I remember the first time we met. You were very cold and it looked like you were trying really hard to not let me come close to you. The days were filled with grey but I found colour in your many hiding places that held some of the most breath-taking art, created by people who fell just as madly in love with you as I did a few days later. When I walked, the street was lit by thousands of small blinking lights and I saw the first snowflakes dance in the rhythm of your heartbeat. I was already so deep into it, I knew this love would be forever.
It was short and full of magic but I instantly knew we would meet again soon. Years have passed and the days when I haven’t thought of visiting you again have been very rare. I wanted to see you in a different light, caressed by sunshine and surrounded by greenery. I wanted to show my first love just what on earth I was talking about. It was just like the movies, you provided the film set and we created all the emotions. It was like time has stopped and there was just our little triangle of passion and lust.
I kept looking up, up to your grey rooftops and little balconies full of flower pots. You made me daydream. Walking down the narrow streets, crowded by your inhabitants that were always running late for something, I couldn’t help myself but try to peek inside one of those from floor to ceiling windows. I wondered what it is to call you home, to pick up the mail every morning and head to the nearest patisserie for a fresh-from-the-oven baguette. I wondered what it is like not to have any time limits and go to bed every night with only one thought in my mind: “Goodnight, my dear Paris.”
That same thought has frightened me a little bit. I felt if I really ever called you home, you would stop with the magic. You would become taken for granted and those little streets full of charm that I walked every day on Montmartre would become just regular streets and morning rituals of coffee and croissants would become just regular breakfasts, so I decided that we should keep this as an ongoing love affair.
I kept coming for those short moments of butterflies in my stomach, I came for long walks down the Seine, picnics in Champ de Mars, for your delicious omelettes with bloody red wine. Each time I created a new memory – you introduced me to the world of Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, took me to some of the most vivid places I ever visited and made every single detail, even if the most ordinary in most people’s eyes, the most extraordinary and special. Musicians playing love tunes on street corners, flowers blossoming in luxurious parks throughout the city, this wasn’t just a movie set, it was a real life romance.
It was time to drink it in on my own. We had scheduled 8 days, just the two of us. You introduced me to some of your habitants and created bonds, that still after all these years, are going strong. We spend hours on end together, both in silence and talking to each other. You started questioning me and made me reconsider my beliefs. You reached so deep in my core that I had no reason anymore to resist your charm. It was inevitable. It was time to stop denying our love for each other and to finally let the world know: we were meant for each other!
I think it was one of the easiest things I ever had to do – booking that one way ticket. The happiness blinded all the insecurities and anxiety. You have been so kind to me since my arrival and everything felt right when I finally crawled into my bed and wished you goodnight. It was the best feeling in the world and I felt whole. Waking up with you is always so exciting; what will we do today, where will you take me, who will you introduce me to?
We found our favorite spots, the kind where no matter how many tourists passed by, we still felt like it’s just the two of us. Every single street corner, every metro stop and newsstand made me feel like I’m walking through parallel reality. Like I’m living someone else’s life, a life of an artist. I had my “Midnight in Paris” way before it was put on the screen. It was a bond like I never had before and even though you sometimes made me feel lost or alone, you always knew how to pick me up, to put a smile back on my face.
I cannot count all the lovely moments I had with people I randomly met or with those who can now call my friends. Countless picnics by the river, under the tower and just about every meadow you call park. Some crazy parties and celebrations too. I will never forget the night you lit up the Eiffel Tower with thousands of lights from colorful fireworks while teeming masses danced the night away. Or when we turned your picturesque streets into one ongoing party. But it wasn’t just music and sleepless nights. You took behind the secret walls where fashion stories were created. You showed me what it is to work in a big girl’s world and be a part of the world I once only dreamed about. You gave me more than I ever wished for, without really taking anything in return.
However, I knew this one way relationship could not last forever. Neither of us wanted to let go, but we had no other choice. I knew days spent on the green little chairs in Tuileries were counted for me. It was a long and painful goodbye. I remember walking on sidewalks covered with autumn leafs for hours and hours, trying to sink in the last bits of your essence. We quietly parted because deep down we both knew I won’t be able to keep away from you for too long. On the night I packed my suitcase and headed to the bus stop you held on to me so hard it almost made me cry. I knew if I don’t leave right away, this wouldn’t end in happily ever after. You kept me there for a while and then finally let go. It was bitter but I knew it was the right thing to do. I couldn’t hold it against you, it was such a fulfilling experience for both of us. And before we know it we’ll be sipping champagne together again.
Of course I couldn’t keep away, we had too many memories together. Even though I had a completely different life, there was still that short fling that made me remember all the good times. We had just 4 hours together but in that short time you managed to light all the passion and all the beauty back in me. You got me back in your trap. It was one of those hot summer days, where everything just came together and created one more perfect memory to store in my mind and my bedroom wall.
Since that fling I only meet with you once. You were just as cold as the first time we met. There was nothing personal, just business. For the both of us. I did my own thing and you did yours. We didn’t have time for long walks down the Seine and lusting on macaroons from Laduree. It passed by so quickly I barely even remember it now. And so I decided. I decided to get over you. Now I know that summer will never repeat again and it was a one-time thing. A summer romance like no other, a life story that I’ll keep in my heart forever and pass it down with all the lessons that you’ve thought me. I’m eternally grateful for that and even though our love has faded since then I’ll come over and over again just to keep that memory alive.