I decided to meet him after all for breakfast at 0900, so I woke up in my Suburbia apartment at 0730 to shower and get dressed to catch the metro at 0830 into the center of Paris where he lives.
I called to tell him I was running late, he said “Okay, no problem.” I arrived at 0925 and rang his buzzer. No answer. I rang it again….Nothing. So I phoned him again. He told me that he was on his way home and would be there in about 5 or 10 minutes. What?!
There’s a little café just outside the front of his building, I took a seat outside and fumed! Why wasn’t he home? Where was he coming from? I was so angry, because you see… Pierre is a French man, which means typically he will have more than one woman in his life. So I figured he was arriving back to his apartment after spending the night with one of his girlfriends. So right then and there I decided that it was time for me to draw to line. I told myself, that if I did not set boundaries at that moment, I would never have boundaries with him. I thought obviously he does not respect my time, and I am not French, therefore I will not share his time with other women.
I had the scenario all planned out for his arrival as I fumed sitting at the outdoor café in the cold misty overcast morning. Upon seeing him I would stand up, greet him with two kisses on the cheek (a normal French greeting) and I would say, “You don’t respect me. Good-Bye Pierre!” Then I would walk away and never look back. The only reason I didn’t leave before he got to his apartment, is because I was curious to see if he had changed since I last saw him 7 months ago in November. I wanted to know that he looked as despicable as his behavior and I wanted to make sure I would not miss him…
He arrived 5 minutes later at 0930, glanced quickly my way as he headed for his front door. I stood up immediately and said “PIERRE!” in my most “you despicable jerk-I’m finished with you”-voice I had. He look my way stopped and immediately his face lit up with joy like a little kid looking at a Christmas tree when the lights come on for the first time. Yes, he looked at me like I was a Christmas tree, he looked like he was admiring all the ornaments and he even looked like he was ecstatic to see gifts (there were none!). It was just me fuming as I stood there…looking back at him. The whole time he had three small grocery bags in his hands while his arms were wide open. Was he waiting for me to run into them?
I walked and did not run towards him, I didn’t say anything. He knew I was angry, so he looked at his watch and said, “Nine-thirty? It’s nine-thirty, we meet at nine-thirty”. I asked, “Did we say nine-thirty?” He said with his French accent, “Yes, yes, of course we say nine-thirty! What’s the matter you?” Every phrase sounds like a song when he speaks. I said, “I’m angry.” He replied with a big smile, “Yes, but now you see me and it goes away, yes?... Yes. “ He answered the question without waiting for my reply and kissed me on both cheeks. Then he put the three bags down and held both of my hands in his as he looked all around me and said, “Ahh, You are lovely! You are so lovely, yes!”, he gently grabbed some of my hair in his hands like squeezing a peach for freshness, and said, “…But this, Not.” Three short quick words, Then picks up his bags and said, “Come on, come inside! I’m so happy to see you.”
As I followed him into his building, I thought, this is the Pierre I remember, so friendly, always able to make me smile. Even if I’m angry. Who cares if he has a few girlfriends. I’m going to keep him as my friend...(i think...)
Inside his apartment, he said he went to the market to buy some bread for breakfast and started to pull out French bread, butter, jelly and some kind of cheese to make a breakfast in his kitchen. I told him I didn’t want him to make a French breakfast, I wanted breakfast at a cafe, with eggs, and ham and toast and coffee with cream. He said I was obliged to have breakfast in his apartment since he had not seen me for a long time and he wanted to prepare the breakfast himself. He said he did not have time to go out and sit in a café for breakfast. I told him he didn’t have time because he had too many girlfriends. His reply was, “Yes! and so what?! ” singing in his soft French accent...as if it were a matter-of-fact. Which it was.
I said, “I don’t want to eat here.” So he quickly got his jacket, pinched off a part of the French baguette, put it in his mouth and said, “Okay, let’s go. I take you to a café. You are impossible!”
He took me to a traditional corner café, where we sat outside as the morning sun came out from behind the clouds and he ordered “An American Breakfast for la Mademoiselle”, which was a 2 egg omelet with ham and cheese, cooked well done, French bread, American toast, strawberry preserves, a small salad with tomatoes on the side, coffee with cream and orange juice.
As we talked, he kept saying he thought I was beautiful. I asked him why he did not like my new short natural hair. He said, again, singing English with a French accent, “I don’t like it, it looks like the African woman.” I told him, “The African woman is in my blood.” He said, “It’s not the hair I like.” I asked, him how would he like to see my hair? He replied, “Just a minute and I will show you as I see a woman”, then he quickly point to a woman walking past our table. She looked as if she were from Spain with hair colored a golden brown color. Her hair was a straight texture, short length of uneven ends just touching her neck. I said, “Pierre, it’s impossible for my hair to look like her hair.” He laughed and said, “Why not? You are an impossible woman. You believe impossible things, so why not? You should have impossible hair!” We laughed and finished a wonderful breakfast. I told him, he was an impossible man!