Chapter 17: Party In The City Where The Heat Is On

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Kim was basically chilling in Miami on the D-list. 

Back in L.A. she had finished a couple of shifts at So Chic under the baleful eye of Luther, then she went on a date with some rando, and then was just finishing up a photo shoot with Garrett when suddenly a heavenly glow shone down all around her, confetti fell from the sky, and she leveled up to the D-List. She felt magic and energy and beauty flowing out of her phone and into her skin--like someone was sensually rubbing K-Stars all over her body. It felt pure and powerful and amazing and she did a little dance for like 5 seconds. Then the heavenly glow disappeared and everything was back to normal and Garrett was back to smiling blankly off into the distance. She was getting really sick of his pegged pants. She left for Miami that night.

Kim had been SO EXCITED to see Miami. She had gotten used to Downtown L.A. and Beverly Hills but actually they basically sucked. Finally she was going to a REAL CITY. ENDLESS NIGHTLIFE. THINGS TO DO. RESTAURANTS AND A MALL AND TONS OF SHOPS AND THE BEACH.

But then she landed in Miami and it was like: Nope. Same dinky little town as everywhere else. Just the club and her shop. And she couldn’t even figure out how to get to the beach! Which was highly bogus! 

But she’d gotten the job at Kardash Miami no problem and at least it was something new. And she’d bought the condo right next door and was actually super into it. She’d had this whole internal debate about it because it was a lot of money and maybe she’d be happier spending that money on clothes and shoes? But it was a hassle to fly back home to Downtown L.A. every single night. So she decided to forgo a couple of days’ worth of shopping and buy the condo before she could second guess herself. It had been totally worth it. It was a great space. Now she was saving up for a dog. 

Also Kim wanted to have a party there soon. She’d made a few more friends recently, people she’d met on the street or in clubs, but still. All the men were still terrible, but occasionally she met a stylist or make-up artist or healer or clairvoyant and she was psyched to have a new contact in her phone. Sometimes one of them would buy her a gift and it was kind of the best. 

She felt happy. She felt hopeful about her future for the first time in however long she’d been here.

Kim was hanging out on her gracious veranda, admiring the water and wondering if she would ever actually get to go swimming, when Simon called. 

“It’s time, Kim!” he said, before she could even say Hi. “Get over to Lif for the Immaculat Vodka party.”

“What, now?” Kim said. “It’s like, daytime or something. There’s definitely a sun in the sky, anyway.” Kim was not wearing her watch because she was wearing a bracelet.

“Better get over there now, it’s a 12-hour party.”

“There is no such thing as a 12-hour party, Simon. No one wants to do anything for 12-hours, much less be an advertisement for vodka. No more 12-hour events please.”

“Have fun!” he said. “I’m going to--

Kim hung up before he started talking about his boring kids. She went to her closet and picked out a cute little sleeveless number, changed her hair and shoes, and walked over to Lif, trying to get in the mood to party. 

Kim had charmed Misty Levin, the fashion designer, into selling her clothes at Kardash, and then learned that Misty’s boyfriend worked at Immaculat and was looking for someone to be their new spokesperson. So for the next 12-hours she had to be super-hostess in order to get the gig. She felt like it would not be a big deal.

But as soon as she walked into the club she saw her dreaded arch-enemy, the hated Willow Pape. 

“What are YOU doing here,” Willow said, stomping over to Kim. Willow looked like hell, with dark circles under her eyes and the same boring dress as always. But  Willow had recently made C-List. It was all over social media and no one would let her forget it. Willow seemed differently, more powerful, more dangerous, somehow.

“There’s no way they’re going to pick YOU to be the new face of Immaculat, D-list loser!” Willow said.

“I just came out to have a good time and I’m honestly feeling so attacked right now,” Kim said.

Willow literally stormed off under a thundercloud.

Misty came over and hugged Kim. “You can do this,” Misty said, and then introduced Kim to her boyfriend, Tom. Kim charmed him and then settled into her role as Party Enchantress. She Chit-Chatted, Made Friends, Socialized, and Busted A Move. 

Before she knew it Kim had close to 4 stars and felt like things were going well. Willow was off in a corner, holding a bottle of Immaculat and muttering something to herself. 

Kim decided to Do A Shot. $50 seemed extravagant for one shot, it was about the same cost as a flight to London, but hey whatever. Kim Did A Shot and Busted Another Move.

A few minutes later Kim realized she was completely exhausted. She had to sit down, like immediately. The room was starting to spin. Kim used the last of her energy to Get Comfy on a couch, and closed her eyes for just a second. 

When she opened her eyes again the party was over. The club was empty and she was all alone. 

How long had she been out? Had she really crashed that hard? Things had been going so well until she did that shot. She was a little embarrassed but she’d gotten 4 stars so maybe it was fine? 

Kim walked outside. When her eyes adjusted to the glaring sunlight she saw something that made her wish her eyes had been burned out completely.The entire city was plastered in giant billboards touting Willow Pape as the new face of Immaculat Vodka.

“What’s going on,” Kim said. “This is impossible.”

Her phone started buzzing uncontrollably. She looked at it and saw that #KimSucksSooooBad was trending. She had lost thousands of followers.

“Oh no,” Kim. “No no no no no.”

And then her body was wracked with pain, as though her muscles were being torn out from inside her skin. She fell to the sidewalk and writhed in agony. All her energy and fabulousness and hope were being ripped from her. She was falling back down to the E-list.

“No! Noooooooooooooooooooo!” Kim screamed.

She laid on the sidewalk, hyperventilating, crying, exhausted, unable to do anything but watch helplessly as her D-list energy and magic swirled up out of her skin and back into her phone. Willow’s haunted eyes smiled down at her from every direction.

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