A story several years old, but no less dear to my heart.
  1. I'm in a mini-study-abroad humanities course. We study the Italian Renaissance, then travel to Italy over spring break to see all the art/architecture/etc for ourselves.
  2. We fly through the night and land in Rome in the early morning. We immediately embark on a walking tour of what seems like the entire city. We have a class lunch. It's followed by another walking tour.
  3. They give us the rest of the evening off. We split up into smaller groups. We can take the bus back to the hotel now, if we want, or we can go out and take a cab later.
  4. Obviously, we don't take the bus. We are young and vivacious and IN ROME.
  5. But our feet hurt. And we haven't slept in a day and a half.
  6. There's a bench. We sit on the bench while we figure out where we want to go. It isn't weakness; it's practical.
  7. There's a girl across the street. She's waiting at the metro station with a rose behind her back.
  8. She must be waiting to surprise her boyfriend. How romantic!
  9. But we still need to plan our evening. We're young, independent women IN ROME and the world awaits.
  10. Her boyfriend is probably returning from a long time away. Maybe he's a war hero.
  11. We're invested, now. We might as well see how it turns out.
  12. Maybe they had just been friends before the war. She is going to tell him her true feelings.
  13. The girl starts looking over her shoulder at us occasionally.
  14. Actually, they were together, but broke up. They agreed that if they still wanted to be together when he got back from the war, they would meet at this metro station.
  15. She moves around the corner so we can't see her.
  16. We move to another bench.
  17. She seems concerned.
  18. They were probably supposed to meet somewhere else in the city, but she is going to meet him here and tell him she couldn't wait another minute to see him.
  19. One of us falls asleep on the bench. We wake her up. She wouldn't want to miss the big moment.
  20. She is going to propose. Get down on one knee, right there at the metro station. That's where they first met.
  21. The girl looks up. She walks forward.
  22. She meets a couple and a young girl. They must be her family. She hugs her parents and gives the rose to her sister.
  23. They all go to McDonalds.
  24. We take a cab back to the hotel. Rome has defeated us.