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Letters From Paris

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Lettre Une (Letter One)

 

            Dear Grandma,

 

 Okay, I realize that you are probably incredibly mad at me. I mean, I would be too if you just left without a word to anyone. Don't worry, by the time you get this, you will have realized that I already talked to Mom and Dad and explained to them why I did what I did and you will know that I’m fine and safe. I talked to Brittany too, and while she was incredible peeved (more so because I didn't take her with me. She always wanted to go on an adventure with me, I guess it's a little sister thing- wanting to go on an adventure with her big sister), she understood why I left. Mom and Dad don't, though. I know I am in so much trouble when I get home, but I really think it's worth it, Grams. Honestly, how many people can say that they ran off to Paris the summer before they were supposed to start college?

 

            I know, I know, I know. I should have at least said good-bye. But it was such a spur-of-the-moment decision, I figured if I said good-bye then it would just take some of the magic out of it. And I didn't even know what I was doing when I did it. I already told Mom and Dad and Brittany why I left and now I owe you an explanation as well.

 

            See, it all started when I went to visit Stanford. We got to stay in the dorms that we would soon be living in for the next four years. We took a tour of the campus and got to sit-in on a couple of classes and lectures. While it was all very cool and somewhat exciting, it was also kind of boring. This shocked me because my whole life I had always been excited for college. I couldn't wait for the day when I finally had my freedom. I was at Stanford and I suddenly realized that day was coming very soon. I was going to be at college, away from my parents and I would be able to do what I want, but it didn't excite me. In fact, going to college suddenly sounded extremely boring. It's what almost everyone does; high school and then college and then a job or a career. It just seemed so routine. And you know me Grams, I hate things that are routine.

 

            So I was sitting in my dorm at Stanford, thinking about what was to come and that was when it hit me. For the next four years of my life, it would be all about school again. Okay, fine, maybe not all about school, but close enough. It was then that I realized before that happened, before I could really dedicate and focus myself to another four years of school, I needed to do something first. Anything. I didn't know what it was. I didn't know what I was going to do, but, all of a sudden, I felt antsy. I had to get out of there and I did. After leaving a note for my friend that I had driven up with, (Nikki, you remember her, don't you? She was at my eighteenth birthday party a few weeks ago) I took the small bag that I had packed and just walked. And then I found myself at an ATM. I found myself taking all the money I had from my savings account and putting it in my bag. Then I walked around for a little bit more until I turned a corner and the airport was right there. I bought a one-way ticket to Paris, got my passport, and just hopped on the plane.

 

            It was when I was on the plane that I realized what I had just done. I couldn’t believe it. I decided that as soon as I landed, I would just buy another ticket home. It was as simple as that. Sure I would be in trouble because my parents would think that I had disappeared for two days, but they never had to know that I had actually gotten on a flight to Paris. But then, we landed. And I was in the city of lights, the city of romance. I knew I couldn't leave. I knew that something had brought me there for a reason and I knew I had to stay. I knew that there was no turning back now. So I walked around the airport for a little bit until I found a small stand with some maps in it. I took the one on top and then found a bench.

 

            I just sat there for a little while, watching the hustle of people walk by. Some seemed in a hurry while others seemed like they had all the time in the world. Some of them spoke in French, some in Spanish, some in British accents, and then some in regular old English. I didn't know what to do and I was somewhat scared. I was in this big city all alone, where I didn't know a soul. It took all my willpower not to turn around and just buy another plane ticket home. I felt so unsure of myself, but I knew, I knew, that something had brought me here. And while I felt scared, I knew I was meant to be here. So I laid the map out on the bench and looked at it.

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Letters From Paris

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Hayden Panettiereas Julie

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