They said he was only after one thing, and that after he'd get it from me, he'd forget me. And so after it happened, I stayed away, kept to myself, and minded my own business.
But now he was doing his first big show, showcasing the latest fashion by the city's most successful designers, modeled by the city's most beautiful people - and I wanted to be there. My brother, Mick, was the official photographer. And after he sent his assistant home because the guy caught chicken pox, I became his unofficial assistant. So I helped Mick lug the heavy equipment from the car to the Magnolia Ballroom, trying hard not to be noticed in my t-shirt and jeans, a baseball cap pulled down to cover my eyes.
After everything was in place, I found a chair at the back of the ballroom and sat down. They were deep in dress rehearsals and everyone was there - the make-up artists, the hairdressers, the assistants and even the assistants' assistants gathered around the designers and their models, making sure not a hair was out of place, their make-up perfect.
With my brother settled on his platform in front of the stage, my work was done. The next time I'd need to actually do some work would be to help him pack the equipment and stuff all of them in the car till tomorrow, when we'd do it all over again for the big show.
And so, armed with a slice of pizza in one hand and bottle of water in the other, I leaned back against the chair and watched the first run of the show.
I had never been one that people called pretty right off the bat. The best they usually could say about me at first glance was you've got a great smile. Or you actually have beautiful eyes if one took the time to look.
But with Trevor, it was different. One didn't need to look hard to see that he was beautiful. He was tall, with dark hair and a gorgeous smile. With his deep blue eyes, all he had to do was blink - simply because humans had to - and women swooned. Men, too.
I met Trevor that semester. He sat behind me in Sociology, and we barely exchanged more than brief hellos. But when everyone had to pair up for a presentation on culture and socialization, he tapped my shoulder and asked me if I wanted to be his partner. For the next month, we buried ourselves in research books and online articles to better understand the subject at hand. Soon, we were lying on the rooftop of my apartment building where I lived with Mick, trying to spot the constellations and telling stories about ourselves.
Then two months later, out on that same rooftop, Trevor kissed me.
It was at the apartment that Trevor was "discovered" by one of Mick's fashion designer friends. Two weeks later, after we did our presentation in front of the class (we received an A), Trevor officially signed on to become a model for some big-name agency.
That's when everyone told me that the only reason Trevor had picked me to be his sociology partner was so he'd get a chance to meet my brother - and maybe get discovered. They said that Trevor had never really loved me, even though he said he did. I still had his letter in my pocket, sent after I broke up with him, the stationary worn out from being repeatedly taken out, opened and read.
I love you, he wrote. I think we have something good going, and I really believe we can still keep going - but only if you want to. But if you believe the lies that people are saying, about why I'm with you, then you don't know me at all. Wasn't it you who told me to accept the modeling offer?
But how could Trevor love me when he was now surrounded by such beautiful people, I thought, as I watched him saunter onstage. They must have taught him how to walk like a model. They must have drilled it in him how to swagger like a man who knew he had the goods, and that he could deliver them all. I watched him scan the non-existent audience in front of him, his gaze passing over me like I wasn't there.
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Just As BeautifulRomance
“Why me?” I asked. “Why not?” Trevor said. “You’re beautiful. You’re kind. You’re funny.” “But you’re more beautiful.” “You’re so hung up on that. There’s more to life than this, you know,” he said, his hand circling his face. “One day I won’t look...