Valentine's Day might be over, but definitely not the opportunity to share words of love. Here's an overview of my previous posts:
February 9th: Valentine's Day Themed Posts: Overview
February 11th: Top 10 YA Crushes
February 12th: Top 10 Most Romantic Moments & Love Declarations in YA Part 1
February 13th: Top 10 Most Romantic Moments & Love Declarations in YA Part 2
February 14th: Valentine's Day Reads: His & Her Edition
In my first post I talked about love notes that some of my favourite authors wrote for my blog event and especially for you! Each love note will be posted with either a book review, book exerpt, trailer or other extra by the author who wrote it. Today I'm posting a DIE FOR ME outtake by Amy Plum in which protagonist Kate describes the city of love (yes, DIE FOR ME is set in Paris and if you haven't read it yet do so) together with a love note written from Charlotte to Amrose. A huge thank you to Amy Plum for writing this beautiful and sad love note!
Outtake: Die For Me by Amy Plum
Kate describing Paris
It’s hard for me to describe Paris. The city is so beautiful, it takes my breath away.
But I know that’s being way too vague, so I’ll give it a better try. Paris is like New York if you chop off the top of all of the buildings so that nothing is higher than seven or eight stories. Then add at least a couple of hundred years to each building’s age. Mix in a ton of trees and parks and run a beautiful, sparkling river through the middle. Then add over a thousand years of historical events that took place on the same spot where you happen to be standing. And you will have a rough idea of what Paris is like.
For example, a girl I used to play with when I came to visit my grandparents every summer lived on a street called “rue Saint Antoine”. Just in front of her building was a stretch of road that was used in the Middle Ages for jousts. Jousts! As in with horses and lances and knights in armor…right in front of her house. I used to sit on the steps of the church next to her building and stare at the street, recreating the sounds and colors of the medieval tournaments in my mind. If all of the ghosts of Paris’s past could suddenly materialize, you would find yourself surrounded by the most incredible people.
Like on the bridge called “Pont Neuf”. An old proverb says that the type of people crossing it were so numerous and varied that you couldn’t get from one side to the other without seeing “a monk, a white horse, and a prostitute”. Now that is something I would love to see. I’ve crossed it dozens of times and the closest I ever came was when I ran into a group of Asian nuns. So I decided to change it to “a businessman talking on a cell phone, a cyclist, and a backpacker”. You’ll definitely see at least one of those when crossing Pont Neuf.
But the inescapable historical facelift the city’s undergone in the three-hundred-or-so-years since the proverb was written hasn’t stopped me from looking – there and everywhere else in Paris – for telltale signs of the ancient city’s past. Coming from the relative newness of New York, all of that history squeezed into Paris’s small geographical area has always made me feel light-headed. As if all those invisible jousters, priests, and prostitutes were sucking up the Parisian air around me, leaving barely enough to fill my lungs.
Amy posted this outtake on her homepage www.amyplumbooks.com
Love Note written from Charlotte to Ambrose
Today is Valentine’s Day – le jour de la Saint-Valentin. The day of lovers. The only day of the year I can’t look you in the face. Because on this day, I can’t help my mask from slipping just slightly, and I don’t want you to see what’s behind.
I have known you now for almost seven decades. Lived under the same roof as you for 68 years. I know you as well as my own twin brother.
I know how you’ll react to any given situation. What you will say. How you will respond.
Which should mean that by now I should be totally bored of you. Your predictability should make me yawn. Seeing you in the same scenarios day after day, year after year, should make me roll my eyes. And yet, it doesn’t.
Instead, I find myself anticipating your reactions and congratulating myself on guessing them right every single time. When I hear your laughter ring through the house when you come home, I am unable to resist the smile it brings to my lips. I love you, Ambrose. Passionately. Irremediably. Hopelessly.
It wasn’t love at first sight. When Jean-Baptiste carried your body back from that Lorraine battlefield, I found you intriguing in your complete Americanness – your Yankee bravado. Your passion for jazz and film and dancing brought a welcome breath of life to our household of kindred. I liked you for all of those things. Loved you as a brother.
Until I got to know you better. Your joie de vivre was infectious. It infected me. It made my heart swell with happiness – not only when I was with you, but when I learned to see the world through your eyes. You brought me joy, and I should be satisfied with that. But I’m not.
When Charles told you how I felt and you admitted to him that your sentiments weren’t the same, I spent the next decade hoping you would change your mind. Doing everything I could to make you see me in a different light: desirable, not little-sister-ish.
When that didn’t work, I spent the next ten years trying to be okay with my lot. To find someone else. But while you are here living with me, walking with me, joking your way through every meal, my heart can go nowhere else.
Now I’m resigned. As I do every year, I will finish this letter, feel a bit better for it, and then place it in the back of my journal. It will join the other forty-three letters to you. Forty-three declarations of love that you will never see.
On this Valentine’s Day I wish I could tell you that even though you don’t love me the way I love you, every day with you is a gift.