Use Your Words - Donna in Paris


Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once, and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:

leaves ~ jumping ~ cool ~ scarf ~ dew 

They were submitted by: Cognitive Script   - Thank you, Dawn!


Previously on The Miller family:

David has recovered from his surgery and got to fly home last month. Marietta gave birth to a sweet little baby girl called Stella. 

I created a glossary on all the featured characters for you to keep track, check it out.

"Heeeey! So great to see you, Jason!" Caroline hugged her husband's nephew who just arrived at Zurich International Airport. 

"And you, aunt Caroline! I'd be jumping up and down with joy, but I can't right now." A half-jokingly gesture presented his wheelchair, his steady companion.

Jason's accident earlier this year not only required for him to get a new liver, but also left him partly paralyzed. He was able to walk short distances using crutches, but for his trip to Europe he figured he'd need all of his energy and focus to be getting places.

A particular place being Paris where he was hoping to find his biological Dad.

Why Paris?

Rewind a good 18 years...

Caroline studied International Relations and Diplomacy in Paris. At some point she was supposed to do an internship which she completed at United Nations HQ in New York City, during which time she met her future husband David. 

When Caroline had to return to France to finish her degree, David and his sister Donna decided to take a trip to Europe. They stopped in London, Amsterdam and of course Paris. 

While Caroline and David spent every minute together, Donna was wandering the streets of Paris on her own. She was disappointed in her boyfriend Sean who had no interest whatsoever in traveling ant therefore joining them. In his defense, he didn't have a passport, and the travel plans came up at short-notice. 

It made her think about their relationship in general, though. Was he the one? She liked adventures and foreign countries, going out with friends, and he was so steady, loyal, ready to settle down - which were great qualities. For later in life. Do opposites attract long-term? What if she leaves him? 


As Donna disembarked the Métro at Place de l'Opéra, she was completely absorbed in her thoughts. Climbing up the stairs and onto the sidewalk, she bumped into a guy who was clutching a newspaper, holding his briefcase and balancing his coffee and pastry, pardon me, café au lait and croissant. 


Photo Credit

"Oh man, I am so sorry, excuse-moi, I wasn't paying attention!" Donna was mortified. The coffee had spilled, and the young man's white button-down shirt was full of brown spatters.

It got worse. It turned out François - this was the guy's name - was on his way to a job interview with a major French newspaper agency. He was nervous and rode into town super early to make sure he wouldn't be late for the meeting. 

Donna, usually a dreamy person, felt responsible and went into drill mode. "Quick, we need some water and liquid dish soap!"

Needless to say, the coffee stains didn't completely disappear. 

Her mind was working overtime. 

It was barely 8:30am, stores weren't going to open for at least an hour, so purchasing a new shirt was out of question. Same was true for dry cleaners. 

All over the city there were street vendors, but they usually offered batik dyed love and peace gear, nothing she wanted this handsome gentleman to wear to land a big job as a reporter.

"Hey, I have an idea, but you need to translate, come on!" 

She dragged François to the pedestrian crossing towards the Opéra. 

"What in God's name?" he mumbled. This American girl was charming, yet slightly nuts, he thought. Out of pure curiosity he went along.

The main entrance of the Opera house was of course closed, but as they were walking around, they spotted a security guard.

"You need to make him open the door" Donna was on a roll. 

"Why? How is getting into the Opera building going to help me?"

"Duh, the wardrobe? Props room? There's gotta be something for you to wear!"

It took some convincing, but the guy was actually amused and willing to help. He accompanied them to the dressing rooms, and in fact there were tons of street clothes in a bin labeled objets trouvés, lost and found, mostly scarfs, gloves, hats and the like. A pair of jeans, a sweater, a dinner jacket and a woman's blouse. 

"It looks large enough for you to wear, and it 's a fairly neutral style, come on, try it on!"

François not only rocked donning the lady's blouse, but he also nailed the job interview. They hired him right away. It was only natural that they met up to celebrate afterwards. 

This is where things got hazy in Donna's memory. What was the cool bistro called where they had dinner? Did she have Mountain Dew, beer, wine, champagne or all of the above? In what order? Where in Paris was François' apartment - in which she woke up around 5am, severely hungover?

Donna threw on her clothes, grabbed her purse and snuck out of the flat. She walked aimlessly, trying to orient herself. Where was the Eiffel Tower when she needed it? 


At a nearby aubèrge she asked the concierge to call a taxi that took her to the hotel she and David were accommodated in. He wasn't in their room, so in all likelihood he didn't even notice she was gone. 

Donna was relieved. Nobody would ever know. If she managed to repress the memories, nothing had in fact happened. Right?


A couple of days later Donna and David flew back to New York, and Sean welcomed her with this grand gesture: A home-cooked (well, he had it catered) romantic dinner in their living room, red roses, candles, the works. An engagement ring in her champagne flute, an envelope that was hidden underneath her napkin containing tickets to Sydney, Australia, issued to Donna and Sean Riley-Miller, and a heartfelt proposal "I really missed you, baby, will you marry me?"

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