It had been 3 nights in Paris and we were enjoying the evening before our last night in the city and we would head to Nice.
We had spent the evening wandering the streets of Paris and stumbled upon a small alleyway full of artists that opened up to Sacré-Cœur. It was memorizing. Everything we had seen was beautiful and amazing, but all of it had been planned and meticulously timed to ensure optimal tourist time. Stumbling down this street and onto Sacré-Cœur was not planned and felt like another magical moment.
I walked into every store stopping and memorizing everything inside them. There were tourist shops like there had been everywhere we went, but the lack of people and chaos made it feel like we were the only people in Paris. I was already in love with Paris, but this moment made Paris my favorite place.
As I was whirling around the alley looking at the string of lights and the emptiness that was the street, my heart while floating was still longing for Jake. My mom and I had been getting along (for the most part), I had done what she wanted and spent more time in places she wanted. I was quiet when she wanted to talk to me (which was more at me) and if I spoke it was in agreement or what she wanted to her. I couldn’t help but think of Jake in this moment and perhaps how much more magically this place would be if I had him by my side.
In all the shops I walked into I looked for something to get Jake for a souvenir but nothing was good enough. It’s not like he would have liked a model Eiffel Tower. Plus, even though I was going to buy him the souvenir out of my own money, suddenly my mom was complaining about how expensive everything was, a bottle of water, a small snack, everything was suddenly extremely expensive. My mom had always complained how she had no money after the divorce (I never saw bank statements but we were in Paris and lived in a nice house so this seems far-fetched), I knew better than to talk money with her because that conversation led to how my dad left her with nothing and then to the divorce and then to crying and misery and a miserable night. So, I looked at all the items that were not good enough for Jake and agreed with my mom on the sudden outrageous price of bottled water.
After taking it all in and a wonderful dinner we walked back to our hotel. My mom wanted a glass of wine and a cheese plate, suddenly prices weren’t an issue anymore this most have been because it was what she wanted. We went to the hotel restaurant to curb her craving and for the first time ever my mom asked if I wanted something to drink.
“It’s your birthday trip. You can have a drink if you want one.”
I was so excited. I definitely wanted a drink, I just wasn’t sure what drink I wanted, so I had a glass of wine just like my mom. It tasted awful, which made me wonder why people loved wine so much. It took me the length of my mom drinking two glasses of wine to finish the drink, but as I was setting it down the waiter came back asking if I wanted another drink. I knew I definitely didn’t want another glass of wine, so I pursued the menu and saw a chocolate martini. Well that sounded perfect. I liked chocolate so this had to be better. It tasted like poison, not chocolate at all I remember thinking. The more I drank it the more I became accustomed to the taste of it’s poisonous taste.
It was after the second drink that I decided I couldn’t go any longer without calling Jake. I knew that the prepaid phone card was in our room and I just had to get there. I told my mom I had to use the bathroom, because I knew telling her that I was going to call Jake would just frustrate her. She was four glasses of wine deep at this point and even sober she didn’t like talking about anything that she didn’t want to talk about and love and boys triggered pure devastation and anger. So, sneak away it was. We were only a couple of floors away from our room so it took me no time (or what felt like no time) to get to the room.
I plopped myself down on the bed next to the phone, pulled the prepaid card out of the dresser where we had placed and dialed furiously.
“Hi!” I nearly screamed at him.
“Tori! Hi how are you? How’s Paris?”
“It’s fun. I miss you. We were having some drinks and I had to call you.”
“I miss you too, baby. What are you two doing tonight?”
“We walked around the city and then we came back to the hotel and my mom is having a bottle of wine and I had two chocolate martinis.”
“Sounds like fun!”
“It’s not bad. I wish I was with you though. What are you doing?”
“I’m actually at your house right now taking care of Jack.” he laughed as he said it.
“How is he?”
“He is good. He misses you.”
“Aw. Well, only 9 or 10 more nights!”
“Are you counting down?”
“Every day. I really miss you.”
“I miss you too baby, but you should enjoy your trip. I’ll still be here when you get back. I promise.”
I felt tears welling up behind my eyes. “Promise? Promise you won’t forget me.”
“I promise, baby. Now go have fun. I’ll talk to you soon ok?”
“Ok,” I said holding back my tears.
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
I heard the phone click and placed it back in the holder. It was great to talk to Jake, but it made me miss him even more and I didn’t think that was possible.
I sat for a while holding back my tears and reminiscing on the sound of his voice ensuring that I gathered myself before going back to my mom. This was my little secret and I couldn’t display that I had, in fact, not gone to the bathroom.