Vanessa’s Meet and Greet
Vanessa stood there in the garden; waiting. She was in a bright yellow, Marilyn Monroe styled gown, which flared outwards from her waist, with dangly yellow earrings to match. However, her hair seemed to hide them most of the time. She was nervous, she never was, only overjoyed that her journey was finally beginning. Standing at the of a red carpet, she looked up it and saw the first contestant.
Aria turned the corner only to be surprised that there was another woman already standing in the garden. “OhHiThere.” She made a beeline to where Vanessa was standing. “ThoughtIWasTheFirstOneToMeetTheBachelor. I’mAria, What’sYourName?”
Vanessa laughed briefly. “You were. I’m Vanessa, your bachelorette this season. It’s good to meet another talkative person, Aria.”
“TheBachelorette?” Aria was both surprised and excited by this news. “WhatATwist! YouMustBeExcited… ButWait. HowWillItWorkWithTwoNow? Won’tThatMakeItConfusing?” She paused, but not long enough for Vanessa to get a word in. “Oh,I’mSureThisHas BeenThoughtThroughEnough. IShouldn’tNeedToWorry. IGuessThisReallyJustDoublesMyChance OfFindingLove.” She finally finished speaking this time. Vanessa was left wide-eyed and speechless, she couldn’t even nod her head.
“ISeeTheCat’sBeenBusyTonight. IBelieveThisIsNowTheSecondTongue He’sGot
Tonight.” Aria laughed a little at herself. “I’llLeaveYouToMeetTheOthers, ButIDoHopeIGetAChanceToTalkToYouLater.” Vanessa’s eyes remained wide as she left. Then she looked down one of the camera lenses and they became wider still.
Daniel was the next to reach the garden. He spotted Vanessa straight away, her yellow dress almost glowing in evening sky. “Hello there, I’m Dan.” He couldn’t remember seeing her in the limo, and he was sure they were the first to pull up. “Are you another contestant?”
“Hey Dan, I’m not another contestant. Try the Bachelorette instead. I’m Vanessa, but most call me Nessa. Though call me Cindy or Ella.” She shrugged.
He was taken by surprise that there had been a bachelorette hiding around the corner no one had mentioned. “Cindy, I like the sound of that. I’m sure you must be excited to be here then.”
She tightened her lips to stifle her laugh, it was almost unnoticeable. “I am quite excited to find love, however skeptical I am about whether finding love on TV really works.”
Dan gave a sympathetic smile. “I understand that. If this ever gets too overwhelming or you just need to vent, or to share your skepticism with, I’m your guy. I’m a therapist, so I’m great at listening.”
She leaned in. “Before we finish this conversation, I let you in on a little secret, I prefer people who can talk back.”
Dan nodded. “On that note, I will talk to you later.” He continued walking in the direction he had previously been heading in.
Lara sensed Vanessa’s presence before she entered the garden. “Valeria Worthington?” She stopped just before Vanessa, who was almost a foot taller than she was. “Canadian, right? I’m Lara Holden.” She paused, sensing some more information. “The Bachelorette… You are the bachelorette. There’s two suitors this season?”
Vanessa tilted her down to her. “Most of that is correct, Lara Holden. Though I think that the person you bribed for info, is messing with you. My name’s Vanessa Worthington.”
Lara laughed. “When you find me later, and I know you will, maybe I’ll let you in on my source.” With that, she turned on her heels and left.
Logan continued whistling as he turned the corner that opened into the garden. He stopped, seeing a woman with cameras on her. It seemed a rather strange set up for another contestant. He cut through the grass, his rain boots protecting him from the dew, to reach Vanessa. “You’ve got a nice set up here,” he said, tilting his red hat up to greet her. “My name’s Logan.”
“Thanks, my name’s Jasmine,” Vanessa replied. “I would compliment you back but the only thing running through my head is, what’s with the outfit?”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Jasmine. My outfit tonight was inspired by Paddington Bear. Have you heard of him? I’m just a hopeful bear at heart, like he was.”
“I assume you mean the movie, not books. I’d prefer to read the books, but just never did. Well, maybe you need the bear necessities.”
Logan let out a soft laugh. “Yeah, it’s one of my favourite films.” He paused, remembering his second sandwich. It seemed only fair he offer it to Jasmine , since Tyson had got the other. “He always carries a spare marmalade sandwich… And now you’ve got one too. I hope to see you later, Jasmine.” He gave a small wave before leaving. But before she could even look at the sandwich, the producer came over, taking it from her.
Nova concentrated on her steps as she made her way around the house. Still feeling incredibly embarrassed that she had managed to fall within seconds of the show. Left foot, right foot . Why was it so hard not to make a fool of herself on the first night. She had been staring at her feet for the longest time that she hadn’t seen Vanessa. She continued walking, now completely passing Vanessa and the cameras that surrounded her.
Vanessa turned to watch the girl. She called to girl, “Excuse me, over here, time to stop daydreaming.”
Nova, startled by the voice, stood up straight, searching for its owner. “Oh, um…” She hurriedly walked back. “Hi, I’m sorry, I, um… didn’t see you there.”
“Clearly. Were you just thinking about the bachelor this season?”
“No, I was, uh… I kind of stacked it in front of the Bachelor, so I was… I was just worrying about that. I’m Nova, by the way.”
“I’m sure it went better than you thought. I’m Nessa, but call me Nala.”
Nova felt slightly better after receiving some reassurance. “Ok, Nala. So… Are you the Bachelorette? Will I see you inside?” She was hopeful to redeem herself later in the night with Tyson, and now Nala. She didn’t want two people to already think she was a total klutz.
“Yes and yes,” answered Vanessa. “Just try to relax and maybe we’ll talk inside.” Nova nodded and walked inside, watching her steps the entire way.
Julian walked through to the garden. He was expecting to see a handful of contestants by now, but there was only one standing alone. “Evening,” he greeted, heading towards Vanessa. “Julian Bennett Russell.” He had managed to get his names in the correct order this time at least.
“Evening Julian Bennett Russell. I’m Wendy Moira Angela Darling.”
“That’s a lovely name, though it’s rather long. What are you doing standing here alone? You don’t want to head inside just yet?”
“I could say the same for you, J.B.R,” she replied. “No, the producers won’t let me. It’s in the rules that I have to meet all the contestants.”
“Oh, you are a Bachelorette?” He raised an eyebrow. “Or should I say The Bachelorette?”
“Yes, ‘The’ is correct.” Vanessa puffed up her cheeks then blew the air out. “I guess I might talk to you inside.” Julian nodded, then made his way inside.
Adrian sighed, walking towards the garden, losing the confident facade she had been faking only moments ago. Meeting Tyson was the easy part, but now heading into a house full of strangers who would also be competing for his heart was making her stress. She turned the corner, spotting Vanessa in the garden. She took a deep breath to prepare herself, then began walking over to Vanessa. “Well, don’t you look gorgeous.”
Vanessa cocked her head slightly at the girl’s solemn expression. “Thanks. You alright?”
“Absolutely fantastic.” Adrian smiled at Vanessa. “I’m Adrian, it’s nice to meet you…” She trailed off, waiting for a name.
“Welcome Adrian, I’m Aurora. Maybe we can talk more inside?”
“I’d love to.” Adrian flashed a smile, before heading into the mansion.
Jason walked with a hop in his step, down the path that lead to the garden. He approached Vanessa once spotting her. “That would have been the perfect stretch to rollerblade along,” he said, gesturing behind him. “I’m Jason. What are you doing out here alone?” Worried that he might have sounded too nosy, he added, “If you don’t mind me asking.”
Vanessa shrugged. “Oh, nothing major. Only meeting what could be the potential love of my life, apparently.”
“Really? Me too… Well, that’s not the reason I’m out here alone, but it’s the reason I’m here on this show. I guess I should leave you to it then. Maybe I’ll see you inside…?” He walks off.
Pavitra was feeling confident in herself and the impression she’d left on Tyson. She couldn’t help but laugh to herself as wandered through the garden, still giggling when she noticed Vanessa. The bright yellow dress grabbed her attention immediately. “So what did Cinderella do when she got to the ball?”
Vanessa looked at her quizzically. “Uhh… what did she do?”
“She gagged.” Pavitra began laughing at her own joke.
Not sure what to think at first, she said nothing. Did she get it? Then it clicked with her. “Oooh.” She smiled. “So you like those types of jokes then?”
Pavitra nodded, shrugging slightly. “Yeah, that’s just the way my mind was wired to think.”
“You’ll just have to share some more with me in the coming weeks, if you have more that is?”
“Sure, if you’re smart enough to keep me around, that is.”
“We’ll see what happens.” And with that, Pavitra turned and left.
Maxon had a firm grip on his rose when he saw Vanessa. As if tonight wasn’t nerve-wrecking enough, it now looked like there was a Bachelorette too, if the cameras and crew were anything to go by. He walked up to her. “You are the Bachelorette, I’m assume? My name’s Maxon.” He offered his rose.
“Hey Maxon, I’m Ariel.” She looked at the rose curiously, but didn’t take it. “I am, but what’s with the rose?”
Maxon hadn’t exactly prepared to meet a bachelor and a bachelorette tonight, but he was lucky he had brought two roses now. “Ariel, lovely name. The rose is for you. Since you’ll be handing them out this season, I thought tonight would be the only chance to give you one instead.”
She took the rose. “Thanks. I guess that’s a surefire way to get a rose tonight, right? Especially since I assume Tyson got one too.”
“Uh, well…” He paused, not wanting Ariel to be upset that he hadn’t actually had her in mind for the two roses. “Yes, he did. Hopefully that doubles my chances though, right?”
“It’s a nice gesture, so it possibly will, yes. I don’t see why it shouldn’t, unless we’ve already made outstanding connections with the other contestants,” she told him. Then she thought, let’s see how he can handle that.
Maxon pondered for a moment. “If that’s the case, I’m lucky there’s so many roses and weeks for me to grow my connection. That is, if you keep me around tonight.” Maxon remained pretty faithful that he’d make it past the first night. Some may have thought it naive, but he was a hopeless romantic. “I hope I get to speak to you inside, Ariel.” He farewelled her and left.
With her small suitcase in tow, Tori found herself in front of Vanessa. “Hi there. I’m Tori, and you are…?” She trailed off, unsure if the cameras around Vanessa indicated something more significant.
Vanessa looked around at the cameras, surprised that she hadn’t guessed. “Belle, I’m the Bachelorette.”
“Really? There’s two? And no one told us there would be both a Bachelor and Bachelorette?” Tori couldn’t hide her shock. “I’m sorry, I brought a keyring here to give as a little momento, but I already gave it to the Bachelor,” she confessed, sheepishly.
“That’s fine, I’m not materialistic. Let’s just work together on making this a fantastic experience.”
“Sounds like a plan.” She clicked her fingers and pointed at Vanessa. “I’ll catch ya inside.” Tori then left for the house.
Connor still held his bag when he reached Vanessa. The cameras, producers and lighting that surrounded her indicated he was now meeting The Bachelorette. It wasn’t hard to put two and two together, though he was a little surprised that she’d been hidden. “Evening,” he greeted, flashing her a small smile. “You look beautiful tonight. I’m Connor.”
“Thanks, the makeup crew tried really hard. I’m Jane Porter, but what’s with the bag?” She gestured to his velvet bag.
“I’m sure they didn’t need to try too hard.” He held up the bag in between them, opening it. “Love is like a bag of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”
She dove her hand into the bag and when she pulled it out, she held a Picnic. “Hmm… so my love life is an eclectic bunch of everything…”
“It could be,” Connor agreed, laughing. “I guess we’ll find out over the next coming weeks.”
“I guess we will.” She shrugged. Connor then said his farewells to Vanessa and made his was inside.
Piper walked along the path with her head held high. Upon turning the corner, she became aware of the cameras surrounding Vanessa. “Well, hello gorgeous. What are you doing out here all alone?” She asked as she walked up to her.
“Me? Am I?,” Vanessa asked a little smugly. “Well, I’ve been told that I have to meet all the contestants. What about yourself? What are you doing here?”
“Well, I was just making my way inside, and probably heading straight to the bar,” she joked. “So I guess we have both a Bachelor and a Bachelorette this time around?”
“Correct. So would it be too bold of me to ask you to save me a drink for when I come in?”
“You don’t have to ask me twice. Find me once you’re done meeting everyone else. I’m Piper.” She turned to the house, leaving Vanessa to greet the other contestants and think about how she wasn’t able to give her a fake name.
It was only a short walk before Axel was standing in the garden, looking at Vanessa. She stood out to him, wearing an almost glowing dress, his favourite shade of yellow. He wasn’t sure why she was in the garden alone, when he thought there should have been a lot more contestants here by now. Being the type to always speak his mind, he spoke, walking closer to Vanessa. “Shouldn’t there be more people here by now?”
“Yes, there should.” Vanessa actually smiled, though it was a supercilious smile. She felt like she had something over him. “They’re all inside the house, waiting for the cocktail party to start.”
“And you are not?” Axel raised an eyebrow towards her. “Oh, my apologies. I didn’t even catch your name. I’m Axel.”
“No, the producer said I have to meet all the contestants. But my name is Alice Liddel.”
“So, Alice, that would make you the Bachelorette, right? Then who was Tyson?” He paused, trying to figure it out on his own. “Is there both a Bachelor and Bachelorette this season?” Vanessa only nodded in reply.
“Uh, well that should make things interesting I guess.” He was a little bit taken back by Vanessa silent response. Maybe she’s just not much of a talker, he thought. “I’ll catch you inside then.” He turned and walked away.
As Chelsea walked around the house, her stride began to lose its confidence. Tyler… Ty… Ty-something, wasn’t it? She had been too focused on how she was carrying herself that she hadn’t focused on retaining any information the Bachelor had told her. Now reaching the garden, she spotted Vanessa in the midst of more cameras. Her confidence back, Chelsea walked straight up to Vanessa. This time she would focus on remembering her name, at least. “Hi.”
“Hey.” Vanessa stepped back on one foot. “That’s the boldest greeting I’ve had all night.
“You must be joking.” Chelsea knew that wasn’t the best greeting she could have come up with. “If that’s true, I must definitely be getting a rose tonight. I’m Chelsea, by the way.”
Vanessa laughed, briefly again, but it was still a laugh. “And you still get bolder. I guess I was just expecting big, elaborate introductions, but they’ve all been a little… mundane and normal. So Chelsea, I think that might be true. And my name, it’s… Vanessa, but call me Nessa!”
“Vanessa… Nessa… I’ll make sure to remember that.” Chelsea really hoped she would. “I guess everyone must be a little surprised that you are hiding around the corner. I know I was.”
“Just a little.” Vanessa nodded. “I hope we can talk more inside, Chelsea.” Chelsea said goodbye and went inside. She had a feeling she wouldn’t forget Vanessa’s name as easily as she had with the Bachelor’s.
With his container under his arm, Jace walked up to Vanessa. Once there, he opened up the container again. “Would you like to try one? It was my something extra I brought for the Bachelor, but there’s plenty to go around for the rest of us too.”
Vanessa’s eyes widened again. Not because of the food, but because these contestants really weren’t the smartest. “Sure, what did you think of the Bachelor?” She took a breadstick and looked at it. “What are they?”
“Pepperoni pizza breadsticks,” he answered, sealing the container. “I think I got off to a good start with him, but it was only one very short conversation. What about you?”
“Looks good.” Vanessa was wondering how to word this without lying, but still make him believe she was a contestant. “But, no, not really yet. I guess we’ll have more of a conversation afterwards.”
Jace nodded. “Do you want to head inside with me now? Or was there a particular reason you were standing out here?”
“There’s a reason, I’ll talk to you inside.”
“Alright, I’ll see you later then.” Jace made his way inside.
Kim paraded into the garden, her head held high. “Hi, I’m Kim,” she greeted Vanessa. “How are you tonight? Not too cold out here, I hope.”
Vanessa stared at the next woman, who looked amazing. “Hey, uh, Tiana, that’s me.” She paused, still looking at Kim’s dress. “I’m pretty good. I could ask the same about you, you do look absolutely stunning.”
“Thank you.” Kim beamed. Even though she was a model, she still loved to receive compliments. “I actually don’t feel the cold too much. I’m used to wearing outfits that don’t match the weather conditions because of my job.”
“Oh? I’ll keep that in mind for possible dates then. Maybe we can even talk about your hobbies when I get inside?”
“That would be great. I’ll see you in there, Tiana.” Kim smiled before leaving the garden.
Jay trudged through to the garden. He hadn’t been lying when he said he was experiencing jet lag. The only thing that snapped him out of his dazy state was the bright yellow dress Vanessa was wearing. He rolled his shoulders back to stand up straighter, then walked over to Vanessa. “Hi, how’s it going? I’m Jay.”
“Not too bad, compared you that is. You look dead tired. I’m Joy, by the way.”
“Hi Joy.” He gave a slight smile, but she was right; He was dead tired. “I’m so sorry about that. It’s just a bit of jet lag. I’m truly very excited to be here.”
“Oh? Where have you come from?”
“South Korea. Have you ever been?”
“No, but one day. I’m just making my way around the states currently.”
“That sounds interesting. I’d love to hear some of your travel stories later on tonight.” Vanessa nodded and Jay turned, heading inside.
”Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” Juniper sung quietly, adding a swing in her step. Seeing Vanessa instantly, she smiled at her. “Hello there… I didn’t know there was also going to be a Bachelorette,” she added, after observing the cameras and crew surrounding them.
Vanessa cocked her head. “Hey, yeah there is. Did I hear you correctly, were you quoting Disney?” Noticing Dory on her cheek, she pointed to it. “And is that-?”
“Oh, um, yes. I just love to sing, I’ve had that tune stuck in my head since I painted my cheek earlier.” She turned her head so Vanessa could see it better.
“Very nice. Talented too, to paint it yourself. Though a little ironic.” Vanessa was getting a little cocky now, with all these names. “My name is actually Dory. Not from birth, but my dad changed it legally after my mother left us.”
“I’m sorry to hear about your mother.” She hadn’t been prepared to get this deep and emotional this early. “At least I’ll never forget your name now,” Juniper said, her voice filled with hope. She smiled and headed inside.
Still with his lips held in a firm line, Nicolas walked into the garden with his arms crossed. Taking notice of the cameras around Vanessa, he stepped up to her. “So there’s two this season,” he thought out loud. “Hello. My name’s Nicolas.”
She had to think a moment before answering, which names had she already used. “Hey, I’m Anna Arendelle. You don’t look too happy to be here?!”
Nicolas dropped his arms, to rest by his sides. He hoped this would make him look more open to this experience. “No, no. I’m excited to be here. I’ve been searching for something, and I believe that something could be love… I guess…” He paused to look at the cameras. He knew what he was about to say would probably get cut in editing. “I guess I’m just unsure as to whether I can find that on a reality show. But I’m here to try it anyway.”
“Same here. I’m skeptical about matchmaking TV shows too. Maybe we should discuss this more later?” Nicolas agreed before walking into the house.
After the last contestant was inside, Vanessa didn’t get much time to think, before Tyson and his crew rounded the corner and a makeup crew surrounded her. “I suppose it’s time to enter the house and mingle some more?”
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