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Love is Home.

Lukewarm coffee rushes down my throat as I take my last gulp from the familiar white mug, and I look up at the busy street ahead of me. The usual scene plays: a bicyclist glides by, a woman and her twin poodle parade down the sidewalk, and a group of tourists (backpacks, fanny packs, and crying children in tow) eagerly scuttle behind a tour guide, snapping a few frantic pictures before the tour guide leads them on. Cars zip by, going at a surprisingly fast speed for little hybrids. My eyes are drawn to the honeymooners who are standing at the crosswalk in the middle of the street looking at each other, oblivious to the cars rushing by and the green light above their heads. She wraps her arms around his neck and he encircles her with his arms and lifts her feet just slightly off the ground as they share a kiss. Tourists snap pictures. Some passersby let out satisfied sighs. My wrinkled hands set the white mug down on the table. I take a deep breath and look out the other window of the warm little café to see a miniature Eiffel Tower sitting on the tops of neatly groomed trees. Most people regard Paris as the City of Love, but my endearment for this charming place is the City I Love.

I look back at the honeymooners. Most of us Parisians (I like to call myself a Parisian even though I am American-born. You would too if you were me.) see these kind of couples quite often, but this one couple really plucks my heartstrings. I close my eyes and envision a couple, a girl with a bright smile and a sparkle in her eye and a boy with the whole world for his taking and love in his heart, swinging their legs over the edge of the Seine. This vision is nothing new in my imagination. For so long, I wanted that moment; I wanted a boy who put the sparkle in my eye. I remember telling everyone I knew that I would move here someday if I didn’t get married, and I remember hearing that small desperate voice ring through my head every time I said that, crying out quietly that it didn’t want to go alone.

I get up slowly from my table for one and smooth my skirt before I slip my money to the young coffee boy, who smiles at me with the same pity that he does every morning when I leave. Some days I wish I could tell him I’m not sad. I love my life now, and I have God and my precious puppy Monet to keep me company. I wish I could tell him everything I have learned about life. Even though every day was an adventure and I wouldn’t change those days for the world, I wish I had opened up my heart enough to let someone in to share my adventures with, because it really doesn’t matter where you go, it matters who you share it with. As much as it sounds cliché, it really is true. Home is truly where the heart is. I never gave my heart to anybody, and I have regrets about that. I wish I could share my last adventures with somebody who feels like home. To me, that’s what love is--home.





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