The Concierge

by Doreen F.

I was in holidays in France together with my cousin Patricia. We went by car and had a really great time. Both of us had been left by our boyfriends in spring and we decided to enjoy our single life together. After spending some time on the beautiful beaches we decided it was time for sightseeing which led us straight to Paris. The city was amazing and we even had distant relatives there, who we wanted to meet. Unfortunately their houses were not big enough to accommodate us. But they arranged a room for us at a nice hotel in an area which was perfect if you wanted to go sightseeing. But the best part of the hotel was yet to be discovered.

On our first evening in Paris we were really exhausted from our trip since we had gone all the way from La Rochelle at the Atlantic coast to Paris and it had been extremely hot. Therefore we decided to stay at the hotel and meet our relatives on the next day. We only went out to grab some food and when we returned we decided to check our emails since the hotel offered free internet access at two computers in the lobby. When we came back the computers were occupied so we went to our room first and planned to come back some later in the evening. We showered and I decided to take out my contact lenses since it had been a long day and there was no reason why I needed them now.

When we went back to the lobby the computer terminals were free and we sat down. I noticed a really handsome young man behind the reception desk. This could not be our concierge for the night, could he? Patricia had noticed my interest and looked at me in disbelief. We had always had a different taste in men. Thank God for that!

After writing some emails to our families and friends, Patricia went over to me. "Iíll go up to our room. Take your chances, Becky, but donít forget that we are in France!"

"Thanks a bunch! See you."

Patricia left and I wrote another email considering what I should do. After that I got up and went over to the concierge. I had to find a reason to talk to him, but what could that be? When I reached the reception desk I had an idea.

"Hi!"

"Hello!"

"Do you know whatís the weather going to be like tomorrow? Because my cousin and I want to explore Paris and wouldnít mind if it wasnít as hot as today?"

He answered me in perfect English. "I donít think it will be quite as hot, but not much colder either."

"Well, what would you expect; itís summer?"

"Thatís true."

"Another questionÖuh is there any creperie close to the hotel that you can recommend? You know, I really love crepes?"

"Actually there is. Funny enough, it belongs to my parents and they have the best crepes in Paris. But there are some others as well, if donít believe me."

"No, I think I believe you. Where is it?

He took a map and showed me exactly where it was.

"Thanks a lot. Iíll go there, if I can get my cousin to join me. But I guess that wonít be too hard because she really loves crepes."

"Iím glad I could be of help. How long are you staying?"

"About five day, but Iím not quite sure, we might extend our stay."

"So thereís a chance Iíll see you again?"

"I guess so. How longís your shift?"

"From 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. 3 nights in a row."

"Well, thanks again. See you."

"Good night."

"Bonne nuit."

I returned to my room. Patricia was watching TV and wanted to know what had happened. "Whatís his name?"

"ErhÖ I did not ask him, sorry. I didnít want to make it too obvious that I felt attracted to him. We just had a nice chat, thatís all."

"I see. So youíll be talking to him again, I guess."

"I hope so." I said smiling.

In the morning we did not see my cute concierge since we did not get up before 9 a.m. We ate breakfast and then we took the metro in order to start our sightseeing programme. We had arranged to meet our relatives in the late afternoon. We spent the morning in the Louvre because it was air-conditioned and one of the sights which we had added to our "Must-see-list". We had lunch at one of the small cafťs in the Quartier Latin and went to Montmartre afterwards. At four we met our mothersí cousin and took a walk to the Arc de Triomphe. We went up and enjoyed the impressive view of the city. It was amazing.

Around six we went to a trendy cafť on the Champs Elysťe where we met some more of our relatives. There was a guy who immediately attracted Patriciaís attention Ė just her type. He was the stepson another cousin of our mothers, his name was Denis. We had a great time and Patricia and Denis got along very well. They even exchanges phone numbers and decided to meet on the next day. We were also invited to our relativesí house on Friday evening. It was only Wednesday so we had some more time for us. The reunion lasted quite long and we returned to our hotel at around midnight.

I waved at our concierge who looked slightly bored Ė what a job!!

Back at our room Patricia kept telling me how cute Denis was and what they wanted to do together and what not. I got a little envious and decided to go down to the lobby. Once more I went in glasses.

I did not need any pretence that night. I just walked straight to the reception desk.

"Hey!"

"Hello!"

"You looked so bored when we just came in, so I thought Iíd come down to keep you awake."

"Thatís nice. I was nearly dozing off when you came."

"This is you summer job, right?"

"Yeah, Iím a student, but during summer I work here. The salaryís not bad and I have 3-4 nights a week off."

"Really? Iím a student as well. What do you study?"

"English and Spanish, and you?"

"International Business Administration with English and Spanish as a foreign language. But Iíve also started taking French courses, just for fun."

"Alors, on parle francaisÖno, just kidding, podemos seguir en español tambiťn si quieres."

"Por supuesto, whatever you prefer. Well, my French is not that good yet."

"No, English is fine with me."

"Yeah, me too. So, tell me, what kind of work does your job consist of?"

"Well, apart from flirting with guests, I also hand out keys to those who arrive late at night. And I also prepare the breakfast, like cutting cheese and ham, laying the tables, you know."

"And trying not to fall asleep, right?"

"Yes, that too."

"You must be sleeping all day then."

"Actually not, well, I try to, but usually I canít, especially when itís hot."

"I couldnít sleep because of the light. Somehow I can only sleep in the dark."

"Thatís another problem."

"Whatís your name, by the way?"

"Thierry, yours?"

"Becky."

"Nice to meet you, Becky."

"I expect youíre engaged?"

"No, actually, Iím not. My girlfriend and I broke up this spring."

"My boyfriend and I too. Well, Thierry, I think Iíd better go to bed now. Good night."

"Good night Becky."

I went to my room and fell asleep dreaming of Thierry.

On the next day Patricia and I did some more sightseeing. In the late afternoon she met Denis and I did some sightseeing by myself. Patricia came back at around seven and we decided to go to the creperie of Thierryís parents.

We were having a great time there. The food was extraordinarily delicious and Thierryís parents were really nice. I did not see Thierry, though, but I did not even know if he lived there. Afterwards we took a walk through the Jardins de Luxembourg and when we returned to the hotel Thierry was already working.

Patricia went up to our room while I stayed in the lobby. Thierry talked about this and that until some guests arrived and I went up to our room.

On the next day we went to Versailles by car and in the late afternoon we arrived at our relativesí place where we spent an incredibly nice evening. We got back to the hotel very late. Thierry had told me he would not be working that night so I was surprised to see him in the lobby.

"Hi Thierry, I thought you had tonight off!"

"Yes, I thought so too, but the other concierge is ill and they asked me to come. What was I supposed to do? I mean I did not have any plans and when they called I was taken by surprise and could not find an excuse."

"Poor you. But youíll have some days off from tomorrow on, right?"

"I hope so. Iíll just have to find an excuse."

"Just tell them itís your grandmotherís birthday or something."

"Thatís a good idea."

"Or you could have a date!"

"With whom?"

"I donít know, just think of something."

"Okay, thanks for the inspiration. You made my night."

"Bonne nuit."

"Buenas noches."

Patricia and Denis had decided to meet on Saturday. I could join them, but I did not really feel like that. In the morning we did some shopping and some more sightseeing. Around noon we met Denis and had lunch together at a cafť close to the creperie. They left giggling, but I decided to stay for another coffee.

I left the cafť considering what to do now. The weather was still nice, therefore it would be a good idea to take a walk through the beautiful parts of the city. I had been walking absent-mindedly for a few minutes and suddenly I found myself in a really beautiful street. I paused to take photo. When I looked up I saw someone familiar coming towards me. It was Thierry, but he looked different. First of all he was wearing casual clothes; at work he had been wearing a suit. And he was also wearing glasses and looked absolutely gorgeous. Wearing glasses myself - at least sometimes - had made me more conscious of other people in glasses and I usually felt more attracted to them too.

"Hey Thierry. What are you doing here?"

"Hi Becky! What a surprise! I live quite close and Iíve just had lunch at the worldís best creperie."

"Wow, thatís great."

"What are you doing here? This is not an area where you see many tourists!"

"Well, I had lunch with my cousin and her soon-to-be boyfriend. Then I was walking around and suddenly I found myself at this amazing spot. I wanted to take a photo and then I saw you."

"I can show you some really nice places, if you like."

"Iíd love to."

"Great. Alright, letís turn left here."

"Wow, consider yourself lucky to be living in such a nice area."

"The trouble is, when youíve been living here your entire life you sometimes seem to forget how beautiful it is."

"I know, but at least some people remind you of it."

"Thatís true."

"You look great in glasses, by the way."

"Thanks, you too; although youíre not wearing yours today."

"Thanks. I didnít realise you had contact lenses."

"Theyíre hard to spot, arenít they?" He smiled shyly.

"True enough, but thatís one of their advantages."

"I hardly ever wear mine, but at work they prefer it, so I wear them there most of the time. But outside work I hardly ever wear them, only for sports. Theyíre not so comfortable."

"I wear mine because my ophthalmologist thought they would stop my eyes from getting worse. Hard lenses, you know, and he was right. But in the evening or in the morning I tend to wear glasses. I donít really mind wearing them."

"I see. Oh, look here we are. This is one of the most beautiful places of Paris."

"Youíre right, especially with you by my side."

"Have you been on the Eiffel Tower yet?"

"No, I havenít had time for that."

"Letís go there at sunset. It is a spectacular sight and I havenít been up there for some time."

"Sounds great. Iíll just have to pop into my room to upload some photos on my notebook so I have more space on the memory card. I hope you donít mind."

"No problem, Iíll wait for you outside."

I rushed back up to my room and in not time at all I was back to meet Thierry. We took the metro and went to the Eiffel Tower. The entrance fee was not cheap, but the top platform was open and when we reached it I know it was worth every cent I had paid. The view was amazing. I took many photos, some of Thierry as well and he took some of me. We stayed until they announced that the platform would be closing soon. What an incredible day? Before we took the elevator to get down Thierry showed me the fantastic view of the Seine when the street lamps were lit. Then he kissed me. Wow, I felt my heart beating really fast, especially when his glasses touched my cheeks. Smiling and holding hands we took the elevator down and continued to walk through the streets towards Champs Elysťe.

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