“I'm Sam Turner by the way, and I'm not an axe murder. Well, not on the plane that is,” he joked.
“Excuse me?” I laughed.
“Just trying to calm you down. I thought it was my size that made you uncomfortable, but I’m going to happily stick with the first time flying alone thing. Makes me feel better.” He winked.
“Am I that obvious?” I asked.
“I’d say a little, but mostly a lot.” He laughed. “Excuse me, stewardess?” he stuck up his hand as a flight attendant passed us. “I’d like two glasses of champagne please.”
“Yes, of course.” She nodded and left.
“Two?” I asked.
“Yes, one for me and one for you. You need it.”
One champagne and two mimosas later, and I was actually having a great time with Sam. He owned an ironworks company in upper New York and had decided to take a trip to Paris for some R&R.
“I can’t believe your husband is leaving you alone in the city of love,” Sam commented.
“Well, he works a lot and I wanted some time on my own…to figure out things,” I said quietly into my chest.
“So, big ol’ hubby pushed too many buttons?” he questioned.
“I think we both did. You know, it’s kind of funny, but without Daimon around, I feel like I don’t make sense.” I shook my head and put down the empty champagne flute.
“I guess we all feel that way when we love someone,” Sam said softly. “So where in Paris are you staying?”
“In Bastille. I did some research and found out that it’s the best place to be. It’s far away from the tourist traps, but close enough to walk everywhere “You?”
“The Champs-Elysees. A bonafide tourist trap area.” He shrugged “My travel agent booked it for me.”
Once the plane landed, I grew more anxious, wondering what was in store for me.
“Hey, Addie?” Sam called out as we walked down the air stairs to the bus that was waiting to take us to the main terminal.
“Don’t think I'm coming on to you, but since you’re alone here, I was wondering if you’d like to have dinner with me. Only once, I don’t want you to cramp my style. It’s better than eating alone.” He smiled.
“Sure. It’d be nice.”
After a somewhat exhausting trip, I finally made it to the small fully furnished apartment I rented. It was on the top floor overlooking Juillet Column that stood in the middle of the Place de la Bastille. Thankfully, I caught a later flight so my jetlag wasn’t too bad when I crashed onto the bed without removing my clothes. I woke up somewhat disoriented, but when I saw the sun hanging high without a single cloud covering the bright blue sky, a large smile crept up.
I unlatched the old window and pushed it open, allowing the fresh air to come in. I stood on the small iron balcony and looked down at the bustling streets below. Picking up my phone, I took a pic. I smiled as I looked over my picture, but quickly had to stop myself from sending it to Daimon. What the hell was left between us now? What should I have done? Should I have stayed with him and thanked him for having lied to me? Or perhaps I should have given him a congratulatory blowjob for manipulating me. Despite the time and the distance, I was still angry with him. How could he have done that? How could he have lied to me all those months? He looked at me every day and not once felt the urge to say it. I waved it off, upset that I was in Paris, a place rich with history yet I was thinking of Daimon.
I sat back down onto my bed and saw my handbag. I sighed as I reached out and pulled out the letter Silvia had left me. Her lawyer had given it to me, and once I had read it, everything changed.
Addie, my dear,
I had walked over to the restaurant like I had always done, yet it was closed. My heart sunk knowing something must have happened. You and your father would never simply abandon the restaurant. I know this might sound odd to you, but I often looked at you like a daughter I wish I had the opportunity to have. I write this letter in hopes you will use the money wisely.
Addie, I want you to live!
I want you to experience the world as I have. Live Addie. Live the life you want. You gave up too much at such a tender age. Your father felt like a failure and you felt like the savior. I sat there like a bystander watching you two try so hard to love each other, to work and slave away at something that was so slowly dying. I want you to live, but please, Addie, just don't give up on finding someone to love you. I did and ended up alone with no one by my side. Open your heart and your soul, and let life fill the deep cuts and wounds that have crippled you.
Breathe the fresh air.