The next morning, it shocked the group of teens that their teacher hadn't noticed anything wrong. They moved through their tours groggily, each of them remembering the events of the night before. Legs were sore from walking aimlessly through the streets, finally reaching their final destination of that fateful night. Lovelock Bridge held thousands of locks on the sturdy metal. Staring at the countless number of locks under the bright moonlight, Rainey shook her head.
"Imagine how many of these locks lost their meaning the moment the people put them on." Parker rolled his eyes and let go of her hand. He walked a few steps away from her, pulling something out of his pocket. Rainey moved to him, watching as he placed a star-shaped lock on the fence, to her utter shock.
"What the heck Parker?" She reached her arm out to stop him just as he threw the key into the Seine River, a devilish smile reaching his hazel eyes. He gripped her close, their fingers intertwined and bodies oh so close.
"Down the road, I don't care if we're not together. Just know that no matter where I am, or where our lives have gone, we're bound by this lock. You will always be my best friend." Rolling her eyes, she let go of his hand and punched his arm, right before placing a kiss on his lips.
"I know that Parker." She looked down at the lock, running her fingers over the engraved words under their names. "Never forget Senior year." Rainey pulled her mind from the event, remembering where she was now.
As they now moved through the Louvre Museum, Rainey stayed back in the crowd. As she stepped in front of a sculpture, Rainey admired the work. "Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss." She eyed the name and remembered the story of Psyche and Cupid. Sighing deeply, she saw the caress of Cupid's hand on Psyche's cheek as her arms outstretched to pull him closer. Even though it was nothing but a sculpture, Rainey felt their love with every curve and edge articulately planned by the skillful hands of the sculptor. Scanning her eyes throughout the sculpture made her heart pull in all directions.
"They have such a beautiful love story," she said loudly, alone in the Michelangelo Gallery. "Except for the fact that Psyche is too curious. She could have lost everything she had just because she stuck her nose in anything that crossed her path." Rainey broke from her reverie and saw Hades himself, his blue eyes resembling the gas enhanced flames of a lighter. She always found herself entranced with the guy, everything about him screaming danger, drawing her in like a drug. And with the effects of this drug, she found herself feeling the lethal tinge with every dose she took.
"She fought for them to until the end. Sure, she was beautiful and that definitely added to Cupid's attraction, but she was brave. She was brave enough to show that love took work and the struggles she had to made her human." Rainey couldn't help the condescending tone to her voice.
If Xavier had ever cared, he would have fought. He would have mirrored Psyche's drive and showed he had a soul. "She's lucky that Cupid stuck with her in the end. It would have been so much easier if he let her go and didn't have her anchoring him down." She felt her skin prickle at his close proximity.
"Kind of like how you decided having me as a best friend wasn't enough?" She crossed her arms and focused on the sculpture, feeling his gaze narrow on her.
"That's not the same." What she would have done to punch him in the face at that moment. Rainey spun to face him, her eyes sealing into his. "It's every bit the same. I was Cupid, in disguise nearly every time we were together just to try to fit into your world. It was freshman year, Xavier. I tried to fit in, and it was you who unjustly unmasked me to everyone in that damn school. And most of all, I can't believe you would tell them that-" A screeching noise erupted through the room.
Rainey saw the bright lights of the fire warning beam at them from the wall. The alarm blared the message that it was time to evacuate. Xavier pulled Rainey's wrist as they ran toward the closest exit, crowds of people already squishing themselves through the door. Rainey looked around in hopes of finding their class, but to no avail. They found themselves outside the museum, staring at the glass pyramid at the entrance. Rainey frantically looked around in hopes of finding their group as Xavier steadied her.
"You're going to have a panic attack if you're not careful." She took a deep breath and managed to frown at him, yanking her arm away from his grasp.
"I haven't had one in nearly three years, I'll be fine." Once again she looked around to try to find someone from their group. "They're not in this area, and chances are, they're probably in the back of the museum." A man began shouting orders to them in French, pushing them towards the parking lot.
Rainey looked wearily at Xavier, eyes pleading that somehow, they'd make it back to their group. Yet just as they entered the parking lot, they caught the familiar sight of the bus driver, they had the day before. Although they had a different one today, they knew that this man would bring them back their hotel, making it easier to find their class in such an enormous city.
As they reached him, the man's eyes sparked with recognition. Rainey started blasting off in English, forgetting that this man only talked his native tongue. "Pouvez-vous nous apporter à notre hôtel?" Rainey sat in utter shock as Parker spoke so fluidly, as if French was his first language.
The man smiled his jolly smile, walking toward his own personal car. "He's going to give us a ride back to our hotel." Both of them followed, but Rainey came to hesitantly follow them.
"Are you sure this is a good idea?" They were in foreign country, without any knowledge of where their class was, and now, to top it off, they were following a strange man to give them a ride.
"Take a chance, Rainey. What's the worse that could happen?" If only he hadn't said that.
Sing Me That Lullaby - Chapter Forty OneThe power of art.
By Jasmine S