Christina’s victorious moment was short–lived when everyone began casting doubtful glances at her.
Her face fell, and a hint of disappointment flickered in her eyes.
No one would feel good in a situation like that, but Nancy could not be bothered when she stood forward and questioned unapologetically, “Ms. Selena, please explain why all of us got homeless beggars as models while Christina got a ballerina. This is blatant partiality!”
Since she did not win any awards, Nancy figured she had nothing to lose, so she challenged Selena outright about Christina’s special treatment.
This is so unfair!
Faced with Nancy’s interrogation, Christina felt the urge to confront Nancy and divulge the truth about the models, but Selena beat her to it.
“Watch your tongue. Who gave you the right to challenge me? Zele?” Selena fumed. She was defensive because Nancy had challenged her despite her specifying that the competition would be carried out fairly.
“I…” Nancy was suddenly stumped.
She participated in the competition because Zele had asked her to and even requested that she bring home an award. Now that things had turned out like that, she would only fall out of Zele’s favor, and the thought of it made Nancy detest Christina even more.
Her dissatisfaction was so strong she felt like throwing Christina off the stage and snatching her award from her.
It was apparent that other designers were on her side from the discontent written all over their faces. They could not see why Christina’s work was better than theirs.
Reading the room, Selena addressed all of them without the slightest hint of pity in her voice. “I told all of you never to forget why you became a designer in the first place, didn’t I?”
Perplexed, the designers looked at one another, trying to guess what Selena was trying to get at.
“Do you want to know why you lost?” Selena asked with her face darkened. “First, you guys are not as capable. Second, none of you took it to heart to get to know your models. I’ll show you who your models really are now.”
As the music began playing again, all the designers found themselves dumbfounded, except for Christina, who seemed cool as a cucumber, as if she had seen through everything right from the beginning.
The next thing everyone knew, a group of professional models appeared on the stage one after another, moving down the runway with the perfect catwalk. Their strides were swift, and their gazes were firm. From how finely toned their bodies were, it was not hard to tell that they had put in some hard work to maintain them.
However, despite all these telling signs that they were professionally trained, the designers had mistaken them for homeless people because of their shabby clothes.
More importantly, out of all the models assigned to the designers, only Christina’s was not a professional model but a ballerina. That was why she had danced her way through the show.
On that note, the other designers had had the upper hand over her but they had still lost because of their carelessness.
The revelation left the designers ashamed of themselves. Looking at the experienced models walking in their skilled steps, the designers felt their egos getting trampled on.
“Is it clear now why you lost?” Selena asked coldly. “Not only are all of you not cut for it, but you are also narrow–minded. All of you are sore losers. You all need to learn to be a human before being a designer.”
Her words left the designers feeling embarrassed, but one of them went forward immediately and apologized to Christina, “I’m sorry, Christina. You won because you deserve it.”
“Thank you,” Christina replied, nodding slightly in surprise.
One after another, the designers took turns congratulating her before going off the stage. The truth was all of them had known that Christina was the best among them, but blinded by jealousy, they had joined those who wanted to tear Christina down.
Now that Selena’s words spoke sense into them, they realized they should celebrate others‘ achievements instead of wallowing in jealousy.
Likewise, Margaret realized she had won third prize merely because she had put in relatively more effort than the rest out of her desire to win, not because she had paid any attention to her model.
Still, she felt disgruntled that that was the reason why Christina won.
Just like that, the meaningful event ended amidst the audience’s praises. While Selena was famed as an extraordinary designer, that was the first time everyone had witnessed for themselves what was so special about her.
With everyone going home, the film crew began a celebration for the winners, but Christina seemed distracted with her gaze wandering in the crowd, trying to locate Nathaniel.
“Christina, it’s your big day today. Why don’t we go to the party together?” Selena asked warmly.
She had not forgotten about her promise to recruit the champion of the competition to her studio and was looking forward to working with Christina.
However, Christina was not as enthusiastic. She had looked around a few times but still could not find Nathaniel. “I’m sorry, Ms. Selena. I have something on tonight, so I might not be able to make it to the party. What about we do a rain check? It’ll be my treat.”
Knowing far too well what the look on Christina’s face meant, Selena replied, “Of course. Happy moments should be spent with the people you love. We can always meet up next time.”
“Thank you, Ms. Selena. I promise I will make it up to you. I’ll definitely get back to you.”
Just as she spoke, Christina spotted a familiar figure in the crowd.
Although the surrounding was dim, Christina recognized him at first sight. There was no way she would overlook his tall build and dark eyes that reminded her of the sparkling stars in the night. His charming face had never failed to catch her attention among all the other men.
“I got to go, Ms. Selena. See you.” With that, Christina turned and walked away.
Somehow, she hoped she had longer legs which could bring her to Nathaniel faster.
Just as she was going closer to him, a few crews blocked her way, pushing their equipment through and forcing Christina to stop where she was.
She waved her trophy at him excitedly, dying to close the distance that made him seem so far
Nathaniel’s face lit up in a smile when he saw her. His smile was so warm Christina felt it could melt the winter snow.
Luckily for the couple, the crew went past quickly. Christina’s walk broke into a run as she went to Nathaniel, but because she was too focused on him, she tripped over the wires on the ground and fell forward.