Be Careful What You Wish For
by Maltese Falcon
by Maltese Falcon
“Mom-that man over there. He’s staring at me...us.”
Sophia turned to look. She smiled in recognition and was about to explain, when Marenka sneered in his direction. “Hey buddy! Yes you! Why don’t you take a picture? It will last longer.”
“Stop it.” Sophia shushed her. “I raised you better than that.”
The man chuckled slightly, as he stood up from his table and approached. “I certainly hope so, or our little conspiracy will end today. I cannot abide rudeness.”
Sophia blanched, as Marenka frowned at both of them in turn. “Conspiracy? For what? Mom-what’s going on?”
The man waved at the waiter, as he extended his other hand. In it was a business card. “Permit me to introduce myself. My name is Guy Leblouh. The rest is on my card.”
Marenka stared at the card, as she mumbled aloud. “G. Leblouh....Modelling Agency. Paris .”
Gasping slightly she asked. “You mean like in France?”
The erstwhile “voyeur” nodded. “The same. I see we have your attention now, miss. Perhaps we can explain...”
Sophia cleared her throat and interrupted. “Let me-please? Well honey.... this little trip to Acapulco was not really your 21st birthday gift. It was just a ruse, to get you here.”
“That is where I come in.” The stranger gestured at the empty seat. “May I?”
Once seated, he explained. “Some time ago, your mother emailed our agency; mentioning you wanted to be a fashion model, from an early age. Dite-moi, do you believe in first impressions?”
“Not really”, Marenka added.
“You should. In our business, you only get 10 seconds of runway time, to show the world what you have to offer. You need to strike a chord immediately.” He snapped his fingers high in the air for emphasis, then reached over and plucked at her hair. “You have olive skin and pure white hair. Is that your natural colour?”
Sophia blurted out “Of course. She was born that way. And it’s the same everywhere else.”
“Mother! TMI...you are embarrassing me.”
M. Leblouh stared into her eyes. They were the palest green he’d ever seen. “Yes. You have a certain exotic, almost otherworldly look. I think we can capitalize on that.”
He picked up his phone and spoke briefly. “Yes. She’s here. We might want her. Bring the documents please.”
Sophia smiled wryly, as a young woman approached, carrying a folder in one hand and what looked like a Margarita in the other.
Marenka gave the new arrival the once-over. Twenty-five years old, at most. Light brown skin, long jet black hair, Mayan features. Very short, probably less than five feet tall. She was wearing a skin-tight two-piece swimsuit, that did little to hide her voluptuous figure. Not thin, not fat, but just the right amount of softness that Latino men seemed to prefer.
Marenka noted that some of that softness may have been recent, as the suit appeared to be at least a size too small. The edge of her slightly plump belly and a couple love handles peeked over the edge of her bottoms. Meanwhile, one of her DD breasts was doing its best to escape the confines of her halter top, as she jiggled into the last empty chair at the table. Judging from her physique and her height, it was pretty obvious that this woman was not a model herself.
The suspicions were confirmed by Leblouh a moment later. The young woman was focussed on corralling the errant boob and thus remained silent.
Leblouh cleared his throat in embarrassment .“Permit me to introduce Rosa Hernadez. She is my...talent scout for this part of the world. What do you think?”
That finally got Rosa’s attention, as she motioned for Marenka to stand and made a twirling motion. Marenka did so and as she faced forward, Rosa leaned closer and gently grabbed her chin. “How tall are you?” she asked, staring deeply into the young girl’s eyes.
“6 feet-two inches at last count. Mom says I may grow a bit taller yet.”
Rosa whistled as she did some mental calculations. “1.85 metres is pretty tall already.”
“Oh dear” Marenka gasped “is that too tall?”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” She stared again into those iridescent green pupils for a few seconds and asked “Natural hair colour. No contacts-those are your natural eyes?”
Marenka blushed, then whitened a bit in anger. “All you see is how God made me! Now what is this all about...”
Rosa interrupted and with a smile looked over at her colleague. “Of course we want her.” She sat again and produced some documents from the folder. “It’s a standard agreement. Two years duration. We will be your exclusive agency.”
Marenka gaped at them both. Sensing the answer, she still had to ask. “Agreement for what?”
Rosa sighed as she looked skyward. “It’s a good thing brains are not a requirement for a model.”
“Model? Like fashion model? Ohmigod” Marenka sat gaping. “I know I’ve said that I wanted this. In fact, it’s everything I wished for. But....I don’t know the first thing about modelling.”
M. Leblouh smiled. “Be careful what you wish for, my dear girl. In any case, walking up and down a catwalk is how you Americans say it...not rocket sense.”
“Rocket science” Rosa corrected. “But he is right. No matter how much desire or talent they have, short girls like me have to be content to sit on the sidelines. 98% of women are not over 1.75 metres tall, but that’s what designers want to use for models. And you’re taller than that. The rest is easy. We’ll show you the routine.”
Leblouh took over. “This is our standard contract. You would get $500 an hour to start. We’ll see, after that.”
“$500? For an hour’s work?” ”Marenka gasped. “Is this real? Mom?”
Sophia held her hand. “I think you should trust these people. It seems they have your interest at heart.”
Leblouh sat back. “If you need time to think...”
Marenka shook her head. “Where do I sign?”
Rosa pointed out the three spots for her to either sign or initial. She then signed and dated it herself and gave Marenka a copy.
Leblouh clapped his hands “Bon. A little celebration perhaps?”
He beckoned madly for the waiter and in a few minutes he came back with a bottle of champagne and four glasses. The waiter poured out and Leblouh proposed a toast. “Here’s to a new beginning.” But Marenka did not touch hers.
Sophia glared at her. “Drink your champagne, dear. Don’t be rude.”
“No mother. I don’t drink. In any case, alcohol is too fattening. Now that I’m a professional model, I’ll need to watch my figure more than ever.”
Leblouh nodded. “I see. Well, it is bad luck to refuse a toast. Perhaps a sparkling water?”
The substitution completed, they finished their drinks and Leblouh added. “Oh. One more thing. We will need your portfolio.”
Marenka asked “What?”
Sighing Rosa explained. “You know, photos, stats. So we can send out for jobs for you.”
Sophia blurted. “I-I didn’t think.”
“I guess it would have ruined the surprise in any event.” Leblouh calmed them. “Rosa, would you mind taking Miss Derevich into the hotel and snapping a few photos?” He passed over his room key. “Get some vital statistics. We can do the rest later.”
Rosa nodded, but looked impatient at the inconvenience.
As both women disappeared into the hotel, Sophia leaned in. “Oh my God! She bought it Doctor Leblouh. She really thinks you have a modelling agency. I hope the rest goes just as smoothly.”
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