Last friday in Paris before I return back to Bangalore.
My checklist for things to do in Paris before I leave
3. Drink Champagne at Seine side restaurant @night. check ✓
2. Visit Eiffel tower and shout your lungs out. check ✓
1. Pose with Monalisa @Lourve. check ✓
0. Ask Amelia out for dinner!!
Its today or never.
The golden eyed mystery has been on my mind ever since I landed here. Forty five days since I’ve know her and day after tomorrow I am leaving! Come on, there she is. Go talk to her. Ask her out. Today or never.
Aj was never so nervous. Amelia is the honey haired girl with matching eye color. In the group of 15 people working together, Amelia is go-to girl. The chirpy troubleshooter who hijacked Aj’s heart the moment he saw her. He worked smart. He worked hard. He impressed his peers and his superiors, but he had no clue about Amelia. He knew absolutely nothing about THE girl.
First there is this language barrier. Next, he never got the alone time with her. Not even a second. Always there are couple of suits clutching papers and jibbering on and on in flowing French. And everytime she speaks, Aj’s heart flutters little more.
Today or never.
Perfect. Suits just left her. She looks gorgeous in violet which brings up the lovely color of eyes. I can do this. Am I walking through the pool of water or did my legs turn lead? Why is it so hard?
“Hi.”, Ohh boy! I sounded awkward. Didn’t I?
“Hello Aj.”. Dont panic. Aj. Don’t panic.
“Allez-vous (Will you)”, what’s the word I’m looking for. Ahhh! Screw it, “Join moi. For le café?”.
Café? Coffee? Ok, now PANIC.
“Now?”, she looked at her watch and replied “Late for café. Dîner?”.
I did it. I asked Amelia for dinner. Ok, she asked me for dinner. Works for me.
15 minutes later, we reached ‘HD diner’, opposite to Starbucks on Square Sainte Croix. Amelia is speaking with the lady at the door and I couldn’t take my eyes off her.
Don’t focus on her. Look at something else. Look at the people in green Starbucks. There she is, her reflection on the window. Look at the toy store with a giant Rubik’s cube. Yup, she is a puzzle.
“Aj, we go?“, she took my hand and led inside. Warmth is welcoming. Live Jazz. Mouth watering aroma. Dazzling lady. Troika perfecto!
The maitre-de ushered us to a table by the window. Thus began the heavenly time for me. She told about her family, college and friends in broken English and I replied in kind with more brutalized French. I don’t know what she ordered but I will remember ever syllable she spoke. Words took minutes. Minutes ran into hours. Hours spent listening to her and her eyes. Time flew while I was frozen in the present. I was walking beside her with her left hand locked with my right. Our steps tapping over the grey cobblestone path. Someone told me ‘Paris looks the best at night’. I don’t know about that but with Amelia beside me everything is exotic! We are walking via Rue de Rivoli when she told about her first boyfriend, Marc. A quintessential French neo-artist. She showed me the Tower of Saint Jacques at Rue Nicolas Flamel. Nicolas Flamel, a street in the heart of Paris, not the Alchemist from Harry Potter. Next, she told about her passion for drama when are in front of the majestic ‘Théâtre de la Ville’. She is telling the story behind Fontaine du Palmier and suddenly started to act a part of a French play which she has done as a kid. Right in the middle of crowd! She was spectacular. Her melodious voice singing few silken lines. I did not understand a single word but it is beautiful. My eyes never left her. We resumed our walk towards the Seine via Pont du Change.
What should I admire? The beauty of inlaid stone pathway in wave pattern or the dimple on her left cheek. Both glistening in the yellow hue of street lamp. That’s an easy one. Design of God trumps the design of man. Leaning over the white railing and looking at the moon and and its reflection on the rippling lifeline of Paris was magical. I told my story while looking for the Eiffel. My college crush, traffic in Bangalore, my German Shepherd Tyler and my love of long rides. We hailed a cab and my babble to make an impression continued. Finally the moment I dreaded has arrived.The Good Bye.
A yellow door crammed between an antique bookstore and a dress store opened to a steep staircase leading to she studio. She unlocked the door, turned back to me and said “Au revoir”. Should I kiss her or just regular peck or simply goodbye and begone forever? I never thought this far ahead! She is playing with her keys. Oh! Thank you Will Smith. I leaned in boldly and got the permission to proceed when she lowered her eyelids close. She is heavenly nectar. And I’m gonna live forever.
“Goodbye Amelia. I will miss you. And I will remember you. Adiue golden gal.”.
I am back on the roads of Paris, walking in the cool breeze with my hands tucked in my coat pocket. Standing over one the numerous bridges built over Seine, I saw the Eiffel at a distance glittering magnificently and only one thing is in my mind. The second phrase I ever learnt in French…..
Je t’aime Paris.