Welcome to another Writing Wednesday, everybody! Sorry for missing out on last week. I wasn’t in a great place, so I had to put this aside to get myself back. I’ve just been really up and down with my emotions. Not exactly an ideal place to be.
Anyways, Writing Wednesday is back today! This excerpt is from my newest story, Therapy for Souls. I literally just wrote this yesterday. Like, I just sat in a coffee shop for a good two hours with my notebook and pen, and wrote. It felt nice to actually have a thought translated from brain to paper without interruptions. I could barely do that last week.
What you’re about to read commences the fifth chapter. I am so close to the post-mortem chapters now, I can almost see them! If I had posted last week, it would have been from the fourth chapter, which is up on my Wattpad right now. Um, Parisa has already performed in Italy and is now in France. She has the day off, but she’ spending her free day on a date with Kristian that is heavily being monitored by both of their managers. They’re determined to ditch the managers and explore Paris on their own terms.
Hope you guys enjoy this excerpt! I’ll see you Friday for a Happy Things post.
xoxo – F
Since I won Eurovision two years ago, Italy has been amazing to me. The Rome and Milan shows exceeded all expectations—they honestly weren‘t high to begin with because I have low expectations for myself—and proved just how great the fans are to me. I know everyone says they have the best fans in the world, but I legitimately do.
I didn’t just have Italians at the shows. I saw flags and signs from outside of Europe in the crowd. They know Italy holds a special place in my heart because whenever I’m there, I can feel the love. To see people from as far as New Zealand at either city is a testament to their support. I’m forever grateful for them.
Four shows later, and I now find myself in the City of Romance: Paris. The two shows in Rome and Milan were non-stop because my team knew I’d chill with my family beforehand, so there were no days off between shows. We just arrived in Paris last night, and I thank the heavens so much for these next couple days off!
Technically, I only have today off. Tomorrow is booked with TV appearances and radio interviews, which hardly suggests I’ll be relaxing at all. I’ve seen my schedule, and it’s full on. Trust me when I say there’s nothing relaxing or glamorous about a 5 AM wake up call for a daytime talk show. Press days are seriously the worst!
Which is why today’s agenda consists of just one thing: my date with Kristian. I’d be lying my pants on fire if I said I wasn’t freaking out during the flight. I mean, he’s Kristian Kostov. His fan base has immensely expanded since his Eurovision experience commenced, and they can be aggressive when they want. They terrify me sometimes because I know their capabilities. I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to end me after today. That’s how much they frighten me.
I spent so much time this morning perusing my suitcase for the perfect outfit because I want to make a good impression on him. Any teenage girl can relate to this morning‘s struggle! But as I searched for clothes and strategized hair and make-up, I realized how ridiculous I was acting.
I’ve already met him. I’ve already spoken to him. We get along perfectly fine, like two old schoolmates. Hell, I even interviewed him in sweatpants and no make-up once! I spent a ridiculous amount of time worrying over petty things I knew he wouldn’t care about. I was so worried about my appearance that I forgot he already knows me.
Fast-forward three hours later, and here we are awkwardly sitting across from each other while waiting for our lunch to arrive. I say “awkward” because our teams felt the need to have someone chaperone our date, ie. Gi and his manager. We’re both on pins and needles, worried about someone meddling or eavesdropping. If only they’d leave us alone! It wouldn’t be this cringe if they weren’t being helicopter managers.
Kristian bites his straw and blows bubbles into his water. He hasn’t even looked at me since the waiter left about ten minutes ago. For a split second, he raises his gaze, nut brown eyes looking into mine. He pushes his glasses up and coughs. He’s definitely nervous; I can tell he wants this to end as quickly as I do.
It’s ironic because he doesn’t look like the type of guy to be nervous on a date. Tall, slim, pale, and wearing all black, he’s a shoe-in for a skater/male model like Ben Nordberg. You’d think he’d know how to chat up a girl, but he’s failing. Kristian usually exudes positive, extrovert vibes, but he’s acting more like an introvert right now.
“This is stupid,” I mutter as I stir my straw around. “You’re not stupid, by the way. I just mean this situation.”
“You mean them watching us?” he asks. Kristian sighs and runs a hand through his perfectly styled ebony locks. It’s the third time he’s fussed with his hair. “I know. They think we need babysitters or something just in case something goes wrong. We’re fine. It’s so fucking stupid!”
“I know, right? We’re not kids. Well, I’m not. But you’re nearly an adult too. I don’t understand why they’re compelled to be here. We’re perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves. We don’t even need a translator to talk to people!”
“You’re kinda a big celebrity, Parisa,” he reminds me. “You’re global! And French and Italian aren’t the same language.”
“I know, but that doesn’t mean Gi has to hover over everything I do. French and Italian are similar enough. Ugh, I wish we could just blow this popsicle joint and do this date the way we want!”
Kristian glances from our managers behind me, to me. A mischievous smirk curls onto his lips, and I spy a spark behind those black-rimmed specs. Houston, I think we have an escape plan coming our way.
“Where do you want to go?” he questions. “Name any place in the city, and we’ll go there.”
If I had sunnies on, I’d be lowering them right now. My jaw is nearly to the table as I stare at him in awe (at his words, not his looks. But he is looking really good today).
“Kristian, are you serious? Are we really bailing? Giovanna will kill me if we leave her hawkish sights.”
He merely flashes an adorable smile and whips his phone out. I don’t know WHERE this rebellious Kristian Kostov came from, but I dig him. The only side I’ve seen of him is the sweet, down to earth, charismatic guy who was chuffed to rep his country at Eurovision. Now he’s pushing that aside so we can ditch the date ruiners? Wow. Just…wow.
“Wait, how are we getting out of here?” I wonder. “Neither of us drove ourselves.”
He shows me something on his phone and chuckles once I realize how obvious the answer should have been. And I’m supposed to be the older, wiser one! How did I not think of using an Uber when the solution is that simple?
“It should be here in a few minutes,” he mentions. “Where do you want to go, Parisa?”
Somewhere that isn’t too cliché, I ponder. Definitely nowhere near the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triumph. We need to go somewhere unpredictable—somewhere Gi will never expect. We still have to be within city limits though.
“Bois de Vincennes,” I finally decide. “It’s touristy enough for your taste, and it’s not the first place anyone would think to look. They’ll probably head for the Louvre or something like that. The park is pretty massive; it’ll take loads of time to find us.”
Kristian holds out a hand and smiles, exposing his cute gap teeth. “If that’s what you want, that’s where we’ll go. C’mon. It’s here.”