Note: Sorry it's taken so long for me to get back at this. I promise I'll try to be more faithful in updating. Thank you for staying with this story.
What could he want to talk to me about?
I know I said I wouldn't think about it, but really. That was just unrealistic.
It's not like I'm letting thoughts of him interfere with anything; we got checked in to the hotel all right.
And when I went down for my stone massage and manicure/pedicure with Helen, I did a good enough job carrying my end of the conversation. And Helen was so gosh darn cute and happy that I couldn't help but be happy for her, and just ignore the stupid Michael thing for a bit.
I don't know what I'd feel as a bride, but I can tell you that I would never have imagined myself half as calm and happy as Helen is; she goes on and on about her current piece, the gallery show she for which is preparing, and coasters and coffee tables, of all things! When pressed for wedding details, she simply smiles and discusses the topic as if it were the weather, or a new recipe she was planning on having Franklin try.
I suppose it is good that she's calm, but I don't know. I had always thought I'd be plagued by thoughts of the future, and worries over whether or not all the details would work out for the wedding, etc.
But then again, they are in Vegas, and they're about to get a wedding "package" at a respectable chapel that marries at least twelve couples a day. Twelve weddings a day probably means that the potential for screw-ups are next to nil. Furthermore, well, Helen already has a grown daughter. And while she wasn't around to raise me, I'm pretty sure that childbirth is definitely the most stressful and painful life could possibly get. You know. Aside from the death of loved ones and oneself. Or if you're a policeman or a firefighter or some sort of military personnel. I'm pretty sure life's pretty tough then too.
Franklin seems pretty mellow too; I'm telling you, he and Helen are perfectly matched. Since getting here, they've simply relaxed and enjoyed themselves. Franklin's won $150 on Blackjack. Father's lost $200, but seems to be enjoying himself as well.
And I continue to try to relax but fail miserably whenever you-know-who's name comes to mind, which is just about every three and a half minutes.
Thankfully, spring break is almost over and there's the pressure of all the papers and problem sets due on Monday. I don't think I've ever been so glad to do homework. I spent part of this afternoon working on a paper out of desperation; the idleness of the spa was entirely too quiet and allowed for too much time. I have to say, the paper was much more effective a distraction and I passed three happily peaceful hours immersed in comparing the trading policies of pre- and post-World War II Germany. Sadly, the paper actually wrote itself into a finish and I was left with the unappetizing biochem problem set.
The ceremony will occur in another two hours and until then I can either work more on the problem set, dwell more on Michael, or wander downstairs into a city where I am not old enough to gamble or drink or really participate.
If only he'd just not called! Or at least, waited until I was back from Vegas, (not like he knew I was going out of town, though) so that we could meet as soon as possible, without all this suspense!
Just as well. I think I should prepare myself for eventualities. As far as I can see, there are four reasons why he'd want to meet with me:
REASONS MICHAEL MOSCOVITZ WOULD WANT TO MEET WITH ME
1. Break my heart some more by being his traditional thoughtless self.
2. Ask for some remaining stuff back?
3. Ask for forgiveness for being such a terrible boyfriend.
4. Ask for a reconciliation.
OMG, he's going to humiliate me, isn't he?
I mean, think about it. We've never had a good interaction. He's never been good to me. Why was I stupid enough to think that this would be a good meeting?
Neither of the last two options is even possible. The first two are kinda like a Venn diagram. He can hurt me regardless, but if he asks for his stuff back, then he gets stuff and my pain. All this over a lousy black hoodie with a band name on the back. This is terrible. Absolutely terrible. I don't want to meet with him and I do want to meet with him. Because even if I know it'll hurt, I just want to be around him and see him. This is so stupid.
Helen called just now. She wants me to help her prepare.
This should be thrilling. Instead, I think I'm going to be sick.
The deed is done and it was lovely. Helen was beaming, Frank was delighted and now the married couple is off for two weeks in Hawaii on their honeymoon. Father and I remain here one more night. Tomorrow we fly back to real life and all its trappings: he back to Genovia, to his daily toil and important decisions that affect a whole country, me to New York, back to college life and that imminent problem of dealing with Michael.
Honestly, I'd rather take on Father's problems than Michael, and I know that's foolish because the minute I approached Father's decisions I'd figure out that the whole Michael thing was a piece of cake.
So here's the strategy tomorrow: get in, smile, see how he is, give him what he wants, and then run.
This will most likely not work. Not at all.
Plane en route to New York
I had promised myself that I wouldn't write in here. All I can do is complain and think and worry, but I don't want to do it out loud, so here I am again.
I wonder if he'll bring that girl of his. What's her face. Emma. Eileen?
Oh. I wrote it earlier. Emily.
I hope he doesn't bring her. She didn't look smug or anything when I'd met her, but I think it would have been easier to hate her if she had. As it stands, I simply feel like crap for disliking such an obviously beautiful and patient human being.
I wish Father were on the plane too, instead of going straight back to Genovia on his own. Lars is here, but what small conversation I've tried to make with him has resulted in curt nods. I don't think he's feeling particularly conversational. He's never been. But I guess I can't expect him to be bodyguard and sounding board. I'm sure he'd expect a raise and a promotion before he touched that mess. A substantial raise.
And I don't want to talk about Michael with him.
Oh come on, Amelia. You do want to talk about Michael with him. You're bursting to talk about Michael with anyone.
But I'm smart enough to know not to do it.
A princess must have her own personal limitations. Discussing her romantic problems with just anyone is definitely not permissible.
By this time tomorrow, I'll have met him and found out what he wants. If I am indeed setting myself up for a humiliating scene, I'll move on and continue to pretend I was never this foolish and nervous.
But if he wants to be with me again…
Two more hours until I meet with Michael.
Please let it go well. Please let me not make a fool out of myself. Please let me look fantastic and let him miss me.
It's only ice cream, so I'd feel stupid if I fretted about what to wear (I already did. I'm wearing the cute red sweater from Anthropologie and my jeans from Dolce & Gabana.)
What am I going to do for two hours? This is ridiculous.
I should be glad. I really should.
So why do I feel like crying?
It went well. Really well. We didn't fight. We had a good conversation. We spoke honestly.
And at the end of it all, he went his way and I went mine.
I can't explain just what I'm feeling. I know what I want to feel.
Why is it that whenever I walk away from seeing him, I always have a bad taste in my mouth?
This time, I feel immature, awkward, and a terribly ungrateful person.
Today, Michael Moscovitz offered me a chance to erase all the past, and I took it. But a good 65 of me really didn't want to. Because in spite of all the annoyances, arguments, pain, etc., well, I was able to be with him.
I managed to hide all feelings of inadequacy and poutiness long enough to accept his offer. And I was true to his proposal: no apologies, nothing about how the last, you know, year has gone.
We're friends. He said we were. This should make me feel better, but it really doesn't. It makes me wonder. You know, why he made this effort. A part of me hopes that maybe he sees through everything and realizes that I am a good person, and worth having as a friend.
But then the realistic part of me laughs and says that if I truly believe that crap, well, then I'm far more delusional than I thought. It was probably Lilly. Or his parents. But no way did Michael suddenly see any sort of proverbial light; he isn't the type to, and I am certainly not worth that sort of revelation.
Oh god. I sound like an insecure twit. How can I be so…so…ew. Screw it. I hate this.
That was rather anticlimactic, you know? Okay, so looking back, I wasn't looking for a great reconciliation. Or a great blowup (though that would not have surprised me either). But to just go there, have him fork over $3.62 for my single scoop of rocky road in a cup, and then sit down and tell me that things ought to be all right between us? Well, who knows.
I should be glad that things are all right between us. But…I feel like I've lost a competition. Or that some major decision has been made without me. Granted, it's not like I was in a very good position with him before; he was hardly speaking to me, and I could barely speak to him. And I was heartbroken all the time.
But what if he expects me to just stand by and watch him be happy with someone else? What if he expects me to be happy for him? Oh god, what if he and his girlfriend get married and I have to sit and watch that with this stupid fake smile on my face while my heart was breaking inside?
Ugh. Why hasn't my melodrama killed me yet?
But maybe this is what I need. You know, to help me get over him. If we just behaved normally with each other, maybe I'll get used to not wanting to see his smile. The twinkle in his eye. Maybe I won't miss the feel of his hand at my elbow as he guided me from here to there.
Well, thinking this way won't get me closer to my goal, now, will it?
I should work on that biochem problem set.
It's so lonely here without Helen and Franklin. I hate being on my own.
It was another day at the Moscovitz apartment. When I arrived, Michael opened the door! I think he could sense my hesitation, but we both tried to move past that. He smiled (a polite, "you're a friend" smile…not one of the "boy are you a piece of work" ones) and stepped aside to let me in.
I didn't even recognize the smile at first, and I have to say it's just got me feeling weird. I mean, I've seen him smile at his friends. And it doesn't look like that. But then again, the other friends whom I've seen around him are all comfortable, non-bratty non-ex-fake-girlfriends. I guess Michael doesn't have many of those, so it's understandable that he has no idea how to interact with me.
Not like I was much better. If he thought I was fake and artificial before, he saw me at another level today. And the thing is, well, I knew I was being a retard. But I couldn't stop it. And I couldn't bring it down and be normal.
It's just going to be like this for like ten years. And then we'll get sick of this and be okay with each other. Right.
Helen and Franklin are home! They bought me a beautiful shell pendant and the Most Delicious Pineapple In the World.
What am I doing this summer? I was asked that today. And well, this is really stupid of me, but I should have secured it a long time ago. Anyhow, I think things are settled: I'm going back home and spending the summer doing the same thing as I was doing last summer; working at the ESSG and spending time in parliament.
I think it's a good thing. I've already secured Lilly's presence during the Summer Ball; she'll be interning at a small newspaper this summer in San Francisco. And of course, the Moscovitzs will be invited.
All of them.
But I don't expect them to come. They've all got their own lives.
I think the summer will be good for me. Grandmere will probably still be in super matchmaker form, but I'll deal. And who knows? You know?
Okay, that would be nice. I mean, there's no reason why I should be pining away. And I mean, I've spent four months sitting around just thinking about him. Maybe it's time that I just…
There are other men out there. And I didn't give any of them a chance last summer. I haven't given any one a chance, really. Not a real one. I was being so damn picky. But look at what happened when I picked for myself? I mean, not like I chose to have Moscovitz be the one I loved, but I freely fell in love with him on my own, without any encouragement from anyone, including him. And Moscovitz certainly is not the best of men. There were lots of qualities I didn't even like about him.
Whatever. Details aside, there could be a really fantastic, eligible, appropriate man out there for me. Grandmere's already done most of the hunt for me, so really, why not look?
So maybe I ought to just put myself out there.
It's the right time for it.
It's frustrating that it's not actually warm outside yet. The winter is being stubborn.
I don't really have all that much time to go out for long strolls to take in the weather and stuff. Maybe it's because of that that I wish the weather would be nicer. It's so depressing that what little time I spend outside is so dreary and cold.
I look forward to going back to Genovia.
Finals in three weeks.
Home in Genovia!
I met someone today. Someone who appealed to me.
We had a new post-doctoral scholar join our lab today. His name is Paul, and he's from Cambridge. He's very nice, well-spoken, and handsome. More than half of the women in our lab are in crush with him.
So that's kind of depressing, considering that Paul is also seven years older than I. And I think he's got a thing for Yvette. (who, by the way, I was totally right about! A week ago she'd broken up with her boyfriend of two years and I told Henri that thought she'd be snatched up right away! And it's looking that way!)
So he'll most likely be taken. But still! How exciting! Someone who made me smile. And kind of mushy inside.
It doesn't surprise me that he's a nerd. I think Michael must have unstopped a dam when we started dating. Maybe I ought to go and haunt the ESSG campus and look for my very own cute scientist.
I am staying quite busy this summer; Father has put me on two committees, both with members of parliament that are extremely difficult to work with. It's times like these when I wonder if he really loves me, or wants me to feel as put out as he does sometimes with me. If it is some form of revenge, he's hit the mark; I am ready to kill these people.
To think that I will one day work with these people on a daily basis. Oh dear.
Dinner tonight with a handsome eligible Viscount who despises cats. I allowed myself to admire his very fine shoulders and that was about it. If only he didn't despise cats. I don't even remember how I found out about it but again just every thing in me that was picky last year was dragged out of the corner my mind, and there I was again, being critical and uninterested.
I'll get over myself. I promise.
Dinner tonight better. And I was better. I have a date for Friday night!
The date was marvelous. We had absolutely gorgeous French cuisine tonight. After a very pleasant dinner, David took me dancing, and we had a quiet, pleasant walk home. At the door, he gave me a polite (but quite lovely, I tell you!) kiss on the cheek.
All very elegant, gorgeous, and appropriate.
I'm feeling particularly ugly tonight. Not to say that I was, but all the same. When you're a princess, it doesn't really matter how pretty or unpretty you are, does it? While David was an absolutely charming companion, I do wonder whether or not he'd even give me a second glance had we seen each other on the street.
Honestly, I could look like Paris Hilton or Paris Hilton's dog, it doesn't matter.
I confess: I've been thinking about Michael's words again. You know, the ones about how I was a brat.
I've tried to be a better person. And it makes me feel weird to think that I'm wondering if I am a better person. It's not like I can go up to Michael and ask him to evaluate me as a human being again. And it's almost as if good people don't wonder if they're good; they just keep on going and being good.
Never this self-conscious "Am I there yet?" bullshit.
And it looks like I've once again found a way to depress myself. Great.
Another date with David in a week. Let's hope I'm less stupid. It's too soon, isn't it. I think it is.
A well-earned break at the spa. I am so very happy to be here.
I got a facial and a hot stone massage, and I am feeling so much more relaxed. I look forward to getting a mud bath and exfoliating treatment tomorrow.
I should feel guilty about skipping out on my duties, but frankly, I don't care right now.
I am alone. I suppose I should have asked Maddie or Grandmere along; Grandmere is beside herself with Summer Ball preparations. Maddie is having an especially difficult time of it with her latest, Kevin.
But I didn't want to be around people right now. Lab life is frustrating. In experiments, in everything.
Not that I ever expected Paul to look at me that way, but I don't know what's worse: his thinking I'm just really way too young to be treated like an adult, or way too princess-like to be treated like a normal labmate.
I've noticed it before. I got around it; my labmates had so much more experience in the lab, and I was just so curious that they got over the princess thing pretty fast. They do treat me like a kid sister at times, but that's normal. They treat the other undergrad in the lab, Louise, even worse; she just got started this year.
And I understand that I am younger than them all, but still! It frustrates me that they all feel that they can't talk about dates or drinking stories in front of me because they have no wish to "corrupt" me. And it's startling how they get nervous I'll have them beheaded if they voice political opinions that differ from mine. We don't live in that kind of government.
Granted, I'm not wanting to go up to Paul or anyone and prove any sort of womanliness about myself. I'm not that stupid. But it's frustrating. It's just like how now, in parliament, I am either completely dismissed or sucked up to.
This is a situation where being a normal person without a reputation or title would be nice.
I miss Lilly and Michael. They never treated me with any particular sort of deference. No special treatment from Michael, to be sure.
Lilly arrives in a week!!!!!!!!!!! Oh I get smiley when I think of her being here.
It's just great, knowing she'll be here so soon. We've been talking on the phone, of course. But it's not the same. I just can't wait to see her in person, to sit with her in quiet corners, in loud cafes, just anything.
I miss the intimacy, the confidence, the judgmental looks she gives me. I miss the fact that Lilly acknowledges every aspect of my life, from being a princess, to being a student who sucks at calculus, to the person who spent seven hours trying to get a separation and still did not succeed.
This visit will be so awesome.
Date with David again. Sadly, no chemistry, but for what it's worth, he's a nice guy with whom I enjoy spending time. Once we broke the second date barrier, he was more willing to be more casual, and chatty. We saw a strange French film that neither of us particularly liked. This was the best thing that could have happened. We spent the rest of the evening picking it apart, talking about other movies we'd seen that we liked more.
And wouldn't you know it, he loves old caper films too! For me, it's McQueen and Dunaway in Thomas Crowne Affair, of course. He's partial to How to Steal a Million, and I have to admit that I adore that one too.
He loves eating chocolate cheesecake, which I forgive him for, as watching his intense enjoyment just makes me giggle. He looks so intense!
David's in his third year at Supaero in Toulouse and is therefore a huuuuuge intense space geek. Really intense into Star Trek. (He deplored my never having watched any of the series and nearly spit his coffee when I posited that was it not just like Star Wars? I know. I'm mean, but he's just so fun to tease!)
I adore him. Completely and utterly. Now if only I could feel attracted to him…
How? How can I not feel attracted? Handsome, witty, clever. He's got the total package.
But I am determined not to feel disappointment on that score. It was still absolutely wonderful to be around him. After all, he let me go on and on about my work at the ESSG and about my classes.
He makes me laugh with his lame jokes, his "aw shucks" shrug. I spent all of today smiling over it.
Grandmere is beyond relieved that I've been happy with him. David's the viscount of some small district in France, and hence quite suitable. Honestly, though it shouldn't matter what she thinks, it's just so much easier to be around a man that she approves of.
As for David's own feelings. I don't know. I'm confused. I think he really likes being with me for me and I'm glad of it. He talks with me so easily, laughs with me, teases me…but…I don't want to think about it. I know I should. He's quite a gentleman, so it's not like he's pushing anything on me, and he's been appropriately vague in his sentiments towards me thus far. But he's got such a warm smile. And when he touches my shoulder to point something out, I swear I feel something. I think he likes me.
Ok, so maybe that's a small sour note, because personally, I've been in that position. And I'd hate to think that he'd come to care for me in a way I cannot reciprocate.
Getting ahead of myself, again. Ha. I think too much. And I think too highly of myself.
I like him. He likes me. That's good enough for now.
After all, I could come to fall in love with him. He's just so great to be around. And he's such a good person.
Limo, on the way home for the Best Night Ever
Lilly's here! She arrived early this morning, somewhat tired from her travel, but all the same happy and cheerful as always. After a quick breakfast, I left her to unpack and nap for a bit while I went into lab.
Tonight, she, David, and I went to the Royal Ballet Corp's premiere of Romeo and Juliet. It was gorgeous, but of course neither Lilly nor David is a very huge ballet fan. They had eye contact conversations, but were still very polite and looked attentive enough.
For me, the performance was mesmerizing. The principal ballerina was a woman I'd personally selected for a fellowship, and it was so gratifying to see her up there, performing so well! Also, I'm glad to see that as talented as she was as she started, she's managed to also learn; she demonstrates more emotive movements now than she used to, and her skill level is also very much enhanced from her time at the Royal Ballet School.
As for my friends. Well. When I look back on this summer, I think I'll remember this time. Because it's working out to be everything I'd hoped it'd be.
As expected, Lilly completely worships David. She thinks he's a perfect match for me, and she's just so very happy to see me this happy. And I'm thrilled that she enjoys him as much as I do. Honestly, if you'd seen the three of us tonight, it really would have looked like we'd been friends forever. Lilly isn't usually comfortable with my "royal friends", as she calls them. While she's acquainted with Maddy through her parents, Lilly has never really kicked off her metaphorical shoes and settled in for as comfortable an outing as we had tonight.
Seriously, how could life get any better than this?
I'll be in parliament for the next two days. The Summer Ball is two evenings away. And yes, David is attending, but not as my date, but as a guest. Because that's how it's going to be: S.L.O.W.
And in three days, Lilly and I leave for Greece! Weee!!
Honestly, I flip my diary back to just a few weeks ago, when I was depressed about this, and then that. Really, anything. And now things are just so fantastic. I think I was just lonely. Not to trivialize my feelings from before, but really, it's wonderful to be something other than depressed or obsessive about things.
Good riddance, unpleasant feelings! I've got three weeks left to enjoy this summer, and I'm determined to throw everything I've got into it!