“Hey, wake up!” he shouted, a hand to his mouth.
She rolled her head up and lifted the brim of the dirty baseball cap over her forehead. He held open the limousine’s black door as she stepped out.
“What’s going on with you? You look dead.”
“I am dead.”
“Get in there, now. They’re waiting.”
The walkway was lined with flashing cameras. She pulled the cap back down over her eyes.
She felt a man’s hand grip the back of her bare arm and a voice in her ear said, “Look alive. The people are here for you.”
“And I’m here for the people,” she whispered back, squinting at the bright lights.
“Take this off,” he grabbed at the tattered hat.
“Don’t touch me,” she mumbled, and smiled into the crowd.
“Holly,” the man at the table began, “haven’t you had enough?”
“No.” She narrowed her eyes, taking a big sip from the half-empty glass. A little wine ran down her chin; she wiped it with the back of her hand.
“Let the girl live a little, it’s a party,” the man sitting beside her spoke, leaning too close to her.
“He’s got the right idea,” she leaned back smiling, and rested a hand on his lapel.
“It’s a ceremony,” the first man spoke.
Holly stopped smiling and glared at him. “Maybe you should leave.”
She felt the cold leather of the seat on the backs of her thighs; her thin gown offered little warmth.
He avoided her eyes and closed the car’s door harder than necessary.
“You know where I’m going,” she murmured. The driver nodded and pulled into the traffic.
She began to cry.