Written by: Collette Cottingham
She awoke in a fog. She could feel the cool bricks against her back. The alley was narrow. There were little shops all along the cobblestone walkway bustling with customers.
She looked down and saw she was holding a brown paper bag filled with some clothes and a blue cosmetics bag.
“Where am I” she wondered.
She paused for a moment and listen to the people around her. The language was French. Did she know French?
She stubbled forward and tripped on the cobblestone. A vagrant sitting on the walkway shouted, “se reveiller”
She stubbled up onto the sidewalk and hurried away from the man as he kept screaming,”se reveiller, se reveiller!”
She entered a large park with beautiful walking paths. She found a bench and sifted through the contents of her paper bag. She found a wallet with a large amount of cash, passport and credit cards. This brought her a little comfort.
She got up and continued walking in the beautiful open air. This was a beautiful city. She could tell it was Paris. Graffiti began to pop up on every thing from the benches, land marks to the trees. Graffiti blanketed the city which turned Paris into another average city in the world.
Suddenly the sky opened and the rain came pouring out. It down poured soaking everything. Her brown paper bag disintegrated sending the contents unto the dirty sidewalk. She scooped everything up and began running for cover. She tripped again and heard, “se reveiller.”
There was the same man, “mercy” she said to him, “ha, I do know French!”
A woman appeared in the doorway of the shop in front of her, “Est-ce que ca va?”
She stared right into her deep brown eyes, not understanding a word she said.
“Are you okay.”
English, she could understand this, “I’ve been better.”
“I am Constance and you are?
Did she know her name? Yes. “I am Nicole.”
A few hours later she departed the shop with a new outfit and a new lease for life.
The man continued to shout, “se reveiller.” Which Constance explained meant, “Wake up.”
She had to admit the man was right, she did need to wake up. She began to walk towards the subway. Constance had been a savior. The spot of tea and fabulous chat relaxed her soul. Constance gave her a vinyl bag for her belongings which is apparently a must have during the summer rains.
She felt refreshed her memories were flowing back. Even the name of her hotel popped into her mind. She needed this rest and reset.