December 24, 23:55, 2014
I stood outside the cafe outside, waiting for Edgard. I dialed his number and there was still no response. Panicking, I made a left and bumped into a lady.
"Watch where you're going, se il vous plaît!" She screeched, her medium-length hair fanning her perfectly sculpted cheekbones.
"I'm sorry," I muttered. Her eyes met mine, and they turned cold.
"Hmph. You're the little darling that's been running off with monsieur Edgard?" She asked with disgust. Her dark eyes and jet black hair were very familiar.
"You look familiar." I squinted my eyes and she scoffed.
"Of course. I'm Paris' top muse. I don't need some little girl gawking at me like i'm nothing," She threw back her hair dramatically. It had grown longer.
"Right. You were the lady whom was with Edgar the last time I saw him." I sighed, my heart wrenching at the thought.
"Oui. I'm Bethy. And I'm late. Thanks to you." She barked and walked off.
"Wait! Do you have any idea where Edgard is?" I yelled. She grumbled and sent me an icy stare. Putting on her shades and a coat, she looked away.
"He's by the artist alley, he was packing up earlier. Better hurry." And with that, she walked off. Packing? Whatever for?
"Honey? There you are! Let's go! It's pouring out here!" My mum said over the thunder clapping. I never realized it was raining. The numbness in me was growing thick, I needed to see him.
"Please, I really have to find him," I pleaded, I looked intently at my mother and she lowered her head. Sighing, she pulled out an umbrella.
"Hurry up, I don't want you soaked." She smiled apologetically. Before I went pacing off, I gave my mum a last hug.
"Merry Christmas," I whispered. Dashing off, the large tower behind me chimed.
* * *
My teeth was clenched together, my hands fisting together under my coat, and my whole body was shivering. The wind stinging my cheeks as people waltzed past me. At least the rain stopped. But Edgard was still no where to be found. He's probably left already.
"Mon chérie?" A cool voice interrupted my thoughts. I glanced back.
"Edgard?" I croaked. A dark figure stood not so far away from me.
"No, It's me, Hansel. Why are you out here alone? Come with me!" He announced. He was wearing a gray sweater paired with khaki shorts. His shift is over. He's about to head home.
"N-no, go home Hansel. I can handle this." I smiled at him, and he burst with laughter.
"A beau like you cannot wander alone. Come with me, let's get you some warmth." He said, wrapping his uniform around my shoulders. Warmth was blossoming throughout my chest already.
We walked for a bit without saying anything. His breathing was loud, it was clear he was just as cold as I was. But I couldn't speak, instead I wrapped an arm around him. He looked down at me and smiled, his cheeks flushed scarlet red.
"Come in, i'll fix you a cup of tea, oui?" He asked. I simply nodded and wait.
The sound of glass dropping startled me, followed by paper sloshing in the air.
"What is that?" Hansel grunted. I unwrapped myself and headed out. I grasped on my soaked hair tightly and walked out. Light brown eyes under the moonlight had never looked better. He snapped his head around, His cheeks were flustered. He had on the same beanie the first time we met. He was gathering his art supplies that had fallen over.
We stayed frozen for a long time before he stood up. Walking towards me, he took my hands and kissed each knuckles.
"Belle..." His lips grazed my neck and he kissed my forehead.
"You're wet," He whispered.
"So are you," I breathed. We walked over to his supplies and I picked it up. A couple of brushes toppled over one another, and I grabbed his sketchpad. the rain had gotten it all wet, causing the water to seep in with the ink. Splotches were all over the edges and corners.
"Go ahead," He gestured. I looked up at him. "Open the pages," He smiled.
I felt the soft, wet texture and flipped the page. The drawings I've seen the first time were still there. Smiling, I turned the page. And there was a girl frowning. A little girl had her hands around her shoulders, and so were a few more behind her legs. A bubble erupted from my throat as I realized what it meant. I kept turning, the excitement in me could burst at any moment. As I flipped, the pages got stiffer. The pages had not seeped as much water as it has in the previous pages. Biting my lip, I scanned the next page. There was a drawing of Edgard on a valley. A thought interrupted his daydream - a speech bubble with a drawing of a scarf. My scarf. I looked up at him, and he was watching me with sad eyes. I'd be lying if I'd say i've got unshed tears not threatening to spill. The pages grew thinner - I was nearing the end. Drawings of Edgard grew darker - his pages weren't filled with the same enthusiasm anymore. As days go by, colors slowly filled his life again - he was no longer sorrowful, he was visiting Hansel and the café again. The page stopped there. And there was another drawing of me, at the very back. I was sitting down looking up at the moonlight perching on a rooftop. I was mumbling to myself.
Droplets of tears splashed the pages. I met his eyes, there was satisfaction and dedication in them. Light flurry caked his head and we moth looked up. The first snowflake dropped on my eyelash, and Edgard used the pad of his thumb to wipe it away. He leaned in, our mouth slowly devouring each other's - his tongue caressing each corners. His hands snaked my waist and mine made its way to his hair, slowly tangling them. We both lingered under the snow.
* * *
"But you need to hurry! We need to get you to Louisiana!" He panted. He pushed me lightly to get going to the airport.
"I'm not going anywhere," I said with a cocky smile.
"Stop with the nonsense. You wouldn't want to be late for your flight." He said, slinging my scarf over my neck.
"Edgard, I'm going to continue school here in France." He looked up at me, an eyebrow arched.
"I'm staying." I smiled. His eyes grew wide and he lifted me, spinning me around.
"But you didn't mention that in your letter." He said. Wait. What?
"What letter?" I asked, this time I was confused.
"Tommy handed me your unsent letter. He told me you wrote it five days ago." He explained. Oh, I owed Tommy one.
"You knew I received the letter?" I whispered. He nodded. "And you'd still do all this for me?" I said, a little breathless. He chuckled, tucking a lock of hair behind my ear.
"No woman has ever compared to you. You're my wish, my bell."
* * *
"And you know my wish?" I smirked, he laughed and placed a hand over my shoulder.
"Did it come true?" He winked. Shrugging, I placed my head on his chest.
"Cartoon Belle said it all." I paused. Looking up at him, I traced his lips with my thumb.
"I'm always me when i'm with you. I've finally found myself." I said. Smiling, he reached for his pocket and took out the bell. Shaking my head, I tried to grab it but he snatched it away.
"Wait. Where's my present?" His eyes twinkled. Laughing, I knew exactly what he wanted. Taking off my scarf, I slipped it over his neck and he smiled. After the first ring of my bell, the first firework shot across the sky.