I felt good today, probably the best I've felt since moving to Paris from London six months ago. It was one of those picture perfect spring days, the uninterrupted blue sky making the city of my dreams even more breathtakingly beautiful.
I've always had an obsession with this city, the perfectly manicured people fascinated me and I have watch for hours as they embrace life in a way with an ease that is completely foreign to me.
I feel like I have always rushed through life, from deadline to deadline, meeting to meeting, forcing my way through pilates classes and lattes-to-go, squeezing in visits to my parents, even "casual" drinks with friends are booked weeks in advance, everything a fast paced blur as life simply passed me by as I tried desperately to run after it, completely out of breathe and never able to actually fully catch up.
Today was going to be different, with the sun shining, I decide I am going to embrace the culture of my new home. I stroll out of my apartment in a white short sleeved shirt dress that sits just above my knees, my long, dark hair fell over my shoulders and my new black leather espadrilles made me feel more Parisian chic than my reality. I cover my blue eyes with my raybans and head down the street to attack my weekly attempt to fumble my way through the french labels and foreign brands at the supermarket. Thank god for google translate.
I try to weave through a crowd of parents and au pairs saying farewell to children no more than seven or eight years old before dropping them at the nearby school for the day. After several "Pardon"s and "Excusez-moi"s I try not to let the lack of people acknowledging my attempt to move past the mob consuming the entire pavement ruin my positive attitude. I grit my teeth and smack a fake smile on my face as I turn on my heel and decide to go around the block instead.
As I walk around the corner, I let my stiff smile drop as well as the breath I was holding in. I grab my phone and put my earphones in pressing play on my Spotify playlist as I make a turn down a street I haven't explored yet. After a couple of blocks, I stumble upon a tiny organic health food store. It is modern with light timber flooring and perfectly stocked shelves with health foods, vitamins and other things I don't even pretend to have heard of.
"Bonjour," The man behind the small counter and I say in unison as I walk past the threshold.
I smile politely as I walk further into the narrow store, studying the packets of weird seeds, berries and powders.
I turn into a small corner of the store and pick up a plastic container of chia seeds. My sisters voice replays in my head explaining all the amazing benefits of this supposed "super food" that my cynical mind thinks is probably complete bullshit.
I smile and roll my eyes imagining how impressed with me she will be when I Skype and tell her about my newly found health store.
While I try to decode the label on the back with my limited French I take a step towards the middle of the store. Before my mind can catch up to my body someone moving much faster than me slams into the front of me and I am catapulted to the ground with an embarrassing thud.
Smoothing dress down whilst still sitting on the floor like a child I start my pathetic attempt at apologising in French even though it was barely my fault. I grab my phone off the timber boards and pull my earphones out of my ears just in time to hear a raspy British voice.
"Shit, I'm so sorry are you ok?"
I laugh lightly, dusting myself off as I get up, "ah my assassin speaks English!"
I look up as I hear the mystery man laugh.
"I'm really sorry I shouldn't have been running and didn't see you there!"
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