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~Collide, Howie Day

Odessa, ANTM 

Tuesday the 7th: It’s your first walk on the runway today. It’s supposed to be a natural strut, right? You probably thought it was going to be in an empty house where you could just practice. Nope! You’ll be modeling in the premiere of Betsey Johnson’s newest line. Every fashion designer and celebrity in California will be in attendance. Penelope and Ella will be watching from the front row…don’t choke.

**Note: The outfit in the set is the one Odessa wore /before/ the runway show.**


The lights lowered and the echoing sound of a hearty applause made my pulse quicken and form little tiny beads of sweat on my forehead. I walked off the runway and darted straight to the hair and makeup tables. I was breathing heavily. I can't believe I /closed/ the Betsey Johnson show! Not only was this my first time on an actual runway, but I had actually /closed/ the show. I was so proud of myself and my walk. I had been practicing my walk since I was a toddler. I had always been into fashion. And now, after walking my first show, I knew I was born to do this. 

I reached for my bottle of water and unscrewed the cap. Before I could take a sip, Kylie and Estella rushed over to me. Estella was about to hug me but luckily I shooed her away. I was sweaty and there was no way I was going to hug someone. 

"You did guh-reat out there! The applause was so loud when you walked off!" Estella gushed, batting her eyelashes wildly. 

I knew the earsplitting clapping hadn't been for me. Sure, I closed the show, but all of those people out there...they couldn't be clapping just for /me/! Of course they were applauding Betsey Johnson's designs, I told myself. I didn't want to get a big head this early in the competition.

"Thank you," I mouthed anyway, finally taking a long swig of the water. That seemed to calm me down. I didn't know why but I always get nervous /after/ something happens. Usually people get shaky and jittery with anxiety before something nerve-wracking happens. But not me! Yeah, I was shaky and jittery. I wasn't nervous, however. I always get a crazy adrenaline rush before something this big. I had noticed the other girls here were having mini panic attacks and saying silent prayers before they walked out. I was different. "Do you think my walk was okay?" I asked insecurely, looking up at Kylie and Estella.

Estella nodded vehemently. "You owned that runway!" And she wasn't being sarcastic or snarky either. It seemed like she really meant it.

"Well we won't know for sure how well we did until panel." Kylie finally spoke up. 

"Right," Estella added, "but I'm sure you have nothing to worry about!" she smiled, staring at me like I was her idol or something. I found it oddly uncomfortable even though I normally loved the limelight.

I took another huge gulp of water. "You guys did great too," I lied. It wasn't /exactly/ a lie. I bet they /did/ do great out there but I hadn't been watching. "Well the show's over now. We should probably get going right?" I stood up and the three of us walked out.

+ + +

At the model house, everyone was exhausted and it was written all over everyone's faces. Including mine. What I really wanted to do was take a long, relaxing bubble bath but the girls had congregated themselves in a little circle in the living room/main room. Everyone was talking and as much as I wanted to leave them all and relax in the tub, I didn't want to appear as antisocial or a total freak. So I joined them on the couches. When I plopped down on one of the couches, Lauren, a tall and high cheek-boned, pointed at me. 

"Is that her?" she whispered to another girl named Sydney. I hadn't gotten to know many of the girls here yet but I found that pointless. Lots of the girls were going to get eliminated anyway, so why get too attached? But that was my problem! I always got attached. 

"What?" I stared at Lauren and Sydney. 

Lauren's eyes widened and she looked scared. "Um..oh..nothing!" she said quickly.

I knit my eyebrows together. Kylie sat down beside on the couch. I leaned in closer to her, "Do you know what they're talking about?" 

Kylie sighed. "Yeah. I had been meaning to ask you too. Do you.. have...a baby?"

How did she know? Did everyone else know? "Yes, I do. Back in Hawaii, my mom's looking after her for me. She's only fourteen months."

Artemis, another weird-looking bulgy-eyed girl, joined in. "You don't look like you just had a baby." After saying that, she disappeared out of sight. It was weird. Had she been here the whole time? My mind was playing tricks on me. Or maybe I was just tired. 

Lauren and Sydney started staring at me again. "Yeah, she's right. You don't look like you were pregnant or anything."

"Um..." I tried to think of something to say. "Thank you?" I looked pretty strong and put-together on the outside but inside, I suddenly felt a pang of distress as I thought about my daughter. I missed her so much and I only talked to her yesterday on the phone. "How did you guys find out?"

I looked at Kylie and she bit her lip. I looked at Lauren and Sydney. Nobody said anything. 

Finally, a tall dirty-blonde girl, with an average face, sat down on the rug where Lauren and Sydney were sitting. "A few girls overheard you when you were on the phone yesterday." Her name was Lorraine.

I knew it! There was no such thing as privacy here.

I didn't mind that they knew. In fact, it was better if they found out without me having to tell them. That would have been more awkward. 

Lorraine looked bored to death but she continued talking. "And you don't look Hawaiian at all either."

At that, I smiled to myself. I was blonde and light-skinned. Of course I didn't look Hawaiian! And my body was as fit as the other girls here, only /they/ hadn't given birth fourteen months ago! I didn't look anything like the person these other girls thought I was. And I was going to use that to my advantage. 

xxOdessa

Included: @luxecouture @twobytwo @the-clary-project @deercat @sofastudios Mentioned: @rockets-and-rainbows [I know it seems like all the attention is on Odessa, but I just wanted to get this story out. I'm sorry it revolved around Odessa the whole time. In my future stories, I'll be sure to talk about the other girls more!]
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