Maybe it looks like nothing had happened. Maybe it looks like everything would go on like before. A pebble that breaks the surface of a pond. He plunges, sets, and apparently only the waves, he sends over the water, know that it exists. Sometimes a stone falls into a river. The flow carries him to where other stones have already accumulated. And all at once the river changes his formerly well known path.
Two weeks language holiday in Nice have enriched my way with wonderful coincidences. I will show you the individual pebbles, stones, small and large. Piece by piece I will leave you here by my story. Read if you’re interested. Do you want to read more? Do you like the story? Let me know in the comments write to me, like my blog. I am looking forward to your opinion – even constructive feedback, if you do not like.
(For my friends, I try to write in English – I welcome your suggestions and improvements :))
Nice, October, some year
Prologue – Last night in Nice
Frida said it just like that and all the possibilities and miracles resonated, by the fact that it looks much clearer with 19, rather than when later life seems emptier, because we no longer dare to believe in. I had outgrown 19 long time ago. I hugged her and the others, smiled even wider and wiped away a little wet from my cheek. Raindrop. One of the last ones this evening. The Rain has almost finished. The stars of the night were reflected in the puddles on the plastered boulevard. Talking surged from the open doors of the bars on the deserted market stalls, on the way to us, accompanied by laughter and music. A few voices and footsteps were sounding occasionally over the pavement from the ones strolling through Nices streets after the big raining. Thursday evening, almost midnight, Nice.
I threw a glance back to my friends – Norway, England, United States -, then turned, chose my way. I took the first step, then a few more. In my mind I fumbled for words. How should I write the message? Write Correctly? Hardly a moment it took, and my thoughts fluttered. I noticed the motion in my pocket: My phone, a message that I received. I wiped across the screen. And I wiped a second time because I did not succeed the first time, to unlock the code and open the message, and I started to read.
He was off with his restaurant that day, told me, he was so much sorry to be too tired to go out for party, even for my last night and to just be able to take his way home. But he would have liked to have a Drink with me the next day, after his restaurants lunch shift on Friday – if I would want to. Somehow I managed not to drop my phone. I struggled with myself and searched for this bit of courage, I knew, it had to be hidden somewhere inside of me. I forced my fingers out of their paralysis to type in some characters, some words, some sentences with sense at least. I formed a question, waited, took a few steps further. The phone in my hands, my eyes not able to look up from the screen, waiting, yearning for his answer. I checked the settings of my phone, switched the sound on, and off, and on again, and louder. My heart almost stoped – more to blame on the loudness that crashed the silence of the Night. The vibration started at the same time, words appeared on the screen. I read them and putted my phone back into my bag. And I went faster, always and always again circling the words in my mind. I already heard, then saw the Tram approaching, that would have brought me to my guestfamily. But it was too late. I hardly could keep down that smile, when I got the other response to my question in the meantime. My fingers searched and grasped for the cell, stomach filled up with a thousand butterflies and in my legs no more bones, muscles, flesh – there was just jelly, when I walked further along the tiny alleys with the lanterns, along the facades, which were dipped in warm Orange, through the streets where the lights danced and varied and trembled – a bit like me inside. But for all of that I found this deep calmness, kind of peace inside and it imbued me with warmth, telling me in this special way, that it’s right – meant to be. I managed to recognize the letters, the words, the meaning of his message. In that moment some words returned to my conscience, enlightened my mind, and I was glad, Frida spoke them.
So … that´s how it happened that Thursday’s – that last – night of mine in Nice. And I fell asleep and woke up to a new morning – amazed, grateful, thankful for that night and specially having met such wonderful people like them – specially for meeting him by chance with all these coincidences and little wonders that fate has in store for us.
what happened before …….
Launching last eve in Nice
close to Place Massena, 19.57 o´clock, thurday´s eve. Place Massena. Dusk. My way from the tram over the checkerboard pattern of the square to the fountain was painted by the colour sequence of “la conversation”. High up on the steel is the colour given from figure to figure – red, blue, green, yellow, purple. Record, Answer, Share. Always anew.
– And my eyes followed. Always anew. Until the field of my eyes was occupied by the fountain. The white statues shimmered in the evening light, sparkling from the waterdrops.
I had an appointment with a few people from the class of the language school. From a distance I saw Elena. The blond Californian girl stood at the fountain leaning against the balustrade and typed into her phone. Her look jerked up immediately before I stoped in front of her. “Cool that you’re there,” she said. “Frida will join later, Christina and Yves also. William is with his parents at dinner and we will meet much later in the bar.
I nodded, smiled and rubbed my belly. “What do you think about starting now?”
“Good plan, definitely,” she replied. “I’m really hungry.”
“My choice is ok for you?”, I ticked by, and kept my breath for a short moment.
She looked at me grinning. “Sure.”
I smiled back an impish smile. My face turned towards the fountain and I pointed to the left. “Let’s go! And … thank you.” After a few meters I stopped my steps and touched Elena’s arm. “Do the others where to find us; Frida, Cristina and Yves?”
The blonde girl from California gave me a brooding look, then one on her cell phone. “Photos” she said, and I agreed laughing. I thumb went up while I unlocked my phone, shot the first frame and sent it. “It´s not very far. Do you see the first crossing? There we have to turn right, and after that it´s just a few meters.”
Elena was the one putting the next breadcrumbs for our friends, when we where almost about to arrive.
In sight of our target Elena and me started considering which of the vacant tables outside the restaurant would suits us most. For a moment we stopped waiting. Previously I had enjoyed already some wonderful late summer eves here, a glass of wine on my first night in Nice after I have had met Divan and Ola in the afternoon, or when I had met unexpectedly last Saturday night Ola there; or when I was there shortly afterwards, to write.
Elena was visiting for the first time. I watched her perceiving what´s surrounding. The narrow alley with the wide walkway, the restaurant itself, where before tables invite to linger, the two large wine barrels that are right next to the entrance of which I have had chosen one to be my favourite place, the wall panels that show the wine selection and the daily specials, the red awning, the warm light that exude the multi-coloured lanterns. And it occured to me what I thought when I saw it for my first time visiting here: the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine, the perfect place for a perfect time, if there was such a thing as a perfect holiday. That was almost two weeks ago. I had to smile, even more when thinking about what in these almost two weeks had happened. Then I’m back in the here, the now, saw what was happening around us, and who wass around us.
–Elena nudged me, then took a step back and asked me not to move. Her eyes screened me from the toe to the hair tips. Black shone my high heels; my dress flowed gently, soft summer white, sleeveless down to the knee, starting at the neck above the collarbone, the black squares were thrown over the fabric; a loose twisted strand right and left tamed the waves of my hair. Elena raised her eyebrows. “Wow. Your dress is beautiful. You look incredibly stunning.” She smiled conspiratorially and raised her eyebrows questioningly.
“Thank you,” I said. And especially at this moment, especially this evening the compliment meaned a lot. “Yes,” I smiled answering. She winked, turned, looked around. I knew what she was looking for and couldn´t believe what happened: Deepest red explods over my cheekbones. “Will you put your finger down,” I hissed, my eyes tearing up. It occured to me that the girl next to me – with all his curiosity, his openness to people and cultures, with its positive approach towards everything – that she was 18. 18 – and not pressed into shape, in some things from life and some painful experiences. “Elena, please.” I was not able to suppress the pleading tone, without smiling, shaking my head at the same time. I hided my groaning, and was unsure what circumstance was really true: the regret not to act that easy and intuitively like her, or the guilty conscience for me sounding like a teacher.
“Oh wow …” she began, a moment later, and I interrupted her. “Yes.”
I grinned at the expression on Elena’s face. Our conversation was interrupted when someone spoke to us and lead to the table. With appetite, big eyes and a growing hunger Elena and I listened to the selection of the food of the day. The dishes were created using fresh seasonal ingredients. The decision was anything but easy, because each of the menus sounded tempting. With the recommendations of the restaurant owner, we succeed ultimately to choose. Fresh salmon for me, duck breast filets for Elena. Choosing the wine was a lot easier. White wine, dry, fruity. I knew the proposal that would have followed would fit to my wishes; and so it was, as the man occured again at our table, presenting the wine in a stylish cooler. “Who’s the Boss?” He asked, “who tastes the wine.” Elena looked from him to me, my eyes only said one thing, and out of the corner of my eye I saw her smile. “What a question,” I answered, a suggestive smile on my lips, lifting my eyebrow.
The food was perfect as well as the wine – as the evening … as also Frida confirmed later, after she arrived. And then the evening started …..