A staccato of clack, click, clack. The heel of her burgundy shoes tap against the uneven cobblestones in a patterned minueto.
Three Four Time. The sound of this familiar dance echoes down the quiet Sunday streets.
A gentle pirouette. She swiftly steps over the pothole as she eyes the boulangerie display, her right foot slides against the loose pavement, and her left gently lands on the curb of 37 Rue de la Bucherie.
Fermata, a pause.
“You know this is it right?”
The dance finishes with a ritardando as she approaches the doorway, looking over her left shoulder.
She looks into the distance–across the quiet street, the river, into the horizon, her eyes drifting and not quite focused on anything in particular.
“I won’t forget you.”
He’s eerily quiet today, very much unlike the winding conversations stained by the tungsten of her reading lamp. He doesn’t say a word, but the pressure of his leathery hand against hers is enough.
With her other hand, she touches the rusty handle, the cold metal abruptly ending the faint melody of her dream.
She pushes against the door, a dusty swoop of warm air slightly lifts and twirls her orange scarf.
“Bonjour Monsieur Laurent” She automatically recites.
“Ah, bonjour Sabine, ça va?” He replies, but she is already halfway towards the back, slipping behind the dusty curtains of light, formed by the rays of morning sun streaming through a distant window.
Her left hand pulls last week’s romantic interlude closer to her chest as she wanders down the stacks. Her right hand gently touches the spines of other covers. Cold, worn, familiar. They each beckon to her with dreams and possibilities, love lost and found, emotions and stories spilling onto the dark blue carpet.
And then, she pauses. Something catches her eyes. Through the tiny gap in the shelves she sees him. Just there, nestled between two sturdy tomes.
She rounds the corner towards him, and reads his name in a breathless whisper. She abandons last week’s bounded daydreams and cradles her newest infatuation. Both her hands flip rushedly through his pages, her eyes devouring every character, every scene, every possibility.