Hellooo!! It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means! It’s November, which means it’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, what a mouthful!). For the first time ever, I’m participating and I’ve decided to write the sequel to Exposed, which is simply called Exposed 2 for now because I can’t think of a better title for it.
This is definitely going to be a challenge. I wrote Exposed in 3-4 months and I JUST finished editing it a couple days ago. It’s nearly 82k words long, too. Now I’m participating in this and will attempt to write book two in one month…yikes!
For this week’s Writing Wednesday, I thought I’d share the prologue for Exposed 2 with you.If any of you are currently reading the first book, which isn’t completed on Wattpad, then I apologize for some of the spoilers. Anyways, enjoy!
A steady flurry of snow descends, leaving crystalline hexagons of varying sizes and patterns on the window. I stare at one flake in particular and press my nose against the glass for a better look. It’s just been so long since I’ve seen snow thanks to global warming. There’s never snow in Chicago when Lorraine and I come home for the holidays; we haven’t had a white Christmas since I graduated high school.
“Lindsay, Lindsay! Que-regards tu?” a tiny voice asks. (What are you looking at?)
“Oh, c’est rien,” I dismiss with a wave of my hand even though my gaze is firmly fixed outside. “La neige. C’est tout.” (Oh, it’s nothing. The snow. That’s all.)
“Il neige dur?” another voice questions, this one slightly more masculine. “Oh, j’espère qu’il neige très dur!” (Is it snowing hard? Oh, I hope it’s snowing really hard!)
I shake my head and chuckle. My au pair kids, twins Geneviève and Guillume Courtois, blink back at me with large, sparkly bottle green eyes as they wait for my answer. I’ve been here for less than a week, and they’ve already won me over with their bubbly personalities and infinitely creative minds. At just six years old, they’re absolument adorable! They’ve made the move from Los Angeles to Paris a delight for me thus far.
“Desolée, Guilllume, I dishearteningly apologize to the little boy. “C’est la neige légère, mais je pense qu’il neige toute la nuit. Alors…” (Sorry. It’s light snow, but I think it’ll snow all night. So…)
“Alors il y aura assez de neige pour construire un bonhomme de neige le matin!” Guillume excitedly exclaims. (So there will be enough snow to build a snowman in the morning!)
“Ouah, c’est correct!” I affirm with a huge smile.
“Il faut que nous fassions une danse de la neige pour que nous ayons cent metrès de neige,” Geneviève proposes. (We have to do a snow dance so we have 100 m of snow.)
“C’est beaucoup de neige, cent metrès!” I voice. I don’t think she knows that a hundred meters of snow is equivalent to approximately 3,900 inches. That’s a lot of snow!
Geneviève shrugs her little shoulders. Guillume holds out his hand and I take it. He guides me away from the windowsill to the center of their room. Geneviève stands up and takes my other hand so that I’m now in a Courtois twin sandwich. I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but the twins seem to have an idea.
“Pourqouis tenez-vous mes mains?” I ask, looking from one twin to the other. (Why are you holding my hands?)
Guillume holds a finger to his lips, signaling I should be quiet. I nod my head in understanding and wait. The twins lower their gazes and I follow suit. We stay in this position–hands interlocked and heads bowed down. I don’t know if I’m supposed to be praying of if this is some nightly ritual they’re introducing, but I feel lost. I want to ask them why we’re doing this, but I can’t disturb the peace after we spent the entire afternoon playing.
Suddenly, Geneviève releases my hand. She runs to the light switch and turns it off, then plugs in the Christmas lights, creating a mellow ambiance. She eyes her brother and nods. In response, he lets go of my hand and grabs his iPod; I can’t believe a six-year-old has an iPod.
“Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” from Frozen is now playing at mid-volume. Guillume places his iPod on his bedside table and stands beside his sister, who’s directly across from me. Four bottle green eyes now look at me as two adorable smiles light up the twins’ faces.
“Suivez-nous,” Guillume instructs. (Follow us.)
I don’t question the kid because I’m absolutely clueless. I just watch him closely and wait for something to happen. Once the chorus kicks in, the twins hold their hands in the air and wiggle their fingers. I shoot them a skeptical look, but follow their lead, anyways. I don’t know what I’m doing, but they do. I just have to go along with it so they’re satisfied. I’d much rather tuck in happy twins to bed than moody ones.
The twins suddenly bolt from one corner of the room to the next, and I struggle to keep up. jet lag has to kick in now out of the few days I’ve been here. They grab my hand again and lead me back to the center of the room, and we skip around in a circle going clockwise for three complete rotations, then counter-clockwise for three more. After all of that skipping, we proceed to…do the Macarena? And then the…Time Warp? This is the weirdest snow dance I’ve ever seen.
“Nous sommes presque finir?” I huff as I follow them into some sort of tap dancing section. (Are we almost finished?)
“Soyez-patiente!” Geneviève answers. I can’t believe I’m taking orders from a six-year-old! (Be patient!)
Once we’re done tapping, I join the twin in some sort of chant–I have no clue what they’re saying–and jump in place. This goes on for a few seconds, but it seems more like an hour to me. I can feel my energy swiftly draining as we do more insane things like run into the door and roll across the room. I don’t know how their dad had the energy to do this before he discovered the au pair site. They’re like the Energizer Bunny because the amount of energy they have is limitless!
Finally, we collapse onto the floor after ten minutes or so of toddler choreography. I’m so tired, I don’t want to get up! I could literally fall asleep right now because I’m that tired. I think this is the most intense exercise I’ve had since grade school. Marquilla didn’t even work me this hard when I was her lapdog!
“Lindsay, lève-toi!” Guillume says. (Get up!)
“Est-ce que nous sommes finir?” I ask again. (Are we finished?)
“Oui,” Guillume says.
“Thank God!” I voice in relief. “Laissez-moi, enfants. Je suis très fatiguée. J’ai besoin d’un moment pour récupérer. C’était intense!” (Leave me alone, kids. I’m very tired. I need a moment to recover. That was intense!)
“C’était notre danse de la neige,” Geneviève reasons with a shrug. “C’était pas mal!” (That was our snow dance. It wasn’t bad!)
My eyes widen as I sit up. The kid must be crazy, or I’m weak.
“Pas mal?” I question. “PAS MAL? Je me sens morte! Je ne crois pas que c’était votre danse! C’était comme quelque chose complètement fou!” (Not bad? NOT BAD? I feel dead! I can’t believe that was your dance! That was like something completely crazy!)
The twins shrug in unison and sit on either side of me. I knew I was out of shape, but I didn’t think it was this bad. Being around the twins is slowly making me realize how lethargic I really am. Then again, I only had to run around when Marquilla was drunk. I barely did anything physically taxing when I worked for Marquilla because most if it involved driving.
“Lindsay, puis-je te poser une question?” Guillume asks. (Lindsay, can I ask you a question?)
“Oui. Qu’est-ce que c’est?” (Yes. What is it?)
“Pourquoi tu nous a choisis? Pourquoi Paris?” he shoots. (Why did you choose us? Why Paris?)
That was more than one question, but I’m going to let it slide. I honestly don’t know what to tell him. How can I tell him the truth when it’s complicated and his sister’s a huge Jason Flamel fan? He wouldn’t understand! I can’t lie to him; kids always know when you’re lying. I just need to find a happy medium so his little, innocent heart isn’t spoiled. That’s the last thing I want to do.
“Vous savez le chanteur Jason Flamel?” I question. Both heads nod, and Geneviève’s interest in what I have to say instantly peaks “Il est mont ami. Je lui connais.” (You know the singer Jason Flamel? He’s my friend. I know him.)
“Non!” Geneviève gasps as she places a hand on my shoulder. “Tu parles, Lindsay! Ce n’est pas possible!” (No! You’re joking, Lindsay! That’s not possible!)
“Je ne suis pas rigoler,” I sternly voice. “Regardez!” (I’m not kidding. Look!)
I pull out my phone and open the Instagram app. I scroll through my profile until I reach the picture of Jason, Sofia, Lorraine, and me at the beach on the night we “kidnapped” him. Geneviève gasps again and grabs my phone for a closer look, like she can’t believe her eyes. But the four of us are with our s’mores in hand ready to eat. Jason even has a genuine smile on his face. Those were rare when he wasn’t around Marquilla or his fans.
Geneviève continues to scroll through my Instagram page while I explain to her brother how I worked for Marquilla last year. Of course I’m leaving out the drama–Exposing MG, The Vanilla Squad, and all that jazz isn’t suitable for his ears. Guillume listens to me with his undivided attention while Geneviève pays us no heed whatsoever. The girls is fully immersed in the contents of my phone. At least they’re calm. Who knew the key to winding down their energy level would be this? Definitely not me.
After she’s had her fill, Geneviève hands me back my phone. She looks like she just saw a ghost or something. Her eyes are still wide and her face is about a shade paler than usual. I’d say she’s still trying to digest that I was friends with Jason Flamel and Sofia Grant (Geneviève absolutely adores Sofia).
“Tu ne me croiras peut-être pas?” I question the little girl. (Do you believe me or not?)
Geneviève runs a hand through her gorgeous black curls and sighs. I think that means she believes me now, but I can’t tell for sure. Her gaze flickers from my face to my phone, and back. I don’t know if that means she wants to see my phone again for proof, but I proceed to hand it over, anyways. She holds her hand up just as she realizes what I’m doing, and clears her throat.
“Peux-tu téléphoner à Jason?” she requests with wide, adorable eyes that are going to be hard for me to fight against. (Can you call Jason?)
The thing is, I changed my number when I moved here. The only people who know my new one are Audrey, Lorraine, and Sofia. I was so paranoid about Skylar finding out about me moving out of the country that I changed my number out of impulse. I didn’t bother telling Jason because I knew he wouldn’t want to contact me. Scratch that; he doesn’t want to contact anyone now that Marquilla’s through with him. But I’ve kept his number…
“D’accord,” I sigh in defeat. “Je ne pense pas qu’il répondra.” (Okay. I don’t think he’ll answer.)
I ring Jason and anxiously wait. I don’t know if he’ll pick up an unknown number. For my own benefit, I hope he doesn’t answer. Last time I spoke to Jason, he was in tears because Marquilla had just dumped him. The girls and I didn’t know how we could comfort him without seeming offensive. We knew Marquilla was going to do it. Time and time again, I warned Jason she’d break his heart, but he didn’t listen. He didn’t leave our house feeling much better, either. I don’t know what to expect if he answers.
Geneviève tugs on the sleeve of my sweater, clearly impatient that it’s taking so long. I’d hate to tell her “I told you so,” but that’s what it’s looking like. According to my phone, it’s nearly 10 PM. The twins shouldn’t even be up right now, but tomorrow’s Saturday. I know their dad wouldn’t let them stay up this late, and he’d probably tell me off if he were here. I’m not Monsieur Courtois. I also think kids can stay up when it’s the weekend.
“Lindsay, est-ce que Jason est là?” Geneviève presses. (Is Jason there?)
“Non,” I reply. “Peut-être il est occupé. Je lui téléphone demain.” (No. I’ll call him tomorrow.)
It breaks my heart to see Geneviève so upset, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. It’s tough calling people in different time zones. We’re eight hours ahead of California, and I don’t know everyone’s full schedule. If only it were that easy…but it’s not. If I knew what Jason was doing at the moment, I’d be totally okay with everything. But I don’t, so I feel slightly responsible if he isn’t taking care of himself.
“Il est presque ving-deux heures,” I note. “C’est l’heure our dormir, mes petits. Allez! Dormez-vous!” (It’s almost 10 PM. It’s time to sleep, my darlings. Go! Go to sleep!)
The twins grumble, but they don’t attempt to argue a defense for staying awake. They know when I mean something serious, and this is one of those moments. Frankly, I also want to head to bed because that snow dance knocked the life out of me! I’m so ready to call it a night.
Since Geneviève and Guillume are already in their pajamas, all I have to do is make sure they’ve brushed their teeth before tucking them in. Piece of cake. The twins love teeth brushing! It’s one of their favorite things to do, oddly enough. They rush to their beds soon after and kiss me goodnight after I tuck them in.
“Bon soir, mes petits,” I whisper as I overlook the two children snugly in bed. “Sweet dreams, and don’t let the bed bugs bite.” (Good night, darlings.)
Slowly, I close the door. I breathe a sigh of relief when it clicks shut and walk towards my own room. I could definitely get used to this, I think as I pass the bathroom. Everything’s so drama-free and the kids are phenomenal! I’m glad I made the move. I don’t want anything to do with Skylar, Marquilla, and everything that follows them. I’m done. I’m so done with it all!
Just as I reach my room, I receive a text from Sofia. I haven’t heard from here since I left the States, so this is a nice surprise! Well, it is until I actually read the text.
Sofia: We know you moved to Paris to stay out of Marquilla’s drama, but we need you, Lindsay. JASON needs you.