"Wake up, love muffin." Tim collapsed on me. I came to the harsh reality that morning was here. My eyes suddenly opened and the sunlight blinded me.
"I see you made a new friend last night." Tim holds up the empty bottle of scotch sitting beside my bed.
"Don't judge," I mumble, burying my face into my pillow.
"No judgment. I just can't tell if she left before we came or if she even ever came." He searches the sheets jokingly.
"Tim, shut up," Jack speaks up, even though it was followed by a yawn and a rub of the eyes.
"I lost her," I hiss at them. The alcohol lost it's affect and my body was paying the consequences.
"How much did you tell her, Nathan?" Jack, leans forward in his chair to watch me carefully.
"Everything." I close my eyes, not wanting to see their reactions.
"Everything?!" Tim yelped out of surprise.
"Everything." I confirmed.
"How long have you known this girl?" Tim questioned. After doing the mental figures I answered, "Two weeks."
"How long have you known Jack and I?" Tim was trying to make a point.
"Eleven years about right?" I return after thinking about it.
"And you told us because we were your best friends of eleven years. And you tell a complete stranger? No wonder she ran away," Tim was rambling and it set me into a fury. Getting up, suddenly, I grabbed the collar of his shirt, my fist balling up the fabric as I about punched him. "Are you seriously mad at me?!"
"Who should I be mad at?!"
"Yourself! You keep saying you lose all these girls when you let them walk away. Half of the time girls test us with that stuff. They want us to run after them. If you think she is so important then you need to run after her. Make her a priority and then she will see how serious you are about this!"
When Tim was finished I glanced at Jack who just nodded in confirmation. I let go of Tim's shirt and apologized. He shrugged, and I knew we were cool.
"What now?" I run my fingers through my hair.
"First, we get you some medicine," Tim nodded at Jack who disappeared into the bathroom, reminding me of my horrible hangover. "Then we find the next flight to Paris."
"If you were a girl who had tons of money and a broken heart, waiting for a boy to follow her, where would you go next?"
"Good point." I connected it in my head. "I'm impressed, Tim. You aren't the type to think about things like that."
"Also, her best friend was talking about how bad she wants to see Paris, so she was hoping to convince Grace to go there next," Tim shrugged, making me roll my eyes.
"Isn't this lovely?" Heather remarked as we walked down the streets of Paris. "The sun is out and it's a beautiful day. Plus, you're pulling off that sunhat very well."
"Thank you," I laugh. "Earlier this week it was hard to appreciate Paris, but now that I have a clear heart and head, I'm ready to experience it all."
"Including the Louvre!" She pointed at our destination in the distance.
"Dad wrote about how much he loved Van Gogh paintings and I'm so ready to feel close to him again," I beamed at the pyramid building. Once inside we took our time admiring all the pieces of history we came across. When I came to the Van Gogh, Heather decided to give me some time along. I was happy for this. It was like I was sharing a moment alone with my father. I could feel his presence as we both admired the same piece in the same place.
"Beautifully morbid don't you think?" A thick French accent came from over my shoulder.
"Huh?" I turn to meet the eyes of the stranger.
"Oh, I'm sorry..." he continued in French and I cut him off, "No, I'm English."
"I thought so," he smiled back. Wow, that smile was stunning. He was a little taller than me with dark hair and tan skin along with a fitting dress shirt and dress pants.
"Are you a fan?" I gesture to painting.
"Yes, but more so for the History." For being foreign, he was very good with English.
"Why so?" I was suddenly enthralled by him.
"I was a History major. Van Gogh was in such a sick, twisted, mental state but out of such a dark place he created beauty and grace. However, no one saw it at the time and then he decided to end his life and talent short."
"For a history major, you talk like a writer," I remark.
"My father is a writer, maybe that's why," he chuckled.
"My father was too," I respond. "It was more of a hobby to him, but he wrote the most beautiful stories."
"Well, maybe it's because he has a beautiful daughter," the man looked me straight in the eye and I felt such a connection to him. "Louis," he held out his hand.
"Grace," I met it and we did a slight shake of our hands but were too focused on each other's eyes.
"How would you like to go for dinner tonight?" He came off as confident and humble at the same time which was refreshing.
"I would love that," I smiled. He wrote down his name, number, and the address of the restaurant.
"I'll be there waiting for you at 8. I have to go back to work, but I hope to see you there."
"And maybe you will," I tease him lightly.
"Alright, well it was nice to meet you, Grace. I'll see you tonight." He beamed at me before leaving, however he took the risk of turning and smiling one last time. My heart felt warm and I turned to the painting and silently thanked my father for that feeling once again.
Chasing Grace - Chapter 10Beauty.
By joslyn miller