Hello, fellow romantics!
I’ve been looking forward to this day for quite some time. Today, the Trump regime comes to an end. Our world won’t change overnight, but I personally am happy to see all these people who behaved so cruelly for the last 5 years finally leave the White House. It’s a start.
Today is also a Wednesday and that means…. excerpt day. ^^
UPDATE 27/01/2021: Added some more excerpt!
Nathalie winced and covered her eyes. “Wow, way too much light.”
Raven agreed. “That does hurt.”
The sun hung high in the sky and the temperature had risen considerably. People were enjoying coffee and wine on the outdoor patios of the cafes and restaurants around the square.
“It feels like past lunchtime to me,” Raven said, squinting. “But I guess it’s only 11 or so?”
“10 past 11,” Nathalie confirmed, reading the clock on the Belfry. “We were inside the cathedral for over an hour.”
“I would have loved to stay longer,” Raven said. “But it was weird walking around once mass had started.”
Nathalie nodded in agreement and waved Raven along. They walked across the square at a leisurely pace.
“There weren’t that many worshippers, though?” Raven added.
Nathalie shook her head. “No, it’s mostly elderly people and tourists.”
“That’s kind of sad,” Raven said. She turned and looked back up at the single, tall tower in yellowish stone.
Nathalie followed her gaze. “She’s beautiful, isn’t she?” she said softly. “You can see the cathedral when you approach Ghent from the highway. I feel like I’m home as soon as I see it.”
Raven nodded. “I feel the same way when I see the Atlanta skyline.”
“Is it beautiful too?” Nathalie asked, making a mental note to look up a picture of Atlanta later.
“Not like this,” Raven said and gestured at the old buildings surrounding the square. “But it has its charm too.”
“Is it worth a visit?” Nathalie asked innocently, readjusting her face mask.
Raven arched an eyebrow. “Of course, it is.”
Nathalie started walking again. “Maybe I should visit someday then.”
“You should,” Raven said, catching up with her. “I could show you around. It’s very different from your city.”
“I like going to different places,” Nathalie replied. “Plus, I’m getting kind of curious to see your city.”
“Oh yeah? Why is that?” Raven asked, sounding intrigued.
Nathalie was tempted to tell Raven why she was so interested in everything Raven was willing to share with her. But her hands were getting clammy and she ended up changing the subject instead.
“What did you like the most about our cathedral?”
A few seconds passed before Raven answered.
“I loved the painting. The Ghent Altarpiece? I can’t believe part of it is fake!”
Nathalie chuckled, relieved Raven was going along with the change of subject. “No one would know the difference if we didn’t tell them it was fake.”
Laughing, Raven replied. “True! And I guess tourists wouldn’t pay to see an altarpiece without all of its panels.” She shook her head. “I just can’t believe you never caught the guy who stole it! It’s been almost a hundred years!”
“We’re still trying!” Nathalie said, gesturing at the ground. “I don’t think a year goes by without the police digging up something, hoping it’s the missing panel!”
“Really?” Raven laughed again.
“Yes,” Nathalie beamed, encouraged by Raven’s laughter. “I doubt we will ever give up. It kind of has become local lore now. Personally, I think the panel is hanging in someone’s living room right here in Ghent.”
“Oh my God,” Raven answered, eyes wide, “You think the descendants of the original thief still have it?”
“Exactly!” Nathalie replied, nodding a few times. “They would have to hide it from visitors, of course. Maybe they have a little curtain to cover it up?” she joked.
Raven giggled. “Honey,” she said dramatically, tapping Nathalie’s shoulders. “Quick! Someone’s at the door! Hide the altarpiece!”
Nathalie laughed. She waved her arms, pretending to close a curtain in a hurry. “Damnit, I told you not to Facetime with your friends when the curtain is open!” she said, playing along.
They laughed together and Nathalie felt lighter than she had in a long time.
“Oh my God,” Raven sighed happily. “You’re so goofy.”
“Hey, you started it,” Nathalie grinned back.
They now stood on the square that surrounded the famous City Pavilion. Its modern architecture usually stunned visitors, but Raven’s eyes were fixed on Nathalie.
💜 Dear fellow romantic,
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