I’ve told you previously about how I met Paul. But like every story, this one has two versions which Paul wanted you to be aware of, so today is time for his version and how it all happened for him. I smiled while reading his version and please don’t mind him saying i’m a celebrity – I’m not. I just have a job which is about fashion and which is online, and which can also mostly be extra. But anyway, today is time for Paul’s version.

So I met Oriane last December; I heard she was back in Benin for the holidays. I started following her on Instagram right after her collaboration with SavagexFenty because I was Beninese (just like her), so I was kinda proud of her. So I started following her and also sharing some of her pictures on my Instagram story. But I was just supporting, nothing more. So when I heard she was back in Benin I was like, “I really need to collaborate with her” not just because she worked with SavagexFenty, but because she was so talented. I took my time as I was busy with work during this period but I finally texted her and I was really surprised that she agreed to collaborate with my brand, because you know, she is ‘so famous’ in my eyes and I’m actually not lol. So after that she was supposed to come to my place for her fittings. I was about to meet her for the first time and I’ve always been impressed by her pictures, so I was wondering how it would go. 

I knew that fashion bloggers could be kinda snobby sometimes so I decided to act very corporate and professional when she came. Plus I was also stressed out cause I didn’t know at first whether she was gonna like my work or not, and whether the dress was going to fit her. She finally came over and I was really surprised because she was so shy and humble. We started the fitting, and the dress fit her perfectly, thank God. She couldn’t stop complimenting me about my work, and I finally decided to offer her the dress. She started thanking me and I was like, “Wow, she actually has manners.” After that, she said she needed to charge her phone and forgot her plug at home so I lent her mine and meanwhile, we tried to talk.

She asked about my work and inspiration but I was still starstruck so I was a little shy. A while later she left, thanking me again for the dress. I must say that for a first meeting, I was surprised to discover that she was a nice person. The second time I saw her was at church for a wedding ceremony. We were both with our respective friends so I tried to ‘holla’ at her but she was hurrying and seemed a little cold to me. So I thought maybe she was acting different because we were in public or because of her friends. I saw her again later in the evening at the wedding reception. I came with my friends and looked around for her since I knew she would be there. When I finally found her, I noticed that she was wearing my dress and I thought she looked amazing in it. But once again, the girl was with her friends so this time I decided to stay in my lane though I couldn’t help admiring her. She was so beautiful! I wasn’t really far from the bar, so later as she was going to the bar with her friends she quickly stopped by to say hi. She was less cold than before but she still seemed off and I couldn’t understand why. I thought, “Let’s forget about that and enjoy the party”. I saw her passing by three more times, but she was always with her friends. Later, I realised she’d left the party and it was really early so I was surprised but my friends told me that she certainly left with somebody. The last time I saw her was the day she was leaving Benin. Oh, yeah! I forgot: She posted on her story the day before that her crush didn’t know that he was her crush, and that just hit me like “Ohh, so she has a crush on somebody.” Later in the evening she told me she was going out with one of our friends in common and asked me if I wanted to come. I was like, “Okay,” ’cause I really wanted to get to know her some more. But we didn’t manage in the end, as her hairdressers’ appointment took longer than expected.

 But back to the last day: I offered to give her another outfit from my brand so she could shoot it and promote it once in New York. I knew she might be busy with her errands so I offered to have the dress delivered to her place, but she refused and told me she would really like to see me before she left. So I started to wonder, like, “Am I the crush she was talking about on her Instagram story? And if not, then what does she wanna see me for?” A little voice in my head went, “Bro, she just likes your work, that’s all. Stop dreaming! I mean, how could you be the crush of a famous fashion blogger (I’m not lol – says me) ?? Stop dreaming, bro!” 

She finally came over to get the dress and she was running very late, but once she was already here she thought she’d better try it on so we could be sure it fit her, which she did and it looked perfectly good on her. So I packed the dress and escorted her to her car. As she was going I felt that she was really sad to leave, but I was still too stupid to figure out why. We started texting each other after she left my place, and I decided to confess that I really wished we could have spent more time together. While we were talking, another one of our mutual friends called me and asked if Oriane had come to my place and I replied, “Yeah, she came but she already left.” She asked me if Oriane finally told me? And I asked, “Told me what?” She responded, “Oh, she didn’t! Well, never mind, she will tell you when she’s ready.” So after that call I was definitely convinced that I was certainly the crush she was talking about, and I was like WOW! I went through a period where I literally gave up on love for personal reasons, so I didn’t see anything coming and all the while I was trying to act as professional as possible. As a result it took me some time to realize that I was also attracted to her. 

We hadn’t talked that much until the day she was leaving, when she was on the plane. But I knew that something beautiful was about to happen. I was supposed to call her a few days later but I didn’t, because as I said, I had literally given up on love. But deep down I knew I wanted to try something out so I finally decided to call her, and after talking and talking, I asked her to officially be my girlfriend. I know it’s a crazy way to start a relationship but it is what it is. We call each other every day and I always enjoy our talks. And yeah, I was supposed to travel to New York to see her but this f*****g Corona ruined everything. I don’t know when I’m gonna see her again but for now I’m just enjoying what we have. It’s hard, but we are both trying our best to keep this going. Now, I think y’all can agree that it’s Oriane’s fault if we couldn’t do any of these things lovers do when she was still around, lol.

Your dear Paul.

Proofreading by Mable Karani

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