I had been up an hour when there was a knock on my door.
Opening it, I saw Michael, shirtless and in boxers.
“Yea’?” I asked, trying not to stare, as he was shirtless in my doorway.
“Can I use your shower? I'm covered in pudding.”
“How?” was the first word that came to my mind.
“Luke and Ginny, they filled our shirts with pudding.”
“But?” I was confused.
“I didn't look before I put mine on and Calum’s in our bathroom.”
“Sure.” I noticed he had a pair of jeans in his hands.
Stepping to the side, I let him in. “First door on the left.”
I looked his back side up and down. He turned, catching me looking at him.
Quickly looking away, he said, “Do you have a shirt I could borrow?”
“Um, yea’, I’ll just get it for you.” I half-ran to my room.
I heard the shower start up. I found a shirt from a local band that I loved that wasn’t a girl's shirt. It was black with white writing that said the name of the band.
Setting it on the table, I made sure I had everything for BeYouTiful. My cell, my bag- oh! Remembering my necklace, I headed back to my room to find it. Five minutes later, I came out to find Michael gone and my shirt still sitting on the table. I guess he changed his mind.
We showed up to the building, and hours later, it was time to get the ball rolling.
My hair was braided in a crown, and I’m wearing a light blue dress. Looking in the mirror, I slipped on my necklace. My mother's necklace. It was the only thing of hers I ever remembered owning. My father gave it to me on my tenth birthday. It was silver with a light blue diamond in the center.
The guys were waiting outside the room for us, and we headed out together.
I try look at Michael. He was wearing a black suit with a blue undershirt. We’re matching. We are all matching. Paired up with colors like a high school prom.
The room where the event was being held was beautifully done. Press filled the room.
Michael and I hadn’t said anything to one another.
“You look nice,” he said. I couldn’t tell if he was saying that because he felt he needed to or because he meant it.
“Thanks, you do too,” I said. And I do mean it.
He smiled, but before he could say anything else a mic passed between us.
“Inder, what does BeYouTiful mean to you?” Her name tag told me she was from a pre-teen magazine. It read, "Jill- CEO."
“Well, Jill, BeYouTiful is an organization that all girls can show that it’s okay to love yourself, no matter what others think about you.”
“Who did you bring with you tonight?” she asked, but I knew she already knew.
“I brought my friend Michael. He’s light-hearted, funny, and that’s totally not me; he makes me laugh, that’s what importation.”
She asked more questions before moving on.
“So, I make you laugh?”
“Oh, don’t let it go to your already large head.” I lead the way to the table where we were met with another press and hours of questions.
Sheila and Nell came onto the stage.
“Thank you for joining us tonight for BeYouTiful. It great to see so many young women able to be a part of this, and showing girls that’s it’s okay to be themselves and still be beautiful,” Sheila said.
“Tonight is even more meaningful to the many of us, and I am so proud of all of the girl who’ve taken time to be a part of this,” Nell smiled.
“But sadly this is the last of BeYouTiful,” Sheila said.
My eyes widened. This can’t be true, it’s a joke right? It is the day after April Fool's, after all.
“Because, as of three Mondays from now, the company will be shut down. It has been good while it's lasted, and thank you for your support, but I fear that it wasn't enough.”
I couldn’t stand. This is not happening? What’s going to happen to us girls? We depended on this!
“Thank you all, and have a goodnight.” Nell waved to the room and smiled fakely.
They came off of the stage.
“Inder?” Michael said, looking at me.
All four of us surrounded Sheila and Nell. There was silence for a few minutes.
“What the hell?” I asked first.
“What happened?” Tracie said.
“We just don’t have the funds to run the company, or any part of it,” Shelia said. She looked heartbroken.
“So we’re just giving up?” Ginny asked.
Nell smiled sadly and said, “If you have the money, it’ll fix everything, but you don’t, and we don't.” Nell's saddened face was making with harder.
“We have to do something,” I said before I stormed off. "And if we don't even try, then we DEFINITELY can't do it!"
I was back at the apartment, not able to stay with Nell and Sheila.
There was a soft knock at my door. Wiping my eyes, I opened it.
“Listen, if you're here to make some kind of joke, please leave. I'm not in the mood,” I said.
“Na, wantin’ to see how you're doing," he said.
Stepping aside, I let him come in. My eyes burned with tears.
His hand touched my shoulder. Glancing up, I noticed how wonderful his eyes were.
“I wish I knew what to say,” he said
“It’s not your fault. I’ve been working for them since I left home,” I said. I was crying.
Michael lifted his hand, and, placing it on my face, he rubbed away my tears. Slowly he moved closer, and before I realized what was about to happen, he kissed me softly.
Michael pulled away, and neither of us spoke. He smiled, then he left, shutting the door between us.
(Written by KayCee K.)