"Where to?" the taxi driver asked, his accent making him difficult .to understand.
"The closest apartment building," I said groggily. My eyelids suddenly gained weight, and I was asleep.
"Sir? Sir?" was the next thing I heard. My eyes shot open in an instant. I took in everything around me in a second. The driver, the leather seats, the cold night air, and the driver. Wait, I already mentioned that. Wow, was I groggy.
"Yeah I'm ready, thanks for the drive," I said, handing him twenty dollars.
"$6.67 sir," he said in a confused tone.
"Keep the change," I said, followed by a rolling of the eyes.
I opened the door, grabbed my bags, and looked around. Hmm, I asked to be taken to an apartment, not a hotel. I thought, walking towards the front door of the lobby. But I didn't care, I was too tired.
I pushed open the doors, ignoring the beautiful lobby that they had created. I stepped up to the front desk. "Je veux une salle," I said bluntly. (translation: I want a room)
The lady smiled at me. Though her smile was a tad bit too big. She pulled out some papers and set them on the desk. I'd never been to a hotel where you had to sign so much paperwork! I mean, I'm asking for a room, not joining the military!
I glanced over at a cup that held some pens. I picked one up and began to sign, with the lady's hand over mine. I assumed she was just a nice girl, I mean, sure she was pretty. But a bit out of my league I would think.
I signed more and more papers, and her hand followed my mine. She would occasionally brush it with her fingertips. It was strange that a woman at a counter would do this, but, she probably was just nice.
"So how are you enjoying France?" she asked, batting her eyelashes. I looked behind me, wondering who on earth she was talking to. When I realized it was me, I also realized she had not spoken to me in English until now.
"How'd you know I spoke English?"
"I'm psychic," she said making kissy faces at me.
"You are?" I asked in amazement.
"No, you wrote in English silly!"I had never met a woman who spoke to a customer like this, I was starting to wonder if I was in some kind of whore house. That actually would make a lot of sense. But there was no indication of that anywhere.
Maybe she just likes me, I thought. But that wouldn't make sense. I'm Tony Drift. Girls don't just throw themselves at me, well, not until lately. Maybe French women like different kinds of men then English women do.
"Alright, that makes sense. What room do I have?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Right this way," she said taking my hand. I gently pulled it away, but somehow she got ahold of it again and practically dragged me and my bags up two flights of stairs and to a room that had the number 256.
She spun me around and stared deep into my eyes. "You're a handsome man,"
I was pretty sure she was talking to me, but I looked behind me anyway.
"I'm talking to you," she said puckering up her lips for a kiss. I bent down and met her halfway, but instead, just pecked her on the cheek.
She looked shocked. "What was that?" she asked, anger lingering on her tongue.
I patted her on the head gently. I raised my hand pointed at the shiny ring that was on one of my fingers.
"But, but," she stuttered, "where is your wife?"
I stared at her coldly for a moment. "She died last year in a car accident," I said, trying my best to manage a smile. I then took the key out of her hand, threw open the door to my room, and slammed it behind me.
I flopped onto my bed, and tossed the keys onto the nightstand. All I needed was a little sleep, I didn't need to start off my trip with sadness and guilt. I came there for love, so why ponder on what could have been? Why not focus on what can be?
I'll find love in France, I assured myself. I'll find a girl who loves me, and we can settle down together.
I fell asleep with those thoughts swarming around in my head, and even though it was freezing, I felt warm.