May 23, 2012
Name: Ivy Renee Jamison
Career: Freshman at New Bolden High/ Part – time Youth Model
Ivy heard the familiar sound of her parent’s bedroom door closing. She remembered a time when their room had been a shining light she could see through the hallway. It opened up the upstairs and made her feel safe knowing her parents were always available to steer her in the right direction. Those days were over now. She could not recall the last time she’d been able to talk for more than five minutes with either parent. They turned their backs on her, casting her aside for more important things like money and work and secrets.
Ivy knew all too well about secrets, being the youngest no one wanted to talk in front of her as an attempt at keeping her a child, innocent and pure. Their unwillingness to treat her as a valued member of the family had left her vulnerable; and she could not be left untainted. Her virtue had been corrupted and nothing would change that. She had seen too much, whispered conversations echoed through her bedroom walls many a night leaving her with unanswered questions with no one to turn to for guidance.
Where her family lacked, another filled the void. Someone who truly cared about her well being and her safety. Someone who never forgot to make sure she arrived home safely, someone who picked up her every phone call. Hassan had always had time for her, he was always there to answer any question; he supported her dreams and showed her a life her family felt she was too young to experience.
He made her feel loved once. Now she felt like her heart would beat its way out of her eye sockets. After everything they shared and everything he promised her, how could he just shoo her away like a stray alley cat? She wouldn’t be shut out, too many people had thrown her away without so much as considering the effect it would have on her.
She reached for her cell phone which lay as cold and lifeless on the bed as she had felt when she threw it by her pillow. She just needed to hear his voice, if he picked up that meant that he still cared for her and that he just wanted space. She could give him that, a little distance would only make their love stronger. She didn’t care about his past or how wrong people would think their relationship was. No one could stop her or she would tell, she would tell the only secret she knew. She would tell about mommy’s special friendship with her the man at her job. She would tell how she’d been dropped off at the studio months ago; and how no one was there when she was introduced to the agencies newest photographer, Hassan Franklin. She would tell them that it was their fault she had fallen in love with him.
Ivy sat on the plush bed reliving the horrors of that Saturday. She’d been content with life in general, she’d just had a birthday and was off to do a job most kids would kill for. The life of a young model was always one of excitement. The work wasn’t as easy as it looked on TV. She had to exercise all the time and mommy never let her eat junk food like she did Evan. Her parent’s always treated Evan better than they treated her. Her father more so than her mother. Her father never saw anything good coming out of her career. Models made good money, but even that was not enough for her dad. He refused to even come near the studio where she worked, he’d never so much as been to one photo-shoot.
It was that reason she’d been alone that Saturday, being eyed conspicuously by the 29 -year – old photographer who no one had thought to background check before allowing him to work around children.
He didn’t look that old to Ivy, Hassan looked closer to her brothers’ age and he’d be going to college in a few months. Even then he looked pretty young, he had long black dreads that dragged across his back as he moved. His emerald eyes glowed beneath the lense of the camera burrowing their way into her teenage soul. He licked his lips drinking her in as she modeled the newest summer looks the studio had set out for her.
At the time, his gaze made her feel uneasy. No one had ever looked at her that way before. The look was a hungry penetrating stare that she felt deep in her stomach. It made her squirm. The studio director gave her a brief reprieve from his torturous gaze. She wanted to run away, she wanted to tell her mom. But what could she tell them, that the new photographer looked at her funny? No one would take that seriously, no one ever took her seriously.
Ivy opened her call log and reviewed the recent number; aside from a few classmates, all calls were from him. She quickly pressed his name and waited for the sound of his voice. The seconds dragged on forever as her heart dropped with every passing ring. He would not be picking up this time, he’d said he wouldn’t. Anger flooded her veins, she would not be abandoned again.
She had loved him and gave all of herself at his whim, he would not; could not forget she existed like her mother had the day they’d met. Her mother, her living idol, had deserted her. Skittering off under the guise of running errands, a trend she’d picked up only a few months prior.
They had always discussed what to do if an emergency popped up or Ivy finished her session early; she would call her mom’s cell and wait in the lobby of the rehab center where Regina worked.
Ivy relived the day in her mind, thinking back to how uncomfortable she felt at first when Hassan put the camera down on the stool behind her. She remembered how her skin prickled at his touch as he re-positioned her on the sofa she’d been standing in front of. His breath had been warm on the back of her neck, Ivy remembered how it gave her the creeps.
“You have a very exotic look Ivy, you could definitely pose for more than just kids pictures.”
The comment had been whispered seductively in her ear as if he was sharing a secret meant for her alone. Ivy hadn’t known what to make of it. The closest she’d ever come to someone coming on to her had been Ethan Miller in home room. He would leave a paper heart cut-out on her desk every Friday morning. This was different, this felt foreign, wrong and mildly exciting.