Pearls Of Wisdom

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Welcome to another Friday Freewrite. Some days I just need to sit down and write. Some Fridays I share what I’ve written with you.

Jeni practiced the delicate art of swinging her hips back and forth as she stabbed at the floor with her neon pink chopstick heals.

“Like this?” she asked, squinting her eyes in concentration. As she walked, a single glossy red curl managed to wriggle itself free from the loose topknot on her head. With every step it bounced back and forth, blocking her view of the makeshift runway they’d set up in her bedroom.

Her best friend Jessie sat on the bed with a fashion magazine in her hands, her two pretzel-style knees poking up into the air.

“Totally. And those shoes are killer,” Jessie said in a bubbly titter. She was sugarcoating the nasty sarcasm in her voice when, on the inside, all she wanted was to utter an offhanded passive aggressive comment or indulge in a subtle eye roll. But instead she grabbed a hand mirror off of the bed and pinched some color into her cheeks, distracting herself.

Jeni teetered over and kicked off the heals. Then she snuck a Tagalong from the plastic sleeve, popped it in her mouth, and climbed up onto the bed next to Jessie.

“I just hope that Duke thinks I’m tall enough,” she said in between bites of peanut butter coated cookie. “Compared to the others, I’m barely a sprout.” She selected another cookie and nibbled a contemplative bite into the side. After a moment of chewing, her tongue flicked out to the side and licked a wayward sliver of chocolate from the corner of her lip.

Jessie’s eyes scrutinized her own reflection in the mirror. Her hair was slick and black and held back from her exotic face by a thick braided hairband.

“If you’re really serious about this modeling thing, you might want to stick to something less fattening than an entire pack of Girl Scout Cookies, J,” she suggested, combing through her sultry brows to smooth out the hair.

Jeni’s eyes flew down to the nearly empty sleeve of cookies that was resting on the duvet by her ankles. Her eyes widened in shock and she dropped the half-bitten cookie back into the box.

“Really?” she squeaked, her voice small and largely animated by fear.

Jessie examined the surface of her stark, white manicure and flopped her own silky straight locks back over one shoulder before putting the mirror back down on the bed.

“I mean, it’s only what I would do. You’re the one who got picked up by the modeling agent in the mall this afternoon,” Jessie said with a tone of perfect nonchalance. She didn’t even need to look up at Jeni to know she had her friend’s complete attention.

“You wanna look good for him, don’t you?” she added.

“Yeah, I-” Jeni’s reply came out fast and urgent. God, she sounded desperate. Jessie had to turn away to hide her growing smile. After a moment’s pause, Jeni continued shyly.

“You’re always so confident, Jess. I’ve never even imagined doing anything like this before. Can you help me figure out how to impress him?” The desperation clung to the air so thickly that Jessie worried it would frizz her hair. She swung her legs off the bed and slid down.

“Well, first you need to ditch that look,” she said, striding over to the full-length mirror in the corner and taking in the items laid out on her friend’s vanity beside it. She extended a finger and trailed it enviously over a row of pearls. “This whole girly princess thing you’ve got going on is just so…” She waved all ten stiffened fingers in the air, like the thought itself was a discarded outfit choice. “Your whole image has to go. And we’ll start with the hair.”

She made her way over to the far edge of the table and picked up the pair of heavy silver scissors resting on top of the glass. With her weapon of choice in her hand, she turned back around to face Jeni and pantomimed chopping at the air with the metal prongs.

“Snip, snip,” she said chipperly. A fake, chalky smile was pasted on her lips.

Jeni’s hands instinctively went up into her hair, burying themselves in her messy locks.

“But, isn’t that what he liked about me in the first place?” she asked earnestly, nibbling on her bottom lip and winding her fingers deeper and deeper into her polished curls. “Remember?” she prompted Jessie. “He said that compared to your hair, mine was like a glossy rainforest after a tropical storm. What’ll he think of me if I hack it all off?”

Jessie felt the hot rage of envy begin to boil up inside of her. She clenched the scissors tightly until she felt her knuckles go white from the pressure.

“Trust me,” she said, composing her face and taking a step closer to Jeni. One hand reached out for a chunk of her friend’s most valuable asset and the other pried opened the scissors. “Would I ever lie to you?”

 

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