The week was rough, awkward and full of tension. I was on spring break but she still had classes. The days were gray, cold and wet; not ideal or typical for a college spring break. The relationship was already falling apart, but neither wanted to end it. We both wanted out, but we also wanted to stay together; it was the companionship that we both wanted.
Paris was different from the last three times I visited. It was gray and old. I still did not understand the language, but the whole idea of France was no longer foreign to me. The cold rain drizzled from the boring sky as it has been all week. But this night it didn’t matter.
We were sitting inside the food court of the lower level of the Louvre. I looked at her, still uneasy. Should I have just stayed home and forgo this spring break abroad? My heart was confused. She kept her head cocked away from me. Silence.
We both had something to say and we both had nothing to say. The week was coming to an end and in couple days, I would be flying back home. We both turned to each other, about to say something only to keep our silence.
The Louvre will close in 30 minutes.
We both looked up as we heard the PA. I needed no translation.
She turned to me and sighed, “There was so much I wanted to show you!”
“It’s okay.” I said, “I’m sure there will be a next time.”
She looked at me and I at her. Our eyes met for the first time that night. There was a smirk growing on her face. I couldn’t help but smirk myself.
“Let’s go!” I said.
She reached for my hand and I grabbed it.
There we were, 30 minutes before the Louvre closed, racing to the museum entrance, flying through check-in and security, standing underneath the glass pyramid.
“What do you want to see first?”
“I always wanted to see the Mona Lisa.”
She rolled her eyes, “Besides that!”
Grabbing my hand once again, we ran off into an unknown direction. Weaving through masses of people, tourists and Parisians, we flew down halls of ancient Roman artifacts and statues. From there, we entered into a tall room with a large stairway at the end.
I turned to her, “Is that?”
She smiled and nodded.
“But no one is around it. Do they realized what that is?” I added.
She chuckled and said, “Hurry up, admire it and take a picture. We have a lot to see!”
I snapped a picture of the Nike statue, or Winged Victory as it’s properly known before we headed on.
Still befuddled that I just saw Nike, I was not ready for what was next.
I could not believe I was standing next to Venus de Milo! Not one, but TWO extremely famous statues of the ancient world. I just wanted to touch it because I could not believe the wonders that I was witnessing before me. I could just lic…
“Let’s go!” She would say. And off again we were racing through the Louvre, in a new direction and through long hallways to our next destination.
“Wait, isn’t that…” I said, out of breath.
She nodded again with a smile, panting as hard as I was.
Before me was Hammurabi Code.
“What’s next?” I said.
Without hesitation nor breaking her smile, she grabbed my hand and we raced off to the next wonder. Mona Lisa, ruins of ancient Rome, Greece and Babylon; all of these wonders were sought, seen and appreciated in those 30 minutes.
We laughed, joked and smiled for the rest of the night. It’s not often one can say that they actually ran through the Louvre, saw everything and not gotten kicked out.