Friday, October 7, 2011

A Parisian Romance


New Year's Eve

After leaving the opera house and some time getting lost, I eventually found myself sitting on a park bench in the Place de la Concorde with the Eiffel Tower not too far away and the big ferris wheel directly to my left. I decided the ferris wheel would be an ideal place to situate myself in order to take photos of sunset. So I pulled out my journal and settled down to write down my thoughts and experiences and just relax.

I don't know when exactly I noticed him... but when I saw the same guy pass by me a second time I took a better look. Attractive. Very well dressed. Biting his lip. And trying to not look at me. I asked myself, is this poor guy trying to get up the courage to come talk to me? I smiled when he passed by a third time.

His name was Jamel.

We sat and talked in the park for a good hour, the conversation weaving in and out and taking on a life of its own. He got his PhD in physics here in the states and then taught in England for several years before moving back to Paris, so he spoke very good English. And he was completely charmed by my accent. (I had an accent! *squee*) We talked about what I was doing in Paris, and the places we've visited in our various travels.

After a while, when the temperature began to drop, Jamel asked if I wanted to go get some coffee in order to get out of the cold. Since I figured an experience like this one took precedence over sunset I said yes. He offered me his arm, and we walked through to the other side of the park and wandered in and out of cafes until we found one that we liked.

We laughed as I tried to read the menu and Jamel taught me how to properly pronounce café au lait when I decided that is what I wanted to drink.

Our conversation this entire time never stopped. It was intoxicating. We lost track of the time as we were so intent on each other.

But it was New Year's Eve. And Jamel had somewhere to be that was about an hour south of Paris. We thought about either me joining him or him canceling on them, but neither would really work out all that well. So we walked back to the Concorde, with the intent of saying goodbye and going our separate ways. But then he pulled me toward him and we kissed with the lights of the Grande Roue sparkling above us.

We made tentative plans to meet again the next day, but alas, things just didn't work out that way for us. But we are staying in touch.

Maybe we'll see each other again the next time I am in Paris.

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