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‘Hi and how are you are so overrated…although I was wondering how have you been?’
‘I’ll just go with the old fashioned way and say ok, and what about you?’ She answers with a smile in her voice. I hear a soft thud, it sounds like a cabinet or a dresser is being closed and I can’t help but to wonder what she is doing. When we were still living together I knew all the sounds and I never had to wonder where she was and what she was doing at that given moment. Right now I have no clue.
‘That’s exactly why I find it overrated, people will never say anything else but ok or good.’
‘And some people will even miss to give a reply to a simple ‘and what about you’?’ I don’t know what I expected from this call, but hearing the easiness in her voice for sure is nice.
‘Guilty as charged. It still feels strange knowing you are just a walk away.’
‘And how would you know that, you haven’t been here yet.’
‘True.’ I mumble when I walk over to the window and peek outside wondering if she is looking at the Seine just like me. ‘I would like to see you, if.. if you…’
‘Did you finish that wine?’
‘A few days ago already.’
‘I do have some more. How about you join me later for a glass?’ Her breathing on the other side is matching mine before she holds her breath for a moment anticipating my answer.
‘I would really like that.’ And with that I end the call. Staring at the phone in my hands, wondering if I just did that, I know for sure Bette is shaking her head, chuckling how much I resemble my mother.
A few hours later I exit the cab and study the narrow street with cobblestones in the Saint Germain des Pres district, a few streets away from the Seine. Seventeenth century old white facades stare back at me, a few boutiques on either side of the quiet street. These kind of streets are true gems in Paris, forming a contrast to the busy boulevards and tourist attractions. Typical for this city there is a bar with a red canopy on the corner. During spring and summer there will be a few small, round tables and chairs where people will enjoy a coffee or a wine.