It was him. He had dirty hair blond with green eyes like emeralds. His physique was almost exciting. It was like I was watching an angel except that it was too impure air to be one. Then I felt uneasy because I'm watching a complete stranger.
Saddened, I started picking at my strawberry jammed croissant watching the golden flakes fall like autumn leaves. That's just because I do not trust the cuisine here - I am terrified to think it is chicken when it is really snail. Stop thinking. Ew . Then it happened. In a moment of fractured time it hit me like a huge tidal wave. Not even a tidal wave: a tsunami crashed into me. He stands in front of me. I look at him with my mouth open. Why is he standing here? I'm a weird little thing. I am. And words - to me never seem to come in handy when I need them to. After a long awkward moment I suppose it appears there is movement, because he is the first to speak.
"Hey, I'm Etienne." Said the dark handsome stranger. It surprised me that he was the man I had a look with competition. I stay frozen, s***. Stop looking like an idiot and tell him your name I scream at me.
"Lana." I managed to squeak. Then all is calm, because it has the most beautiful smile on his face that puts nerves at ease.. Dont trust a man who looks better than you. I do not find myself ugly I just thought I had a kind of simplicity. That's all. S***. He’s still there. What do I do. "I'm sorry to watch" I say frankly. He laughed a laugh that makes me laugh. I already like his persona.
"It's fine," he said between laughter "I was about to say the same thing." Oh what a relief. I'm not the only one who seems to be a fool to watch a stranger as well.
"Yeah ... So- st. Ummm- Can I help yo-"
“Will you accompany me to the Musée d'Orsay? I have tickets and my friend bailed on me.” he says in a really good French accent “ And you seem to love art so why not?” He must’ve noticed my sketchbook and the little details I’ve been scribbling in on one particular tree. I have a problem with trees. Call me a tree lover or hugger. I don’t care. I love ‘em and everyone else should too. They give us oxygen for christs sake.
I think I must’ve blinked like 30 times because I’m still in disbelief. Here is a stranger, who could be a serial killer or a mobster, asking me to go to the museum with him. The right thing to do here is to say no, right? I have all authority to say no. But, it would be kinda rude because he obviously wants to go. Plus I only have approximately 48 hrs until I go home,and I have nothing better to do. Soo…
“ Yea. Why not?” I said with a smile. Please let this be the right thing I’m doing. Who am I kidding this is the right thing I’m doing. Plus it might be fun. Who knows maybe I might get to buy a painting. I need a new one anyway my living room is looking kinda dull.
It’s been at least 5 hours since my abrupt encounter with Etienne. I know this because the entire time in my hotel room I’ve been counting. I don't understand why I can’t wrap my mind around this. Why did I say yes . Maybe you were acting on instinct. Or maybe I.. I.. don’t know. I should get ready. Or should I not. What do I wear??
See this is the exact reason why I like going places by myself. I don’t have to worry about how I look, or if my hair is pretty, or if I smell good. It’s not like people sniff each other like dogs do.Well not the people I know. I’m over thinking things because this is not even a real date. It’s not a date period. SO I'M JUST GONNA WEAR JEANS. And a cute chiffon blouse. O.K
It's a quarter to seven and I’m waiting. I should eat something. The only thing I had today was my half eaten croissant. I don’t even think I bought anything to put in the kitchen. As I’m walking to the fridge the doors incom buzzes and my heart jumps to my throat. I should let it ring a second time. BUZZZZ!!!! BUZZZZ!!!!
“H-e-l-l-o” my fingers fumble with the answer button.
“Hey. Its me, Etienne. Are you ready?” he answers through the little box.
“ Yea. Come on up.” I buzz him in and run to my room. I stumble into the bathroom making sure my makeup isn’t smudged. Funny because a few seconds ago I was like : Haha this is not a date. I shouldn’t be getting all dolled up for a stranger who could be a mobster. Honestly, he strikes me as some undercover sniper. I don’t know why but I have an off gut feeling about this person. Are there even French mobsters? He’s not even French he’s Dutch. Well his name is Dutch. He might be Italian.
I return to the living room to find the unidentified nationality of a man on the nearby settee. He looks normal. He must’ve went through the same mind battle like me earlier because he’s also wearing jeans.
“ Hi.” I say finally and when he looks up he almost looks shocked to see me. “Hey.” he breaths, and then there's all silence. I rummaging through my head words to keep the conversation going. Until my brain decides “ You never actually told me what we’re doing. Is it a show casing?”
“ Um-er , yea. They’re debuting Gustav Klimt. They found some more work of his and they decided to do a showcase of them.” he says. My smile must stretch from ear to ear because I feel my face grow hot. Wow. How funny because that's my favorite painter.
“ Which one have they found?” I ask because I have been hunting down the painting Rosiers sous les arbres by him. There is no where in America that they have it.
“ I actually don’t know. But we need to hurry or we’ll be late.” He laughs. See the universe is telling me this will be an amazing night. I’m going to get to see my favorite artists work debut. Maybe they might make smaller copies and frame them. We leave my hotel room and outside is a little cold but not overbearing. We walk in silence down the cobblestone sidewalk, and the moons full. I happy that there’s not a lot of buildings here. Or else you wouldn't get to see the stars. Back home I don’t get to see them because I live in the city. A muffled noise breaks my train of thought. That's when I notice he’s talking.
“Wh- What did you say?” I ask ashamed that I wasn't paying attention.
“ I asked : What are you thinking about? Your face was made up to the point where your eyebrows knitted together. I was starting to think you were silent because I wasn’t talking.” He answers.
“ Um yea. No I was actually thinking about home.” I answer “ Back at home I don’t get to see the stars because I live in the city.”
“ Hmm. I’ve been meaning to ask you. What brings you to France?” he asks. That's when I remember I never told him why I was here. What do I say? How do I give information but not too much information.
“ Well I’m just here vacationing.” I say “I just decided one day that I wanted to go to France. Well... because... I don't know...love everything European.” The sounded weary. He seems amused. I wonder how he does it. Maybe it's just a guy thing because they always seem so cool and...relaxed. I wish I could be all cool and not awkward. But my awkwardness is cool. “ Why are you here?” I say almost too quickly.
“ You want the truth?” He asks. Why wouldn't I so I nod. “ Well I’m actually here by delay.” He says. I start laughing because that's uncommon. How can someone be in another country by delay. But the seriousness on his face tell me he not kidding.
“Delay? How.” I ask after calming down.
“ Believe it or not. I actually missed my train back to London. I woke up a little late and missed the train because I read the street signs wrong.” He starts laughing so now I don’t feel as bad. Aww poor soul .
“ Is there someone you have to go back home to or is it just work?” I pry. I don't mean to but he's so intriguing. I'm like that with everyone I meet. Once I meet them and they seem interesting I want to know everything about them.
“ If you mean : Do I have a girlfriend? Then no. Yes I do have to go back because I have work.” He says. I flush because that did actually sound like I was asking him if he had a girlfriend. Thank god he doesn’t. What am I saying. Self reminder : You're only here for two days. Don't think about getting frisky. Arghhh!
“No need to be embarrassed. I bet you don't have a boyfriend.” He says almost sarcastically.
“ What's that supposed to mean.” I’m not easily this triggered but what is that suppose to mean.
He stops then turns to look at me. “ If you did ,you wouldn't have agreed to come with me.”
“ Maybe, I was just being nice.” I snap. Who does he think he is? Is he trying to get at something. I bet he thinks I’m easy. Well Mr. Bigshot you have another thing coming. I can't wait till this night ends so I never have to his face again. To think I thought he was nice.
“ Really?” he asks. But before I have time to answer we’re right in front of the museum door. I breath out slightly.
“ We’re gonna be late.” I say finally and head up the stairs to the front door of the museum. Please let this night blow over quickly so I can just get my damn painting.