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The Shine in Those Eyes

By @maliyal89

Chapter One:

I never mind moving much.

It gives me a chance to see more of the world. To see more places. More things.

Never get attached. Not to people. Not to places. Not to things. It makes it harder to leave. I learned this a long time ago when my dad’s career first started taking off. We left our home, my mom, my friends. It was hard. But eventually, I got over it. I like to be alone anyways. Sometimes.

I was five when my dad’s career designing career took off. It was almost right after my parents’ divorce was finalized. My parents had been fighting for custody. They both would ask me who I would rather live with. I always gave them the same answer. My dad. My mom was always working, barely ever around. I never had the opportunity to create a real bond with her. Yeah, she’s my mother and I’m going to have a bond with her, but I never got the chance to create a deeper bond with her. I was always with my dad since he was a stay- at- home dad. For as long as I can remember, I’ve spent every moment with my dad. Things weren’t looking too good for him at first. But when he got his career going, the court didn’t hesitate to give him full custody.

I talk to my mom once a week if she or I have the time for it. With my traveling so much and being one of my dad’s models, I don’t have a lot of free time. Neither does she, being a doctor. We usually, somehow, end up making time to call and talk for an hour or two.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother, but I just never had a relationship with her. She always says that if I get tired of moving I could always live with her. I keep telling her I don’t mind. I like to travel. To see new places and things. I don’t think she likes the fact that we move so much. She gets worried about me because I don’t have any real friends or time to make real friends. It doesn’t bother me, though. I like being alone. Sometimes.

In a way, my dad’s… lover… is my friend. His name is Jorge. He’s always around. I think he lives with us, or he might as well. I like him. He’s been around for most of my life. I think they’re going to eventually get married. I pretty much know him like the back of my hand.

I hear a knock on my door, making me jump, creating a stray line on my sketch I had been working on. I knew it could only be Jorge. He was the only one who believed in knocking. Which means he was sending a message from my dad. I stand up from the couch and walk towards the door. I open it and, as expected, Jorge was standing there looking up at me, smiling.

“Hey, Jay,” he said, his pearly white teeth smiling up at me.

I smile. “Hey,” I reply. I couldn’t help but smile when Jorge was around. No one could help but smile when he was around. His personality created such a happy and relaxed atmosphere. That’s why I think he’s good for my dad. My dad is always so serious and stressed, but I think Jorge evens that out. Jorge lightens him up.

Jorge glances at his watch. “Your dad wants you to be down in about ten minutes. Unless you have company. The we can push it back to twenty minutes.”

I laugh and grab my coat off the coat rack. I shrug it on. “Me? Have company?” I walk out of my hotel room and shut the door behind me.

Jorge chuckles. “I should have known better.” As we start walking towards the elevator, Jorge puts his earpiece in his ear and speaks into it saying, “We’re on our way.” Oh, did I forget to mention, Jorge’s my body guard? Who would have thought that my dad would hire a body guard who was also gay? The universe was working in my dad’s favor.

As Jorge and I walk down the long hallway, more models from neighboring rooms begin to walk out with their body guards. One of the models who also walked out of their rooms was Nikoli Ballister. He’s a well- known model. By well- known, I mean internationally. Everywhere he goes, there’s a crowd. And having a crowd everywhere he went, boosted his ego like crazy. All he does is gloat about how many followers he has on Instagram, or how amazing he is. Sometimes modeling can get to a person’s head. Either makes them insecure or an egomaniac. Whichever one, it’s bad. And to believe that I used to be friends with him when we were younger. He wasn’t like this when we were ten. We both became models pretty early on. The only difference between him and me was that his dad wasn’t a designer. His dad was a model himself. Nikoli started modeling when he was eight, with his dad in his mom’s clothing line. I guess she thought it’d promote her line more. And she was right. Her clothing line blew up. She’s just as big as my dad.

We became friends when our parents were working on a project together. We were going to be the faces of the project. And like I said, my dad I never stayed in once place for long. So we stayed in L.A. for about two months. Nikoli was really quiet when we first met. And he was reserved. He always did what his parents told him. Always wanted to please his parents. He and I alone pretty well. We stayed in contact until we were about thirteen.

That’s when he let all the fame go to his head. He started to act like he was above me and my dad. How we was above everyone. He started doing what he wanted to do. That’s when he became an egomaniac. He started doing all these shoots and gigs. As many as he could get so people would see him more and he would get more fame. He’d even take the shoots and gigs that I was supposed to do.

Long story short, we stopped talking that year. I didn’t want to talk to him anymore. He was my only friend. But I would rather have no friends at all than have him as my only one. After that, I honestly saw no point in having any friends. Especially since I move so much. There’s little to no point. I don’t have time to make friends, anyway.

We reach the elevator and Jorge pushed the down button. I glance behind me. There are several models and their body guards standing behind us. And right behind me was standing Nikoli. I quickly look back at the elevator. And no, I’m not scared of him. I’d just rather not be in the same area as him. His presence irritates me. When he’s around, I get the sudden urge punch him in his porcelain face.

I clench my jaw as we wait for the elevator to reach our floor. I shove my hands into my coat pockets to restrain myself from getting the sudden urge to break his jaw.

The elevator dings. I watch the doors slide open. Jorge walks in first, with me following close behind. I hoped and prayed to Buddha that Nikoli wouldn’t dare to get on the same elevator as me.

And he dared.

Before I could tell Jorge to get off, the elevator doors slid shut. It was just Jorge, Nikoli, his bodyguard and me in this elevator. When it so could have fit more people. The other models were probably scared to get into the same elevator as him. They probably didn’t want to be in the elevator with him and me together. Everyone knew about our feud. It was always in the papers and on gossip sights whenever they caught us working the same event. Who could blame the models for being afraid? If I were them, I wouldn’t have gotten on this elevator either.

As the elevator began to descend, I feel Nikoli glance at me. I swallow hard and look straight ahead. There was so much tension between us, you could cut it with a knife.

After a few moments of silence, Nikoli decides it would be smart to talk. “Well, hello, old friend,” he says.

I give him a sideways glance, but I don’t speak. I found no need to.

“Tsk. Are you still mad at me for stealing that Gucci shoot from you? Come on! I thought we were past that.”

I look at him, square in the eye, but said nothing.

Nikoli smiled as he looked at me with his cold blue eyes. Little did he know, I could see right through him. I could see a hint of fear in the deepest depths of his eyes. Before he could come up with a smart remark, I smirk and say, “You’re right. We are.” I pause as the elevator stops on the first floor. I look at the elevator doors as I say, “Doesn’t mean we’re friends.” And with that, the elevator doors slide open. A flood of camera flashes and questions were being yelled our way. I walked out of the elevator and into the flood. I could still feel his shocked face staring at me. It felt great.

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