Journée à Paris
Warm sunlight twinkles across shiny glass walls of a small, cozy cafe, the entrance bells lightly grazing each other and giving off occasional, abrupt melodies that flow through the tranquil air surrounding bustling cafe workers and customers politely seated at various tables scattered throughout, sipping their warm coffees and nibbling their soft pastries with delight. Two particular customers, regulars of the cafe, sit and sip their coffees in silence just outside where the wind blows gently across their frozen faces, the snowy streets finally making way to blooming flowers and splendid shades of green that could bring a smile to anyone’s face.
The sun lazily sits upon the horizon, casting the entire sky in beautiful shades of orange, blue, and pink. The Eiffel Tower sits clearly in the distance, just out of reach.
“You know, this sight never gets boring,” one of the two women states, sipping her hot beverage with a quick blow over the boiling liquid in a fruitless attempt to cool it, letting the coffee burn her tongue anyway. She doesn’t mind it.
“Says you,” the other replies, sighing into her hand as she leans upon it, her cup of coffee left abandoned on the delicate, ornate plate the waitress had brought their chocolate Crêpes on. Glancing at it seems to lift her mood if only a small pip.
Ani lets her reach for them, taking in a deep breathe of fresh air. Anything to make her good friend a little less nervous about what’s to come. If anything is to come.
“Germany, Italy, Spain… Now France,” Sonya begins, as she lays the Crêpes upon her plate. Ani takes the queue to grab her own and lays one onto her own plate. The sweetness of the chocolate will partially be masked by the bitter topic they are about to discuss, but she knows they must discuss it.
“Who says we’ll find it here?” Sonya continues.
“No one,” Ani begins, “But we’re not going to give up now, are we?”
Sonya lets out a heavy sigh through her nose. She takes a small bite of the Crêpes before looking at the fading sunset in the distance. After a moment, she speaks up once again.
“You won’t give up,” Sonya says quietly. A heavy silence fills the air, broken only by her soft voice.
“And if you don’t, then I can’t. No way I’m the only loser here.”
The other girl lets a faint smile form on her lips as she too turns to look at the light upon the multicolored horizon, slowly fading to darkness.
“Does your brother know about your condition?”
“How am I supposed to tell him?” Sonya sighs, finally taking a sip of her coffee. “He’ll think it’s his fault. He’ll think he can do something to stop it, which he can’t. Not in any sensical way at least.”
Sonya sits quietly for a moment before continuing.
“It’s not worth it. Telling him will only lead to more problems, and he has enough to deal with.”
Ani doesn’t look at her companion.
Deep down, she believes she can understand. The topic is swiftly abandoned, as always.
“The Louvre, exactly midnight. We’ll meet a 50-year-old man who might know something about the Soul Amulet,” Ani states, taking a bite of her own Crêpe, humming at the sweet flavor that fills her mouth.
“Yes,” Ani confirms.
“You’re sure he’s safe?” Sonya asks with a hint of caution.
“He can’t do much to hurt us, I assure you. Both his pride and condition disallow him.”
Sonya briefly turns to Ani.
“Oh,” Sonya turns away from her once more, sitting silently for a moment before taking another bite.
“He’s a strong man, one that, even after everything he’s suffered, remains honorable at heart. Everyone that knows him respects him tremendously and, I think we’ll find that we do too,” the younger woman finishes, and places the Crêpe on the plate to bring the coffee to her lips once more.
“I trust you,” Sonya responds. “I always do.”
A calm silence comfortably permeates the air, and the sun dips below the horizon at last.
“I promise you,” Ani says, her voice barely heard in the wind that slowly begins to pick up.
“We’re going to find that gem, and we’re going to use its power to save you.”
The light gradually fades, and the twinkling top of the Eiffel tower is submerged in shadow. “And then we’re going to find my sister.”
The other places her unfinished Crêpe upon the plate and watches the sunlight fade, the night sky glowing brilliantly above them. The sound of distant bells can be heard over the whistling wind, tolling eight whole times.