Alone in Paris

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Chapter 1: Intro
I am alone in a small, dark room. The only source of light in the room comes from the projector that is behind me. I’m sitting in one of the two sofa chairs that are in the room. This is my dad’s movie room, and my heaven. My dad’s job is to review movies for his website, so he spends hours in this room watching movies. He reviews everything from the big summer blockbusters to independent films to foreign films. Foreign films used to include Italian films, Spanish films, French films, etc. We’re living in Paris, France now, so I guess the American films he reviews are technically foreign. Usually he watches these movies alone, but sometimes if the movie isn’t rated R he’ll let me watch them with him as long as I’m quiet. On rare occasions like right now he’ll let me watch one of my favorite movies on his projector, rather than watching them on tv. This was my favorite thing in the world. I would spend my entire life in this room if I could. It takes me away from the stress and sadness of real life.
My dad and I have always been fans of French culture which caused him to want to move to Paris. When I was a kid he used to take me here all the time. He would always show me classic French films from directors like Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut. I never understood them, but there was something beautiful about them that I loved. My favorite French film, which I’m watching right now, is La Vie En Rose. It’s my favorite because it stars Marion Cotillard, my favorite actress. My dad named me Marion after her. He always says he did that because she is a great actress, but I know it’s because he has a huge crush on her.

I wish he would have a crush on more girls. He hasn’t been on a date with anyone since him and my mom got divorced. The divorce was pretty rough on him. It was rough on me too, but I can’t have my dad worrying about me. He’s been through too much and he seems depressed a lot. I don’t see why he should be depressed. He got to move out here with me. I’m his best friend and he’s mine. We are always happy when we are together and I wouldn’t want to change my life at all.
Chapter 2: School

I feel like I’m going to throw up. I’m not sick, I’m just really nervous today. I stood at my bus stop with six other kids. No one was talking to each other because the first day of school is always nerve-wracking. All of these thoughts race through your head on the first day. Who am I going to sit next to on the bus? Who am I going to sit next to in lunch? Who’s going to be in my class? How are my teachers going to be? None of those kids know how I feel right now though. Today is my first day of school in a new country. I don’t know what it’s going to be like. What if they only have like those snail things for lunch? I feel like I’m going to cry. Tears almost fill my eye when the bus arrives. Everyone sits down next to their friends. I don’t have any friends here, so I pick the first 2-seater on the bus. A few of the kids on the bus are quietly talking to one another. Most are sitting quietly, nervously waiting to be brought to school like me. The bus driver is making his way to the next stop. He has this weird French music playing way too loud on the radio. I can’t understand a word in the song, but the beat is kind of nice. The bus stops suddenly and the girl in the 3-seater next to me flys into the seat in front of her. I would laugh, but I’m too nervous to. The bus driver opens the doors and lets the students from the next stop on to the bus. I watch each kid pass me and make their way to a seat except for one kid. He stops right at my 2-seater. “Can I sit next to you?’ he says. I look up at him. He is kind of chubby, he has messy black hair, and a dirty, thin mustache. However, he has the nicest smile, with perfect white teeth in his mouth. His eyes were bluer than the ocean and he looks like the nicest kid I’ve ever seen. “Sure.” I replied with a subtle smile. I pick up my backpack and put it on my lap, and slide over to the window seat. He sits down next to me and introduces himself. “My name is Pierre.” I introduce myself as well. “Hi, I’m Marion.” “Oh, like Marion Cottilard?” I am stunned that he knew who she was. “You know who she is? My dad named me after her.” That’s awesome! Marion is a really pretty name. And she’s a great actress.” I smile in response to this wonderful compliment he just gave me. Suddenly all of the butterflies I had in my stomach before were gone. I had made my first friend in Paris.
“You don’t look familiar. Are you a 6th grader?” asks Pierre. “No I’m an 8th grader. But I moved here from the United States which is probably why I don’t look familiar to you.” “You’re an 8th grader! So am I! Maybe we’ll have the same teacher or lunch period.” The bus reaches the school, and the bus driver opens the doors. I look at Pierre and smile, “Maybe.” We both stand up along with everyone else. A line is formed in the aisle of the bus and we all walk out single file.
Eventually I find my first class. I sit down and look around the room at the other 8th graders that occupy it. It’s a bunch of unfamiliar faces. Pierre is not in this class with me, but I had 3 more classes after this, and I also had lunch which he could possibly be in so I wasn’t too upset. I got those butterflies from before again, after he wasn’t in my 2nd or 3rd class.
3rd period comes and it is time for lunch. I sit at a table alone. I see other tables with plenty of seats available, but I’m too shy to go over and ask other people if I can sit with them. Lunch was an agonizing 30 minutes. Every second of it I spent staring at the lunchroom door, hoping Pierre would walk through and sit with me. By the time 4th period came around I had lost hope of him being in any of my classes. I take my seat in my 4th class. Watching every person as they walk through the door, hoping I would see my friend from earlier in the day. As I hear the bell ring that starts 4th period I am again disappointed, because Pierre is again nowhere to be found.
After school ended I went to the bus that was to take me home, and I was kind of excited. I won’t get to see Pierre throughout the day, but I’ll get to look forward to talking to him each day on the bus ride home. I sat back in my front seat, and waited for Pierre. I watched each person walk by as I listened to the loud French music the bus driver was playing. When I heard the bus driver start the bus I started to get worried. Then he started driving away. I wondered why Pierre didn’t show up on the bus that day. But then I figured maybe he was signed out of school, or he was staying after. I’ll ask him tomorrow on the way to school.
The second day of school arrived, and I was somewhat excited to be going to school. I sat in my usual seat; the same people were talking to each other. I again listened to the French music on the radio, and waited for the bus driver to reach Pierre’s stop. We get there and the same people walk onto the bus, except for Pierre. Maybe he missed the bus I though. I used to miss the bus all the time back in the US. This idea was squashed however when he didn’t come home on the bus either. He could have been sick. Several days passed by and Pierre did not get on or off the bus on any of them. Finally I built up courage and stopped one of the girls that gets on the bus from the same stop as Pierre. “Do you know where Pierre has been?” The girl has a puzzled look on her face. “Who is Pierre?” she says. “You know Pierre, the kind of chubby kid with the messy hair. He sat next to me on the first day of school.” She started laughing, “There was no one next to you. You sat alone.” The girl sits in her seat and begins laughing with her friend. My eyes began to water and I had a sharp pain in the back of my throat. We arrived at school, and I walked in with tears in my eyes. This was the worst day of my life.
Chapter 3: Outro

I came home that day, and decided to spend time with my real best friend. I went into my dad’s movie room and put on Georges Melies’ 1902 movie A Trip to the Moon. This is as classic as a French film can get. It was made over 100 years ago, yet it lives on and is watched by people still today. I think that is really cool. Movies do something that nothing else in the world can do, it takes something that isn’t real and makes it real. Some days I wish I could just live in a movie world for the rest of my life instead of the world we live in today. Reality is too real, so sometimes we need something imaginary to keep us sane.





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