Russian woman and French man

City of Love

By Maria , Saint Petersburg, Russia

I went to Paris on excursion for a few days and would not even dream to meet a Parisian man there One thought to see the place of my dreams was making me happy. I was stoned and fascinated - Monte mare with its white stone cathedral, imposing Eiffel tower with breathtaking view of the city, Elysium fields and Louver. No words to describe it. But seeing is believing. Better let me tell you the story of my Paris romance…

There were 4 days to sightsee in Paris. Having spent 3 days with group excursions I decided to save one day for Paris and myself. In the afternoon I took a walk around looking for presents for my family. Later I came up to my room to refresh and have a glass of wonderful French rose wine. It was my moment to open and explore my Paris. I left hotel and went down Cliché Boulevard. It was Friday and lots of peoples were out. Everything was full of life and excitement. My heart was rejoicing and I was flying on the wings of delight. The reality was the same as I imagined from classic books-a lot of cozy small cafes aside the sunlit boulevards full of people. They are drinking coffee, wine and having nice talks, smiling to each other.

My eye caught the man who was following me. Keeping this distance we walked a few blocks and on the next street light he came up to me and started talking. Of course I couldn't’t understand his French but his intentions were clear. I pulled the dictionary from my purse and he realized that I’m a stranger. We went to the nice little café nearby for a cup of coffee. It felt so good just to sit there with him, looking at each other and smile.

Then he offered to show around and I pronounced only one word- Monte mare. We were walking on those beautiful streets trying to speak by gestures. I knew his name was Jan Pier, he was divorced and had a son. I said that I was also divorced, had a son and on my fingers I showed my age-25. He laughed.

On the escalator we went up the hill to take a look at Cathedral Secre-Cer, which in French means Cathedral of All the Hearts. It was amazing picture with lots of burning candles reflecting in gorgeous stained-glass windows. My new friend invited me for dinner that night. I tried to refuse gently but he said his friend was the owner of the little restaurant where we could just have light dinner and spent some time together. It was too early and I had no wish to be back to hotel so we walked down to that place. First he ordered aperitif (French people always have it before the meal) then pizza with a bottle of red wine. The dictionary was our translator. When he knew I was from Russia he got upset but mentioned he was already in love and it didn't’t matter where I was from. After dinner I asked him to walk with me to the hotel. We were going holding each other’s hand. He was trying to tell me something in that splendid French language of his. For me it was just a pleasure to listen to his French like music. From his gesture I understood he wanted me to look at some yard, he wanted to show me something Getting wrongly his intentions I ran out from that yard screaming who-knows-why in English “No! No!”

He got confused that I didn't’t understand him and said he was a gentleman. Finally we looked at each other and burst with laughter.

Meanwhile our trip to hotel finished. We stepped aside the road to make plans for another date. I had to go to ask my guide for assistance in French. She translated to me that my new friend wanted to see me the next day at Moulin Rouge at 2 p.m. The guide left and we stayed for quite a long time in that beautiful yard, kissing and melting from bliss. Then suddenly he stood up and left. And I couldn't’t fall asleep that night…

Next morning we went with excursion to Versailles. I was walking around the magnificent palace like in dreams almost not noticing anything. After the tour in the halls with pictures we went outside to the park. What a surprise! I was attracting some men attention! At home I got out of this way.

Around 2 o’clock we were back to Paris and I traveled down to Moulin Rouge. Bummer, my French man wasn't’t there. I heard before French people are not too punctual but started feel worried. Jan Pier appeared being late for 15 minutes. Pointing at my watch I showed him how I felt. He calmly explained rush hour, crowded subway as expected.

He walked me down the streets and I kept guessing where we were going. Soon I found out-to the perfume shop. He wanted me to choose something as a present from him. That was a pity to leave the shop; so many useful things for me were still left there

For lunch he made an order just for me. I was eating and he was looking at me. How romantic he was, touching gently my hair and whispering again and again three famous French words “Je te meu”. That evening I was leaving with group for Amsterdam so I decided to invite Jan Pier to come and see me in Saint Petersburg. He said it would be possible for him to make a trip in December. We walked around a little bit more and Jan Pier went to see me off at the bus-station. Our guide was there and I asked her to take a picture of us. She got to know that Jan Pier was a decorator at the café and it was his temporary job. She also promised him I’d study French. He promised to call me that I didn't’t really believe.

Can you imagine how surprised I was when I heard his voice on the phone later? At the beginning he was calling me almost every day. I was trying to write down his words to be translated later by my guide who became a good friend of mine. I learnt by heart some French phrases to be able to tell him. It’s amazing, but we really could understand each other. Our hearts were speaking, repeating “Je te meu, je te meu, je te meu”…. Then for 4 days there were no calls from him. I was worried, what if something happened to him.

But then he called my friend and asked to tell me his father passed away and he had to go take care of funeral. After that his calls were more and more rare. One day he called and said he had problems at work. His trip in December became impossible. He kept saying, “I’m here, you’re there”. That distance between us happened to be unreachable for him.

There is the end for everything. This short, indeed short romance being more like a fairy-tale came to its end too. I came back to my cold, old world. For long time I felt depressed. My memories about that romance were sweet and bitter. Time healed the wounds in soul and now there is only a bright memory of the City of Love.

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