All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
“This is so amazing! I can't believe we’re actually here!” I turn to my boyfriend, enjoying the views from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
“Me neither,” Kyle responds with a smile on his face. “I'm just glad I have you with me, because I would be so lost without you here.” He’s not wrong. Kyle is nearly fluent in German, a language that will help him very little in the city centre of Paris. I, on the other hand, have studied French from more than twelve years, so I have become the chief navigator, translator, and enforcer of social etiquette for this trip. I have been happily making conversation with the locals, and providing (free!) historical background on monuments.
“Here, let's take a selfie,” I say, fumbling with my iPhone. Turning it at a c***-eyed angle, we automatically switch on our smiles. “One, two, three, cheese!” CLICK! The screen flashes and we look at the photo. The sky is a brilliant shade of orange, and it highlights the red, yellow, green, brown falling leaves from the trees lining the rues and boulevards.
“Paris is so enchanting, isn't it?” Kyle says, wrapping arm is around me, and I turn to look into his brilliant blue eyes.
“It truly is, ma chérie.” I respond. He smiles down at me. Giggling, I appreciate the sun setting upon the city of love.
“Hey, Mel, there’s something I want to ask you,” Kyle says.
“Oh my goodness what? You sound super serious right now. Is everything okay?”
“Yes, yes! Everything is fine. Actually, everything is great. Anyways. I just- Okay. It’s okay. Deep breath.” Kyle looks me in the eye, takes my hand, and drops down on one knee. “Melody. I love you so much, and I’ve loved you from the very first day I met you. You make my life so much more meaningful. I can confidently look you in the eyes and say that you’re the woman I’m meant to be with.” He pulls out a small velvet box.
“Melody Eastman, will you marry me?” My hands fly to my face, covering the huge smile spreading across my lips.
“Oh my goodness of course!” I respond. He slides the ring on my finger, and pulls me in close. He kisses me while the others upon the Arc applaud. Nothing could be more perfect. He lets go, beaming, and we sit on the benches excitedly talking about the next steps in our lives.
“Let's find someone to take our picture, I want to have a picture of us in the most romantic city in the world, especially on a night as special as this.” Looking to find a trustworthy tourist, we settle upon the middle aged man with salt and pepper hair and stubble around his chin.
“French First,” I remind myself of my motto, which has conveniently kept us out of the “American” classification in the hierarchy of tourism.
“Pardonnez-moi, mais, est-ce que vous pouvez prendre une photo de nous?” I ask in my most polite French.
“I'm sorry, I don't speak French.” The man replies, with a perfect British accent. Phew. I did not want to deal with that conversation in French. I smile at Kyle, then at the man.
“It's okay, I speak English too. I was wondering if you could take a photo of us, with the sunset in the background?”
“Of course! It's such a lovely evening.” The man takes my phone, saying “One, two, three, smile!” The iPhone captures the moment, and I start to walk towards the man.
“Thank you so...” Before I can finish my sentence, the man is sprinting away from me. “Hey, stop! Voleur! Come back here! Arrêtez!” We yell at the top of our lungs, chasing him down the stairwell. Adrenaline courses through my veins. I can not let this person get away with my phone. All of the pictures, all of the memories from this whole trip, gone. He remains a consistent three steps in front of Kyle and I until he falters upon a step, and I grab my phone out of his hands.
“Thanks for the exercise. That was my cardio for the day.” I give my sweetest smile to the poor Brit who didn't know he was dealing with an ex-cross-country runner. We continue down the steps, awestruck at the sheer boldness of the British man. I’m really angry, but I don’t want to show it. My favourite memories from this trip could have been completely gone. My anger wells up into tears.
“Hey, Mel, are you okay? I know how important your phone is to you. Do you need a break?” I nod silently, wiping away tears. He wraps his arm around me. Kyle knows how to be there for me, as superficial as my problems may seem.
“Ky, let's stop at that café over there. I could use a crêpé before we get moving again. I also want to see if that English crook took a decent picture,” Holding hands underneath the falling leaves, we make our way to the café. After being seated, I press my finger into the button, and my phone unlocks. Kyle scoffs.
“What?” I ask innocently. Stifling a giggle, he teases, “I can't believe you haven't updated yet. You're still on iOS 8.2. What happens if it doesn't back up right?”
“Then, under that very unlikely occasion, I would be very sad, because I'm pretty sure that guy took a video of us chasing him.” I open the Photos app on my phone. Tapping my most recent album, I find the video.
“Oh my goodness. It's actually there! Let's watch it.” Reliving our great chase, we smile and point at our overactive run.
“I can't believe you yelled at him like that in French. I'm slightly terrified when you raise your voice in English. He must have been petrified.” Kyle smiles over at me. “On another note, did he take the picture?”
“It's there… And it's actually a really great photo. He was a terrible pickpocket. Can I make this my Facebook profile picture? I think it's adorable.”
“Of course, thanks for asking. It is a great picture.” Kyle responds. After hours more of sightseeing, we finally return to our hotel, a cute bed and breakfast in the 19th arrondissement of Paris.
“Kyle, I cleared out some space on my phone. I'm going to update it. It could be helpful tomorrow, especially with some of the newer navigational features.”
“Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Make sure you back it up before you update it, though.”
“Ky, you worry too much. I don't need to back it up, it'll be fine.” Navigating the settings, I press the update button, and agree to the Terms and Conditions that I didn't read. In a matter of four minutes, the white screen with the black apple on it pops up.
“Sweet, it's done! That was quick!” Swiping to the left, I blink at the screen. Uh oh. This isn't right. The screen reads, Welcome to your iPhone.
`“Uhmm, honey, I think I did something wrong. Why is it welcoming me to my iPhone? I have been welcomed before. This should not be a new experience. I think.” Kyle scooches closer to me on the couch.
“It's okay, just log in and follow the prompts like normal.”
Under his watchful eye, I enter the username, password, passcode, date, time, location, until finally, finally, I see the general home screen. But none of my apps are there. I tap the Photos application, hoping, praying, that something is there.
“Kyle,” I say as a tear runs down my cheek, “they're gone.”