François woke up alone in his bed. Yesterday had been delightful. He had met a wonderful Austrian girl and had gotten to know her.
Her name was Wilhelmina von Wolfsberg and she was absolutely gorgeous. With her big hazel eyes and her wavy black hair, her voluptuous body and her delicate hands…
She was the first violin of the Weiner Philharmoniker, which truly impressed François. A woman as young as her, chosen to play such an important role in such a prestigious orchestra... It was amazing.
François got up from his bed and pulled on some boxers before he walked over to the old, yellowing windows to look at the street below. He looked back up and saw the young lady who lived in the building across the street. She was getting dressed for the day, her toothbrush still in her mouth. François smiled at her and gave her a small wave. She looked up from the jeans she was pulling on and saw François. She then gave him a little wave and a shy smile, like she did every morning.
François rushed down the stairs and hopped into the elevator just as old Mauricette was about to close it.
The old lady smiled at François and he smiled back, greeting her with a cheerful “Good morning, Mauricette!”
“Why, good morning to you too, François.” Said the old woman in a soft, trembling voice as she smiled at the blond “You seem to be in quite a good mood, dare I say!”
“Aah, yes! Yesterday I met the most wonderful young lady I have ever laid my eyes on!”
Mauricette chuckled “You say that about every girl you meet, François. “
“Yes, yes, but, Mauricette—She truly is wonderful. She isn’t a girl, Mauricette, she’s a Lady.”
The old woman laughed and the old elevator stopped on the ground floor.
“Well, where are you off to now?” she asked.
“To the hotel Intercontinental. I’m going to meet her this morning!”
Mauricette nodded “You have a marvelous day, François.”
“To you as well, Mauricette!” François said cheerily before he walked out of the building and down the cobbled street.
François had taken the metro with a small bouquet of pretty purple flowers in his right hand, leaving his left one in his pocket.
Once he got to Opéra, he stepped off the metro and walked out of the station and down the street towards the luxurious hotel Wilhelmina was staying in.
He looked in the window of the hotel’s restaurant and saw her sitting alone in a table in the corner, eating her breakfast elegantly.
François had decided to wear simple yet elegant clothes to come meet her today. White trousers and a burgundy shirt he had ironed at two in the morning when he was planning what he would do for Wilhelmina today.
Wilhelmina looked up from her breakfast and saw François in the window, hiding his bouquet behind his back. Once he saw that she noticed him, he went to wait for her in the hotel lobby.
She came out of the restaurant soon after, walking through the lobby to meet François. The blond took the small, pretty bouquet out from behind his back, much to Wilhemina’s surprise.
She had seen that he had something behind his back, obviously, but she wasn’t expecting flowers from a man she had just met.
“Guten Morgen, Wilhelmina.” He said in broken German with a soft smile. The young lady smiled shyly at that and took the flowers, smelled them softly and smiled up at the blond.
“Guten Morgen, Herr Loisel.” She replied, correcting his pronunciation. She then looked back down at her flowers and smiled softly. She then caught the attention of a luggage boy and asked him to bring the bouquet to her room. He nodded and took the flowers with a quick ‘Oui, mademoiselle’ before he headed upstairs.
François watched him go, then looked back down at the short woman “What would you like to do today? Shopping down the Champs-Elysées? A walk along the Seine? A trip up the Eiffel Tower? Anything you’d like to do, I can take you to do it!” he told her with a grin.
Wilhemina clutched onto her handbag and thought for a moment “Well… I don’t really mind anything as long as I’m at the Opéra for 4 in the afternoon.” She told him.
He nodded and looked at his watch. It was 10 in the morning… They had six hours together today.
“And… May I have the pleasure of taking you out for dinner tonight?” he asked with a charming smile. Wilhemina looked back to him and blushed, pushing up her glasses.
“Are you sure? Restaurants are expensive, and—“
“Tutt tutt, do not worry, I’ll find a wonderful little restaurant that’ll suit your tastes perfectly.” He said with a grin, offering her his hand before he looked down at her feet “Ah, you’re wearing heels again.”
“Yes… I don’t usually wear ballet flats, you see. I wore them last night because my feet really hurt.” She said as she held his arm with one hand, the other holding her handbag.
François nodded “Very well, Mademoiselle, in that case we shall leave.” He said with a smirk, leading her out of the luxurious hotel.
The first three hours were spent in the Champs-Elysées’ shops.
Due to Wilhelmina’s body type, she couldn’t buy herself any designers’ clothes, which was a shame, she thought, but François knew how to keep her spirit up. He invited her to eat in a little pâtisserie which sold sweet, raspberry-flavoured macarons and hot beverages. They ate the small pastries and talked about all and nothing at the same time. The weather, life in Paris, Wilhelmina’s father, François’ parents, brother and sister, all while he sipped on a hot café au lait. Then they walked back out with a box of macarons for the young Fräulein to have in her hotel room later tonight.
Then they walked through the streets, linking arms. They passed by some monuments and François told her everything about them. Who built them, what they were for… He even gushed about how beautiful the architecture was. Wilhelmina just stood there as he explained everything to her, taking in the information with great interest.
They then walked past a little jewelry shop which caught Wilhelmina’s attention. François smiled at that and stayed with her as she looked at a pretty pearl necklace which was in the storefront.
“Do you want it?” François murmured in her ear, pointing to the necklace “It’ll look beautiful on you, I’m sure of it!”
Wilhelmina nodded, bringing her hand up to touch her neck “Yes… But—Herr Loisel, where are you—“
François had grabbed Fräulein von Wolfsberg’s wrist and dragged her into the shop. There were pearls everywhere. Pearl necklaces, pearl earrings, pearl bracelets, pearl everything, everything pearl.
François greeted the elegant-looking middle-aged woman behind the small cashdesk and held Wilhelmina’s shoulders, presenting her to the woman.
“My dearest friend would like the pretty pearl necklace in the storefront, please.” He said with a childish smile. The saleswoman nodded “Certainly—which one?” she asked.
François patted the young lady’s shoulders, encouraging her to speak “The… The one with the big, round pearls… That one.” She said, pointing to the necklace she wanted once the saleswoman opened the drawer behind the storefront, pulling out the beautiful necklace.
The saleswoman smiled and offered it to the shortest of the two customers. Wilhelmina took it and put it around her neck. François helped her attach it before she looked at herself in the small mirror the older woman presented to her. It was pretty. Very pretty. She wanted it.
“How much does it cost?” she asked politely.
“Fifty-three Euros and ninety cents.” the woman replied with a pearly white smile.
“I’ll pay.” Said François, reaching in his pocket for his wallet.
“No! No, please, Herr Loisel, this is for me…”
“Which is why I want to buy it for you! It’s a present!” the man said with a chuckle “I insist.”
“I insist.” He repeated with a soft smile, taking out his credit card.
“I-I… V-very well.” The young lady stammered, blushing just a bit as she took off the necklace to give it back to the saleswoman so she would put it in a small box.
François paid for the necklace, then took back his credit card and walked out of the shop with Wilhelmina.
The young lady thanked him a thousand times; he just smiled and took her hand, telling her that it was nothing, and that seeing a smile on her face was worth all the money in the world, which flustered her greatly. She wasn’t used to having people say such nice things to her that didn’t have anything to do with her skills as a violinist…
It was nice.
They took the metro again to the Place de la Concorde and walked along the Seine past the Palais du Louvre and then towards Notre-Dame. The soft April breeze surrounded them; flower petals fell from the trees, birds were chirping above them… It all seemed so peaceful.
They soon got to the cathedral. Wilhelmina took out her phone and snapped a picture of the beautiful facade before she put her phone back in her bag and looked back to François. The blond looked up to the Cathedral and hummed softly, holding his hands behind his back “It’s lovely, isn’t it?”
“Ja, ja, it is…” the short woman said with a smile, brushing some of her loose black curls behind her ear.
François looked back down at her and chewed on his lip, thinking before he asked her a question “Say, Wilhelmina…?” he asked as they walked towards the small padlock-covered bridge that led them to the Quartier Latin.
“Do you have, perhaps… A partner?”
“Well, you know—a boyfriend?” he asked, the wind blowing his hair in his face, making him brush it behind his ear.
“Oh! Well, er—“
“Or a girlfriend! I mean, everything’s possible, I shouldn’t make assumptions like that…” the young man said with a chuckle.
“Oh… Oh! No! Certainly not!” the Austrian girl stammered, blushing furiously “No… I haven’t got the time for a boyfriend.” She said as they stopped to watch the river and tourists go by “I wish I did, though. Having a boyfriend… Is nice, I suppose.”
François blinked “You’ve never had a boyfriend?”
“No, no, I had… One. Back in high-school.”
“Really…? What was his name? What happened to you two?” François asked, leaning against the railing of the bridge.
Wilhelmina took in a deep breath and looked to the side, pushing up her glasses “Well… His name was Hans. He wasn’t very nice to me, actually.” She said thoughtfully.
“Why? What happened?”
“I’l… Rather not talk about it, if that’s alright with you.” She asked, looking up to the blond.
François looked at her pitifully. He hated it when love stories didn’t end well. Wilhelmina was a strong girl, he knew it, and he was proud of her and of her achievements.
They started walking towards the Quartier Latin, François holding his hands behind his back, Wilhelmina clicking her heels against the paved street.
“You you ever wear your hair other than in a bun?” François asked, looking at the young lady’s hair.
She shrugged “It depends, really, but buns are easier to make, so I just wear my hair like that.” She said .
The sound of a violin then filled the street. François looked away from Wilhelmina and grinned when he saw who it was coming from.
Miss Peppermint was there, alone, without her backup musicians, playing some upbeat tunes on her pretty violin. She still had her pastel green wig with the big pink bow in it, though today she had a different dress… But was it really different? It just happened to have a different style of print, though the colours stayed the same. People either walked by or stayed to listen to Peppermint’s music, but all seemed to enjoy it. The people at the café in front of which she was playing enjoyed the sweet sound of her violin as they sipped on their coffee.
When Peppermint was finished, she bowed to her audience and picked up the small basket in which she collected the money people gave her. She held out some of her business cards with the name of her band on it and a link to her YouTube channel, then put her violin back in its case and looked up, waving at the blond man.
“François!” she called out with a grin. The young man walked over to his friend, leaning over to kiss her on both cheeks as a greeting.
“How are you, Peppermint?” he asked with a grin. The green-haired girl nodded “A bit tired after last night’s gig, but I’m good! The boys are rehearsing at home.”
François nodded back before he pulled Wilhelmina closer “I didn’t get to introduce my new friend last night!” he said with a grin, showing Wilhelmina to the other girl “Peppermint, this is Wilhelmina von Wolfsberg.”
The green-haired girl blinked “Wait a minute, you look familiar—“
“I… I do?” the young lady stammered, looking up to the taller girl.
“Well, Wilhelmina here plays for the Viennese Philharmoniker. We were at your gig last night.” François announced, wrapping an arm around Wilhelmina’s shoulders.
“Aaaah, that’s why! Yeah, I have a pamphlet with your name and face on it.” Peppermint said with a grin.
“Oh… Well, thank you for recognizing me, I suppose.”
“No problem! Hey, hey can I ask you something?”
“Why yes, of course…”
“What did you think if our gig last night? Pretty cool, huh?”
Wilhelmina nodded “I like your kind of music. It’s very… Alternative.”
Peppermint grinned at that.
François smiled as well and looked at his watch. His eyes widened and he gasped once he realised how late it was.
“Wilhelmina, we must go, we have less than forty-five minutes to get back to the Opera!” François said quickly, taking the short young lady’s hand.
“Okay! O-okay!” she stammered before she looked back to Peppermint “It was nice meeting you.” She told the taller girl who just waved at them.
“Have a safe trip back home!” she said cheerily as François and Wilhelmina rushed to the closest metro station.
They hopped in and soon got to Opéra. Wilhelmina rushed to retrieve her violin from her hotel room and then went into the opera house with François.
“You can’t stay here—“ she said quickly before she leaned up to shyly kiss his cheek. François grinned at the kiss.
“I’ll come back in three hours to take you for dinner.” He told her, stroking her cheek. She nodded and smiled before she walked in, ready to start the rehearsal while François walked back home.