Day 359 – The Smear – Part 6

This one is now complete!

Word count: 836

The morning after that night haunted her for weeks afterwards. Morning breath was thrown into her face like fire from a dragon’s breath. She was so repulsed by it, she almost threw up. His greasy skin had smeared on to her otherwise perfectly white pillows. The whole scenario made her slightly sick – the night time events had probably scarred her for life, but deep down the only thing keeping her going through it as it was happening was that it was all for the best.

Zoe left the bed and went to the bathroom. She bent down next to the toilet and forced herself to be sick – not specifically because of the man in the bed, but because this was already part of her morning routine. She then showered and dressed herself. Meanwhile the Danny was snoring in bed. She made herself breakfast and lit a cigarette, smoking it out on her balcony and drinking some freshly squeezed orange juice.

Mick called at that point. She answered.
“How did it go?”
“Very well,” she said, tapping the ashes off her cigarette.
“You’re going to be a star, Zoe, an absolute star.”

Eight weeks later the headlines hit the paper. Zoe was big news now. She was invited to all the fashion events and all the film premiers. She was an instant legend. Nine weeks later she was doing her first major nude photo shoot for a men’s magazine and she was being handed products left right and centre from the big brands, wanting her to promote them. She bought a sports car, she went to top London night clubs, she was being demanded on TV for interviews and paparazzi were lurking outside her apartment wanting to get a quick snap of her.

But all this fame and success had come from one point. Though she had been vaguely famous before she had walked into that mall, she was never going to amount to anything more. The headlines that people were writing were not about how great she was or how talented – they were about one thing only and that was the one thing about her that no one could fathom. Only Mick and herself knew the truth and that was that it was all one big set up.

The beauty and the beast: that is what she had created. Zoe was the beautiful, sexy creature that could pierce the room with her beauty. She had the fantastic figure that every woman was jealous of; she had the looks of a classic movie actress. But she did not possess one ounce of talent other than her very successful manipulative streak. It was all a show: except the audience were the ones dancing and not Zoe. They were all talking of the same thing: why was this sexy woman dating this despairing working class ugly man with spots and glasses and weight issues and a whole array of aesthetic problems?

The headlines never did leave her, even after she had stopped taking Danny to premiers and night clubs. She got tired of pretending to be interested in him and she felt more numb each time she slept with him. The violation was so normal that it barely penetrated her mind. Years later, she was still around. She still made TV appearances and tried the same thing with other men – younger men, older men, girls too: but they never had the same effect. It was the brightest moment of her career, but it was the saddest at the same time.

At fifty four she was sitting at the bar of some random place in London. Her face was still recognisable, but her body was sagging (as gravity always wins). She was on her third Martini when she took out her phone and hovered over the number on the touch screen. She had hired a private detective to find this number and three months later she still had not the courage to use it. But tonight she finally found it. She hit the button and it started dialling.
“Hullo?” the deep voice on the other end said.
“Hi Danny. How are you?”
“Who is this?”
“It’s Zoe. You know the one.”
“Oh god. Erm, hi?”
“Perhaps you haven’t thought about me in years. But I have. I’ve thought about you every day since we first met that night… I’m sorry for how I treated you. I really am. But I want to call you not to apologise – you see that’s just how selfish I am – I’m calling you for myself yet again because I wanted you to hear this… for my benefit, of course.”
“Uh okay.”
“I thought you’d make me the brightest star out there – the shiniest star out the window. Unfortunately it’s taken my thirty years to realise, though, that I was just the smudge – just the smear – on that window all along. I used you like a tool for my own end, and that was not even an achievement. Thank you for letting me say that. Goodbye.”

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~ by S.G. Mark on September 29, 2012.

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