Well this is my first attempt to write anything like this, so I really hope it doesn't suck. For those of you looking for sex you should probably go elsewhere. This is a romantic story, (or will be eventually), and there will be sex, but not for a while. All I can ask is that be patient with me since I'm really writing this story to help me work things out in my own life. I'd like to take a minute to say hi to Ryan (read "For Justin's Love" by the way)! So anyway, here we go!
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This story is not meant to imply anything about the sexuality of anyone in it (myself included). I have no knowledge of the private lives of the members of NSYNC or any other celebrities that show up in this story. After all it is just a story, and is a work of fiction. I am also not in any way affiliated with Boss Models Worldwide. (But maybe someday I will be!) If you shouldn't read this then don't.
My name is Zack and I have come to the conclusion that my life sucks. I don't like where I am or where I'm going. I suppose it started back in April, a few weeks after my nineteenth birthday. Ah post-adolescence! Too old to be a kid anymore, not old enough for anyone to think of you as a "grownup." Now what brought me to this point? How did I come to hate my life? Well, I can't explain it all but I do know where a big part of it came from. I was watching "making the video" on MTV. The show was on "Bye Bye Bye," NSYNC's latest hit. I wasn't much of a fan, but there was nothing else on and I was leaving soon anyway. So I sat and watched for a few minutes as the band talked about how they got together. I thought it was a cute story, a good example of how things can click when you're in the right place at the right time. I was just starting to get interested when I realized I was late meeting a friend for lunch. To my surprise I was reluctant to turn it off, but I did and headed out to my car. I turned the key in the ignition and my baby came to life. When the radio came on Bye Bye Bye was just starting to play. Weird I thought, but the song had a good beat and I'd never heard it in its entirety.
Oh it always starts so innocently, and if fate would stop there, the world would be a very different place. Now I'm not trying to tell you that what you had for breakfast will change your life. What I'm saying is that sometimes that innocent little event, that déjà vu or freak coincidence, can grow until it's not quite so innocent anymore. It becomes one of those things that is always on your mind, and it can turn your life upside down and inside out. It is, in short, life's equivalent of the spin cycle. That is what happened to me. Maybe if I had given in to my first impulse and switched the station as I normally would when "that boy band nonsense" came on then my life might have continued in its normal and logical direction.
I did not, however, turn off NSYNC. For whatever reason something stopped me, and low and behold, I loved the song. It was stuck in my head for the rest of the day. It earned me a few odd looks from my friend Kristen who I met for lunch, but I didn't care. When I got back in the car I started switching to the stations that I thought would be most likely to play some more NSYNC music. I didn't hear anything else, but I couldn't find anything to drive "Bye Bye Bye" out of my head either. This continued for the rest of the weekend. Saturday night I went online and read a few stories revolving around NSYNC. (Yes, these kind of stories). Sunday night I was back at college more depressed than usual, and I had no idea why. That night came the dream.
I don't know exactly where it was because the setting was dim. It might have been a beach. At first I was alone and unhappy. And it was dark. Normally at the beach you can see the stars really well, but not this time. It was completely black. And then he showed up. When he came to me it was as if someone had taken a blindfold off me. Suddenly I could see. The stars, the moon, everything. But none of that mattered. I could only look at him. His beautiful eyes, his perfect body, even his mess of curly hair. He was like a Greek god come down from Mount Olympus. He came to me slowly, and the world seemed to stop. As I looked at him I knew that when we were together everything would be perfect. All my frustrations, my loneliness, and disappointment would be gone. He took me in his arms and moved his lips closer to mine…
Over course that would be when my alarm woke me up. I was a little unsettled, but I didn't have much time to think about it. I went through my classes in a daze. I wasn't sure what the dream meant, but I knew it wasn't going to just go away if I ignored it. The subject of my dream was, as you have no doubt guessed by now, Justin Timberlake. I spent all day with visions of his angelic face in my head. I was lucky I didn't have any exams because I didn't hear one word my professors said. That afternoon, I shut myself in my room and tired to figure things out. I went on the network and found some mp3's of NSYNC. For hours I listened to music, checked out Justin websites, and just thought. I thought about my life, and where it was going. At some point I came to a disturbing realization. I had a major crush and was probably falling for a person I had never met, and to top it off, it was a guy! At that point I admitted something to myself, something I had been hiding from for a while. I was gay.
It was a rough night. I didn't get any sleep and all my friends were starting to get worried. Over the next few days I became withdrawn and cranky, probably from lack of sleep. I'm normally a very outgoing person, but I just couldn't deal with people. I didn't know of anyone to turn to. I was sure that everyone would hate me. By Thursday I was about ready to go nuts. I couldn't stop thinking about Justin. So I did the only thing I could think of, I burned an NSYNC mix CD. Yes I know it's illegal, but I was too self conscious to go buy any of their stuff, and besides, like the typical college student I don't have a lot of spare cash.
When Friday afternoon came around I hoped in my car, popped in the CD and drove. I love to drive; it always helps me sort things out when I have a problem. That afternoon I decided I needed a new life and a new image. I spent most of my weekend in the car listening to that CD. By Sunday I was on my way out of the depression I had been in. I still couldn't shake the feeling that I was dissatisfied with my life, but I felt that I could manage it at least. By this point I was, of course, dreaming up ways that I could meet Justin Timberlake. I knew I had no chance of this, but it kept me entertained. The one day, someone asked me if I had ever thought about modeling.
Now this was not the first time I'd been asked this. When I was sixteen I actually gave it some serious thought, but dismissed the idea because I was sure I was too ugly. As a matter of fact, I'm actually a pretty good-looking guy, but I didn't have a whole lot of self-confidence back then. But now the idea of going into modeling came up again. What if I went to New York and got a job with a big modeling agency? I could be famous. And if I was famous… maybe I could meet Justin!
Ridiculous, crazy, idiotic, those words all ran through my head. But what if, just what if I did it? I had spent my whole life regretting missed opportunities, and look where it got me. I knew I wasn't happy where I was, so why the hell not try something new? I didn't tell many people about my idea. I figured most of them would just laugh anyway. My closest friend at school was a guy named Mark. When I told him I could tell he thought I'd never do it. "Start out small," was what he said. And I said no. I didn't want to start out small and I saw no reason why I should not go up to New York and get a job right away, other than the fact that I had no experience and no idea where to begin.
My plan was to head to New York in early July, after school was out. I started eating more healthily than I had been and increasing the amount of exercise I was getting. I also started planning out what I was going to say and where I was going to apply. Ideally, I though Boss Modeling Agency would be the perfect job. They had walk-in auditions every week. It was a well-known, worldwide company; it was exactly what I wanted. Which is why it would never happen of course, but I was still in the "why the hell not" state of mind.
By July I was in the best shaped of my life. Not only had I reclaimed my six pack, but my chest was showing good definition, as were the rest of my muscles. I felt better than I had in a long time, probably thanks to good eating and lots of exercise. In fact, as I came closer to realizing my dream, or at least trying to, I thought less and less about the curly-haired god of my dreams. My new physique did not go unnoticed either. I was more popular with the girls than I had ever been' and slowly I had pushed away that realization that had come to me one dark night in April. Gay? Me? No way! You must be crazy! I still listened to NSYNC's music but I was in no way attracted to their lead singer or anyone else with a penis for that matter. So I forgot about my infatuation with Justin, re-repressed my gay side, and prepared for the biggest change of my life.
And so it begins….
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`This has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever done', I thought to myself. I was standing outside the Boss Models Worldwide offices in New York. It was a warm July day about four in the afternoon. I was "dressed to perfection" as one person suggested to me. Or at least as close to perfect as I could get. I was wearing a light beige linen suit and a ribbed crew-neck tee shirt (to show off my chest). I had just had my hair before I came to New York, so the highlights in my dark brown hair were nice and fresh. When I looked in the hotel mirror that morning I had been sure I looked every bit the model.
Now of course, all the nagging doubts that I had been hiding from for three months were surfacing. As I looked up at the towering building I started to see just how foolish I was going to look.
"Well here I am, Mr. Nobody," I mumbled to myself.
"Huh? Did you say something man?"
That was of course one of my best friends, Casey. He was the only one who didn't laugh at me when I told him about this idea. He actually agreed with my "why the hell not" philosophy. He also agreed to accompany me to New York.
"Nothing, sorry. Just thinking out loud." I let out a little sigh and decided I'd better get this over with. "OK Casey, I'm gonna go in. Uh, I guess just meet me back here in about an hour. I'll be the one looking miserable and rejected."
"Hey dude, if you don't go in with a positive attitude then that's exactly what's going to happen. What about `why not'?"
"I think I left it back in the hotel."
"Are you sure you don't want me to come in with you? I could be a character reference."
"Nah, I have to do this myself. Well I'll see you in an hour."
"OK, good luck."
With that I walked inside. I checked the directory and saw that the recruiting offices were on the eighth floor. I got in the elevator and punched eight. I don't think any elevator anywhere has ever taken such a long time to go up eight floors. It seemed to be forever. When the doors finally opened I stepped out into a tastefully decorated hallway. `What else should I expect from a modeling agency?' There was a little sign that read "Open Call," with an arrow pointing to the right. I followed the sign to a pair of big glass doors with the words "Recruiting" stenciled in gold letters.
Beyond the doors was a large reception area. I walked up the receptionist and patiently waited for her to get off the phone. Five minutes later she turned to me and said
"Can I help you?"
"Hi, I'm here for the open call for models."
"Ah, I see. Well just take one of these forms and fill it out. You can have a seat over there," she said, indicating a comfortable-looking leather couch. "Someone will be with you shortly." She looked me over again before turning back to her computer, and I was sure I saw a little smirk on her face.
"Well, that's a good sign,' I thought. Even the receptionist doesn't think I'm cut out for this. I took the form and sat down on the couch. It was fairly basic, name, date of birth, social security, blah blah blah. I noticed that the space for "previous modeling experience" left an uncomfortable blank in the middle of the page. I finished the form quickly and indicated to the receptionist that I was done. She dismissed me with a wave of her hand. After a few minutes, I picked up a copy of a magazine on the coffee table in front of the couch. It was "GQ," how appropriate. I flipped through the magazine cover to cover, and was just finishing my second article when I finally heard someone say
"Hi, you're here for the modeling call?"
I looked up at one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. She had lovely long brown hair, big green eyes, and a trim body. She wore a gray designer business suit and her hair was pulled back in a ponytail. I immediately guessed that she was a former model herself.
"Ah, yes. My name is Zack Peterman," I said, getting up and extending my hand.
She shook my hand quickly and smiled.
"It's nice to meet you Zack, my name is Carolyn Bauer, I the head of the recruiting division her at Boss Models. If you'll follow me please?"
I handed her my application and followed her back into a large well-lit corner office. It was decorated with light colored-wood furniture, probably maple. On the wall were awards and pictures, most of them were of models. A few even looked like Carolyn. She sat down behind her desk and motioned for me to take a seat. She had been looking over the application I filled out while we were walking back and continued to do so as she sat down. At last she looked up.
"I'll be honest with you Zack, we don't get many of these walk-ins. You're the first one we've had in a few weeks."
`Oh great, here comes the "thank you for coming, we'll be in touch" speech.' I prepared myself for the inevitable rejection that I was about to receive. But it never came.
"Zack. I'll level with you. I don't really see anything on your application that jumps out at me. You know there's more to being a model than good looks. You need to have something special, something unique. So my question to you is: why do you think I should hire you?"
Well here it was. This was my big chance to make an impression on her. What I said next could make or break my dreams. `At least she's giving me the chance,' I thought. I'd spent a lot of time thinking about this. I knew that I'd probably have to justify why they should give me a chance. I took a moment to collect my thought and then began.
"I know that I may not look like typical model material. I have a good body, but it's not great. I think I'm decent looking, but far from gorgeous. But that's the point. I represent something different: the imperfect model. I think that I can sell myself as someone people can relate to. I think people will be more likely to buy clothes if they see a regular guy modeling them, because then they'll know that the clothes don't look good just on models. They look good on real people. Also, I think I'm probably more well rounded than your average supermodel. I mean, I don't want to be rude, but supermodels are basically known for their looks. On the other hand, I relate to people. I work best in front of an audience. I think I have a good rapport with them. I have a lot of experience in public speaking as well as some in acting, as you can see from my application. I've been told I have a commanding stage presence, which I think is something important for a model. In addition to being a good speaker I can also act and sing. I'm a decent writer; in fact I'm working on a novel right now. I've worked as a photographer, so I know how both sides of the camera work, another important skill for a model. I carry myself well, and I know how to impress people. Basically Carolyn, I think I can take the world of modeling in a new direction. Isn't that what this business is about? Always finding something new? I believe that if you give me a chance, you won't be disappointed."
I had gotten more and more confident as I had continued talking, and now I just hoped that I didn't overdo it. I looked at Carolyn; she was deep in thought. She looked over my application again, as well as the portfolio that I had brought with me. The she seemed to look at something behind me. Finally she spoke.
"I can see that you are very intelligent Zack, and that you've given this a lot of thought. Actually, it might surprise you to know that a few others have been thinking that it's time for something new, myself included. I can't promise you fame and fortune, but I can promise you a job. I have a good feeling about you."
I couldn't believe it! All the time spent daydreaming of this moment. All the hard work. It had actually paid off. I was really going to be a model! I was already excited, but I nearly jumped out of my skin when someone laid a hand on my shoulder and said
"Congratulations son. Welcome to Boss Models."
I turned around to see a man in his late forties wearing a dark suit of a very fine cut. He was ruggedly handsome and the touch of gray in his hair gave him a distinguished look, but I didn't think he was ever a model. I must have showed my shock because as he looked at me he frowned a bit.
"I'm sorry I didn't mean to startle you. My name is David Boseman; I'm the president of Boss Models Worldwide. I caught the last part of your little speech and didn't want to interrupt you. I know you'll make an excellent addition to our team."
He held out his hand and I immediately got up and shook it. He had a very firm handshake.
"It's a real pleasure to meet you Mr. Boseman. I'll do my best to live up to my words."
"I know you will Zack. I look foreword to getting to know you, but right now I have a plane to catch."
With that he turned and walked quickly out the door.
"You really don't know how lucky you are Zack. It was David coming in here that really assured you the job. When you finished talking he indicated that I should offer you a job. You really showed up at the right time. David is on a plane to Miami tonight and then he's going to Cape Town to visit our offices there. He won't be back for a week."
"I guess it was just my lucky day."
"Well, I think luck had something to do with it, but I meant what I said. I do have a really good feeling about you, and I probably would have hired you anyway. Now, how about a tour of the building? Most of the models are gone, but you can meet some of the photographers and other people that work here. On the way we can discuss salary and things like that.
I met a lot of really great people and also found out more about my job. About halfway through the tour I remembered Casey. I checked my cell phone and found a voicemail from him. He said he figured things had gone well and that he'd be at the hotel. I called him there and told him that I'd gotten the job. He was thrilled of course and told me to take as long as I needed. He was a really great friend.
I finished the tour around six and to my delight Carolyn invited me to dinner.
"It's purely professional I assure you. I make a point of not dating models, no matter how cute they are," she told me with a smile.
"Well that sounds great, do you mind if I invite my friend Casey? He did come all the way up here with me."
"Of course. You can call him from my office while I get ready to go."
While Carolyn got ready to leave, I called Casey.
"Where should I tell him to meet us?"
"Well my favorite place in Tavern on the Green. Does that sound alright?"
"Are you serious! I love that place! But isn't it too late for reservations?"
"Oh there are perks to working for this company Zack. Don't worry about it. Just tell your friend to meet us for dinner at seven."
I called Casey and told him where to meet us. At that point I had to sit down for a minute. I still was waiting to wake up. This was all too good. Stuff like this never happens to me. And yet, here I was. About to go to dinner with an executive for a major modeling company. For the first time in a long time, I felt like my life was headed in the right direction.
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Well that's part one. I hope everybody liked it. Since this is my first attempt to write a story like this I'm very interested to know what people think. My e-mail is Zack02cool@hotmail.com. I know things are a little slow right now, but I promise they'll get better. Just be patient and bare with me. Of course if everybody hates it, I guess I won't go on, but hopefully that won't happen! By the way, this is a boyband story and some or all your favorites will show up, but it's going to take a few chapters to get there. I'll get to work right away, so hopefully it won't be too long! Until next time.