love being different
10 Days in Paris
It was early in the morning. The sun was just barely peeking above the buildings, and we were standing outside Matilde’s apartment building. The driver of the airport shuttle was putting my suitcases into the van.
“Well, I am leaving my heart in Paris,” I said to Matilde and Jacques.
“I’m glad you said that! Because I have something for you,” Matilde said, taking out her phone. She looked at the screen for a while. Then my phone beeped. I frowned and took it out of my pocket. She had sent me a photo of a padlock on a bridge. Someone had written ‘Vicky + Paris’ on it.
“Do you recognize the bridge?” Jacques asked. “We passed it after we heard mass at Notre Dame.”
“I remember,” I said. It was the bridge that lovers had been attaching padlocks to and then throwing the keys into the Seine. Based on a movie, the romantic notion was that their love would last for as long as the padlock was attached to the bridge. Little did most tourists know, the locks were taken down by the city government every once in a while, making space for more.
“I thought you said putting a lock on the bridge was useless? And that it was not a symbol of love, and that it made the city ugly, and that it was silly?” I asked Matilde, teasingly.
“Oh, it is. But I figured, this picture would last forever. And it gives you a reason to come back. To see if your padlock is still there,” she said.
I gave her a long hug.
“I should go,” I said. Then I gave Jacques a hug too.
“Au revoir, Vicky,” he said. “I hope to see you here again soon.”
I moved to get into the van, and I looked at my phone and the photo again. Then I looked at them both. “I’ll be back to continue this,” I said.
“Continue what?” Matilde asked.
I smiled at her. “My love affair with Paris.”