Three days in Paris 

Just settled in to her new home, or home for at least the next 45 days, she collapsed onto her small bed. The wooden frame creaked and moaned as she adjusted herself, face to the sunshine. Three flights and a rental negotiating arbitrated by broken French and likely way too many euros, she was finally able to exhale into the present moment. Running her fingers across the delicate white quilt which covered the small mattress, she closed her eyes and craned her neck upwards as if straining for the light. And promptly, as if on cue, as soon as she took her next breath she began to cry. Sadness had followed her from the Pacific and across the Atlantic despite her best efforts to leave it in storage. The tears that flowed began to pool in her ears and would eventually find themselves creating a small damp outline on the powdery pink sheets. It was not how she imagine her first moments in Paris, there was no baguette, no wine, no Eiffle tower or handsome French suitor. There was only her and the pieces of her brokenness collected from the break up, the rape, the loneliness, and the lack of healing time had not sufficiently cauterized.

I closed my eyes yesterday and I saw her there on that bed, me on that bed. All alone with nothing but the infection of my splinted wounds. Was it a work of fiction to write her/my story? After all, it has yet to happen. Nor may it ever. But each time I closed my eyes and took a breath in, I could feel the knots in the quilted comforter, smell the old cedar and the light from the sunshine flooding the room. The light…it was clear, however not the warmth.

I haven’t left the bed yet. In my Parisian fantasy. It’s been two days and all I’ve done is cry and ache. Even through the night…

In the same clothes she wore when she arrived, her head turned towards a knock at the door. “Bonjour, Madame!” The voice felt like a large ice bath and she froze on the bed unsure as to whether or not she should speak or feign being asleep. She heard the footsteps walk away from the door and slowly she rose from the bed and walked over to the door removing her clothes along the way. Naked as she came, she received the plate of fruit and from her guardian angel. Plucking a handful of grapes from the vine, standing she slid the tray of food across the threshold with her toe and latched the door again.

Exhausted from such a display of social niceties, she retired to bed never minding that the sun was high and she had been hibernating for three days already. She threw her naked body across the bed and allowed herself to feel the warmth of the sun on her skin as a blanket. Immediately she thought of him and his hands wrapped around her as he pulled her lungs to his heartbeat. The rhythm of their song was unrecoverable, and she hates herself for failing to remember that prior to the craving. “Stupid Girl.” She said out loud to every crevasse of her being.

And then she rolled over and allowed herself to lay down to rest. Wondering if she would see anymore of Paris besides the walls of this bedroom. “Eventually,” she comforted herself. Then she closed her eyes and cried herself to sleep.

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