Day 8 of 8 days in Paris. In short, last day in Paris.
It has been a depressing night, or early in the day.
Both of them couldn’t sleep even after their vigorous physical activity.
It wasn’t that they aren’t tired, they are.
They are extremely tired physically, crediting most of it to the traveling days.
But despite they are tired, they could not sleep.
Their minds have been bogged down by the fact that they are leaving Paris in few hours.
After failing to fall asleep and tossed for hours, Xiao You decided to get up from the bed.
Pack. Watch TV. See the view. Whatever.
She just doesn’t want to lie down there anymore since she can’t sleep.
The moment she gets up and turned to the side since she wants to get down from the bed, Xi Men turned his head to the left and looked at her.
“Awake?” he asked.
Surprised to hear that, she turned her head to the back and looked at him, “You are awake too?”
“I didn’t sleep,” he replied.
“Oh,” she said. “I can’t sleep… and I have no idea how long I have been struggling to fall asleep…”
“Me too,” Xi Men grabbed his smartphone from the side table and looked at the clock displayed on his smartphone. “It is 6.30am now,”
She smiled faintly, slowly straightening her head, “So it is already 6.30am,”
“I didn’t know you are not asleep. If I knew, we could have talked a bit…” he said.
Lowering her head a little, “It is okay… I don’t think we have much to talk…” she then gets down from the bed.
“I…” Xi Men looked at her heading to the bathroom and then closed the door.
After exhaling his deep breath thru his nostril, he lied down on the bed again.
“Maybe she is right. Even if we talked… we may not have anything to talk anymore…” he murmured. “But that doesn’t mean we should end our week like this…”
Xiao You sighed as she looked at her mirror image in the bathroom.
“Puffy eyes and dark circles…” she gently touches the skin under her eyes. “This is what happens when you do not have enough sleep and rest…”
But how is it possible to sleep and rest enough for a hectic trip like this?
They have been going around exploring Paris every single day.
And because of the rate of them going, Xi Men’s blisters haven’t even had a chance to start healing.
“But the toe socks helps a lot,” she murmured, and then she smiled lightly.
Her small smile then fades.
“The week is ending in few hours,” she said, slowly putting her hands on each side of the sink.
Only 3.5 hours left.
“Xi Men is still my boyfriend for the next 3.5 hours…” she uttered.
She then took a deep breath as she lifted her head up high and looked at the ceiling for brief while.
“I shouldn’t countdown for the hours left like he mentioned before,” she said. “I can’t stop the time,” she adds. “I should appreciate his presence until 10am,”
She twists the tap and water gushes out.
She lowered her face down and washes her face.
CLACK. (*door open)
Xi Men casually turned his head to look at Xiao You as she emerges from the bathroom.
“Are you alright?” Xi Men asked.
“Alright? Yes, I am. I just needed to wash my face. I have dark circles and the eye bags are huge,” she said.
He frowned slightly.
This is not the tone she gave him before she entered the bathroom just now.
That was solemn.
And now… this seems lively.
“Umm… okay,” Xi Men said.
She then heads to the bed and sits down, facing him. “I’m sorry that I am a little grumpy,”
He smiled faintly as he then pushes himself up and sits on the bed. “Because you can’t sleep?”
“Sort of,” she said. “And because I am counting down the hours to the end of this, so… it got me,”
He lets out a small breath.
“But it is okay. It is just 3 hours left for us… so… maybe we can dig something out and talk to each other since we can’t sleep anyway,” she extends her hand out and patted his hand.
His smile grew slightly. “So, what did you want to talk about?”
“I don’t know. Dig something,” she said.
She pressed her lips together as she looked at him getting into deep thought.
“Umm… I am not sure what to talk…” he said.
“Then, maybe… do something?” she asked.
He eyed her. “Not ‘that’ again?”
She chuckled, understanding what he meant. “No, I don’t mean intimacy. Like… something else?”
He gave her a brief smile after she clarified her ‘do something’ statement. “Hmmm… maybe we can go and grab some coffee?”
“At 6.30am?” she asked. “Most cafés open at 7 or 8am…”
“Ah, the boulangerie located at the street opposite of this hotel won’t be operating this early too… right?” he said.
“No, I don’t think so,” she said.
“Hmmm. What about… going out?” Xi Men asked.
“Go out? Now?” Xiao You is surprised. “Where to? Nothing is open now,”
“I don’t know. Maybe we can walk a bit? Stroll a little bit?”
“The Metro is already operating, right?” he asked.
“Yeah, they start at 5.30am…” she said. “But we don’t have Visite Pass anymore. It has expired yesterday,”
“We can buy those one-time tickets like what we did on day 1 when we go to Eiffel Tower,” he said.
“Hmmm… you are right…” she said. “But still, where to?”
Xi Men exhaled his deep breath and then folded his hands on his chest.
She tilts her head as she waits for him.
“Are we tight on time?” he asked.
“We need to be at the airport by 10am. So we need to leave the hotel by 9am…” she said.
“So, have you done packing?” he asked.
“Almost. Just a couple of things left,” she said. “Why did you sound like you are planning for us to go somewhere far…?”
“No. I think… we can go out; catch sunrise, and then grab a cup of coffee after that,” he said.
“Sunrise?” she asked.
He smiled. “You said you like to see sunrise,”
She smiled. “You remember,”
“Yeah, you said you like sunrise and sunset,” he smiled. “Hmmm… although you said you like both sunrise and sunset, I have only seen you eager to see sunset, but never on sunrise. I wonder why?”
“Because I like sleeping more than sunrise,” she then bursts out laughing.
“Well, I think that is a good idea… but… where?” she asked, and then lifted her hand up, “Wait, I need to check what time is the sunrise,”
She quickly got down from the bed.
“Ah… right, it is down to sunrise’s timing…” he said, and he gets down from the bed too, “And the sky,”
She headed to her LV bag to take the papers out while he heads to the window.
She then scanned the time of the sunrise.
“The sunrise for today is 7.50am…” she uttered and then turned to look at Xi Men looking out of the window to the sky. “What are you doing?”
“Trying to see the sky if there are clouds… but… it is quite dark and I can’t see anything,”
“It is just 6.30am… maybe 6.40am now. It is too early to check the sky,” she said.
He then turned to look at her, “Sunrise is at 7.50am?”
“Yes,” she said.
He folded his hands on his chest. “Do you think we have enough time to go for coffee after sunrise?”
“It will definitely be tight if we go somewhere else for coffee… and I am not sure what time the boulangerie across the street opens. We can try our luck if you want to…”
“I think that’s a bit risky because we don’t know what time they open and if they are ready to serve their coffee when we reached. The last thing I want is to gulp the hot coffee down and burnt my tongue and throat because we are tight on time,” he said.
She laughed. “Well, it depends on priority. Coffee or sunrise,” she said.
“What about you?” he asked.
She tilts her head. “I am fine. Any of them is good with me. As long as we spent the 3.5 hours with each other,”
“And meaningfully,” he adds for her.
She smiled appreciatively. “Yes,”
He smiled too, and then he walked to her and planted a brief kiss on her lips.
She smiled at him due to the kiss.
After lowering her head for a while, she then looked at him. “So… do you have any idea?”
He turned to look at the window again, gazing at the sky.
Approximately 10 seconds later, his eyes widened by slight and he turned to look at Xiao You again.
“I have an idea,” he smirked.
“Yes,” he smiled. “But… it is something simple. Will you be okay with that?”
“I don’t mind,” she said.
He smiled. “Alright,”
“This is beautiful,”
Xi Men smiled upon hearing that from Xiao You.
After thinking for a while, he figured he can do this in one place.
Sunrise and coffee, in the hotel.
Since they have such a marvelous view of the Eiffel Tower from their living room, might as well just do it here.
He moved the couch to a better angle so that they can sit and watch the sunrise from the comfort of the couch in the living room of the suite together.
And then he ordered coffee from the hotel.
He opened the sliding door of the balcony so that they will get full view of the tower, or rather unobstructed view due to the glass door.
He then asked Xiao You to wear her winter jacket to keep herself warm as the cold wind will enter their suite.
It is a very simple idea.
“Sorry that we are seeing Eiffel Tower again. You already had Eiffel Tower for sunset, and you are seeing Eiffel Tower for sunrise now,” he said, looking at Xiao You she snuggled up to him on the couch.
“No, don’t worry about it. I like it. I like the idea of seeing this from the living room of the suite,” Xiao You smiled at Xi Men.
“I hope you are not bored with it,” Xi Men said.
“No, definitely not. Eiffel Tower is the icon of Paris and I love this tower,” she looked straight at the view. “Sunrise and sunset with the tower is beautiful no matter how you see it. Both sunrise and sunset shows different colors in the sky,” she then rested her head down on Xi Men’s shoulder.
He smiled as he placed his arm around her shoulder.
“I get to watch sunset with Eiffel Tower fitting perfectly in the image, and now I am going to watch the sunrise with Eiffel Tower too. I am so happy,” she said.
The smile never left his face. Instead, it grew.
“I am so lucky,” she said.
“I am luckier,” Xi Men said.
“Why do you say so?” she asked, lifted her head up to look at him.
“Because I am seeing it with you,” he said.
Xiao You smiled, and tears slowly formed in her eyes.
Xi Men then tightened his hug around Xiao You’s shoulder.
“This is probably the best part of the trip,” Xiao You said.
“Best part? Why?” Xi Men asked.
“Because I don’t have to go anywhere and yet I can see the best view from the living room as well as enjoying a cup of coffee on the comfortable couch in my luxury suite,” she said and then she laughed.
Her tears fell in that process and she quickly wiped it off.
Just right on time before he sees it.
Xi Men, with his finger, gently turned her face to face him.
And he kissed her passionately on the lips.
For the entire sunrise, they sat on the couch as they watch the colors changing in the sky and took photos of it.
And not moving away from each other.
Xiao You, who is packing her make-up items into the pouch, turned her head and looked at Xi Men.
She then laughed at Xi Men as he had burped loudly.
“My gosh! I don’t know it will be that loud! I am so sorry!” Xi Men embarrassingly said and then he covers his mouth.
“It is okay! That was a delicious breakfast after all,” she smiled, returning her gaze to the items and continued packing. “Good meal,”
After the sun rises, Xi Men ordered breakfast directly with the hotel because they won’t have much time to dine out anyway since they needed to leave the hotel by 9am.
He smiled as he slowly removed his hand from covering his mouth.
“Oh, by the way, your toothbrush is still in the bathroom, remember to pack it,” Xiao You said, glancing over to Xi Men as she continued keeping her make-up items into the pouch.
“Oh, okay,” Xi Men said, “I’m going to shower now. It will be a quick one,”
He heads to the bathroom and closed the door.
Xiao You walked to her luggage and puts the pouch into the inner compartment of the luggage.
Now she wonders what else to pack…
She turned her head around as she scans the room and then lands on the safety deposit box.
“Ah, the safe box,” she uttered and quickly heads to the safe box in the wardrobe.
Unlocking the safe with password, the box opened and she begin to reach for the items she had placed inside the box and then stopped when she noticed a stack of cash inside the box.
She instantly remembered that Xi Men had given her €1000 cash on day 1, in case she needs to use any cash while he was away.
They were debating about this stack of cash on day 1 when he told her to keep her money in the safe and brought his’ out and use it when needed.
Fact is, he hasn’t been away at all and he is always there to pay for everything.
And because she brought some money to Paris as well, she had been bringing her cash out and had actually placed his €1000 into the safe box.
Besides, she didn’t want to bring the whole load of €1000 cash and go out.
It is too much for her anyway.
Xi Men emerges from the bathroom after he is done with his shower and heads to his luggage to put his items that he had collected from the bathroom.
“Xi Men,” Xiao You walked to him from where she puts her luggage.
“Hmmm?” he looked at her.
She extends the €1000 to him. “This is to be returned to you,”
He looked at the stack of cash in her hand. “Returned?” he frowned.
“This is your money. You gave me this on day 1. I didn’t use it at all,” she said.
His frown eased as he remembered. “Oh. Umm…”
“Take it back,” she said.
His gaze remained on the stack of cash in her hand.
Seeing he is not moving, she grabbed his hand and then stuffs the cash in his hand.
Now, he switched his gaze to look at the stack of cash in his hand.
It is not that he didn’t want the cash. It is his money after all. It is just that, with her returning the cash to him, it reminds him again that this is the end.
He already knew this is the end, but… but he didn’t want to be reminded even more about it.
He just wants to live this moment with her.
Not to be reminded about the end.
“Oh,” he immediately awakes from the reverie. “Okay,” he said.
She smiled as she patted his hand which is holding the stack of cash, and then she turned around and walked to her luggage.
“Checked everything?” Xi Men asked, about to open the door of the suite. “Make sure you didn’t leave anything behind,”
“I have checked. Nothing left behind,” Xiao You said, gripping onto the handle of her luggage. “And you?”
“I have checked too,” Xi Men said. “So, leaving now?”
Xiao You turned her head and looked at the suite that she had stayed for the last week. She took a deep breath and then turned her head to look at Xi Men. “Yeah, leaving now,”
“Alright…” Xi Men opened the door.
“I’ll miss this magnificent place,” Xiao You said. “Room 509,”
He smiled briefly as he wheeled his luggage out of the suite. “I’ll miss this place too,”
“Monsieur, this is your final bill…” the receptionist passes the bill to Xi Men at the reception counter of the hotel lobby. “Please verify and then sign at the dotted line here. This amount will be deducted from the room’s deposit and we will return the remainder to you,”
“Why is there extra billing? I thought you already paid for the hotel,” Xiao You mumbled to Xi Men.
“This is for the food that we have ordered during our stay here. You know, room service?” Xi Men said, turning his head to look at her.
“Oh, right! I forgot,” she said. “We’ve ordered a few times…”
“Yes, we do,” he smiled as he turned to look at the bill again, before he plants his signature at the dotted line of the bill and then he passes the bill to the receptionist.
“Please wait for a moment, monsieur,” the receptionist said.
“Sure,” Xi Men replied.
While Xi Men stood there and waited, Xiao You looked around the hotel lobby.
‘Seeing this place for one last time…’ Xiao You thought to herself.
One last time.
“Thank you, monsieur and Madame. You’ve been checked out now. We hope to serve you again,” the receptionist said, passing the receipt to Xi Men.
Xi Men took the receipt from her hand, “Thank you,” he then turned and looked at Xiao You whose back is facing him. “Xiao You, let’s go,”
Xiao You turned and looked at Xi Men. “Alright,” she smiled faintly.