I took a deep breath compose myself as the my introduction to the crowd began. My heart felt as if it was in my throat right now. It felt like the weight of the world was centered on my shoulders.
If I was successful, not only would it launch my modeling career at age 28, but I would increase funding for this campaign.
Since majority of the crowd outside of these curtains did not have my skin tone, I had to impress them.
Today is the beginning of a campaign launching models with brown skin into the dominantly pale skinned model industry. I will be the face of the campaign and in order to be successful, I must make these rich people want to fund this campaign.
And I will succeed.
There has never been a fashion show like this, where I haven’t had my hair straightened, my make up has not been contoured on my face to match those around me, and I am not walking fiercely down the walkway as if I’m walking on fire.
I had always been confident in myself as a black woman yet I still found myself getting stage fright before my shows. Even more so with the bold campaign I was now launching.
And after many failed seductive attempts with my husband lately, I wasn’t sure if I could seduce the crowd before me.
Instead I am to walk slowly, very seductively. My natural kinky curls framed my face, I have little to no make up on so that I appear soft as I am, completely naturally.
The curtains are pulled back and as I began my walk down the aisle, it is not hard at all to seduce the crowd.
I capture everybody’s attention and when I pass them, the from the corner of my eye, I can see the effect I have on them and I couldn’t help how it boosted my confidence.
My walk is so natural and graceful that I practically glide down the run way. The bronze light is soft and makes my brown skin glow in the dark like highlight. The sway of my hips is mesmerizing to the crowd, so I pause and I turn slowly looking at all the faces to give them my best seductive smile.
Many have lost their composure, becoming flustered by my attention. I hold my smirk, this is my crowd now.
I almost falter when I see that my husband is not among the crowd. Once upon a time, he was always the first face that I graced with my smiles. He had never missed one of my shows in the beginning, looking up at me just as entranced as the rest of the crowd.
I can feel my eyes watering so I quickly look away from them and continue making my way down the runway.
When I finish with the crowd, I walk back up the runway and into the darkness hiding me from the crowd as they all cheer. In the darkness I hold my face, I can’t help the excitement that overcomes me. I did it!
My husband had promised to be here today. If he wasn’t behind stage with the rest of my crew then I didn’t know what this would mean for our marriage. I could worry about all that tomorrow though.
Tonight, I fuccccckkking owned that crowd and I was sure going to celebrate my success on my birthday.
I let out the breath that I had been holding and recompose myself then I walk behind stage to the small group gathered for me. I grin victoriously, strutting up to them saucily.
“You fucking did it, Vi! They all looked like they wanted to eat you up.” My best friend and manager Naomi screams running up to me to hug me while all my co-workers clap and shout congrats. “How about some birthday cake before the next show?”
I give Naomi the biggest hug and nod.
“What’s wrong girl?” She asks noticing something is wrong right away.
I want to be happy but I have this really terrible feeling in my chest. I hug her back trying not to smile awkwardly as I ask her if my husband Richard made an appearance tonight.
“No, I didn’t see him? Was he supposed to be here?” She asked.
“Yes.” I replied. I could see the look of pity on her face as she shook her head, it had been about 4 years since he had been to one of my modeling gigs. And what type of message did that send? He was my husband and should’ve been here to support me.
Part of me isn’t really surprised, I knew when I refused to quit modeling and depend fully on Richard financially that our marriage would change.
But this job is what helped get his business up and running when we graduated college with no immediate careers in sight. So I decided to keep modeling even after Richard became financially stable, despite it not being anything closely related to what I’d majored in.
Naomi attempts to cheer me up with the double chocolate layer cake she baked me for my birthday and I grin at her trying my best not to let my intuition eat away at my happiness, nobody wanted an unhappy campaign model right?
I finally manage to escape Naomi and her devil addicting double chocolate cake, making my way out front to the crowd to make my appearances and answer questions for those who had attended the opening show before the next show started.
Afterwards when it was time for the second show, I made my way backstage to my booth to check my phone for any messages from Richard. He was a very successful business man that had recently become the owner of the company he had worked for, thanks to me, why shouldn’t he take days off to support my career? Why the fuck else was his secretary always around for then?
The bad feeling in my chest only increase at that point, and I recognized it as my intuition. Something was up and I was so angry that I seemed like the only one who wanted our marriage so I was gonna confront Richard about it. After not locating my phone, I realized that I had left my phone at home and since this was the second show I could afford to leave. I was only required to show my face at the after party that started in 6 hours and I would be back by then.
I grabbed my bag and dipped before anyone noticed, sneaking another slice of Naomi’s cake as I went.
When I finally made it home I sat in the car for a moment smashing on the piece of cake because Richard hated when I ate sweets. It was my birthday, I deserved to smash my face in it!
When I finished, I walked into the house instantly noticing the clothing littered the floor. There were female clothing scattered among the trail that led upstairs. A sickening feeling overcame me at that moment but I forced the cake that had suddenly came up back down, following the trail of clothing up the stairs to my bedroom door slowly, quietly.
I could hear the sounds of moans and groans pouring from our bedroom.
My husband had grown bold, it seemed. Obviously he had no respect for me if he passed up one of the most successful campaign launches for my career to bring a bitch to our house to have an affair.
I almost turned to leave, wanting to just walk away with my heart partially intact but I knew I had to see this. I tried to mentally prepare myself for this. I wanted to know who the bitch was.
To bring a woman to our home and have sex with her in our bed on my fucking birthday? He was so disrespectful and just asking to be caught. As I stepped closer to the door, I could hear her telling him how much she loved him through the door.
He responded, telling her that he loved her too. I closed my eyes counting to ten and gathering what remained of my resolve.
I can do this, I thought. I must see this.
I forced myself to open the door, my eyes widening as I saw them in the act up close and personal.
I realized that he had been having an affair with his assistant, Emily. The sad part is that this did not appear to be just a regular fuck. They were making love and the familiarity of it told me that it had been happening for quite a while. I couldn’t have prepared myself for the pain that I felt slicing through my heart in a thousand years.
My soul was in agony, this was not something that the mind couldn’t rationalize for the sake of saving my heart from breaking into pieces. It had been in my face all along and I had been blind to it because we had started attending marriage counseling together. What a fucking joke the marriage counselling must have been to both of them.
My marriage was over. And that one thought kept repeating inside my head like a broken record.
I dropped my bag at the door, turning to run away from the sight of them. I couldn’t take the pain of watching them anymore. My marriage to Richard had meant everything to me, we had been married 10 years.
I managed to hold my sobs as I ran outside of my home, past my car, and down the streets of our beautiful neighborhood. I just let myself run freely, trying to run myself to exertion to exchange the pain from my heart to the pain in my legs. My silk dress had ripped all up my thighs exposing my lace panties, too delicate for the strain that my pumping legs made. I did not care at all, not pausing to cover myself or look if anybody was looking at me.
When I finally stopped to catch my breath and look around I was just at the local park 10 minutes away from my home. I finally let my sobs out, breaking down completely as I saw that the park was empty.
Richard had been my high-school best friend turned sweetheart after prom, when I gave him my virginity. I had always loved him, just fell in love our senior year. I had wanted to have children with him and grow old with him, I did everything right to keep him happy. I had never looked back and regretted anything until now. I knew that we were never supposed to be more than friends but I still married him after high-school because he had been the only guy I wanted to be with.
Richard had cheated once before in college but that was just a one time fuck at a party. He hadn’t came back to our dorm that night and that next morning, I had just knew. I forgave him since we were still basically kids in college, told him he was still who I wanted and that I wouldn’t dream of sleeping with another man. But still once a cheater, always a cheater.
He destroyed me..
Everything else I could deal with. Marriage was about forgiveness and making sacrifices, right?But sharing intimacy with another? That was the worst type of betrayal. I couldn’t stay with him after this. I couldn’t forgive him for this, but I was too weak to walk away. Love didn’t just fade away, the hurt was still there stabbing me in my chest. I wanted him to hurt, I knew that he loved me. Hell, I was the real mastermind behind his company. He couldn’t afford to lose me fucking needed me.
But I had nothing left to give. I had put everything including my soul into my marriage, only for it to shatter before my eyes. I couldn’t stand another thought of being on this Earth without him after this, either.
He was my only best friend after all.
How would I end it?
How would I commit suicide?
Pills? Hanging? Knife? Bridge?
I could have a peaceful death. I would drown myself, let the water end the anguish that brewed inside my heart. And when they found my body, he would know.
He did this. He lost me, forever.