Love in Paris

by D K Daniels

There comes the point in every man's existence that the opportunity arises for one to reflect on his life, concerning such a period, adolescence. Since I slave presently over my keyboard, I can't help but remember a place; a time, and a particular person to which I have never spoken of before in full context, until now. Only for today, I have come to recognize thirty years later the uniqueness of an encounter, where I stumbled across a handsome boy, in Lumière De Étoiles (Starlight) Plaza, in central France. Firstly, let me make it clear that I am not a writer, showman or any other fiddle-faddle and betwixt. I am a simple man, with simple desires, and of such wants. I am married, have one child, and many things my wife detests. I would have preferably envied getting the chance to see the Bon Jovi concert tonight; although the wife settled for an opera. Fights occur, so I am writing this, rather than attending.

Once, the dream lingered, I wanted to write of the encounter. It had transpired due to a boy who appeared in the Plaza every day at noon. I hadn't noticed him prior to our run-in. Moreover, as for speaking to the boy, let's say if I did; my memory is a little hazy, so bear with me.

The boy, despite, did limit the times he glanced in my direction, smirk, and blush occasionally. Full knowingly, I'd been studying him when this was not my intention. When I reminisce, I was only thirteen; the idea of adoring another male figure seemed utterly ridiculous to me. Back in the heyday, the concept of being gay haunted me on a daily basis; my father was strict. I can't imagine him ever finding out that I had mixed feelings about another boy. Nevertheless, to put the words out there, I did indulge in, as they put it in today's context, homosexual tendencies. Being myself, of course, I didn't produce the experience, courage or charisma even to approach the kid. Alternatively, I admired him from afar.

Rightly of what I recall, the teenager sat beneath the shade of a large London Plane. The camouflage concealment of the mature branches offered the youth a place to shadow, where he lay flopped to the back of a chair, next to a table, with a refreshing glass of milk at hands length away on the tabletop. The brunette-haired boy, sat erectly in the chair, conversing with a young woman, who too wore the same attire as the boy. From here on out I'll refer to the teenager as the tennis kid. I remember him wearing a pair of white high-tide tennis shorts, and of which rode up his legs, promptly displaying his silk, refined thighs, and promising bulge. His torso wrapped in the fine threads of a white cotton polo shirt. The slenderness, the spiritual beauty I observed from afar confused me something rotten for the many years that followed.

I can state on the morning of reckoning I had been producing an inadequate day. A recent mood swing damped my spirits and an alternative to letting it grind me down, I affirmed a good run ought to be in favour. I promised myself if I managed to get through an entire jog, I would stop at the Plaza on the way home, and purchase a milkshake, before going on my way. Granted I ran the outer city limits, surpassing hundreds of reflective silver storefront panels. I ran with ferocious velocity, the reflection of me being dragged along occasionally breaking when an alleyway opened up. The turquoise tincture of my t-shirt followed like a ghost; my slender-thin frame carried onward warming the glass windows with the white pigmentation of my skin. Only to be interrupted by the green sprinter shorts with the three-irradiating yellow stripes down the side, I recollect having been wearing. I can imagine my hair standing astray, as naturally when one runs the little things about appearance are put on hold temporarily until you catch your breath and find out how utterly grotesque you are.

Concluding I'd been a good boy, so to speak, I decided to run the closing leg of the journey to the Plaza to receive my milkshake, that is when I saw the boy. At first, I didn't notice him. I was dehydrated, my heart was pounding in my chest, and sharp inhales, which made my chest feel full, made it difficult to avert my attention to anything or anyone in the vicinity. I was trying to catch my breath; I took a seat. The last stretch of my run was a sprint, typically something I did not do. Then, even now, I still feel how my feet burned in the moistened sneakers; how beads of sweat ran from the temples of my forehead, trickling from under the thick growth of blond hair.

Securing a chair in the shade of the Plaza buildings to escape the mid-afternoon sun, I leaned forward in the seat, trying to console myself to calm down before I passed out from exhaustion. Straining myself to the limits was not a common occurrence; though today, well that day, I did need it. I did it because the anxious sensation gloating in my chest the last couple of months had driven me there. I could not figure out for the life of me what it was, or what it was doing. Except, when Dad brought Mom and me out to live in Paris, so many miles away from home, my condition for human contact dwindled, and preferably I found a new hobby to strike up.

I cannot believe or adhere to what I am saying, only I discovered the oddest of past-times to take up. I grew profoundly fascinated by boys my age for some unknown reason. I pretended it was plainly a phase. Just, the complication of the ideals never wavered. Not at least for six years, and by then, I was in my twenties. It is funny, not in an amusing way, but due to the frankness of the human mind. There I was interested in the male sex, then all of a sudden, the fasciation disappears in the drop of a hat after my twenty-first birthday.

Besides back then, I idled patiently for my milkshake to come. As my breathing descended from a laboured status, I rotated my head in a counter-clockwise motion. A stiffness brewed and my muscles desired relief. The underside of lush London Plane's drifted by, the Café with it's some twenty or so tables for patrons and a boy. I completed my rotation before slowly rebounding back to the teenager who caught my attention. I recall witnessing him, only it was due to a fluke and considering the boy's beauty shined out to me, it was all I saw. The girl sitting with him, I had yet to take heed of her presence. Preferably the unknown brunette captivated me in a way I have never known before, and quite frankly still to this day.

Swooping to a shy and bashful level, I can't begin to recuperate where my bodily functions or brain ceased processing. I crushed my elbows to my knees and peered at the boy in awe, from which I suppose would have looked somewhat creepy and manic from afar. The intensity my young self must have felt then is only an inkling as to how I feel now, but I can imagine the sight of the fine specimen across the ways was ever so intriguing.

The unnamed boy conversed unaware of me observing him until the tender came out from behind the bar in the café to bring me my milkshake. The young man called me multiple times from what I remember. Only, it was on the third insinuation I paid the server any attention. It was not due to the fascination of my glorious milkshake; besides it was a direct result of the tennis boy absently glimpsing in my direction to understand what the interruption was.

Panicked, I darted my attention to the man who served the milkshake and took it off him. It was all his fault for making the kid stare in my direction. If the man had been a little quieter, the boy would have never gawked my way. I tried to maintain focus plus keep my attention drawn to my drink. On the condition, I figured that I'd finish and skedaddle. I should have seen the irony in the concept the moment I imagined it, although the light didn't shine for me. I waited patiently, slurping on the shake. When I felt the courage to resurface, I peered over clandestinely with what little prayer I did believe in, that somehow the handsome boy would not be looking over at me. I genuinely thought my heart would spring out of my chest sitting at the table if it did happen. As I shifted in the seat, with a hardness in my crotch, I watched over at the boy. Thankfully the teenager returned to his conversions and throughout the short time spent there I admired from afar.

God the unknown beauty was gorgeous; all I did was stare from across the way. When I finished my milkshake, I reluctantly got up and started away. I didn't want to leave the exceptional human being behind. Only I believed it happened to be odd for a random stranger to be caught taking an interest in his existence. My journey home was inevitable, and I'd wished I had been more scandalous with my attempt. I ought to have crossed the Plaza and said, "hi," knowing if I did piss myself in front of him from nervousness, I did at least say hello. The remainder of the evening, I brood in my bedroom trying to figure out what was wrong with me.

Two days later, I had been out on my routine trot, only on that day, I did not run as hard as I did in the past days. I didn't know as to why, however, I felt horrible. It all boiled down to the kid at the square. I got up the morning of, and I felt sick. However, I didn't want to get sick. I am not making sense, especially if I can't understand what was happening, or occurred to me some thirty years ago. All I can speak about is the sensation. I presume I had been in love because anytime the nature of the boy crossed my mind, the sickening awareness came back in brute force.

I returned to the court for another drink. I cautioned myself not to present it a habit, or my Mom would have words to say about the amount of cash I was spending on milkshakes, but milkshakes are milkshakes, and you can't deny them.

I set down at the same table I held when the tennis boy attended; I scanned the vicinity hoping the cutie would show up. His presence ought to have been erotic to me for some bizarre reason, like an intoxication. To my disappointment, the boy was not there. I knew it, I scolded. I'll never lay eyes on such a perfect being for as long as I live, nor will I have the chance to be bold enough to approach such extraordinaire beauty. I slurped on my drink in distaste, sat glumly at having to sit there alone, and having to experience all these mixed-up emotions on my own. After my fix was sufficient, I shoved the glass away into the centre of the table. Ambling up, I absently glanced across to see the gorgeous boy approach from the left side of the Plaza. The boy came with the girl he'd been with once before. They laughed and smiled, the boy's teeth were so flawless, and his hair sat immaculately.

The girl chose a seat, and she propped a sheathed tennis racket by the table support. The boy plopped his tennis racket on the table; it looked like the two of them were pretty close. Don't get me wrong, the girl was pretty, but the boy was hot beyond measure. I choose to lower myself back to the seat. I'd made my mind up I was staying to watch.

The brunette discussed with the girl before starting away from the table, pacing a couple of feet, stopping and turning back. A smile lit up his face, and I felt my heart race in my chest. It took my breath away. I assume I looked like a maniac. Therefore, I choose to evade them. From the corner of my peripheral vision, the youngster marched onward disappearing inside the café. Contempt lingered, I needed to get up and follow him, to see what he was doing and where he was going, to whom he'd talk to and allow the smile of his to shine.

A couple of minutes passed, and there was no sign of god's beautiful creation. I peered over to the girl who sat leisurely in the chair, watching a couple of people go by. The boy wouldn't leave her behind, would he? No… wait, his racket was still where he left it. I didn't presume he'd left it for fun. Plus, if the cute boy didn't know the girl, I doubt he'd have gone leaving a prized possession with someone unfamiliar.

At long last, the wonderfully hypotonic lad showed his face, he came out of the establishment with french-fries in his hands and gently eased them to the table, carefully cradling them in his palms. His smile broke out again, and of course, with its radiant effects on me, I caught the virus. The boy reclaimed his seat, and I affirmed, I shall remain. Rising from my chair, I let the waiter know I fancied another milkshake and made my way back to the table.

When the drink came, I sipped at my beverage slowly so that I had an excuse to dilly-dally. Between the boy's conversation with the girl, the young woman turned her attention to the people around as she ate. She gazed over at me, and I must have seemed terribly infatuated. I tore myself from the encounter.

When the fun concluded, the duo left. Therefore, I went also hoping to keep whatever dignity I had left intact. I felt slightly embarrassed by being caught. Yet, at the same time, a sense of pride. The night concluded with me going to bed and masturbating with the teenager in mind.

Mom sent me out to get some free-range eggs from a local who kept livestock the next day. On my way home, I decided to swing by the square. If I saw the boy, it was great. I didn't have as much money on me from the previous day, though I concluded that if I sold the eggs, I'd be able to buy myself multiple rounds. Sure enough, Mom would be furious.

The sweltering sun beamed on my neck made me clammy from the inside. A little too toasty for my liking. Furthermore, I chose to take a minute under the trees. Pulling onto the side street linking the Plaza, a rush of excitement erupted in my body when I saw the boy relaxing with the girl in the same seat, drinking a milkshake. All I could think about was seeing him, and I was so pleased it turned out the way it did.

Feeling bold enough to come within close quarters, I wandered behind the boy approaching the trunk of a tree not far from him, the very same which shaded him, where I could watch. I held onto the eggs and ducked beneath the cover for protection from the sun. The boy was so wrapped up in his conversation, a little animated, but adorable. It was the first time I saw him as lively. Something about that day was magic because everything from what I remember was perfect. The way he was sitting extremely precise, straight and proper, and how his hands wavered in mid-air as a metaphor for emphasis when he explained something to the girl. I could hear his voice somewhat from where I stood; it sounded sweet and melodic. Both appeared to be talking about sports which I didn't have all that much interest in. Yet, I would be willing to listen if it meant I could stare directly across a table at him. The girl appeared to be in deep in concentration listing to the brunette. Perhaps they were a couple, I ultimately concluded. I'd been holding off on such a notion as not to ruin my dream of keeping the boy for myself in the hopes he'd be gay.

Perturbed, I sprang away from the trunk of the tree; I was going to go home. Pacing behind the tennis kid, I wanted to escape. I couldn't take any more of him not noticing me. Only the tip of my shoe got lodged in the tree grate. The invention to stop people from falling over tree roots, but I instead, plummeted for the ground. Attempting to save the eggs because Mom would kill me, I cradled them, and I took the full harsh blow of the steel and concrete beneath me. I groaned out in pain and resentment. I knew I'd fallen in front of the boy. I secretly hoped he wasn't looking.

Laying on my belly, I had pushed the eggs out in front so my body would not crush them. Unloading my foot from the slit in the grille, I tried to clamber back up.

"Are you okay," a panicked voice came.

"I'm okay, "I laughed in mockery for myself. "At least the eggs are okay…"

A hand offered its way out to me, peering up I lingered on a pair of striking emerald eyes, and the reddest of lips I'd ever seen. The boy who I had been trying to get to know secretly, hunkered down and came to my rescue. A series of jitters started to seep into my system. Also, I began to rattle from excitement. I voted to take the lads hand, and he pulled me up. His hair, a little dishevelled, his smile beamed at me; me of all people. I believed I was dreaming, or perhaps floating.

"You do… a great job," the boy said.

I mean being so close to him made me nervous. The youth uprooted me; he appeared to be a lot stronger than I expected. I began to brush myself off in embarrassment. I hoped the eggs did not break, and I wished he didn't know what was going on with me. Otherwise, this would have been very awkward.

"Merci... err... thanks," I offered, in a sincere tone.

I was genuinely thankful for him coming to my aid. The girl he was with opened her mouth and said when everything seemed fine and dandy.

"C'est le garçon qui te regarde."

The brunette flushed crimson, and he snapped back at the girl in a giggled nature.

"Tais-Toi, soeur."

The boy gazed back at me and couldn't make eye contact with me.

"Well, em… You are okay now."

The boy is so cute, his English was not perfect, but he tried to communicate with me in English. Neither was my French perfect back then too. With a nod, the boy grinned. From the little French, I did know; I could make out the girl said something about me, and how I was looking at him, and he told her to be quiet. The brunette called her sister.

"Good…" he announced. "Well, bye," he offered softly.

His broken English made it pleasant to hear, and I liked it for some unknown reason.

"Yeah," I mumbled.

I began to start away with the worst case of jitters in my life, humiliated by falling in front of the boy. The good news is that the eggs didn't break. On the same evening, I replayed his voice on a loop and how he spoke in my mind. When I closed my eyes, his voice was so soothing. It was wonderful, just like the rest of him.

A week passed, and I hadn't seen the boy all that much. I returned most days to see if I could catch sight of him, though as the days turned into almost two weeks, I began to wonder what happened to the cutie. I felt crushed. Had he decided not to come back here due to my weirdness? I didn't want it to be correct, but I had to face it. I scared away somebody so flawless in every way, and now I had the burden of having to reflect on him walking out of my life. My milkshake bill for those couple of weeks was the highest I have ever run a tab for beverages, and my Mom scolded me for doing it. Except, I decided on that one Saturday afternoon to call it quits, that I'd never see the world's most handsome boy again.

I sat slurping on my drink, lonely and miserable. Downcast, I didn't have much energy for the world around me. Vaguely I ran the probability of me being the problem. I scrutinized the wooden surface in agony until a chair scuffled from the far side of the table. Looking up to see what it was, I stopped, and I swallowed the saliva in my mouth. The tennis boy sat in front of my very eyes. Was I daydreaming? I didn't want it to end, and if it did stop, the bastard who made it up is a horrible person.

The boy's eyes flickered from mine to my chest; his expression seemed a little coy, like mischievous. I liked it, but I was afraid to say anything. Instead, the brunette placed a milkshake down on the table in front of me.

Patting his chest, he uttered nervously, "I… Alexandre."

I grinned, tapping my chest, I said, "William."

The End

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This story is part of the 2018 story challenge "Inspired by a Picture: Waiting". The other stories may be found at the challenge home page. Please read them, too. The voting period of 22 June to 12 July 2018 is when the voting is open. This story may be rated, below, against a set of criteria, and may be rated against other stories on the challenge home page.

The challenge was to write a story inspired by this picture:

2018 Inspired by a Picture Challenge - Waiting

Love in Paris

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