Little Pleasures

My entry for the Quibblo writing contest :)

Constructive criticism is always welcome, and please let me know what you think!
As always, enjoy.
~Claire

Chapter 1

Petits Bonheurs

Paris was a mystery, full of twists and turns and beauty and age. It amazed me that simply a few hours ago I stood at the edge of the sidewalks, reveling in the complex yet simplistic hustle and bustle. The streets had been, at that point, overflowing with vehicles of all kinds going all different directions. It seemed likely that an accident would occur at any given moment in time, but the drivers all seemed confident in their ability to swerve to avoid collisions.

In a moment like that, it was easy to feel small.

But at night, on the other hand, it was the world that felt small. When I was the only person outside and wide awake, the world was mine, and that was the way I liked it.

I don’t think there will ever be a day that time zones stop screwing with my head. Thanks to the six hour time difference between my little town in Michigan and Paris, France, I was very much awake while the rest of the city slept. I wandered the city, going from the quiet side streets full of little cafés and boutiques to the big tourist attractions and shopping centers.

As I continued to walk the dark, empty streets, I thought about what brought me there, to Paris. I’d always dreamed of going there after I graduated from high school, and so even though the trip with one of my teachers was cancelled, I decided to go it alone anyway. It was worth it, I decided, even if it was slightly lonely at times.

“Is it all you thought it would be?” A French accent called out. I turned around to see a boy about my age staring at me. His face held a lopsided half-smile, and while to others it may seem as though it weren’t a testament to true happiness, it reached his eyes and told a different story. His hair was curly and of a dark color, and I could tell that he put quite a lot of effort into making it seem as though he didn’t put any effort into his hair at all. The look suited him, however, so I found myself forgiving him. In the most simplest of phrases, he was quite handsome.

“Not quite. But I like it just the same. It seems as though my imagination has gotten the best of me again,” I replied, tilting my head to see him from another angle. He looked thoughtful, and after a moment he sent me a smile.

"Ah, mais l’imagination gouverne le monde, et le monde est beau,” he said. “Imagination rules the world, and the world is beautiful.”

“How long have you been waiting to woo some ditzy American girl with that line?”

“A long while. I may have found her. Tell me, what is your name?”

“Sophie.”

“Luc. Would you care to join me? I am out for a walk in the City of Love, but I’ve no one to be in love with yet.”

"I thought the nickname for Paris is the City of Lights? You know, la Ville Lumière?" I asked. Luc smiled.

"It has many, of that I am sure. So?"

“La vie est pleine de petits bonheurs,” I answered, taking his arm. Yes, life certainly was full of little pleasures, and I liked where this one was headed.

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