This was the face, that was stuck on Carmines face from the moment Mango got on her flight back home. Sad, forlorn and totally depressing. I hated to see him looking so completely devastated. His grumpy behavior was in full swing and nothing we tried could pull him out of his saddened state.
Probably not the best time to try to start a relationship (regardless of how over due it was) right before one half of the party involved is on their way back home. It was quite a somber day at the Chiffons when Mango had to go. They held on to each other until the very last moment possible. We all hated to see her go, but definitely Carmine and I took it the hardest.
I too was pretty distraught by the whole ordeal. I did try a little bit harder than Carmine though to pull myself out of it. Most of the time I was fine, but I think it hit me hardest first thing when I woke up. That realization that my best friend was no longer a few feet away sleeping soundly. I didn’t even feel like celebrating my birthday. At first mom was insistent, but finally she caved. How could you possibly argue with that face?
A few more days passed. Carmine and I were summoned to the living room by Mom. She sat us both down on the couch. We looked so pathetic, and the concerned look we were receiving from Mom was not helping. I was only seconds away from bursting into tears.
“Sweethearts, how are you two holding up?”
Carmine answered first, so I remained silent. “Fine I guess.”
“Well I know this has been extremely hard on both of you and since we did not get to celebrate your birthday Cherry, Dad and I bought you both a couple tickets to a certain little village.”
We both looked at her unable to speak.
“Your joking?” We said in unison, which was quite funny!
“Nope. You both leave tomorrow night. You better get packin!!”
We zoomed off that couch and readied our things, this was the best birthday present ever!
Chambéry was a small little village, probably no more than 300 people resided there. It may have been small, but it was so beautiful. I just couldn’t wait to touch down and get a closer view at all of the interesting surroundings!
As soon as we arrived we were picked up by taxi who quickly drove us off at our hotel. It was a small lodge, but we didn’t care, neither of us were planning on stickin around there much anyways. So much to see and do! First stop chateau Elcair!
When we arrived at her home, we were quickly greeted by an ecstatic Mango. Mom had called and made arrangements with Mango weeks before we even knew the trip was even going to happen. She pulled me into a hug and I was just so happy to see her. She always brought such an amazing energy where ever she went.
As Carmine came through the door her eyes lit up. She knew he was coming, but that didn’t stop the excitement. He rushed to kitchen and scooped her up. They were so sweet together. Then it all sunk in, there we were in Mango’s kitchen, thousands of miles away from home. It all felt so surreal.
Mango motioned us to the living room, and I was enthusiastically greeted by a young man about my age. I loved their way of greeting, a small kiss on each cheek! This was so much fun!
“Enchanté Cherree, I have heard so much about you. I am Peche.”
I found out later that he was acutally Mango’s cousin, but he had lived with the family since he was a young child.
Not long after we were joined by Mr. Eclair. He looked so much like Mango it was uncanny. I was quite relieved that everyone was so easy to talk to. We chatted and joked around for several hours. They all had the same sense of humor as Mango.
The entire time we stood there talking, I couldn’t help but watch Peche’s every move. He was so incredibly cute. I had always thought Shelton was the cutest guy around, boy was I mistaken. His eyes were so mysterious and his smile….every time he would look my way, I would quickly avert my attention back to Tangelo. Eventually I got caught. Smooth move Cherree.
Not long after, Tangelo suggested Peche take me to nectary just on the other side of town. I was a little nervous at first, I have never had tried nectar before, but the thought of being able to spend some one on one time with a french hottie sounded good to me!
First we had to stop back at the hotel, he said I was going to need a bathing suit.
After we had changed into our suits, we walked to the back of this long corridor, where there was this huge machine. Peche fiddled with the controls and then placed all the fruit he had brought with us in the large basket located at the very front of the machine. He hopped in the basket to give me a small demonstration.
“Just like this, now you try.”
I got about 2 squashes in, before I fell straight on my butt. Ughh how embarrassing.
Peche had been enjoying the show just a little too much I almost gave up, but I was determined. I got back up and kept going. Peche cheered me on with a few words of encouragement.
“Keep goin Cherree. You will get the hang of it.”
After the humiliation was over, and I had gotten a quick shower in their facility, he took me to the other side of the building where we were able to sample some of the goodies, while our nectar was brewing. He said it was called a “Short Brew”, because it would be ready in under an hour.
After a couple of glasses of the Peach Puff Poof I was feeling REALLY good.
We were having so much fun, neither of us wanted the evening to end. After we had gotten our bottles of nectar, we went to the market and picked up some supplies for a picnic. We drove out to this amazing park and set up the blanket. How romantic, a moonlit picnic in the french country side. I swore I had to be dreaming.
Just gazing into those amazing eyes was enough to make my heart flutter. I was falling fast for sexy Peche Eclair.
Maybe it was the bottle of nectar or maybe it was the 50 or more butterflies flitting about, all I knew was I wanted was to get closer to Peche. The moment was pure magic. He stood up from the blanket and held out his hand. I placed my hand in his and he assisted me up. He slid his arm around my waste and drew me in even closer. My heart was racing and I could feel the redness that stung my cheeks.
“Cherree, you are so beautiful.”
Before I could thank him, he leaned in slowly and I did the same. The moment our lips touched, it was like fireworks. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him in even closer. My first kiss and it was magnifique!
Meanwhile across town, love was in the air for Mango and Carmine. They had found a small bench near the center of town and were cuddling and listening to the sounds of the nearby fountain. Suddenly Carmine stood from the bench and asked Mango to join him.
She followed him closer to the fountain and then he stopped.
Carmine knealed before her and there in the middle of Chambéry square he proposed.
“Miss Mango Eclair, from the moment you left on that plane. I was completely miserable. Everywhere I went I saw your face, and the thought of leaving here with out you once again…well I don’t want to do it. Will you marry me?”
He pulled a box from his back pocket and opened it to reveal a beautiful orange diamond. It would seem someone had been doing a lot of thinking in her absence. Mango didn’t even hesitate. “Yes Cahlmine, Of course!”
He slid the ring on her slender finger. Mango was going to be my sister in law! Of course I had no idea this was happening at the time, but when I found out I was ecstatic!
Later that night, Peche walked me my hotel and kissed me goodnight. I floated through door and up to my room, I almost didn’t even notice Carmine sitting in the chair next my bed. Almost. He had the biggest grin 0on his face, and it was then he told me the good news! This was so exciting!!!!
The rest of the trip Peche and I were inseparable. When the final day came, I was not looking forward to leaving him behind, but maybe I didn’t have to.
I knew it was crazy and he was probably going to say no, but I was gonna give it a shot.
“Peche… I have been thinking.”
“Well you see, Carmine is not going to be able to come with home me, because he and Mango have some things they have to organize before she will able to leave. Sooooo… I have an extra ticket and I was wondering if you would like to come home with me and stay for a couple of weeks. See Sugar Valley?”
He was quiet for several moments and then he said the words I thought I was never going hear.
“Yes Cherree! Lets go!”
We shared one last kiss on the hill before we went back to prepare for our long trip home. Best souvenir ever!