-Karlie Kloss to Joan Smalls (here: http://snejspo.tumblr.com/post/32844741989/hert-curturrrrr-tuileries-omg-karlies#notes)
Wow it's so weird I guess I really love Lumen because all of my stories for her break two thousand words or something. ~Weird~
PS Shout out to Phia aka @sophiaspastic because I always be like, 'BBY I MISS YOU' and then never reply. Oops.
[Wednesday, October 3]: We hope everyone had a wonderful sleep last night but unfortunately, it has to be cut short. When learning the ropes of being a bride-to-be, there is NEVER any time for a break. Breakfast will be served at seven in the dining hall followed by an intimate session with both Bella and Brielle. Here, you will discuss your general plans for your dream wedding. This will be your longest time on camera so far so be sure to dazzle! Your wedding party (bridesmaids and groomsmen) will have to be chosen as soon as possible so you will be filmed while calling each one from the Chateau’s phone. These will all be recorded so you better cross your fingers they can all attend.
A draft runs through the open window, brushing over my shoulders. Someone has thrown my duvet aside, exposing my scantily clad body to the morning chill. I reach for a corner and pull it back down, the warmth of my cocoon comforting instantaneously. In the corner of my vision, I see a burst of movement, and I'm wide eyed and alert, staring at the heel bouncing on Bellamy's foot as she scrolls through her phone, poised in the chair nearest my bed. "Morning, sunshine." She smirks, not bothering to look up. I have a headache, I realize.
"Why are you here? We're not... There's no challenge today." I can admit to my voice shaking, and I sound uncertain. I'm not sure if there is a challenge today. Bellamy smirks again. "You and I need to have a chat. Get dressed and meet me on your balcony, there's breakfast." I glance at the digital clock on my bedside, and yelp. "It's fucking six o'clock in the morning!"
She tilts her head towards my armoire with a look of exasperation. I understand I shouldn't push limits, for Brooks' sake, but I'm tired and upset and the evaluation of our first challenge was a nightmare. "No, I will not get fucking dressed and I don't ever eat fucking breakfast." I snap, and her eyes widen for a quick moment before she does what could pass for a smile. "Nice of you to finally join me, Lumen." She sits, hesitantly, on the side of my bed, alarmingly close.
"Lumen, do you even want to be here? I have to admit, your first score, your answer to my challenge, surprised me. I expected so much more from you. You planned the Golden Gala, for christssakes." She's frowning, as if she already knows the answer. She doesn't say anymore, waiting for me to fill her silence. I don't want to. We stay wallowing in silence for several moments, and she looks irritated again. The clocks clicks slowly to six twenty. "I had help on the gala." I finally say, blatantly ignoring the first question. "Pathetic party planning is far below me." It's a weak jab at her ridiculous profession, but it lands, and her eyes widen with hurt for a mere second, before hardening back to their state of annoyance.
"Fine, Lumen. Keep rejecting the people who want you to be happy and I can guarantee your humiliation."
My alarm blares forty minutes later, seven am sunlight, instead of chill, streams down. The window was closed. According to the gilded schedule for uptight winners, breakfast is promptly at seven, lasting until eight. I've been avoiding both Brooks and our fellow pairs for as long as possible, living on the pack of mint m and ms I got at the airport and a napkin of pastries I snagged on Saturday. I've most likely lost a few pounds from my anti-socialism, and I'm starting to weaken. I've sacrificed the morning runs that kept my muscles trim, the ones I used to take with Brooks.
I can't avoid food much longer, and I troop downstairs for coffee at least, and maybe some cereal to stash for later. I'm slightly dismayed by the prospect of facing the people I can't be bothered to remember in my unbrushed, from the night before bun and slept in clothes. The knots in my stomach tighten when I see Brooks is at one of the farthest tables, and gives me a look, part daring, part inviting. It's confusing, and I'm not sure how to respond until I see the cameras taking filler shots, and the catering Bellamy and Brielle at the yoghurt bar. I take my coffee to him and sit across the table. Neither of us try to make eye contact.
I reach across for the hazelnut creamer, my artificial goodness and one true weakness. "I thought you liked your coffee black." I glance around, looking for the person I assumed to be addressing me, until I realize it's Brooks. I'm sure my eyes widen. "I only like creamer when I'm in need of comfort. Like your mashed potatoes." He nods, understanding. His vast and perturbing family gave me my first proper Thanksgiving, where I learned the dialect of country club and fox hunt goers and indulged in southern style 'comfort food'. I'm not sure how I'm able to draw a comparison now. I hate the Foxhalls of Providence, Rhode Island. It was the source of a few rows back when we were dating.
"You okay, Lumen?" It's the double edged sword, the question he doesn't want answered and I don't want to answer. "Quite fine, thanks." We fall back into silence, him scraping butter on a slice of toast, then strawberry jam, his favorite. He has a dot of jelly on his upper lip like always, and when we cared to touch each other, not like here, I would lick it off every morning without fail, before we parted, I to the Museum, him to the BBC. He gets it himself now, the stained napkin crumpled and tossed. We're staring at each other, swimming in our own silence and the surrounding noise.
Out of the sea of tables, Brielle rises like Venus, clapping her hands together, bringing conversation to a halt. She has today's plan, and I can see some girls literally on the edge of their seats waiting for information in exasperation. "Go freshen up please, we're having consultations and filming scenes for the rest of our time today." Several couples exchange looks, then grudgingly get up and dispose of their rubbish, stalking sleepily out with arms curled around each other. I stare at nothing, the empty space by Brooks' head. He nudges my arm slightly, the most he's touched me off camera, and that alone brings me out. Together we stand, and he murmurs something, then grows to speaking level. "Can I walk you to your room?" I swallow, and nod, not wanting to ruin this. We quietly leave the dining hall and lingering few pairs, not touching again.
"It's really nice to know you have feelings, Lu." He says at my door, offering a small smile and bowing his head to slip by, just down the hall to his own room. I fumble in my pocket for my key, and close my fingers around the cold metal, letting myself into what will never be like home. The door creaks when I collapse my back against it, placing my head between my outstretched legs to ward of the dizziness and confusion, breathing slowly. I want to go home. I want to go back to London, to Brooks and our flat and sunlit giggles and teasing rows over nothing and the future, my museum, the tourists, the pigeons. My stomach turns sharply, with pangs of longing, and I crawl to the bathroom where, instead of applying my best makeup, and showering, my skin is coated in a sheen of sweat and I lift my head to the basin of the sink, my stomach heaving.
I don't know when my body quiets, but there's a numbness in my limbs, and I ache to stand on my wobbly legs. A shower is exactly what I need. I spent a long time washing and rewashing my hair, scrubbing the grit of amour from every pore. When I'm done, I dry myself and curl my hair into delicate ringlets, blonde commas and quotation marks around my shoulders. White eyeshadow is the oldest fallback I learned, and my face brightens instantly, in spite of my pale complexion and shine of new sweat. I look presentable, maybe. Pretty, perhaps. But completely unlike myself, twig like limbs and delicate doll face. Plastic.
The TV clicks on when I lay across the remote, painfully, and I'm drawn into the French drama, a wedding in a small chapel with a gate crashing evil twin. It's intoxicating and hideously good, like a cheap wine or ugly Christmas sweater. At nine fifteen, someone, presumably of the assistant variety, comes and shepards me to the consultation with the Queen Bs. They're sitting close together at the round table that jams against my abdomen, chatting in low voices, giggling from time to time. Or rather, Brielle is. Bellamy fails to do much more than a subtle smile. Brooks saunters in a few minutes late, his hair still dripping wet, and pulls his chair next to mine, throwing his arm around my shoulders and kisses my cheek sloppily. The butterflies that have been in my stomach all morning flutter.
Brielle begins with her boundless enthusiasm, which seems to be her default setting, complete with little claps and overexcited gestures. "Okay, Lumen, Brooks, lovely to see you! I hope you've taken much away from Saturday, and you've come with some ideas! Lumen, if you'll start, did you think on the criticism?" I close my eyes for a brief moment, secretly glad these sessions are rarely and optionally taped. I'm angry, irrationally so, my mood is in free fall. I cross my legs and fold my arms in a position of hostility, ready to spout whatever I need to say to make her think I understood, words contrary to my posture.
"I think that evaluation was bloody rubbish. No colour? There were three fucking colours, for godsakes, colours I can fucking stand. If I really fucking did what I wanted I'd have gold and white and black. So don't look for bloody issues where there are none." I pause, and Brielle is gaping, Bellamy is grinning, Brooks is squeezing my shoulder. "I don't fucking care how boring you think my wedding will be. A little alcohol and it will be more fantastical than some bloody Disney wedding." I finish, slightly breathless, my chest heaving.
While the two bridal planners put their heads together, murmuring again, Brooks leans over for some murmuring of his own. "Where did that come from Lu? Saturday we couldn't get you to care!" I shake my head slightly. I'm still panting, quick short breaths, and he pulls his hand from my shoulder to stroke my cheek, to steady me. I close my eyes and the feeling passes. "I'm okay." I whisper, and he nods, leaning forward until we're kissing, for real, a soft delicate kiss that only lasts seconds. Someone clears her throat and we look up. "Back to our discussion, please."
"So ah, Lumen, what other ideas would you have?" I look at Brooks and he nods slightly. I begin, slowly at first, until it all spills out of me. "I'm afraid of getting married. Not for any reason but selfishness, and irrational fear." I can't look at his reaction. "But it's something I really want. And because I want it so much, I have to make it something I can stand. You're right, it was an ill contrived and frankly boring idea." I pause for effect. "I want it in my museum. Black and gold and white, the colours of excess. Silk, pearls, filigree. Vodka and sweet wine and hundred dollar lobster and people I care for. That is what I want in my wedding." Bellamy and Brielle are nodding along now, scribbling on a pad, little sketches and notes I can't see. "It's unconventional to change your theme at this point, but we can see it makes you much happier, and that is what the goal of wedding is. Good luck this week." We all nod and part ways.
The assistant from before is ready to herd the pair of us, Brooks and I, I and Brooks, back to our room to film a scene we haven't been instructed on as of yet. The fight is over, and he's whispering apologies for blowing things out of proportion, for not asking if I was really okay. Neither of us knew, truthfully, the reason this wedding was taking so long. We had discussed it so long, I loved him so much, him, me. He takes my hand quietly again, and I breathe in slowly, praying all the fear and disgust and loathing will disintegrate.
We're led out on the balcony terrace in my room, overlooking the garden, and handed a shiny new smartphone each, while the film crew prepares to take shots and brushes hairs and shines lights in our eyes. The phones, a filming assistant says, are for use on the show, and right now we are to call the intended members of our wedding party for the footage, the humiliation of a rejection or joy of an acceptance on camera for all to see. Brooks and I exchange looks. We haven't given a single thought to our wedding party, aside from symmetry. There are two people I need by my side, and I know Brooks has more than two at least. He makes the first call, to his university roommate, and sets the phone, speaker function on, down with a clunk on the glass table.
"Nate?" "Hey, Chan, that you?" Nate's powers of voice recognition were uncanny, apparently. "Yeah, yeah, hey. So, Lu and I..." Nate interjected to send a 'Hey Lumen!' I answered with a smile for his infectious exuberance. "Hey, no flirting guys. Anyway, for our wedding, we would really like you to be a groomsman. The best man, in fact. Will you?" Nate seemed to be considering for a long, torturous pause. "I'd love to, man, text later, both of you?" We agreed and hung up. I leaned over to kiss his cheek. "Congratulations, love. My turn?" Another nod, another anxious dial.
"Hello, is Magdalena du Lyons in?" The click of hold music drifted over the speakers for an impossibly long time, or what seemed like it. "This is Magdalena du Lyons, may I ask who's calling?" "You may." She can tell it's me and we erupt into giggles. "Heya babes, how is wedding land? Pleasant, I hope? You plus planning equal disaster though, right, remember that one time senior year-" I cut her off, talking over her. "Yes, that's what I'm calling about. Would you do the honour of being my bridesmaid? The Maid of Honour, actually?" I can practically hear her tearing up. "Oh babes, of course."
Marrying Brooks just became reality.
If you read the story, you'll see I changed the theme of their wedding, and I only thought it appropriate to redo the section from my audition and, additionally, create an inspiration collection.
Collection: [goes here]
◆The Wedding ◆
◦Ideal location: British Museum, London, England
◦Ideal season: Late fall, as October turns to November
◦Ideal number of guests: Small and intimate, approximately 200 guests at most
◦Ideal type of wedding dress: Elegant and classical, comparable to the iconic gown Audrey Hepburn wore in Funny Face, or perhaps a lacy Valentino, even a strapless Vera Wang. In her heart of hearts she wants a dramatic gown like Princess Diana or Plum Sykes, preferably the latter’s Alexander McQueen, but she despises frivolities
◦Ideal hair/makeup: The hair would be a near exact replica of the Marchesa Spring 2012 RTW bun, a sleek, minimalist updo; The makeup very light and simple, comparable to Gemma Ward’s in Chanel Spring 2006
◦Ideal number of bridesmaids/groomsmen: One to three bridesmaids, an equivalent number of groomsmen, and two flower girls
◦Ideal bridesmaids dresses: (length,color,etc.) Float-y, long, easy to maneuver in strapless dresses, fluid like clingy gowns in gold or black
◦Ideal groom/groomsmen attire: Classic tuxedos with boutonnières to match their partner’s dress
◦Ideal color scheme: Ivory, Obsidian, and Gold
◦Ideal theme: Luxury (perhaps phrased as excess?)
◦Ideal flowers: Exotic orchids imported from some fantastically foreign country
◦Ideal reception location: In a hotel ballrooms as day turns to night
◦Ideal type of music playing: Light and airy, lots of string and classical music
◦Ideal first song for bride/groom dance: Home, by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
◦Live band or DJ: A live band is vastly more appreciated
◦Ideal honeymoon location: Geneva, Switzerland or The Seychelles