I spent the first few weeks in Raj’s home as a complete stranger. I was afraid to clutter the bathroom, and I was afraid to eat much of the food. By the end of the third week, I was going stir crazy. Raj and just come home from work, and I was reading a book on the couch. He settled on the couch next to me and turned on the football game. He stretched his arm across my back, “How was your day, babe?” I shrugged, not wanting to complain after all he’s done, “It wasn’t bad. Just quiet. I think hit the town center tomorrow and start job-hunting.” He shifted to face me, “Really? If you need cash, money’s not a problem. It’s totally fine.” I kissed his cheek, “That’s sweet of you, but I can’t sit around here all day every day. I might go crazy.” He chuckled, “Okay, okay. I concede, if you need a hobby to fill your time, I won’t stop you. I was going to bring this up later but now seems like a good time. My work is sending me to Paris, France next week. I thought I’d ask you to join me? You could hold off on the job hunt until after we get back.” My eyes grew wide with shock, “Paris?!? I’d be an idiot to say no to that! ” Heck is never been outside of town until I left my moms house.
The rest of my week was spent humming and dancing around with excitement. I still couldn’t believe that we were going to the most romantic city on earth. Raj came into our room one night with a weird look on his face. I wrapped my arms around him, “is everything okay, honey?” He set his hands on my shoulders, “Yes, but what I’m going to say next might hurt your feelings, but I say it out of love, okay?” I nodded and mentally braced myself while he continued, “The clothes you have now are fine for around the house, but before we go to Paris I want to buy you a whole new wardrobe to show you off in.” I thrust my chin forward, “And if I say no?” His face grew solemn, “Well, that’s your right. I don’t know why you’d want to stay in those atrocious sweatpants. I’m just trying to help.” I ducked my head, “Ok. I’m sorry for being difficult. I would love to have some new clothes.” He patted me on the head before closing himself in his office. I went back to making dinner, wondering what I’d done to cause such a bad mood.
The morning we left for Paris was uneventful. The flight was long, and even though we had slept on the plane, we were grateful to get to our hotel. I slipped under the sheets, and snuggled close to Raj. He stroked my hair gently while whispering, “Sorry if I’ve been so grumpy lately. I have a lot of pressure on me from work. I’m in the running to be made a partner next year, which will mean more work but a significantly better pay.” I kissed his brow, “Don’t worry Raj, I know you love me. I’m not scared by a bad mood here and there. And I don’t think I ever said thank you for bringing me here.”
The next morning, we woke up tangled in each other’s arms. I took my time getting up, laughing softly over the fact that Raj wasn’t stirring yet. Quietly, I made my way out of the room, trying not to wake Raj. I sat outside the hotel next to their gorgeous fountain and ate my complimentary croissant. My phone buzzed some time later. I answer it, while also noticing I have 4 unread messages from Raj,
“Hello?” I answer through a mouthful of croissant.
“Where the hell are you, Lauryn?”
“I’m eating breakfast outside by the fountain. Why, what’s wrong?”
“What’s wrong is that I woke up to an empty bed, with no note or anything. You nearly gave me a heart attack when you didn’t answer my texts.”
I nodded even though he couldn’t see me, “I’m sorry, honey, my phone was still on silent from the trip. I’m coming back upstairs now”
When I made it back to our room, Raj was waiting angrily. He grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me, “Do you know how worried I was?” Tears formed in my eyes, “I’m sorry, baby. I wasn’t thinking.” He grumbled, calming down a little, “It’s fine. I’m sorry I snapped at you, I just can’t imagine you not in my life. How about I treat you to the finest cafe in town?”
I smiled, accepting the offer for the olive branch that it was, and followed him down the hall. We enjoyed a nice breakfast of crepes and French toast. Afterwards, he had to go to his meetings and I spent the day perusing the town.
Before I was ready, it was time to go back home.