Chapter 60: Sound & Color

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Kim stood alone outside her gracious mansion in Bel Air. She faced the door, unable to open it. Or like: able, but unwilling.

She wasn't sure what she was waiting for, exactly. A sign, an indicator that everything would be OK. She felt like a traveller from a distant land. An astronaut, at the end of her journey, wondering what the atmosphere would be like when she stepped through the airlock and removed her helmet. Wondering if she would be able to breathe, wondering if she would survive whatever waited for her on the other side of that door. A fight, for sure. Maybe two fights. Her daughter screaming at her, refusing to speak to her, refusing to acknowledge her. Her husband hurt, furious, done, demanding a separation. Which maybe she deserved. Maybe she deserved all of it. Or: maybe that decision had already been made for her, in her absence. Maybe there was no one on the other side of this door. Maybe it was just an empty house.

OK, she thought. I'm opening the door.

But instead she looked at her phone. One more time, scrolling around to see what was happening.

The 1D breakup news was still blowing up. People mostly blaming Zayn (although a few were blaming her, Kim was always being blamed for literally everything that ever happened). Kim wished she could defend him; she wanted to launch onto Twitter and put everyone on blast for not understanding how much he and the boys had sacrificed, for the good of the world. But she knew it was useless. How could you even explain something as complicated as that? It would take just over 100,000 words and approximately 15 months to write. And anyways, the blame, the fault, the reasons, weren't even what mattered. People were just sad. And they would be sad for a while, and that was normal and understandable and OK and exactly as it should be. Because it was sad. It was very, very sad.

Emma Watson, on the other hand, had wasted no time in announcing her new project, which she was calling #HeForShe. She'd started talking about it before they'd even left Modest Management's offices that day. How masculinity inevitably turns toxic. How it becomes this thing about control, dominance, power. How women were never going to achieve any real, lasting equality if they were the only ones working for it. The power dynamics needed to shift. Men needed to become partners in this battle as well. Feminism could not just be a women's issue. Emma was taking the lessons from Cassio and Zayn and everything the other celebrity boys had been through--and even what she had been through, the way Cassio's actions had unwittingly led her to think she was Kim's enemy, without even realizing his machinations--and trying to turn it into something positive, something good.

It sounded cool to Kim. She'd check it out more later. Now, she was tired. And now it was time to open this door.

So OK.

She opened the door and walked inside and found herself surrounded by flowers.

The entire foyer was filled with bouquets, artful, magical floral arrangements. Flowers of every shape and color and size, their scent filling the space, the colors exploding in every direction.

She noticed a card attached to one arrangement and picked it off. It was from Jenna Dewan Tatum, thanking Kim profusely for bringing her husband Channing home. She read some of the other cards--every bouquet was from someone who wanted to thank her for one of the boys she'd saved. On the front hall table there was a booklet of Taco Bell gift certificates from Nicki with a note that read Bitch THANK YOU for bringing Drake's ass home, it's on tomorrow, nails & crunchwraps, I'll text you <333. Chrissy Teigen had sent an artfully-arranged bouquet of churros, which was a surprise because John Legend hadn't been taken. But Kim took one and happily began eating it. She was starving.

This was insane though. She was so touched. She was so used to women bad-mouthing her, either behind her back or on social media. This was different. It was kind of overwhelming.

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