Xi Men felt something dropped onto his face.
“Hmmm?” he lifted his right hand up and then runs it on the spot where ‘something’ had dropped at.
Hearing that, Xiao You, who is in his embrace, lifted her head up, and looked at him lifted his head up to look at the sky.
“What is it, Xi Men?” she asked.
He lowered his head down and looked at the floor, before he then looked at her. “It is raining,”
“Raining?” she asked, immediately looked up to the sky as well.
“Yeah, a drop falls onto my face, and there are a bit here and there on the floor too,” Xi Men said, prompting Xiao You to lower her head down and looked at the floor.
It is drizzling, or rather, beginning to.
“Ah, it is really raining…” she said. “What are we supposed to do? Leave the queue? But we are not sure if it might turn heavy or…”
“Let me go and search for an umbrella. Wait for me here, alright,” Xi Men said, puts both his hands on her shoulder and gently pushes her away from leaning against him since he needs to leave.
He quickly wraps himself properly with the jacket to keep himself warm, as he then stepped up and ran to the nearby shop lots.
Xiao You looked at him looking around the places, going from store to store to look for an umbrella.
Xiao You turned her head to look at the front of the queue to see if it had moved.
And yes it is!
The first few in line had walked into the tower and approximately another few are about to enter too.
Ah, this is the time when Xi Men shouldn’t have left.
The good thing is they are not lining up at the front of the queue. Since only limited number visitors can enter the tower at one time, hopefully they (Xi Men and Xiao You) can buy another 10 to 20 minutes since they are in the middle of the queue.
Xiao You turned her head and looked at Xi Men standing right next to her with a dark blue umbrella and instantly shields Xiao You from the drizzle.
“Ah, you found an umbrella!” she said.
“Yes, the corner shop at the back row of shops sells it,” he said.
“Oh,” she smiled. “How much was it?”
“What? That’s a little bit pricey, don’t you think so?” she asked, looking at the umbrella, and couldn’t help it but to raise her hand up and touch the material of the umbrella.
“It is okay. We truly need it. It is drizzling now and we wouldn’t know if it will turn heavy. And besides, this should be considered as a souvenir because there is a ‘Paris’ sign and printed images of ‘Eiffel Tower’ on the umbrella, which I am pretty sure you will love it,” he said and then he laughed.
She looked at him and she laughed too, and lifted her head up to look at the umbrella.
“And now, you are covered,” he smiled.
“You are covered too,” she said.
“Oh, I am not an umbrella person unless it is a heavy rain,” he said. “Drizzle doesn’t really affect me. I went to buy the umbrella because it is for you. I didn’t want you to get sick in Paris,”
She looked at him, surprised to hear what he had said.
“Hmmm? Why are you looking at me like that?” he asked.
“Oh… nothing. Thank you,” she said.
“No problem,” he said, placing his hand around her shoulder.
She felt grateful for what Xi Men did.
First for keeping her warm.
And next, heading to the nearby store and bought an expensive umbrella just for her.
She smiled appreciatively.
“What’s the plan for today other than Notre-Dame?” Xi Men asked.
“Oh, we are going to Musée d’Orsay after this, and then we will go to Musée du Louvre,”
“Oh, finally?” he asked with a smile. “We are going to Musée du Louvre finally?”
She laughed. “Yes, I can’t wait,”
He laughed at her respond.
He then lifted his head up and looked at the front of the queue, and then the queue moves.
“The queue is moving,” he said.
“Alright,” she said.
It is just a short visit because asides from the gargoyles and the famous bell of Notre-Dame, there is nothing else to see in the tower.
They had only spent 20 minutes at the tower and then they left the place.
Next destination: Musée d’Orsay.
“So… can I know why are we heading to Musée d’Orsay before we go to Musée du Louvre when Musée du Louvre is the bigger and more important museum to go to?” Xi Men asked, looking at Xiao You standing in front of him of the moving subway train.
“Oh, I am actually expecting to spend a bit more time in Musée du Louvre. I may not be able to look at every single thing there, but I would love to see a bit more than just the few famous ones…”
“Hmmm… okay, so how long did you expect then?” he asked.
“Umm… 4 hours?” she replied, expecting him to give her a stunned face for estimating such a long time for the museum.
“Okay?” she asked back.
Wow. She didn’t expect him to say that. Where is the stunned face?!
“Why? Not okay? You estimated 4 hours… not me,” Xi Men said.
“I mean, I didn’t expect you will actually say ‘okay’,” she said. “I am afraid you’ll say it is too long,”
He smirked. “4 hours isn’t enough to cover the entire Musée Du Louvre but if you want to see more than what most tourists see… then 4 hours is just okay,” he said.
“There are so many things to see in Musée du Louvre. Depending on your style of seeing arts and paintings as well as the time you spent, you may need a day or two, or sometimes a week to see everything. So, 4 hours to see the few famous ones and maybe glanced over a few more halls, yeah, it is enough,”
She smiled. “Okay,”
“But that doesn’t explain why you want to go to Musée d’Orsay before Musée du Louvre,”
“Oh, I have read that, though not sure if it is true; most tourists or bus tours visit Musée du Louvre in the morning. So… since we are flexible with our time, it is best to go after lunch to avoid most of the crowd…” she said.
“Ohhhh, now I get it,” he said.
“And I would like to see Musée du Louvre after the sun sets. The place should look very beautiful at night,” she smiled as she anticipates for it.
“So that explains why you want to go Musée du Lourve later,” he said. “Okay,”
“So, after our visit to Musée d’Orsay, we can go for lunch, and then we’ll head to Musée du Louvre,” she said.
“Alright. You are pretty good in planning the time too,”
Both of them laughed.
“So, ever heard about Musée d’Orsay?” she asked.
“Yes. I have heard before. But I haven’t been there,”
“Oh, Musée d’Orsay was originally a railway station until its short platforms are not suitable for longer trains. They then convert the railway station to museum. Vincent van Gogh’s self portrait is in there,”
“Ah, the famous self portrait?”
“Yes,” she said.
“Nice. I have never seen that,” he smiled.
“Sounds like you are anticipating it, huh?” she asked.
“You can say like that,” he smiled.
The metro is approaching the next station.
“Alright, this is our station, let’s go,” she said.
“I really love this pass,” Xi Men uttered and then keeps the Museum Pass into his jeans.
“Because it skips queue?” Xiao You asked.
“And saves time,” he smiled, extending his hand forward and holds her hand.
“Saves money too,” she smiled. “We would have spent way more than what we’ve paid for the museum pass if we pay to enter the museums every single time,”
He smiled. “But we know the costs are not the problem,”
“Time is. I know,” she smiled.
They entered Musée d’Orsay and are instantly greeted by the giant clock at the top of the former railway station.
“Wow,” she said.
She is about to take her phone out before she saw something at the corner of her eyes.
She turned her head to look at it, and then she sighed.
Hearing that sigh, Xi Men turned to look at her.
“What’s up?” Xi Men asked.
“No photos allowed,” Xiao You said, pointing at the signboard. “So, can’t take photos of the nice clock,”
“Oh,” he said. “What to do. It is the museum’s policy,”
“Yeah, what to do,” she said, staring at the clock for a while more before they start walking around the museum.
As they walked around the place hand in hand, they saw the museum’s staffs and guards actively going around and telling the visitors to keep their cameras away.
“They look pretty aggressive,” Xi Men said.
“It is their policy,” Xiao You said.
“I know,” he said, looking at another guy being asked to keep his camera away when he was about to take a picture.
A staff passes by and gave Xi Men a brochure about Musée d’Orsay.
“Merci,” Xi Men said to the staff as he took it. (*Thank you)
Xiao You smiled. “Actually, I am impressed you can pronounce the French word or statement properly, exactly to its tone. Not everyone can do that,”
He looked at her and smiled. “When I was younger, I attended some language classes,”
“Really?” she asked.
“All four of us (F4) did. It is because of our background. We learned most languages, musical instruments and self-protection classes,”
“So, does that mean you are proficient in French?” she asked.
“No. I have only mastered English and Cantonese of Chinese dialect on top of Mandarin Chinese that we speak in Taiwan,” he said.
“Then… you said you attended the language classes…?” she asked.
“Yes, I did. English, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese…” he muttered. “And then by the 3rd classes of everything, I was basically making a statement out of all 5 languages… in one sentence,”
She bursts into laughter.
“Trust me, I don’t even know what I was talking about,” he said. “And I was only 6 years old,”
“My gosh…” she keeps on laughing.
“So my mother thinks it is worrying that I am being enrolled with so many classes at the same time and I am messing everything up not knowing which word belongs to which language… so she dropped me from 4 classes and let me continue ahead with English,” he said.
“I see! So the Cantonese one?” she asked.
“It was very much later. When I was 13,” he said. “And I want to learn that,”
“Ohh…” she said.
“I can’t imagine if I continued to take all 5 classes at that time… I might not be good at even one… hmmm… now, that reminds me of Ah Si…”
“Yeah, because his mother insists he needs to know as many languages as possible, but she didn’t know if Ah Si can cope and the possible impact on him. Well, there are pros and cons. The best thing is Ah Si actually gets to know a bit of everything… but he is not extremely good at any one of it because of that,” Xi Men said.
“I remember,” she smiled, “He can’t make it right between ‘sense’ and ‘size’,”
He also laughed at the thought of it. “Yes,” he said. “Anyway, that explains… I don’t know French. I had only learned that one of the few statements to come and survive in Paris, knowing that you are going to do this trip independently,”
Her eyes widened slightly. “Did you just say… you learned the few French statements because of this trip?” she asked.
“Yes,” he said. “I did,”
She looked at him. She didn’t expect he will do that at all.
“But you seem to know more than me, so I am safe in Paris,” he starts laughing.
She then chuckled. “Right…”
“So… let me see where the self portrait painting is,” he said, as he then opens the brochure in his hand and looked at it.
Xiao You stood in front of Musée d’Orsay, staring at the Seine River located in front of the museum as Xi Men busily takes photographs of the museum (from the outside).
The queue to go into the museum is getting longer too.
“Alright, I am done,” Xi Men said. “We can go for lunch,”
Xiao You turned her head to look at him. “Oh okay,”
“What are you looking at?” he asked.
“Seine River,” she said.
He turned his head and looked at the Seine River. “What about it?”
“Remember… from the cruise ride and also from Pont Neuf, we saw a lot of people walking at the walkway along the river?”
“Yeah,” he replied.
“I actually wonder if it is a nice thing to do,” she said.
“You mean the strolling?”
“It might be,” he said, turning his head to look at her. “Do you want to do it?”
“Hmmm…” she turned her head to look at the Seine River again.
“If you want to, just arrange. You can do it today if you want to,” he said.
“I don’t think it is a good idea to do it today. I have Musée du Louvre to cover so there isn’t really much time for Seine River…” she said while facing the river.
“Then, anytime within the next 3 days…” he said, and then stopped.
It is just 3 days left for the week.
“It is actually 2 days,” Xiao You said.
“2… 2 days?” he asked, surprised.
“Yes, 2 days left to cover Paris. The 3rd day is our flight to leave Paris. We don’t have any time to go around on that day since our flight is in the middle of the day,” she said, turning her head to look at him.
She looked at him, looking back at her.
There is something about his gaze.
“Xi Men…?” she called.
Swallowing the lump in his throat, he extends his right hand forward and caressed her left cheek.
She looked back straight at him.
His hand is cold and his touch is gentle.
This is the same look he gives her last night.
Without saying anything, he leaned forward and kissed her on her lips, with his hand still on her face.
After a brief pause from her side due to his action… she slowly kisses him back.
It is the same.
It is the same feeling as last night.
His kiss sends a lot of emotions and passions, and sends chills down her spine.
So she has the answer now.
What happened last night has nothing to do with just lust or the need for sex.
It is something between them.
She had probably just being cautious with what she is feeling and what he is doing onto her.
But right now, she felt totally different.
The kiss has reaffirmed something…
When she said it is just 2 days left, it somehow makes him feel bad.
He didn’t like what he is feeling.
He didn’t like what he heard.
He felt that time is running out.
His ‘one week’ policy with her is ending soon.
He used to look forward for the week to end, but right now, he didn’t want the day to come.
What he felt today is not the same as what he felt before the trip starts.
How is he supposed to cope when that time comes?
He couldn’t imagine what is going to happen.
But the thought is already killing him.
It is inevitable.
The trip will, and has to end.