Proving your Potential

Submitted into Contest #47 in response to: Suitcase in hand, you head to the station.... view prompt



“You’re so fat! He’s never gonna like you! You take up too much space! Only skinny girls are pretty!”

You closed your eyes to let a few tears roll down your cheeks as you thought back to all the insults you had gotten about your weight in the past.

You raised your fleshy arm to check the time on your watch. 7:00 AM. It was time for you to board the train.

You stepped onto the train, silently saying goodbye to the city that had always given you so much hate.

Your name is Eva. The rest of your name doesn’t matter.

You don’t know where you’re going. All you know is that you never want to come back here ever again.

You sat on your seat and looked out the window as the city and its people quickly passed you by. You felt as if you pushed the fast forward button on a remote while watching the movie of your life.

“Nice day out, isn’t it?” you heard someone say.

You turned to find a very handsome man sitting across from you on the train.

You curtly nodded, studying him.

He seemed to be in his mid-thirties. His brown hair was slicked back and his piercing blue eyes stared into your gray squinty ones.

“You seem a bit young, traveling on your own like that. Where are you going?” he asked you.

“How do you know I’m alone?” you asked.

“I see no one around you.” he pointed out.

You sighed and shook your head.

“I don’t know.” you said.

“Then, why are you on this train?” he asked.

“You make a good point.” you said.

“What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” he asked.

“I don’t know. I’m only eighteen.” you said.

“Running away from home?” he asked.


“Time goes by fast. Soon, you will regret not having lived your life to the fullest.” he said.

“I want to be a model.” you blurted out.

You don’t know what came over you but you just said it.

The man looked at you. You would have mistaken his expression as blank if you hadn’t seen his eyebrows ever so slightly raised upward.

“You want to be a model.” he said slowly as if letting the words sink in.

You silently stared at him in response.

“Well, then you’ll have a lot of work to do.” he said.

“Tell me something I don’t know.” you said sarcastically.

“My name is James Quentin and I am a talent agent. I look for people whose goals and ambitions are similar to yours and I help them pursue their dreams. If you want, I can help you pursue yours.” The handsome man said.

“What guarantee is there that you’re not looking for a girl to dance to your own tunes?” you said.

You had heard stories like that, where young women trusted men to help them get famous and got used in the process.

“You are eighteen years old. I’ll let you make your own decisions.” James said.

You nodded, considering his proposal.

“Where are you going?” you asked.

“Carrousel du Louvre, Paris for fashion week, of course. If you want, I can take you with me.” he said.

You were on a train, not knowing where you would go a minute ago, meeting a handsome stranger and agreeing to go to Paris with him. Yeah, that sounded pretty sane to you.

“You can also study all the models that will walk on the ramp during the week and we can start your makeover and training once the week is over.” James said.

“Speaking of which, I never got your name.”

“Does it matter?” you said, bitterly.

“You’ll have to make an identity for yourself once you’re famous.” James said.

“Eva.” you said.

“What is your full name?” James asked.

“Evangeline Rose Smith.” you said.

“Evangeline Rose. That would sound beautiful.” James said, thoughtfully.

“I can help you live up to your name.”

Six hours later, you were in Paris. James helped you with your luggage and called for a taxi for the both of you to go to a hotel.

One hour later, you arrived at Hôtel La Bourdonnais. The hotel looked so beautiful and took your breath away.

“Come, Evangeline.” he said and helped you pull along your luggage.

You walked into the hotel lobby and were awestruck by the grandeur of it all.

“Two rooms, please. May I have them side by side?” James asked the front desk attendant.

“Certainly.” the woman said.

“May I have your ID card? How would you like to pay for the rooms?”

After the rooms were paid for, James and you went into your respective rooms and unpacked.

You were finally done unpacking and were about to take a short nap on the double sized bed, when you heard a knock on the door.

You opened the door to find James standing there.

“I was wondering if you had anything suitable to wear for Fashion Week. Appearance makes a great impression, you know.” James said.

“Will it matter? No one will recognize me.” you said.

“You never know whose face that camera will capture.” he said.

“Paparazzi love to take pictures of anything and everything at these types of events.”

You quickly became self-conscious of yourself.

“Don’t worry. I can help make you look presentable.” he said.

“We have four days until the event. Can I see your wardrobe?”

You opened it and let him see.

“No, this won’t do. This will catch too much attention. That’s not suitable enough.” James said as he looked through your clothes.

“I will contact my designer and have her come over to see you tomorrow. Until then, are you hungry?”

You nodded and stepped out of the room with him, locking the door with the key card behind you.

Paris was a beautiful place to be. You would have enjoyed your trip here more if you were in other circumstances.

There was so much to see from the Eiffel Tower to the Notre Dame Cathedral to the Palace of Versailles and so much more but you were sure you could do the sight-seeing on your own some other time.

James called up the taxi driver and the both of you were on your way to a restaurant called Chez La Vieille for some lunch.

The ride to the restaurant was a silent one as you watched James check his phone, type in text messages, leave or return voicemails. You were sure he had a lot on his plate as a talent agent.

James and you were soon at the restaurant and James paid the taxi driver his fare. He held the door open for you as you walked inside.

The both of you chose a table to sit at and a waitress came over and handed you both menus.

She asked you both what you would like to drink.

“Water, please.” James said.

The waitress seemed to force herself to turn in your direction. You couldn’t blame her. James was really handsome!

“Coke, please.” you said.

The waitress nodded and left.

You looked at James in curiosity. There were so many questions to ask him about himself, but then again, you had never told him much about yourself.

James looked up from his phone to look at you. You quickly turned away in embarrassment.

“What is it? Is there something wrong?” James asked you.

You shook your head.

“It’s just that I’m really curious about you, but maybe I shouldn’t ask you any questions.” you said to him.

“Why not?” James said.

“If you’re curious about me, ask away. I won’t mind answering your questions.”

“Are you married?” you blurted out.

Okay, maybe that was too personal but you couldn’t help but wonder.

“No, I have been divorced twice.” James answered.

“Why?” you wondered out loud.

“Personal reasons I choose not to share. Any other questions?”

“Will you ever get married again?”

“Perhaps, I will if I find a suitable lady for myself.”

“Do you have children?”


“How long have you been a talent agent?”

“Five years.”

“Don’t you have any questions for me?”

James looked at you thoughtfully.

“I do but I won’t ask if you won’t feel comfortable answering my questions.”

You nodded and could only wonder what he would ask if you wanted to answer his questions.

Maybe he would ask you why you ran away from home, why you wanted to be a model or what else would you had done with your life if the situations were different.

Maybe, your answers wouldn’t matter now that you were here in this moment.

The waitress soon gave you both the menu, took one glance at James and left.

“Did you notice the waitress looking at you?” you asked him.

“Perhaps she thinks I’m attractive.” James said.

“Are you used to it?” you asked.

“Ever since I started growing into my looks at the age of seven, I grew from being a cute little boy to an attractive teenager to a handsome young man. My ex-wives have told me they had never come across a man more handsome than me.” James said.

“Were your ex-wives beautiful?” you asked.

“In their own way, they were.” James said and shook his head.

“Can we please change the subject of our conversation?”

You nodded but couldn’t help but wonder more about his personal life. Had his wives cheated on him? Had he and his wives fallen out of love? What had caused his divorces to happen?

James looked down at the menu.

“Would you mind if we shared The Blanquette De La Vieille?” he asked you.

You looked down at the menu to find that the meal included veal, rice, mushrooms, carrots, apricots and almonds.

“Okay, that sounds good.” you said.

“Can I call you James?” you asked.

“What else would you call me?” he asked.

“Mr. Quentin?” you said.

“You can call me James, Evangeline.”

“You can call me Eva.” you said.

“I can, but I like your name.” he said.

“Thanks. I have a question.” you said.

“I’m listening.”

“You’re paying for my hotel room and maybe you’ll pay for everything else. I know nothing in life ever comes for free. There’s a price to everything. What is the price that I’ll have to pay for everything you’re doing for me?” you said.

“You can reimburse me once you start getting paid as a model. Don’t forget about me.” James said.

“I won’t.” you said.

The waitress soon laid the both of your meals out on the table.

“Bon appetit.” The waitress said and left.

Your mouth watered as you looked down at the delicious-looking meal.

“Here, take as much as you want and I’ll have the rest of it.” James said, pushing the bowl of soup and plate of rice towards you.

“Thank you.” you said and scooped out some soup into my bowl and some rice into your plate.

James took his share and soon the both of you began eating.

“This is delicious.” you said as you ate.

“Isn’t it? I come here with my friends and family all the time.” James said.

“I was thinking about us going window shopping after we are done eating.”

“Why?” you asked.

“So you can get ideas on what kind of outfit you would like to wear for fashion week.” James said.

“I know the perfect place we can go to.”

“Where?” you asked.

“Westfield Les 4 Temps. It’s a mall that has all the latest trends and styles from clothing to accessories.” James said.

“That sounds perfect. Let’s go there.”

We were soon done eating. After James paid the bill, we called a taxi and were soon on our way to the Westfield Les 4 Temps mall.

You chose to go to the stores with all the top name brands that you knew of such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Cartier, Chanel, Fendi, Versace, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, and Givenchy.

You walked into the Gucci store and looked around. You found the women’s power suit area and decided to explore.

“This would look perfect,” you thought as you took your cell phone out of your purse and took a picture of a black power suit with vertical thin white stripes on it.

You looked around in the other stores as well and finally after much debating on what to wear; you chose the black power suit.

You looked around in the other stores for other types of power suits and decided on silk, sequined, floral print, embroidered and leather power suits and took pictures of them.

“Got any ideas?” James asked when the both of you met up.

You nodded and showed him the pictures you took on your cell phone.

“Those are some good ideas. I will have Violet, my designer come over tomorrow and have a look at these pictures to see what kind of power suit would look best on you.” James said.

“In the meantime, what do you say about having some dinner before heading back to the hotel for the night?”

“Okay.” you said and followed him along.

The both of you dined at La Table de Colette and as before the both of you shared the meal.

“Thank you for today.” you told James as the taxi parked outside of the hotel.

“It was what I had to do.” James said.

You nodded, remembering that you had to pay him back once you began earning money as a model.

“I will be expecting you in the breakfast room at 6:30 AM tomorrow.” James said as you unlocked your hotel room door.

“Why?” you asked.

“Violet will be meeting up with us for breakfast at that time. After that, she will take your measurements to design your outfit. Then, you’ll meet up with Madeline, your personal fitness trainer and dietician. You’ll start training with her every day to look good for your modeling portfolio.” James said.

“Okay well, have a good night. Thanks for everything.” you said politely.

James gave a curt nod before the both of you went into your respective rooms.

You woke up the next morning to your alarm ringing at 6:00 AM. You groaned and pushed the snooze button. You hadn’t been able to get enough sleep due to feeling anxious about today.

You figured ten minutes of extra sleep wouldn’t hurt you. Those ten minutes of extra sleep soon turned into thirty minutes.

You woke up again to hearing a knock on the door.

“Are you ready, Evangeline?” you heard James call.

You groaned as you looked at the time on the alarm clock. It was 6:30 AM.

“I’ll be there in ten minutes.” you said pathetically.

“Violet and I will be waiting for you in the breakfast room.” James said.

“Okay.” you said and got out of bed.

You quickly brushed your teeth and threw on a pair of jeans and t- shirt. You slipped your feet into toms and tied your hair into a ponytail.

You grabbed your purse and used the elevator to get to the breakfast room.

You arrived to see James talking to a pretty woman with short blond hair and dark blue eyes. She soon turned to you and smiled.

“Hello, my name is Violet. James has told me all about you. Your name is Evangeline Rose, right?” Violet said.

You nodded, taking in her appearance. She was dressed in a ladylike manner. It was no wonder that she was a fashion designer.

You showed Violet the pictures that you had taken from yesterday at the mall and showed her which outfits you had liked best.

“You would look good in a black power suit.” Violet said.

“We would need to make a nice top for you to wear with your suit. I think a royal blue silk peplum top would look good with your suit.”

“Okay.” you said.

“I’ll go make myself some pancakes and waffles and then we can talk more about my outfit.”

“I’m sorry but you’ll only be eating a banana for breakfast from today onwards.” Violet said.

“What? Why?” you asked.

“Do you really want to be a model?” Violet asked you.

You nodded.

“Then, you’ll have to do what it takes to become one.” 

After eating only a banana, Violet and you went up to your hotel room so she could take your measurements.

After the measurements were done, Violet told you that the outfits for fashion week would be done in four days.

You soon met up with Madeline in the hotel gym.

Madeline was a toned woman who looked tough. She looked a little intimidating but you knew you would have to deal with her if you wanted to look good as a model.

“Hi, Evangeline. We’re going to start the day off with some hot yoga. Are you ready?” she asked.

“I guess so.” you said.

“Good.” she said.

You watched as Madeline placed a mat on the wooden floor of the gym and put a folded towel over it. She then handed you a small towel and a water bottle to keep yourself hydrated.

“Thanks.” you said, taking it from her.

You changed into a tank top and leggings in the locker room and began the hot yoga training with Madeline.

It was an uncomfortable experience at first but soon you got used to it.

You did hot yoga for about fifteen minutes, ran on the treadmill for ten minutes and then did weight-lifting for another ten minutes.

You only had protein bars for your meals which made your stomach satisfied, but left your tongue craving for more food.

It was the most difficult time of your life but as they say no pain, no gain.

Five years passed by, and after many head and body shots, and free commercial modeling; you found yourself finally walking down the ramp of a Paris Fashion Week Show, making $1,000 per show.

June 26, 2020 19:53

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