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In a moment of adrenaline and confusion, a girl can make a life changing decision, only to regret it with a deep sorrow. My life, an innocent shell sitting on a crowded beach, was crushed in a simple moment by someone running toward the waves of love. I can imagine I’m not the only one who has been faced with regret or doubt on a decision like this, and I feel sorry for those who have. I held the emotions of the man I love in my hands. Of all the thoughts screaming in my mind that night, I left the restaurant with one simple word running through my mind: “No”.

. . . . .

 My story begins in a small pastry shop in the city of lights. All my life I had dreamed of living in Paris. I took French for 3 years in high school and 2 more years in college; you could say I’m pretty fluent in the language. I signed up for an exchange program at UCLA and anxiously waited for a reply. Three weeks later I got in; I was set to go to Paris, France for a semester starting in the following fall school year. I counted down the days until I could board the plane and find myself in Paris.

When I finally stepped off the plane and onto French soil, I could barely contain myself. I had studied the information given to me during the summer and had my address memorized like it was my first name. After calling a taxi and repeating my address to the driver, I finally arrived at my apartment. Not exactly luxury living, but I loved it right away.

After three months of school and social life, I still felt like an outsider.According to my neighbor I “reeked of America”. My life in Paris was a dream come true. And three months led me to this moment at La Patisserie.

As I wait in the long line for my treat, my roommate, Lynn, texts me. “hey Lucy! Grab a croissant for me?!” I groan and reply, “you better pay me back this time! lol” I’m pressing send when I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn around and find myself staring into the warm eyes of a nice looking guy staring back. Okay so not just nice looking, he is pretty hot. I try so hard not to let my face turn pink.

“Can I help you?”

“Sorry, but it’s your turn…”

I turn back around and notice the gap between me and the register.

“Oh, sorry!” I’m avoiding another blush as I walk to the counter.

“Two caramel croissants and a chocolate milk, please.”

The cashier enters my order and I pay the usual 7 Euros. Suddenly a realization crosses my mind and I turn to the young man behind me.

“You speak English!” I almost yell at him.

“Uh yeah, I’m here on an exchange program for UCLA.” He replies, smiling. I can’t help but notice his kind smile.

“Small world, me too!” How could I have possibly met a good looking guy in Paris that was American and from the same college?! “We should get together for lunch sometime!”

“I would love to! Are you busy now?” I look at him, trying to decide if I am dreaming. I have been to this café millions of times, how could I have never met him?

”So..?”

“Oh, sorry! Now’s perfect!” I hear my number called and I walk back to the counter to pick up my food. My mind is racing. Is this a date? Is he into me? Could my last name finally change? Wait, I don’t even know his name!

“I’m afraid I didn’t catch your name,” I ask

“I’m Nate, short for Nathan.”

Hot name too.

“Nice to meet you, I’m Lucy!”

We walk to a cozy table next to a window looking out at the busy streets; there’s a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower from this spot. Even though I have lived here for three months, the view is still breathtaking. We talk about life in Paris and the school basketball team and everything in between. He was born in Nevada and moved to Arizona when he was 16. After graduating with a full ride swim scholarship, he spent a year at UCLA and got bored with his life. So he signed up for the exchange program for some adventure.

“Your story is way more interesting than mine!”

He smiles. Something about that smile just makes my heart melt.

“You had a dream, and worked for it, I like a girl who knows what she wants.” He says with confidence. I’m flattered; a little too flattered because I feel my cheeks get rosy again. Darn fair skin!

“Why thank you!”

I smiled and looked down, only to notice an extra croissant sitting on my plate. Oops, Lynn was probably wandering where I am. I checked my phone only to see that 2 hours had passed. “Holy cow! I gotta go!”

“I’m sorry I kept you, but you’re so easy to talk to! Can we do this again soon?” He says getting up from his chair to throw away my trash. What a gentleman!

“I would love to, here…” I pull out a pen and write my number on his strong hand. He smiles and returns the favor.

“I’ll call you soon!”

“I can’t wait!” I reply dumbly.

He walks me to the door holds it open for me. I thank him and we go our separate ways. I look back and can’t help but notice that he was looking back too.

I walk home with new confidence and a smile from ear to ear. This could totally become something! My lifelong dream of falling in love in Paris might be coming true! I climb the 3 floors to my apartment. As soon I walk in Lynn is begging for her croissant.

“What took you so long? I thought you forgot or something.” I can barely understand her voice through the croissant in her mouth.

“Try not to overreact but I think…I think I might have a boyfriend in the near future!”

“Eh? You met a guy?!”

“Try not to sound so surprised! I met him at La Patisserie, he is a swimmer, cutest smile, gentlemanly, oh! And did I mention he’s American! And when he smiles, his face brightens up, it just makes me melt!”

“Whoa there, did you say swimmer? So… like… super ripped...and stuff?”

“Totally! His arms were like perfection. I gave him my number, I wonder when he’s going to ca-“

Just as I’m saying it, my phone rings. I compare the number to the one on my hand. Perfect match.

“I think its him!”

“Well what are you waiting for?! Answer it!”

“Okay I will...’Hello?’”

I hear his unforgettable voice and give Lynn a thumbs up and a wink. She winks back and smiles, walking to the kitchen to “get some water”, but I can tell she’s secretly listening.

“Hi Nate!”

“Hey Lucy! I was just wondering if you wanted to do something tomorrow. If you’re not busy, I’d like to take you to dinner.”

“I would love to! Where are we going?”

“It’s a surprise! I’ll pick you up around 7, if that works for you.”

I can almost hear him smile through the phone, my heart beats faster and I set the plan. Its hard hanging up, but its late, I have classes tomorrow. I walk by the kitchen to see Lynn smiling at me. I smile back and bid her goodnight. I go through the routine of getting ready for bed. In my prayers tonight, I ask God if this is right for me. I’m already 23, and all my friends back home have already gotten married. I know marriage is crazy to think about right now, but I really like this guy.

I can hardly sleep as I lie in bed. Life in Paris was going so slow until today, and all of the sudden, I feel like a new Lucy. My last thought as I finally drift to sleep is what am I going to wear?!

Croissants, a Swimmer, and a Whole Lot of LovinRead this story for FREE!