Sunday, April 14, 2013

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

Hello everyone! I just have a short and funny story to share. I went to Jamba Juice today to work on yet another biology experiment. That whole lab is very frustrating. Anyways, I ordered a breakfast wrap. As I was about to eat it, I dropped it. I'm so klutzy and clumsy. BUT the nice people of Jamba Juice made me a new one and that made me soooo incredibly happy. They didn't have to do that but they did. Random acts of kindness have such power. 

Good things come to those who wait. Yup! That's right, I finally have a new Coffee Shop chapter available and up to read. Sadly this is one of the last episodes. I know I've said that many times but this time it's true. I think I have one last chapter and an epilogue left. I've run out of creative juice and I have no motivation to add a new nemesis. There have already been so many extensions and new characters. I've fallen in love with every single character as I've watched them grow and become different people. The story is different from what I planned it to be but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Once you set foundation for a story there's no saying where it will go. I started this story in the summer time of 2012 and now it's April of 2013. This has been a huge writing project and one of the most ambitious that I've ever undertaken. It's almost 200 pages now. That's MASSIVE. I guess I can save all the thank you's for the epilogue but I really do appreciate those of you who've read what I've written.

I'm definitely going to miss Coffee Shop but I'm sure I'll find a new project soon enough. I'm happy with where Claire is. In the meanwhile, I'll try to wrap up Scarf Boy and find a new calling and inspiration. 

You guys are the best! Thank you. 

Confessions
Gregory couldn’t stop thinking about Rissa. It was already the middle of the week and only two days were left. This was possibly his last chance of ever encountering Rissa Hass again. He followed Rissa and Dani to every single show but yet she never spoke a word to him. Dani felt apologetic that Rissa refused to talk to him and secretly fed him the whereabouts. Unfortunately, Lulu almost always tagged along. The phone rang and echoed loudly in the spacious room. Lulu was off at an afternoon show and he was too exhausted of any kind of fashion to tag along. There wasn’t even a hundred percent chance that Rissa would be there. 
“Hello?” His voice cracked and Gregory wondered if it was Rissa. It was definitely a number from one of the Ritz rooms. Maybe she did come around. Maybe she was in love with him all along. 
“Gregory,” a distinctive girl said. He sighed in frustration. It was just Alyssa probably calling for her parents.
“What? I’m busy.” 
“Buy me dinner. Are you doing anything?” Gregory didn’t know what to say. What was a good excuse?
“I told you I’m busy. Maybe never, Alyssa.”
“Hey, we’re supposed to be in a happy relationship.”
“Said who?” Gregory groaned and out of the blue Alyssa agreed to hang up the phone. He hung up in a heartbeat before she could even mutter a simple good bye. He wondered why Rissa couldn’t even give him a chance. Did she think he was so below her standards? Gregory didn’t know why he did but he decided to dial her room number one last time. They say you only needed 10 seconds of insane bravery and stupidity to do anything. There was nothing else he could do and he was ready to give up. There was a limit to how far he could go, even for a girl like Rissa Hass. 
“Hello?” He felt an inexplicable sense of joy. She had picked up and it was obvious she had caller ID. 
“Rissa, would an afternoon with me interest you at all?” His heart was actually beating. 
“Frankly no, I thought this was someone else.” He could imagine her pointer finger ready to press the hang up button. She was obviously wavering about this. He wondered why she picked up the call and why she had lied to him. 
“Well, I’ll see you at the Louvre in two hours. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind having their famous Rissa Hass take a little break from her hectic existence. I am a Schrodinger after all.” 
“Fine. You have two hours.”
“Perfect, see you then.” He changed into corduroy pants and put on a sweater. It was his go to look and he knew nothing would impress Rissa Hass. Gregory took his phone and wallet and wondered what to expect. He didn’t know what to think about her at all. Had something terrible happened in her life? 
Dani wondered what changed in Rissa’s sudden attitude. The calm and composed Rissa disappeared within a simple snap. She had never seen Rissa so frantic and all over the place. Her closet was empty and all the contents were dumped on the snow-white carpet. Rissa looked great in everything and yet she was freaking out. Dani sat on Rissa’s bed and for once Rissa didn’t chastise her. She was too busy being overwhelmed to even notice Dani. Dani wondered what the nature of this emotional break down was. According to Rissa, Gregory was a ‘nobody’ in her complicated realm of things. He was too unimportant to be bothered about before. Whenever he called, Rissa would nonchalantly shrug and coldly tell her not to ever call again. 
“Who is this guy, Rissa? Your supposed date is in thirty minutes. You have so much time.” Rissa dropped her handful of clothes and turned her attention to Dani. Dani gulped and realized that the Rissa she knew was momentarily back. 
“Can you keep a secret Dani?” 
“Yes,” Dani said a little too quickly. 
“I’m not really Rissa Hass. Or actually, Rissa Hass never existed. She was my alter ego and I never knew that she would be so incredible as she is today. I’m actually just Mars Houghton. There, now you know.” It was an incredibly simple story with such brevity but Dani believed completely. There was something about Rissa’s tone and her eyes that projected truth. With this simple statement, their friendship had been cemented. 
“You are Rissa Hass though. Don’t you ever forget that. I won’t tell anyone,” Dani said with a little smile. She still didn’t know how this all tied back to Gregory but one secret was enough for today. “I like the yellow dress.” Rissa stared up at her with appreciation.
“Thanks,” Rissa uttered barely audible. Dani nodded enthusiastically and waited for her to ask if Dani could get off the bed. The request never came and she wondered if she had any secrets to tell Rissa. 
“Gregory has been coming to our shows because of me. I just felt so bad seeing him want you so badly.”
“I know Dani. That’s why I picked up the call,” she said with a little smile. “I better get going though. I need to make a plan B just in case he decides to stand me up.” Dani watched Rissa nervously leave. She was wearing some simple pumps and that yellow dress. Rissa looked like a glowing goddess. Dani had her own work to do. Preparing for the last day of fashion week wasn’t easy. Dani went into the study room and started planning their schedules. She heard a rapid series of knocks. It seemed like someone wanted to break down their door. Was it Rissa? Dani slowly made her way back to the front door. Alyssa was standing in front of her with a vapid look on her face. Had she always looked so shallow and angry? She resembled bits and pieces of Vanessa. It was a terrible thing to be on Vanessa’s bad side. 
“Hello Alyssa. Are you looking for Vanessa?” Dani, sadly, hadn’t seen much of Vanessa or Claire. She heard little snippets of what was going on from Noah whenever they had dinner around nine. Apparently Vanessa still hadn’t reconciled completely with Stephen. Dani didn’t understand what was so complicated but she didn’t say anything. 
“No, could I come in? I’m looking for Rissa.” 
“Oh, Rissa went out with Gregory a little while ago. She’ll be back soon enough though.” 
“Rissa Hass went out with Gregory?” Alyssa was fuming now. Dani wondered how to get her to leave. 
“Yes and I don’t have anything interesting here.” 
“Move aside Dani. I need some dirt on her.” 
“Stop Alyssa. Stop before you regret something.” Alyssa only gave her a haughty look before pushing her aside. Dani looked at her without anything else to say. There was no way that Alyssa was leaving now. She angrily charged into the calm office where Dani had been sitting a couple minutes earlier. Dani watched her search the trash and the desk and every little corner of the room. She didn’t know what Alyssa was looking for but there was that look of determination in her face. People with that kind of look didn’t leave without getting what they wanted. 
“What do you want?” Dani swallowed down her nervousness. Alyssa looked up at her with a piece of paper in her hands. The look of determination had been replaced with a look of sheer happiness. Dani had a sudden panic arising from her stomach. What could she have thrown away? Was there anything discriminating in this room? Dani normally didn’t work here. She normally worked in the little desk that was in her room. Alyssa waved a paper in her face.
“Rissa Hass is a sham,” Alyssa reported gleefully. “I found a transaction from Mars Houghton. What would that be doing here?” Dani gulped trying to look unaware of what that meant. She did remember tossing something thoughtlessly away. Could she have been so stupid? 
“I am friends with Mars. She wanted me to bring that.”
“You live in Nebraska right? How in the world do you know Mars?” 
“Pen pals, we met in sixth grade.”
“Oh really, then where does she go to school?” 
“Um, Pemberly something?” 
“Pemm Wimberley’s School for Talented Girls, good try. You don’t know her, Dani. You know that Rissa Hass is a sham. When I expose this, she’s done. You’re done.” Dani’s tentative smile froze. She felt her blood rushing to her head. Rissa was more than her boss. Rissa had finally become her friend. And now she was also done by association. Her head started to pound. Where was the aspirin? 
“You can’t Alyssa. Please, I’ll give you anything. Do you want Noah? Do you want Claire? Do you want this job?” 
“Too late, Dani, see you later,” Alyssa said taking her incriminating evidence with her. Dani tried to snatch the paper out of her hands but she was too late. Alyssa was gone and Dani stood there with shaking knees. They were done for, absolutely done for. 
Rissa showed up five minutes early but she saw that Gregory was already there too. She took a deep breath and waved towards him. He seemed happy enough to see her. She tried to smile and push the painful memories aside. She was Rissa Hass now, not a ‘nobody’ like Mars Houghton. Rissa couldn’t help but remember what Stephan said. Shouldn’t she have been happy with her new image? 
“Good to see you Miss Hass,” he said and she tried to smile. She just had to get through two hours of this. How painful could it possibly be? 
“Same, now what did you have in mind? I’m a busy person you know.” She tapped her foot against the pavement. It was an incredibly rude gesture but she didn’t care. The faster she was out of here the happier she would be. 
“So someone said. Let’s go eat lunch.” She nodded feebly. “What makes you so influential, Rissa? My sister doesn’t know anything about you and yet she mesmerizes you.” 
“I’m perfectly relatable. Since I’m so perfect girls think that my advice is reliable. Gregory, what makes you the perfect playboy?” He hadn’t expected that question. She saw him stumble slightly backwards. He had lost that infinite sense of cool if for only a second. She smiled while watching the cool resurface.  
“I like to have a good time. Since I’m so perfect girls think I’m worth the risk of a broken heart.” She rolled her eyes but it made sense. It was why she had liked him so long ago. She stared at her wristwatch. Barely any time had gone by at all. 
“C’mon,” he said briefly holding her hand. She went along with it trying not to freak out. They ran through the halls packed with tourists. She felt an exhilarating sense of excitement. She didn’t know where they were going and didn’t care either. Was her heart actually beating? Allergies she tried to say but even she knew how ridiculous that was. 
They were running full speed ahead through the Lourve. When was the last time that someone had so blatantly disrespected culture like that? Tourists stared at them oddly but she didn’t really mind. To them, she was just a pretty girl stuck in the moment. They ran out through the back exit and she paused to catch her breath. 
“I know a really good pizza place,” he began to say. So far their date was weird but just weird. Rissa was fine with weird. 
“Okay,” she said. She gave up on convincing him that she had things to do. They walked along the narrow streets and he somehow managed to find the place tucked in some crevice that the street intersection made. “So I know absolutely nothing about you.” 
“We could change that,” he said with a sly expression. They went inside the rustic pizza place. She looked wide-eyed at the little haven. No one knew who she was and no one had any expectations for her. Rissa leaned back. She could be Mars here. She smiled and he nervously smiled back. 
“I’m Gregory,” he said with an enthusiastic smile. She felt her heart fluttering away from her. Rissa shut her eyes for half a second. How could this be happening again? 
“Rissa,” she grudgingly admitted. It was too awkward, and late, to tell him that she was the Mars Houghton from their sixth grade days. “What you do for fun?” 
“I watch movies. I’ve always been interested in film.” 
“Really? I like movies too. You know maybe it’d be fun to hang out once in a while back in New York. You do live in New York, right?” 
“Of course and I can’t imagine you anywhere else.” 
“Why do you say that?”
“You’re a born New Yorker, it’s obvious.” That didn’t answer her question but she was satisfied with the response. She crossed her legs and leaned back. It seemed not like a first date but a rare encounter with an old friend. They talked about school, their families, and even great summer reads. It was three hours later when they stumbled out of the pizza shop. He reached for her hand and she let him hold it. His touch was warm and friendly and she didn’t want this moment to end. 
“You’re much nicer and softer than you act,” she said to no one in particular. They looked up at the blue sky with puffs of cloud interwoven. 
“You’re much more relaxed than you act,” he said also to no one in particular. They ambled around for a while but knew that a parting was inevitable. “Do you mind if I have a phone number?” 
“Of course not,” she said taking out her cell phone. “Thanks for that wonderful trip.” They had somehow made it back to the hotel. 
“See if you only gave me a chance,” he started to say. 
“Yes,” she said slightly a bit melancholy. Rissa avoided his eye contact and stared at her feet.
“Aw don’t be like that, Rissa,” he said with an affectionate smile. He pulled her closer to him and kissed her cheek. Gregory could feel how nervous she was. Behind all her fame and taciturn attitude was a vulnerable girl who just wanted love like everyone else. 
“Why’d you do that?” She asked taking a step back. She didn’t look unhappy, just surprised. 
“Isn’t that how you say thank you in French?” Rissa couldn’t help but laugh as they parted ways. It was about five in the afternoon and she was on cloud nine. 
Claire turned on the morning news on their last day in Paris. Her mother was in the other room packing for the plane ride back. She sat on the couch and wondered when the last time she watched news was. Claire felt her back straighten as she saw Lulu Schrodinger and Alyssa Atkins standing smugly in the background. Since when were they friends? Was this a ploy for fame?
“We’re here with two girls who claim to know the real Rissa Hass. Rissa has been a blogging phenomenon with her advice blog Rissa Says. Please welcome Lulu Schrodinger and Alyssa Atkins,” the blonde female reporter said. The studio audience clapped and Claire had a terrible feeling in the pit of her stomach. 
“Yes indeed we do. Rissa Hass is just an ordinary girl from New York who attends Pemm Wimberley’s School for Talented Girls. Her real name, which might surprise everyone, is Marissa Houghton. She goes by Mars most of the time. I don’t see any valid reason for her blog to be read as much as it is. We don’t need advice from a sad and single girl from New York,” Lulu triumphantly said. Claire felt her jaw drop. Marissa Houghton. Where had she heard that name before? Claire squeezed her eyes shut. Wait, Zed, it clicked. Marissa Houghton was her cousin and the dead ringer for her grandfather’s coffee chain. 
“Here is the incriminating ticket stub,” Alyssa said waving the little piece of paper on national television. “We just want to thank Danielle Hastings for showing us around the hotel room of Miss Rissa Hass.” Claire shut the TV off. It was obvious that Dani had nothing to do with this. She wondered what would happen next. The door rang and Vanessa quickly ran in as soon as Natasha opened the door. 
“Did you hear?” 
“Yeah,” Claire said with a sense of dread for the events to come. “Rissa Hass is my cousin.”
“Rissa is the girl who sabotaged my relationship with Stephen.” 
“She probably had a good reason, Vanessa. Can I remind you of our early past?” Vanessa nodded her head curtly and no more was said. There was another knocking at the door. Natasha opened the door again to find Dani with her make up smudged and hair in a mess. 
“She fired me,” Dani said meekly. “She told me her secret that day. Alyssa came in and just took the receipt. Rissa trusted me. I was her friend and I did this.”
“You didn’t do anything. If Rissa Hass is meant to stay then she will,” Claire said in a hopeful manner. She brought her MacBook over and clicked on Rissa’s blog. Surprisingly, there was a new post waiting for them to read.
Hello everyone. I’m incredibly sorry for all the recent news flying about the internet and media. I’m not sorry that I’m Marissa Houghton. Maybe it’s something that I should’ve said earlier. I was too afraid. This whole blog started because of one powerful and haunting memory. A certain girl at a gala event told me that I didn’t belong there and never would. The blog was a place for my unsaid feelings and sarcastic advice from a girl who had nothing figured out. I never knew how much traffic and readers this blog would receive. I will never be perfect like the girl Rissa Hass was supposed to be. The advice was all mine at the end of the day. I’m so thankful for all those people who’ve been reading and I would appreicate it if you continued to do so. However, I understand that not everyone wants advice from just an ordinary girl. We all seek to be Rissa Hass and I’ve shown that it’s possible. Don’t let anyone decide your place in the world. 
“That girl was me,” Vanessa said slowly. “I was the girl who told her that she didn’t belong there at the gala.” 
“What do you think will happen next?” 
“I don’t know,” Claire responded but she knew in her heart that she’d never stop following Rissa. Mars was Rissa and it had just taken her a while to figure that out. She didn’t care anymore that Zed promised Rissa his coffee chain. There was just a real side to this girl that no one knew before. 
Lulu felt a seething hurt when she saw Gregory in the morning. He had watched the news but there were no congratulatory words for her. He seemed sort of angry actually. Gregory was calling someone on his phone and that person wasn’t picking up, even after the fifth consecutive call. 
“Are you okay?” She asked gently.
“No, I’m not okay. You ruined everything, Lulu. I finally found a girl I really liked and now she won’t even talk to me, again.” Lulu swallowed all her bad feelings.
“Why is that?”
“I understand now. In sixth grade there was this shy girl who wasn’t very pretty who liked me a lot. I had laughed in her face and forgot all about her. Now she’s back as Rissa Hass and I’ve fallen for her. How ironic is that.” 
“Did you sleep with her last night?” He was disgusted by that idea. Rissa deserved more than that. Maybe initially he had wanted to see her just to brag that he had slept with Rissa Hass. She was a lot different than what he had expected. 
“No, why would I have done that?” Lulu nodded her head and felt the world falling to pieces. Her success was futile because Rissa had won again. There was nothing she could do about it. Lulu didn’t regret what she did but she had expected some big uprising against her. Gregory was so obviously in love with her and the world seemed a little bleaker. 
To be continued... this is one of the last chapters :'( 

2 comments:

  1. Hey! That was a good read!
    And before I forget, I just nominated you for an award! Check it out!
    http://ruya-wakingmoments.blogspot.in/2013/04/fifth-time-lucky.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Ruya!! That means a lot :)
    I will check it out!! I've been so busy lately :(

    ReplyDelete