A soft, warm light entered the tall glass windows of the small artists’ studio. A young woman rolled around in the pristine white sheets, nude, letting out a soft moan as she woke up.
She was alone in the room. Her freckled, pale skin was bathed by the morning sun. Rubbing her eyes, she looked around the room. There were clothes spread across the floor, artist supplies here and there, and a bottle of wine with two glasses on the night stand.
Licking her lips, the young woman wondered if she’d allow herself a glass of wine so early in the morning… Then decided against it.
At that moment, she heard a key turn in the door. A young man walked into the studio’s kitchen which had an opening to the bedroom. He held two baguettes under his left arm and a brown paper bag in his right hand.
It was early in the morning and he came in like the sun, his golden curls tied back in a ponytail, two bangs framing his handsome face. He sported a radiant smile, showing off his pearly white teeth as he greeted the young woman lying in bed.
“I bought croissants for breakfast!” he said in English with a soft voice, his thick French accent coating his words tenderly. He then leant down to kiss the young woman who blushed a bit at the gesture.
The young man put down the pastries, shrugged off his jacket—it was still chilly out there, even in April—and picked up the young lady’s clothes and underwear, settling them all on a chair near the tall, old glass windows which had a view on the cobbled street below.
“You should get dressed.” He said softly with a smile before he went back to the kitchen “Tea or coffee?”
The young woman blinked a bit and waited for the man to be out of the room to get out from under the light covers and get dressed “Tea, please.” She told him in English as well, a soft Irish accent tainting her words.
When she finished getting dressed, the young man had finished making her her tea. She walked in and sipped on it, leaning against the counter, whispering a quick ‘merci’ with a terrible accent. Frenchman smiled and looked at his watch, gasped and quickly gulped down his coffee.
“We must ‘urry!” he said with a nervous laugh “I’ll be late for work and you… Well, you’ll miss your friends.”
The Irish girl nodded and finished her tea, grabbing her bag and a croissant. The young man went into his room to quickly change into his uniform; black trousers and a black and white striped marinière. He then pulled on his jacket and wrapped a scarf around his neck before he gave his guest a wink as he offered his arm to her.
They went down the elevator and walked down the cobbled street for about five minutes before they finally arrived in front of ‘Le Gai Luron’; a small, quaint yet extremely popular café-théâtre* owned my Franck Morel. The Irish girl’s friends were just outside, waiting for her, whistling at her once they saw her arrive linking arms with the handsome blond. Her friends were all there with their suitcases—even hers.
“You’re lucky we thought about you!” said one of the girls with a laugh “Running off with some guy like that, how naughty!”
The girls at the table all laughed at that and the young woman blushed furiously. The Frenchman just smiled and rummaged though his jacket’s pockets before he pulled out a small card with his name and e-mail on it, handing it to the freckled girl.
She took it and read the card.
She looked back up to the young man; he smiled back and gave her a quick peck on the cheek.
“’ave a safe flight back home.” He told her, brushing a lock of ginger hair out of her face. She nodded and ran back to her friends who then left, waving back to the young man. He smiled and waved back before he rushed back inside the café to get ready for the day to come.
François was happy, though sad to see the young woman go. But that’s how it was. His job was to make people feel happy, elated, even, about their trip to Paris; city of Lights, city of Love.
He was what people called a Phénomène.
(* A café-théâtre is a basic café that also offers theatre nights where they promote young comedians, artists, musicians… It’s a rather lively place where many Parisians like to gather to discover new talents)