Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Trouble in Paradise

Yes I know I've already posted today, and if you haven't seen my previous post, scroll down or click here. I just came across this again while clearing out my computer for the start of school tomorrow, a story that I wrote for English last year. Normally this wouldn't be relevant at all, but since I want to be a fashion journalist, my reporting skills and views on fashion are just as or maybe slightly less important than my creative writing skills. Writing isn't all about facts and figures, it has to take the reader on a journey, whatever journey it may be.

So if you've got some time up your sleeve or love reading stories, read on, comment below and tell me what you think! Love you all!

As we sat at the picturesque Café de Flore on the corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain and the Rue St. Benoit, which were two of the most well-known streets on the Left Bank, I couldn't help but notice all the absolutely gorgeous young women walking past in what looked to be designer clothes straight off the catwalk, and couldn't help the sigh full of envy that followed. I remembered when I used to look like that. I distinctly recall the way people would stop and stare when I walked down the street. I loved the attention. I thrived off it. Oh, and who could forget all the opportunities my beauty had brought? I had been featured in some of the most prestigious and well-known fashion magazines of all time; Elle, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Mademoiselle... Those had been the best years of my life. The money, the media, the men... It had all been so glamorous. But now, here I was, at the ripe old age of 30, sitting in this beautifully adorned cafe, with someone who had to be the most amazing boyfriend in the world, and I was unhappy. Gabriel noticed this.
“Sweetheart, what's wrong?” he asked, though it sounded more like a purr in his gorgeous French accent.
“Nothing, my dear, just daydreaming,” I replied with a fake smile. I'd become so good at lying after my first interview for a Cosmopolitan article when I was 19. I lied through my teeth for the majority, but they never seemed to notice. Oh, what a fantastic article that had been. It had been a 4-page feature article, most of the pages consisting of glossy model shots of me, most of which had to hardly be airbrushed or photoshopped, mind you. It had been a simply divine experience.
“Mademoiselle?” I heard a gentle male voice ask politely. I snapped out of my daydream and saw a handsome waiter looking at me questioningly. I immediately assumed he was asking me what I wanted to order, as it was normal procedure for that to be the only contact between waiters and customers.
I put on one of my most seductive smiles, looked him straight in the eyes, and said, “Un latte et un pain du chocolat, s'il vous plait.” He stared at me for a few seconds after I ordered, then finally realised what he was doing and scribbled on his notepad, muttered a few words and walked away, looking very embarrassed. Was it just me or had I seen him blush? Maybe I wasn't that old after all.
“So, darling, how was your day?” I asked, turning my attention to Gabriel, who was texting on his Blackberry. He looked up at me, slightly dazed, before finally replying, “God it was total madness. Jean was sick so I had to put together another presentation in three hours . I had four other meetings, all which were in completely different parts of Paris. The shortest trip was an hour! It was horrible. Well anyway, enough about me. How was your day, ma chère?”
“Oh, nothing special. I just did a little bit of spring cleaning around the apartment and went on a little shopping trip with Madison.” Madison had been my best friend since our early childhood. Our mothers had been best friends. They had met at a Karl Lagerfeld after party in the years of his major success and had been inseparable ever since, so Madison and I had practically been forced together nearly every day, and we're grateful we had been. Our friendship was one that would last forever.
“That sounds fun,” he said with a smile, but I knew on the inside he was envious that I had to do practically nothing all day because of my overwhelming trust fund balance. “Oh, by the way, your mother called today. She said she needed to speak with you urgently.”
“What did she want?” I snapped, immediately suspicious. Mother only ever called if she wanted something, which would usually put me under much stress.
“She didn't say. All she said was that she needed to speak with you. I don't understand why you hate her so much. Evangeline is so nice and...” he trailed off as I gave him an ice-cold stare. Gabriel would never understand the workings of my family. Maybe for him a mother wanting to talk with their child simply meant them dropping in to say hello or share exciting family news and gossip. For my family, however, whenever either one of them called, something was about to happen that would make you want to curl up in a ball and die. Every time I heard my mother's voice, I felt like a child being scolded for dropping a glass of water. She made me feel so vulnerable, so frightened, and I hated it. And he wondered why our relationship, or any other relationship with any of the senior women in my life, was strained.
“Don't worry about it, darling. I'll see to it, I promise,” I purred. He looked as if he was about to protest but, mercifully, the young waiter came out with our order. He placed it all on the table, muttered a few words in a gruff voice as before, and briskly walked away, keeping his head down all the while. I secretly loved every minute of it. To know that men were still rendered speechless in my presence was a thrilling experience.
We finished our drinks and croissants while I animatedly chatted about a dinner I had been to the night before. Although it had been an unbelievably boring and uneventful evening, I had met one of the major editors of Marie Claire, who had said she 'simply loved how young and gorgeous I looked for thirty' and had promised to call me within the week to see if they could do an article on me for their new issue. I had been thrilled but, like any smart French woman would do, I nodded politely, smiled with slight disinterest and had excused myself due to 'prior arrangements for the evening'.
“And she said that she absolutely loved my look! She said, and I quote, 'It's a wonder how you keep your fashion so fresh without a personal shopper'! How amazing is that?! An editor at Marie Claire! It's the one fashion magazine I always wanted to feature in.”
“I'm so proud of you, chéri. Congratulations!”
“Merci beacoup,” I replied with a smile while clapping my hands in delight. I glanced down at my watch and nearly jumped. Was that the time already?
Gabriel must have noticed my sudden change of mood, because he asked with a tone of worry, “Annabelle, chère, are you ok?”
I looked up at him and smiled sweetly. “Of course I'm fine, Gabriel. I was just surprised by the time. I'm sorry but I'm afraid I have to leave. I promised Madison I'd go over to help her organise her new apartment-hunting plan. Until we meet again, mon amour.” I stood up and so did he, he leaned over and kissed me, a little too passionately for the public eye, but then again, it was Paris.
“Could I come over later?” he asked as he pulled away, flashing me a seductive smile. I was taken aback. Sometimes I forgot how alluring Gabriel could be. He was so sweet, yet, in a way, so... dangerous. And I loved it.
A gave him one of my award-winning smiles, one that I had been using since my early teens that I used every time I wanted something. Materialistic, I know, but that's just how I lived.
“Yes, of course,” I replied, my smile increasing ever so slightly. Then I pecked him on the lips, turned to get my purse and cardigan and exited gracefully from the now-quiet café. Oh, how I simply loved making a scene.
On my way to Madison's townhouse, which was only a few blocks away, I couldn't help but think about my life. Surely, now was the turning point, when my skin started getting softer and less flexible, when my hair started to go grey, and when frown lines would begin to appear on my forehead and crow's feet around my eyes. I couldn't imagine myself being like that, probably because I had decided at age 6 that I was to get Botox injected into any part of my body that needed it, and plastic surgery if necessary. I already had silicon in my breasts, Botox in my forehead, and had lasered every single part of my body, so I might as well go all the way. Again, materialistic, but that's the way I had been brought up. Even my mother had told me, age 11, when I was about to go out on my first date with a boy in my class that 'beauty doesn't last forever belle, so you must use it to the best of your abilities and beyond while you still have it. And when it's gone, there's always Dr. Kershaw (Mother's plastic surgeon and true genius)'. I had taken her words into deep consideration, and knew she was right in an instant. Harsh but true, I knew that inner beauty meant nothing in the real world. If you didn't have outer beauty, how would anyone discover your inner beauty? They wouldn't even look at you twice, let alone start a deep and meaningful conversation with you.
Suddenly I heard my phone buzz in my purse, breaking me out of my reviere and, assuming it was Madison, didn't even check the caller ID.
“Allô?” I asked into my new Prada phone in my flawless French accent.
“Annabelle? Annabelle, mon Dieu! What do I do? Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!” It was Cherie, Madison's younger sister.
“Cherie, du calme!” I yelled. “What is it? What's going on?”
“Oh Annabelle, I don't know what to do! I just let myself in with my key and she was just lying there. Oh my God, what do I...” She began to cry. Hysterically. That kind of crying you never thought would stop.
“Cherie, stop. Breathe.” I heard her take a deep breath, a shaky one, but a deep breath all the same. “Now, tell me what's wrong.”
“It's Madison. She's... she's...” she trailed off, sounding like she was about to cry again.
“She's what? Madison's what?”
“She's been murdered,” she whispered bluntly, and then began to sob. I stopped dead in my tracks. I couldn't move. I couldn't feel. I couldn't do anything. It took every ounce of strength I had not to drop the phone right there and then. I couldn't believe it. Why? Why?! And even though I was on one of the busiest streets on a Friday afternoon, I felt so alone.
“Annabelle? Annabelle are you there?” I heard Cherie asking frantically from what seemed like a totally different universe. All I could think of was Madison, lying there, cold and dead. The disturbing image made me want to vomit. Nothing mattered anymore. Nothing. It felt like my life was over. I no longer remembered my splendid afternoon at Café de Flore with Gabriel, nor my trivial worries over my mother's call, or even the woman from Marie Claire from the previous evening. My mind was consumed in thoughts of Madison. Oh God, it felt like I was about to die.
It took every ounce of strength I had to whisper in the phone and say, “I'm coming,” and then I collapsed onto the cold, hard pavement of Champs-Elysées, shaking and trembling, and I felt the world slowly fading away.

DUN DUN! Okay I know it's not very good, and just a tad melodramatic, but on the bright side, I was awarded full marks for it! Yay! So anyway, let me know what you think down below, and because I feel sorry for you having to read that story, here are some gorgeous pictures of Paris and the coveted Café de Flore, enjoy!

Love E 


  1. Such a dreamy setting! I'll definitely follow you, I enjoyed reading!

  2. lovely blog. :)))) LOVE PARIS!!! ^___^ it's so beautiful and charming city.

    dejoiss ♥


  3. It's not bad at all! I actually think it was pretty cool and I really enjoyed reading it. I think it's so cool you decided to share this with us. I love the pictures, especially the last one.

  4. Beautiful pictures :D
    Thanks for your sweet comment!

  5. this post makes me wanna go to paris right now!


  6. i really enjoyed reading it i just imagined everything in my head love the photos to go along with it so gorgeous!

    giveaway on my blog!


  7. Love the entire story!!!My imagination came across these beuatiful photos and...definetely you should become a journalist or a writer!!!In addition it is a very good way to improve my bad english ;)!

  8. tight skirts are always great!

    thankyou for the comment on my blog :)

  9. I got goosebumps at the end of your story! It was really good. :) I really love Paris, my second hometown.. I've been to Café de Flore many times and I can easily picture this scene taking place there (maybe without the murder).. :)
    bisous <3

  10. Beautiful pictures!
    I'm dying to go to Paris
    this is so inspirational it makes me want to go even more!


  11. hello Evana:)We were very amazed and happy to find our picture on you blog:) Where din you find it??? Kisses,

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