I like romance and boys loving boys in my books.
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I came to Paris 9 months ago, with my now ex-boyfriend. City of Love, my ass. Now I’m sitting here in this café near the Eiffel Tower, sipping the cheapest coffee they had on the menu, heartbroken and unsure of my next steps.
Without a place to live, no job, not much money left in the bank, and speaking only a little French, I guess it’s time to put my tail between my legs and head back home to Bumfuck, Idaho.
The Eiffel Tower looms in the background as two men kiss in the foreground of the black and white image.
This was my prompt for the Love Is An Open Road event. When Vanessa North claimed it, I did a happy dance.
And now it's live, and it's ever so awesome, and I devoured it this morning.
Benji (love the name you chose, girl) came to Paris with his boyfriend Aaron, who was hired by a French company as some wunderkind programmer. Aaron insists on speaking French when out and about, knowing that Benji is struggling with the language, but doesn't offer to help him learn. Working long hours also doesn't help.
See, I know exactly what Benji feels like. I know what it's like to move to a foreign country with only a rudimentary understanding of the language; I know what it's like to feel lonely and homesick and depressed. I know what it's like to hole up in your apartment, fearful of going outside even for the smallest things, because you might not understand the locals, and you might not say the right thing the right way, and people might sneer at you disdainfully. It's very difficult, and if your partner is not supportive and doesn't understand, doesn't help, it can send you into a deep depression and change you as a person. It can destroy your relationship.
It killed my marriage.
So, I know exactly what Benji is going through when he talks about his experiences.
I didn't have a Ziri, not for some time. But I learned the language, eventually. I learned to live with the homesickness, learned to deal with the customs in this foreign land, and after 20+ years, this IS my homeland now.
But there's more to this story than Benji's loneliness and depression. Meeting Ziri is a stroke of luck (or fate, maybe), and by giving himself a push, Benji finds his way out of the hole, into what may be.
Loved the inclusion of current culture, what with Instagram, YouTube, and things going viral. Ziri shows Benji what it means to have fun again, and even though they initially believe that this is only going to be for one day, fate steps in and helps them out. Their attraction is immediate and believable, and while they may be swept up in the excitement, both take the time to see that there's something there, something worth pursuing.
With a strong HFN, and an excellent scene in which Aaron gets what's coming to him, this short story, written for FREE as part of this event, was everything I had hoped for, and more. Vanessa took my prompt and turned it into something uniquely hers, with humor and emotions and some tears, and it was absolutely wonderful.
Thank you! Thank you SO MUCH!!!
Read the story here: An American Homo In Paris