After a very long night, she left her award on the table beside her bed once she had gotten to her home. It wasn’t really home but it was the place she was staying for the moment and that was good enough. Her brother had said goodbye some moments ago and now she was alone, late at night, removing everything from her earrings to the very expensive dress she had been offered. The shoes stayed besides a chair all night, the first thing she had removed, not a surprise.
For a long time, she contemplated the award and she was glad that no one else but her was there too watch because she would have been too embarrassed. But alone, she had the time and opportunity to really look at her prize, the crowning achievement of her career after only having been working for ten years. She knew she was a very lucky girl, so contemplating the prize made it all so much more real, something even more thrilling. She smiled and then she heard someone at the door.
It was one of her assistants who announced that the people of the jewelry company had come to collect their things. She didn’t quite get why they would come to her so late, but it was better that way because she had been very worried all night, trying to protect her ears and neck from every possible accident, which was very difficult with all the people around and all of the moving and talking and waving. She removed it all, handed it to her assistant and told her to give it to them.
She would have given them their things in person, but she was very tired to do so. Hoping that the people that gave her the dress wouldn’t appear out of nowhere, she walked barefoot to the bathroom and took the dress off there. She hung it on the closet and then brushed her teeth and washed her face. She had the feeling of having been running through a coal mine or something like that, maybe because the make-up was now running down her face after so many pictures and poses.
The pajama she had brought was made of two pieces: blouse and pants. They were both filled with teddy bears, which made her laugh. She put it on and quickly after she was already in bed, looking again at the little man that was standing on the table beside her. She couldn’t stop watching him and she knew it would be difficult to look at anything else for the days to come. But she had to make an effort because life was still going and not everything stopped because she had received a prestigious award. It was difficult as it was so beautiful.
The actress stared at the statue and slowly fell into a deep slumber. In her dream, she was not in a fancy dress or even in her pajama, but dressed as a waiter in a restaurant she felt she knew but didn’t quite know where to put it. It felt strange but then someone asked for her and she ran to offer her services. The man that was ordering looked exactly like the actor who had won that night, just before her. But the expression on his face was the one of someone who didn’t know her.
He wanted some apple pie and coffee. She wrote on her notepad and then left for what she thought was the kitchen. But once she pushed the door, she was the character in the movie that had made her a winner that night. She had the same dress she had put on for so many days, several months to be exact. It was bright yellow and had no real features besides its color. The fabric and even the smell felt just like she remembered them. It felt it had all happened a long time ago.
She then realized she was inside the movie and it was her moment to perform. As she had done several times for the last few months, she did her dance number, the big one everyone in the world had been talking about. Almost at the end, a man would lift her up and then put her down again. But this time her partner during the dance number was no other than her actual father. It wouldn’t have been very shocking if it weren’t for the fact he had died a couple of years back.
She was glad to see him again. He didn’t smile or talk to her at all; he just danced in the most beautiful and gracious way possible. When the time came for him to lift her, he did the most amazing job at it. She cried and hugged him but it seemed she was the only one doing the hug. Maybe it was because she was imagining him but he wasn’t putting any type of pressure on the hugging, he seemed to be there only for the sake of having someone standing in for the real dancer of the movie.
It didn’t matter to the young actress. She hugged very tight and wanted that moment that wasn’t real to last an eternity. But as dreams often do, they end in the most sudden way. She soon found herself awake, still sitting on her bed, with her neck hurting because she had fallen asleep in the most uncomfortable position ever. She gave her a soft massage but didn’t leave bed, instead she looked at her award again and, only for a moment, she imagined it to be a smaller version of her father. That made her smile just before adopting a better position to sleep.
Someone came for the dress when she was sleeping. She thought it was a very good idea not to wake her up, maybe everyone thought she deserve everything that day because se had achieved something not many people had been able to. And she was rather young and that even more uncommon. When she finally woke up, it was already late but no one had come to bother her. Again, she sat down at the edge of the bed and stared at the prize, which seemed to be waiting for her to wake up.
It had lost some of its brightness, maybe because so many people had touched it. She could actually see fingerprints all over the statue. The woman stood up and looked around for her purse, where she thought she had the special cream they had given her to clean the award. But then again, she realized it was not something that had to be done on that very moment. Actually, there was something even better she could do right there, before anyone knew that she had woken up.
She grabbed the award and felt it: its weight, its shape and height. It was not cold or warm. Then, she acted as she had just received and acted surprised and bewildered for a moment, not in front of a mirror but in the middle of her room. She was suddenly interrupted by her assistant who talked through the door: she had a long day of interviews for magazines and TV shows, so it was time for her to head to the shower and then running around the city to get all of her commitments done.
As she entered the bathroom, she left the award on the counter, by the sink. She removed her pajamas and underwear and then stepped into the shower. There, she used hot water to relieve herself of everything that felt like a layer on her skin, things that were not really there but only on her mind. She had finally made it; she had finally become the person she had always wanted to be. And now, the path to be walked was new and amazing, painted with the most beautiful colors.
In the shower, she smiled. She stared at it again, just to know it was there, and then smiled once more. She felt so damn lucky.