The next day-and-a-half in the city was a blur of tall buildings, snow, and Central Park. Both of the agencies wanted my answer on Monday and The Mother Agency was dying to know as well. It was up to me. This would be the biggest decision that I had ever made.
On Sunday night, I sneaked onto the roof from my second-story bedroom. I lit up a cigarette and compared the two agencies. I chose IMG because they wanted to sign me worldwide and they had Kate Moss. If they represented her then they had to be the best.
To: The Mother Agency
February 6, 2011 9:45 PM
Subject: The Final Countdown
E1, being the nightowl that he was, replied right away.
From:The Mother Agency
February 6, 2011 9:47 PM
Subject: Shouldn’t you be in bed?
Are you sure? I mean, we were leaning more towards IMG as well but this is your decision.
The Mother Agency
I was positive.
To:The Mother Agency
February 6, 2011 9:50 PM
Subject: They have Kate Moss…
I’m 100% sure.
I went back to school on Monday as if nothing had changed. I was catapulted from cool New York to boring West Palm Beach. Some friends asked and some didn’t. I think they probably just didn’t want to know. If I was in their shoes, I wouldn’t have asked either.
My mom picked me up from school that day and I climbed in the car, exhausted.
She gave me a “do you want to leave this school” look and I nodded.
I skipped school and walked into the office with my mom at 4:15 PM the following day and withdrew. I had timed this perfectly because I knew the halls emptied within 15 minutes but the teachers were still at their desks or walking through the halls. I couldn’t wait to rub it in their faces that I was fucking out of there.
I headed for my homeroom to gather the textbooks that I needed to return. My homeroom teacher looked up when I walked in. Haha, you’re first, I thought.
“Hey Megan, are you sick or something? You weren’t in homeroom today..”
“Oh, yeah, I just withdrew like 20 minutes ago. I just signed with a modeling agency in New York and I’m going to have to move there soon.”, I said nonchalantly.
She scrunched up her face, “Wow. Well, what are you going to do about school?”
“My agents recommended homeschooling so I can travel freely.”, I returned with a cool gaze. I couldn’t mention traveling enough. I wanted them to feel less-than. I was leaving and they were stuck here in this little bubble.
“Well, good for you?”, she replied.
I got pretty much the same response from the other two teachers I tracked down. My geometry teacher gave me a “Hmph” sound and my Spanish teacher gave me a “buena suerte”. I couldn’t find Mrs.Reed, Mrs. Hendricks, my monotone English teacher, or my weirdo Biology teacher that I hated.
She was the kind of teacher who ignored the raised hands and purposely picked on the kids who clearly didn’t know the answers. I was her favorite target because I hated Biology and never knew the answers. She put me on the spot quite often and I ignored it until one day, I went off on her.
“How about you, Megan?”
I lifted my head and furrowed my brows.
“What is the answer?”
“I don’t know”
“What do you mean ‘you don’t know’?”
I finally snapped.
“JESUS CHRIST, I don’t know the freaking answer that’s why my hand wasn’t raised. My God!”
I got two detentions for that. Both of which I crumbled and was fined.
My mom and I drove home and I couldn’t believe it. I watched the football fields and decided I never wanted to go back. I had no desire to go to any more games or see any of my teachers faces again. They were nothing but bad memories.
I told Cathleen and Maddie about my withdrawing and the news spread like wildfire. My Formspring account (LOL) blew up with anonymous messages and I got a bunch of texts.
Omg, did you really leave?
Why did you leave?
Where are you going?
I loved being mysterious. Let them all wonder about me. I was the talk of the school for a week or two. I knew a lot of people would think I thought I was “hot shit”. Suddenly, the boys who were assholes were suddenly nice to me. People asked me questions on Formspring anonymously because they didn’t want to give me the satisfaction of knowing they were interested.
How do you like me now?
My mom ordered what she thought was a Catholic home-schooling program that week. It turned out to be a very radical Christian curriculum. The literature I would now have to write essays about was Puritan-based and the science book refused to acknowledge the Big Bang Theory. It was hilarious.
I signed with IMG Worldwide and my picture appeared on their website next to the sea of other models. They wanted me in New York in June so I focused on my schoolwork and test shoots in Florida. I finished a years worth of work in four months. I Googled answers that I didn’t know and promised that I would relearn them the proper way. It was too easy.
I lost touch with a lot of my friends during this period. It was difficult to maintain these school-based relationships when I wasn’t there to gossip at lunch. I continued to talk to Cathleen and pretended to like her clique of the week. I went to a couple high school parties but they just weren’t the same. People treated me like a martian and would give me a what are you doing here look. Some of the older girls gushed over my new career more than some of my friends did. It was really confusing and I didn’t know who still liked me and who resented me. I took flipping through Vogue magazines over getting trashed at football games any day. I turned my sexual energy off and didn’t even want to hook up with any boys. They were distractions that I didn’t need.
My sixteenth birthday came on April 18th and I celebrated with my mom and childhood friend, Shannon. Cathleen couldn’t make it because she had a volleyball game and my sister was at school in Santa Barbara. I still had a lovely time.
By May, I had kicked up my workouts and only ate small meals. I lost five pounds and weighed 110 lbs. My thighs were nice and slim. I visited my sister at college for a week in Isla Vista and had one of the best times ever.
The Mother Agency had a farewell test shoot with me in late May. We shot at the beach and some of those pictures are some of my favorite from my entire career. IMG confirmed the model apartment and plane ticket with us. It was really happening. This was my shot.
My Mom dropped me at the airport on June 5th and hugged me tightly. I could tell she was worried about sending me to the Big Bad City but I reassured her that I would be fine. It was only two months and I would call her every day.
Boarding my US Airways flight, I couldn’t stop smiling. I probably looked absolutely crazy to the other passengers but I didn’t care.
I was on my way to becoming the second Kate Moss.