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The Love Song

My cheeks were still wet.  I quickly wiped the tears and patted my pillow. Then I walked to the windows facing Brighten Avenue and looked down the street. The maple leaves covered the pavement, making a mosaic of colors. The fallen leaves in the shadow looked soggy. As I opened the window, the crisp morning air rushed into the house. The orange sunlight reflected off the windows of the neighboring apartment complex.

I thought of Kevin. Again. I didn’t contact him since our last walk along Santa Monica Beach one year ago.

“Kevin,” I said, “I decided to go to New York next week.  I got a job offer from a library in Brooklyn.”

“What?” The sound of waves cut in his voice. “How come you never mentioned that to me before making the decision, Claire?”

“If I had, would anything have changed?”

He didn’t reply, but he was gazing at the seagulls flying over the pier for a while. “I have no right to stop you. But I want you to understand. I can’t do anything now.”

The sun was westerly above the horizon, and the surface of the ocean gleamed with the orange rays.

A squeaky noise signaled a car pulling up outside my house. Now it took off again. The door bell rang. Opening the door, music floated in. Kevin was smiling there. He handed a tiny wooden case to me. It was a music box, the one we had found at an antique shop in Santa Monica. While the small box was playing our song, I took his hand and led him to my room.

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The Night in Paris

Uh oh. 2 missed calls? How could I miss my incoming calls, especially from her? Feeling tipsy after sipping a little of bit wine, I peek at the burgundy stain on my left white cuff. It’s still there. I carefully wiped it off with the wet towel, but obviously, my attempt didn’t work at all. My wife will be upset to see this, complaining that a stain like this is hard to get removed or something.

Well, I should focus on what I have to do right now. Let me worry about the worst-case scenario with her later on. I sober as I speed through the crispy night air. I have one more stop tonight before going home.

Going by, I glance at the street. It’s Christmas Eve. Many stores and restaurants are closed, but it doesn’t bother me. Voilà. The glittering illuminations on the trees alongside the Champs-Elysées entertain me. The white lights are radiating gracefully like the bubbles in a champagne glass. Christmas in Paris is the most festive time of year. A group of people in coats are strolling to enjoy the alluring views. The breath of a young couple is drifting out as tiny white clouds. The girl nods with a smile. What are they chatting about? Are they lovers?

The Arc de Triomphe appears just ahead of me, which means I have to make a sharp left turn pretty soon. This is my fifth visit to Paris, so I am getting quite comfortable with this eloquent French capital. I don’t think I need a fancy GPS here.

“Au revior, Paris. See you next year.” I wave my hand to the pedestrians. Nobody waves back at me, anyway. I know. I knew that. Because I am up in the sky!

“We are almost there,” one of my companions says.

The bobtails are making a merry tune as we go along. My sleigh is lowering toward the chimney of an old brick house in Fontainebleau. Snowflakes start to tap my cheeks.

The Night in Paris

Happy Holidays!

May the magic and wonder of the season

fill your heart and home.