Immediately after my sixteenth birthday, I left the flotillas and headed to the family estate in Pentapolis of the Valley. I was determined to attend Aerynd University’s Waterfront Annex conservatory. I backpacked my way across Bharat, working as an Bliethdale artist’s model; I never considered myself the prettiest, but I smiled deceptively locking myself in another mind.
As I crossed Bharat I met an Ascomanni, Brent, who acted as muscle to protect models from overly amorous artists and auteurs. He was a a few years older than me. Brent had a strong secure beach body, that had a thick mat of auburn brown chest hair. Brent was different than the flotilla boys, he engaged in rough-housing, and the closest I knew that summer to camp-adventures. Overall, being in his company made one feel protected no matter what. Brent made me feel as if I could tell him I was ecchi and not be thrown in the trash. I never told him but I like to pretend he knew and was kind to help me. I wouldn’t have minded if Brent was my first kiss (he wasn’t).
Since Brent was Blithedale security we were all able to go at night, and play in the bars and clubs without being molested by Bharat’s governing class. With Brent around yacht-parties off the coast became available to us, and were regularly indulged because of the ability to easily procure poppy java and salvia cigarettes. On one weekend, a group of us models and security were invited to dine and sunbathe on the Blithedale local chairman. As we were walking the deck to lunch inside, Brent ran up and grabbed me around the waist, to throw both of us into the pool. I’m a good sport and laughed after catching my breath. I was flustered and flushed that Brent had been so close to me – with his shirt off no less!
The Blithedale Chairman asked Brent if I was as much a paper weight as I looked.
I was hurt – my emotional high did not even get to last a full moment, let alone minute; I had never heard the term ‘paperweight’ before.
Brent chuckled. “He’s as light as he looks.” Brent picked me up again, this time cradled in his arms (swoon!) and – saying “Fun to throw around!” – he again threw me in the water.
After Bharat, I took an ocean-liner back to Biell, in The Valley.