Charlotte in Paris

Charlotte in Paris by Annie Bryant Read Free Book Online

Book: Charlotte in Paris by Annie Bryant Read Free Book Online
Authors: Annie Bryant
all came flooding back—exciting times with Sophie exploring the streets of Paris seemed like just yesterday.
    4
Vive la Différence
    HERE’S TO OUR DIFFERENCES
    I can’t believe I’m really here!” I exclaimed as the taxi bumped along. I gazed out the window at the familiar buildings that lined the streets. We had finally made our way into the city itself, and I was trying to take in everything at once. It was just after ten a.m. Paris time, but it felt like it should be much earlier since it was only four a.m. back in Boston. We wound our way in and out of the small cobblestone streets of the historic Fifth Arrondissement, a lively section of Paris full of restaurants, bookstores, and lovely parks.
    “You are the same Charlotte, but somehow you seem more…American!” Sophie observed me carefully as I gazed out the window.
    “I was always American,” I reminded her.
    “Mais oui! But you were an American coming from Australia. Now it is in the way you dress…the ski jacket, the running shoes, the bag. It’s always easy to pick outthe American tourists by their clothes. But you are not a tourist…. You’ve come home!”

    “I can’t believe I’m really here!”
~ pg. 48

    “We wound our way in and out of the small cobblestone streets of the historic Fifth Arrondissement…”
~ pg. 48
    I smiled and glanced out the window again. It felt good to hear Sophie say that I’d come home. I think people can be at home in many different places…Paris just happened to be one of mine.
    “Have you seen Orangina since I last spoke to you?” I asked Sophie.
    “No, I returned to the quay yesterday afternoon, but rien …nothing.” Sophie waved her hand. “Don’t worry, mon amie , we will search everywhere this week. He’s alive and well, we know that for sure now. I am certain that I saw him…there is no mistaking that boule de fourrure orange —that orange furball. But he will only come to you…you know how stubborn he is.”
    “Do I ever!” I agreed. “Remember when I stepped on his tail by mistake and then he refused to come back onto the houseboat, even though it was pouring rain? He just sat outside the door glaring for an entire day.”
    The taxi squeaked to a halt in front of the Morels’ apartment house on rue Jacob. “ Nous sommes arrivés ,” said Monsieur Morel. “Here we are.”
    As we got out of the taxi, I noticed that Sophie, too, looked different, although I couldn’t pinpoint what it was. She was taller, and her hair was swept up and twisted into a small clip, with a few pieces framing her face. She wore fitted jeans, a white camisole top, a black off-the-shoulder sweater, and tall black boots. Was it the clothes? Was it the way she lifted her chin? Or was it that confident sparkle in her eyes?
    Was this a new, more sophisticated Sophie that I had not seen before? Or was it just my imagination?
    “Here we are!” Sophie echoed her father.
    I looked up at the apartment house. Miss Pierce’s Victorian on Corey Hill seemed old, but by Paris standards, it was practically brand new. The Morels’ building was ancient, but it was renovated and very fancy. We took the elevator to the eighth floor and then walked the spiral staircase to the Morels’ rooftop apartment, where through the windows the whole of Paris was spread out before us.
    Madame Morel was waiting at the door. Sophie’s mom greeted me en français . “ Bonjour! Oh, Charlotte, you’ve come back to us at last! It’s wonderful to see you. Welcome home!” Again the hug and la bise left me feeling like a true Parisian. “You must be très fatiguée from your journey. We will give you a moment to catch your breath and unpack your clothes. But hurry back and we will have some hot food. That airplane food is not even fit for a dog!” Madame Morel was so particular about her food. In fact, I couldn’t wait to have one of her great French meals. “After we eat, you must have a long rest and then you will feel like yourself

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