I took many pictures, more than making up for lost time. I still wished I’d thought to take pictures in the gorgeous gardens of Versailles, not to mentioned its halls covered in gold and glass, and part of me, yes, a small part of me regretted not taking pictures of Sebastian.
But it was just as well.
For my last dinner in Paris, I decided to treat myself. I went to a restaurant my guide book, the invaluable Paris for Dummies (that wound up being a lot better than I’d anticipated), recommended. It was supposedly one of the best restaurants in all of Paris. And the best part was that I wouldn’t have to break the bank going there and formal attire was not required.
So in my jeans and sweater, I walked in and asked for a table for one. I ate the best steak I’ve ever eaten in my life and got pleasantly buzzed on a sweetly fragrant red wine. Then I devoured my new favorite dish, a crème brûlée.
I came back to my hotel at around 9 PM, feeling the pleasant ache in my legs that always came after good exercise.
Once inside my hotel room, I kicked off my shoes and stretched my legs. Just as I was debating whether or not to take another bubble bath – the excuse being that God knows when I’d be able to take another one, since I lived in a dorm with communal showers – I heard a knock on the door.
I steeled myself. What if it was him? What would I do?
“Who is it?” I called out.
“The concierge, mademoiselle.”
I went and opened the door. The concierge stood holding a vase full of tulips. “These arrived for you while you were out. I took the liberty of putting them in water.”
I thanked him and tipped him and then shut the door again. I placed the vase on the table next to the other vase full of the now withering red roses Sebastian had given me earlier that week.
I sat staring at the tulips. They were red and yellow, just like the ones I’d admired at Versailles. The flowers bore no card. They didn’t need one. I knew who they were from.
At two o’clock in the afternoon the next day, I boarded my return flight.