I did my best to expel Sebastian from my thoughts and focus on the museum.
It was easy to lose myself in the Louvre, both literally and figuratively speaking. It was impossible to see it all in one day, so I decided to come back again tomorrow.
When I finally laid eyes on the Mona Lisa, all I could think about was how small it was. This was the famous Mona Lisa? After all the hype, I expected it to be much bigger. Still, I decided to give the enigmatic woman a chance, so I stood there and stared at her, trying to figure out the puzzle of her smile. My conclusion was that she had a secret, something that made her feel deliciously happy. “I know something that no one else does,” her eyes seemed to be saying, “and only one other person than me knows it, too.”
I wondered if I had the same look in my eyes.
That night I got to see Sebastian’s apartment. It was relatively small, though it had a nice balcony overlooking the Seine.
“How do you like it?” he asked.
“Very much,” I said. “It’s beautiful.”
He thanked me with a kiss.
I’ve never cooked anything more complicated than spaghetti with meatballs, and I’m more skilled with a microwave than a sautée pan, so I was really impressed by Sebastian’s efforts in the kitchen.
For our aperitif, Sebastian prepared oysters on the half shell, and for the main course, there were thinly sliced fillets of chicken with Roquefort sauce and sautéed potatoes. I was in serious danger of missing out on dessert by filling myself with too much of the crunchy, fragrant bread that seemed to be in overabundance in this country, but thankfully I left just enough room to enjoy his delicious banana tarte tartin.
“Oh my goodness, this is awesome,” I exclaimed between mouthfuls.
“You are too kind,” he said as he poured some more wine into my glass.
That night I slept in his bed. It had wrought iron posts and an impossibly soft mattress. I felt as though I were lying on a bed of spun clouds. I never wanted this night – this week – to end.