Oh Paris, how you break me, let me count the ways in which you make me suffer, as you do.
I knew I had a bad feeling about Paris. The usual glee I feel, when I know a trip to the city of lights is booked, was simply absent & a low hum of dread was ever present, bubbling away beneath the surface. There I was, sat in the airport departure lounge, a little misty eyed, although, perhaps, quite thankfully in the end, for only good reasons. Or perhaps just the usual ones.
Less than three days, filled with tears & rain, stress & anxiety, with little breaks of optimism & perhaps, a little stirring of the heart. I felt oddly heartbroken to be leaving. Alas, is it not always the way, as soon as you have accepted a situation, it suddenly & finally changes. So eager was I to leave for Berlin, I found myself unable to relax & enjoy myself. Every car I booked, every flight, all ended in drama & lack of success.
Finally, I let go, I lived a little, I accepted my anchorage in Paris, I even opened my heart a little, to the city, to Him & then, as if without warning, I was off, to Stockholm, of all places, in an exaggerated detour to get to Berlin. One final ride through the streets on the back of his scooter & I was off. Teary eyed, standing in the check-in queue, wishing I had done more, wishing I had more time.
Paris certainly has an ability to feed your romantic notions, even in dismal conditions. I can't say I strolled happily through the Tuileries, or stopped to glare up into the metal work of the Eiffel Tower & I didn't collapse with exhaustion, having climbed a mountain of stairs to reach the Sacré Cœur, but I did do a lot of people watching, albeit often through tear-filled eyes of loneliness & disappointment.
Thankfully, like a little ray of sun, breaking through the clouds, I did manage to connect with some interesting new people, new people who took me to hipster vegan eateries & informed me that Topshop had opened up in town. New people who fed my desire to stay & who ultimately made me sad to leave.
Then, just as my time in Paris was coming to an end, I realised, quite disastrously, that I'd fallen, quite hopelessly, in lust with Him, the unavailable brown-eyed, bearded, skinny jean wearing Parisian friend. Could this be any worse timing, or a fateful encounter, I've yet to decide. All I know is, having finally reached Berlin, my mind couldn't be more in Paris.
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