Plus, being the heir to one of the richest cosmetic empires in the world, I was always a big target for the paparazzi that dogged me relentlessly. Usually if I drove the Volvo and dressed casually, they didn’t seem to notice me as much.
I changed the radio station until I was on my favorite eighties pop station and let the sounds of early Madonna take me away for a bit. I’d always loved the music of that era, even though I was a bit too young to have been brought up in it. There was just something about the clothing, the fashion, and the sound of that music that grabbed hold of me and got into my head. I’d grown up in the late nineties, but the sounds of that era were too sad and depressing for my taste. I was a happy person for the most part and I loved music that touched that happiness and made it spark just a little bit more.
The song she was currently singing was about a bad breakup and how she just didn’t care and was happy to move on. I could relate to it, having gone through a similar breakup about six months before. I was a bit torn up at first, though. It was my most serious relationship to date and I’d thought that we were in it for the long haul, but then we just started drifting apart and the spark was gone. It wasn’t anyone’s fault really, but that happened after almost a year of being together.
Since then I’d been happy to be single and just going out with my single girlfriends to have a good time. I’d dated a few guys here and there but nothing had really clicked heavily. I wasn’t in any hurry. A woman in my position couldn’t be. There were far too many vultures out there who could smell the money and come running. Of course I knew that most men considered me fairly attractive and I got plenty of head turns and looks when I was driving the Volvo, but as soon as they found out where I lived and I told them who I was, everything had always changed.
“You should try the experiment,” Chastity, my best friend since high school told me.
“What experiment?” I asked. I was very intrigued.
“I’ve read about it. You pretend to be poor and then when that person falls in love with you then you tell them who you really are. It’s a total lock.”
We were in my kitchen eating ice cream out of the carton. I set it down on the counter and looked at her like she was crazy (I thought she might be having a conniption or something) and said, “That is bizarre and totally dishonest.”
Chastity laughed. “That’s the brilliance of it.”
I shook my head. “No. There is no way I’m ever doing that.”
But I’d actually been thinking about it a lot. It had some merit, although it was very deceitful and went against every honest part of my upbringing and moral character. Still, it was worth a shot. My biggest fear was that when I revealed the lie to whoever I was with they would hate me and break up with me on the spot.
Or they would love me so much that they just didn’t care.
There was a reason celebrities usually married other celebrities—they didn’t have to even worry about this sort of stuff.
I made the turn onto Lexington Rd. heading towards the outskirts of town. I was going to be late for my appointment if I didn’t hurry and Lonnie Sands did not wait for anyone. He was perhaps the highest paid and most highly sought after stylist in the city. Most people had to reserve him weeks in advance and he was not cheap. I was his regular, though, and I paid him handsomely for it. It was about the only ridiculously expensive thing I really spent much time splurging on. Most of the expensive sports cars were actually donated by the dealerships to us, otherwise I would have sold off a good bit of them, except for the ones that my father cherished so much. I kept those for him.
I still can’t remember exactly how it happened. Everything occurred so quickly I barely had time to react. One moment I was driving down the open highway and suddenly there was a motorcycle in front of me. It was a dirt bike and I believe it came in from the side, but I wasn’t quite sure. But there it was and it was close. Too close. I realized that instant I was about to collide with it. I did my best to swerve but the motorcycle did the same and I ran into the back of it as I slammed on my brakes, skidding and screeching all over the road.