The Only Witness
Author's note: Usually I write about love stories or off of a nightmare I have had, but I decided I wanted to... Show full author's note »
One“Beautiful, Miss Lovette!” The photographer praised as I lay myself across a small couch in the ways I was taught were beautiful for a model of my build, “Let’s try having you look away from the lights!” He called and I immediately changed the direction of my eyes and changed my face to look as though I was watching another world of magic and wonder. The photographer seemed to snap his pictures more rapidly so I assumed he approved of this look, “That’s a wrap!” The photographer called and I slowly sat up on the couch. One of the men working as a light manager quickly came to give me his hand. I gracefully accepted it so he helped me to my feet. I looked up to my manager as he came to me.
“That was some of your best work, Lovette! You were magnificent!” He gushed before taking my hand and leading me over to the designer who had dressed me a few hours before. I was changed back into my school uniform, my hair was fixed, and I was given back my fake glasses. The pink, navy, and white plaid skirt was zipped up past my hips and buttoned at the top, the navy suit-jacket like top was buttoned up over my formal looking white button-up shirt, and the pink tie was loosely tied around my neck.
The stylist gave me an upset look as he took a step back in order to see me fully, “Can’t I do something to her hair?” He asked in a very preppy voice made by a man as he looked to my manager.
Peter smiled towards the flamboyant stylist, “She is not supposed to look like herself when she leaves, Mr. Smith,” Peter replied and then took four steps so that he stood at my side. He used a makeup removing pad to take to makeup off of my cheeks and eyes after removing my glasses. When he was satisfied he threw the pad away and took a step back so that he stood beside Mr. Smith, “Now she looks like a normal 17 year old girl. That is the goal.”
“It is a crime to hide such a beautiful face behind those glasses! And when her hair is down and in her face those beautiful cheekbones of hers are hidden!”
“Exactly,” Peter commented as he offered his hand to me. I accepted it and he helped me stand, “Now we need to get going. It is almost the time I told the school you would be back from your ‘dentist appointment’,” Peter added before thanking everyone we passed as we left the studio. When we got to the car I took the passenger’s seat and pulled out my handheld mirror from my backpack. I used a hairbrush to make my hair less glossy and perfect as Peter drove me back to school. When we reached our destination I got out and slipped my backpack over my shoulders before going into the doors of the cobblestone building. I quickly made my way to the office to receive a pass in order to get into my class after it had started. When I knocked on the door of my class it was opened by the assistant teacher of the class who smiled towards me.
“Welcome back, Noel.” Shelby whispered before taking my slip and allowing me into the classroom. The teacher, Mr. Kenai, glared at me as I quickly made my way to my seat next to the window and a boy named Will. The class proceeded as the teacher ignored me and went on with his lesson. Physics came as easy as breathing to me, so listening to his fast-paced mumbling was not what I planned to do for the next hour and a half. I quietly worked on the classes I had missed earlier and the papers I was given from the class teachers that had been brought to the front office so I could receive it when I came back. Luckily I had been here this morning for my first class and would not have to make up work for my world history class, which was a bright side. Math was a breeze to finish, but I was reminded that my worse subject was one of the classes I had missed while at the photo shoot; English, my own form of a death sentence. It took the rest of the block attended to be used to learn about physics to finish an essay I was given by my English teacher and I barely finished in time for the bell that signaled the end of class to ring. Now came my second least favorite class of the day, gym. I am built tall and slender which is not the ideal athletic body type. The mob of students from my class went in different directions as I followed the others that were going to the same class as me. I went into the girl’s entrance for the locker room and quietly made my way to my gym locker. I used my combination in order to open it as the girls who had gotten there before me chatted while standing in only bras and underwear. I had never felt the need to talk to others while mainly naked and still had yet to understand why the girls in my school seemed to enjoy doing such so much. I quickly changed from my class uniform and into my gym uniform. Still, I was the only girl in the class that had to wear a kids’ small of the navy spandex while wearing a medium adults’ shirt that hung on my waist like a bag, but the small adults’ shirt did not cover all of my stomach because of my large breasts that did not seem to match the rest of my slender build. When I slipped on the pink, supposedly fitted t-shirt I followed with slipping on my knee high white socks and lacing up my navy tennis shoes. A whistle was blown by the female gym teacher that did not even teach our class, but did teach us last year.
“Alright, ladies! Enough chit-chat! Class is started!” She hollered in her cracking voice affected by all the smoking she did between classes. I followed the mob of girls that started leaving through the back door and was glad when my friend named Ava who went by ‘V’ appeared at my side. Her dark brown hair was pulled into a ponytail for class which reminded me to put up my hair. When we reached the tennis courts where our male teacher, Coach Daniel, and the boys of the class waited I pulled my hair up into a ponytail also like all the other girls of the class and then listened to the teacher as he explained how to perform an overhand serve. When he was finished we were told that today we could choose our partners for doubles tennis, which only happened once a week. V smiled towards me and I quickly nodded before we could be separated by the girls and boys who would die to be V’s partner. Even though she could easily hang out with anyone at this school and could choose her friends, she always chose me. Ever since I moved her in our second year of junior high she seemed to protect me like a mother bird towards her babies. We were placed on a court by our teacher and ended up being against V’s boyfriend of the time and his best friend who was one of the most annoying guys’ I have met in my life. They were both glamorous and popular just like V, which made me feel out of place. The ‘me’ I wanted to be did not want either of those things, but was considered a freak for not wanting it. If they knew who I really was, I’m sure they would either be shocked or disbelieve me.
V suddenly grabbed my arm and pulled me near her, “Chase and Colin are both on the tennis team so they will try to aim for you. I will take the back of the court so I can get more of their hits.”
I nodded, “Thanks.” I whispered to her and she smiled before taking her spot in the back of the court. I tried to keep up with Colin, V’s boyfriend named Chase, and V, but they were all starters on the schools tennis teams’ so it was of no use. Luckily we won against them 10 to 9 when Coach Daniel told us it was time to go inside to take our five minute break before we started our next activity. Because the class was 2 hours long, we did two different sports for almost an hour each. I quickly made my way to the water fountain when Chase called V over to him in order to not get in the way of the sappy conversation they were destined to have. Once I got a drink I sat on the ground and watched as two boys of the class helped Coach Daniel put up the long placemats and regretted that today was going to be like all the others when we did gymnastics. This was the only sport I hated but excelled in.
Coach Daniel blew his whistle, “Alright, everyone huddle around the mats and take a seat!” He called and V finally came back to my side in order to walk over to the mob forming around the area we were told to go to, “Miss Morel! Could you show us your talents on the mats?” Coach Daniel asked and I had no right to say no. I nodded and handed V my glasses before going over to the end of the mats. The class became silent and all eyes were on me. I started into a sprint and quickly started my eight summersaults before ending in a double front flip at the end of the mats. The group clapped as I quickly made my way over to V and took back my glasses. I sat down in the group and tried to hide myself as the teacher explained what he wanted us to do. When he was done talking we lined up in rows behind our choice of equipment that was set up for use and waited our turn. I followed quietly behind V as she got in line for the trampoline.
“Your flip seemed tighter than usual. Is something up? You usually don’t clench up like that.” V commented as we slowly moved a few feet forward with the line.
“Nothing, my mouth is just sore from having work done so I guess it may have made me tenser than usual,” I replied as we moved another two steps forward, “So what were you and Chase talking about earlier? I didn’t want to be a third wheel so I kept my distance.”
“He was commenting on how much better you are at tennis than you were at the beginning of the year.” She replied as she watched the back of the boy in front of her.
“I know that’s total B.S. Is it something you don’t want to share? If it is, just tell me that.”
She sighed, “He asked me to help him set you up with Colin.”
“Really?” I asked and she nodded, “Why?”
“He thinks if you go out with Colin your meekness may rub off on him and maybe he will get his act together.”
“I’d prefer not to date a boy that thinks being high is ‘fun’ and makes life ‘exciting’. The guys a moron.”
“That’s why I told him you are and never will be interested.”
“Thank you.” I replied as she got onto the trampoline. When she got off and I went on for my turn I watched in agony as a group of girls in the class crowded her before whisking her off to another part of the gym. For the rest of the hour I went around from station to station while trying to ignore the other students that would talk about how I was a show-off that was trying to get some attention by being the best at everything and was a wannabe. It seemed to become easier by the day to ignore their cruel and insensitive slanders against me even when V was not at my side, acting as a shield against their rude gossiping. Relief overfilled me when Coach Daniel finally told us it was time to leave. I went back to the girl’s changing room and quickly got out of my gym uniform and back into my school uniform so that I could get away from the gossiping girls faster. I went outside the locker room and waited in the hall for V who came out momentarily. Today V, my only other friend named Sami, and I were going to hang out in town. I had been looking forward to this day for months now since it had been almost 4 months since the last time I got a full afternoon off of work and could hang out with my two friends. The bell rang after a few moments to announce that school was over so V and I made our way to our lockers in order to get our bags. I met V at her locker once I had my things together to see Sami was already there. We made our way out of the crowded hallway as quickly as possible and went to Sami’s black Volkswagen bug where V got in the backseat, I claimed shotgun, and Sami took the wheel. She drove over to Main Street and parked in front of our favorite salon named ‘Beauty’. When we went inside Sami’s cousin, who worked there, ran over to us and hugged her cousin tightly. She then hugged V and me separately.
“I’m so glad you three are here together! We have three pedicure tubs ready for ya’!” She cheered before we followed her to the three tubs. I sat in the middle one but looked to V when she gasped.
“I just got a text from Levi that says that newest model in the biz, Ash, is going to be in town this week! Did you two know about this?” She asked as she looked to me and I shook my head.
“Well if Noel doesn’t know, it must be a well kept secret. I mean her uncle is one of the biggest managers in the biz so she would be the first to know. Also she works sometimes with her uncle in the studios that all the big models work at so she usually knows these things before anyone else,” Sami replied to V who frowned, “I’m sure it’s just gossip.”
“Well if he works with your uncle while he’s here, you have to get us an autograph!” V pointed out as she poked my arm, “Okay?”
“Alright, if I meet him I’ll see what I can do.”
“What I want to know is why the famous ‘Ash’ would want to come to our town,” Sami said as three Chinese women came over and started our pedicures, “I mean were not in Twilight’s tiny town of “Forks” or anything but we aren’t exactly in Manhattan.”
“It’s because all of Noel’s uncle’s clients work around here. I mean we’re slowly becoming the next hot place for models to become big! I mean we already have Lovette working in town with Noel’s uncle and she has been a top ranked female model for the past three years!”
“But Lovette will have to move on at some point, you know. Then we will just become the plain old city of Kennewick.”
“True.” V said as she nodded but I tuned out of their conversation after a while and read emails on my phone. After we had our pedicures finished we went shopping in the main boutiques of the city but whenever it came to purchasing I was forced to put the clothes V and Sami had picked out for me back and then tell them I was saving up my money for a car. In truth, there was no point in me buying clothes since I received any outfit I wore in photo shoots or were given by designers for free. After eating at a Mexican restaurant we always went to Sami decided she would drop me off before V this time. She stopped in front of the apartment I had fooled them into thinking I lived in since I became friends with them and she drove off once she saw me go up the main staircase of the building. I watched from the top step as they drove away and once the car’s taillights were out of sight I went back down the stairs. I made my way down the street and over 6 blocks before opening the gate to my uncle’s second mansion of a house he had bought for me to live in. When I went inside I flipped on the light switch near the front door and watched as the main hallway of the first level lit up to show nothing living. I sighed, shut the front door, and locked it before turning back to the dead hallway.
“I’m home,” I whispered before putting my keys back into my backpack and going up the dark staircase to my left. When I reached my bedroom I flipped on the light switch to see the maid had been here earlier. Everything in the room was spotless and perfect which stung me and I could not look at it for very long. I immediately went into the shower and got ready for bed in the quiet house. I turned off the lights in my room, went to my bed, crawled under the covers, and opened my small DVD player. I pressed play, put my earphones in my ears, and lay down on my pillow as my mother’s face appeared on the screen. She turned the camera in her hand towards a table covered in party favors, balloons, and a large cake. When she turned the camera back to herself she smiled and seemed to sparkle.
“Happy Birthday, Noel!”
“Mom! I’m right here!” I grumbled as she turned the camera to me as I sat on a couch next to my father.
“But this is the video were going to send to your grandparents so I needed to tell them what it was for!”
“Come on, mom! I’m ten now!” I grumbled back and my father laughed with his deep voice.
“Let her be, Noel. She is just excited.”
“Exactly! And soon your friends will be arriving!” Mom added but I rolled my eyes. These were not kids who actually liked me; they just wanted to be friends with the only child of the famous French male model Guillaume and the famous American female model Charae. They all were obsessed with both of my parents even though my mother barely spoke French unlike my father and me but we lived in Paris. My father started tickling me and I laughed as I yelled for him to stop as my mother also laughed.
“Mom, Dad.” I whispered before I closed my eyes and tears ran down my face. I fell asleep listening to all three of us laughing.