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The modeling lifestyle adventures of teen model Cameron Passinault.

By C. A. Passinault, an author from Tampa Bay, Florida

© Copyright 2004-2005 Independent Modeling, IndependentModeling.Com . All rights reserved.


"Runway Talk"

A model stood in front of a mirror, eying the fit of an expensive gown. She liked this one, and paid special attention to the way the fabric hung off of her breasts. Around her were fifteen other models, each doing their own thing in the down time that they had. It was a welcome break. Among them was Cameron Passinault, who sat in a corner with her back to the wall. She
had been watching the other girls while sipping on a cold bottled water.
She was both sore and tired. Cameron tilted her head back and closed her eyes. It had been a long day of rehearsing. The other models were still very talkative, and some of them were in bad moods. She realized that while booking jobs took a lot of leg work, the real challenge was doing a good job once the job was booked.
Print work was the easiest for her. This was not. Her height was a magnet for runway jobs, and runway didn't come easy for her. She must have had two left feet for as long as she remembered, and never had much of an aptitude for choreography or dance. Imagine that- a model who could not dance. She looked great on the dance floor, and could dance with a little practice, but it wasn't easy. Harder still was what was around her. She rarely had fun working around other models. She tried to be patient with them, but frankly, models could be so stupid. They acted like high school girls, and their manner of conduct was frivolous and- dare she think it- boring. Sometimes they had these little attitudes, too, but ignorance seemed to be the attribute which summed up most models, and she mused that the fact that most of them were handled by modeling agencies was hardly a coincidence. No wonder model scams made a killing in this industry, and Tampa Bay seemed to be model scam central lately.
Cameron noticed that the model in front of the mirror was still there, admiring herself. Whatever floats her boat. People like her believed what they were told, and they were incapable of thinking for themselves. What a rocket scientist she was.
A tall woman in her 50's came in. She was dressed casual but carried herself with refined elegance that only a hundred years as a fashion model could bring. She was like a model Jedi of sorts, and made Cameron feel like she had a lot to learn. Perhaps she did. This was Mila, a fashion model from Europe who was directing a fashion runway event in downtown Tampa. She
had booked fifteen other models and Cameron to do the show, and so far one model has been terminated. She was sure that more were to follow.
Cameron rose to her feet. Her legs wobbled.
"Alright ladies, your fitting is done. We shall go through it again. We need to be quicky. Quicky is the key. Walking is almost ready, but you models are not quicky enough. Hold up the procession and the whole show falls apart."
She looked at Cameron.
"Cameron and Ericka, I need to see you. Pronto, pronto! Follow me to the stage. Amy Jo, you too."
Cameron, Ericka, and Amy Jo filed in and followed Mila past the curtains onto a huge stage. The stage marked the beginning of a long runway that was still being set up. Cameron had a million thoughts going through her head. What now? What had she done wrong? This could not be good. She knew Mila had a temper. Just yesterday a model broke down in tears and she had tore into her. The model was sent packing. This lady was terrifying at times.
This could not be good at all. Cameron noticed the looks on the faces of the two other models. Ericka, a girl who stood 5' 10'' and looked like the ethnic Supermodel Iman, seemed like she was about to cry. Amy Jo, a beautiful red head who stood as tall as Cameron's 5' 8'', looked pissed.
What was to become of them? Cameron had never been dismissed from a job, and she wasn't going to start today.
"Ladies, we need to work on your walk. You must learn your marks and the proper pacing by tomorrow. You must dress quickly. There will be no excuses."
"Miss Mila, we are trying our best." Ericka replied.
"Try- try- what is this try? I need to see you do! I do not understand how such beautiful models cannot do this. It is easy. See. You watch me."
Mila started to walk down the runway. She seemed to glide over the unfinished surface.
She stopped in the middle briefly. "You stop here for full body shot from weasel photographers in along runway".
She continued to the end of the runway. She stopped, her back to them, and posed for an audience that was not there. "You smile for the photographers here. They get close up of your beautiful faces. You cannot see me, but I am setting their cameras on FIRE!"
She walked back to them, back into a flawless glide. "Turn your head to the side and give the weasels a profile to photograph!"
She was once again before them. "See, it is easy. Do not forget this. Yes?"
Cameron saw a glimpse of red. She noticed that Mila's toe was bleeding.
Mila seemed to read her mind.
Mila pointed at her toe. She raised her foot. "If this happens, you keep walking. You do not have time for discomfort. The professional runway model deals with inconvenience after the show. This runway- it is not finished. I stumbled on a nail."
Cameron looked at her. "When did you stumble? That was perfect!"
"That is what you must work toward. I made a mistake and you never knew. You all have much work to do!"
Cameron thought about the models who always said that you didn't have to go to school to learn how to walk. Maybe they were wrong. If she were to cut her toe, she'd be obvious with all of the hopping around and screaming she would be doing. This was impossible compared to print modeling. God. It looked like half of Mila's big toenail was about to come off. Unlike print modeling, where you kept taking picture until you got the shot you were looking for, you had to get this perfect the first time. There were no second chances to fix things once a runway show began.
Mila stood in front of Ericka. She looked her over. Ericka looked as if she were in front of a firing squad. Ericka lowered her head in submission.
"Ericka, you are like gazelle. Your legs are flawless, and you carry yourself like diva. Project your grace and eloquence! You are game prize that hunters want!"
She moved down the line.
"Amy Jo, you are like European model. You look like fashion embodied into woman. You remind me of my own daughter. Surely you can do this!"
She moved to Cameron. Cameron looked her straight in the eye. She tilted her head to the side. Damn her for who she was. She braced herself for an insult.
"Cameron, there is a fire in your spirit. You are a special, special model. You are all the passions of the industry in a person. You are perhaps the most beautiful model in this city, yes? I expect you to be the best one day. All Tampa will be at your feet. Miami will scream your name in joy!
Maybe New York. Maybe Paris. There is something great about you, and you have yet to achieve it. I would like to help you begin your journey down career path!"
Cameron didn't know what was happening. "I'm sorry, but I'm just not that good at walking."
Wow. Why in the hell did she just say that? Next time, she might as well ask for a gun and shoot herself.
"You are but diamond in the rough, young one. Does a toddler apologize for the transition from crawling to walking? They do not! The toddler is happy with glee and claps loudly when they walk! Some toddlers grow strong and run marathons when they become adults."
Mila looked her up and down. She smiled. The smile seemed to mock her.
"Never, ever apologize like that again, Cameron! You will not show your weakness among those who you have not entered into trust with. Trust no strangers with your doubts. You must embrace your weaknesses and work to make them strengths while appearing strong to the others. Talent must become skill, but you must protect yourself as you transform to what the model you should become. This industry can destroy those that appear weak! Perception. Say the word. Perception! Good. Learn what it means. Perception is reality, and it is they only way that others see you before they get to know you."
Mila stepped back and looked at the three models.
"You will go home now and rest. Tomorrow you will all begin to do. I expect no less from all of you! No more of this try!"
The three models walked back to the area where the other models were. Amy Jo managed to speak to Cameron.
"I'm glad you said it and I didn't have to. Keep saying what you are thinking!"
She laughed.
Cameron began to wonder what in the hell she had gotten herself into. This show was far from a laughing matter, and it was a source of great misery for her.
The models filed out of the theater. The brick stone surface of Franklin street in the downtown area of Tampa was hot from the late afternoon sun.
She walked over to Polk street and waited for her ride.
She placed her duffel bag at her feet, leaned against a wall, and looked at her watch. She exhaled. Why was he always late? What a moron. It took moments to put her headset on her ear, and she made the call.
"Hey there. I'm finished. Are you almost here?"
She strained to listen. Reception downtown was terrible. The buildings were everywhere, and she felt like she was at the low point of a concrete and glass canyon.
"Ok, I'll be here. See you in a minute."
She removed the blue tooth head set and returned it to her purse. She watched two girls from the group of models working in the theater walk by holding hands. They ignored her. What was up with that?
The models began to cross the street. A red firebird roared up to the curb, squealing tires as it stopped. The models jumped back, and they yelled obscenities at the driver of the car.
The driver side door on the one way street was facing the curb where Cameron was waiting. She walked over to the car, and the window rolled down.
"Kyle, be careful! I have to work with those girls! Jesus Christ!"
The handsome guy in the driver seat flashed a smile. "Sorry sis! I didn't see them!"
Cameron rolled her eyes. She walked around the front of the car and climbed into the passenger side. She threw her things in the back seat. Sometimes, her evil twin brother seemed to be out to embarrass her.
"Hey, bitch, tell your boyfriend to learn to drive!" One of the models yelled from the other side of the street. The other extended a middle finger and nodded.
God, now they were yelling at her! Perhaps a city bus would hit them the next intersection that they walked across.
She settled into the leather seat, closed the door, and snapped her seat belt on. "Let's go."
Kyle pulled away from the curb at a crawl. The V8 car engine idled.
Cameron glared at him.
"What's up, Cammy?!?!" Kyle grinned.
"Are you making an extra effort to piss me off today? What's up?!? You pull up like a race car driver and leave like a geriatric. I'm not in the mood, ok?!?!"
"Sorry. I'm just picking on you. What's wrong?"
Kyle floored the Firebird. The engine roared. He had to let off and stop at a light a block away.
"It's just been a long day. Runway work is not fun."
"Hey, I did runway once. It's fun."
"Why don't you do it now?"
"Acting keeps me busy. Why don't you act?"
"Acting is something that dad would do. I like to model."
"That's why you should give it a try. You have the talent, too! The ability to act makes you a better model than most. Acting gives a model the advantage!"
"I take after mom."
"The next time you put your car in the shop on a day that you have booking, let me know so I can find something that is less hostile to do. By the way, you're welcome."
"Sorry. Thank you for the ride."
"I do have some good news for you. Ryan called today."
Cameron was not pleased to hear it.
"He called me at home? Why didn't he call my cell?"
She glared at him.
"So, that's the deal! Next time you have issues with boyfriend number 18, don't forget to not take it out on your loved ones. He probably didn't call you on your cell because he knew you were busy. I wouldn't know because I don't like the guy and I don't like to talk to him."
"What did he have to say for himself?"
"Who cares. He wants you to call him."
Cameron got the headset out and put it on. She turned it on and tapped the button. "I can do that now." The tone sounded on the headset, and she cued the voice dialer. "Ryan."
Kyle shook his head. "God, sis, your attitude sucks."
"Shut up."
She waited for the line to pick up. Her brother was being obnoxious. She had bigger issues to address.
"Hey baby, how are you doing?" Ryan greeted in his typical stoned voice.
"Great. What's going on with you?"
Kyle leaned toward Cameron and attempted to yell into her head set. "Hey number 18, what's up?!?!?"
"Tell your brother to shut his face. Asshole. Are you two really related?"
Cameron looked out the window. "Excuse me? Last time that I checked we were."
"Want to go out and hang tonight?"
"I can't. I have an early day tomorrow. It's the day before the show. I can tomorrow night."
"You always say that, Cammy."
"What was that?"
"You know exactly what I'm saying."
"Well, excuse you. I'll call you when I get home and can speak to you...." She glanced at her brother, who kept mouthing "18" to her, "Privately."
She disconnected the call and put the headset away. Her cell phone was shaking her purse. He was trying to call her back.

The morning came too early. The sun was just peeking over the eastern horizon, casting long shadows off the Lee Roy Selmon expressway that snaked through the middle of downtown Tampa. The silver MR2 Spyder sports car rolled in from the sun, pulling up to a parking slip along Polk Street, just past Franklin. Cameron got out, put some coins into a parking meter,
and got her things so she could walk over to the Tampa theater and its huge old fashioned marquee sign. The fashion show was already up on the board.
Perhaps today would be better than yesterday. Perhaps.
Mental note: This day was going to be better than yesterday.
Cameron walked into the room. Half of the models were already there. They all seemed nervous.
"Amy Jo, where's Mila?" Cameron inquired.
Amy seemed preoccupied with her conversation with another model.
"Oh, she's in a meeting. We don't start for another half hour anyway. Relax. What's your rush?"
Cameron walked over and sat in a chair that was in the middle of a row of chairs lining the wall. She was the only one seated in the room. She would sit here and watch the other girls like she always did. Her mundane routine did not last long.
A tall, slender model with her black hair up practiced what looked to be like dance moves at the other end of the room. Her hair was allowed to flow down along her cheeks, outlining a flawless face. She looked like a ballerina Barbie, and whatever it was that she was doing looked like it had taken years of practice to polish it the way it was. Cameron noticed that the other girls seemed to ignore her, too. They might have something in common. She got up out of the chair and walked through a group of models to approach her.
"I noticed those moves. Are you a dancer?"
The girl continued her steps, but looked over at her.
"I'm a choreographer and a dance instructor. This is my morning exercise. It helps me focus."
"Hi. My name is Cameron Passinault."
The girl stopped and smiled. She extended her hand.
"Valerie Long. I've heard of you. Some friends of mine have a lot of nice things to say about you. You have quite a bit of respect. Nice to meet you."
Valerie glanced over Cameron's shoulder at the other girls. She scowled.
"I noticed that these models aren't exactly social with you. Maybe you should go introduce yourself to them, too. They might know who you are."
"I already tried. Model relations isn't one of my strong points. Neither is runway modeling." Cameron shrugged.
Valerie smiled. "Why do you suppose that is?"
"My friends always tell me that I am a complicated person. I'll let you know when I figure that out."
Valerie chuckled.
"Don't worry, Cameron, I don't think that it is you. It's them. They are probably intimidated by you. Besides, these gigs aren't supposed to be social events, anyway."
"You can call me Cammy. Everyone else does when they get to know me. Which
agency booked you?"
"Ok, Cammy. Anyway, I booked myself. I do a lot of my work independently."
"Wow. Same here. How do you get your leads?"
"I network and I study a lot. There's a web site called Independent Modeling which has really helped me take charge of my career. They showed me how to manage and promote my career, and the only thing that I had to invest was the time to learn what they had on the site and apply it. I had a manager last year but I fired him. I never regretted it. So far, I've been doing a better job managing my career than he ever could."
Cameron smiled. "I use Independent Modeling every day, too. Do you use
their forms?"
"Why of course!"
"Don't you just love how agencies try to insult our intelligence when they find out that we book work without them?"
"It happens. They are just mad because it's not hard for a model with half a brain to do the same thing that a minimum wage booker can do."
Cameron looked around the room.
"How many of these models do you think are under the control of a model agency, Valerie?"
Valerie looked around, too. "I don't think, I know. Most of them are ‘old industry' models. They want everything handed to them. You have to wonder if they realize that they are not booking nearly as much as they could. Knowledge is the power, and clearly they don't have a clue."
They laughed. The other models looked over at them, a blend of curiosity and annoyance in their expressions.
Valerie took her hand again. "It's so nice that I met a model who isn't one of the sheep. I meet more and more models who are into working independently, but discovering one doesn't get old."
"What would you have done if I were one of the other models?"
Valerie walked over to her things and pulled out a sheet of paper from her portfolio case. She returned and handed it to Cameron.
"I would have given you one of these and talked to you. Even if you didn't know about working independently, I would have known that you're not dumb. You'd have listened and learned."
Cameron looked at the paper. It was a flyer for Independent Modeling!
"Hey, were did you get this?!?!?" Cameron exclaimed, "This is cool!"
"You can print them off of the Independent Modeling site, just like the forms. It's up to us to help spread the word and educate the other models on what is possible."
"That's a cool thing to try, but why do you want to help these other models? You'd be giving away our advantage and help train our competition."
"In the short term, we would be training our competition, but in the long term, it would be worth it because working independently would become more mainstream."
Cameron nodded. "You have a point. I've had a couple of go see's that became problems because I was there on their own and they spent too much time just trying to figure me out."
"Exactly! You can help your own career by helping the careers of others. If they reject the information, that's fine, because a lot of models will check it out and accept it. You know, there's another good reason to help these models, too."
"And that reason is.........."
"When I was growing up, my mother always taught me that in order to have friends, you need to be friendly. I think that you have a lot to offer these models as a friend. Why don't you go up to them again like you did to me?"
"I already did."
"No, you didn't. I've been watching you, Cammy. You seem to be distancing yourself from the others on purpose! They can tell that there is something different about you, and when you isolate yourself from the group they never get a chance to get the real information that they need from you to figure you out. So, you allow them to spread rumors about you and draw incorrect conclusions. People tend to think the worst of anything that they do not understand from fear of the unknown, and sometimes simply because nothing is more interesting than gossip. They believe what they want to believe. The lies and the rumors would take on a life of their own. Now, I'm not saying to pay any mind about what certain people think about you, as you really need to consider the source when it comes to opinions, but in this situation is would partially be your fault. It would be your fault because you never gave them a chance to get to know you. You
never tried."
Cameron looked down.
"Why were you over here by yourself, then?"
Valerie grinned. "Because most of these girls are self-absorbed bitches."
They laughed.
Valerie continued. "I know because I tried to get to know them, and that's the point that I'm trying to make. At least I gave it a try. I may have found out that my suspicions were true, but I could have been wrong. I could have missed out on meeting and perhaps networking with some really
great people if I decided to play it safe and keep to myself. The irony there is that playing it safe in regards to not trying is a false economy. If you never try you never succeed. You have to take a chance sometimes!"
Cameron realized that Valerie was making a lot of sense. "You're right."
"I learned from experience. I'm sure that you already knew what I'm telling you, but you were holding yourself back for one reason or another. Do you want to know how I handle rejection in this business?"
"There's a lot of rejection in modeling."
"It's the business. We all get rejected. It's going to happen. Person 1 loves your look and loves your book. Person 2 thinks that your portfolio is all wrong and that you have no idea what you're doing. Person 3 doesn't like your look and wants to book someone else. I learned that you cannot
take it personally. Sometimes you are what they are looking for. Other times you're not. It really can be that simple, and has no bearing on your value as a professional model or their opinion about you. They could always book you for another project in the future. Remember when I said that you need to consider the source when it comes to opinions? It doesn't mean that you try to attack their credibility and judge them. It means that there is a chance that they might be incorrect and are talking out of their ass. You have to evaluate them from what they say and see if it matches their actions. There are a lot of so-called professionals in this business who might call themselves professional but lie about their qualifications in their attempt to make money at the expense of others. I remember this girl I knew a few years back who wanted to model more than anything. She signed up for one of those teen model web sites so she could get modeling pictures
and make money. I told her that there had to be some kind of catch, as it sounded to good to be true. Turned out it was. They were paying these teenage girls all this money to sexually exploit them and sell pictures to pedophiles. Since the girls were technically not nude in the pictures, they managed to take advantage of a legal loop hole and peddle what is really legal child porn. The sick thing is that they tell the girls that this is what modeling is, and try to get them to believe it. Some do. Their parents see dollar signs and fall into it, too. It's not modeling- it is something evil that is marketed as modeling. It's too bad that these people make all modeling look bad in the eyes of people who really don't know much about the business except what they see on the news."
Cameron was transfixed on Valerie. "Ew. Did your friend do it?"
Valerie shook her head. "Thank God no. My friend asked them some questions, and they got defensive and started to yell at her. They told her that she didn't know how the modeling business worked and that she should stop wasting their time and get the hell out of the industry. They also
threatened her and said that they would tell others that she was unprofessional."
"How do you handle that? I stand up for myself all of the time, but I'm sure that it doesn't make me popular. Thank God no one has threatened me."
"If they have to stoop to using intimidation tactics and make threats, they are talking out of their Ass. If they actually had any pull in the industry, they wouldn't advertise it by making threats. They'd be quiet about it and just do it. You know what, though? If they were really professional, they would respect the model for standing up for themselves."
"You seem to have it all figured out."
"I got most of it from experience and by studying Independent Modeling."
"I know. It made me the model that I am today." Cameron looked around, "When is Mila supposed to get back?"
"Why are you so worried about what Mila is doing?"
"Well, aren't you?"
"It's just another runway job." Valerie said, matter of factly.
Just another runway job? How could she be so casual about it?
Valerie smiled. "I've been doing these for years. I trained in New York before moving to Florida. This isn't that big of a deal. I hope that Tampa gets more opportunities like this, though."
Cameron had more questions. She was very impressed with Valerie, and began to realize that she may had never known about her had she not taken the chance and walked up to her. She really had already known what Valerie had taken the time to tell her, but had difficulty applying it to all of her career. Meeting another independent model who seemed to be running with what she believed in was inspiring. Could it be that she was not alone? She could be missing out on a whole new aspect of her career, and one that she had failed to take advantage of. Friendly networking with models who were like her. How many more models like Valerie had there been in past jobs where she succeeded in ignoring people? She could no longer afford to not take chances and had to give people a chance, that much was sure. She was missing out, and she realized that she had short changed herself.
One thing was certain. If more models got smart and started booking work without an agency, Cameron's career advantage would be blunted. She would have a lot more competition.
"May I ask how old you are? You seem to have a lot of experience."
"Sure," Valerie replied, "I am 21. I've been modeling professionally since I was 16."
Cameron was surprised. Valerie might be three years older than she was, but she had been modeling for half as long as she had been. What kind of paradox was this? She seemed to have figured out a hell of a lot more than she had- or was willing to accept.
Valerie smiled. "I know you are primarily a print model. You're a damn great one, too. I've seen your work. A know of a booker who cries about you going around him and getting jobs on your own. Don't worry, you're good. Are you really that worried about runway?"
"Actually, it terrifies me. It's just not the walking. It's the pressure of doing something right the first time through with everyone watching every little thing that you do."
"I know. I understand. It's a lot different from print work. Don't worry about it. You've got the height, and I know that you can walk. You've got an aptitude for this. You just need to give it a chance. I can tell you what you need to know to make it easier, though."
"Can you?" Cameron asked. Could it really be this simple?
"Let go and let yourself have fun. Have fun! You are so career minded that you take this way too seriously. You ever play sports?"
"I played soccer until last year."
"Were you good the first time you were on the field?"
"No! Who is?"
"Were you good at the end?"
"I kicked grass."
They laughed.
"How did you get good?"
"I played the game. I played all the time."
"Is that all you did?"
"Well, I like soccer. It's a rush.
"So, it was fun?"
"Yeah. It was."
"I'm sure that you went around in your spare time and kicked around the ball just for the hell of it."
Cameron smiled.
"Yeah. That's exactly what I did."
"That's what you need to do. That's how you get really good! This is no different. If you allow yourself to enjoy this as an experience and not a job, you'll eventually get better and more confident at it. Sure, you'll make mistakes, but the key is to not worry about it and allow yourself to make those mistakes. That's how you learn! You're going to make mistakes, just like we get rejected in our careers. It's inevitable. Accept it and have fun while you work hard at it. Who cares what people think if you mess up? You're human. It's part of being human. You can be professional and human at the same time- unless you're a news anchor."
Cameron grinned for the first time in what seemed like weeks. "Thanks. That will help."
"Hey, I've seen you out there. You have talent, girl! It won't be long before you're on runways stealing MY thunder..... and Mila- Mila knows that, too. That's why she is hard on you."
Amy Jo walked over to them. She tapped Cameron on the shoulder.
"Hey, Cameron, Mila wants to see you in her office."
Cameron shuddered. "When?"
"Right now. Don't worry, I don't think that you're in trouble."
Cameron looked at Valerie.
Valerie winked.
"Cammy, don't worry about it. Go. I'll help you in any way that I can. You've made a friend in me today. Besides, we're kindred. We have to stick together."
Cameron smiled. "Thank you."
Amy Jo smiled, too. "Hey, Val, I might need your help, too. We're all having trouble. Spread some of that around."
Valerie laughed. "Why not?"

Headlights cut through the evening mist as the Spyder pulled up to the curb. Cameron got out of her car and made her way up several flights of stairs. If she wasn't already sore from rehearsals, this would push her over the edge. She got to the apartment door and decided not to use her
key. She knocked. Ryan opened the door. His normally flawless face was obscured by stubble.
It was obvious that he had not shaved in a while.
"Hey Cammy, come on in."
She followed him inside and shut the door behind her.
"Can you lock it, please?"
Cammy returned to the door and locked it.
"Expecting a home invasion, hon?"
Ryan fell onto his couch. A long neck beer bottle sat on his coffee table, scoring the glass with a puddle from the condensation. Why didn't he use coasters? She had bought him stacks of them!
Cammy was quick to think of something to do. She had to get a plan together. She had so much to do. She sat next to him.
"So, have you missed me? What's up?"
"Why does something have to be up?" Ryan sighed, fixing his gaze on a Rambo movie on the home theater. An explosion from one of Rambo's rocket launchers hitting a Russian Hind helicopter filled the silence. Cammy had a feeling that there was about to be an off screen conflict.
She started kissing him and began to remove his shirt. If there was going to be a fight, Cammy was willing to do anything to delay it. Besides, even if he was going to be a jackass, she'd at least leave a mark of her own on his neck.
Ryan pushed her off. "What are you doing, Cameron?"
"What we haven't done in a month! I know you're ready, baby. How can you resist this?"
She tore of her shirt, revealing a black lace bra that was in perfect form against tanned skin, "How can anyone resist this?" She started kissing him again. This time he didn't push her away.
"Fine. Why don't we go back in the room so I can tear your ass up?" He huffed.
Cameron moved way. Her face flushed red. She grabbed her shirt and hurriedly tried to put it back on. Some of the buttons were now missing.
"Why are you talking to me like that? What is your problem?"
"You're the one coming in here acting like a nympho!"
"Well, I love you too! God- you used to be romantic! I feel a bit crazy for once, and you can't go with it!"
"You know Cammy, maybe we're out of touch too much. Maybe we should just talk."
Oh God. Here it came. Cameron was no longer in the mood for love. She was in the mood to put a hurting on her sorry excuse for a boyfriend.
"What would you like to talk about?" She barked sarcastically.
"Remember last month when you were supposed to move in with me?"
"Yes. We decided that I wasn't ready to move in with you. I'm beginning to see why."
"No." Ryan growled, "YOU decided! You decided that you wanted to stay at home with mommy. You decided that you only wanted a key to the apartment. You decided that you needed to work more. You decided to spend less time together. It's always what YOU want to do..... YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU!!!! What in the hell is happening to US?"
Cameron stood up. She walked over to the big screen and shut it off. "Is that what this has been about? You tell me! You seem to have all the answers to what is wrong, Ryan!"
"Hey, I was watching that!"
"Whatever. How many times have you seen that stupid movie? I've lost count! That fits you, though. Your whole life, every single day, is a rerun! You know, I have had the best day that I've had this year, and I wanted to celebrate and share it with you. It was a great day, until now.
Let's do it. No more distractions! You say we need to talk. Let's talk!"
The apartment stayed quiet for a minute. Then the storm began.

The Spyder careened around a corner. Tires squealed as it moved in and out thick patches of fog. The high beams of the car kept bouncing back in pace with the fog banks, illuminating her face. Her make up was no longer perfect.
Cameron had been crying. What a shitty end to a shitty night.
"If you need to talk, you can spend the night at my house."
Cameron sniffed. A tear rolled down her cheek. Her head set was clipped to her left ear, and a rapidly flashing green light on the small device reflected from her driver side window tint. She was on the phone with her best friend.
"Jenny, I have too much to do. Thank you so much for the offer, but I'll be alright. I just need some sleep."
"Are you sure?" Jennifer asked, "You don't sound alright. With all of the issues that you two have been having, I just knew that it was going to come to you and Ryan having it out."
Cameron started to sob again. She brought the mouth piece closer to her mouth.
"Jenny, this wasn't just a fight. We can't talk anymore. I don't understand what is going on in his head. It was worse than a fight. You need to understand that we are over."

The next day wasn't an easy one for Cameron. It was bittersweet. Cameron had nailed the rehearsals the day before, and for the first time she felt that she was ready for the runway event. Valerie showed her some pointers, and they breezed final rehearsal. On the outside, Cameron was composed and focused. On the inside, however, she was a mess. Her heart was no longer into what she was doing. Her passion seemed to be gone. The other models, Mila, and Valerie didn't seem to notice, though. Cameron thought about that. Maybe they did notice, but they either were too focused on the show or they simply did not care. All that she knew is that she no longer cared.
Her heart was broken, and it tied all of the passion that she had for life together.
The lines to the theater were long, and it was filled to capacity as the people filled in. The models were dressed and ready. The stylists, make up artists, and assistants backstage were buzzing around them. Cameron could hear the announcer's voice over the audience behind the curtain. He was introducing Mila. The show was about to start, and she wondered if the audience would be able to see into her soul and discover her inner secrets and insecurities. She felt naked and alone. What was it that they said about the eyes being the windows to the soul? What did she used to read in her poetry and philosophy books about hearts and souls? What of love? Was it only a word? Well, maybe she wouldn't let them see her eyes. On second thought, that was silly. She was a model. They had to look into her eyes.
They had to see something. If Kyle meant what he said about her having acting talent, she prayed that he was right. She needed to look invincible when she was walking that runway on each pass and in each change of clothes. She had to make them believe in her.
The models were lined up in order. The clothes were organized neatly in racks, also in order. She felt a nudge in her side. It was Valerie."I have to get in line now. This is it. Just remember, Cammy, have fun. You were born to walk a runway. You're going to blow this place away!"
Cameron nodded. She managed to smile back. "We all are!"
Valerie got into line and the show began. Loud techno music thumped as Mila's voice echoed through the curtains. The models began to walk out into the light.
Cameron emerged on to the runway. It was noisy and bright. The place was packed to capacity. Photographers lined the sides of the runway, snapping away as the flashes from their camera obscured them. She began to walk, her long legs in perfect stride. Her first mark was coming up.
He doesn't love me anymore.
Cameron started to choke up. She maintained her smile and stride.
He does not love me anymore.
She stopped. Smiled. Her first pause on the runway was done. She had to start walking again in another half second.
She started walking. She reached the end of the runway, which reached into the middle of the audience. She smiled like she was supposed to. Her eyes scanned the audience. She saw the empty seat. It was where Ryan was supposed to have been.
Time seemed to stop. The music stopped. The audience was frozen. Camera's were suspended in mid flash.
He no longer loves me.
The only thing that seemed to move was a tear. A single tear. It welled up, about to spill and ruin her makeup.
Love has no meaning.
It felt like eternity. Another voice hammered in her head. It sounded like Mila.
The professional runway model deals with inconvenience after the show. Put your personal feelings aside and let the model in you do her job.
Something seemed to pop inside of her head.
Her training kicked in like raw instinct.
The beats of the music thundered through her body and camera flashes bore down on her. Time seemed to catch up to her. The tear receded back into the corner of her eye.
A new feeling engulfed her, and it transcended the emotional turmoil within her. It was powerful. She absorbed the energy around her and it shined back from her a thousand fold. She realized that for the first time in her life, she actually felt like a runway model. She owned the runway, and this was her night. Her failed relationships took a back seat to this, and she would deal with her personal issues later.
She began to laugh, letting the music inspire her. She turned and began the walk back to the last mark, ready to return to the backstage area to change out into her next evening dress.
This must have been what Valerie was talking about. She finally got it. The never ending runway would always be before her, and the crowd seemed to always edge her on. The runway event became an experience that would change her career forever, and it set a new course for the life of the model who was born beautiful.



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