This chapter was written while listening to “Not Today (by Imagine Dragons) from the movie Me Before You, starring Emilia Clarke as Louisa “Lou” Clark and Sam Claflin as William Traynor. The movie is set to come out on June 3rd, 2016, based on the novel with the same title.
Thank you for the 3 likes on Paris Chapter 14, 3 likes on Losing Yourself, 6 likes on Heartbreak Princess Chapter 47, 4 likes on I Hate You and Love You, 5 likes on Paris Chapter 13, and 2 likes on I See You. Plus, sending love to my eighty-one followers.
Today’s blogger is @Alison. Her website link is https://piermanparis.com/
I started this blog in 2013 when my sister Joan (one of seven) and I planned a three-month stay in Paris. It was going to be a way for folks back home in Oklahoma to stay in touch. Well, now it’s a thing.
It’s a thing I do for creative release. I love to write. It’s a thing I do to connect. I’m amazed at the people from all corners of the globe who read my blog and who get me. Knowing I might write about it later…this keeps me awake, aware and purposeful. If you are a blogger, you know full well what I mean.
I’m a Francophile. My husband, David, converted when we married. We’ve been on so many French vacations and love it. All of it. But we keep coming back to Paris.
Nothing else is quite like it. And so we keep coming back and I keep writing about it as though the memories won’t slip through my fingers like sand if I just pen/pin it somehow.
With love forever, RitWit
We bumped into Mom as we headed to the kitchen.
She was in her queen/mom outfit, wearing a white blouse, thin belt, gray pencil skirt, and gray heels, her hair pinned in an updo, with several assorted necklaces. No tiara. She could have passed as a businesswoman ready for an interview.
“Oh! Mom, this is Robinson, and Robinson, this is my mom, Her Royal Highness Queen Caroline,” I could already feel the heat creeping into my cheeks.
Robinson bowed. I guessed he wasn’t used to bowing to his girlfriend’s mom. Plus, he even kissed my mom’s hand.
“It’s a pleasure to see you again, Your Highness,” Robinson said earnestly.
Mom’s eyes were wearily studying Robinson from head to toe before he passed her approval. “Of course, Robinson. Have a good night with Hope.”
She curtsied, then, with heels clicking, strutted confidently to the kitchen.
“She’s not always like that,” I said quickly. “She’s just not used to the idea of me being with someone besides Theo and isn’t sure what to say or do.”
“She cares for you and has a good heart,” Robinson slipped his hand in mine, fingers interlacing. “Trust me, I can tell.”
“So, what are we making today?” I asked after Robinson chatted with Katherine about cooking techniques and shared a few secrets.
“Mexican lasagna,” Robinson announced. “Do you have black beans?”
I leaned down and pulled open a cabinet, and discovered a can of black beans, surrounded by various other beans.
“How much do you need?”
I glanced at the can amount. Seven and a half. I grabbed another can, then handed both of them to Robinson.
“Do you have tortillas?”
“Around eight, and they should be around eight inches, spinach flour.”
“We don’t have any, but I can run out and get some.”
“They’re necessary for the lasagna.”
“Then it looks like we’re going to make a stop at the store.”
Aaron was required to come along and was also required to drive in a car with bulletproof windows.
I sat in the back with Robinson, with Aaron eyeing us warily in the rearview mirror, but not saying anything.
“I checked the rest of the cabinets, and we also need chili powder, red onion, ground cumin, and scallions while we’re at it.”
“The next time we’re cooking at my house, can you notify me of the recipe beforehand?” I joked.
“Sure,” Robinson took my hand in his, and we held hands the rest of the way to the store.
“How about a divide and conquer?” Robinson asked me once we arrived at the store.
“I’ll be following her highness,” Aaron interrupted.
“I kinda figured,” I muttered under my breath.
Robinson stifled a laugh but kept a straight face. “I’ll get the tortillas, red onions, and scallions. You can get the chili powder and ground cumin.”
“Great. See you in a few minutes?”
Somehow, that divide and conquer strategy quickly turned into a game of running and pushing each other on a shopping cart through the aisles.
“Faster!” Robinson shouted.
I built up enough speed that I finally let go and Robinson sailed on the shopping cart for another thirty feet before slowing down.
“Wow, that was the best one yet,” Robinson said as I ran down the aisle to meet him. He got off and gestured for me to get on. “Your turn, my fair lady.”
I blushed, then prepared for another round of sailing down the aisle while Aaron watched silently.
Together, we found all five ingredients, paid, then managed to get out of the store without anyone recognizing me or questioning the fact that I had a bodyguard (even though I did get side glances and weird looks that I ignored).
On the curb, while holding a shopping bag, I shivered. It was chillier outside than I expected.
“Are you cold?” Robinson asked.
And right there on the curb with Aaron standing there complaining about teenagers, Robinson kissed me.
“Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the pan,” Robinson instructed, seasoning the chicken with cumin, red onions, and chili powder.
I did as he instructed, opening my mouth to begin singing “Wildest Dreams” (Taylor Swift).
And when I did so, Robinson set down his knife and listened to me singing those familiar lyrics, the ones I sang a million times and never seeming special until now.
“That was. . . absolutely alluring,” Robinson said. “You have a beautiful voice, Hope.”
“You’ve heard it before,” the heat crept back into my cheeks.
“But it always seems so surprising how beautiful one voice can be,” he said. “And how beautiful one person can be, inside and out.”
The lasagna was delicious. We had made four servings, enough that Robinson, Mom, Maddy, and I each got one serving.
“Maddy, you remember Robinson,” Maddy nodded.
“What’s up?” Maddy asked.
“This lasagna is amazing,” Maddy marveled. “Are you sure that Hope helped? Because normally, she just sits there like a blob. I know my sister well enough that she can’t cook to save her life, without at least burning it.”
Robinson laughed. “Trust me, she helped, even though the tortillas were a bit uneven.”
“That sounds like Hope.”
“So you’re really Princess Madeleine?” Robinson asked.
Maddy’s eyes darted to mine, before nodding. “Did Hope tell you?”
“I figured it out on my own, but she only confirmed it.”
Maddy tilted her head to the side, then raised an eyebrow silently at me, basically telling me that we would talk about this later. I groaned inwardly but kept a straight face.
“Of course,” she nodded her head. “Enjoy the rest of your evening.”
I showed Robinson around the palace. He gaped at the size of the auditorium and the recording studio, carefully examining all the instruments then at the massive studio.
“This is amazing,” Robinson marveled. “And your family gets the entire thing?”
He stared at the backyard, the pool, the garden, the master bedroom, the guest bedrooms. I saved my bedroom for last.
“This is so fancy,” Robinson said. He ran a hand over the blankets, then at the fluffy pillows.
Suddenly, I felt embarrassed. I was showing Robinson the massive palace I had while his family was struggling with cancer and treatment bills for Lizzie. I felt like I was a spoiled kid showing off her toys to someone else.
This had never seemed extraordinarily fancy when I was alone. I had never decorated my room for fanciness, just comfort. But with Robinson, it felt too fancy; the canopy, the vanity, the huge closet, the window seat, the king sized bed, the enormous bathroom, the maids.
“I wanna show you something,” I said, opening the balcony doors.
The sky was lit up by silver diamonds woven into the blanket of midnight blue. Above, the moon shone brightly, a full moon for once.
The balcony was able to see everything, even a glimpse of the ocean if you stared hard enough. The view was better during the day but was just as good at night. It oversaw the gardens, the forest, and even the streets of downtown.
“This is my life,” I said, leaning on the balcony.
“Thanks, for bringing me here,” Robinson cleared his throat.
I turned around to face him and was met with his lips.