Story №1

PR was tough love these days. Yes, you most certainly could get anyone to do anything and everything for you, yet it was hard to make one a celebrity. Laura knew that her colleagues always claimed the contrary and pursued their clientele that money and their expertise can close the deal. She always started a conversation with a new or even potential customer from opposite matters, and still her schedule was overbooked and clients recommended her to friends and peers, and success of her projects was stunning even to her, and she definitely knew how to maneuver in this archetypal pond, thick of sharks.

The main secret of the superficial success was evident to her only, and she never closed the deal with the newcomers without confirmation of that very last, but not the least point in the contract: ultimate dedication and living the ‘fairy-tale’ reality created and implemented as their branded identity, not the life they actually wanted or depicted during the flights to the next photoshoot location. And her clients were impeccably obedient. Yet, it was not her merit at all: she just was honest, had excessively transparent and straight-forward contract, and never faked – emotions, admiration, or attitude.

That is why exactly her type of clients found Laura, listened to her and followed all her directions without a slightest doubt or questioning. They were ready from the onset of their meeting and far before that to do whatever it took to become famous and luminous on TV, social media, press – and so they gave her everything needed to go all the way: their body, their time and their energy. Yep, sounds like a devilish deal, and, to be frank, it was such one indeed. Although, it was a win-win case. Nope, actually, it was win-win-win since it worked for her, the clients she guided, and their target audience.

Everybody got what they really wanted.

– Hey, honey, – she greeted a tiny shiny artificial blonde at the entrance to extravagant building made from glass, steel and darkness.

Blonde already wore her look for the photoshoot and subsequent range of meetings with potential partners. She was a catch, indeed she was – but only due to her appearance and style that Laura has molded once. Her cold absent-minded gaze, strong resistance to smiling or any other activity that concerned expression of sincere and spontaneous positive emotions, and absolute disability of making small talk made it quite hard to promote her further that she already happened to be – hard even for Laura.

The woman knew exactly what to do with such a type of celeb-to-be – she already has raised three similar VIP notabilities and had the recipe: you just make it an exceptional unique trait and base all the promotion on it. This suffices to trigger huge amounts of energy and interest – and this is exactly the point where such gals become leading light of the industry: different, exclusive, expensive, alien. It did not exactly go that way with Lali, the tiny shiny blonde. She was the alien, she was the impeccable beauty, yet – as one of her colleagues whispered to Laura on Sunday – Lali was a perfect robotic element necessary for the industry yet rather hard to digest and accept under closer inspection. True, thought Laura, and instantly had a new plan to be executed this dusky late morning.

– I quit, – said the robotic beauty, no greeting, no emotion, no preamble.

– Why? – Laura was sincerely concerned – she saw it as a result of some evil impact, personal disaster or being pregnant all of a sudden. It never occurred to her that one of her customers could quit just like that – she gave it all to them, and no one in the whole city could offer more.

– You are not right for me. I cannot even force myself to smile when you are around. I am off.

– the tiny shiny blonde sighed, then murmured some scattered ‘thank you for your time and everything’ and momentarily left. Stumbled at the exit, inhaled fresh rainy weather outside and literally ran to her chocolate brown Mini Cooper and closed the door hastily, without regret or hesitation, not looking backward, boldly facing the new future, and that future expanded vastly behind the windshield.

Laura missed Paris, its golden vivacious days, its overwhelming beauty on each corner, its rituals and ease. Perhaps, it was time to come back now. She failed for the first time – and this artificial whimsical city never forgives your first failure. And if she is frank with herself right at this moment – it was more a liberation than a failure to her. For months now she was looking for reasons to leave Wien and relive fancy days of her blissful youth in Paris. Laura stayed there for a while, marvelling the photoshoot scene she craved for to happen for several months, made a selfie there, sent it to her profile in Insta featuring as a ‘new beginning’ and booked a flight. The whole week and two days were more than enough for her to handle all the work issues, matters of residence and saying farewell to the city which used to be her dream once. A farewell rather than good-bye, for sure.

Rain was pouring down ancient, strikingly beautiful streets. Laura smiled. Now it was time for her to live her own life. Only now she realised the whole truth of her success: not only her customers signed the contract with that devilish clause at the end: to live the reality created and implemented as the branded identity. She did the same. It was time to stop.

The chocolate brown Mini Cooper was still there when she exited the building. Laura smiled and approached the passenger side. The window slowly slid down. Lali had tears in her eyes and smile on her perfect plump lips. Incredible – two most significant emotions at once, Laura thought and marvelled it for a second or two.

– Thank you for letting me go. It was the decision of my life – and I was never good at decisions, I really wasn’t – even when I had to choose between a latte and a cappuccino. So thanks.

– Welcome, – Laura felt herself smiling and blinking fast enough so as not to burst in tears. Her feelings were too close to Lali’s ones now.

– Could we be friends now, or something?

Author: Mila Sol