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The curls weighed down and loosened to a relaxed style. I checked my makeup and applied a loose shade of red lipstick. Once I slipped my shoes on, I made my way to grab my purse.
"Miss Chantal! Your ride is waiting!" Macy called from downstairs.
I hurried out and halfway down the stairs, the doorbell rang. My father came through the door.
"Just checking to see if you’re awake, Miss Macy." Papa chuckled.
"Of course. Chantal and I were headed into town…if that was alright…"
"Yes! Chantal. I didn’t know you were awake."
I took my gloves out of my purse and smiled.
"Anything to go shop."
"Be careful, ma chéri."
Macy was out the door but before I could turn and reply, a body stopped me completely. Hands grabbed my arms and kept me straight.
"Excuse me. I am so sorry!"
The voice was sincere, almost as if he hated himself. As I was looking down, dust was on the skirt of my dress. Black dust, at that. I looked up, the concern of dirt withering away. He was dashing. Charming. Modern. The blue in his eyes matched his blue corduroy jacket. The hair was messily slicked back, something new to this age I supposed. His pants were loose and awfully dirty. The chimney sweep.
"Oh it’s…quite alright mister…"
"Tomlinson. Louis…you can call me. I mean, yes. Louis. I’m Louis."
I giggled, swiping the dust off my outfit. I would have been a little mad if it was someone else, but it’s him. Louis rubbed the back of his neck.
"I’m Chantal Alouette LaChapelle."
"That’s fit for the name of a queen, Miss LaChapelle." He said, taking his paperboy hat in his hands from his back pocket.
My cheeks began to flush and I could feel the fall turn back into summer.
"I’ve never met a LaChapelle till today." He added.
The taxi honked and I was snapped to reality. Papa was even calling for Louis from inside the house.
"We’re not anything special, darling. I must be leaving though…à la prochaine, Monsieur Louis."
As I walked passed him, I looked back. The man bowed and smiled.
"Adieu, Madame Chantal."
My heart was struck; instant. I began to feel fuzzy as I sat in the car.
"Did the boy just bow to you?" Macy asked quietly.
It was hard to find the words to speak. My breath was held till the taxi took off.
"Y-Yes. He did. He’s…quite the gentleman."
"…and handsome." Macy smiled.
My gloves became a tic for me to wring in my hand. I hoped he’d be there when I got back. I wanted to see him again.
The taxi passed traffic and pulled up to the curb.
"Thank you." I said, getting out.
"Miss? Can I ask why you wanted me to come along?" Macy asked.
I looked left and right for the best boutique. One that enticed me by one glance.
"Because Macy…nobody wears flowers in the winter."
I gave her a smile to know I wasn’t hating, but that it was something fun. Macy smiled and pressed on her jacket.
"I don’t know that I can afford what your style is."
"Who said you were buying?"
She was hesitant. I knew it. She’s probably never had this done for her! I wanted her to have nice clothes. I wanted her to know I wasn’t like every other rich person she’s worked for. I wanted her to know I cared. Macy could be a motherly figure but she’s a little less headstrong.
I pulled her into a shop that said, ‘Anabelle’s’. The newest fashions.
"What can I help you two ladies with today?" The clerk asked from behind the desk.
"We need a new wardrobe for my friend." I smiled.
Dresses hung over the changing room. Macy came out in dress after dress. I matched three types of heels with the fabrics we chose.
"Miss Chantal, I’m not sure about some of these. I’m just a bit older than you-"
"Then they’ll make you look younger. Don’t fret, Macy. We’ll even find some lipstick."
Macy’s face turned pale. Risqué? For her, yes. I wear makeup because I like it. Not to be a pin-up.
"Just a light shade of red. Miss?"
I called to the clerk and she brought me to the makeup shelf as Macy changed back into her floral dress.
"Just something light." I said, holding up a stick.
Sugared Almond is what I picked. Macy slowly put it on but once we left the store with everything in hand, I saw her face glow. Excitement! Hose, dresses, jackets, and hats. A girls favorite day finally happened to Macy. She couldn’t stop smiling in the taxi.
"Thank you, Miss Chantal." She said, breaking the silence.
"Oh of course. It was fun!"
"My husband always wanted me to try some sort of makeup just for him. When he passed, I wore a stick of red just for his funeral."
I felt like I had been smacked. A widow? Oh my.
"I didn’t know you had been married. I’m sorry."
She waved me off.
"Oh it’s nothing, dear. He was in the army. Did I really expect him to come home safely? No."
The mood was heavily put down. Whose fault was it? I felt terrible. I bit my lip and tapped my fingers. What do I say?
"…but Miss Chantal, may I say something?" She said.
After her story, sure. What else to bring the mood down?
"I saw the way that young man looked at you. Make sure you keep in touch with him…that wasn’t just a friendly smile."
"You think he’s infatuated? Just at first glance?"
Louis had totally skipped my mind till she brought him back up. I felt all fuzzy again. Yes…I must see him again. I’ve met a lot of men in my life but none have left such an unforgettable first glance. If I already like his appearance, then god help me because if he’s a lovely guy on the inside, I’ll be head over heels for sure.
The taxi dropped us off for tea and once it began to rain, we called another and got ourselves home. My papa’s car was the only one in the driveway. I slouched sappily. Really, Chantal? Did you really think he’d still be there after 3 hours?
"Did you ladies need help with your bags inside?" The taxi man asked, pulling up to the mansion.
We took the bags out and made our way inside. Once I sat them down, Macy took them up two by two. I was exhausted!
"Chéri? Did you have fun?" Papa asked.
His voice echoed from the living room. I walked in to see him letting a puff go from his pipe. He sat in his old chair, staring at the fireplace.
"Yes, papa. I bought Macy clothes and myself some tea but that’s all. I enjoyed it."
Some silence was shared. I walked over and sat on the purple velvet chair my grandmother gave to us. Authentic. Comfortable.
"That boy…Louis." He said softly.
My heart sped.
"He does his job well. I uh, I invited him to the party this weekend."
"That’s for the military, though…is it not?"
"Well, it’s more of a show off, love. The house is new, the promotion, and you, of course. I invited him because he deserves a nice night."
Oh, yes! Yes! How lovely! I instantly perked up. I’d see him in his finest and he’d see me in the nicest dress I can find in London. Yes. Yes, this was perfect.
Monday morning :) noon-ish for UK
My family is rich. Everybody knows it. What makes us even more famous is that people suspect us ‘snobs’. A rich family from Paris with millions that keep themselves reclusive to limelight. Of course we’re snobs. Snobby people are always rich, right? No. I’m not a snob. Men call me so just because I pass on them for a lovely night in Paris. I’m better than that. Street rats.
"Ma chérie, unbuckle so we can go."
Our attendant held onto my cat, Cotton, as I exited the plane. The limo was waiting, a slightly less priced vehicle than back home. I’m not complaining. I’m grateful for what I have. Everybody always wants something more, though…
"Miss? Champagne?" The chauffeur asked from the door.
"No, thank you."
"This weather is so dull." Papa said, masking the newspaper.
I smiled. The car started up and we were on our way to our new home. Well, our second home.
"I like it. It gives a calming appeal from all the noise in the world." I said, twirling my hair.
"Ah…my child. Just like your mama was…so bold with words. Beautiful, too."
The car was silent but I managed a smile. My papa is everything. A little pushy but, he’s always been there to love me and raise me well.
Small rain drops hit the windows and almost lured me to sleep. Cotton was well asleep in my lap which was daring for me. I’ve seen London a few times…yet I never tire of it. A wondrous beauty. I can’t help but stare out the windows as we pass through town.
We pulled up to the front of our new house. A three story, window painted mansion. It’s the new style this day in age. I looked in awe.
The chauffeur opened the door for me.
"There are a couple movers inside. May I tell them where to take your bags?" He asked.
"I believe my bedroom is the master on the second floor. Papa? Yours is on the first, oui?"
"Oui. All her stuff goes upstairs."
The man nodded and led me inside as my papa spoke buisness. Typical.
First step in the house is wood. Sparkling wood. A grand, black staircase led upstairs. Boxes were everywhere but furniture was covered in plastic wraps. A couple guards in military uniform were chatting in the kitchen.
"May I help you?" I asked, not sure of who they were.
"We’re here to speak to Mr. LaChapelle."
"He’s out talking to a couple people. What can I do for you?"
The youngest man, beer in hand, sauntered over as he took his military hat off.
"Miss…you could do a lot of things for me…" He smirked.
Playing along, I neared him, taking my time. I leaned close to him.
"I could get you fired for sporting with an officers daughter but…we don’t want any trouble, do we?" I whispered.
The young man backed up and nodded towards me in respect.
"No ma’am. Excuse me. Forgive-"
"Boys? Ah, looks like you’ve already met Chantal. Lovely…isn’t she?"
My papa had chimed in just in time. I forgot the whole thing and only smiled. They stood more erect and showed a bit more respect than when I had walked in. Short conversation was sparked so I led myself upstairs. Men passed back and forth, giving a smile every now and then out of meeting. They unpacked as much as possible and carried stuff up and down the stairs.
My room was white, a chandelier in the middle. A queen sized bed and a white makeup desk. A bathroom with tile and a the whole wall a mirror. Even a small bed for Cotton next to mine. All I had to do was make the bed, fill the closet, and make it feel like home.
"Chantal?!" My papa called up the stairs.
I left my room and met him at the top of the stairs.
"The general’s called me in for an important meeting. The movers will leave shortly but come down and meet our maid, please."
I made my way down and followed my papa into the living room. An older lady in a natural waist, button up dress stood with jacket in hand. Her hair was lacking some black as her roots were grey. Her dress was flowered even though it was beginning to become winter.
"This is Macy. She’s from Liverpool. I’m sure you’ll make her feel at home." Papa said, introducing us.
Macy’s eyes were a light blue, but heavy. She must be a hard worker. I like her.
"I’m Chantal. I’m not picky and please do feel like family." I said, approaching her.
"Thank you, miss. I think I’ll fit right in."
We smiled. She looks a bit younger than my father. Like a mother.
"Well, I’m off. Take care, Chantal. Don’t touch the fireplace, either. The chimney sweeper will be here in the morning so I’ll see you then."
Papa kissed my forehead and left with the group of military. Our house became quiet when a half hour passed. Everyone was gone and the house was almost done being set up. Macy went to start dinner and I went upstairs to change.
My family has been through a lot but, I’m still smiling. I’m blessed beyond. I haven’t exactly stayed in one spot my entire life. I was born and mostly raised in Paris, my most fluent language being French, but my dad does top agent work with military so we’ve had to move quite a few times. He says this is the last time but, I hope so. I’d like to settle down.
"Macy?" I called from the stairs.
"Tomorrow morning I have to go into town and I want you to come along. Is that alright?"
Macy wrung her cooking mitts.
"But isn’t the chimney sweep supposed to be here?"
"Papa will be here. Not to worry."
"If you say so, miss."
Once I smiled, Macy made her way back to the kitchen. I couldn’t wait to start this chapter of my life…
Hahaha! Maybe. But don’t pay me lol
The street is dark and it’s so hard to see. I grab ahold of my hair and wish to pull it out. My sweatshirt sleeves are already stained.
"Where are you going so late?" Madeline asked, my mind giving flashbacks.
I held my tongue and almost cried in front of her.
"Just away for a little while. You’ll see me again."
She nodded and closed her eyes. I kissed her forehead and this is where I am now; a lonely road.
This is my plan. A sudden plan. Harry can love someone else but I’ll never love myself. I gave him everything! I even trusted him.
So here I am, screaming and yelling at myself. I won’t care if someone snatched me up. I’ve lost everything. Just take me!
"Watch where you’re going!" Someone shouted.
I wiped my teary eyes and found myself in the Miami crowd. Shit. I took a breath as a woman passed by with a look of sympathy. I pulled at my sweater as the city became loud. Traffic hoarded and honked to my side. Harry kissing Melissa was the last straw. I stood on the side of the sidewalk, people thinking I want a taxi. As the light across the street turned green…I took a step. The engine roared and as I took a breath, brakes were applied. I lost all sanity and began to cry. People across the street were talking in muffles as they faced my direction.
"Bristol?" A voice called out.
It was clear. Very clear. The car stopped in front of me carried him. Harry. That brightly lit Mercedes almost put me out of my misery. Kill me twice, Styles.
"Bristol! Listen, babe…" He said, approaching me.
His hair was a mess and his eyes looked almost as heavy as mine. Now a crowd watched us.
"Don’t call me that, cheater!" I yelled.
"It’s not what you think!"
We stared. When he made his way over to me, I pulled out the handgun from the back of my jeans. People ran. He stayed.
"Take another step. I dare you." I shook.
All traffic was stopped. I thought I heard a siren in the distance. Harry stood up straight and stared. He began to wipe his eyes and I saw his lip quiver.
"I don’t want to loose you, baby…" He said.
I closed my eyes as the waterworks were heavy.
"She came onto me I SWEAR to you. I am so in love with you that I want your pain. You don’t deserve any pain, princess…"
"I just wanna go, Harry…"
"Don’t. I need you. Madeline needs you, just as much."
"It hurts, Harry…"
"I know…I know it does…and I’m sorry. Im so dreadfully sorry. I hurt the person I love the most. Please…stay with me forever. I need you…"
Everything swirled. His voice echoed. I watched him move towards me with fear. The gun pressed harder into my skin.
"Baby…come on." He said.
"You’re too pretty to do that!" Someone shouted.
Once I took a breath, the gun went off.
I was still breathing.
And someone next to me was as well.
I looked and there Harry was, lifting my hand with the gun in it to the air. I shook violently as our eyes met. Then, I lost it. I sobbed and fell into his arms. He held me so tight I thought this wasn’t him! He’s never held me so tight. People cheered and police lights began to turn off.
"Please stay. I love you." Harry cried into my hair.
"Okay. Okay, I’m sorry."
"No. I am. Just…god, Bristol."
All strength I had in me was gone. It vanished. My mind was blank and I was in shock. I didn’t know how to think after almost committing suicide but knowing someone cared enough to stop it. I could feel his love. I knew he meant it.
Harry swooped me up into his arms and I rested my head into his neck as he assured police everything was okay and what his profession is to back everything up. I had eventually fallen asleep but…waking up the next day was the best morning ever.
"Goodmorning." He smiled.
Eyes tired, I smiled wide. He kissed my forehead and rubbed my cheek.
I felt something on my wrists and check to see two band-aids with hearts on them.
"That’s so cheesy." I said.
We knew it and laughed.
"But, sweet." I added.
"Did you want breakfast in bed? Madeline is up making toast…which reminds me I need to go check on that."
Harry was up and gone in a flash, leaving me laughing. As I sat up and rubbed my eyes, a small, blue, leather box laid next to my feet. Noise rang throughout the mansion but I focused on only that. I grabbed it and opened it.
A very, very large ring.
With a note.
"As I have mentioned some times, I could spend my life with you. Once last night hit me, I knew if you left I would not be the same and missing you would be the death of me. I can only prove my love to you by this small box. I am so in love with you, Bristol. Xx"
I covered my mouth. A figure stood in the doorway, smiling against the frame.
"Will you marry me, darling?" He asked in a hushed voice.
My excitement was eating me alive. Tears of pure happiness poured down my cheeks.
"Yes…yes, of course."