Je t’aimais: Part Three

A Cigarette Break

Then the lights came on.

We were all a few more drinks in and going home was the last thing on our minds. I followed my friends and as we left El Latino we found ourselves surrounded. The crowd, emptying the bars and filling the Rue de la soif, struggled to find their bearings; it was too dark and every square inch of the small, cobblestone street was occupied by people and smoke. Men with wandering eyes tried to get someone to take home; it was a last chance to fill their lonely bed. While the women decided whom to go home with.

After a momentary separation, I was reunited with my group. Though Kayla kept an eye on me, I walked with French James Dean all the way back to Le P’tit Vélo, which was one of the few bars not closed for the night. This translated into a very crowded bar. We each pushed our way through to get another round of drinks. There was no place where we could all sit together, so the group broke down into threes and fours. FJD, two other Americans, and myself found a table against the wall. Because I was too short to stand at the tall table with ease, FJD got someone at the bar to give me their chair. My feet, which were trapped within a cute pair of heels, were grateful.

The four of us chatted for a bit, though it was hard to hear each other over all the crowd. A lot of our conversation was in English, FJD tried to follow but I could tell he was getting bored. He leaned over to me and asked if I wanted to go outside. At first, because he was talking low, I thought he asked me to go home with him, which I started to decline, however, no doubt after seeing my concern, he repeated himself. I agreed to go with him; it was nice outside after all.

It was a little chillier out than I remembered; the crisp spring air was working hard to sober us up. We sat down on the curb just across from Le P’tit Vélo and he started rolling himself a cigarette. I wanted to seem cool, but I had never seen anyone roll a cigarette and I just stared. After he lit it, he offered it to me, but I simply put my hand up to signal, “No thanks.”  He took a drag then immediately started kissing me. Either he wanted to share the smoke or he was trying to warm me from the inside out. Whatever the reason was, I didn’t care.

People walked by and we just continued kissing in between drags.


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