She stood there next to the doorway, debating whether
or not to spend at least half-hour sitting outside on the
café’s patio having her Latte. It was such lovely
spring day with a light breeze. She looked around at
the different people sitting there, enjoying the weather
and it was then that she spotted Antoine. She stared at him
in surprise. What was he doing here? He was alone and having
what looked like a cup of cappuccino.
Heart pounding, she went over to his table and stood beside
the chair opposite his. “Hello, Antoine.” He looked very attractive
in the charcoal grey suit and black silk shirt. She felt under-
dressed in her thin white blouse and denim skirt.
He glanced up and a smile spread slowly across his face. “Hello,”
he greeted her softly. “Join me.” He stood up and walked round
the table to pull out the chair for her to sit. She caught a whiff of
his aftershave. After a slight hesitation, she sat down. “I didn’t
think I would see you here,” she remarked.
His eyebrows rose quizzically. “Why not?” he asked as he resumed
“This isn’t the kind of establishment a man of your pedigree
would normally come to.”
He pursed his lips. “I may be rich but I’m not a snob,” he
replied. “I happen to like this café and have been here on
more than one occasion.
His gentle rebuke made her feel bad. “I’m sorry,” she apologized.
“Do you have something against all rich men or just me in
She lowered her eyes under his intent scrutiny. “No, I don’t have
anything against you. And you’re the only rich man I know.”
“I don’t want my wealth to be the cause any problems between us.”
“Good. How have you been, Cécile? It has been a while since we
last saw each other.”
“I’m fine. I got a promotion last week.”
“Thank you. What about you? What have you been up to?”
“Aside from going on business trips, I threw a bachelor party for
my brother, Sergei, attended my sister, Natasha’s wedding and
helped my parents to move to Saint-Chinian after their retired.”
She stared at him. “You’ve been very busy.”
“Yes, I have been,” he agreed. But during all that time I couldn’t
stop thinking about you and hoping that I would see you again.
“It’s nice to be sitting here and enjoying a cup of cappuccino.”
“Yes, I can imagine.” You were too busy to think about me but I
have been thinking about you every day and wondering when I
would see you again.
“Is there a man in your life?” he asked suddenly, startling her.
She shook her head at once. “No,” she answered, her mouth
going dry when she saw the expression on his face.
“That’s good to know,” he said quietly, “because I want to
be the man in your life.” He reached over and covered
her hand with his, making her heart race and butterflies
flutter in her stomach.
She was at a loss for words. She couldn’t believe this was
happening. He was holding her hand and telling her that
he wanted to be her man.
“You’re speechless,” he observed. “Have I shocked you?”
She nodded. “Yes,” she managed to say.
“Does it shock you to know that I want to be with you?”
“Yes. You—you never indicated that you were interested in
“I guess I was better at hiding my feelings than I thought. I’ve
wanted to be with you since we met but wasn’t sure that you
would feel the same way. I got the impression that my wealth
posed a problem for you. I hope I never made you feel that you
weren’t good enough for me.”
“You never did but I didn’t think you would want to date me
when—when there were plenty of other women, more
beautiful and sophisticated to choose from.”
His eyes darkened. “Yes, I have dated beautiful women but none
of them could hold a candle to you. You’re the most beautiful and
desirable woman I have ever met. When I first saw you I thought of
the story Jesus told about the Merchant who found a pearl that was of
such great value to him that he went and sold everything he had so
he could buy it. One look at you and I was willing to give up
everything I have just to be with you. I still am.”
She blinked the tears that sprang to her eyes. She had read that
story so many times but never did she ever imagine that a man
would think that she was as precious as that pearl which Jesus
likened to the kingdom of heaven. “You don’t have to give up
anything to be with me,” she told him huskily. “I want to be with
He gently squeezed her hand. “Good. What do you say to leaving
here and going for a walk along the Seine and then go to the top
of the Eiffel Tower just before the sun sets?”
She smiled. “I say yes.”
They both got up and he reached for her hand as they left
the patio. It felt wonderful holding hands and she couldn’t
As they strolled along the Seine, stopping to soak up the
atmosphere and admire the surrounding architecture,
they made plans for the future. When they were at the
top of the Eiffel Tower, gazing down at the city of love as
it was bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun, he pulled
her against him and whispered in her ear, “I know that we’re
on top of the Eiffel Tower but right now, I’m on top of the
world because I’m with you.”
She leaned back against him and smiled.
Source: Trip Advisor