Status: Active, seeking feedback.

Searching for Estelle.

Talk About Timing

A couple of days after the concert, I was woken in the morning by a knock on my door. I'd sat up most of the night writing and had intended to sleep the morning away. Apparently the hotel cleaning staff had other ideas. I climbed out of bed and slid my feet into my soft slippers, preparing to ask the cleaning staff to skip my room for today. And tomorrow...

Much to my surprise I had received a text from Jyrki the morning after the concert, checking that I'd gotten back safe and had a good time. I replied, thanking him and saying yes to both questions and after that I'd not heard from him again. I still thought it was sweet for him to check though.

I'd toyed with the idea of sending him another text, but I dismissed it soon after. I didn't want to be annoying and I'd already convinced myself that my new found amazing social life was a one-night-only deal. And thus, I'd settled into my slightly lonely but peaceful and temporary existence in Finland. My routine was wake up late, sometimes go out for a few hours, go back to the hotel, write until the early hours of the morning, go to sleep and repeat. I was happy with that.

Until it was rudely interrupted, such as this morning. Sadly for my sleep this was not the first time I'd been woken by a maid. I made my way over to the door, sleepily rubbing my eyes. I stretched my arms and opened the door.

Instead of a maid, I found Ville Valo was standing at my hotel door. He went to speak but stopped, raising an eyebrow at me. It was apparently obvious that I'd just crawled out of bed. He glanced at my body and I blushed scarlet, remembering that I was wearing a pair of short leopard print boxer shorts and a black singlet. I folded my arms across my chest, hoping very much to wake up for a second time today.

“...Hi?” Ville said, fiddling with his shirt sleeves.

“Hi. What're you doing here? I wasn't expecting to see you today. Or ever. Well, except for at Ruisrock but you wouldn't have seen me. If I'd known you were coming I wouldn't have been so... naked. Well, not that I am naked. But I might as well be. Wait, no. I... Oh dear,” I wanted to sink into the floor.

Ville let out a low chuckle and shook his head. “If you'd actually been naked I think this would've been worse. Well, not worse because seeing you naked wouldn't be a bad thi-” Ville stopped, scratching his head. “That's not what I meant. I'm really not a dirty old pervert, honest.”

Now it was my turn to laugh. “And I thought I talked myself into a hole when I was uncomfortable?”

He grinned at me. “I'm picking up your bad habits, love.”

I smiled. “So... why are you here?”

“Well,” Ville shifted his weight on his feet, looking a little uncomfortable “I wanted to take you to the literature exhibit at the museum.”

My mouth dropped in shock a little. “Oh! I didn't realise you were serious about going to that with me.”

Ville dropped his gaze to the floor. “Oh. I guess... Uh, never mind then.”

“No!” I sort of... yelped at him. I'm not proud of that. “I want to go with you. To the exhibit. I guess. No, not I guess. I do.”

He looked up at me, a sheepish expression on his face.

“So, you haven't already been?”

I shook my head. “Nope. I was going to do it in the next couple of days though. I've been sleeping kind of late the last few days.”

He frowned and looked at his watch. “It's only 11. What if I go and come back in half an hour? Is that okay?”

I nodded, butterflies forming in my tummy. I'd just gotten used to my solitude again and now I had to manage human interaction for at least a couple of hours without making a complete fool of myself.

“Yeah, that'd be great,” I said with a genuine smile on my face.

He grinned back and saluted me before walking away. I giggled at his retreating form before closing my hotel door and rushing to gather some clothes.

I had the quickest shower of my life and got dressed in some skinny black jeans and a mint green short-sleeved cardigan over a white singlet. After I'd applied a very small amount of make-up and dried my hair off I walked back into the room. I stood for a moment, staring back and forth between my converse and the black boots I'd bought and worn to the concert.

They'd been comfy, I'd scarcely noticed I was wearing them. I decided on those, figuring that my tiny 5'2'' frame would look silly standing next to Ville's much taller one. After I'd put my boots on I glanced in the mirror. I bit my lip and then grabbed a black knitted beanie and placed it over my straight, red hair.

Just as I was considering whether or not I should ditch the beanie there was a knock at my hotel door. Too late, beanie was staying. Besides, if I'd have taken it off then I probably would've had terrible beanie hair.

I put on a brave, slightly forced, smile and answered the door.

I frowned at my visitor. “Jyrki?”

He looked disappointed with the greeting, and I can't say I blame him. I opened my mouth to speak, but just closed it again; achieving nothing more than resembling a fish.

“Nice to see you too, Estelle,” he said, a slight pout gracing his features.

I shook my head. “Sorry, I'm just surprised to see you.”

He pulled me into a hug.

“Well, I did say I'd see you soon. I've had things happening the last days, though.”

I smiled. “It's just that your timing's a bit funny, I was expecting someone else.”

He raised an eyebrow at me. “Who?”

“Me,” Ville answered, walking up behind Jyrki with two coffees in his hands. He smiled at me.

“You look nice.”

I blushed.

“Valo, what're you doing here?” Jyrki asked, looking genuinely puzzled.

“Taking Estelle to the museum. You?”

“Well, I was going to take her to lunch. But apparently I've been beaten?”

I was a little dumbstruck. Having two people, especially men, wanting to spend time with me was quite new to me.

“Well, to be fair you did both show up unannounced,” I said.

Jyrki turned to me, confused. “You said you were expecting Ville.”

Ville nodded. “But she wasn't half an hour ago when I knocked on her door and she answered in her underwear.”

My face turned scarlet.

Jyrki turned to me, incredulous. “Estelle, why the hell did you answer the door in your underwear?”

“I didn't!” I protested “It was pyjamas!”

Ville grinned cheekily. “I may have exaggerated.”

“If you mention seeing her half-naked again, or even think about it, I may hurt you.” Jyrki threatened Ville in Finnish, oblivious to the fact that I understood every word.

Ville just continued grinning, trying not to laugh at Jyrki's over-protective attitude. Which was still confusing to me because he scarcely knew me.

“Anyway,” Ville said, finally breaking through the awkward silence that had settled “Coffee, Estelle?” He held the cup out to me and I gratefully accepted.


“So...” Jyrki started “I guess I'll leave you to it?”

I frowned. “Why don't you come with us?”

I thought I saw Ville frown out of the corner of my eye, but I dismissed it. Jyrki was his friend, surely he'd be happy to spend time with him.

“You don't mind?” he asked Ville.

“No, of course not. Why would I?” Ville answered quickly.

Jyrki shrugged. “Museum then lunch?”

“Sure,” I answered with a smile. I couldn't help but wonder if I should be agreeing to this. I'd been more than happy with dismissing the chance of an actual friendship with the guys. It suited me, because it meant less awkward social situations. Hanging out with rockstars didn't really fit with my ideal invisible existence.

I sighed and decided that it was too late for those sorts of thoughts. I was committed now and I attempted to give myself an internal pep-talk. Usually I'd rely on Dani for these sorts of things, but that didn't seem overly convenient right now.

I had heard from her though. We debriefed the day after the concert and she told me she'd be arriving in Finland within the next few days and would email me the details. I'd still heard nothing more. I made a mental note to call her later today.

On with the pep-talk.

Estelle. You're a grown woman. Why shouldn't you be friends with these men? It's just a friendship, nothing more... and let's be honest, you've been a bit hermit-y and sad since the concert. You've spent most of your time shut up in the hotel room.

I frowned at the last couple of comments. My internal monologue had hit a real sore spot.

“Estelle?” Jyrki's deep voice startled me.


“Are you ready, darling?” he asked.

I nodded and shouldered my bag before walking out of the hotel room, shutting the heavy door behind me.

I still couldn't help but blush at the terms of affection he and Ville constantly used. I knew, obviously, that this was just the kind of people they were but I wasn't used to that sort of thing.

In small town Australia you kind of just got used to “mate” or, if you were 'lucky' “darl”. I usually just got “Estelle”. Only Dani ever shortened it to a nickname- she had dozens of them for me- and I didn't really like it. 'Stella', 'Stell', 'Elle', 'Stelly'... they all just seemed a little bit flashy to me.

I was not flashy. I was unremarkable. I was Estelle. That was it.

Nothing else seemed to suit me.
♠ ♠ ♠
I told you her story wasn't over yet =) I've had quite a wonderful couple of days of late, so hopefully I've managed to use some of that good energy in the story =P

Chapter 9! I quite like this one, but that really doesn't matter. What matters more is whether or not you guys do? I scarcely got any comments on the last chapter and I'm assuming that's because you didn't like it. Which is fine. I didn't either.

So, please! Speak up and let me know how you feel about this one.

Also, if you have any story recommendations (yours or other peoples) let me know. I'm keen for some new things to read.