Forced Sensation

Micro-fiction.
Georgia Cushane and Tom Wilson are in the woods, discussing Georgia's modelling career. But no one realises how Georgia is really feeling.

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1. Forced Sensation

“So,” Tom asked, awkwardly. His chin rested on his hand, and his back resting against Georgia’s, while holding a bunch of balloons. It was a beautiful day, and here he was, with the well-known Georgia Cushane, the internationally famous model. She was wearing a short blue dress, and red high heels – not suitable for the woods, but who was he to complain?

It was a gorgeous spring day, the middle of April, and he was sat on a log in the woods next to St. Nicholas Park in Warwick. The place was deserted – everyone would be in the park, soaking up the sunshine and making the most of the weather.

Her blonde hair was straightened, and she was staring at him, waiting for what he was about to say.

Tom coughed in embarrassment, before saying, “Would you, um, say modelling is fun?” He cringed mentally, wanting the ground to swallow him completely.

Georgia sighed, raised her perfectly plucked eyebrows and shook her head slightly. “Well, I’m still…. Undecided.” She paused, wondering how to phrase the next sentence. “I’m not exactly sure if this is what I want to do. It’s not exactly a career which you can have for the rest of your life. As soon as you’re too old, around mid-twenties or thirties, you won’t get any jobs.”

Tom was shocked. He had watched every interview Georgia was in, every modelling photo and advert, and he never thought she didn’t like it! He thought she had the perfect life, the job every girl wistfully thought about. He didn’t realise she was unhappy.

“Why don’t you quit then?” He asked blatantly.

Georgia rolled her eyes. “It’s not as easy as it sounds,” she replied, her tone bored. “You can’t just quit modelling. It’s not like an office job which you can just walk out and say you quit. Modelling is a bit like acting. You sign a contract, and then you can’t stop until it’s finished. I still have another year or so before mine ends.”

A few moments of silence passed. Georgia spoke again.

“I want to go to University in September, learn about make-up and business. I want my own clothes and make-up line. But I can’t go because it’ll be too late,” Georgia choked.

Tom turned around 180 degrees until he could see Georgia. She looked away, wiping her finger underneath her eye. Tears were falling rapidly down her rosy cheeks. Tom was scared. Not just scared, but miserable. Not just for him, but more for Georgia. Here was a girl he liked, and she was crying her eyes out. What sort of man was he?

“Ssh,” he said, catching some tears with his little finger. “You can always go next year. You don’t have to go this year. It’s called a gap year. Apply for a place now, but you don’t have to start until next year.”

Georgia shook her head sadly. “That’s not it,” she said. “I don’t want to model. I hate having to wear short skirts, and wear loads of make-up. It makes me feel fake. I feel like I’m drifting away from the real me.” She placed her head in her hands.

Tom was confused. Everyone knew Georgia loved to model. Her mother encouraged her, unlike some girls’ mothers’ who refused them to model.

“If you don’t like it, why did you start in the first place?”

“It’s a bit obvious, don’t you think?” she answered drily.

Tom has always been slow at realising obvious things. Like this, for example.

He shook his head slowly, not knowing what she was implying.

“Do you know that my mother used to be a model when was fourteen?” she turned around to see my expression.

Georgia’s mother wasn’t what you would call… pretty. She was wrinkly, short, grey haired and, well, smelly to put it honestly.  She was a smoker and alcoholic. She never left her home and stayed in, smoking and drinking. She wasn’t exactly the best of influences, and part of the reason Georgia became so well-known was because of the difficulty at home and how she made it to succession.

“Really?” Tom asked, doubtfully. He couldn’t imagine Georgia’s mother in a skimpy dress, posing and beautiful, like Georgia was.

“Yeah, weird right?” she laughed hesitantly.

“So, why isn’t she like, you know,” Tom tried to say, waggling his hands all over the place. He was blushing furiously, and embarrassed.

“You’re not being rude,” she laughed. He let out a breath of relief at the fact he hadn’t blown his chances with Georgia. “She wanted to be a model. And she was. But then she got a boyfriend. He was, like, really abusive. He hated it that she was a model and that she showing off her cleavage and legs and stuff. She got depressed, and started drinking. Then she started smoking. The paparazzi found out and her career crashed. He raped her and, well. Here I am,” she gestured to herself, before tearing her gaze away.

“Wow. Well, you won’t turn out like that. Right?”

“Never. But my mum wants me to become a model. She forced me. So I decided, yeah, I’ll do it. Earn a bit of cash for Uni. But then she signed a contract for another two years, so I can’t do anything until next year. At least I can sign things without parental permission then.”

“But why do you say you love to model so much?”   Tom’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

“Mum would kill me if I said she forced me. And she’d get sent to prison.”

“Why would she get sent to prison?”

“For hitting me. She still sees my dad sometimes, even though I beg her not to. All this make-up covers up the bruises I have. And, and I have no friends. Proper ones. I used to be this girl no one knew, got bullied and stuff, then bam. I’m amidst fame and popularity.”

Tom stared deeply into her sparkling eyes. “You’ve got me.”

 

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