Cosima knocked on the door. She really hoped everyone had left, because she had been bored senseless waiting for the right time to go to her girlfriend’s hotel room.
“Come in.” Delphine called, switching to English.
Cosima entered the hotel room. “Are you decent?” she asked as she saw that the room was empty and the bathroom door closed.
“After two hours of…what do you call it, beautifying, j’espere bien,” Delphine answered.
“As if you’d need it.” Cosima scoffed.
“Alors,” the bathroom door opened. “What do you think?”
Cosima stared at her, speechless. She licked her lips and adjusted the glasses on her nose.
“You like it?” Delphine moved towards her.
“Oui?” Delphine asked with a smile.
“Oui.” Cosima confirmed and Delphine chuckled at her French.
“Careful.” Delphine warned as her girlfriend moved to kiss her and her hands went to her waist.
“Sorry,” Cosima smoothed down the dress. “Won’t mess up anything…can I still kiss you?”
Now it was Cosima’s turn to be amused at Delphine’s attempt to imitate her.
“Do you really need to go?” Cosima whispered as they came up for air. “Of course you do.” She added after her head cleared a bit. “This nomination is a big deal, right?”
“Are you sure you want to go alone?”
“I’m not going alone,” Delphine was confused. They had talked a lot about the awards and the party and she knew Cosima wasn’t asking because she wanted to come with her.
“Yeah, but not with a Leekie’s approved date. He won’t be happy.”
Delphine moved away. He was her mentor, she owed him a lot. But if he couldn’t see how good Cosima was for her…she was better at her work…and she was happier than ever. And he couldn’t see it…well, qu' il aille se faire foutre.
“I said that he can go and fuck himself.” Delphine repeated, this time in English.
“You won’t hear a peep from me.” Cosima shrugged with a smile, her bracelets tinkling as she raised her arms. She knew first-hand that Leekie didn’t like her. Well, technically he said that he liked her, but that she wasn’t right for Delphine and needed to stay away. “Aren’t you afraid of what he’ll do?” She asked, biting her lips. She didn’t want to create problems.
“I don’t need him anymore.” Delphine said. She was a well-know actress, she was going to an award ceremony where she was nominated for lead actress. Not that she wouldn’t prefer having him in her corner, but if she had to choose between him and Cosima…She didn’t need him anymore. “Besides, what could he do?”
“What about your parents?”
Delphine looked at Cosima, who was genuinely worried. Sure, a dread-locked, pierced, tattooed girl wasn’t what her parents expected from her. Well, what anyone expected from her. Firstly, because as far as everyone knew, she was straight. And her family would be surprised, but she knew that meeting Cosima…her mama would go crazy about Cosima being a scientist and would probably ask for a tour of the Switz labs Cosima worked at. Her papa would love Cosima’s enthusiasm for life…and food. And her brother, well, just the fact that she was American would win Adrian over.
“I don’t care.” Delphine kissed her again. She needed to reapply her lipstick anyway. “What did I do to deserve you?”
“Nothing.” Cosima joked. “You had me at ‘enchantée’.”
They both smiled remembering their first meeting.
“Maybe we should move then. East.”
“What? Why?” Cosima scrunched her noise up, confused by Delphine’s words.
“They speak German there. Not French like where we live now.”
Cosima laughed. “Wouldn’t that be illogical, with me working at Geneva and you in France. You already have to cross borders every time…and neither of us know German.”
“Totally worth it. Both of us living there,” Delphine smiled thinking of their nice little village, where everyone knew everyone and nobody would think about going to the press with the story of a famous actress living with another girl, who was clearly her girlfriend. “And moving too, I wouldn’t want you to fall for someone else, as they all speak French here.”
“Not a chance.” Cosima reassured her, even if she knew she was joking.
“I need to go.” Delphine looked at the time. “Désolée.”
“Wouldn't want to be late to your own party.” Cosima took a step back, knowing distance was the only way they could get anything done.
“Not a party.” Delphine murmured while putting on lipstick. “And it’s not mine.”
“But it will be.” Delphine shook her head at Cosima’s confidence in her, but she was pleased. “Just go.” Cosima continued. “Win. Or not. I don’t care. I’ll be here waiting for you either way.”
Delphine fidgeted with the phone in her hands. She couldn’t understand why she was nervous. It was her first nomination as a lead actress where she actually had a chance to win, but she had already been at the Cesar, she had already won the Cesar for Best Supporting Actress. And other awards too.
‘I wish you were here with me’ She texted Cosima.
‘Me too. I bet the champagne is amazing.’
‘But they wouldn’t invite you anymore, I’m afraid.’ Cosima’s second text came only seconds later.
‘Want me to bring you some?’
‘That’s why Leekie thinks I’m a bad influence’
A smiley sticking out its tongue made it clear that Cosima was joking and Delphine couldn’t help laughing. Leekie thought Cosima was bad for her, and he didn’t know half of things they had done together. Like smoking pot, because Cosima had promised she’d get her baked, or stealing bottles from a reception. Or borrowing bikes that weren’t theirs after stealing said bottles.
They continued texting back and forth until the car stopped.
“Nous sommes arrivés, Mademoiselle Cormier.” The driver announced.
Delphine looked up from her phone and out of the window. She hadn’t realized they had passed through Pairs and were already in front of the Théâtre du Châtelet. As she sent the last message to Cosima, telling her she'd arrived and had to go and put the phone away, she felt her nerves returning ten-fold.
Dieu, she wished Cosima was there.
Cosima clapped and whoopped, jumping around in Delphine’s hotel room as her girlfriend was announced as the winner of the César de la meilleure actrice. She stood in the middle of the room, grinning as she watched her climbing the steps and receiving the compliments of the host, after those of her fellow actors and actresses. As Delphine stopped in front of the podium with the microphones, Cosima bit her nails, suddenly frowning. Delphine was visibly tense, as she started her speech, which was unusual. But even if being exposed and in front of an audience was kinda their jobs, Cosima had seen plenty of actresses become awkward messes when receiving awards. But this wasn’t normal, this wasn’t just Delphine being surprised at the win and confused and too happy to realize she needed to be coherent. No. This was…Cosima looked at Delphine’s hands as the girl stumbled upon her words as she gave her thanks. She always teased her about how much she talked with her hands, but she had noticed that when Delphine was nervous she used her hands almost as much. Well, maybe not as much, but she definitely moved them around a lot more…and then she’d realize it and hold one hand with the other, rubbing them together…and then she’d start to wave them around again. She had been exactly like that when…Oh shit!
"Et surtout, je voulais remercier,” Delphine stopped, hesitanting. The camera panned away, but the mike still caught her trembling intake of breath.
“Je voulais remercier Cosima parce que…” She moved her hands in a circular way, as if to tell herself to move on and continue, before clamping them together. “parce que je l'aime, voilà" she concluded her voice tremolous. “Merci.” She hurriedly spit out, before scampering away.
Cosima let herself fall down on the bed, mouth covered by her hands. “Oh shit!”