Four in the City

November 16, 2013

Life has changed since I’d been here last.

I’ve moved across the country from one metropolis to another. I’ve married. I have two kids. I’ve gained weight and no longer resemble a posh fashionista.

Yes, life has changed.

Reading these old posts, old stories, old tales of city living and party life, I don’t necessarily miss it, but I do look at it fondly. How I wish I still fit into that life – or rather, that old life could fit in with my new one somehow. To do that I would have to lose weight. I’d have to focus more on myself, and I feel so unorganized and scattered to do so.

Every chance I get to myself, I realise that everything around me is in disarray and that my to-do list is 20 items too long. Hopefully, one day soon, I’ll give myself a shake and become who I want to be again.

For now, it’s just four of us in the city.

Neglectful…

December 29, 2008

My apologies for the neglect, but I am again living life and on the road everywhere. No real excuse but I have tons of material I will share with you in the next month.

For now, I am off to New York…

xoxo

Manhattan Lovers / edited

November 4, 2008

Juliana lay awake in the dark, on a bed so heavenly, next to a man who she thought must be an angel sent directly to her from heaven, but her thoughts were keeping her awake.

She was in New York again, determined to “make it” – for the third time in her life. Only this time, she had found love. A love that made her believe that she and New York were meant to be after all.

Trevor was a writer who she had met at the Starbucks on the corner, between their two buildings.

He would go there to write, and watch people, and get inspired – inspiration which he was constantly lacking.

Juliana would go there for the free WiFi, since she couldn’t afford it after charging her new MAC Airbook to her sole Visa card. She would go to Starbucks and look at celeb gossip, checking out Gawker and what else there was to do in the seemingly busy city.

This time she had been in Manhattan for no more than two months, working as a shop girl at an independent clothing designer’s boutique. The city seemed to swirl like crazy all around her, but she had yet to be sucked in – instead she watched stolen cable on her 27″ flat screen, set up crazy outfits for work the following day, and went to Starbucks, which was, ironically, consistently packed with people, all who said not more than two words to each other – “Seat taken?” – and even that was sometimes drowned out by the incessant ‘klickey-klack’ of keyboards on laptops.

To be so entirely surrounded and yet feel so disturbingly displaced from it all made Juliana a little angry and a little hopeless.

When she finished reading the latest gossip, checking the latest fashion shows on Style.com, and even reading random blogs from old classmates on Facebook – she would people watch. Juliana often sat there, waiting for life to happen, and then it just did.

She saw Trevor. A dark-haired, blue-eyed man, who kept glimpsing over his laptop to look at her.

At first she was freaked out, imagining a stalker-like scenario, but then he lifted his head, smiling at her, showing off his perfect teeth and chiseled features. After a few minutes of stealing glances, he closed his computer and left when she wasn’t looking.

She considered jumping out of her seat and chasing after him, but didn’t want to appear desperate. A tap on her shoulder brought her back to reality and a ‘Seat taken?’ took her right back up to the heavens.

Trevor bought them another round of coffees – his a Tall Americano, her a Skinny Vanilla Latte – and she suddenly felt alive. She felt a connection with someone other than a computer screen and it was exhilirating.

He was 28, a published author working on his second book, raised in New York – Upper East Side, but needed to a find a more ‘real’ scene, so he moved down to Greenwich Village. He used to play piano, doesn’t watch much TV, and spends his weekends walking in the city, discovering places.

Juliana knew it was love at first sight. And although she didn’t confess her TV-obsessed, non-reading, hermit-like ways to this sexy artist, she did tell him about her job and her two previous apartments in New York. And when she started ranting about something irrelevant, which is what she did when she was nervous, he touched her hand ever so softly and asked if she wanted to go somewhere to eat.

They walked half a block with their cute messenger bags in tow – his a beaten up brown leather, hers was a pink Juicy Couture – and she thought they must have looked like a real couple to the strangers around them.

They arrived at a shabby chic Mexican place that Juliana passed on her way to work. During the day the noticeably peeling paint, mismatched colorful furniture and broken door looked downright gringy and ghetto. But at night, with colorful string lights, candles scattered on all the tables, and the smell of good cooking in the air, the Mexican place looked cute, romantic and cozy.

Sharing nachos, fajitas and a pitcher of sangria, Juliana swore to Trevor that she would read his book, her first in 3 years, and he swore he would start watching MTV – just to stay pop-culturally current, for his “material”.

The drunken sloppy kisses started when the check arrived, her Juicy bag felt so heavy she made him carry both their bags while he groped her walking down the sidewalk to his building. The building was two blocks away from hers, a five story walk-up of which they climbed to the fourth floor.

He fumbled with his keys while she kissed him as passionately as she could. When he finally got his door unlocked they fell into his apartment – dark, and smelling of coffee, chinese food and vanilla (thanks to Glade Plug-ins found throughout the place she would later discover).

They eventually made it to his bed, which was surprisingly comfortable, with a mountain of pillows and a cozy duvet which landed on the floor. Their lovemaking was passionate, lengthy, and very satisfying. Liliana hadn’t made love in ages, and this made the wait worthwhile. Trevor was attentive, intuitive, and made her orgasm four times.

They fell asleep all over each other, literally a tangle of limbs, sweaty and exhausted.

When she awoke she felt enlightened. This only happens in the movies, she thought to herself with a smile. Meeting in a coffee shop, a lovers tryst, one that you could only dream about in Paris, a city full of romance, and not in New York, a city full of cynicism, failed idealism, and those drifting, like herself, waiting to be found.

Now awake, she heard the shower running and she was alone in bed. She suddenly felt shy – she was nude, and the large windows all through his apartment let in so much daylight she felt exposed, as if people could be watching from the outside.

She scrambled around his apartment trying to find her clothes, her bra was hanging gleefully off of a lamp in the corner, her pants were found scrunched up on the sofa, and she mistook her sweater for a sweet little area rug by the doorway. When she gathered up her clothes and quickly threw them on, she noticed there was a sudden quiet in the apartment, and she realised that the shower had stopped running.

And then there he was. Trevor was in the doorway, his hair wet, a towel wrapped around his waist and a smirk on his face.

“Did you find your clothes alright?”

Juliana nodded, and noticed a weird feeling creeping up behind her, an uneasy feeling that she attempted to shake off, even just temporarily. Trevor made her coffee, he actually used a coffee grinder and the glossy high-tech machine and made her the best tasting latte she’d ever had. And then she realized what that feeling was.

She suddenly felt like this was all too good to be true. She’d been in New York twice before this, her last sexual encounter was with a busboy at an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, and she heard so many stories about love in New York – most specifically that it doesn’t exist. In one single night she had fallen for a man so amazing, so romantic, so sexy, but what if it was all fluff? A dream? What if when she goes back to her apartment and her heart gets broken again and she’s left alone, again?

She shrugged away the feeling yet again and put down her latte. Trevor walked her two and a half blocks to her apartment, and she was surprisingly calm. They held hands, he even kissed her before she went up to her place.

She wasn’t sure what this would lead to. She wasn’t sure about Trevor or the future or love. She looked in the mirror with happiness, and walked to work with a kick in her step. All she knew was that she didn’t feel alone anymore. Someone had found her.

And that was the only sure thing that mattered.

Comeback Queen

October 20, 2008

Line stared at her two shoe options, as chosen by her styliste, Mona, who declared that both shoes were hot, next season, and dying for her feet.

One was a black strappy and studded pointy-toe Versace pump. The five inch heels screamed “Sex!” and she wasn’t sure if that was the statement she wanted to be making.

The other shoe was a divine silver strappy sandal, a Jimmy Choo, with crystals going up the back of the heel, so delicate, so beautiful.

Either shoe went perfectly with her short, ruffled and layered Rodarte mini-dress – which was the perfect shade of pale pink – not too nude, not too orange, and just the right amount of sheerness. Just enough to subtly show off her assets.

Lina really wasn’t overly perplexed over her shoe decision, but she was definitely trying to waste time, to push off this gala thing she had to go to – the only reason for going was to prove that she still ‘had it’, after all.

But when she looked in the mirror, she didn’t see the sexy supermodel anymore, all she saw was a scared not-so-little girl staring back at her. Asking her if she even had an ounce of “it” anymore.

It was at that precise moment that her best gay boyfriend and sometime hairdresser, Michel, walked into the room. He was wearing an ultra-tight shiny Dolce & Gabbana suit in the same colour as her dress.

“Lina!” He exclaimed in his crap ‘high society British’ accent that he put on when going to high society galas, and also when he was just a little bit too high.

“For Godssakes darling! Put on a shoe and let’s carry on! The car is waiting! The camera’s are waiting! The World is waiting!”

Lina watched his performance and his expectant face, her smokey-made-up eyes glanced at him, making her look mysterious, almost like someone else, she noted.

“Michel… I just don’t know if I’m ready. I mean, really really. I just don’t think so.” She gave him a shrug and looked back at her reflection.

“Look Darling! If Kate Moss can make it back from a little scandal so can you!”

“I guess,” Lina looked at him doubtedly, then posed a couple of times for good measure.

“See! You still got it! Now chop chop! The car is waiting!”

She held up both shoes to him, daring him to pick one.

“Hmm. The black pumps. Sexy.”

Lina slipped on the sex-bomb Versaces and left her home in the Bentley Michel had secured for the Gala Event.

Michel spent the whole ride on his phone – calling, emailing, texting – which allowed Lina to think more about the scandal that led her life to its present tense.

She thought back to when she was a fourteen year-old hot-at-the-moment model, hired for all the Euro runways, by eighteen an internationally known supermodel. Known for her long legs, her soulful eyes, and her lips, which were perfectly full, and whose slight smile made men and photographers weak at their knees – because Lina Minski didn’t smile for just anybody.

At twenty, Lina’s mysterious smile had been on every major fashion magazine cover in the world, and was a host on a modelling competition television show in her native France.

She had met Peter Winstorm at a gala function, she was twenty-two, he was twenty-four, a sexy footballer on some English team, and she fell in love.

Her wedding was featured in OK! and written about in Vogue – after a two-month  honeymoon travelling through Spain, Fiji and the Greek Islands, Lina found herself pregnant.

She spent her pregnancy decorating her two mansions, one in London and the other in Paris, two sitting rooms, two master suites, two baby rooms.

She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Chloe Helene, and whose pictures were also featured in OK! in a ten-page spread. The spread showcased their London home, the life she and Peter had created for each other, and their addition to their family, their gorgeous little girl.

When Chloe was six months old, pictures were leaked to the press of Peter partaking in drugs and other women while partying with teammates.

And although she was beyond embarassed, he promised her it would never happen again, and she forgave him and they moved on.

But two months later, the drugs came back, kicking him off the team temporarily, and only caused him to party and cheat more.

Lina stayed with Chloe at their Parisian home, and Peter stayed across the river in their London home. Lina became a recluse from the public eye, now the papers were rampant with stories about her and Peter almost everyday.

They eventually got a divorce, she kept her Paris home, he kept the London one, and, because of his drug addiction problems, she had sole custody, allowing him monitered visits twice monthly.

This painful and seemingly private family breakup destroyed more than just her heart.

Her body was no longer what she once had. The stories persisted aobout her and Peter for months after the divorce, and the stress had taken its’ toll. She didn’t eat properly, stopped working out and because frighteningly thin for a while. She didn’t dare step outside her property, if she did the paps got another picture of her looking scary and giving newspapers more stories about her.

What hurt most were the allegations of her own drug use, and accusations of being an unfit mother.

Now, almost four years later, most had forgoten about Lina Minski, so much so that even she had found herself irrelevant.

And yet, there she was, in next seasons frocks and shoes, on her way to a fashion gala, trying to prove that she still had “it”, that she was still somebody to see, someone to book for jobs.

Although Lina was never going to be poor again, thanks to a rather hefty divorce settlement, it would still be nice to do something with her life, to show her daughter than her mommy was a sombody to be proud of, not some washed-up has-been.

Lina was being nudged by Michel to get out of her daydream.

“Lina, darling, have a bump – You’ll be more yourself!”

She obliged, sniffing some coke, passing the silver vial back to her friend and smoothing out her hair, getting ready for the paps.

The car stopped in front of the building, in front of the red carpet, which she had begged not to walk, to which Michel insisted that she may not even bother going if she wasn’t going to walk the Red Carpet.

And so, she obliged.

Michel walked out first, allowing Lina a more demure exit out of the car. Lina was blinded for a moment stepping out of the car, and then she was reminded of the old days. Looking beyond the flashes of lights, her seductive pouty lips forming the slightest of smiles that was her signature, pushing her left hip back, extending her right leg out, and giving the paps what they wanted for exactly ten seconds.

Lina allowed herself to be led up the steps with Michel holding her arm, and at the very top, she tossed her head around, getting a high off the extra flashes, oohs, and aahs she received from the crowd and entered the building.

The night was beautiful. She mingled, drank champagne, and ate very little.

She went home late, tucked herself deep under her plush covers and fell into a deep sleep.

A week later, on a bright and sunny Saturday morning, a five year old Chloe ran into her mama’s bedroom with magazines in hand. Shouting “Mama! Mama!” and giggling and speaking so quickly in French that Lina’s could only smile her biggest smile, which she kept only for her daughter.

Lina’s “comeback” had landed all the tabloid magazines, but the satisfaction and happiness in her heart came from her daughter’s face, looking at her mama with all the stars in her eyes. Lina felt happy again.

Spinning Magnolias

September 8, 2008

Magnolia Pettes is a model, a beautiful girl with large green eyes, long blonde streaked hair and a body girls envy and men covet. At every party she is the It Girl, in every room it was like spotlights were only on her, she is the star where ever she goes. She can have any man she wants, any drug she wants, and she can have it now.

The only thing was, at 22 years old, she already felt old – she felt used up.

She was getting sick of the coke binging, sick of feeling slutty the morning after, sick of walking through Yorkville Park at three in the afternoon, getting breakfast at the coffee shop while children next to her were getting there after school snacks.

The jobs weren’t flying in anymore. Her agency called her less and less. Partly because the jobs they were offering her were crap and she kept turning them down, but partly because when she did accept them, she showed up late, high and/or drunk.

No one wanted to book her for modelling gigs anymore – she was only being hired for openings of new clubs and restaurants. Expected to be the ‘date’ of expensive clients.

At the cafe she sipped her coffee through a straw, watching a girl play with her dog. It dawned on her that this girl was probably the same age as her, she wasn’t extraordinarily beautiful but she wasn’t ugly either, she looked like she could have been a student, maybe she has a boyfriend. Her clothes weren’t necessarily front-page worty either – last year’s UGGs with ripped up Rock’s, but this girl, who had nothing better to do at three in the afternoon but play with her little white poodle looked genuinely happy.

And this made Magnolia wonder if she would ever get there.

Her penthouse suite had lose its allure, the sexy baller types with wads of cash they gave her had also lost its thrill.

Nothing seemed to excite her anymore.

Sleeping with the new It club owners was boring now – she could barely fake an orgasm. Her so-called friends were only interesting to her when they were high.

She wondered if there would ever be a normal life for her. She wondered if there would ever be a boyfriend in her life. Maybe even a relationship.

How did she even get here? She half-laughed to herself. A place in her head that she actually wanted a ‘normal’ life with a relationship??

Sadly, she knew exactly how she got here. She just didn’t think that her life would ever lead her to this conclusion, this need of normalcy.

So she stopped.

She slowed down, and she stopped.

Magnolia changed her phone number, not telling anybody her new one. This was so refreshingly weird that it almost frightened her. No missed calls, no searching for a vibrating cell phone in her bag – it just seemed so quiet.

Just peace and quiet.

Rumors started flying about her – she was on a bender. Or in Europe. Or in rehab.

They weren’t too far fetched though – hadn’t she been there already?

She was still going out and partying, but with no phone there was no way to invite her to after parties, no late night booty calls.

Sometimes her friends tried going to her place after the clubs, but she placed her buzzer on DND and her doorman never let them in. It made her look as if she was still partying, as if she had somehwere better to be.

In truth, she was getting to bed earlier so she could wake up earlier, for her 11 am yoga class, three times a week. She was naturally ultra-slim, but she was noticing her body was changing now, sleeker, more strong.

She bumped into a club promoter in the park as she was sipping her coffee through a straw again. The kissed air and he started shouting at her in his fake British accent.

“Hey Magnolia! I’ve been trying to get ahold of you! Where have you been, love? Holiday? You look fantastic!”

She shrugged but thankfully didn’t have to reply because he kept on talking.

“There’s a new club opening darling! It’s called Rehab! Isn’t that so tongue-in-chic? Everyone’s gonna be there – you have to come! I insist! VIP, bottle service, anything you want!”

She half-smiled, told him she would try to make an appearance, which seemed to satisfy him because he jumped on his phone and left.

She felt her world slowly shut down around her. Calls were non-existent, her only contact with the world were the coffee shop employees and her yoga class.

Magnolia sat in Yorkville Park again, this time at 9 am, fresh out of her early yoga class, watching the birds fighting over a piece of bread, and she wondered to herself, “Is this what it feels like to be alone?”

She saw a shadow form from someone standing behind her, hesistantly she turned around and recognized the man’s handsome face.

Paul, an old party friend, a banker type who had married a model. He looked good as ever in his Armani suit and Prada shoes, his dark hair falling over his dark eyes, and she suddenly realised what she looked like. Her own long blonde hair was pulled back in a ponytail, no makeup, with her purple yoga pants on. And Paul sat down at the chair next to her.

“What you been up to?” He started. “You look terrific! Pilates?”

“No, yoga,” She said with a smile.

“Oh. Sheniss was a pilates freak.” That was her name, the model wife, Sheniss. Magnolia once pulled out her hair in a bathroom fight.

“So how are you and Sheniss? I heard your honeymoon was in Fiji? Sorry I missed the wedding, I think I was in London on a shoot.”

“Oh no worries. We honeymooned in Mexico. And now we’re in the process of a divorce.”

“Oh my god – I’m so sorry.” Magnolia was surprised that she actually did feel sorry for him.

“No, no. It’s honestly for the best. We, we weren’t very… compatible I think.” He shook his head for a couple of seconds. “Anyway, she moved out, I get my condo back, it’s almost like it never happened. You know, I’m having a dinner party at my place next Saturday, you should come. We could catch up.”

“Definitely, that sounds like fun.” She smiled, she knew she wouldn’t go, but it was nice of him to offer.

She returned to her penthouse, which now seemed extra large and empty now that everything was packed up and moved out. All that was left in the echoing rooms was a couple of rugs, huge, shaggy, luxurious things that she was leaving behind.

She decided there was no way she could really make a change in her life if she felt like she was stuck, stuck in the same place physically.

Her place sold within an hour after it was on the market, at 40% over asking. She immediately put down a deposit on a huge authentic loft conversion on Queen St West – away from the posh little neighborhood she was living in – away from the clubs and people she knew. Her new place was a penthouse, but it felt more true to her now.

Polish concrete floors, exposed beams, original brick walls. It felt right to her.

There was no doorman, but the building had a gorgeous rooftop patio, with gardens, benches and little bonsai trees. It felt like so calm above the busy city. It felt like home.

The Saturday of Paul’s dinner party was her first night in her new home.

The week leading up to the move-in was her and her decorator picking out paint, furniture, appliances, and new rugs – even better than her original ones.

And she even got a job. She had called her modelling agency and informed them she was leaving the business. She got a job at a luxury boutique, the first time in her life working an 8 hour shift was so exhausting for her, but at the same time, exciting.

It was exciting for her to feel normal. She started reading more than just magazines. She was in advanced yoga. And she was doing everything on her own.

She felt empowered. She felt like herself again for the first time in a really long time.

She realised she never actually knew who she was, until she stripped it all away and was alone, all by herself.

But she wasn’t alone anymore.

She was in a relationship now.

With a little brown yorkie named Max.

Magnolia and Max lived happily ever after. For now.

Searching

August 19, 2008

Sitting home alone on a Monday night, wrapped in a blanket, sipping on cheap white wine from California, Anastasia noted that many gymnasts in the Olympics shared her first name. Maybe she could go do gymnastics, she thought to herself.

Well, not actually do gymnastics, but maybe coach gymnastics. She could fake that she knew what she was doing, her name was  Anastasia, and she’s been glued to the Olympics watching gymnastics since it came on.

She took another sip of wine.

She felt her life was like a bad Woody Allen movie. Not that his movies were bad but that they were long, drawn out, moody, emotional, ironic, and deep on a pretentious sort of level. She could be an actress, she knew it. She was always told she was a drama queen.

Anastasia Sempura – movie star. Celebrity. But she wouldn’t be like a glamazon like Angelina, J.Lo, or anyone else who soaked up the limelight by being sexy all the time. She would be a hip star, kind of like a Sienna Miller, Kate Moss, Mary Kate girl but with something different – she was brunette after all. She’d be a brunette version of what they are.

Or maybe she could just be a model. She read enough Vogue and has seen enough America’s Next Top Model (all ten seasons) to know how to smile with her eyes, lift her chin, and contort your body to make it look skinny and waif-like.

Anastasia liked her food though. She was never more than 5 or 10 pounds overweight, but models are generally 10 pounds underweight and she knew she could never be happy and malnourished at the same time.

Taking the last sip of her wine, she grabbed the bottle quickly, almost knocking it over but catching it last minute, and filled up her glass. She shook her head at the tv, knowing the American girl was robbed.

She knew that the one she shared her name with should have won, she stuck her landing for chrissakes. She knew that the poor girl wanted to bawl her eyes out, kick the gold medal winner and take it out from under her.

Anastasia stretched on her uncomfortable leather sofa, put down her glass, and changed the channel. She wondered if she drank too much. She wondered when she’d get a new job.

She switched the channel to TMZ, watching stupid celebrity shows made life a little easier, or maybe it just made her forget, she wasn’t sure. She stumbled off her couch to her huge windows that overlooked the city down below.

She was wearing only lingerie, a D&G bra and panty set, with her bright green Louboutins.

Anastasia was hoping someone was going to stop by, but realised that at 1:30 am at night, it wasn’t going to happen for the thirteenth day in a row.

She thought of going to bed.

Instead she lay on the couch, watching Britney flail, and thought about how difficult it could be to come out with your own handbag line. Anastasia had huge ideas, green clutches, yellow croc, and even red satin, how hard could it be?

Lost in Celine

August 9, 2008

Celine sat on the bench in Paris, the setting sun casting an angelic glow upon her golden hair, the wind causing her skin to shiver, hugging her huge YSL Tribute tote and glancing around at the crowd, waiting for someone. But who?

Who was going to save her?

Celine had started her day off in a small town on the French Riviera, close to Cannes, sprawled out on a yacht that belonged to a rich business man she had been seeing. They spent three days drinking wine, fucking in the sun, and getting body treatments at the spa close by. It all had to end when his Spanish wife came aboard, furious, slapping her husband and screaming profanities at him in her language.

A maid told her to quickly get off the boat, so Celine stuffed her bag with whatever she could get her hands on, and walked her tanned little butt onto shore. The rich businessman called her phone repeatedly until she finally answered – to which she heard a few half-assed apologies and ended up hanging up on him.

She went to a little cafe for a late breakfast, where she met the most beautiful Hungarian boy, who loved her YSL tote, loved her sense of style, and was going to Paris that day to see his boyfriend. Celine realised that she had nowhere to stay and nowhere to go, so she went with this beautiful gay boy named Harry to Paris.

Hungarian Harry drove a sporty Peugot and took Celine across France to Paris. It was a long trip that took up most of the day, but she learned enough about Harry to know that he was somebody to know. He was a stylist at heart, a makeup artist by trade, and loved to take photos of beautiful people in dirty places.

He made her promise to pose for him one day soon.

She agreed and quickly fell asleep.

Celine awoke to cars honking, people shouting and french rap music. Harry was stuck in Paris traffic and looking for a place to park.

“Celine, I can’t wait for you to meet Frederik! He is darling! Beautiful! Almost like you!” Harry’s Hungarian accent was muddled with a bit of French. Celine just smiled and waited for the car to stop. She loved going places, but she hated travelling, the constant movement always made her feel uneasy. She just wanted to get where she was going.

They met up with Frederik at a cafe close to the Eiffel Tower, a little kitsch and touristy for Celine, but the warm latte filled her up and the ambience all around her made the morning seem like it happened ages ago.

Harry and Frederik insisted that Celine wasn’t being a third wheel, but their body language and their eyes said something else – Celine took off ‘sightseeing’ and saw the cute boys go up into Frederik’s apartment building.

She didn’t know where to go though. She just kept walking. She heard her heels hit the pavement with a satisfying clap, and she ended up on a bench in a park that she had never seen before. She had been to Paris many times, but she didn’t recognize the neighborhood she was in.

The bench looked welcoming enough though and she sat down, watching the crowd around her.

She saw familes with young children, couples laughing, smiling, kissing. She wondered if a normal life would ever happen for her. If she could settle like they did, get married, find someone who was normal too. That seemed like half of her battle, finding that normal person.

She wondered what she looked like to all these normal people. A beautiful skinny blonde girl, dressed in a colourful dress that could be worn on the beach or to a cocktail party, with bright purple shoes and a patent black leather YSL tote. Did people think she was a model? Did people think she looked sad? Or did they envy her perfect looking life?

The sun was almost gone now, the dusk settling on the park left her a bit uneasy, especially when she remembered that she didn’t know where she was. But still she sat. Waiting.

“Mademoiselle? Mademoiselle?”

Celine looked over her shoulder to see a dark haired Frenchman looking at her curiously. She told him that she had lost her bearings and wasn’t sure where she was, and they started to walk. His name was Marco, he was going to a party for a friend who had written a book, and was very well dressed.

And then Celine stopped him. They were right in front of Hermes. She knew exactly where she was now. She was in front of Hermes with Marco, in Paris, and she was going to a party with him. She was a little hungry so they had a small snack at an Escargot restaurant and went to the party.

She had a fabulous time, and the night ended with her going home to Marco’s beautiful penthouse apartment, after much insistence from him that she shouldn’t waste money on a hotel room and that she could have her own bed in his house.

She awoke the next morning in Marco’s large bed to the smell of coffee and strawberries and crepes. She spent the day shopping with him, as her luggage was stolen and she had no clothes to wear.

The following week she posed in those clothes for Harry and Frederik, who styled and photographed her for a full two days.

And Celine was saved once again.

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