Sitting in the floor of my room, guitar in hand has become a daily habit, although I never strum the strings. I never have, either. I just sit here, staring at the wood work, the pieces of cord that I am remotely jealous of. They get so much attention from so many different people, like me, but they get to have talent, something they can hold onto. When I turn forty-five, my career is over, sealed with a kiss and thrown out. Of course, it won't be sudden. At first, I just won't be able to book a job, I'll be a little too "this" or "that" for her. Then, I'll stop getting invited to this model's parties. I won't be considered for a job at all, I'll have no work. You just have to pray you didn't go crazy with the money when you were raking it in.
Me? I've always been different. Those prim and precise girls that are stick thin and nine feet tall, they aren't me. I think that may have been what caught their attention when I started out. I was brown eyed and brunette instead of the traditional Twiggy model with blonde hair and defined blue eyes. I kept my hair long and refused to let anyone cut it down to that terrible pixie cut that everyone was getting. It wasn't feminine in the slightest, and that's what I stood for. I was the only female looking creature on the runway for years. The rest of them looked like drag queens with their thick layers of make-up and bobbed hair. I constantly stepped out, my dark chocolate curls draping my back and covering the ridiculous pieces that were back there. I was the only model out there with a round face instead of a heart shaped jaw line. I had freckles and dimples. I was constantly being forced to suck in my cheeks when I was on the runway. Sure, I wasn't a carbon copy of the girl in front of me, but was that such a bad thing?
It is when you're surrounded by society's definition of perfect.
I was lost deep in thought when a knock sounded at my door. The sound pulled a smile across my face, lighting up my tired eyes and bringing joy to my once upsetting thoughts. I dropped the guitar to the side, gently, and ran as fast as I could, hopping over various items in the flat. When I got to the door, I raked my hands through my curls and placed a hand on the golden doorknob, smiling at the wooden barrier between me and the person on the other side. I slowly twisted it, teasing him. I knew who it was. He always came this time of day. I bit the corner of my upper pale pink lip as I poked my head through the crack in the door. The first thing that caught my attention was his ginger hair, the color of a faint glowing fire. Gradually, my eyes moved down from his locks to his eyes, which sparkled in the mid-day London sun. He placed a large, freckled hand on my storm door window. The short sleeve on his Leeds Festival t-shirt slid back, revealing even more of the tattoos that trailed his entire left arm.
"Are you going to let me in, or should I leave?" He asked, a cheeky smile on his round face. I giggled, looking down at my bare feet and then back up at the brass deadbolt keeping me from him. I slid it over, quickly, just in case he did decide to leave. I knew he wouldn't, but he somehow did that to me. I never wanted him to leave me. So many things have come and gone in my life, but I always prayed that Ed wouldn't be one of them. He was perfect, lighting up my entire world. I just wanted him to stay forever and never stop being my partner in crime. As he stepped inside, I noticed the sound of pouring rain slapping the brick walkway outside. My eyes widened. How was it even that sunny out? "Oh, Ed. I would have let you in sooner if I had known it was raining!" He laughed the same hearty laugh (the one that made me go tingly all over) and handed me his coat.
"No, love, it's quite alright." He leaned in, kissing my cheek and turning on his heel. Before he got a chance to flop onto the couch, I grabbed his shirt and pulled him back. He rolled his eyes, remembering the rules. No shoes in the house, no water on the couch. Strangely enough, he cared, and he marched over to the welcome mat by my door step, tearing the vans from his feet. At first he struggled to pull the right one off, so I took my shot. "Ed, darling, I suggest actually un-tying the laces?" He gave me his best angry look, but he ruined it with a pearly smile as he remained hunched over, still attempting to free himself from the tight footwear. When he finally got it off, he sighed, slapping a hand to his forehead. "Oh!" He shouted dramatically, falling backwards onto the couch where I was seated. His head fell right into my lap, sending tingles down my spine.
"You need new shoes, Ed." I murmured, keeping my eyes locked on his. He stared up at me, still wearing that goofy grin that I loved so much. Although his legs draped over the side of the sofa from the knee down, he looked relaxed and comfortable, packed tightly into the soft gray cushions. "Oh, I know. I just can't find the time." I gently stuck my fingers into his locks of hair and twirled them around the tips, careful not to pull them too hard. I was actually surprised a jumper didn't cover his upper half today. It seemed like he wore one every other day now. "With all that guitar playing and being famous, huh?" Secretly, it kind of killed me that my best friend was becoming famous. Not that I needed any more fame myself, but I wouldn't see him as much. He'd be doing a headlining tour with Taylor Swift in a month's time. He was actually and truly becoming a pop star and soon enough, he'd be slipping away from me.
For now, though, I would enjoy these moments, where it was just us sitting on the sofa and listening to the soft beating of the rain against the roof. He slipped his phone out of his pocket, pressing various buttons on the iPhone screen. I could have pulled that stupid thing from his hands and chucked it at the wall. It was ruining our time. Instead, I sat patiently for a few minutes while he e-mailed his manager, Abbey, who was being persistent. She always was, though. A day never went by when Abbey wasn't calling, texting, or e-mailing Ed about something. Usually, it was business related, but sometimes, she used him to get what she wanted, like a cup of coffee. Now that Ed had money, and wasn't living in the London streets, he actually had some extra cash, and Abbey knew that. So, out of the blue, she would call him, asking if he wanted to join her for coffee, then she'd pretend she forgot her wallet or some made up story.
I warned Ed about her, but he didn't care. He was concerned about getting his career started and getting his music to people that would listen. I always admired the fact that he never cared what people thought of him. As a model, you kind of have to. You're constantly being critiqued, all though it hurts to be called "chunky" or "not of the model figure", you just have to put up with it and pretend like it's just water off your back. "Who's that?" I asked, dumbly, pretending like I didn't know it was her. He let out a big sigh, dropping the phone onto his muscular chest and staring up at me, the blue in his eyes piercing my own brown pools of emotion. He reached a hand up to me, poking at my cheek. I started to smile a little, giving him what he wanted; to poke my dimples. He had done this since we met at Harry's house party last year. I woke up, laying next to him and we started talking.
For some reason, he poked my dimples when I smiled that day. I let it happen, not really caring about much of anything, except for the splitting hangover headache I had developed. That day was like magic. We walked each other home, our hands intertwined for no reason other than we wanted to. It was like being four again, back when holding hands with a boy meant nothing. Of course, the moment ended when I had to go inside, facing my angry Mum. I was still living at home then. When I turned nineteen, I ran for the door, and didn't stop running until I reached London, my actual home. I always have loved London, but growing up in stupid little Cheshire Village in the middle of nowhere, I rarely got to visit. When I did, it was to see my Dad and his girlfriend, Samantha. My Mum and Dad split when I was young, and Mum kept me most of the time. Dad never really wanted me until I was older.
I looked down at Ed with tears in my eyes. Everything just had to be ruined by me having a little fit in the middle of our perfect day. His lightly colored eyebrows furrowed as he pushed himself up from my lap to investigate my sudden change of demeanor. I quickly tried to wipe my eyes clear of any droplets, but instead I just smeared my eyeliner, making me look twenty times worse. I turned my head away from him, shielding myself from his heavy eyes as he spoke. "Ivy, what's wrong?" He placed a warm hand on my back, shifting his fingers back and forth to comfort me the way he always did. I shook my head, still facing the collage of me and my best friends that covered the entire wall from top to bottom. "Nothing. Just give me a second."
His free hand reached over to my chin, turning my head with soft force. I was now a mere three inches from his face, so close, I could see each and every one of his freckles that danced on his cheeks, like stars in the country sky. His fingertips lingered on my chin, brushing ever so slightly over my jaw line. "Ivy. Tell me, love. You can trust me, can't you?"