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‘Here. I’m here.’ I answer.
A sigh and behind the window she leans her hand against the frame and bends her head. ‘Do you feel better?’ She asks. My answer consists merely out of an increase of breath, which she seems to understand without a word. ‘OK…So I was sitting in the cinema and I saw an old couple… you know like the one we used to see when we would have lunch in Jardin de Tuileries, during your breaks at the Louvre. You always said that’s us in 100 years. You remember?’ I rest my elbow on the back rest of the old wooden bench and press the airpods tighter into my ear, not wanting to miss a word. ‘So they were sitting a few rows in front of me but I could clearly see they were holding hands the entire time. And from time to time they would whisper something to one another… and the other would nod or smile. I was so jealous. I guess some people deserve that…’
‘A life time together. And I kept on wondering, if it’s really possible that they didn’t have any struggles along the way. It’s not possible right? I mean they also had to get to know each other. To learn how to make compromises. To learn how to communicate. To accommodate each other. To sacrifice. To learn from each other. And to grow together. It’s just… it’s not like all those things happened automatically just because they got married.’ She lets out an ironic chuckle, before she disappears out of sight. Instantly I sit up and scan all the windows. ‘And when the movie was done, don’t know which one, they got up and he helped her with her coat and they walked out holding hands.’ Another swallow. ‘I know love is not all it takes, love itself is never enough… there is so much more.’
The light in the bedroom switches on and I rest back against the hard wood. I do… I do love you. Like that tourist boat her words have been circling around in my head the entire week. When her stature cruises from the bathroom to the bedroom and a thud indicates her opening and closing the wardrobe I close my eyes. It’s made from walnut wood, build in, it was there already when I moved in. The soft grey wallpaper that we put there together when she moved to Paris. It’s still there. The two nightstands with the table lamps, that she bought, that make the bedroom look inviting. ‘I…’ I stop and bite my lip. She sits down on my side of the bed, in front of the big French doors and combs her hand through her hair, her breathing still calming. The bed, it’s not too small, not too big and I remember its warmth and endless softness from the last time I spent the night with her. The warmth behind the windows and her softness tug at me and I melt like snow for the first spring sun. ‘But it’s a start.’ I say as I pass the street and enter the apartment complex. ‘What do you think they did when they got home?’