“Seriously?!” Hope’s hand tightened instinctively around the phone as a wide grin stretched across her face.
She could almost hear the smile in Louis’ voice. “They loved you in that shoot back in September.” He assured her. “They’re even willing to pay almost double this time.”
“No way!” This just kept getting better and better.
Hope hadn’t been quite sure what to expect when Louis called her with another job offer. Would it be another lame advertisement for a cleaning product? A shoot for a cheesy department store catalog?
It turned out to be something so much better.
The German designer she’d done a shoot for about two months ago wanted her back again. It was almost too good to be true – she’d had so much fun on the last shoot, she’d loved the clothes, and being back in Windenburg meant she’d get to see Zayne again. How could she possibly say no to that?
“I’ll do it.” Her face almost hurt from how much she was smiling.
“Perfect!” Louis replied happily. “I’ll let them know.”
“Next Saturday, right? The 11th?”
“That’s it!” He confirmed.
“Awesome… I’ll book my flights in the morning.”
“See you soon.”
As soon as she hung up, Hope leapt to her feet, practically giddy with excitement. She crossed toward the window, looking out over the bright lights of the city and wrapping her arms around herself for a moment as she relished in the feeling of joy that washed over her. She ran her hands up and down the soft fabric that covered her arms and looked down at the city streets below.
Zayne’s sweatshirt was much too big and a little too warm in her well-heated apartment, but Hope didn’t care. She loved wearing it – it was like a warm embrace she could carry with her anywhere. And soon, she would be in his arms for real again. The thought was enough to make her heart flutter.
Seeing her boyfriend, doing a shoot that actually felt worthwhile… She couldn’t wait. And after the shitty week she’d had, Hope desperately needed something to look forward to.
She’d had not one, but two failed auditions with local designers that week. “You’re just not what we’re looking for.” It was the same scripted line they always gave, but even after all the rejections she’d faced over the years, Hope still hated hearing it.
A soft sigh passed her lips as her gaze traveled over the beautiful San Myshuno skyline. The twinkling lights of the skyscrapers, the neon signs of the bars and night clubs, the huge billboards plastered with the faces of the models she aspired to be like one day… It was all just incredible. Hope had fallen in love with that city from the moment she’d stepped off that plane a few years before.
And it used to feel like the city loved her back. Being a “fresh, new face” made finding jobs in San Myshuno so easy. Photoshoots, fashion shows… Hope had done them all. But it wasn’t long before there were fresher, newer faces catching the attention of the designers in the city. Standing out from the crowd became more and more of a challenge, and booking jobs in San Myshuno became harder and harder.
Good thing I love traveling so much. Hope thought to herself, half-amused. Traveling was what had made modeling so appealing to her in the first place, after all. And she really loved it – meeting new people, seeing new places, having new experiences… She just wished she could find some local jobs every now and then. Ones that didn’t involve hours on a plane and living in a constant state of jetlag.
Hope loved having some adventure… But she’d also love having some time to breathe too.
If only things could be easier.
Why can’t I get the same jobs here that I get back in Windenburg? She wondered sadly. And why can’t Zayne live here instead of halfway across the world? Why can’t we…
The idea hit her so suddenly. How the hell had she not realized it before?
Hope had come to San Myshuno chasing a dream… A dream of excitement and adventure and new experiences – and she’d found it. She’d had all that and then some in the years she’d spent in the city. And there’d been a time when she’d loved being there.
But not anymore.
What the hell am I still doing here?! Hope wondered.
She wasn’t finding good jobs. She wasn’t getting to see her boyfriend. She wasn’t out there doing something she loved anymore. Instead she spent so much time just waiting for something good to happen. Waiting for the right job to come along. Waiting to see Zayne again…
All the best things in her life simply weren’t there anymore. The most exciting and rewarding modeling jobs. The sweetest, most amazing guy she’d ever met… They weren’t in San Myshuno.
So why the hell was she?