Love,  Love Stories by V. Monet

A Night Without Stars

A young woman reunites with an old friend for one glamorous night in Monte Carlo

The streets were alive tonight in Monte Carlo. The luxury cars moved swiftly through the tight, narrow streets, skillfully weaving through its dangerous curvy roads. The empty dark sky was illuminated by streetlights around us; surrounded decadent, historical buildings that could tell so many stories of the wealthy patrons that entered its doors. Even without the stars, the city was still glowing. It was a city overflowing with wealth and prestige. It was my last night in Monaco. What originally started as a trip with friends was ending a trip of self-care discovery. The trip for them ended in Nice after a week of exploring the south of France. I refused to stay in my hotel room by myself in this magical city – no matter how fabulous it was. I had other plans for my last night in Monte Carlo. I left the Hotel Metropole that was now illuminated by a sea of soft lights. The paved the entrance was decorated in Rolls Royces, Ferraris, and every other kind of luxury car you can imagine. I took a short walk from my hotel to my destination for the evening and there it was – the famous Old Casino of Monaco, the famous haunt of fictional spies and royals for years. I was standing in front the infamous landmark that this very city was built around but tonight wasn’t about history, tonight was about revisiting the past, to see if love still lived there. It was the center of the city with all roads leading to its grandness. 

My grip around my shimmering red clutch tightened as I began to make my way inside. The walls and columns were covered in exquisite marble, the sounds of people chattering amongst each other in awe and amazement echoed even louder. I headed in my golden ticket and entered the grand casino, thrust into games of dice and roulette to the background of jazz music played a pianist in the center of the room. The fixtures were gold-trimmed, covered in decadent art you would typically find in some French museum. The famed casino of legend was now real to me and I had become apart of the glitzy, glamorous world of legend. The room was buzzing around roulette tables holding million bets by its wealthy patrons, games of blackjack and craps with high stakes on the line, and slot machines lighting up with eager gamblers looking for a win.

As I wanted to try my hand at one of the games, I was here for a different reason. I was here on a date with an old friend. I made my way to the Le Train Bleu in the corner of the lavish bar. Inside had a completely different energy from the rest of the casino. The mood was toned down and softer. The rich cherry wood walls with gold furnishings transported to another place and another time. The décor mimicked the old train cars you would take to Paris. There was an old world nostalgia you felt upon entering. As soon as I sat down, I felt my nerves begin tremble down to my fingertips. It had been five years since we last seen each other and that faithful in Paris. I was a young college girl, getting the most out of her summer abroad. I looked up at the doorway, eagerly waiting to see him walk through the doors and there he was. He was no longer the young, scrawny boy of his youth. The person that had walked into those had blossomed into a man. Time had been kind to him, wearing a casual outfit with a black blazer over a plain color shirt accented by a gold watch. It was the same simple understated elegance that she remembered. His smile widened as he walked closer to the table. I got up to hug up and we found ourselves lingering in the moment, savoring each passing minute of our arms wrapped around the other. The rest of the night was spent reminiscing about days past and how we both came to this moment, sitting in a lavish restaurant in a beautiful city on the French Riviera.

We left the restaurant, our hands interlocked with the other with our faces glowing with a newfound light. There was a part of me that wasn’t ready to end. He walked into the night, across the street to the Café Americano for a different kind of ambiance. We entered the room to the sounds of a lively cover band and small pockets of people dancing, others laughing over expensive cocktails. We took a seat at the bar, each ordering a glass of champagne to start the second part of our evening. We danced, we laughed, we cherished we had together. For rest of the night, we lost in each other’s gaze. It was safe to say that my last night in Monte Carlo was an evening to remember. 

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