The Game of Love
By Elena Lane
Date: February 4, 2021
Ch. 22

Gigi rolled her eyes, “Watch it, Casanova.” Then, Gigi stood up, leaving Vince and Kenzie to themselves. Gigi certainly had no desire to get in between Vince and Kenzie. Gigi wasn’t looking for love or drama. All she really wanted was to win. Though, she had to admit that Vince was kind of hot. Actually, he was very hot. Still, no amount of hotness was worth getting into a catfight with Kenzie. That girl was all of 110 pounds, but Gigi was sure that Kenzie would come out ahead in any fight.

Gigi wandered around to room, trying to meet the other contestants, hoping to find someone that she could at least stand. The problem was that most of the contestants had big personalities that could be a little hard to handle. Gigi liked to think that she was down to earth, sensible, while the other contestants seemed to have their heads in the clouds, desperate for any chance of fame. Gigi was skeptical that he would make any friends on the show. No one seemed to one want friendships. They were all just focused on winning. Of course, Gigi wanted the money too, but she couldn’t see why they all couldn’t get along with each other while still competing. Sure, friendships could complicate things, but also, they’d make the whole process a little less lonely.

When the room assignments were posted, Gigi was not surprised at her assignment, but that didn’t mean she was happy about it either. Gigi would have to share a room with Kenzie. Great, just great. Kenzie and Gigi already had a tense relationship, verging on being enemies. From the moment they had met, the girls had disliked each other. How could they stand sharing the same room? Gigi made a feeble attempt at a roommate swap, but everyone had met Kenzie and needless to say, no one wanted to trade. Gigi cursed her luck; anyone else would have been more tolerable than Kenzie. The other contestants counted there blessing and thanked God that they hadn’t been put with Kenzie. They gave Gigi sympathetic looks, but Gigi could find no contestant who was foolish enough to make the trade.

Gigi sighed. It was obvious that she was stuck with Kenzie, but it wouldn’t be that bad, would it? Gigi could just ignore Kenzie and if they didn’t speak, they could simply cohabitate and spend their time together conflict free. Also, as contestants were eliminated, Gigi could flee. Gigi would only have to live with Kenzie for a few weeks at the maximum. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but Gigi was adaptable. She could deal with it. As long as Kenzie didn’t purposely try to stir up trouble, things would be peaceful.

Gigi pulled her suitcase into the room, hoping that Kenzie wasn’t there so that she could unpack in peace, but of course, Kenzie was there, sitting on a bed that she had already claimed as her own. Kenzie’s blonde hair was shining in the sun and her brown eyes were filled with self-assurance. Gigi decided that it was best not to say anything to Kenzie. Gigi began to unpack her things quietly, doing her best to ignore Kenzie. Kenzie looked at Gigi expectantly, waiting for her to say something, but Gigi stayed silent. At this, Kenzie sighed and began to speak.

“Sorry about earlier.” Kenzie said sweetly, a soft southern accent seeping into her voice. Gigi was immediately caught off guard by Kenzie’s suddenly sweet disposition. What the hell? Where had the real Kenzie gone? Seeing Gigi’s shock Kenzie shrugged saying, “I was just trying to get into character earlier. I’m not really like that. I’m actually pretty nice.”

“Get into character?” Gigi questioned.

“Yeah, I’m the diva.” Kenzie motioning to herself. Gigi didn’t think that “diva” gave Kenzie’s behavior justice. The whole time the contestants had gathered in the sitting room, Kenzie had made snide comments and acted like a bully. “Gigi, you have a sad past, but I just have a persona. That’s how I get interest.” Kenzie shrugged nonchalantly, “I didn’t have a human interest story; so, I decided to be the diva.” Kenzie was right. While no one could stand her, Kenzie would be an amusing antagonist, the girl America would love to hate. Therefore, America would keep her around for a while to stir up trouble and create drama. On every reality TV contest, there was a girl like Kenzie, the mean girl, who never won, but always got a lot of recognition.

“Well, I hope you know that the diva never wins these shows.” Sure, the persona would get Kenzie farther on the show, but the mean girl never won the show. In the end, the audience always chose the well-loved contestant, the good one.

Kenzie laughed. “Darling, I don’t want to win. I just need the publicity. I want to be an actress and this is just the kind of publicity that I need.”

“But you’re going to make America think that you’re a terrible person. People will hate you, Kenzie. Do you really want to ruin your reputation for some stupid reality show?”

“They’ll forget all about this little show when I win my Oscar.”

Gigi chuckled, “Yeah, I’m sure they will.”

“Besides, I don’t really care what they think about me. I know that I’m not like that and that I never will be. Any publicity is good publicity. If I have to make myself look bad to get publicity, I will.”

“So, are you actually interested in Vincent?” Gigi asked curiously. Vincent wasn’t the kind of guy that Gigi went for, but he had seemed interested in her. He had been charming. Maybe there was something beyond bad boy.

“Oh, heavens no. You can have him, but when the cameras are on, I’ll have to act like you’re stealing my man.”

“On camera we’ll be enemies— “

“But off camera we’ll be best friends.” Kenzie interrupted excitedly, clapping her hands. Gigi knew that being on America’s Most Popular would most definitely be an interesting, if not completely insane, experience.

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