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“That’s Impression, Sunrise,” Aiden tells me, pointing at one of the paintings hanging on the wall. In there, two small rowboats drift on the river, the hazy background headed by a small red sun. “When Monet painted this one, he had no idea that he had just created a whole movement.”
“Impressionism?” I mutter, hoping I’m not making a fool of myself.
“Exactly,” he nods, smiling as he gently rests his hand on my lower back and points toward the next painting. “It’s all about the impression the scene leaves on the viewer. Just like you made an impression on me when you spilled your coffee.”
“That’s the first time I’ve heard someone describe clumsiness as an art form,” I laugh, somehow feeling more and more at ease with him. We’ve spent the past two hours roaming the endless halls of the museum, and I still haven’t gotten tired of listening to him. Aiden—that’s what he told me his name was—seems to know a little bit about everything, and he always knows how to turn a boring piece of information into something fun and interesting.
Not that I should be surprised. He is, after all, an art professor. And after Peter—whose only interests seemed to be different beer brands and whatever YouTube suggested to him—a man that’s passionate about something is almost exhilarating. No, scratch the ‘almost’…it’s very definitely exhilarating.
“You’re lucky to be here today, you know?” He asks me, that charming smile of his making my knees grow weaker.
“Am I?” If he’s talking about our chance encounter, then I definitely consider myself a lucky girl.
“These paintings are going back to Paris tomorrow, so you almost missed them.”
“I see,” I whisper, my brain quickly providing me with something to say next. “What about you? When are you leaving the states?”
“I’m not,” he smiles, and I notice a glint of something—amusement?—in his eyes. “I actually just moved here. I’ve accepted a position right here, in New York.”
“Oh,” I say, not knowing how to respond. “That means we might bump into each other again, huh?”
“It does,” he nods. “But why leave that to chance?” With that, he takes his phone from inside his pocket and hands it to me. “Just type your number in there. If you want to, of course.”
“I do.” God, my heart has even skipped a beat. I take the phone, trying to keep my hands from shaking, and slowly dial my number in. “Done. I just rung myself, so now I have your number too.”
“And all’s perfect with the world.”
“Yes, it is,” I whisper quietly.
We say our goodbyes, keeping a healthy distance but already feeling the electricity around us, and I finally turn to leave. As I walk down the museum hall, I feel his eyes following me out of the building, and I can’t help but let a wide smile take over my lips.
Finally…a day where something goes right.
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