"Only words bleed." (2)
20th of May 2017 (Saturday)
The weather was not too hot and not too cold in Rome; it was perfect. Ryan was waiting for me at the front door of the hotel I have been staying at. And I took the chance to have a date with him since I was the only one who had an off today. I grabbed my bag and my camera. I wore my cerulean-blue short dress and a washed-up brown leather belt around my waist, partnered with my trusty yellow ballet flats. My medium wavy hair was tied in a messy do. As the spring air blew lightly on my skin, our shoes clicked as we walked through the cobblestones path walk that was full and rich in history. Hand in hand, we looked up to the buildings, and I was mesmerized by the architectural structures they had preserved for centuries.
Even though Beth and I have been covering our internship in Palazzo Braschi, I had not yet strolled in Piazza Navona. It could be a long walk, but Ryan was just as grateful as me to be in a place like this. Then I remembered what the receptionist mentioned to me. There was a small pastry shop near there called Pasticceria Cinque Lune. Hand in hand, we went there. We checked it out, and it was a cute shop in the central district of Sant’Eustachio. We tried their Antichi Romani and ordered my favourite drink, caramel macchiato, to go. We sat down and ate by La Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi. Famous, I know, but I was just curious.
He watched me sketch on my notepad, and I felt shy, even if he had already seen all of me, and we’ve been dating for months now. The chatters surrounding us, and the street performer, playing the accordion, entertaining locals and tourists alike were pleasant to my ears. After we finished eating, he took the trash out and left me for a while, when suddenly, a man, so tall, stood in front with his back facing me.I ignored it at first because I thought he was just another tourist admiring the fountain.
But when I looked up, I also assumed he could be an Italian too, so I asked him to move aside in Italian. But he didn’t understand me. I noticed his accent was proper British like mine. His voice was thick, fluid-like, deep, and well-developed. I guessed he was past his mid-20s.
The sun made me squint, so I didn’t have the chance to look at him properly. He moved aside and apologized again. I smiled and said my thanks. When I observed his clothes, precisely pressed and pampered, slick cloud-grey suit, he gave me the impression that he was not a tourist. He resumed taking photographs, and I noticed he used a camera resembling Nana’s Polaroid SX-70. When he took the shot, the camera let out satisfying music to my ears as the photo slid through the exit slot, and I couldn’t stop looking at his stance.
My breath caught on my throat when he glanced back at me. I could now see his face, and for some reason, he looked oddly familiar. He has a kind, gentle smile. His hair is golden like the afternoon sun on a good sunny day, and what struck me most were his warm blue-green eyes staring at mine. My heart leapt when he smiled again, for his dimples showed and asked me if we had met before. Before I could reply to him, Ryan arrived and held my hand. It was honestly the oddest feeling I had felt. That man… He looked very familiar. But I brushed it off because the sight of Ryan is all I needed.
We then continued our date, and I took him to Palazzo Braschi. I looked around as a tourist, not the tour guide this time, but I couldn’t stop myself from describing to him the pieces of artwork as we roamed. When my friends were over with their shifts, Ryan was called to a meeting and kissed me goodbye. When he was gone, I told Beth about the familiar guy I saw.
24th of May 2017 (Wednesday)
I never thought I would be seeing that man again. When I got to my shift, he was there, doing a taping for a film. I messaged D, and she was boiling mad at me for not recognizing him when I sent her a photo of the ongoing shoot. As I wondered why she was still awake because it was like three in the morning there, in New York, she immediately video called!
Violating the rule, I answered. D was shaking her phone and screaming, and I quote, “That’s freaking Jace Richardson! How on earth did you not know him?!” I had to lower the volume down because it almost echoed in the foyer. Beth and I tried to control our laughter, but D was making it hard for us. We burst out laughing. But when people started to stare at us, we both stifled a giggle fit.
That’s when I thought, maybe that’s why he was familiar, but I don’t know, it felt like it’s not because I’ve seen him on the telly or something. This guy, Jace, approached the front desk where Beth and I were. I put my phone down, and I could see D’s excited face on my phone screen, trying not to freak out. Beth was controlling her giggles beside me, and then this Jace introduced himself officially, and then he asked me out. But before I could turn him down, my friends answered for me.
Even though Ryan and I haven’t made it official, I feel obligated to tell him about it, and to my surprise, he said it was okay, which was odd. He told me it’s just going to be a date, and it was rare to be asked out by a film star. He seemed confident. It’s Ryan as usual, alright.
So, I gave Mr Jace Richardson a chance, but I clarified to Mr Richardson, it was just a friendly date, nothing more. With an adorable chuckle, he nodded and told me he understood.