Cast: Olivia Chaplin, Nina Pezeshkian, Ophelia Lindahn and Hannah Myers
Needless to say I wasn’t killed in a satanic ritual. (read pt 1 here)
Instead, Black Hair and I were kissing on the stairwell outside his grandparent’s flat.
Each kiss left me dizzy and I was waiting for it to get boring but it never did, so I reached for his belt to unbuckle but he swatted me away.
At 6am as I was leaving, he remarked:
“I have blue balls.”
On the Uber ride home I wondered if he was gay, or if he wanted to take things “slow” which is pretty much the same thing.
I checked my phone. 10 texts from my Mom. Anna where are yous? that got more concerned and more aggressive and then I read that I had missed my train back to London.
So I was alone in Paris, one day until New Years Eve, with no money to get home, and no friends to speak of.
After hours of crying down the phone, O had had enough. She took a bus up from London to be with me, which is when I fully understood the phrase “knight in shining armour.”
I hit up Black Hair to ask what his plans were. He replied-
“Come round to my place for 11:30pm. X”
So we did …
OUTSIDE THE DOOR
Black hair was slung over the bannister, with a smug look on his face. A silk shirt hung off his rake thin body. Wrapped tightly around his neck, a white silk scarf. If Cap’n Jack Sparrow ever had a “Give 2 Charity” pile, this ensemble would’ve been the first thrown in. His face, a ghoulish green against the dark brown walls, was dotted with light red pimples.
Confused, hurt, and questioning my sanity, I stood there, unable to speak.
How could a 10 become a 3 in 2 days? 🤔
O shot me a look that read:
“Who the fuck is this?”
TO THE LIVING ROOM
Black hair walked off, blue carpet looked even worse than before, and the familiar feeling of
“why am I here?” hit me like a tonne of bricks.
Suddenly, a group of boys emerged. One was speaking American with flame red hair.
Two boys followed, wearing eyeliner, trilby hats and 5” frames.
A door slammed shut, and they were gone.
Then I …
SPOTTED SOMETHING STRANGE
It was a figure, small and peculiar, hunched up on the windowsill. He was talking, with air pods in, wearing a suit that only a ventriloquist’s dummy would own.
Feeling both pity and apprehension, we approached with caution.
“What’s your name?” I said, like adult to toddler.
“My name’s Amandelier!” he squeaked and jumped down to floor level. His voice was indecipherable; kind of sounded part Russian, part American.
“Amandelier?? That sounds like a girl’s name!” O chortled.
“Well it’s not! He snarled.
“But what are you doing up there?” I said, motioning to the windowsill.
“I’m just calling all my people, wishing them a happy New Year.”
He tutted, hopped back to the windowsill, and business resumed:
“Hello Johnny? You there? Happy New Years buddy!”
DESPERATE FOR A DRINK
We made our way to the kitchen. And did something smell rancid!!
I figured there was a sewage leak, or, maybe, a dead rat trapped
under the floor boards. O’s nose curled.
“Anna, the smell!”
“Yeah…it’s godforsaken foul.”
She gasped and pointed to someone.
My head turned. My heart raced.
There was only one other person in the room.
Black Hair walked over, only to tower over me in eery silence – a ghost with poor hygiene.
He made a face as if to say “Oh, of course” and limply pointed to some mixers.
Then, as I poured a drink, he spoke.
“Oh, by the way, Anna I-”
“Yeah? What’s up dude??” I said, too eagerly.
“It’s nothing …don’t worry …”
“Nooo, tell me!”
“It’s just …well …um…my…
girlfriend’s coming tonight … hope that’s cool.”
My face sizzled and I stopped it from cracking by smiling but my voice
went high pitched and it was clear I wasn’t ok but I said
“Yeah …yeahh, of course. That’s fine.”
After telling O the news in the toilet, she suggested we leave.
“No! I’m not leaving a party on New Years Eve because of him!”
So, I took a sip and went into the…
Roast chicken and hunks of bread. Salad, with dressing.
All on a long wooden table. Half eaten, but still looking fresh.
Eyes moved from the food to the clientele. One girl and one guy.
Girl was nearly pretty, wearing a bowl cut and a vest and looked like
someone who’d shop at Claire’s Accessories ‘ironically’.
Guy had brown, broccoli shaped hair and wore a hoodie …Superdry I think.
She was waving arms around, eyes closed, a blissed out look on her face.
“Put on a songg!” she moaned, eyes still shut.
I sighed and walked over to the docked iPhone, doing as told.
Chose a song by Bowie. She screamed.
“Oh my GOD!! I LOVE this MUSIC!!”
Felt a bit much, but given the former blow, I needed a pick me up, even if it was from her.
Eyes on SuperDry. He threw a hunk of bread in his mouth,
with the kind of vigour that inspires boarding school boys to switch
on lights after the warden nods off.
Then he threw up a jazz hand, then another, and then both hands met each other,
at which point I think he’d forgotten that part of his routine.
When I thought it was over, he then jumped in the air,
popping up his legs and throwing his head back like something out of “Oliver Twist”.
I’ve never felt so sick and so happy in my life before.
Red hair and his henchman: spotted!
Walking into a room with a gold doorknob. I quickly went to open it when-
“NO!” someone screamed.
It was bowl cut girl.
“What is it?”
“This is the COKE room!?”
“Well they’re doing lines and having deep chats.”
Lines and deep chats??! Well I’ll be darned!
Ignored her, to enter
THE COKE ROOM…
Which low and behold was an office. One which had a brown leather sofa, orange walls,
and limited edition books scattered on the floor, as if to say:
“Plenty more of where that came from.”
Office’s desk was a dark oak, and on it a glass paperweight and expensive pens and a line of coke.
One so small, a mouse would’ve struggled to get high off it.
Red hair snorted dramatically.
“Guyssss, I just party too much in New York.”
“You really do, bro!” said one of the Trilbys.
“What’s so funny?” Red Hair snapped.
“Nothing, just if you think you’re partying too much,
why don’t you stop?”
Trilby boys gasped.
“I hate people who try and control my life.”
SPAT OUT THE COKE ROOM
And into the living room.
Pacing back and forth, was Black Hair.
“Anna – hi! God, I’m just so stressed.”
I could now taste the body odour, a vibrant medley of musk and
“Why are you stressed?”
“You’re here, my girlfriend’s coming, and I’m not even supposed
to be having this party!!”
My eyes rolled back.
“Ugh… it’s just the way you look at me.”
“I just love the way you look at me… SHIT!” And he bolted out the room.
Two minutes later, he reappeared.
“Sorry, just had a panic attack!”
“What?! Are you ok?”
“Yeah yeah, just had to be sick in the toilet!”
He said, as if I was dumb for assuming otherwise.
…“I thought I was puking up blood, but it was just the red wine!”
He laughed and strolled off, a spring in his step.
NOT DRUNK ENOUGH
Everyone (7 people) were now in the dining room.
Coke room trio sat gloomily, Amandelier was glued to his phone, and I couldn’t see Black Hair, but knew he was there because of the stench.
France’s answer to Macklemore played and I swayed along, half smiling on the outside, whilst on the inside, wondering what I’d done so horribly wrong in my life to deserve this.
Then, I felt someone shove me.
It was a tall asian girl, wearing a beige bedazzled top and ballet pumps. I didn’t think much of it, it didn’t hurt and if anyone knows what getting carried away on the dance floor looks like, it’s me.
15 MINUTES LATER
Red hair decided we were mates.
“You.” He pointed at me.
“I have something to show you.”
And ushered me into the kitchen with urgency.
He sat me down and poured me a drink.
“Did I look better then, or now?”
He said, eyes bulging, and held up his phone screen.
A photo of him with a green mohawk.
He then pointed at himself, as if I needed help remembering what he looked like.
“Are you two FLIRTING?”
It was the girl who shoved me in ballet pumps.
“Who? Me and him?” I replied, pointing to Red hair.
“No, you and HIM!”
She pushed forward Black Hair, who was sweating profusely.
“No! We’re not flirting!” I said, outraged at the suggestion.
“AH!” She gasped. And that hickey! Someone must really love you.”
I clapped my hands over the mark on my chest, and shot daggers at Black Hair.
Who even gave hickeys anymore?
True to form, he darted out the room.
OPHELIA IS OUT
She said “I want to go home.”
She had looked miserable for most the night, and I could hardly blame her.
But, I hadn’t yet said my piece to Black Hair-
how to treat women and social etiquette and a link to my favourite deodorant.
Was the newest edition to the party. Despite the sophisticated central heating,
he sat at the head of the table wearing a woolen hat, scarf and a Canada Goose.
He looked pissy, and I wanted to know what about.
“Take off your coat, stay a while.”
I said, delivered in a slur,
so sticky, that I wish I had just kept my mouth shut.
“I’m fine like this.”
I walked out into the living room, sniffing around to find Black Hair
before I left, but he was nowhere to be found!
Tapped me on the back. It was Leo.
(I knew we had shared a moment!!)
He sat down opposite me.
“Where’s your drink?” I said.
“I don’t need one.”
“But you haven’t got one on you.”
“No, he laughed. I don’t drink.”
“Oh. Well, why not?”
“I’m in a relationship. A relationship to God.”
“Oh …that’s …nice?”
It was nice, I guess, just not the answer I had hoped for.
“Most of the guys at this party are too.”
“Are with God.”
What the fuck? What was this? Some kind of conversion party?
“So, you don’t have …sex?”
“What about before this… relationship?”
“I just cried afterward. Every. Single.Time.”
I wasn’t lucid enough for this.
What could I say?
“I know the feeling?”
Instead, I panicked and said:
“So, you don’t even kiss people?”
“No. Honestly, God is just better than any of that stuff.”
“Fair enough! Glad you found light through God.”
“Yeah, he’s the best.”
“So, you don’t ever …fancy people?”
“No. Wellllll …”
“Well …I do fancy …someone.”
I sat there for a minute, unable to speak, to move, to process what I had just said. I wanted to believe it was a distasteful joke, but his facial expression made it clear it was not.
Finally I uncrossed my legs, got up off the carpet, ran toward the front door and vowed I would never, ever return to Paris.
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