Thank you @VinMcCarthy for tagging me again for another flash fiction prompt. This week's topic: It's fashion week in Milan. You're running your first runway and things are going smoothly, right up until the show's about to start.
"First looks," I shout over models with heavy European accents and lanky, pale legs.
I stand back and get the chance to admire my Japanese themed collection for about 7 seconds. I think back to a time where I was a small town girl selling local produce to make some extra cash. Now, I'm standing in Louboutin heels about to make my Milan fashion week debut.
“I think she needs a shorter hemline,” a quirky seamstress mutters in my ear as she points to a 5'11 ginger with freckles.
“Um, what should I do about unwanted guests who are trying to sneak in through the side door?” An intern chimes in my direction.
“We have several wardrobe malfunctions,” a volunteer, who is steaming a sheer, chiffon gown states in an absolute panic.
“Wait I'm not done!” A makeup artist brushes past me as she frantically fills in a model's brows.
“We are all professionals,” I reveal calmly. “Everyone just needs to perform his or her job the correct way and there will be no issues.”
“Speaking of issues,” a world-renowned hairstylist grabs my hand and pulls me away from the crowd.
“What’s going on?” I question aggressively. "I don't have time to..."
“The model that is closing your show has locked herself in one of the bathroom stalls,” he mentions without making eye contact. “The only way she’s willing to come out is if you speak to her.”
I clench my fists and barge through the chaos in one quick motion until I find myself sprinting past casting directors and down the hall towards the ladies room.
“Ava,” I scream until my lungs feel like they're on fire. "Ava, I need you to come out."
“There are thousands of girls who are skinnier and prettier than I am,” a monotone voice protrudes from the last stall on the left. "I shouldn't be here."
“Where's this coming from?” I try to sound sympathetic as I picture her sobbing into a piece of toilet paper. “There’s a reason why those girls aren’t here and you are."
It takes her a couple minutes before she unlocks the door, and with a pair of indigo, bloodshot eyes and mascara running down both cheeks, she musters up enough confidence to swallow her insecurities and stand on two feet.
“That’s my girl,” I mutter under my breath as I flatten out the collar on her gown. “The show is about to start. Are you ready to go?"
"I can't walk in your show," she confesses. "I'm sorry."
"You're sorry?" I grow defensive. "You're telling me that you have a legitimate excuse as to why you cannot strap on a pair of 5,000 heels and walk your bony ass down that runway?
"Not today," she bats her long lashes in a devilish way.
"Listen," I clear my throat. "I know you know nothing about hard work and sacrifices because you're a 16-year-old socialite who relies on daddy's money to make industry connections. And I'm fully aware that you have zero concept of what it takes to make it in the fashion world. And I'm also aware that you're high as a kite right now because snorting coke up your pointy nose seems to be more appealing than witnessing my dreams of becoming a well respected designer come alive. But, you know what? I've worked too hard my entire life to let some bulimic, drug addicted adolescent ruin the most crucial moment of my professional career. So, I'm going to ask you one more time. Are you ready to go?"