Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Seven Letters: Part Six

Our hot French guys wanted us to stay.

While the offer was more than tempting, logistically, we couldn’t stay in Paris, or so we thought at the time. Instead of an open-ended eurorail ticket, we’d already purchased single fares for the remainder of our trip, including our flight back to London from Athens. Which meant it would cost a fortune to change anything. We had to stick to the plan.

Of course, there were a few other options, but nobody was thinking clearly. So two young girls – hearts and heads pounding in confusion – were whisked away to Gare de Lyon. Patrick’s car screeched to a halt in the middle of the street. The guys grabbed our bags and we all ran into the station.

We had one minute, a mere sixty seconds, before our train rumbled down its tracks.


Out of breath, Jean-Luc and I shared one last kiss, as did Tracey and Patrick.

Our hands shook. Our throats croaked out our goodbyes.

Tracey and I stepped into the passenger car. Five seconds later, the train rolled forward. And through a window, we waved our goodbyes, watching our Parisian loves on the platform until they were specks in the distance. As the train lurched forward, gaining momentum, Tracey and I looked at one another and said the same thing:

“We should have stayed.”

The train picked up speed.

Chins quivering, we fought to hold back our tears.

“Sometimes I wonder if the stars are sparkling, or if it is the light of my own eyes stimulated by your memory and projected to them. So when you look towards the sky, and when you see the stars, maybe at the same time I will be looking at them too.”

~excerpt from letter six

No doubt, the rest of trip paled in comparison. We’d left our nineteen-year-old hearts in Paris. If only we’d missed that train.