A run. That sounds responsible.

Sally got a hotel in the Marais. She said that was a really great part of the city. Well, she probably didn’t say “really great,” but something more profound or at least literary.

She seemed to have her life together. She’s been places, traveled, written books. She wouldn’t write things like really great.

But either would Rick. This was his chance to turn a corner, pivot on a dime–or even on a centime! He could handle Paris. He was waiting for that chance in his life when he could change, when he could blossom and be the man that he knew he really was. What chapter of the manual of Living the Life You’ve Always Dreamed Of┬ádid they mention that you should actually get started living that life?┬áRip out that chapter and toss it in the river. The time is now and Rick knew it.

There was a girl, no, a woman, waiting for him in a hotel in Paris. She was there for him. Not for a conference, not for a job interview, not even for coffee. She was there for him so they could start the rest of their lives together. Well, not in that way together, but they could both start their lives separately together. OK, so at least he could start his life from here on out because that was the man that he was or, at least, the man he was going to be. In fact, the man he was going to become as soon as he stepped foot into that hotel. Where is this place anyway?

Paris was dazzling. Both chaotic and charming at the same time–just like him. An excellent place for a romance, he thought as he checked his phone for directions and made a right at the cafe. Maybe that would be the one where they wrote together. Maybe they’d laugh together and write and stay still for hours and then look up at each other and smile but then write more. Maybe they’d have a French beer or share a carafe of wine.

Slow down there, partner, he said to himself and smiled as he rolled his wheelie bag down a smaller street in what he was 84% sure was in the Marais neighborhood. Focus on what’s in front of you, the task at hand: find hotel, find your room, just put on the shoes and go for a run.

As his analytical brain thought through how he was going to not get lost on a jog in the city made up of smaller and smaller streets, he came straight up in front of what must have been his hotel: Le Charme. I know what that means, he thought. Charm.


“Charm I have, that I can do,” he said to himself as he stepped through the doors of the hotel.

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