Calendar Girl Chapter 9:
Mia and Alec head outside, and Mia remarks that it’s the first time she’s been out of the warehouse this entire month. Get this woman some sunlight, stat! That’s just unhealthy for everyone involved. I mean, part of me is very very jealous, but I can acknowledge that it wouldn’t be good for me to stay inside for almost a whole month.
Alec had his hair back in his ever-present man bun. The sun made it look more red than brown and gold. Still incredible. He wore a thin, white, scooped necked thermal, and a pair of dark-wash jeans. A camera hung loosely around one shoulder. Alec Dubois was yummy. Manly, sexy, all that and a bag of the cheesiest potato chips. And I was the lucky girl that had his attention…for three more days.
Damn it. I was hoping in the light of day, Mia would be like, “Suddenly, his ever-present man bun seemed ominous, and I saw it for the horror that it truly was.”
Alec takes Mia to the zoo and she reveals that she’s never been to a zoo because of her Troubled Past. It’s probably a good thing she has never been to one before. “Turned out, I really enjoyed zoos. There was so much to see, hear, touch and explore.” Don’t touch the animals, Mia!!! Leave them be, you fool.
Being at the zoo inspires deep conversations about what animals they would be. Alec explains he would be an arctic fox because they make him believe maybe he could be monogamous someday. Awwww?
Later, they go to the Space Needle for dinner. There, Alec proceeds to lavish Mia with praise about how amazing she is and how the man who she spends her life with will be the luckiest man alive.
“Oh ma jolie, how I will miss your love in my life.” He held me as tight as I was holding him. Possibly more. Even though I had a couple more days, this was the moment I’d remember through my entire life. The time where I realized that there were many different forms of love and it was okay to love those you give a piece of yourself to, even if they don’t deserve it. Alec, he definitely deserved it, and we’d always have this time.
We made art together, and we loved together, in our own way. And that is what would matter when I looked back on my life and the decisions I made in the past. As well as any I would make in the future. My time with Alec was special and I anticipated that as I continued on this journey, each client would add to the pattern of my life.
I really took a minute here to think about how Mia became a call girl at her aunt’s company to save her father from her loan-shark ex-boyfriend, and not only does she seem to exclusively get sexy clients, they also adore her and teach her about the true meaning of love. That is actually the plot of this book.
Mia muses to herself that she can imagine being friends with Alec after she leaves, but that he doesn’t compare to Wes. So Wes is still end-game at this point, once Mia learns 10 more lessons about love.
The next day is the big exhibition where Alec’s work will be displayed. As is customary in these books, Alec has a fancy gift for Mia that she can wear to the event. Before this happens, they have a quickie, and Mia compares her orgasm to a wood chipper destroying a tree trunk, which is a fucking frightening description.
But anyway, the customary gift:
Inside the box, I found a champagne-colored cocktail dress. It had tiny crystals that shimmered and sparkled in the light. The neckline was loose fabric that draped over my breasts enticingly. The slight wisp of fabric that held it at the edge of my shoulder did so in a way that made the drape of the fabric look perfectly natural. The hem was just to the knee and the dress fit like it was painted on. Alec held out another box as I was straightening the dress. The shoes were Gucci originals. They were a shiny gold with a four-inch spiked heel and a touch of a platform. Utter perfection.
There must be some sort of template on the internet for these scenes where the clothes are revealed. Like it’s just a mad-lib of fancy brand names and colors and jewels, right?
At the exhibition, Mia marvels over all the paintings of herself and reminds us all about their deep meanings. But, oh? What’s this? There’s a surprise one in the mix!
I stood still as a crowd of people surrounded us awaiting the reveal. “This portrait will be sold at twice the asking price. Half of that price will go to you, ma jolie.”
That shocked me, and I shook my head no several times, but he just grinned and pulled the drape off. It was me. Only it really was me. The real me. Just Mia. I was standing at the space needle observation deck looking into the horizon. My hair was blowing like a black flag in the open breeze. I was serene, happy, elated, and taken with the beauty before me. I looked free in that moment. Not stuck in the confines of a job I didn’t want but was getting used to. Not bailing out my dad or struggling to make it as an actress in LA. Raw beauty. And for the first time, I saw myself as beautiful. Alec made me see that in this image.
OH MY GOD LOVE WAS IN MIA THIS WHOLE TIME! She did it you guys. Thanks to the love of the men who hired her. What could the next ten guys possibly teach her at this point, the best way to microwave a hot pocket?
Mia and Alec get emotional, and the chapter ends with the name of the photo, “Goodbye, Love.” Weep away, sweet readers.