw stuff at me. It’s amazing being me. Good thing we had AP Calc together, or else you wouldn’t be getting all of this. And we would have never met.”
I smiled, and we stopped in front of Barneys. We got out and I stared at the beautiful building in front of me. She walked into the building, and again a uniformed man escorted us in.
This time, there were many saleswomen standing around. Once we entered the store, a small, blonde girl ran up to us. “Kat!”
“Lizzie! So great to see you again! You had your baby, already? It seems like just yesterday that you were your little self again.” Lizzie smiled, flattered.
Then she turned to me with a smile on her face. “This is Noelle, my new friend,” Kat said to Lizzie.
“Great to meet you Noelle. Have you ever been to a Barney’s?”
“Um…no?” It came out as a question, as if she should have looked at me and expected that I hardly knew what Barney’s was.
“Well, this will be great! What are you girls looking for?”
“Shoes for Noelle,” Kat said immediately.
“Great!” Lizzie turned around and led us to the shoe department. I expected Lizzie to open some kind of door and lead us into a warehouse full of new shoes, but instead I saw a wall of beautiful shoes, that seemed like they were sparkling. They were perfect.
“Size?” Lizzie asked.
“Um…8,” I said.
“Okay, a 10.”
“Um, I said an 8.”
“Oh, I know sweetie. But shoes here come very narrow and about two sizes too small. Don’t worry we go up to a size 12.”
Kat and I sat down in large, pink chairs and someone came over to us with a tray of water bottles. They were Evian. Kat grabbed on immediately and gulped down half of it. I took mine, but stuffed it into my bag for later.
Lizzie came out of the back room with five boxes. I couldn’t see her face because the boxes were so huge.
She opened the first one and they were simple black pumps. The box said Loubiton. “But…I can’t really walk in heels.” I said to Kat.
“Oh, don’t worry! You’ll just have to practice. It’s not that hard.”
Lizzie shoved the shoes onto my feet and I tried to stand up. My legs wobbled as I tried to straighten them. “Oooh, s**y!” Kat said.
I felt my cheeks blush, and I caught a glimpse of myself in the full length mirror. My legs looked like they were 6 feet long and perfectly tanned. How could simple black pumps my legs look so…perfect?
Then I sat back down, and Kat said, “We’ll take them.” I didn’t protest, and tried on the next pair.
Each pair of shoes I tried on fit perfectly, and we ended up getting all of the five pairs of shoes. Kat even made me wear the black pumps out of the store. I could hardly walk, since we were on the sidewalk.
“Get a straw and suck it up,” she said, laughing at her own joke. “You’ll have to get used to it.”
I looked at Kat and realized I was now eye level with her, and a giant compared to everyone else. We walked a couple of blocks, and I realized that everyone had been staring at us as we walked. This feeling was so different.
Then I saw that we had reached our apartment building. “See! You can walk in heels,” Kat praised.
I smiled, and walked into the building. The doorman opened the door for us and said, “Good afternoon, ladies.”
Kat smiled, not saying a word, and I said, “Thank you.”
We walked across the linoleum, and both of our heels clicked against the floor. Everyone stared at us, and I realized that it was actually only me they were staring at. I felt like a new person.