On their last evening in Paris, they walked along the boulevard with brisk autumn gusts swirling leaves about their feet. “I’m telling you,” he said, taking her gloved hand into his, “this vacation has been … inspirational.”
She smiled at him with a warmth he had not seen in a long time and did not pull her hand away. “Yes, it has,” she said.
“When we get back, everything’s going to be different.” His free hand gestured in bold strokes. “New job, diet, exercise. Everything.”
Weariness touched the corners of her hazel eyes.
“I know you’ve heard all this before,” he said, gesturing more softly now, “but how could things be the same after … the Eiffel Tower?”
Her eyes met his, connecting. “They can’t.”
The directness took him aback. “That’s right,” he said, nearly stumbling over the words. “Everything will be different. You’ll see.”
“I hope it is different,” she said. She withdrew her hand from his. “And I hope I see it some day.”
An arctic breeze blew between them.
“I’m not going back with you.”