Through swirling pictures and figures, the bouquet stood out, quietly looking at me with sad eyes. I have always had a soft spot for flowers and its pity I could not stand. This was what broke me; tears freely coursed down my face and the audience broke into a fresh frenzy of applause.
On my head, the crown felt like a ton of lead, I hung on to it delicately, lifting it a little to give respite to my neck. Another stranger handed me the sad bouquet and I cradled it in my arms, murmuring reassuring words only it can hear. ‘Everything will be alright beautiful’ I said. “it will get worse before it gets better’ it seem to whisper back. I sighed and smiled. The world is watching.
I had just been crowned queen. The most beautiful girl in the country, I laughed out loud at the irony of the situation. If only they knew how I really felt. If only the truth is as widely accepted as it is preached. If only, all these had been avoided. I would have thought it was a dream but the gown and crown winking at me in the sun-lite hotel room and the pound in my temple are evidence of the reality of this nightmare.
I glanced at the telephone and wondered why it has maintained a stony silence. Does the world out there no longer consider beauty queens news-worthy? I moved close to it and discovered it was out of a dial tone. This must be my manager’s handiwork. Bless her soul, she can be so thoughtful sometimes- when she’s not working hard on my nerves, that is.
The mobile phones were switched off too.
I took a quick look outside through the shutters and the sight I beheld assured me of my news worthiness, if not anything else. There were so many reporters out there as there were hefty, dangerous looking men keeping them at bay. It is quite interesting to know that I now have guards! Someone out there is putting their own life on the line to protect mine.
As I gingerly made my way to the bathroom, I caught sight of myself in the mirror. It never ceases to surprise me this person that stares back at me from the mirror. She always looks so calm, in control and beautiful. How can that be me? The me I know is different, she’s smart in a geeky way, loves to play football and basketball, wears no makeup, heels or haughty airs and her own idea of pursuing world peace is to join the army, not go for beauty pageantry.
to be continued…