“This is Notre-Dame! I am so happy!” Xiao You exclaimed as she looked at the cathedral that was built during the Gothic era in front of her.
Xi Men looked at Xiao You and he laughed.
That prompted her to look at him and when realizes he is laughing at her, she glared at him. “Excuse me!” she smacked his arm. “Why are you laughing?!”
“If you are 15 years younger, I think you will probably be jumping around here right now,” he said, and then he continued laughing.
“HEY!” she eventually pushed him on his arm as an expression of dissatisfaction with what he had said.
He laughed. “Why are you so cute?”
She then pouted. “You’re a bad guy. You are a bad, bad guy,”
That cute statement she had just blurted makes him laughed again, “I acknowledged that I am a bad guy,”
His laughter slowly fades and then he puts his hand around her shoulder. “You are doing cute stuffs that make me laugh,”
She glared at him, and then she returned her sight to the cathedral.
He just smiled, still with his hand around her shoulder and he looked at the cathedral.
“Have you been here before?” she asked, still looking at the cathedral.
“Yes,” he replied. “But it’s been a while,”
“Oh, you’ve been to the bell as well?” she asked, turning her head to look at him.
“Bell?” he also turned to look at her.
“Yeah. The famous one,”
“Hmmm… I can’t recall about the bell though…” he said.
“We’ll go to the bell later. Let’s take some photos,” she smiled.
“Sure,” he smiled.
After taking photos, both Xi Men and Xiao You entered the cathedral and they are amazed with the architecture and carvings in the cathedral.
They walked along many other tourists there, and in order to avoid splitting up or separated because of other tourists, they hold their hands and stick together.
After spending 30 minutes in the cathedral, both of them head to the exit.
“I need to look for the entrance to go to the bell…” she said, looking around.
“Okay… but the bell is at the top of the cathedral, it should be somewhere near here…”
“I think so. And there is no signage to the bell,” she said.
Both of them walked around the Notre-Dame cathedral just to look for the very famous bell, or at least the direction to it.
There is even a cartoon movie about it!
Oh well, not exactly about the bell but Notre-Dame… but… well, the bell is also important.
“Xiao You, I notice there are a lot of people heading over to the right side of the cathedral. I wonder if it is located over there?” he said.
“At the right side of the cathedral?” Xiao You asked as she turned her head and looked, though they couldn’t see anything from their angle.
“Let’s go and see,” Xi Men said.
And much to their delight, there is indeed a queue at where Xi Men had just said.
Everybody is heading here, that is why.
And yes, it is apparently the entrance to the bell which is located on top of the cathedral.
“Do you want to go up to see the bell?” Xi Men asked.
“But the queue is long…” she said.
There is an estimation of 100 people at least, in the queue.
“We can wait…” he said. “It is just 12pm,”
She noticed the queue isn’t moving.
“Why all places that I want to go today have a long queue? And this one is not moving at all…” she said, partially in sulking tone.
Upon hearing that, he turned and looked at the queue, and fair enough, the queue really isn’t moving.
He then turned to look at Xiao You again, “Don’t be mad. Tourist places are like that. We can wait. Or… you can come back tomorrow… or the day after. Just like you have said, you are flexible to move them around,”
She took a deep breath, and then she sighed. “Let’s just go. I don’t want to wait in such a long queue…” she turned around and walked.
He looked at her walking away with her shoulder dropped.
He immediately heads to her and walked next to her. “Xiao You,” he called as he puts his hand around her waist. “Come on, this is Paris. There are a lot of people everywhere. They are going to see the things you want to see as well,”
She turned and looked at him.
“It is expected, right? This is a tourist spot. People will definitely come and flock these places every single day. So we can’t really ask everyone to stay away. What we can do is to wait in queue, or to come earlier tomorrow or something, maybe… right at their opening hours,” Xi Men persuaded.
She pressed her lips together.
“Come on. Cheer up,” he said.
She just smiled faintly, as though doing it because he asked her to.
“Well, I can’t do anything here… but I can ask Taipei 101 to close for public just for one day, so you can have all of it to yourself, if you happen to visit Taipei,” Xi Men bares his teeth at Xiao You.
Hearing he said that, she smiled, and then later on, she bursts into laughter.
He smiled when he looked at her laughing like this.
“Actually you are right. There is no point for me to sulk. This is Paris. People are just everywhere, like… EVERYWHERE. I guess I am just disappointed,” she said, and then took a deep breath and then exhaled it. “Anyway. Saint Chapelle tomorrow, and Notre-Dame bell the following day, then,”
He smiled. “Okay. You’ll lead the way,”
“So, wanna go for lunch?” she asked.
“Sure. Where do you feel like going for lunch?” he asked.
“Just right across Seine River is the Latin Quarter. Should we go over to Latin Quarter and try some other food or shops?” she asked.
“No problem. Anything to make you happy,” he smiled.
“Paris has so many bridges,” Xi Men said, standing next to Xiao You and looks out to the river.
Xiao You smirked as both of them are now standing on a bridge.
“Yeah. That is what the commentator on our cruise ride yesterday said too,” Xiao You said. “You know where we are now, right?”
“Pont Neuf,” he smiled and turned to look at her. (*the oldest & famous bridge in Paris)
She smiled. “You are right,”
“I saw the board when we were about to come over to the bridge,” he said.
“This is the most famous bridge in Paris… of course signage is everywhere,” she said.
“I guess, it has never come across your mind that you will actually come to Paris to see bridges,” she said.
“I have never given it a thought but that doesn’t mean I am surprised to actually walk across one right now. I have been crossing some with cars actually, but never, or hardly on my foot,” he said.
“I do believe so,” she said.
They stood on Pont Neuf in silence.
“Xiao You…” he called without looking at her.
“Hmmm?” she responded while she looked straight to the Seine River which actually flows right beneath them.
“Tell me about your last relationship,” Xi Men casually said.
Xiao You turned to look at Xi Men. “I’ve told you about them,”
“I mean the last one,”
“I’ve told you too,”
“You said you found out he wasn’t your type 3 years into the relationship,”
He turned his head to look at her. “Why the sudden? Why not at the beginning of the relationship?”
She turned her head slowly, returning back to the view in front of her. “Sometimes… it takes a while to find out,”
“Well, that should be within months,”
“Not everyone will actually find out within days, weeks or months because everyone is different,” she defended.
He looked at her.
The mysterious feeling about Xiao You returns.
He is getting the same vibe right now as day 1 when she seems to be hiding a lot of things from him.
Namely, her hidden motive.
Xi Men’s gaze returned to the view. “I hope he didn’t do something irreversible and emotionally damaging to you,” Xi Men said.
She turned to look at him, “You mean, cheating?” she asked.
He looked at her as well, “Yeah,”
She smirked, taking a deep breath. “No, he didn’t. He won’t. He loves me tremendously,”
Both of them looked straight again.
“Sounds like it interests you,” Xiao You said.
Xi Men smirked. “Can’t say I am not,”
And after a short 5 seconds silence, “He did something to me that makes me realized he is not the one I want to be with for the rest of my life,” Xiao You said. “And then I broke up with him,”
Xi Men’s smirk fades as he turned to look at her, “He did something to you?”
“And it is not that he cheated on you,”
“Did he… ummm… beat you?”
She shook with a smirk on her face.
He frowned for a while. “I don’t know what else is equally damaging that will make you break up with him,”
“He proposed to me,”
Xi Men’s eyes widened. “What?”
Xiao You turned to look at Xi Men. “Yes, he proposed to me. Does it surprise you?”
“Yeah. I mean…” he closed his eyes and tilts his head for a while, before opening his eyes and looked at her, “I mean I am not surprised that he proposed, but how on earth can a proposal makes you break up with him?”
Xiao You smiled briefly. “Well,”
Xi Men looked at Xiao You, waiting for her to continue.
“We have a great relationship,” she said. “So, since the relationship is steady at the 3rd year, he wanted to settle down. So he went down to a knee to propose to me,”
He remained looking at her.
She swallowed the lump in her throat. “When he proposed to me, I immediately realized that… despite we have all the great chemistry and compatibility… I couldn’t bring myself to spend the rest of my life with him,” she said.
“But… I still don’t understand…”
“It wasn’t him. There is no problem with him,” she said, taking a deep breath. “It was me,”
Xi Men remained looking at Xiao You.
She mentioned that the problem is with her, but she didn’t say what kind of problem.
“You look perfect to me,” Xi Men blurted.
Xiao You turned to look at him and smiled briefly.
“You don’t seem like you have a problem,” he said.
She lets out a small laugh, “Not in the way you are thinking,” she said. And then she took a deep breath, “I break up with him days later. He thought I was mad at him for proposing so soon,”
“You mean… umm… you didn’t want to get married…?” he asked.
She smirked and then shook. “I want to get married. I mean, I hope I will get married someday… but… it is just… not with him,”
He pressed his lips together and lowered his head down.
“And stop guessing already. You won’t find out the reason why no matter how you much dig and search in your mind,” she smiled at him.
He could only chuckle when she said that.
“So… you won’t tell me what the problem is…?”
She smiled briefly and shook. “Definitely not,”
He nodded slightly, respecting her wish, “Alright…”
Both of them stood there admiring the scene in front of them as cold wind blew.
“Are we going to stand here for a long time?” he asked.
“Umm… I was just enjoying the scene. Why so? Are your legs tired or more blisters have come up?” she asked, lowering her head down to look at his feet, umm, shoes.
“No, no, no. Not my feet,” he said, causing her to raise her head up to look at him. “You were telling me you have some other places to go… Pompi… something,”
“Oh! Centre Georges Pompidou,” she said.
“Yeah. So I was wondering if you still want to go there or not, or you just wanted to cancel the plan and stay right here, watching the boats go by,” he said, instead of saying ‘they watch the day goes by’, he intentionally say ‘the boats’ since they are looking over Seine River.
She laughed as the wind blows to their faces.
He smiled as he looked at her.
As soon as her laughter fades, “Why are you looking at me like that?”
He smiled briefly. “I know today hasn’t been going on well for you. But I want you to know you look the prettiest when you laugh, so, laugh more,” he raised his hand and then puts the strand of flyaway hair back to its place.
She smiled, “I already felt better before we had lunch, because of you. You were right about tourists and these famous places. So, thank you,”
“Anything for you,” he smiled.
“Ah? This building? We are coming here to see this?” Xi Men asked, pointing at the colorful building in front of them.
“Umm… yeah. Why? What’s with the reaction?”
“After seeing all gorgeous buildings, monuments and sculptures in Paris… I think… this one… is extremely extraordinary,” he said.
“Ah, why can’t you just be straightforward? I know you want to say it is not up to your expectation,”
“Hate to break it to you, but yes, you are right. It doesn’t appease my eyes,” he said. “Look at those exposed pipes, steel supports, and plastic-tubes…”
“Yes, it is part of the exterior of the building. They really do it like that, and yes, intentionally,” she said. “They turn the architecture inside out and some call it pretty,”
He just stares at the building. “Sorry, I don’t think I can accept that ‘artistic’ sentiment,”
“Actually I have seen this building before when I came to Paris the last few times but I didn’t know it is something so special that will cause you to make a metro ride just to come here to see this,” Xi Men said.
“This is Centre Georges Pompidou. It is a modern art museum.I came to see the building, because it was mentioned in some traveling books and forums, so… well, since we are in Paris, I just want to come and take a look,” she said.
“Oh,” he said, and then he turned to look at Xiao You, “Did you just say it is a museum?”
“Yes, modern art museum,” Xiao You said.
“So… you want to go in and see?” he asked.
“No, I didn’t want to. I just wanna come to see the building, snap a few photos and leave,” she said.
He looked at her, “Pretty interesting traveling concept you have there, to take the metro all the way here just to see this… and leave,”
“We have Visite Pass. It is unlimited ride on the metro anyway,” she smiled, taking her phone out.
He also smiled, and then he laughed in disbelief.
“OH! Joan of Arc statue!” Xiao You exclaimed. “Wow, this looks very nice!”
“This is a very nice statue,” Xi Men replied, looking at the statue located in the middle of a road. But thank goodness it wasn’t a busy road.
“This one is also a ‘touch and go’. After taking photos of this, we can go to Musée du Louvre, located just right opposite here,” she said, taking her phone out.
“My gosh! How come it feels like it takes forever to reach the entrance of Musée du Louvre?!” Xiao You asked as they finally, yes, FINALLY entered the compound of Musée du Louvre.
“We were at the other side of the building, so we have to walk further to get to the entrance,” Xi Men said.
“Ahhhh, I am so tired already,” she said, walking rather slowly.
“Have you notice the view already?” Xi Men asked.
She lifted her head up to look at the U-shape Musée du Louvre that is surrounding her now. With the famous glass pyramids and water fountains in the middle of the compound, it is truly a beautiful sight.
He smiled. “Now, no matter how tired it is, the view makes everything worth it,”
She looked at Xi Men and smiled.
“Louvre is the world’s largest palace and museum,” Xi Men said. “As a museum, it has the greatest art collections ever,”
She looked at him impressively, “You knew!”
“Of course. It is Musée du Louvre after all,” he smiled.
“Have you been here?” she asked the same question again, posted almost every single time they went somewhere.
“As a matter of fact, Musée du Louvre is a place that I’ve been the most in Paris,” Xi Men said.
“Well, almost every single time I am in Paris, I will come here to see their over 30,000 works,” Xi Men said.
“Really?” Xiao You asked.
“Well, I don’t remember lots of it. I just come and see… and then I leave,” he said. “But I am not an art person. I don’t really know how to appreciate the strokes, lines or colors in the frames but I know they are magnificent,”
Seeing she laughed like this, “Are you an art person?” Xi Men asked.
“I don’t either,” she replied, before she continued laughing.
He laughed as well.
He felt slight connection with Xiao You now.
Although he still feels that she holding back some stuffs from him; it didn’t feel as much anymore.
But then again, it is her personal stuff that she is refrained from telling so he respects it.
And now, he felt that he can talk about anything with her.
The awkwardness between them is thinning and sometimes doesn’t exist.
It seems that she is more comfortable with him now.
He is glad.