Thursday, January 10, 2013

In the Midst. . .

Hello everyone! I felt like things are very slow at my blog. I know I said I wouldn't post but I thought it'd be nice to at least give you guys a little Coffee Shop for my absence. One more week and then I'll be back! I've been so stressed and busy lately. I've had a couple of weird dreams but other than that my life is really boring. Test prep, studying, and eating is my life. I miss my sleep too. I don't why we have finals. . . Well the right response would be to see how much you've learned throughout the semester but it just feels like more unnecessary stress. 

I just want to ask a question. I know you guys don't generally answer but let it at least be food for thought. What do you do when a really good friend of yours has a big secret? You've only heard speculation (gossip, really) from other friends but haven't heard that secret from your friend. You know that you're good friend will tell you eventually but what do you do until then? Do you just pretend that everything is normal? Or do you try to ask? I don't know what to do in my situation but I know I don't want to intrude or make anyone feel uncomfortable. It just sort of stings I guess that I don't know about this at all. I would tell her anything and yet? Well it's just some food for thought. 

Onto some coffee shop! 

Love in Paris? 
Gregory rolled his eyes for the fourth time. He was missing a week of school for some fashion show in Paris. He glared at his father. Apparently they thought now was the perfect time to spring the word girlfriend on him. He was happy not having a girlfriend. He explained his whole philosophy to them but they still didn’t really understand. This was all his stepmother’s fault he sighed as his reasoning fell on deaf ears. Lulu wasn’t that happy that Alyssa Atkins was his supposed perfect match. Alyssa was a freshman girl and maybe she’d be easy to get rid of. He could probably squeeze a little bit of fun out of her before she cried to her parents that he was terrible, truculent person. Everybody knew the tattletale nature of the Atkins sisters. The only thing that Lulu was happy about was the fact that he was tagging along. He hadn’t wanted to come but here he was, strapped down to his seat. Lulu didn’t have that much street cred but he did and now it meant that she had access to any show during their week. Just because her last name was now Schrodinger didn’t mean much to the elite world. 
“Champagne?” A pretty stewardess asked him. Her hair was blondish and she had the prettiest doe shaped eyes. His father nodded and she poured him a drink. Gregory just wished that they weren’t all sitting together. 
“How about you?” Gregory asked smoldering. It was how he made his first impression and girls would slowly inch towards him trying to remain discreet. He could see that the stewardess was taken aback and her pale face flushed into a dark red. 
“Gregory!” His stepmother scolded as champagne was poured into her empty glass. He sighed and wondered if any good movies were on. Stephen, Ryan, and Noah were all coming on this trip. How was it that he was the only one who was really single? All their respective girlfriends were coming too. A persistent tapping on his shoulder interrupted his thoughts.
“What?” He snapped and only felt angrier when he saw that it was Lulu.
“How much do you know about Danielle Hastings?” That name was familiar, too familiar. He closed his eyes and tried to think. Bingo. She was Noah’s girl all the way from California. He had met a Dani a couple times and she was maybe the only girl in their group that he actually didn’t mind. Gregory had never wanted Claire for some odd reason and he wasn’t fond of Vanessa, or Alyssa for that matter. 
“She’s Noah’s girlfriend and you will leave her alone.” 
“Did you know that she got the job for Rissa Says?” It made sense after all Dani was friends with Claire and Vanessa. Did that mean either Claire or Vanessa know Rissa Hass? His interest had been sparked. 
“So tell me more about Rissa. Is she attractive?”
“Ew, Greg! You’re not trying to sleep with her are you?” He shrugged and looked away. “But you know, Noah isn’t half bad. Actually, I think I rather like Noah.” She had met Noah maybe twice and both times had been a disaster. He was embarrassed for her sake. Noah had actually been like him, until he met Dani. Gregory decided that he’d never change like that. Once a bachelor always a bachelor was his motto. Maybe he’d marry some gorgeous twenty year old when he was around forty or forty five. 
“Do you think Noah would like me?” Was he supposed to tell the truth? 
“No, and you should stay away from him too.” 
“He’s going to be my new boyfriend.” Gregory simply sighed. There was nothing he could do about Lulu. He watched movies during the whole flight. When they arrived he was tired and irritable. 
“That’s why you sleep on the plane,” his father said. They wheeled in all their luggage and the shows would be starting tomorrow. Gregory sighed and tried to catch up with his family. He shrugged his shoulders as they raced ahead. He wondered what all the rush was about. He looked towards the ground and slowly marched on, pulling his luggage with him. In a sudden moment, things were racing around him and he had been knocked down. 
“Oof, sorry!” A girl was rubbing her forehead. They had collided together and Gregory had had a brief lapse of memory. The girl had a cute accent and a cute face. She had something that other girls, not even Claire or Vanessa had. There was something about her face that made her at once beautiful and recognizable. He had seen this face somewhere and it annoyed him that he couldn’t remember where. She was picking up some forms from the asphalt. He helped her trying to see if a name was printed anymore. Gregory wondered why she ducked her head in a way that girls without self esteem did. Did they know each other? His eyes wandered to the pair of Chanel sunglasses that were flung all the way on the other side. 
“I’m Gregory,” he said as they walked back to the general direction of his hotel. The sunglasses were still in his mind. His family was no longer in sight but they hadn’t called him yet. 
“I’m –,” her introduction was cut short by another girl in a hurry. “Dani! Come on! Did you get everything yet?” Her attention briefly flickered to him. “Well goodbye Gregory. Nice meeting you. Dani!” She went running in the other direction. He watched her leave but realized that he didn’t want her to go. He was always in control of when the dates ended, not the girl. The girl was usually too in love with him to subject her own opinion in anything. Hadn’t this girl felt lucky that she ran into him? Obviously not, he sighed as the two of them ran off way beyond his view. He walked back a couple steps and grinned to himself as he picked up the sunglasses. Now that pretty girl had to see him again. He studied the other girl’s face from his memory. Dani was her name. Was it Noah’s Dani? He had said that she was here. She was the assistant to Rissa, Rissa Hass. It was sort of making sense. Was that girl Rissa? He felt an excitement he hadn’t felt for a while. Dani would know how to get to her. He needed to talk to Dani. But how? 
Gregory returned to the Ritz at last. He rolled his suitcase to the corner and wondered where his parents were. It was uncharacteristic of them to just take off and go somewhere. Lulu was busy unpacking and she notified him that their parents were off sightseeing. 
“They figured you met a pretty girl,” Lulu said running her fingers through the clothes she had just hung up. Her makeup was all over the floor and she didn’t even seem to care. He sighed and rolled his suitcase into the other room. It was a good thing that they had gotten a suite. Lulu’s words still bugged him. Was it that predictable? He texted Noah to see if he had arrived yet. His message wasn’t sent and Gregory couldn’t understand why Noah didn’t have international texting. He sent a Facebook message instead and locked his phone.  
Dani was in panic mode. She was supposed to be at the airport by now but she couldn’t find her passport or her ticket. It was possible to print another ticket but she didn’t know how to attain another passport. Her room was a mess. Dani had rummaged every possible place but it wasn’t anywhere to be seen. She opened the drawer marked “private” again and only found some pencils and a picture of her and Noah. She could’ve sworn that she put the passport there. 
“Are you looking for something?” Cassandra strolled in with an evil look on her face. 
“My passport! Cassandra, you will give me my passport!”
“No,” Cassandra said and walked off. Dani lunged for her. Cassandra was about to ruin her life. Cassandra gasped and fell to the floor as her father walked in. 
“Danielle! What did you just do?” This looked very bad. Dani looked up with innocent eyes. 
“Your wife won’t give me my passport. I’m late, Dad. I need to catch a plane, to France!” 
“Dani, honey, do you have to go? It’s quite dangerous alone and I don’t think it’s a good fit for you.” The only word to describe her father was smug. “Do you need that horrible job too?” She rolled her eyes at him. It was obvious that she wasn’t going to be able to go. She would never let them take her job away too. Her parents had once again ruined her life. Dani slumped back upstairs and slammed her door shut. She grabbed the home phone and dialed Rissa Hass’s emergency phone number. Rissa Hass scared the living daylights out of her. Dani remembered the time when she accidentally deleted an email from some magazine and one time she had given the wrong phone number. The email crisis had been averted when Rissa retrieved the message from the trash box and Dani didn’t know how Rissa rebounded from her other accident. Rissa had ranted to her for three hours saying that there were actually four million people waiting to snatch this job out of her hands. She was yelled at that much for those little miss ups, what would happen to her now? Rissa had told her how important it was that Dani accompanied her on this trip. She knew her job was gone. Her parents really had killed two birds with one stone. 
“Hello?” It was Rissa. Dani gulped down her fear. 
“Hey Rissa, hey.” She sounded stupid and incompetent. “I just wanted to call to tell you that I can’t make it. My evil stepmother stole my passport.” It sounded like a joke. Maybe she should’ve just said she was sick. She heard Rissa laughing in an amused and sophisticated way. Where was the scary Rissa? 
“Okay, just be at ICAO in about thirty minutes. Pack up and I’ll see you then.” Had Rissa not understood her? Dani groaned but was not about to question Rissa Hass. Dani packed all the lovely clothes that Claire and Vanessa had bought for her. She was going to Paris after all. The airport was about twenty minutes away. She had to move, now. Dani hoped that Rissa would get a refund on that ticket that would never be used. 
“Where are you going?” Cassandra asked with a triumphant look.
“France,” Dani said giving her the look. Dani won and that was the way the world should be. She marched past Cassandra and Marcus. What kind of parents tried to ruin their children’s lives? Actually, Cassandra never tried to ruin Chase’s or Lucas’s life. It was just hers. Dani quickly rode a cab and paid him. She had a job now and that meant a steady source of income. She didn’t know when she would be replaced though. Dani scrambled out to see that someone was waving at her from a private plane. She wondered how she was going to board it. It was low enough for her to see Rissa but not low enough to board. It was hovering over the airport. Like magic, a rope ladder came down. Was this some sort of fairytale? She climbed aboard the rope without even another word. Somehow she made it on to the plane and Rissa seemed somewhat pleased with her competence today. Was this even legal?  
“You made it,” Rissa said with a smile. She seemed oddly down to earth and yet at the same time goddess like. Dani couldn’t place her tongue on it but there was something about Rissa. She was wearing plain jeans folded a little above her ankles. Rissa was wearing a white V neck and a teal belt with gold studs. Dani could see the oddly striped socks peeking under her nude colored Oxfords.
“Old Navy, Lacoste, Miu Miu, and J. Crew. J. Crew can be fashionable too you know! I paid a good fifty dollars for this shirt. And Old Navy is comfortable.” Dani stared up in awe. “You know Dani, fashion isn’t about covering yourself from head to toe in expensive products. It’s about versatility.” Rissa made anything and everything look good. Rissa flipped down her Chanel sunglasses and simple small talk was made between them. Dani was still a little star struck. She was meeting and chatting nonchalantly with Rissa Hass! Dani slept on the ride there and was woken up by the sudden rumble of the plane. The wheels were protruding from the bottom and she felt the atmospheric pressure lessen. Her ears popped and she held her breath. 
“Hold on,” Rissa said with a smile. They soon landed and Dani was dizzy from her long flight. Rissa seemed cheery and her skin was glowing positively. How was that possible? Rissa sprayed a little bit of Evian into the air as the door popped open. Rissa waved to the pilot and pushed a heavy box containing folders into her hands. 
“Let’s go, we’re late.” Rissa took off and Dani wondered how she was able to run so fast in her Oxfords. Dani tried to catch up but the box was weighing her down. She wondered what it had. Dani was balancing the box and her suitcase while trying not to fall over. But it wasn’t Dani who fell over, it was Rissa. Dani wondered what was going on. Rissa had seemed so confident and sure of herself but now she seemed flustered. 
“Dani, c’mon!” She heard Rissa yelling. Rissa was back on her feet and scrambling away. Nope, that confident Rissa was back. She wondered who that guy was. They ran all the way to their hotel, the Ritz. It was a glittering building and Dani was in awe. France was so beautiful and it was her first time here. 
“Where are my sunglasses?” She saw Rissa freaking out as they were about to enter the building. Dani wondered what the deal was. 
“We’re late didn’t you say?” Rissa shook her head in frustration but opened the gold encrusted door to the Ritz. 
“Hello, Rissa Hass, here to check in.” The receptionist nodded with a fond smile.
“We’re so glad that you decided to stay at the Ritz.” So this was what it was like to be Rissa. They were kindly escorted to their room. Dani was still lugging around the heavy box. She finally let it down with an exasperated look when they arrived to their suite. There was even a large fruit basket waiting for them. 
“Thank you. That’ll be all,” Rissa said and dismissed the concierge. “My room is this one. I made you a schedule.” Rissa handed Dani a small piece of paper. It was rigorous and Dani whimpered just staring at it. The shows started tomorrow and it was a nonstop fuss. There was no time to sightsee or even hang out with her friends. She was waking up at five in the morning in all her jetlagged glory. 
“I’m going to be suited by Valentino today so you have the day to yourself. Find dinner by yourself. I have an appointment with Franz.” 
“Who’s Franz? Is he your dreamy boyfriend? Oh, wait. That’s Bobby,” Dani said proudly. She had done some reading on the blog and was now all up to date. 
“I broke with Bobby before we came here. Don’t mention his name, ever. Franz is my hair stylist.” Dani nodded in understanding. Dani wished she had a hairstylist that bought her dinner. She was tired and left the large spacious room. Dani arrived to her one quarters to find that it was a simple bedroom with an attached bathroom and a fridge. There was no couch or table and the TV was an older model. She leaped on to the bed and felt immediately soothed. The phone rang and broke any sense of tranquility. 
“Hello?” She answered wondering if it was room service or Rissa. Did she forget something?
“Hey, Dani. It’s Noah.” Dani swooned at just hearing his voice. “We’re all going to be tourists today!” She was with Noah and all her friends in France. It might even be the last day for her to sightsee. 
“Where should I meet you guys?” 
“Just around the corner, it’ll be hard to miss so many of us.” They hung up but Dani couldn’t figure out how he had gotten this number. 
Dani wondered what to wear. She remembered Rissa’s advice. She wore a pair of faded jeans and black shirt with embellished sequins. The little Prada clutch had been her goodbye present from Noah. She held it confidently. Dani looked in the mirror but she had a lopsided smile on her face. She copied Rissa’s outfit almost exactly but it didn’t look coherent or harmonious. Dani took off the striped socks and instead wore sandals. It was the best she could do. 
Everyone was standing outside a homey looking café. She was screaming with Claire and Vanessa as soon as they saw one another. Dani saw Noah roll his eyes. After their initial hello, she clung onto Noah’s arm. Even though she had seen him last weekend, she still missed him. Claire looked ready to go with her handheld Nikon camera and Vanessa was wearing an Eiffel Tower necklace. She didn’t recognize some of the people. Vanessa seemed to understand her confused expression. 
“Everyone, this is Dani! Dani, Alyssa is my sister, and these are the Schrodinger’s, Lulu and Gregory.” A slightly short girl stood there already taking selfies. She didn’t care to wave. Her brother was incredibly handsome and somewhat familiar. He had dark hair that was in need of a haircut. She couldn’t place her mind on where she had seen him before. 
“You have to tell us about Rissa,” Vanessa said dragging her away from Noah. The group tour didn’t last long. Ryan wanted Claire to meet his aunt and Vanessa was busy distracting her sister from Stephen. It seemed like she had some more competition. 
“You’re here because Gregory is here. Go talk to him!” Dani overheard. She could tell that things were still awkward between her and Stephen. She didn’t know why Vanessa was making such a fuss over something was bound to happen. Somehow, Noah’s sister found him and dragged him off. Dani had wanted to follow but Noah said that it was family business. Dani simply watched her boyfriend get hauled off and there wasn’t anything that she could do. Stephen was trying to talk to Vanessa and she didn’t really care what happened to Lulu. 
“So hello,” Gregory said. They were looking out at the city. He was leaning over the banister overlooking the city. Was he trying to seduce her? He knew she was dating Noah. Gregory was wearing a white t-shirt and jeans but he had the Rissa effect. People were riding their bicycles everywhere and Dani had been a bit surprised at the amount of garbage littering the streets. It was just the two of them. She sighed. 
“Hi,” Dani said. “I’m Dani.” He nodded. 
“You work for Rissa right? I bumped in to her earlier today!” Oh, so that was where she saw him from. 
“Yes, I do work for Rissa.” Dani realized that he wasn’t here to seduce her. He was here to get information concerning Rissa Hass. She felt a little disappointed that he didn’t deem her pretty enough to seduce. 
“I have something to return to her,” Gregory said taking out a pair of Chanel sunglasses. She remembered how Rissa was freaking out about those. They must’ve fallen off when Rissa collided with Gregory. “Do you have a phone number or address or something?” 
“Sure, this is her hotel number,” Dani said scribbling it onto a piece of paper. Rissa would definitely thank her for this. Dani had just found the Chanel sunglasses and sent a handsome stranger to her. “She’s probably out right now. She told me to take care of dinner by myself.” Dani pulled a face. 
“I’ll buy you dinner as a welcoming present to France. Do you know where she is?” 
“She’s out with Franz, and I already have dinner plans.” This was true but she didn’t know when Noah would show up for these plans. 
“Well your loss.” He briskly said and lost interest in her. Dani ate alone in a Parisian café and returned back to the hotel around six. Dani sighed, so much for her first day with all her friends. Rissa returned around eight and angrily barged into her room. Dani gasped. How could Rissa look even prettier than before? Her hair was tinted and restyled into a cute and elegant bob. It was curled perfectly and she was even wearing a pretty dress with long knee high socks. She looked like a celebrity. 
“Stop gaping there. Here, this is for you, compliments from Valentino.” Rissa was wheeling in a suitcase and put it right in front of Dani. She actually got to wear Valentino for this whole week! Her thoughts returned to Rissa, who was fuming with anger now. Dani wondered what she did wrong. 
“How could you give my phone number out to anyone like that?” So this was what she was angry about.
“He said he had something to return so I figured you two were friends.” She heard a knock on the door. A deliveryman was holding a bouquet of flowers, roses and lilies. Was it for her from Noah? It was just like Noah to do something like this. He must’ve been so apologetic after today. 
“To the esteemed Rissa Hass from Gregory Schrodinger. PS. I have your glasses,” the deliveryman said and thrust the flowers to Dani. She thanked the man awkwardly as he left. She passed the flowers to Rissa and tried to avoid the angry eyes almost on fire.
“What is your problem with him? He seems like a really nice guy who is attractive and has money.” 
“Dani, if you want to keep your job, then listen carefully. You will never give my personal contact information out to strangers. Secondly, you will block all connections with a Gregory Schrodinger. It’s up to you to make sure that I’m not receiving any of his calls or flowers. Finally, you will get my Chanel sunglasses back.” 
“Fine,” Dani said and returned back to her room. She wondered what the big deal was. Didn’t Rissa have enough money to simply buy a new pair of sunglasses? The phone was ringing for her. 
“Hi Dani,” it was Noah. She felt a little spark of happiness. 
“How did you get this number?”
“I’m staying in the Ritz too you know. It’s called the guest directory. Do you want to have dinner tomorrow?” Dani stared at her schedule. She didn’t want to say no but she was busy until nine tomorrow. 
“I can’t, Noah. I’m up to here with work. I wake up at five and end the work day at nine.”
“I’m up for eating at nine,” he said. 
“Well then, sounds good,” she said with a little smile.
“Hey can you bring Rissa Hass too? My friend Gregory has something to return to her.”
“Oh.” Her voice dropped. “She doesn’t want to see him ever, will you tell him that? And no, I can’t bring Rissa anywhere near Gregory if I want to keep my job.” He seemed to understand. 
“Well, I’ll still be seeing you at nine.” 
Mars stood like a nervous kitty outside Franz’s office. Franz had been a close friend of her mothers, and eventually a close confident to Mars. He had been Kate’s hair stylist for over ten years until she ran away. Mars stopped talking to Franz after that. But she was desperate and called him up for she had no one else to turn to. He had been ecstatic to hear from her after a long silence. She filled him on the secret of Rissa Hass and that she needed a lot of help with her appearance if she wanted to pull anything off. She wondered what awful things he would say to her. Valentino already had a fuss about her Old Navy jeans and J. Crew shirt. Mars sighed and knocked on the door quietly and diffidently. Someone came immediately. Mars looked at the blonde, gregarious lady with a confounded look. The lady was in her mid twenties. 
“Who are you?” The lady spoke with English with a thick French accent. 
“Mars— Ho, I mean Rissa Hass.” The blonde lady looked suspicious. 
“La pauvre fille est ici pour voir Franz. Elle a un rendez-vous, Marie. Apparemment, elle est un vieil ami de Franz.” The lady was saying all this to the girl at the front desk, Marie. Mars was shocked at the acrid description of her. Was she really that poor looking? It was true that she was friends with Franz, sort of. Mars sighed. 
“Excusez-moi, je peux parler français,” Mars said in her nearly perfect French. Her mother had an obsession with French culture and language. Zed looked favorably on the ability to learn French and so Mars and Jenna had been saddled with French lessons for almost twelve years. The blonde lady looked quite surprised.  
“Marie, appel Franz ici.” Finally, Franz would be here and he’d be more welcoming. Mars wondered what to do as she awkwardly stood between Marie’s desk and the blonde lady. 
“Rees-a,” he said giving her a hug. He relocated here and she was surprised at how far he came. He touched her limp hair and it was his turn to sigh. “You definitely didn’t inherit your mother’s luxurious hair. Marie, ne pas prendre de rendez-vous plus! Cela prendra une journée entière. Now, are you ready, Rees-a?”
“Can you call me Mars?” He hadn’t ever called her Rissa. She had always been Mars. He looked at her with a smirk. 
“Non, because you are Rees-a Hass now. If you stay Mars Houghton you cannot become Rees-a Hass. You choose.” She sat down on the leather couches and Franz sat down next to her. He was almost like a brother to her. “How is Stephen?”
“He hates me,” she sighed. 
“We can get him back you know,” he said with an enthusiastic smile. 
“Really?” She looked up at him with a little bit of hope. Mars wasn’t aware of what she had signed herself up for. He tied on a mask around her eyes. He wouldn’t listen to any of her complaints either. The hair alone took four hours of curling and then uncurling and snipping. She hated to see her precious hair falling to the floor in that lifeless way. Next an assistant dragged her to a posh bathroom. Mars was waxed and stripped of any hair on her body. Her least favorite part was the teeth whitening. 
“Voila,” he said taking off her eye mask. She couldn’t recognize herself. “How do you feel?”
“Beautiful,” she said with a little gasp. 
Alyssa has been surprised when Stephen asked her to dinner. Everything was happening so soon and the only person who was jealous was Vanessa. Vanessa was sitting in their hotel room with a frown on her face. It wasn’t Alyssa’s fault that Stephen liked her and not Vanessa. It was their third day here and she hadn’t even spoken a word to Gregory yet. She wondered how her parents would like that. It wouldn’t matter anyway if she managed to get Stephen. He had reserved special tickets for some restaurant and had he had a special announcement. She had read through countless gossip and fashion magazines to prepare herself. He was going to ask her to be his girlfriend. All the signs were pointing to it. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Youngjoo, thanks for your comment over at my blog! You're more than welcome to become the next featured blogger (however, you may be 2nd/3rd from next depending on whenever the others get their answers back to me), so here are the questions.
    (1). What is the most valuable piece of advice you ever received as a child?
    (2). What is your favourite song?
    (3). If you could travel to any year, past of future, for 3 days, where would you go and what would you do there?

    Thanks again for volunteering! You can get the answers to me via the contact page on my blog.