Sandi sat in the make-up chair, listening to the sounds of the hustle and bustle around her. She could hear the photographer, Emmanuel, cursing about something or other in his native tongue. Even though her eyes were closed, she smiled at the familiar image in her head of him throwing papers up into the air and gesturing wildly with his hands. "Stop moving your face missy!", Adeera, the make up artist huffed.
"Sorry Dee", Sandi apologised. "Will you be quiet, you know I've got limited time to make you beautiful and its hard enough already!" she teased playfully. "But, seriously, is everything okay? You seem a little distracted. . .", Dee trailed off. "I'm fine", Sandi said with conviction. Truth was she was anything but, but she wasn't about to tell Dee that, not there anyway.
She trusted Dee to keep her secrets, they had become firm friends over the years, but people on fashion sets had a way of silently tuning into any sort of gossip and she could do without all of that. "Okay. . . You know I don't believe you but whatever. We'll talk later", Sandi smiled again and stuck her tongue out. "Do that one more time French!", she threatened but the smile on her face could be heard in voice. "Ok, last touches. . . Done", she said matter of factly.
"Am I gorgeous?" Sandi asked, crossing her eyes and sticking her tongue out. "Always", Adeera replied, doing the same back. "Get outta here", she laughed, shooing Sandi towards the set. As she walked onto the set, she realised what Emmanuel had been cursing about, he'd wanted a white back drop but it had been green. As usual he'd gotten what he wanted. He air kissed both of her cheeks, exclaiming in French how beautiful she was. "QUIET ON SET!", Tom, the assistant director bellowed. Sandi took her place, posed, and Emmanuel snapped the picture from behind his computer. Technology was such that the photographers didn't even have to look into the camera any more. Just press a button and the image was uploaded straight from the camera to the computer screen.
"Non, Non. NON!" Emmanuel exclaimed. "What? What is it?!" Tom asked, incredulously. "The white background, it is too much!! Change it, immediately! Green, we must have green!! Maintenant! Se hâter!!" Emmanuel shouted, his strong accent clear.
Sandi bit back a laugh as the lighting guy helped her up. Emmanuel was a fantastic photographer, one of, if not the best, but he was as indecisive as a child in a toy store on Christmas day. She walked over the mirror and gently dabbed at her face with a sponge, not wanting her make up to smudge, it was hot under all of the lights.
Before she knew it, Tom was calling her back to set. The murderous expression on his face was clear for all to see except Emmanuel, he was oblivious, as usual, and as usual, oblivious to the fact that he was the cause of it. "Ah perfectionner! Nous pouvons commencer dès maintenant. . . What is wrong with you Tom? Come on, we have work to do!", He ordered, snapping his fingers twice. If looks could kill, Sandi was sure Emmanuel would have been at least six feet deep by now. She pushed back a smile and walked back on to set as Tom called for quiet a second time. "TAKE TWO. . . ACTION!".
She saw the other models on set whispering about her and Emmanuel using her as the face of his Simarni Campaign but she blocked them out and did what she did best, worked it. In the modelling world, she should have been classed a curvy model but outside of it, she was an average build and size. Not that she cared, she preferred a little extra cushion to skin and bone any day of the week, and so did Emmanuel, he loved the fact that she had a pin up curves, endless legs and a carefree attitude to match but she guessed that her 'take me as I am' attitude drew people to her and her curvaceous body didn't stop her landing jobs. A number of times designers had altered their clothes to fit her because they just had to have her in their shows.
She changed poses a few more times, and had her make up touched up but it wasn't long before Emmanuel was proclaiming that they had the shots they needed. Sandi didn't bother to change her clothes, she threw a sweater over the catsuit, swapped her heels for some jordan's, pulled a cap low on on and headed out of the door. She had a stop to make before she went home and the last thing she wanted was anyone seeing her do it.
As she dried off, her mind wandered back to the shoot she'd done earlier and then to where she was right at that second. Her life at the cramped house was a long way away from the high fashion world she worked in but she liked it. She wasn't a student but she'd still gotten to experience it with her friends somewhat. It wasn't hard to find her name in celebrity magazines these days but she'd always tried to keep her friends clear of them and so far, so good. Mortimer had given her some really good advice on that, he would know better than anyone with his dad being who he was.
She squeezed some lotion onto her hand and moisturized, taking care not to irritate her already sore skin any further. Pulling on her favourite sweater and knee high socks she looked at her new purchase one more time. Taking a deep breath, she bit the bullet and did it. A few seconds later she sat on the floor, knees up to her chest, waiting.
When the press had got wind of her dating Malcolm it had been front page news for a while, he was a celebrity in his own right as he stood to inherit millions from his father's medical practice but that wasn't why she was with him. No one saw him the way she did. Like when he was up at four am, stressing out as he finished an assignment, or when she'd give him pop quizzes on the effects of antihistamines on someone in anaphylactic shock, or when he'd say the silliest things just to make her laugh. The sound of his bedroom door closing drew her back to the present and her current situation. She squeezed her eyes shut, nerves threatening to bring up the contents of her stomach. She guessed it had been long enough now. Biting the bullet, she opened her eyes and looked.
When she walked into Malcolm's bedroom a few minutes later, her head was all over the place. She opened her mouth but one glance at Malcolm stopped her. He was sitting on the edge of his bed, head in his hands, looking like a lost little puppy.
"Malc what's up?", she asked, concern seeping into her voice as she walked over to him. He didn't answer her for a few seconds and she didn't push him as she sat down slowly next to him, putting her arm around him as he let his head rest on her shoulder. He spoke eventually. "I went home, to see mom. Only she wasn't there. Dad was, absolutely wasted", he spat in disgust. Sandi sensed this wasn't all so she stayed quiet. "She left him. She actually left him. For someone else", Malcolm laughed. Sandi heard the disbelief in it. "How do you feel about that?" she asked cautiously. "Elated. Seriously, I couldn't be happier for her", he smiled genuinely but Sandi heard the tint of sadness to his voice. "... What happened Malc?" she asked tenderly. He sighed and pulled her backwards onto the bed wrapping her in his arms. "If I ever turn into a heartless bastard promise you'll tell me?", she was about to protest that it would never happened but she knew this wasn't the time. "Promise", she replied. She felt his body relax.
"She called me when I was there, and I answered the phone, he must have heard her voice. . . next thing I know he's snatched the phone off of me, and he's calling her all the names under the sun, I mean some really vile stuff I don't even want to repeat. . . anyway, I had enough, I snatched the phone off of him, he started yelling at me, so I told mom I'd call her back and hung up. We get into screaming match, he. . . he shoved me and I fell". It took every ounce of willpower Sandi had not to jump off the bed and go and find Geoffrey Landgraab herself. Malcolm must have sensed it as he held her a little tighter.
"It's ok I'm fine, I got up and shoved him back, hard. Told him he was a sorry excuse for a husband and a lousy ass father. He punched me at the same time Mom and her boyfriend broke into the house. Her boyfriend was all over him in a second. Next thing I know, there are squad cars outside, lights flashing, sirens blazing and he's being put into the back of one. Turns out mom's knew beau is pretty high up in the police force. I thought I'd hung up but I hadn't and they'd heard the whole thing, he called for back up and they raced over to dad's". Sandi thought he'd have been happy about his dad being locked up but he clearly wasn't.
"What's bothering you?" she asked. Malcolm took a deep breath before answering her. "It's just, in the back of the car, he looked so frail and well, lost, but I couldn't bring myself to feel bad for him. I couldn't bring myself to feel. . .anything, but, he's still my dad, does that make me a bad person?", he asked. The vulnerability in his voice along with the evident hurt and confusion had Sandi close to tears. She held it together for Malcolm's sake, but God help Geoffrey Landgraab if she ever saw him.
"No, it makes you human", she didn't hesitate to respond. "Anyways, what's on your mind?" Malcolm asked, catching her off guard. He knew her too well, she knew better than to deny it. "I thought I was pregnant, but I'm not", she said. "And you're disappointed, I can hear it in your voice", Malcolm said, linking his fingers with hers. She couldn't lie if she wanted to. "Yes. . .I am", she answered thoughtfully. "I thought you were too, but I didn't want to say anything until you were ready", Malcolm said. "What? How?", Sandi asked. Malcolm laughed and looked into her eyes.
"I had my suspicions, but when Kaci made her famous pumpkin pie and you said you couldn't eat it, they were confirmed". Sandi nodded slowly. "Are you disappointed?" she asked. "Very. There's nothing I'd like more than some mini me's running around, but in a way, I'm relieved. I'd like a few more years after college is finished, alone with you. So I can really enjoy it. I'm not ready to share you just yet, besides, when it's meant to happen, it will. Everything for a reason", he smiled, kissing her forehead.