Breath on the Line

The next day, I took a cab to the Jardin des Tuileries. I had purchased some bread, cheese and grapes at the grocery store across the street from my hotel, and so I enjoyed a little picnic by myself sitting on a blanket in the middle of the gardens.

I was surrounded by an endless sea of lovers. Young, old, men with women, women with women, men with men. They all had one thing in common, though; they were oblivious to everything except for each other.

I sat alone, flipping through a collection of e.e. cummings’s poetry. I found myself turning to my favorite poem. I’d read it at least a million times before:

And the coolness of your smile is
stirringofbirds between my arms;but
i should rather than anything
have(almost when hugeness will shut
your kiss

And what would it be like to kiss Sebastian? I’d made up my mind to kiss him tonight, if he didn’t do it first. I was sick and tired of waiting for the guy to make the first move. It was my turn.

I packed up my belongings and left the gardens at around 3 PM. The rest of the afternoon I spent browsing through some book stores and art galleries. I bought a book on horticulture for my mother, some more postcards for my friends, and a rare first edition of Sylvia Plath’s first book of poems for myself.

At around six o’clock, I headed back to my hotel. I was a little nonplussed when the concierge reported that he had no messages for me, but I smiled at him anyways.

A shower and a change of clothes later, I was rummaging through my suitcase for my perfume bottle when the phone rang. I forced myself to sit out the first three rings before I answered it.


I heard his breath on the line before I heard his voice. “Emily?”

“Sebastian?” I bit my lip in frustration. Damnit! Now he probably thought I’d been waiting by the phone all day.

“Did you say something?”

“Me? No, I, uh, I was just turning off the TV.”

“Would you like to go dancing tonight? I know this club where they play incredible jazz…”

The End

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