Friday was finally there, and a day before I was due at my big event. I did not feel prepared in the slightest and the panic of the unknown had really started to set in. Also, Friday was the one day of the week that I had a date with Eric and I still had not gotten the guts up to to tell him I was going to need a few days to myself. I worked at the salon a half day on Friday and still had to get my hair and nails done, so there would be no way for me to see him that night and I would be forced into confronting it at some point that day. Jessica picked me up that morning and the whole way we drove to class I daydreamed and pondered about what was to come over the next few days. How was I going to explain myself to Eric? What if I absolutely hated it at this party and broke it off with Eric and he wouldn’t take me back?
A million questions ran through my head and I played out about a thousand different scenarios of what could happen at the event, as well as still questioning myself if I was going to go. I kept telling myself I was going to find a way to get out of it. But now that I think back on it, I was just bullshitting myself. I was going to that event and I knew it from the get go. My self doubt was what had me questioning it the whole time. And that is what this entire blog is about. How I was forced to face my self doubt until I had no more doubt to face.
Jess dropped me back off at my car after class and I pulled the dress hanging from her back seat. She looked back at me and smiled “Call me as soon as you get a chance to talk and tell me how everything goes.” I nodded with an ear to ear grin and closed the door. Luckily, my mother wasn’t home and my brother was busy in the yard so it was easy to just hop in my car and head to the salon. I knew it was going to be a busy evening with everything I had to get done, and I was worried about how Daniella was going to react when she saw me.
As I walked into the salon Kelly greeted me with a wide eyed grin “You’ve got another delivery.” My heart just fluttered as she handed me the most beautifully wrapped package. It was in this gold wrapping paper with a black velvet ribbon tied around it. As I pulled the ribbon I could tell it was no ordinary ribbon, it was smooth velvet and definitely expensive. It was the kind of gift wrapping that you most certainly kept to re-use. As I tore into that magnificent package I felt like a kid on Christmas morning all over again. I finally got through the thick gold paper to a black box with a card taped to the top. The card was in a gold envelope and written in bold, black calligraphy was “Colette.”
I was shaking by this time and had already imagined a hundred different things that could have been in that box and written on that card. When I got a whiff of the bourbon barrels and instinctively looked up for LB, but quickly realized it was the card I was opening. It smelled just like him, an intoxicating manly smell. I blurted out to Kelly “Who brought this here and when did they come?” “It was just a normal delivery guy and he came an hour or so ago.” She said.
I opened the card and it read;
I was told the dress for Saturday evening was feline in nature. I can’t wait to see. The present is for after the party.
As I opened the box I noticed the inside was lined with the same velvet material as the ribbon except it was red and in it sat the most beautiful masquerade mask. But a cat one. It had soft fur around the eyes, lace ears encrusted with crystals and a beautiful silk ribbon tie. I immediately went blush. I felt my face turn red and heat up. I had never dated a man that bought me something like that, it was gorgeous but also kinky and sexy. My face went red because my mind went straight to thinking how freaking sexy that mask was and why he wanted me to wear it for him after the party.
Thankfully, it was Friday and the salon was busy so I didn’t really have to deal with too many questions from the girls and Daniella was ironically out for the day, which made my day so much more enjoyable. I already had to confront Eric and being able to skip out on Daniella’s wrath for the moment really helped ease some stress. All throughout the afternoon I kept opening up the box to admire that mask. I was now going to have to change my eye makeup plan to suit this new addition to my wardrobe. My hair would also have to be done in a way that would look good once I slid into the mask. For some reason that mask took that whole party to the next level. Just the anticipation of what was to come once I had it on was killing me. After the salon had slowed down a bit I had Cecilia throw in some foils and darken up my base a bit. And I made sure my nails were the red he wanted. Oh how I wished I would have known the significance of that color at that moment.
While I waited to process my color, I knew I was going to have to reach out to Eric at some point and let him know that I wasn’t going to be able to make our dinner plans so I cowardly sent him text. I know, I should have been woman enough to call him and tell him the truth but to be honest, I just couldn’t at moment. I wasn’t sure where all this was going and I still thought I would want to salvage a relationship with him if this little endeavor didn’t turn out quite like I hoped. Selfish I know. So the text was a really simple lie “Hey I’m not feeling well, think I am going to go home and take some meds and fall asleep.” In all reality I knew he probably wouldn’t mind, and might even be happy because he could now go spend one more night of the week drinking with his buddies. So looking back on it I do not feel bad for telling that white lie that night.
Cecilia did the most perfect caramel ombré with a dark base that I believe I have ever gotten and trimmed my hair into perfect layers for those long beachy waved curls. My nails were done perfectly and I had her shape my brows. I was starting to feel like I belonged in that dress. The excitement grew as the evening went on. I was thinking of how perfect the red nails would look with the leopard dress and then the mask to top it off. I honestly couldn’t wait for Saturday night. As we finished and closed up the salon I noticed Adorina’s car parked out in the front lot, as I got closer she rolled the window. She was sitting in the passenger seat and a man was driving, but not LB.
“Hop in the back. We have to talk about tomorrow.” Adorina said to me
I got in the back of her car and she turned to me and said “This is Damien, he is LB’s attorney and helps run some things for LB. He has some stuff to go over with you before tomorrow night.”
“Colette the party you’ve been invited to tomorrow night isn’t like a normal cocktail party. It is a gathering of a secret society so you could say. There are going to be people there that are of a certain stature and they wish for things to remain private. In doing so, we must ask that all of the newest members sign a privacy statement. The statement will bind you to privacy within the event. If for any reason tabloids or any media come to you and ask for information about any of these events you attend, this agreement will give us right to pursue you in a court of law if any information is leaked during your time with us. Do you have any questions?”
Well yeah I had a ton of questions! But I just shook my head and said “No, I think I get it. If I say anything about what happens at this party y’all will sue me.”
He smiled and said “Yes mam.” Handed me a paper and pen and I signed it. I was trying to keep all this as quite as possible. So the chances of me running to the tabloids were pretty slim.
“Colette tomorrow you are to be here at the salon with your things ready to go at noon. There will be a driver here to pick you up. The drive is about an hour and half up to the estate, once you arrive you will be escorted to the gardens where LB will be waiting. You will have lunch with him, and I am sure he will want to show you around the grounds before letting you settle into your cottage to get ready for the evening. Be sure to bring an array of clothing to suit several different types of entertainment. Horse back riding and also bathing suit, along with whatever else you might need. And of course your dress.” Adorina had a way of just telling you what you were going to do and you just accepted it.
“Yes mam, I am going home to get everything ready now.” I replied like a student would to their band teacher the night before a big recital.
When I got home that evening I went straight in an immediately began dismantling my wardrobe for the best possible matches for a weekend spent on a equestrian estate. Cut off jean shorts, cowboy boots, a couple cute sun dresses, a tight pair of jeans and a few accessories. I packed all my things and went over everything with a fine tooth comb to be sure I hadn’t forgotten a thing that I would need. There was still the trouble of what shoes I was going to wear with the dress Saturday night. The only thing I had was a really nice pair of black flats. They weren’t the first choice I would have picked. Normally, I would have immediately went for the black Jessica Simpson pumps but since they had taken a crap on me I was stuck with he flats. And to be honest they were really cute, they had gold buttons down the side that would accentuate the gold buttons on the dress.
I was unable to sleep that night due to excitement and when the sun came up I was right up with it. I went over all my things again to make sure everything was in place to set out on my journey. I felt like I was on top of the world. I had told my mother earlier in the week that I was going off with one of the girls so it wasn’t hard to slip away that morning.
As I pulled up to the salon I immediately saw a young gentlemen standing in front of a Mercedes SUV and I just knew he was there for me. He was waiting patiently in the employee parking lot where I am sure Adorina told him I would be parking. So I pulled up beside him, got out and he introduced himself as David, ask me where my things were and told me to hop in the back seat that the would take care of getting them. At the time, I drove an old green Toyota Camry that literally cost $600. The interior fabric on the roof of the car was falling and hanging down, I had it tacked up with different colored tacks (it was all I had at the time)It was another one of those aspects in my life that was a little less than flattering. So I am sure you can understand my dismay when he was unloading and reloading things from one car to another. But he never batted an eye and I never felt like he was judging me like I would have most people. After getting all my things into the car, he gets in the driver seat and tells me that its going to be a bit of a ride but I should enjoy the scenery.
Oh my gosh did I enjoy the scenery. It was probably one of the most beautiful rides I had taken. The area the estate is in, is what they call Gods country. Where the hills alternate in patches of emerald green and golden yellow. And the coral pink sunset can be seen for miles or until it hides behind the mountains that sit to the west. I had drifted off in a daydream as I looked out of the window and thought about everything. Over the past two weeks, since LB walked into the salon for directions my life had starting changing. I was starting to feel a sense of confidence come over me that I have never felt before. I was stepping outside of comfort zones and doing things that challenged my self doubt. I was like a caterpillar getting ready to come out of my cocoon.
We drove down this beautiful winding road that ran alongside this crystal clear stream for what seemed to be miles until we pulled into driveway that crossed over the creek and led to a gate. It was a heavily wooded entrance with a paved drive that led down this wonderfully landscaped path that took us straight into the main entrance of the estate. A gorgeous white fence encased the entire property to keep roaming horses out of the drive. An insanely beautiful Antebellum home with a fountain out front is the first thing you see when you pull into the main entrance. As you circle around the fountain to pull to the front door you can see the cottages nestled behind the house.
As the car approached the house I could tell there was a lot going, people coming and going. There were tons of workers running around checking lights and preparing for the evening ahead. I was looking for Adorina in all the chaos just to find a familiar face when all of a sudden the car door opened up and there was LB.
“They told me to wait in the garden but I just couldn’t. I wanted to come up here and get you and walk you back myself.”