Screw it. Let the fates decide.

I wish for the thing that is best for me.

How’s that for a generalization? I open my eyes, and the wind is blowing harder. St. Clair pushes a strand of hair from his eyes. “Must have been a

good one,” he says.

On the way back, he leads me to a walk-up sandwich stand for a late-night snack. The yeasty smel is mouthwatering, and my stomach growls in

anticipation. We order panini, sandwiches pressed flat on a hot gril . St. Clair gets his stuffed with smoked salmon and ricotta cheese and chives. I order Parma ham and Fontina cheese and sage. He cal s it fast food, but what we’re handed looks nothing like the limp sandwiches from Subway.

St. Clair helps with the euro situation. Thankful y, euros are easy to understand. Bil s and cents come in nice, even denominations. We pay and strol

down the street, enjoying the night. Crunching through the crusty bread. Letting the warm, gooey cheese run down our chins.

I moan with pleasure.

“Did you just have a foodgasm?” he asks, wiping ricotta from his lips.


“Where have you been all my life?” I ask the beautiful panini. “How is it possible I’ve never had a sandwich like this before?”

He takes a large bite. “Mmmph grmpha mrpha,” he says, smiling. Which I’m assuming translates to something like, “Because American food is crap.”

“Mmmph mrga grmpha mmrg,” I reply. Which translates to, “Yeah, but our burgers are pretty good.”

We lick the paper our sandwiches were wrapped in before throwing them away. Bliss. We’re almost back to the dormitory , and St. Clair is describing the time he and Josh received detention for throwing chewing gum at the painted ceiling—they were trying to give one of the nymphs a third nipple—when

my brain begins to process something. Something odd.

We have just passed the third movie theater in one block.

Granted, these are smal theaters. One-screeners, most likely. But three of them. In one block! How did I not notice this earlier?

Oh. Right. The cute boy.

“Are any of those in English?” I interrupt.

St. Clair looks confused. “Pardon?”

“The movie theaters. Are there any around here that play films in English?”

He cocks an eyebrow. “Don’t tell me you don’t know.”

“What? Don’t know what?”

He’s gleeful to know something I don’t. Which is annoying considering we’re both aware that he knows everything about Parisian life, whereas I have

the savvy of a chocolate croissant. “And I was under the impression that you were some kind of cinema junkie.”

“What? Know what?”

St. Clair gestures around in an exaggerated circle, clearly loving this. “Paris . . . is the film appreciation . . . capital . . . of the world.”

I stop dead. “You’re kidding.”

“I’m not.You’l never find a city that loves film more. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of theaters here.”

My heart feels like it’s fal ing inside my chest. I’m dizzy. It can’t be true.

“More than a dozen in our neighborhood alone.”


“You honestly didn’t notice?”

“No, I didn’t notice! How come no one told me?” I mean, this should have been mentioned Day One, Life Skil s Seminars. This is very important

information here! We resume walking, and my head strains in every direction to read the posters and marquees. Please be in English. Please be in

English. Please be in English.

“I thought you knew. I would have said something.” He final y looks apologetic. “It’s considered pretty high art here. There are loads of first-run theaters, but even more—what do you cal them?—revival houses. They play the classics and run programs devoted to different directors or genres or obscure

Brazilian actresses or whatever.”

Breathe, Anna, breathe. “And are they in English?”

“At least a third of them, I suppose.”

A third of them! Of a few hundred—maybe even thousand!—theaters.

“Some American films are dubbed into French, but mainly those are the ones for children. The rest are left in English and given French subtitles. Here,

hold on.” St. Clair plucks a magazine cal ed Pariscope from the racks of a newsstand and pays a cheerful man with a hooked nose. He thrusts the

magazine at me. “It comes out every Wednesday. ‘VO’ means version originale. ‘VF’ means version française, which means they’re dubbed. So stick to VO. The listings are also online,” he adds.

I tear through the magazine, and my eyes glaze over. I’ve never seen so many movie listings in my life.

“Christ, if I’d known that’s all it took to make you happy, I wouldn’t have bothered with the rest of this.”

“I love Paris,” I say.

“And I’m sure it loves you back.”

He’s stil talking, but I’m not listening. There’s a Buster Keaton marathon this week. And another for teen slasher flicks. And a whole program devoted to 1970s car chases.

“What?” I realize he’s waiting for an answer to a question I didn’t hear. When he doesn’t reply, I glance up from the listings. His gaze is frozen on a figure that has just stepped out of our dorm.

The girl is about my height. Her long hair is barely styled, but in a fashionable, Parisian sort of way. She’s wearing a short silver dress that sparkles in the lamplight, and a red coat. Her leather boots snap and click against the sidewalk. She’s looking back over her shoulder toward Résidence Lambert

with a slight frown, but then she turns and notices St. Clair. Her entire being lights up.

The magazine slackens in my hands. She can only be one person.

The girl breaks into a run and launches herself into his arms. They kiss, and she laces her fingers through his hair. His beautiful, perfect hair. My

stomach drops, and I turn from the spectacle.

They break apart, and she starts talking. Her voice is surprisingly low— sultry—but she speaks rapidly. “I know we weren’t gonna see each other

tonight, but I was in the neighborhood and thought you might want to go to that club I was tell ing you about. You know, the one Matthieu recommended?

But you weren’t there, so I found Mer and I’ve been talking to her for the last hour, and where were you? I cal ed your cel three times but it went straight to voice mail.”

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