Stella could still vividly recall the day she and three of her classmates were caught eating chewing gum and ketchup instead of going to the school meals. After the drama a dietician told her she was a “huge size ten”, squeezed her buttocks, and ordered her to follow the calorie diet on the black & white photocopy sheet- or else not to come back.
She wanted to be model, and she was only fourteen.
Her parents had given up her hopes on her becoming a Human Rights Lawyer.
A true beauty- style queen, the teenager had been taught sewing by Mary the home helper since a very young age. This asset pushed her classmates to befriend her only to borrow the garments for ” just one night out” and then pass them on to another girl instead of returning them to her.
The dietician had resorted to prescribe appetite suppressants to the moody young girl. Pills that made her hyper, irritable and angry against Willy, who would bare going any length for a precious little minute sat talking to his crush.
Soon the pills had been removed from the market, and between auditions, applications and extra casting, Stella would experiment making “slimming drinks ” with all sorts of over-the-counter ingredients- from spirulina to shark and turmeric.
At 38, and having on her model curriculum only one photo shoot- which was because the chosen model had fallen ill and she was the only one available at 5 am that day- Stella survived making fashion accessories and disguises which she sold to fellow models and photographers.
The modelling world was deceitful, inhumane and impossible to break into. How much she now wished she would have taken up Mary ‘s offer of learning how to cook her secret family dishes.
One morning she woke up from an intense dream. Something about Willy and Mary helping her adjust a catwalk wedding dress. As she opened her eyes, the objects in her tiny trashy bedroom appeared to have a different glow, and the air was so filled with Love she wanted to chew it. “Just a nice dream ” she thought, and got back to her slimming potion making.
That same day at five she got a friend’s request from Willy on Facebook! He had become a successful financial broker- and…. damn! Had a family!
He asked to meet her that same day. She had to catch two trains as his car was getting fixed. She had brought with her five samples of slimming remedies and was paranoid about being robbed of her million dollar secret on her way there.
Oh My God! Willy had grown old! He told her how good she looked, how she was still his highest fantasy, how boring his life was.
When she finally asked him to finance her “Slim’n’Smiling” slimming energy drink project, he took a serious look.
“I bumped into Mary at a Doctors surgery. She’s got poor health. She gave me her number. She was desperate to find you, ” her little girl “.
Willy handed her his phone and Stella broke into tears as she heard Mary’s voice.
” Come visit me please “said Mary.
Willy offered to take Stella to see Mary on Saturday, but that he needed her help on Sunday for his wife’s project.
” She’s starting a community to help disadvantaged girls learn a skill to become independent. In this case, sewing. And Mary can teach cooking too when she gets better. What do you say?”
“Brilliant idea! Did you just say Mary will get better?” Stella’s eyes rolled.
” Sure she will, once she sees you! Now lend me that hippy scarf to show to my twelve year old, she cooked me mustard with jelly beans yesterday!”