It was not a life-altering realisation. It was simply a passing thought I had as I was waiting for Louis, my Parisian boyfriend, on the corner of Rue Saint-Benoit: I was happy.
Somewhere along the way everything all the issues that were on my mind, the electricity account, the bank account, it all got sorted out. The sky was clear blue without a cloud in sight. The only thing ahead was romantic dates with Louis, nights out with my dance crew and intensive rehearsals for our upcoming performance. But even rehearsals while exhausting, where immensely fun.
The only thing that was slightly bothering me was the fact that I’d began to lose touch with the other Greeks. They still messaged me every now and then to meet up, but there was always something else going on. I was convinced that at this point they thought I was making up excuses not to go out with them. But, I really wasn’t, there was just always something…seeing Louis across the street I lost my trail of thought. He was just so handsome. It wasn’t a term I used lightly, and when I did, it meant I had it bad.
Louis greeted me with his usual “Bonsoir” and peck on the cheek. I wasn’t sure if he was doing it ironically, or if he was really that decorative. Either way, I liked it. We walked over to Café de Flore for a late afternoon treat. Louis seemed to be on a mission to get me to experience all of Paris’s finest gastronomy spots. Either that or he was on a mission to get me to gain ten pounds. Still, I felt it would be a sin not to try their delicious chocolat chaud or their mouth-watering éclairs. And it would be an even greater sin to devour them while fretting over calories. Some things are just worth it.
As I indulged myself, I told Louis all about my day at the School, the 10-hours of non-stop rehearsals, the girl who slipped and almost twisted her ankle, my messing around with the piano during break-time only to discover I was actually quite good at it.
“I think I’m going to change my major. I’m going to become a professional pianist.” I concluded.
“Excellent. And with your show coming soon, it is the perfect time to change your career path.”
“I know right.” He patted me playfully on the head and proceeded to tell me all about his day when someone tapped me on the shoulder.
“Alex Hi! I didn’t see you, did you just come in?”
“No, I’ve actually been sitting two tables down. I thought you saw me, but I guess not. How are you?” I noticed how he had emphasised the word “guess”. I also noted that he sounded a bit off.
“I’ve been great. Just super busy with rehearsals and all. But I guess I don’t need to tell you. I’ve barely seen you around the school. Have they been driving you crazy too?”
“Yeah, pretty much. Every day, all day. Listen, why don’t you join us for lunch tomorrow during break-time? The others work nearby and we usually meet up for an hour or so.”
“Oh, I would love to, it’s just that…well. we don’t really have fixed break times. I don’t know what time I’d be free.”
“Oh, I see. Well, what about this weekend? We are all going down to Montmartre.”
“This weekend? “ I bit my lip. “Well, I actually made plans with…” I nodded towards Louis.
“It’s no problem. Plans can be cancelled. If you want to go to Montmartre.” Louis jumped in.
“Really? Are you sure you don’t mind? In that case, I will be free to join you this weekend.”
“Excellent”, Alex said. “The others will be glad to see you.” Although he was smiling while he said it, his voice sounded a bit cold. I wondered if I was imagining things. “I’ll see you then.”
I watched Alex walk out the café and turned to Louis.
“Thanks for that.”
“Your friend, he is not very happy with you, eh?”
“You noticed that too, huh? I guess it’s my fault. I’ve sort of been blowing them off. But I really didn’t mean to. Are you sure you don’t mind about this weekend, though? We had plans to go to Versailles and the open-air cinema.
“Like I said, plans can change. But you can still go to Montmartre on the one day, and then go with me to Versailles, non?”
“Yes”, I smiled. It was a perfect plan. As we finished off our delicious éclairs, I rubbed some chocolate off Louis’s cheek before kissing him. And just like that, the sky was clear blue again.
by Elena S.