I arrive at the event, not wearing attire anyone with a social status is meant to. Not caring is my charm.
Instead of dressing to the nines in a ballgown that costs as much as my car, I'm rocking skintight jeans with rips all the way to the ankles, a crop top that says fuck off, showing my belly button piercing, and a leather jacket that just makes me seem a lot less formal than I'm already achieving.
Loud murmurs surround me. Whispers and commentary on why I'm not dressed to impress are the most prominent expressions shared. Each sentiment rolls off my shoulders. I'm done pretending. Sick and tired of dealing with what's expected, I strut the carpet like I'm supposed to be here and dressed as I am.
As soon as my agent catches sight of me, he's going to flip. For some reason, that has a smile tipping at my lips.
Reporters line the entrance, holding mics, stalking famous people, and unlike usual, I don't blend in.
My Converse spark talk from Raleigh Call, a huge reporter from FMZ, the biggest drama and news station for celebrities.
"Is that Rylie Kent?" she questions, knowing damn well it is. I'm not being vain either, she's interviewed me every year since my original post went viral.
Ignoring her, I saunter past the paps, needing to get this night over with. If I could be doing anything, it'd be talking to the boy I met on PicNShare. Somehow, we have so much in common and maybe it's a catfish, maybe it's a prince. Either way, it's the only thing I look forward to every day.
"You did not come in that," Lain hisses near my ear. How he leaned into me without alarming me is a surprise. He's not exactly stealthy. I offer a smile to the crowd of onlookers, making sure to walk away from my manager.
"Oh, sweet Lain, I did." It comes off smart-ass-y, but doesn't seem to throw him off at all.
"No, you definitely didn't. Because if you did, I'd have to send you to Monica," he scolds, gripping my shoulder. "And we both know how much you love her."
Turning to him, offering my most scathing glare, I stop walking.
"Guess we both lose tonight, Lain."
Without another word, I head in the direction toward the photo ops, where I know Ian will be.
Ian, my fake boyfriend.
Ian, the bane of my existence.
Ian, the biggest asshole known to man.
"Please say this is a really shitty dream and you're not dressed like we're at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice awards."
I don't respond and he takes that as his cue to continue.
"Scratch that, at least they wear designer clothes."
A short sigh leaves me, giving me enough energy to turn toward him.
"We're over, Ian." With my words, his face contorts. I've said it loud enough that everyone around us silences and is now staring.
"That's right!" My voice rises as I throw my hands up in defeat. "I'm leaving you and your fake persona. Done. I'm done!"
He's speechless but doesn't stop himself from grabbing my arm as I try to leave.
"You're not ditching me before I get my award," he hisses. Ripping from his hold, I glower, giving him every ounce of resentment I've held back.
"Good thing it's not ditching when I'm not making an excuse. Goodbye, Ian."
I strut away from him, feeling freer than I have in ages. To be beginnings and to new people.
Maybe now, I can move forward, and really fall for mystery guy on PicNShare.