5 – It's Big Time for Us
Terrance jumped at modeling with his sister... Now he's caught up being s model... The Slade Sister are caught up in a mystique of their own creation..
The Host, Mister Daniel Blessing asks us up on stage and then asks, “What’s your first reaction to being asked to model tomorrow?” Attie responds, “We turned and hugged each other and then we pinched the butt of the other. Since we both felt a pinch, we know it’s not a dream. But it is still unbelievable.”
I said, “I’m so grateful to be named, I thought Cyndi Tigress had done especially well along with others this evening. Being named instead of them comes as a great compliment to how we must have done modeling.” There is a Marietta Loos who’s one of the judges. We can see her affirming my judgment.
“You are quite right, it was no easy decision and it is very unusual to find two models closely related evenly matched in looks and the professionalism you displayed in modeling. I do wished we had extended the full ten possible invitations. We felt advancing three from this morning however might have discounted the event and the quality of tomorrow’s group in the eyes of others.”
Judge Mason Williams said, “There were five in the running for the remaining two and we could only narrow it down to three. Ultimately, we decided to cut the invitations off at eight.”
A reporter asked, “Why didn’t the fact that one of these two is either a boy or a transgendered girl not discount them?”
Marietta said, “If that would be true or if she was modeling with that cloud over her and she did so well. Well the judges considered either way, she rose above the pressure and she was better as a model for it.”
We are back up to our room with Aubrey’s help getting ready to go to the reception. Our room is up on the twelfth floor, but there’s a drone outside our windows. Aubrey quickly begins pinning curtains shut, suggesting someone trying to get our pictures. Eva pushed me into a shower and told not to come out until Mom says. The suite is quickly secure, and I am out refreshed and dressing.
“Momma, what if Hattie and I both wear Marcus’ dresses without our bras.”
Hattie turns to Mom, “Mom, I know we’re young, but as models it’s a great idea.” It is not as dramatic as it sounds. Aubrey uses button extensions of three to six inches. We’re barely show anything.
The dresses we change into are multicolored satin and we come off looking like 20 year olds with how Aubrey works our hair, makeup and jewelry. We are announced upon our arrival, to those who are listening. Jan is one of our best supporters and she seems happy to share the night with us. Being in one of Aurei’s gowns sets her off as someone special. When Aurei comes to our gala she is happy to see how Jan looks in her gown. Attie and I are tickled to see her and many others that we consider very special. Marcus arrives ten minutes after Aurei.
The extensions for the open front of our gowns are part of his design. He had even taken that into consideration with the dresses he had sent for us to wear.
It is fun to have Kent and Roger as our escorts and to dance with as they’re both nineteen. Mom had said, we couldn’t go out dancing when the celebration here ended. Roger came up with the idea that we duck out after 11:30 and be back before we’re missed. It was not his fault that our mother wanted to introduce us to someone shortly after midnight. Attie enjoyed the time dancing, while dancing as a girl and with Roger was all new and very exciting for me. However, dancing with a boy did feel fairly weird. Hattie and I were pretty sure he didn’t realize I’m a boy.
Mom was very angry that we had gone out without her know.
We had missed our first opportunity to meet George Goldfarb of Maurice’s. Lisa Harper of Belk seemed enthused to see us. Our Lawyer
Halley Roberts comes back with Mr. Goldfarb. They’re offering a contract that would tie us to Maurice’s in the Midwest and Belk out of the Carolinas for the next eighteen to twenty-four months. Marcus says, “Both Aurei and I will be free to contract with you for photo shoots. We are designing a minimum of three more dresses or outfits for youth that we want you to model in the coming year.”
Halley says, “Tomorrow you will be paid at the rate of $300/hr. with a minimum of four hours. You need to be ready to meet reporters as early as 7:30 in the morning. You will be part of the opening Parade of Models and Fashion to begin at 10:00 a.m. After that you will each model a minimum of five times during the day. If you model over five outfits, it means the judges have given you very favorable scores.”
Attie says, “That shouldn’t be very difficult as both Mason Williams and Maria Loos already are our fans.”
Mom gets our attention, saying, “Tomorrow’s judges will all be new and likely harder in their scoring as this is for professional models of national and the world class.”
I agree with Attie, “We need not worry. We have already exceeded expectations.”
Lisa Harper speaks up, “You do not want to relax yet; you need to show that you are worthy of being extended a special invitation. Whether you’re motivated by money, the accolades of your peers or as a model. You should motivate yourselves to do as well as you can. The clothes will be worthy of being shown in New York City.” Lisa asks, “Have either of you seen my gown the Blue Angel Ascending?”
My mouth drops open as I have, but I’m speechless. Attie’s the cool one saying, “We know and have dreamt of wearing it why?”
“One of you will wear that and the other a new creation being shown the first time here.” Lisa says, “You two need to run along and get as much sleep as possible.”
Constance comes up to make sure the gowns are properly taken care of. With makeup removed and my skin cared for I take a quick shower. Even sleeping here I stay in girl mode. And as a teen girl I’m lying awake picturing in my mind what I or Attie might look like in Harper’s Blue Angelic dress. Sadly we both conclude it will be better for Attie, but then I wonder about Lisa’s other dress. A vivid picture comes to mind it is a flowing gown of a red dress with chiffon tooling of red, yellow and… I wake up from the vision as I realize I’m wearing it with four inch platform shoes.
I must have made a noise as Attie looks over at me from her bed. “What’s up Teri?” I told her of my dream. She too had thought she would look best in the blue dress. She was both excited for her and worried how I would react. We get up and role play our modeling the dresses. Attie is the one who comes up with this neat idea of me coming from the back of the hall and she down the runway and us meeting at end of the runway. Both gowns are described and given full treatment.
We love the idea but know it would be unlikely to show them off that way. The critics would take away from one gown or both that way. A designer would not want the criticism to take away from either gown.
Attie asks me, “Teri are you a giddy as I am? We’re two of the luckiest girls. I almost wished our classmates knew we’re the Slader Sisters.”
We’re kind of sisters but not. I tell her, “I’m scared, I don’t want to mess up. I’m afraid of being clumsy and Terrance discovered in a dress and looking like a silly boy.”
Attie calls me to her bed, tapping it next to her. “I’ll watch after you; you’ll be very good. Tomorrow, we’re sisters enjoying ourselves, we’ve practiced for this too many times. Tomorrow, maybe Mom will allow us to go to dinner tomorrow night with Roger and Kent. That’s if we do well.”
I say, “But I’m not really a girl, I shouldn’t.”
Attie’s looking me directly in the eye, “But Teri likes being out with Roger, doesn’t she?” I don’t answer her. “You don’t have to kiss him in public. And you can justify being out with him as part of Teri’s image. When you’re my our other girlfriends I know you daydream, like what if I were one of the other girls. You see yourself as a girl and that didn’t just start.”
I want to argue and deny it, but Attie and I both know it’s true.
Neither remembers when we fell asleep, but it was 5:00 a.m. when we were awoken with a call from Aubrey, another from mom. It was no trouble to wake up as we’re excited for today. Teri’s voice is now automatic, but Terrance’s voice isn’t and I tell Attie. “Don’t worry about it Teri, your body is just so focused on modeling. Let’s focus on modeling and tonight we can worry about Terrance’s voice. You’re still my brother first.”
We’re down to the restaurant and it’s open early. All either of us get is some yogurt and fruit. Mom gets each of us a power bar for later. We’re ready for an early interview as Aubrey went all out in making us up and doing our hair. The outfits are supposedly like one we will model today, but not the same. Aubrey says, they’ll do a survey right after the interview to measure viewer reaction. The actual dresses we’ll model are to go into production soon after this fashion show and before their national showing in the Big Apple. We are one of three shows that their popularity will be measured at; she was told.
Lisa Harper is ahead of us on our show and we come out modeling two of her creations. They are pretty and seemingly people like us and the dresses. We look like the fifteen year-old twins that we are. We’re elated with the reaction of the crowd.
We’re asked by Florence Triers of her Chicago based show, “Isn’t Teri’s quandary over gender identity kind of childish?”
Attie says, “What’s childlike is our dream of being here. Teri and I since we were five dreamt and pretended things like this. We’d both get into our mom’s or older sister stuff and pretend we were showing ourselves off.”
“I wasn’t as girly as Attie except when it came to dressing up and pretending about a day like today.”
Florence our interviewer says, “You’ve been teasing those watching you flirting with two images that have people guessing whether you’re a girl or a boy. And now you’re indicating Teri’s a shy Tomboy who all of a sudden is able to walk a fashion runway before thousands of people, and hundreds of thousand viewers.”
“I am the shy one of us two, but on days like today I focus on doing the small details of modeling. And I find myself able to speak to you, walk in front of cameras and audiences. It’s because I know it’s the beautiful clothes I’m wearing that people are watching. If I don’t do a good job modeling you’ll soon be onto others and I’ll probably become worse.”
Lisa quickly says, “I can vouch that in working with them, they are two regular teen girls. It’s a joy to work with girls so eager. Their sponsors did well in bringing them here and giving them a chance to model before larger than usual crowds here at Indianapolis. It’s a big thing for them and I dare say they have bigger days ahead.”
Florence says, “Isn’t that because of the mystique of the hype created around them.”
“The unique hype as you say,” Lisa’s emotions are building, “is that here you have twins. They look alike and are fairly pretty is not that unusual. That they both model and relate to the audience so well that is what professionals and the average viewer are excited about. I for one find their joy as girls and discipline as models touch people in ways that draws their interest.”
All the nice things being said along with being in front of TV camera’s is causing me to fidget. I’m afraid if we’re on longer I will need to go to the women’s room. Going to commercial and I run to find a restroom. The men’s restroom was twenty five feet closer, but I never considered it. And I a missed the plea of the woman behind the curtain to use the show’s toilet way closer than the other two.
It takes added time and trouble to work through the clothes so I could pee and all the more work in getting back together. Thankfully Lisa had another set of outfits for us to change into. My hair was changed to a fancy ponytail, to go along with the simplicity of the skirt and ensemble.
A young toddler made her way onto the set and to me as I finished up. People after the toddler caused her to cry and I picked her up and would not let her be taken until she was happy.
That for me meant they needed to allow her embarrassed mom to come up out of the audience. Little Tiffany quieted herself in my arms, became clingy. Her mom Jenny Mathis says, “If she’s not a girl, then Teri would be the first boy she warmed up like this.” We could not have asked for better publicity. That I had stayed true to showing off the outfit as well as caring for Tiffany is a blessing.
There comes a request to only me for another interview. Automatically I say, No. Attie assures me, “It’s going to happen Teri, and you might as well do it.”
“No Attie, part of my chemistry is with you. Definitely I’m not changing things this morning!”
Lisa gave me a tug and we’re soon out of there. Lisa says, “I agree with Teri; this morning you need to keep your focus on the tasks at hand. This is not the time to be changing things.” She says, “Marcus wants the two of you to be waiting until the third change and you’re engulfed in modeling before he’ll have one of his outfits ready for you. Secondly, after that will be my red gown for Attie and my new one for you Teri Slader.”
I said, “Is it red with yellow, green and orange chiffon tooling?”
“You’ve seen a glimpse of it, but not a great look.”
Monique has the first dress as well as the next for Attie to wear. Aubrey is focusing on me. My first outfit of the fashion show is a long slender three quarter length dress. I am glad that Aubrey and Jan has had us model many kinds of outfits. This is more restraining than most, but I have enough time back stage to refine my steps and turn in it. My natural breasts plus a padded bra give me a very feminine look. It is the first time I am going before my sister.
The dress seems more to the liking of some college and professional women which is surprising to me. The scarf around my neck is helpful as I present three different looks at the end of the runway. The bright flashing of lights and cameras is already a bit much. I fear a headache before the end of the show.
It was like they thought they should make a dramatic contrast as next outfit is one of Harpers’ from Belk, an outfit with the shortest miniskirt I have ever worn. I had to change out of my boy shorts panty. I change to a brief panty, but it can’t be a full brief or it would show over the top of the skirt. Aubrey is coaching me all the while about how I should present the outfit as well as me. I wear an anklet as well as short dressy boots with a 2 ½ inch heel. Bracelets on both wrists and an oversized pendant necklace. The makeup is colorful and they make my hair look windblown. I say to Aubrey as I step back in line, “I personally want a picture of me in this outfit.”
Attie agrees that I need to see myself in the outfit. “Terri see if it is one that can be one of your keepers.”
The applause and reaction of the audience says it is a crowd pleaser that spans most demographics.
I thought it was to be the third change after we started but it is now that I’m to wear Marcus’ dress. My average stature lends itself well to the dress. The slits up both sides are open and I am asked to put a bounce into my steps. It is presented as a fancy dress for a fun night on the town. Among other things being said, I hear, “One couldn’t but help having fun out of the town with Teri in this outfit.”
Soon I’m wearing Aurei’s gown, and this time Attie will be wearing her red gown before me. My gown leaves the green to the dress which is covered by red, yellow and peach chiffon and flowing cords. The top and skirt of the green dress show a lot of tummy and waist. The yellow and peach chiffon are beautifully revealing, she says. How Aurei ever came with this design and colors is unimaginable to me, but it all flows beautifully together. I knew where Aurei is out in the audience and I sneak a look at her face as I make my turns and pauses.
I was previously told, she doesn’t respond to the presentation of her own designs, but she is making an exception here. If the audience is a good barometer it will be well received both by high fashion and popular spin-offs.
The sixth outfit for me is another Marcus’ design and the seventh being set out looks to be a Harper gown for a formal night out. The change of makeup, hair and accessories is greater with the last two changes as well. Ms Briggs says, we will be done with a good third of the program to continue.
True to our original intent, we quickly change to fashionable clothes and go to watch Jan and the national and world models. Watching the subtle and not so subtle differences of these models is quite humbling for us, yet amazing to see. They are not only lessons in being a model but in being a woman.
I’m in the audience sitting next to my father. I am caught off guard as he says, “You’re not going to be able to walk away from this, are you?” My father paused and I looked over to him not knowing what or how to respond. He whispers, “I love you son, but I do realize as Teri you’re two leaps ahead of your peers. I think it is time you know you have my support.” He pauses again before saying, “More importantly we love you.”
Several models act as divas behind the curtains. I can see how it is frustrating for their workers, yet now I have an appreciation of how their insistence pays dividends. There was one renowned model that I thought was way out of bounds and acted more as a spoiled brat. Mom whispers to Hattie and me, “Don’t judge, wait and see how you do if you ever get a third as busy. Indianapolis is big to you but it’s not even close to Chicago to her; let alone New York, London or Paris.”
Jan had told us earlier “The model felt she was being punished, forced to come here.” Something about paying some extra dues for something she did.
During a break Mom asks, “Have you two found people you’re interested in meeting?”
Attie said, “Yes but one of them is the same boy, we think he must be older in high school.”
Mom said, “I meant people of note… like Bill Blass. I don’t think you should be taking interest in boys especially on the road. And Terrance not at all.”
We said, “Dah, we are into fashion Ma. Beside Blass most of the others are dead or old.” Attie says, “Mom, you and dad need to realize when he’s Teri, she’s a she. Yes he likes girls better but you two need to cool it or walk off and leave Teri and me alone.”
I see the guy walking our way with his sister and her friends. The girls seeing us, stop to talk. Stacy is Ryan’s sister, she and the other girls are our age or a year older. Ryan is two years older and required by his parents to bring the girls and watch them. “You two are foxes; we can’t believe you’re from Indiana.”
Leesha says, “Nowhere can we find it saying where in Indiana?”
I ask Ryan, “You didn’t seem too bored in the audience.” Stacy screeches, “You noticed my brother?” I respondthat we notice you as a group and saw you a few times.”
Ryan says, “It wasn’t bad, with all the women to see. I talked with Attie, we got dessert at the buffet table once, but I’m sure she didn’t notice me.”
“You know very well, I remembered you,” said Attie.
I say, “You didn’t tell me you met him.”
Stacy asks, “Will we see you to parading with other gowns to the gathering tonight?”
I say, “It’s really for the adult models. Plus neither of us have escorts. If I got to wear anything special I’d hope it would be the second outfit I modeled.”
Stacy says, “If my brother got a tux could he escort one of you?”
Mom spoke up, “Eva has some friends in for tonight; maybe we could find a nice coat and slacks for one of them.” Mom turned to Eva who was texting someone. Eva looked up, “We have a winner Johnson, Chris Johnson is willing to go. He’s a sophomore. He says, the fashion industry is another part of his business world. He’s planning on renting a good evening jacket and some slacks. He suggests the other guy do something similar.” Mom sends Ryan with father while Mom takes us up to get dressed and wait.
Attie says she stakes claim on Ryan, and I can be with Eva’s friend Chris. Eva as our sister and agent says, “Martinez is escorting me. She calls him Michael not Miguel. He is a fourth generation citizen though he is often stopped to show immigration documentation.
Here I am getting dressed up in an outfit I modeled earlier and to be escorted by someone four years older. Eva shows me his picture. Chris is very cute in a guy kind of way. I call for my mom, “Mom I’m nervous. I can’t believe I’m doing this as a girl with a one of Eve’s guy friends.”
Calmly Mom says, “This is one of the things you’ll have to get use to as long as you model and portray yourself as a young model.”
“You’re hinting I should make it known that I’m a boy.”
Mom says, “Even if they learn that, but you model in women’s fashions; you’re social life won’t change that much. Ms. Briggs says there will still be a mystique caught up in you modeling women’s fashions.
“Right now you need to understand this Chris is a red-blooded guy and you are seen by him as an attractive girl. I expect him to behave, but both of you could get caught up in the moment.”
I’m appalled that my mother feels the need to say it. “Mom, I can’t believe what you’re implying.”
Mom giggles, “Your dad just messaged me, “We’re making their way to the ball room on the second floor. You two are to meet us there… We’ll talk about the evening and how you fare later.” Mom takes a picture of Attie and me. Eva meets us at the elevator, mom takes Stacy and friends to get pictures of our entrance. I’m now five seven and with three inch heels I’m five ten. Attie’s an inch taller.
My father points me out to Chris; without hesitation he walks to me, takes my hand and then gives me a kiss on the cheek. He whispers, “Your father says you need to relax and enjoy your time in the spotlight.”
Chris presents his arm to me and Aubrey hands me a card to give upon entering the hall. She says the opening reception continues another half hour, before the evening officially begins. Chris takes moment to have a slow dance with me. Chris is an excellent dancer and I have no trouble following his lead. Being close, face to face and moving slowly becomes a personal problem for me. And I am becoming excited as Teri…
Story to be continued…
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