So, I was in Paris for about a week. Five days to be exact. The trip was absolutely magical. Genuinely, it was ethereal. I fell in awe of the city, the people and the atmosphere. I like big cities, I grew up in one. Paris felt like being transported back to India in the confines of Europe. I fell in love.
It was a city of culture, history and romance. It was a city of taking the metro, walking for miles and adapting to a new environment. It was a city of pure bliss. So much going on, yet you could feel peaceful in it. Metropolitan and fast-paced. The kind of life I am used to in India. The kind of life I could get used to in Europe.
And then, of course, there was the French boy. No, the French man. It was three days of pure, utter magic with him. I got to kiss him, hold his hand and sleep by his side. I got to visit the Eiffel tower with him, walk through a chateau while he told us its history and listen to him explain why the city was designed the way it is. I got to live out a dream with him, kissing him under the Eiffel, with the moment captured forever in a photo. I got to visit Versailles, his hometown, and see the beauty outside of Paris. Being with him was so beautiful. He was different in Paris than he was in Amsterdam. Paris is his city, France is his country. He knows it like the back of his hand. He was confident, kind and mature. Even more so than he was in Amsterdam.
Being in Paris with him was wondrous in itself, but I realised the loss I was feeling only when I returned to Amsterdam. He and I spoke on the phone the day after I returned. We acknowledged that we hadn’t had a conversation about what my leaving meant for us. We didn’t talk about relationships, love, or commitment. I hadn’t felt the need to, while in Paris. And over the phone, he told me that neither had he. It’s not realistic for him and me to discuss these things when it does not seem likely that we will be in the same country, let alone in the same city in the foreseeable future. It’s not realistic to discuss the topic of ‘him and I’ when he doesn’t know where he’s going to be in two months and I know that I can’t leave Amsterdam. It feels a little bit like a loss that we can’t discuss these things without giving one another false hope or breaking each others’ hearts. But his maturity in acknowledging that it is indeed unhelpful to talk about these things really struck a chord with me. I was happy that he said that, even though the reality of it is uncomfortable for me to deal with. I know that there’s no point in discussing these things when we’re separated by borders.
But hearing him hum in agreement with me, hearing him accept the bittersweet nature of our meetings made me only want everything I can’t have more. The fact that he wasn’t willing to give in to something difficult and unreasonable simply because of our momentary emotions only attracted me to him more. I wondered why and realised that it was because we both displayed an immense amount of maturity. I put aside my emotions about what I feel this could be and I imagine that he’s done the same.
And I want to get to know him better. I want to unpack who he is, I want him to do the same for me. During our phone call the other day, I realised that there was so much more to him than what I’d imagined when we first met in Amsterdam. He’s so much braver, curious and worldly than I’d have expected from the man I’d first met. He’s motivated, decisive and an adventurer. He’s polite, resilient and a hard worker. I want to get to know him better. And I just wish we’d have the time.
Being with him was magic. It was a magic with great potential, but I don’t know if we’ll ever have the chance to explore it.