♫ plastic promises - set it off
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It's been one year since Natalia's, tragic, death. To remember her as the beauty she was, Elena and Bristol are holding a memorial for her.
PLACE: Malba Museum, located on the limit between Palermo and Recoleta. It was Natalia's favourite spot in Buenos Aires.
DRESS CODE: Wear something PINK. Natalia was murdered in pink pajamas.
The minute I walked into Natalia’s memorial service, I wanted to hurl. Hell, when I put on my dress for the event, I was near puking. All of my surroundings were Pepto Bismol pink. I wasn’t completely opposed to the color, but I didn’t care all that much for it and definitely didn’t enjoy it in large quantities. Everywhere you turned, there was pink. Girls in pink dresses, pink shoes, pink handbags. Boys with pink shirts and ties. I even saw one boy pass with a pink dress coat on.
I understood, though. It’s been a year since Natalia died. And Natalia, with her golden blonde hair and bright blue eyes, she loved pink. It all made sense, though, it was still quite the eye sore.
You couldn’t turn and not seeing Natalia’s face here. There were giant blow up pictures of her smiling face everywhere. I couldn’t help but feel a pang on sadness. Sure, we weren’t friends exactly when she had died, but we were close way before that. We called each other sisters back then, and that’s not something that goes away so easily. I missed her, it was true. Even just being able to see her around school and at parties we both attended was nice. It was enough for me. We didn’t need to be close. She just needed to be there.
And she’s not anymore. And that still hurts.
Getting into this place was bad enough, what with the mob of paparazzi outside, shouting questions at me about my family, my hospitalization and my “new life.” They just wouldn’t quit sometimes, but now I sort of wish I hadn’t of even made it in here. I found myself looking at a photograph from almost two years ago of Natalia and I. There were pictures all over of her with a bunch of different girls, most of them being her, Bristol and Elena. But this one of her and me, I remember it clearly. That photo made page 6 news.
Natalia and I ended up at some male socialites 21st birthday party after effectively seducing the guards at front. The guy was sitting down in front of his birthday cake and there on his lap was Natalia and I, each of us on one of his thighs as we fed him a piece of cake. It was one of my favorite memories with her. The picture was front page news on every relevant tabloid. I found it, front page of the newspaper the next morning and brought it to Natalia, who later searched every single magazine that printed it and bought them all.
“Natalia loved that picture so much.”
I turned around at that, finding myself looking at Natalia’s mother. I tried my hardest to smile at her, mimicking my old self.
“Mrs. Torres,” I said.
“Even though you two stopped talking, Natalia still kept all of those magazines. Nine, I believe there were. She loved it that.”
I flinched slightly, not knowing what to say, so I settled with, “I’m sorry.” I really don’t know what I was apologizing for, to be completely honest.
“Me too, Vienna. Me too,” she said, giving me a sad smile. “How’s your family been?”
Shitty. “Just fine, Mrs. Torres. How and you and Mr, Torres been?” I knew how to talk to adults and seem like a normal teenager.
“The past year’s been difficult, obviously, but we’re doing okay. Getting through the days.”
I nodded. “You look well.”
“Thank you, Vienna,” she said, giving me another smile. “Well, enjoy the memorial as much as possible. I’m going to go make my rounds.”
I nodded at her, giving a parting smile. When she turned around, I allowed my face to fall back to its normal state. I tore myself away from the photos and decided to go out to the balcony, away from the pink and the Natalia reminders. Before I made it, though, I found myself in the path of Ramona who stopped me with a loud shout of “Vienna!” Pippa was with her, smiling
“Hey, Romy. Pippa,” I said, nodding at them.
“How are you doing? Enjoying yourself?” Romy asked, her voice peppy as always.
“As much as I can tonight,” I answered.
“I know what you mean,” she said. “Not the greatest social gathering, eh?”
“Not really,” I said with a shake of my head.
“Different than England,” Pippa added. I gave her a small smile and nodded. I’ve known Pippa for a while. The two of us were part of the so called “elite” social group when we both lived in England. We were always at the same parties and knew the same people.
“Definitely is,” I replied. I looked out toward the doors, then back to the two girls and said, “I was actually just going out for a smoke. You can join me if you want…?” I didn’t know if either would accept the invitation or not, but I figured it’d be rude if I didn’t at least give the option. I may not be warm and welcoming, but I did have manners.
“Nah,” Pippa said, shaking her head. Romy shook hers as well and said, “I’m going to scope out the scene. Maybe get another drink. We’ll see you around, though. We can catch up later tonight?”
I nodded at them, saying “Sure.” Later tonight, after I had a good buzz going, yeah, I’d probably be down for a chat. Romy smiled at me, a bright look her in eyes that was verging on fake, as if she was trying to cover up what she was really feeling, before she waved and walked away. I shook my head. No, she wasn’t faking anything. That was just Romy. Pippa gave a wave and a smile as well before she took off.
A waiter stepped in front of me as soon as I spun around to head outside and said “Mini quiche?” and held his platter out toward me. I grimaced, shaking my head at the mere thought of eating and side stepped him. I made a beeline for the door before someone else could stop me and try to converse. I made it out onto the fairy-light lit balcony and walked right to the edge, leaning my forearms on the railing and looking over the edge.
Reaching into my clutch, I pulled out a carton of cigarettes. I removed one and leaned over to one of the tables, picking up a candle holder and lighting the end with the flame. I set the candle back down and leaned against the rails once again. A few minutes later, after I started on my second cigarette, I heard the doors open behind me, so I looked over my shoulder. Bristol stepped out and shut the double doors behind her.
“All of the pink was giving me a migraine.” She gave me a slight smile and stepped beside me, looking over the edge as well. I nodded back at her, giving a quick smile before bringing my cigarette to my lips and inhaling deeply. Bristol looked me up and down. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in pink,” she said, a joking tone in her voice.
“Pretty sure this is the only pink in my wardrobe,” I replied. I looked at her outfit and gave a smirk. “Black dress, pink shoes. You knew what you were doing.”
She let out a tinkling laugh. “Yeah, well, I’m pretty sure this is the only pink in MY wardrobe. Something Nat and I definitely did not have in common was the love of the color pink.”
I nodded. “I’m with you. Her bedroom made me cringe whenever I walked in there. It was like someone puked bubblegum all over the fuckin’ place.”
Bristol nodded back at me, her eyes widening a bit. “It wasn’t easy on the eyes, that’s for sure. It fit her, though.”
“Yeah, it did,” I said. We fell silent, the two of us looking out over the city. It was nice talking to Bristol, because we didn’t actually need to talk all the much. She was comfortable with the silence just as much as I was. I held out my cigarette carton to her, offering her one. She took one with a “thanks” and a smile.
“Don’t have one.”
She raised her eyebrows, looking at my burning cigarette. I gestured to the candle beside me. Bristol laughed at that, but nodded. “Fair enough,” she said, grabbing a candle holder and lighting up. It was quiet again, neither of us saying anything. There was a ton of noise coming from inside, but it was all muffled out here. I flicked the butt of my cigarette over the edge and stepped back from the balcony, feeling extremely cold. I was always cold, so being outside at night without a jacket was hitting me hard. I felt my jaw start to shake, so I looked over at Bristol and said, “I’m going to head in.”
She looked at me and smiled. “See you around, Vienna.” I nodded at her and made it back into the pink hell.
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