Severine felt happy as soon as she was in Paris. She actually loved that people did not think Montparnasse was hip anymore. All the tourist guides that she ended up inevitably reading, said Montparnasse was dead and that it only had a hideous tower.
Montparnasse was her home, she loved it. She walked with her carry-on down the slick streets, basking in the happiness of being home. She turned back toward Port Royal station.
Looking back, she should have known that there was something with Rafe. R, as she called him affectionately with a lovely and very French roll of her ‘r’.’ Eleanora wanted to know his actual name, but what woman did not love having their very own Mr. Big?
Rafe was big from the time she met him. And everything that happened ever since was even bigger. When he called her the last time from New York, and said that he loved her, she felt finally. Because if he did not love her, then what exactly had she been doing all this time with him?
He said he wanted to see her soon, and she was flying into New York for the Day of the Dead. So she joined him for a Day of the Dead party. When he saw her, her face was in complete Calaveras makeup, with extra black shadow to make her look thin as the bones painted on her. He touched her waist, pulled her close to him. They canoodled, and she filled with warmth.
He buried his face in her hair, and whispered.
“You’re so beautiful, so very beautiful.”
She looked up at him.
“Even with a death mask?”
He grinned, looking down at her looking the Grim Reaper himself, and wolfish. Rafe meant wolf after all, and he was her wolf. She had read a novel once translated into French called Le Loup et la Colombe by a popular American romance author. It was a very passionate and sexual romance…she wanted Rafe to be her loup, and to be his colombe forever.
They circled each other the entire night, she never said a word to him about him saying that he loved her. She knew he would not, but after she went on and on about his declaration with Eleanora, she wanted the romantic element to be romantic, to be drummed up.
And it was, even at a party that celebrated death. Because after all human beings created death. If they created life, they also created death inadvertently.
They ended up later, much later making love in the house where the party was being held, where there were ofrendas all over the house and things inviting dead in such a loving matter, making love. Making love in a room where in the mirror, she could see Rafe taking her in his arms. Kissing her and entering her in Calaveras makeup, so it looked like death was taking her like on the cover of an old pulp fiction novel.
She had a flight the next day, and she was happy to have some time to look at Rafe without a mask of death in the morning. Even though their rendezvous was dying slowly.
Asleep, and still, he was more than beautiful. His breath was even, as he slept untroubled sleep. She cherished this because it was rare that she spent time alone with him, his scent warm. When he woke up, his wolfish grin threatened to eat her alive and she wanted to be devoured.
It was not perfect, it was never going to be perfect between them, she thought hours later when he was kissing her like the way that soldier kissed that nurse in iconic style in Times Square after the war. That was the thing. She was inaccessible to him, in a different way than he was inaccessible to her. But there was something there and looking back on it, she would rather have a part of him than nothing at all.
And with that thought, she sat down at her favorite cafe, with her carry-on and her favorite waiter bought her a grande cafe because he knew that was what she wanted. She smiled at him, and he pushed a chocolate into her hand like he always did. He was so kind to her after her long journeys, and she appreciated that as she sipped her coffee and lit a cigarette.
Paris was the most beautiful place to reflect and dream.
More Wicked Wednesday here:
parisian cafe by f dot leonora