Picture Perfect

"Outer beauty pleases the eye. Inner beauty captivates the heart." Every teenage girl wants to be pretty, and that's exactly what Alex is. Flat stomach, size zero, flawless skin, silky hair, gorgeous green eyes. Perfection is the definition of Alex's life. She lives every girl's dream: beautiful, the most popular girl in school, a hot boyfriend, not to mention so much money she doesn't know what to do with it. It's the start of a new school year. She has just landed a modeling job with one of the most famous fashion designers. Life couldn't be going better for her. So what happens when an unfortunate accident turns her life upside down?

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7. Chapter Seven

Chapter Seven

Though I had previously felt like napping until the end of the universe I had gotten a new energy when my mother asked me to celebrate with her. You couldn’t just turn down an invitation to La Reve; only the fanciest, most expensivest, amazingest place to eat in town. It was the kind of place where the food was so gourmet and exquisite that even a native French speaker would have trouble pronouncing the items on the menu. Everyone would be totally jealous of me.

I slipped into a dress that went past my knees (aka literally the only one I could wear without either of parent having a heart attack). It was a simple, satiny red strapless number with a thin black belt around the waist. I had to tear apart my whole closet to find something “modest”.  And of course I’d be scolded if I didn’t wear a sweater, because showing your shoulders is just soooo promiscuous.  Though I usually would’ve worn something sexier, I didn’t want to ruin my only chance to visit this restaurant. I’d been begging my mom for months. She’d said I’d have to pay with it for my own money every time, and that wasn't exactly an option because I didn’t actually have a lot of money. I usually used a credit card linked to my parents account. My modeling job was more of my dream than anything. I didn’t really need the money. I got a decent paycheck but I wasn’t going to spend it all on one dinner.

After doing my hair and makeup I slipped into a pair of torturous but amazing heels and went downstairs. I sat on the couch and tapped my foot impatiently on the marble floor. I was also quite nervous, due to the fact that my mom didn’t exactly have the best fashion sense. We were running a couple minutes late and if my mom came down in some dreaded muumuu I wouldn’t have the time to find something better for her to wear or we’d lose our reservation. Then I would go there and be totally embarrassed and Zac Efron would probably be there and laugh at the pretty girl eating dinner with her mom in the worst outfit ever.

I heard footsteps at the top of the stairs and held my breath. Then I practically passed out. Because my mom wasn’t wearing one of her horrible baggy dresses. I barely recognized her.

Her usually frizzy brown hair was done in soft waves that cascaded down her shoulders. She had done her makeup simply but it brought out all of her best features. She wore a gorgeous one shoulder black dress with Swarovski crystal detailing and black pumps that made her legs look amazing. Maybe I should’ve been worrying about Zac Efron looking at my mother and not me. I can see why my dad thought she was beautiful. It was just hard to see because she always tried so hard to mask her beauty.

“You look… amazing.” Was all I managed to stutter. She gave me a warm smile.

Ted led us to the car all the while I was in awe of my mother’s new look.

I must’ve been staring at her in the car because she said, “Just because I choose to dress like a hippie all of the time does not mean I can’t clean up once in awhile!”

“Why do you sound so offended? It’s a shock when all I’ve ever seen you in is potato sacks! Where did you learn to do your makeup like that anyway?”

“I was a stylist a long time ago before I discovered what was important in life. But sometimes I need to indulge in the feminine ideals of society.”  She gestured to herself.

“I never knew that you were a stylist!” I squealed excitedly, “ Did you meet a ton of celebrities? Oh, of course you did! OMG, I can’t get over how totally awesome you look.”

“There’s still a lot you may not know about me. And thank you, Tiger, you look beautiful too, you have blossomed into a lovely flower.” She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear then placed a hand on my shoulder. “Just remember that looks aren’t everything. They do have value in a societal sense, your life can take different path depending on your appearance, but spiritually looks do not matter… The body is merely-”

“-a vessel for the soul,” I interrupted, “...blah, blah, blah, yeah I got it Mom. I don’t need to hear all of your life philosophies for the hundredth time.” I sighed. Sometimes I wished she would just be more normal. Like we could go shopping together and stuff and talk about boys… Who am I kidding? I’ve got all my girls for that. It’d just be weird to talk to my mom about certain things. I don’t know… Sometimes I just feel that- no nevermind.

“Sooo…” What are you even supposed to talk about with your mom? I didn’t feel like having a heart to heart because that’s just lead to more eccentric conversations about living spiritually and other weirdness. So I just turned on the radio and we listen to music for the rest of the ride. My mom closed her eyes the whole ride, like she was meditating. I couldn’t figure out how it was physically possible to meditate while Wrecking Ball was playing full blast, but that’s just my mom for you.

I gazed out the window. The sun had set and tiny twinkling stars now peppered the clear, inky sky.

**********

We arrived at the restaurant and were welcomed by a man in a suit at the door. He took our jackets and then we waited to be seated.

“Are you the Schultzes?” A young woman had appeared seemingly out of nowhere.

“Yes that would be us.” My mother responded.

“Would you like to dine on the outdoor patio tonight ladies?” She smiled at us.

My mom looked at me and raised her eyebrows.

“Yes, please.” I answered.

“Right this way.” We followed her to the back of the restaurant, past tons of elegantly dressed people and through the sounds of clinking utensils and clouds of conversations. The shiny wooden floor was a deep amber and everything was cast in an elegant light. Velvet curtains draped tall windows and well dressed waiters helped customers to their tables.

The patio had an amazing view of the sky and the coastline, and there was a warm breeze. it was just perfect. My mom even ordered us wine and the food was incredible. I even think I saw a couple celebrities. But no Zac Efron unfortunately.

**********

We arrived back home a bit tipsy and I collapsed on my bed thinking of how I had the best life ever.

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