Sunday, May 7, 2017

Lonely Birthday ~ Story Time

May 9th is Coco's birthday, and I sincerely can't believe she had been with me for four years already! Time flies! My tradition was to make a new dress for her each year, but... this time I have something different to share. I'm really hooked up on writing the story and sharing it in my blog, so I thought it was a great opportunity to show more of Coco's character.

I haven't shared much of her character before, and I'm really loving discovering this part of the hobby. Also, I think I can improve my English a lot with this, as I practice on writing something not as formal as I do at the office.

Anyways, here you have a photo as intro, and the story is under the cut!

Before starting, I wanted to summarize the characters I mention, as not all of them are dolls. And no, I have no plans on dolly-fying any of them. They are:
  • Renée Favre, the HR Manager at MOMO.
  • Lily, one of MOMO's main seamstress.
  • Kajsa, another of MOMO's Dolls (main models). She was the first model Coco met when she was a candidate.
  • The unnamed assistant, is Renée's secretary.
  • Jean, the photographer from Coco and Venezia's photoshoot.
I hope this makes it easier to follow!

Lonely Birthday

Coco let out a small sigh while discarding yet another scoresheet, as she did not feel like playing that one either. She looked up, lost in her thoughts, and then realized that she was carpeting the floor with her scores and folders. She had enough couches, chairs and tables in her apartment, but she always ended up scattering her scoresheets on the floor, and going through them while hearing the music in her head until one of those spoke to her… and then it was up on the stand, or in her knees, or sometimes she had even memorized those songs after playing them so many times.

But today was different. She didn’t have the score for the specific song she wanted, the soundtrack of “Back To The Future”, and after spending fifteen minutes going through all her stock, that song was still stuck in her head, unwilling to leave her alone and refusing to let her play another one. She let out another sight, defeated by her subconscious. She pushed forward, this time grabbing a clean musical pentagram paper from one of the folders and a pencil she always had close to her music stuff. She would have to write the song by herself, then.

Coco had done that before, as she had learned to read and write music when she was a child. Although she enjoyed the process, sometimes it required her full concentration, and she would end up with the song replaying in her head even when asleep. However, in that very moment, Coco was happy to have anything distracting her from the fact that today was her birthday, and she was alone in her home with no plans to celebrate with anyone. That was no surprise, though, as her birthday was one of her carefully guarded secrets, and she heavily disliked the idea of anyone throwing a surprise party, or forcing her to go to clubbing. That was something she did only when she wanted to. She enjoyed the social aspects of her job, but the line between the job and her personal matters was thick and well-defined.

She shook her head slowly, regretting allowing those thoughts to come to her again, and made a mental effort to concentrate on writing the song. She took her iPad, and went to her iTunes collection. She found the song in question after a few swipes through her favorites, she plugged on the earphones. Those were not the most comfortable, and definitely did not have the best audio quality, but they were good enough. Sure, she would have to go to a store and find some proper ones so she could listen to music in its full glory… but she always ended up delaying that purchase, for one reason or another.

“Found ya!” she muttered after locating the song on the playlist, and pressed play. Instantly, the sounds of the drums’ crash and cymbal filled her senses, followed by the trumpets. She closed her eyes and increased the volume, feeling a chill running through her arms while she studied the beats and the possible signature. Seconds passed, and she stopped to write the treble clef and rhythm. She turned and got her saxo on her legs, as she preferred to keep it close to play some notes when she couldn’t decide if she was correctly writing it. She relaxed, and pushed play again. The music once again occupied all the space in the room, in her mind, and all Coco thought about were the notes she wrote, the feeling of her fingers on the keys, and that iconic melody slowly unraveling.

“Now, this is something!” A smile crossed Coco’s face as she contemplated her work. Her handwriting was definitely not her best, and the score was not as neat as she liked, but it would do. Now she could play that song once and for all. She straightened, breathing in and out a couple times, relaxing; then, she took some seconds to check her lips positioning on the mouthpiece. After an hour of constantly checking and writing, she wanted this to be perfect. She focused on the score and inhaled… and then her phone vibrated, censoring her inspiration.

Coco grunted, rolling her eyes in disdain as she lowered the saxophone to her legs, silently cursing the one who had unwillingly interrupted her. She stretched herself to grab the phone, and the instant she saw the message was from Lily, she smiled. Her fool mood vanished, as she found herself incapable of being mad at the seamstress: her light jokes and her always happy mood always relaxed her and even made her laugh. She opened the text. “Do you happen to know anything about the new girl?” it said. Of course Lily was going to be curious about that, she was like a cat, anything new would immediately caught her attention and she was always drawn to stick her nose on any business… also, she loved having new models to work with.

Coco started typing a short response, denying any knowledge, when she realized that, in fact, she may know something. Some days after the photo-session, Renée had called her to her office, and asked about what she thought of Venezia. Suddenly, Coco felt worried and guilty, hoping she hadn’t hindered the new girl’s chances at MOMO.


Coco walked with long and studied steps, her heels resonating on the polished floor, as she directed herself towards Favre’s office. It was already afternoon, but that morning her assistant called her asking her to come by the office. Coco accepted, as she had no other choice, but secretly wondered if her contract could be at risk. The current one was for three years, and she still had two more to go before any new discussion… so either she did something very wrong, or it wasn’t about her at all.

The assistant’s desk was slightly at the left at the end of a hallway, but as soon as Coco approached it, the woman jumped to her feet, greeting the model with a wide smile and a politeness she rarely show to anyone. Coco returned the smile, approaching her.

“Miss Seong! Miss Favre will meet with you immediately.” She said, and some of the people waiting on the chairs nearby frowned when they realized they would have to wait even more. Coco was thankful of the privilege, as she very much disliked waiting, and even more when she was tight on her schedule.

“Thank you” Coco replied, and followed the other woman to the office door. As customary, she knocked, and then briefly introduced Coco.

Favre was sitting at her desk but stood up the moment she saw the young model arriving, and thanked her for coming with a wide smile on her face. “I’m sure your schedule is tight, but I appreciate you taking the time to come by” the manager said, in a probably rehearsed line. In that moment, Coco realized how much Favre’s behavior towards her had changed over the years.

“Your assistant asked me to come as soon as I could, so here I am.” Coco said, following Renée indication to take a sit, and crossed her legs, relaxing on one of the comfortable armchairs the older woman had in front of her desk.

Renée pressed her lips, softening her smile, and also reclined on her own armchair. She looked at Coco’s eyes for a second. “I want to know your thoughts about the last photoshoot. With the new candidate.” Renée said bluntly, almost studying Coco’s face with her gaze. What was the point of such question? To have a second opinion on Venezia or to evaluate Coco’s reaction?

However, her modeling career had taught many things to her, especially how to conceal her expressions. She nodded, as if considering the request and thinking about it. Nevertheless, the first thing that she realized was the fact that anything she said could potentially harm that new model’s career -and maybe even her own-, and that she has once been the subject of a conversation like this, probably between Kajsa and Renée. Now she realized how much she had to thank the older model for.

“Is there anything in particular you may want to know?” she asked, not sure what was Favre hoping to hear.

“What do you think of Venezia?” Renée answered quickly, as if anxious to hear a response.

Coco consider it for a second, nodding again slightly. “She is kind and had a good connection with the staff present at the session. She was…” she paused for a second, looking for the right word, and then continued. “…a little disoriented when you introduced us, but she grasped everything quickly. Jean loved her, as he kept saying...”.

Oh! The chemistry!” Renée interrupted her, faking the photographer’s accent and making dissipating the tension between them. Jean was too outgoing and expressive to be a photographer, as they were usually quiet and barely requested anything from the models. He asked, always, and would sometime speak on his heavily accentuated English, instead of French.

Coco chuckled, not having expected that from Renée. She was going to stop and not add anything else, but something told her to continue. She pressed her right hand to her lips, thoughtful. “I also think she is gorgeous and very different from the current models”.

Renée tilted her head, watching her for a few seconds, and then straightened on her chair in order to grab a folder she had on the desk. She opened it carefully, and Coco realized those were part of the initial photo selection from the session, with only some test editing. She had to control herself to avoid straightening to try and catch a glimpse of the photos while Renée went through those, searching something, but careful to not damage them. The manager stopped, looking at a particular photography, and then extended it to the model.

Coco uncrossed her legs and moved forward to take it. It was a close shot, almost a portrait, showcasing the neck details on both dresses. She looked at herself first, her gaze soft but daring while her head reclined towards the other model; it was a very favorable photo for her features, she thought, but then moved to Venezia. Her dark skin contrasted with her own paleness, and her expression was completely different. Confidence irradiated the model, but it was also kind and definitely sexy. Both pairs of eyes provided an intense contrast to the otherwise monochrome setting.


Coco sighted, her music interrupted with a thought that plagued her. She looked at her phone, not sure of what to say to Lily. “Favre showed me photos. They were good. I hope the best”. She typed, and after fighting with the word corrections of the phone, she sent the message. She looked up, thought the window far away from her mess of scoresheets, papers and pencils, and wondered if she had done the right thing. What was the right thing to say, anyways?

She discarded her phone, and positioned her saxophone again, looking at the score she had written. She inhaled and started playing, but… it wasn’t right. She was distracted and now her mind was plagued with guilt, making her worry about that interview with Renée. She couldn’t play like this.

Frustrated, Coco turned to her phone, internally cursing the moment in which Lily unwillingly made her realize what had happened. She took it, swiping through the contacts. After a moment, she paused at a particular name: Venezia Reyes. They had exchanged numbers after the photoshoot, in what Coco could only think of as a weakness moment of wanting to be as good to Venezia as Kajsa has been to her years ago. Should she write her? What would she say, anyways?

Minutes passed, on which Coco typed and deleted several messages, swearing her insecurity. She didn’t remind writing a single text being so difficult… maybe her messages to Chanel, but she never wrote them before. Those ideas where discarded before even wrote on a draft. “Hey, I’m Coco, from MOMO’s photoshoot. How are you doing?” was the text that was still intact on the cellphone screen. It was the best she wrote in all that time and, without an idea of anything else to say, she pressed Send.

Coco regretted it the moment she sent it. Maybe Venezia was busy, or probably already forgot her… or maybe she was mad at her. She left the phone and hid her face behind her hands, nervous. Each second lost waiting exponentially increased her worry, so when the phone finally vibrated, Coco jumped. Her right hand moved instinctively to support the saxophone that still lay on top of her legs, while she grabbed the phone she had left at her side.

“Hi! Of course I remember you! I’m fine, and you? ” was the short answer. Coco’s eye flinched. Was that a polite answer? Was that a subtle don’t-annoy-me message? She wasn’t sure, and maybe she was overreacting, but she was getting tired of that insecurity. Maybe it was time to do something… different.

“I was thinking… would you like to go out one of these days?” she typed, and pressed Send without thinking too much about it.

The answer came in fast. “I’d love to! Just set the date and place!”

To be honest, I really like writing Coco! I think she is interesting and I love getting to know her character a little more. Almost all of the props in here are made by me. I printed scores and clean music pentagrams. The earphones are made with cold porcelain and the wires are from two pairs of broken cellphone earphones. The pencils are a toothpick that I cut in half and painted with acrylic.

For the cellphone and tablet I used Artyadelle's tutorial. However, since my printer did not have any color cartridge left, I printed it at a store on self-adhesive paper (it costed me USD1). I do hope to get a proper tablet, notebook and cellphones in the future, but those are cheap props, and due to how customs is working, I need to make medium/big purchases or otherwise the taxes are bigger than the item value.

Anyways, 4 years, oh my goodness!!! I can't believe it. And my blog will turn 5 years this year. Unbelievable. I hope you are doing great, do you celebrate your doll's arrivals/character birthdays?


  1. Writing in general is a good way to improve ones language and even as I said to the kids - talking. I often think in my own language (Finnish) and then translate it in my head (to English, to German and so on…) in a strange way. I am trying to start to think in the language I write in, so that I can skip those funny parts when everything comes out in my own language… Do you have a story ready in your own language and translate, or do you just think and write in english?

    That was a good story and it was lovely to learn more about Coco. I think she is so sweet. And those props, thanks for the link to the cellphone and tablet!

    Congratulations to Coco's 4 years and time really can go fast. So far I have not really celebrated my dolls birthdays/arrival days in any specific way, just giving them some extra time and remembering the feeling when the arrived.

    Wishing you a good new dolly week!

    1. Nope, I basically think of it and write it directly in English. Once it is done, I read it again twice, at least, and go fixing stuff and adding/removing things.

      I'm happy you liked the story, and thanks for the good wishes! I can't believe four years already passed by!

      Have an awesome week you too <3

  2. Primero que nada, la historia es fantástica. Ya sabes que adoro como escribes, ya te lo he dicho en otros relatos. Me encanta la personalidad de Coco, un poco contradictoria, entre reservada y tímida y encima es muy bella. Feliz cumple-arribo de Coco.
    Yo pienso en japonés - chino - coreano y suelo traducirlo luego al español antes de hablar, pero me cuesta muchisimo hablar directamente en los otros idiomas, creo que por timidez, pero mi timidez no es tan adorable como la de Coco jajajaja.
    Estupenda historia. No veo la hora de leer sobre el encuentro entre las dos bellas modelos.

    1. ¡Muchas gracias! Sí, los idiomas son algo complejo, no? Me gustaría aprender otro más!

  3. Happy birthday, Coco! <3 I'd like to celebrate my dolls' birthdays too, or at least some of them, but I never seem to have the time. ^^;; So I think it's wonderful when I see other people arrange something special for their dolls' anniversary!

    As always, I love the little details in the photos. Awesome stuff!

    1. Coco says thanks! It is nice to celebrate the dolly bdays, although I think my 'traditions' for each year are always changing.

      Thanks for the compliment on the photos! :D

  4. I like the slow set-up leading to friendship here :3
    I'm looking forward to how they'll develop next!

    1. Oh, thank you! Although that is mostly due to my lack of props, too, but oh well.
      Thanks for reading, it means a lot :D

  5. Happy birthday, Coco! She's such a fun character! <3

    1. Aww, that is so cute, thanks!!
      BTW, Coco says thanks!

  6. Finally I have read this piece. I regret I didn't do it earlier, it's super well-written.
    As you say yourself, Coco is such an interesting character. I look forward to reading more about her.
    I wonder what kind of dynamics her and Venezia will have! I will have to keep reading :3

    1. Thank you so much, you are too kind!!
      I'm so happy you enjoyed reading this, as I always love your characters and stories!! :3