Today I have the pleasure of being one of two stops on Isabella May’s Oh! What A Pavlova blog tour!
Many thanks to Emma Mitchell for the opportunity to join in.
(Mine is extract 2. Make sure you check out extract 1 on My Eclectric Reads)
It was then that I realised I had my arms around a croque-en-bouche, a rich tower of haute couture, the height of which was simply too majestic for a girl like me to scale. And it was as if my thoughts cast an immediate and irreversible spell on him too, reminding him that I – and not Radiohead’s lead singer – ‘didn’t belong here’.
We finally retreated to the bedroom and he drifted off to sleep. I tried and tried, somewhat embarrassingly in retrospect, to weld myself into him, hoping to resurrect his libido, but all I got was a frustrating:
“Desolée, je suis bloqué…” followed by “Il faut que je t’explique quelquechose… en fait, j’ai une copine. Elle s’appelle Chantelle.”
So he couldn’t perform, because it had just dawned on him that actually, he had a girlfriend. And why did he have to say her name? I didn’t care if she was called Pascal and wore a sailor’s hat. Now I would cast scorn upon every future Chantelle I encountered.
“Oh,” I replied, the bottom falling out of my world, “Oh.”
But there was more to come. In fact, the whole thing was a farce. He’d also lied to me about the apartment being his: it was his parents’; they were simply in Paris for the weekend, so he wanted to feel like un homme, inviting a young English Rose over for a bit of romance. Was there anything about him that was real? I began to doubt he was even a student of engineering. The worst thing of all though was I’d been beached there like a whale until the buses were up and running again. It must have been two or three in the morning. And I definitely didn’t have the fare for a taxi.
Somehow I slept remarkably well. It’s not as if things could have got worse or there was any more of my dignity to lose.
Next morning I woke to an empty bed. What a relief to be able to slink off to the bathroom to reapply My Face before he spotted me. I could hear him already pottering about in some other part of his folks’ lavish quarters.
“They must be absolutely minted,” I said to my reflection, avoiding my disappointed eyes in the mirror by taking in the colossal tower of designer aftershaves and balms once again.
This was proper perfume; none of the cheap and cheerful stuff that I was used to. I cunningly opened a bottle, dabbing a hint on my wrists, as well as the pulse points of my neck – not that he’d be kissing me there anymore
Just what had caused this sudden turnaround in his predilection for me? Surely Radiohead alone couldn’t be held accountable. And then I remembered – the effects of the wine no longer clouding events; he had undressed me, taken in the contours of my body, and pulled away.
So I wasn’t stick thin like his waif of a girlfriend (I assumed Chantelle was one of those enviable little things sporting a wasp’s waist, anyway – Lyon, and the Rhône and Saône’s banks, were overflowing with them), but I certainly didn’t have a spare tyre either. Had that honestly been the reason he’d suddenly turned himself off? Or was it just that everything seemed safe, a bit of fumbling around, until, that was, we’d moved into the dormitoire? Whatever the reason, I didn’t much care to think about it. He’d dented my pride and all I wanted to do was get myself out of there as soon as possible, back to my little sardine tin of a room to wallow under the duvet in self-pity and despondency, with a bucket load of chocolate and tea on tap.
I chanced to inspect myself a little longer in the mirror. Undeniably, I was a little jaded, but I still looked kind of cute.
Yet he hardly looked my way when I entered the kitchen, too busy percolating his gourmet coffee.
“T’as dormé bien?” he said, obviously feeling the need to pierce the air with some kind of sound other than that of the beans doing their thing.
I told him I had slept well, thank you very much.
“Tu veux quelquechose a manger, du café?”
I couldn’t think of anything worse than eating in front of him. But when he handed me a Mars bar, I let appearances slide. Clearly that was his expectation of me, after all. And so the buxom English Rose chomped her way through its entirety, hastily swigged at her far too strong coffee and politely bade Pierre farewell – sans bisou – he’d had quite enough of those in the night.
The whole debacle was like taking five giant leaps forward and seven even larger ones back. The insignificant yet significant fling with Pierre shattered my confidence into mosaic-sized pieces. He gave me that first tantalising glimpse of a life – and a love – cut off from my puppeteer, and then he cruelly locked the door very firmly, threw away the key and rendered me hostage once more. I’d been depicted as fat and wholly un-beddable. I’d been deceived. And I’d developed a venomous hatred of svelte French women, scowling at them all on my forays in and around Lyon; that one of them might be her, the one who could turn him on.
Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy.
Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation.
Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there IS a better future.
And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom…
But will she escape before it’s too late?
About the author…..
Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing.
As a Co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – http://www.theglasshousegirls.com – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One).
She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’!