Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Hat Girl

Young Adult Short Story


Camac Johnson

Juliette has health problems as a child. Her French-born mother insists on her wearing a hat to school and during all outdoor activities. Other girls tease Juliette, calling her Hat Girl and Mad Hatter.

Her mother's love of fashion and the arts rubs off on Juliette. When the time comes for her to decide on her future, she chooses to study fashion design, much to her mother's delight. Now in robust health, she works hard and graduates at the top of her class.

Then comes a wonderful surprise. Juliette's mother has used her French connections to secure a job for her daughter at a Paris haute couture house. Juliette is ecstatic.

However, despite Juliette's proficiency in the French language, colleagues see her as an outsider. They question her qualifications and treat her as an underling. She is miserable and wonders what happened to the bright future everyone predicted. The owner can offer her no comfort and Juliette decides to quit.

She takes leave and returns to England. Her parents will be the first to know. But before she can break the news, Juliette has an unpleasant encounter with her chief tormentor from her hat-wearing years. This leads to a change of heart. She will stay at her job and fight for recognition.

Back in Paris, it’s crisis time at the fashion house. An important buyer has rejected their winter range designs. Juliette’s boss informs everyone that they have two days to save their jobs. As the deadline approaches, Juliette is the only one lacking fresh ideas. Her colleagues are openly scornful. She knows she’ll be first to face the sack.

Then, with time running out, she finds inspiration from her own experiences. That night she works late …

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