Paris, Where Lovers Go

I feel like one can’t write about Paris, France in any other style than as a story. So, let me tell you a story about two girls who traveled to Paris to lock away their hearts at Pont de l’Archevêché (otherwise known as “The Lock Bridge”).

As the two girls walked towards the bridge, their hearts were racing in anticipation for that moment when they let go of all that’s been holding them back. Klarissa swallowed hard on her thoughts, this is it, this is when I let go…this is how I let go. Rebekah kneeled, facing the monstrosity amount of locks.

She lifted up a lock, placed it in her palms and read out loud, “Johnny and Denise, love forever.”
Klarissa asked skeptically, “How many of these couples do you think are still together?”
Rebekah shrugged, “Not many probably.”

A swarm of sadness washed over Klarissa as she pondered this question. She knew there was always that duration of time when two people felt so utterly in love that they’d want to symbolically lock each other to this bridge. Yet all Klarissa could think about was the tragedy that seemed inevitable, the fact that a few years, months, or even weeks could change the way these couples would feel towards each other. She thought about how sad it was that feelings that once seemed so solidified could easily fade away by time. Most of all, she thought about how fragile love could be and a sense of hopelessness washed over her.

She kneeled beside Rebekah, both of them silently picking a spot to lock their locks. They had written little phrases on their locks back in the hotel, preparing for this. Rebekah had joked about how they practically made a pilgrimage all the way to France just to let go of their almost lovers. They both laughed at how ridiculous the idea of that was, and yet now, placing their locks on this bridge, Klarissa realized it wasn’t funny at all. Her heart clenched when she secured her lock against the chain of the bridge. She jokingly put the lyrics of Maroon 5’s song, “This love is taking a toll on me, he said goodbye too many times” but it didn’t feel like a joke anymore. “The love that never was” was Rebekah’s. They felt a sense of catharsis as the click of the locks broke their silence.

“You ready?” Rebekah asked, holding the lock’s keys in her hand.

Klarissa nodded, and in a count to three, the two girls threw their prospective keys into the lake. Our love swims with the fishes, was all Klarissa could think about as she leaned over watching their keys sink. They weren’t going to let their mind and heart remain captive anymore, they were on their way to regaining control over their emotions. Klarissa let out the breath she felt she’s been holding onto since the day he left, and walked away from the bridge.

[Character’s names were changed to protect the identity of the individuals & all images are my own]

Claudia Cheung