because i secret stalk all my followers

Neymar Imagine || Jealous Carolina

Disclaimer - I have nothing against Carolina, nor do I think she’d ever do anything of this sort. This was just a request. 

Neymar got back from a game a few minutes ago and hopped in the shower straight away, because I refused to let him come anywhere near me in the state he was in. He protested. I ran. He chased me. I won. Once I heard the bathroom door close, I made my way downstairs and threw myself on the couch in our living room, while dialing the number to a pizza delivery restaurant. I have been working all day and the last thing I am in the mood for is cooking, so this will have to do.

My boyfriend has never been known to take quick showers. He’s always the last one to be ready when we go out and definitely the last one out of the locker room after games, so I know I’m in for a long wait. I grab my phone again and start going through all my social media and checking all my texts and notifications. Although Neymar and I have never really tried to keep our relationship a secret and we’re always seen together, I’m still not a public person. His fans, who are generally stalking masters, tend to leave me alone most of the time, because there’s not much to find out about me in the first place. Sure, some of them follow me on Twitter and Instagram and leave all kinds of comments, but it’s never gotten to a point where it bothered me.

The moment I open my Instagram app, countless notifications pop up on my screen. Weird. For some reason, I keep getting tagged over and over again in a bunch of Carolina’s pictures. I’ve met her exactly once and I’m absolutely positive there are no pictures of us together, so this doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I click on one of the tags and a picture of her and Neymar, dating sometime before Christ by the looks of it, appears on my screen. She’s wearing a light blue floor length dress and has her blonde hair styled into an elegant bun, while he’s holding her hand, wearing a matching tux. He looks like such a dork, who probably got dragged to a wedding or some other even of the sort.

“Throwback to the best date night w/ @neymarjr. #tbt #missthis #someday”

A loud snort escapes my lips as I read her caption, because she knows, just as well as me and the rest of the world, that they never dated. I don’t mean to downplay her role in Neymar’s life, because she is the mother of his child and that’s not nothing, but they were never actually together. They weren’t a couple. There is nothing for her to miss.

“What are you up to?” Neymar asks, plopping himself on the couch next to me and frightening me for a brief second, because I didn’t notice him walking into the room. “Is that me?” He takes the phone out my hands and laughs at his younger ridiculous looking self.

“Yes.” I nod, still smiling to myself. “You and Carolina on a date, apparently.” I manage to say it with a straight face, but the utterly confused look on my boyfriend’s face makes me chuckle again.

“In what alternate universe?” He scrolls down and reads the caption. “What’s her deal? This was at a friend’s wedding, not a date. We weren’t even supposed to go together.”

“I figured. Maybe she didn’t mean it like that. She probably just wrote that because you were each other’s date at the wedding.” Neymar raises an eyebrow at me, as if I’m making no sense, which I’m most likely not. “I don’t know.” I shrug and take the phone away from him, so I can check my other notifications. I tap on another tag and a picture of them together at the same wedding appears on the screen. This time they’re dancing.

“What is meant to be will always find a way.” Is what the caption reads and the fact that she has written all these cheesy things in English, as opposed to Portuguese as usual, is not lost on me. Like she did it specifically so I would understand.

“Someone’s jealous.” Neymar says, nudging me with his shoulder as I’m staring at the picture for a little longer than normal.

“Obviously.” I roll my eyes at the screen, before turning to face him. “But it’s not me.”

“It better not be. That,” He points to the picture, “Was forever ago. It didn’t mean anything then and it definitely doesn’t mean anything now.”

“I know.”

“Do you?” I nod and pick up my phone again, because I can’t help myself. I feel this strange need to see the last and final picture of Carolina’s that people have been tagging me in. Neymar takes the phone away from me before I get a chance to do anything. “Do you?” He presses.

“Yes.” I nod and give him a reassuring smile. “I’m fine. Really. I’m just curious about what else she’s been posting.” He seems to consider his options for a few seconds, but I think he realizes there’s no winning this argument with me, so he just opens the next picture himself. This one is of Neymar and a way younger Davi, probably not even two years old at the time, resting their heads of Carolina’s lap. She has her arms wrapped around the both of them, with a grin on her face.

Perfect little family.” I read the caption out loud.

“Jesus.” Neymar rolls his eyes and grabs my phone again, so he can see the picture better. “Did she decide to go through her old pictures and post them all online today?”

“No, just the ones you’re in, apparently.”

At first, I didn’t really think much of the pictures. I just found it strange that she felt the need to broadcast her jealousy for the world to see and that she would stoop to the lever of purposely trying to get to me, when I obviously wouldn’t let her. But seeing the picture of their perfect little family was starting to take its toll on me, as I couldn’t help but think about how postcard happy they looked together. It shouldn’t even be surprising, though. Of course they’d look happy together, as a family, because that’s what they are. She is the mother of his child. I have nothing on that.

“I knew this wasn’t a good idea.” Neymar snaps me out of my thoughts, throwing my phone on the opposite side of the couch.

“I’m just starting to realize that it wasn’t.” I’m on the verge of bursting into tears, when he frowns at me for a brief second and places both his hands on my shoulder, looking straight into my cloudy eyes.

“I was talking about looking at these pictures.” Tears start streaming down my face and his expression softens. “None of it is real, Y/N. Those pictures, the captions, everything – it’s just her trying to get to you. I don’t know if she honestly believes any of it, but I’m telling you what she and I had was never like that.”

“She is Davi’s mother.” Is the only argument I manage to get out in between sobs.

“And I will always love and respect her as that, but that’s the only true thing about those pictures.” I stare at him questioningly. “We never went on dates or had whatever grand romance she’s trying to make it seem like. We were friends. We had a one night stand and now we’re still friends, who happen to have a son together.”

“Who happen to have a son?’ I force a chuckle. “You sound like you’re talking about a sack of potatoes, not a child.”

“You don’t get it, do you?” I shake my head, wiping the tears off my cheeks with the back of my hand. “She doesn’t matter. None of that matters.” He gestures towards my phone. “I do love her as the mother of my son, but I’m not in love with her. I’m in love with you. You’re the only thing that does matter to me right now. I thought you already knew that.”

“I did.” I rub my eyes for a second, trying to get rid of all the tears that have been threatening to spill this entire time. “I do.”

“She can be jealous all she wants, but I promise that you have nothing to be jealous about.” Neymar tucks a piece of hair behind my ears and caresses my check, as I lean into his hand. “I love you.”

“I know.” I smile, finally letting go of my irrational thoughts. “I love you, too.”

Outlander author Diana Gabaldon took a break from working on the ninth novel in the wildly popular historical fiction series and stopped by EW PopFest on Sunday, where she spoke to EW’s Lynette Rice (who wore a fantastic Outlander cloak!) and answered fan questions about all things Claire and Jamie. Read on for our eight best takeaways from the lively Q&A.

How she got started

Gabaldon says she’s known since she was eight years old that she was a writer: “Eight was about the age age I was when I realized that people actually produced books, they didn’t just spring out of the library shelves.” But she certainly didn’t begin Outlander thinking it would become a literary (and television) phenomenon.

“I wrote the first book for practice; I wasn’t going to show it to anyone,” she said. But after having an argument with a man about what it feels like to be pregnant, she shared a piece she had written describing the feeling in detail. When people encouraged her to expand upon it — “this is like heroin to a writer, to have people actually want to read what you write” — she shared her work, piece by piece. “I discovered that, given the indescribable nature of what I write, the only way to sell it is to give people free samples.”

How she comes up with her titles

Gabaldon is not yet allowed to share the full title of an upcoming collection of Outlander-related novellas she’s working on, but she did reveal that the title includes the word “seven,” for the seven stories within. (She wanted to call the collection Salmagundi, which is the name of an 18th-century dish meaning, appropriately, a collection of disparate elements, but alas, this was rejected by her editor.) The next novel in the Outlander series will be called Go Tell the Bees that I Am Gone, which comes from Celtic folklore. “Bees are very social insects, and they’re very interested in the comings and goings of the community,” she explains. “You want to always keep your bees informed.”

While she can just peruse a Welsh phone book (and has) to come up with new character names, book titles don’t come as easily. With the exception of Voyager, which Gabaldon says came to her quite naturally, coming up with her poetic book titles “is like pulling teeth.” She described her process as akin to polishing rocks: “When the book has reached a significant mass [and] I begin to see what it’s about, what are the elements, then I pick some evocative words that kind of have to do with those things and I sort of throw them in my rock polisher and try them out in different permutations,” she says. “Eventually things come out, and it falls into a rhythm.”

Engaging with her fans

Considering that her origins as a writer were based on interacting with her readers, Gabaldon finds it quite natural to be as engaged with her fans as she is. One fan wrote her that they had read the whole series 23 times; another gave her a Polaroid of an Outlandertattoo on her foot.

When she first met with the TV show’s Claire and Jamie, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, after a fan event, she assured them, “the people who read the books are intelligent, compassionate, civil, educated — great fans. I’d never been stalked, never had a bad fan experience. And I think that is because people with mental derangements don’t have the attention span to read [a book].” She followed up with a warning, however: “But on the other hand, anyone can watch TV, so when the show goes live, start looking over your shoulder.”

Her Outlander doppelgänger

Gabaldon has been quoted as saying that writers have no secrets, and “if you want to know anything about me, read my books — it’s all there.” Rice followed up the quote with the question that this naturally raises: Does that mean Gabaldon is a fantastic lover? Without missing a beat, the author replied, “I’ve been married for 44 years and I haven’t heard any complaints yet.”

As far as writing herself into her books, however, Gabaldon says her closest doppelgänger in the novels is Jamie — “He is what I would be if I were an 18th-century male.” Though she took evident pleasure in recounting a meeting with some fans, where they began discussing the loathsome Black Jack Randall. “I’m sitting there listening to this and sipping my tea and thinking, ‘you have no idea you’re talking to Black Jack Randall right now.’”

What she thinks of the TV series’ Claire

Outlander readers are fiercely protective of the novels in the transition to the small screen, and the Starz series’ portrayal of heroine Claire (played by Caitriona Balfe) has attracted more criticism than Sam Heughan’s Jamie. Many fans have told Gabaldon that the series seems to lack Claire’s sense of humor, which Gabaldon attributes to the series’ lack of first-person perspective. “Caitriona’s a great actress, but there’s only so much she can do with her face,” Gabaldon says. “You can’t film in somebody’s head.” Gabaldon isn’t too concerned about this difference between the two Claires, however: “Mostly, it doesn’t bother people. For those it does, well, they can just go read the book again. No problem.”

Why John Grey fell in love with Jamie

Lord John Grey, whom Gabaldon describes as “a seething mass of repression,” was such a compelling element in the Outlander books that he merited his own related series of novels. Thinking about how to navigate Jamie’s imprisonment in Voyager, Gabaldon decided to bring back the character from Dragonfly in Amber because she thought Grey’s hatred of Jamie but obligation to protect him would make for interesting conflict. Then she just upped the ante. “I said, ‘okay, this is going to cause him a lot of conflict.’ So I was thinking, ‘what if there was a lot of conflict?’” she recalls. “Not only does he hate him and want to kill him, but he’s also physically deeply attracted to him — which is also something he can’t act on.”

How she deals with writer’s block

“Anything I see, think, hear, smell, any writer will pick up ideas like that,” Gabaldon says of her process — though she isn’t immune to writer’s block. “When that happens, When that happens, I will usually go to my reference collection and flip through the historical references just for something interesting that I can use as a kernel,” which might be anything she can sense concretely. “Once I have one, I will write a couple of sentences describing it, and then take words out, put them back, move things around. And meanwhile, in the back of my mind is kicking up questions: What time of day is it? How is the light falling? Is the room warm? No it’s not, my nose is cold and so are my fingers. Get my fingers warm, there’s a fire. Where’s the fire? It’s over there. There’s a dog by the fire. I’ve never seen him before — like that.”

The real Dunbonnet

One of the fans pointed out that Dunbonnet, which is a name that Jamie was called when he hid out in a cave in Voyager was a real figure. “I was at the time reading a lot of Scottish history, folklore, etc., etc., and I came across this mention of the Dunbonnet who had escaped from Culloden and had hidden on his own land in a cave for seven years,” Gabaldon says. While she knew that the figure had been real, she didn’t even realize at the time how perfectly he fit into Outlander, however: “Some time later, long after Voyager was published, I came across the Dunbonnet in another reference, and it gave an expanded version, and it told me the Dunbonnet’s name — which was James Fraser.”

Outlander book series to end with 10th novel

There’s a moment in the very beginning of the series when Frank, standing outside the inn where he and Claire are staying, sees Jamie watching Claire through the window. The mysterious occurrence has never been explained, and one of the fans at the PopFest panel asked the author directly whether the next book in the series, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, would finally solve the mystery.

“It’ll be the very last thing in the last book, which I think is probably book 10,” Gabaldon replied. Check out the video above to hear it from the author herself.

So the good news, Outlander fans, is that you will eventually learn how that happened! The bad news — it might be awhile.