I lived with my grandfather for two years in Lyon, France.  We lived along the river Rhône in a small apartment on the fourth story of a quaint building.  I shared my small bedroom with my grandfather’s dog – Cherché.  I gave him that absurd nickname when I was only four years old, and it stuck.  From my bedroom window, I had a perfect view of the river. The apartment was always cold, and it always smelled like coffee and his tobacco.  It was my home for two years, and I have only fond memories of the place.

 

Disparu

The room was bare of all personal effects.  It was dark and empty, all but some boxes packed in the corner, and a girl.  She kneeled on the dusty floor by the boxes.  She ran her hands over them – Samantha’s old things – all packaged and tucked away.  She opened the first box and rummaged through the stacks and stacks of notes, scribbles of ideas.  A smaller rectangular box sat at the bottom.  She pulled it out and opened it.  The top came off and pens spilled out onto the floor.  Her favorite pens, some barely ever touched, because every time she had a new idea, she got a new pen.  Looking back in the box she noticed a piece of paper had slipped between the folds of the cardboard.  She pulled it out. The paper was old and wrinkled, the words faded and hardly legible.  She read what she could make out.

before I die

I want to watch the sunset from Santorini, Greece,

swim in Devil’s Pool in Africa,

go Hiking in Iceland,

backpack through Europe,

see the Aurora Borealis with my own eyes,

spend a night under the stars, 

go lavender picking, 

write a book,

go to Africa, 

dance in the rain – because that sounds cool,

go to Finland, 

let go of a floating lantern in Thailand,

see a broadway musical,

ride a gondola in Venice,

make a call from a London phone booth,

drink coffee in a Parisian cafe,

visit Stonehenge, 

throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain in Italy,

finish reading a book in one sitting,

see the Fairy Pools in Scotland,

walk behind a waterfall,

soak in hot springs in Iceland,

and bike through the city streets of Amsterdam