She sits lazily on the soft cushioned couch.
She got the best room at a hotel near Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. At eighth floor up, the red bricked rooftops of the nearby cafes, hotels, and residences are a sight to behold, dotted with the blacks and marbles rooftops of other commercial establishments; a vista that tells of Paris’ beauty.
Earlier, the room service brought her dinner and red wine to dispose off of the night while waiting for him. She sits lazily now, wine at hand, thinking it through as elongated shadows are cast by the setting sun beyond. Her mind wanders off into the previous days in Paris, at the La Louvre where he introduced her to the century’s talked about art, crafted by a renaissance master never explaining what and why he did what he did. It’s an art that left visitors puzzled, although art experts explained that when they are visiting, they have to look and not see.
La Joconde. The Mona Lisa.
She held her breath, finally looking at her. And she did what others did after looking at her. “What is she smiling about?” she asked.
She looked back to that visit at the Palace of Versailles. Her mind painted a thousand thoughts at once, writing lines and stories at such a speed that when they returned to the hotel, she started writing chapter one of her novel.
At the Palace, she was reminded of how this place once held the political power in France, when Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette used to held parties and functions at this citadel’s very halls with all the extravagance of their clothing while the whole of France is living in crumbs and humble piety. She thought of making this place as the centre of her setting in the novel she’s writing.
Two days ago, they went to see Gustave’s crown jewel, the Eiffel Tower. Gustave Eiffel built the tower in 1889 and has become Paris’ icon to date. She remembers how the day was blissful and sunny and how the cold Parisian air blew her hat off and they chased it until they both stumbled on the ground. She remembers looking into his eyes and hold it like that. She’s sure he saw how happy she was for his presence. And she remembers that kiss, his mouth tracing hers in that warm embrace.
She opens her eyes and she’s back to their hotel, wine at hand. She opens her eyes and she see Paris engulfed in thousand dancing lights. The air brushes cold on her skin and a single tear escapes her eyes and with that comes a thousand buried feelings bursting at a rapid succession. The previous days have been magical and thrilling and treacherous and exciting at the same time. But it has also got her questioning if all these are real, if she’s genuinely happy, if she deserve this guy who swept her off of her feet when she was weeping and a grieving damsel. Was his coming the rescue she deserves or was it just too good to be true?
She was sobbing hard now. A woman’s heart is an ocean of deep secrets, she was told. But it also holds emotions untold. She wipes the tears that wouldn’t stop rolling down. The elevator’s double doors slide open.
Someone calls for her in the living room.
She finally looks okay.
She’s feeling jitters.
She smiles back.
He drops to his knees.
She covers her mouth.
Shock takes over.
He extends his arms.
He opens a small posh box.
A ring glistens inside.
“Will you marry me?”
She looks at him.
She did not respond.
Even the sweetest and brightest city in the world can’t save her now.