The knot of excitement in my stomach increased as I took my seat, complete with hairdressing gown over my attire, and watched the full room watching me, escorts in London are not used to being judged so intensely by people who are not paying for an intimate encounter. I knew there would be people judging me as a model, never mind as a woman. People can think what they want. I’d just had a couple of canapes and another glass of fizz. Josh was planning to meet me outside at ten, when this was all over. He’d booked a table nearby at Maroush, and we’d have a late night meal. I would be so hungry by then.
I took to the runway, with my newly-styled hair, and paraded in my funky “off duty escorts” outfit. When I saw a close-up of my smiling face, I almost giggled, but managed to hold it together. I was pleased with how it had all come together. Shona was talking through what she’d done as I walked and then it was judging time. She wanted to make the top three. A photographer was nearby from a London hairdressing magazine, and I had to give my name. I used my lingerie modelling name and didn’t think any more about it. The judges took a half hour to deliberate and looked at the styles in detail. I had my fingers crossed and hoped would be placed somewhere in the top half.
We were called back to our seats and Shona won third place. She collected her cheque and award and all winners and models posed for photographs. It was almost ten and Josh let me know by text that he’d arrived, so I left with Shona’s permission.
The food was good, plentiful and tasty. This was one of Josh’s London haunts and I had a few strange looks as my hair was still as it had been styled, although I wore my own clothes, not the street-wear. I had a mezes starter, followed by a lamb dish and an ice-cream for dessert. As I shared the story of my night, Josh warned me my photos might be in the free newspaper tomorrow.
The next day, I picked up a copy and saw my photo along with the famous judges, the other models and the prize winners. I kept the newspaper as a souvenir and to show Josh when I arrived home.