Covered Bridges-3.

Covered Bridges-3.

Chapter 3

The good thing about being a woman is crying. I lived a lot of my life before becoming me holding everything back because when you were that kid that was me in school and you cried everything was ten times worse.

Last night sucked.

I was hurting and alone and bawled myself to sleep and feel better for doing it, for getting the shit out of my system. And it took me a lot of years to get to where I can cry without feeling guilty about it.

I’m staying here at the Best Western and while I’m a jogger and stuff I don’t know Moncton that well anymore to go jogging. It’s nice though that most places like this have exercise places now.

Yeah I’m sort of big on this, but the way my early life went I’m not really that into just letting things go back to before I became Haley. Besides it gets to be routine, and the endorphins for me are really as much a thing I need in the morning as a cup of coffee.

I hit the exercise room as soon as it’s open and with a big bottle of water, my hormones, and my vitamins and a granola bar. Never take vitamins on an empty stomach, it’ll go right through you and just be expensive pee.

Sorry I know…Eeew.

I do fifteen minutes on the elliptical, then crunches for another fifteen then I run on the treadmill for a half an hour. I have a thing with treadmills I like them as much as running outside. On a treadmill it’s just you and the machine and my mp-3 player. My thing, no traffic. There’s nothing like motorists…I rarely drive, I just…it’s not good for you, or the planet and put people behind that much power and metal they become dumb-asses.

Strike that, homicidal dumb-asses.

I’ll bike, if it’s that far. I biked most places in Osaka or took the trains.

Anyway…I listen to some good clubbing music the thump, thump, thump get’s my body moving and get running flat out, the great thing about running to this beat is getting your feet to hit with the base thumping sounds. Yeah there’s some tunes that are too fast but trust me you can find something you’ll like and something that’ll push you online.

I get a good serious sweat going on and hit the sauna they have, for a few minutes drinking my water to keep hydrated but sweating in the dry heat. I like these things and steam rooms too. I kill my water and take a quick dip into the hotel pool and do a few laps before going to my room to shower and change. I feel good, and I’m hungry enough to really enjoy my coffee and bagel. I end up turfing the bagel…yuck. I’m ruined by my times in South America. Better coffee for one and two a fourth rated bagel from a department store doesn’t add up to fresh bread less than and hour old being cut open and toasted just ever so lightly on a grill and butter. It’s how a lot of them especially them no matter the country start the day.

I get my things and board the train.

The train is alright, not great it’s alright. I mean compared to some places I’ve been its clean and spacious and I have a private cabin. But compared to some of the other places I’ve been and the prices I’m paying. I’m not all that happy. The bed’s sort of a built in cot thing and the blankets aren’t the greatest either and the menu’s iffy.

That being said I do make my way to the lounge car and while I’m not drinking I get a table, well it’s sort of a booth and one with a decent window seat and my camera and laptop and I spent most of the day just watching the scenery go by and taking the odd picture or two of things that I think are just neat or pretty.

New Brunswick goes by pretty fast really and it’s a pity really because there’s a few places that I’d love to have gone to. Fundy National Park for one. The highest tides in the world and there’s these eroded out island pillars called the flower pots that are supposed to be really cool to see. There’s some other places that my dad used to take us on the odd trip out of Nova Scotia that I’d like to see and a few places I’d like to go back to just because I had been there once or twice myself.

But really there’s so much that I’d just rather see with someone.

It’s about an hour from Moncton to Fredericton and a stop there and even with a few other stops it’s only about five hours before we’re crossing into the Quebec border. I don’t even really bother eating supper I’ll be getting in at Quebec City around eight PM so I’ll get something then.

I could have stopped in at Montreal but I don’t know. But really as much as there’s a lot of really great things to do and to see in Montreal I’m thinking that I might save that for a vacation sometime…I know there so much to do there but at the same time there’s only so much time that I’ll be able to spend on seeing the things that I want to see and… I love Quebec City, I came here when I was thirteen on a class trip with the French immersion class and the place stayed with me. Especially the old city.

Old Quebec sits at the foot of these bluffs where the CN old school flagship hotel the Chá¢teaux Frontenauqe (Yeah, likely spelled wrong.) sits beside the board walk amongst this whole bistro, art quarter and honestly it’s as close to old world Europe as you’ll ever get in the western hemisphere.

Old narrow and charming cobble stone streets, shoppes with the signs hanging out made from wooden plaques. There is a charm to the place that captured me right off the bat. There are these amazing places in Cordoba, and Rio and Buenos Ares and the other major cities down in South America that still have that old world Spanish feel to them but this is just different than that.

Okay so it’s pretty obvious that I’m actually in the city right?

Yeah I’ve got a room at the Sebastian it’s just outside of old Quebec and it’s a nice older sort of hotel but the kind of hotel where they were a lot closer to being a bed and breakfast. Brick built and five stories with that exterior stone trim that looks like the fancy French moulding. It’s like I said old school hotel with just stairs and no elevator and these really big nice rooms with the four poster bed and all the trimmings.

I’m staying in the city for awhile just so I can oak in the place. I never really got over the spark of the place since my class trip and I’m more than old enough to enjoy it now.

It’s about ten at night and that’s okay by me. The place is practically on European time with those people out for the late suppers and going to the bistro-bars they have here and there’s stores and shops still open. Not all of them but enough that things are still interesting to just waltz through the streets.

Yeah waltz that just mellow sway and just letting myself enjoy the moments. The breeze coming in off the St. Laurence and the feeling of having my hair down loose and the gentle swish of my dress. I’m having one of those just right in my own self moments where all the changes and everything I’ve been through makes sense.

I’m even enjoying the stares that I’m getting from the men, the flirty smiles and the manners as they open doors for me or just giving me the right of way when we are in the street. There’s some mild flirting but hey…they’re French and it really does come with the territory like the Latin men down in South America. It might not ever come to anything but it’s like it’s just custom, even a way of talking.

I really do enjoy it.

Okay I might get a bit more than some women with the blonde hair and all my curves. I have really nice breasts if I do say so myself and a really nice bottom and my legs are great too. I went through a lot to be me and to pass and I do a lot to keep myself looking this way…yeah I spent too much time plus sized in the first part of my life that I really try to never go back there.

I guess I’ve woman enough to be okay with me being that vain.

I’m out until about midnight just getting an idea of the places that I want to actually go and see later on I do stop in for a really late meal but it’s at a sort of tapis styled bistro that has a girl singing Nina Simone songs in French and I enjoy the stop with several glasses of the house wine and nibble on the odds and ends they are serving up. I’m like any girl really and I really like things that go well with a crunch like toasted baguette with garlic butter done on the grill and being able to spread the ree-ette? Meat spread kind of really rough pate kind of stuff. And I enjoyed the shot glasses they were serving of these different kinds of soups. The roasted potato soup with rosemary was really hitting the spot.

I get a cab home to my hotel and settle into a hot bath before brushing my teeth and falling to sleep in the really nice bed.

I could so get used to this but could never afford it. This is going on my credit cards and is very likely going to be the big major trip that I’ll be taking for a few years at least.

……………………………………….Morning came with my wake up call from the front desk and me trying to muddle through sleep-french. I head down to their gym on the first floor and go through my run on the treadmill getting my run in before hitting their universal/weight machine. I like to jog but it’s not a good idea to just go jogging in an unfamiliar place.

I enjoy a hot shower and have a really decent breakfast with fresh croissants and a really good coffee and I get changed into some nice clothes just some comfortable flats and a nice pair of jeans with a nice scoop necked tee under a denim shirt and take my camera and my shoulder bag and head back out into the city.

I get a cab and I head out to the first stop that I’ve thought about seeing ever since I’d been planning the trip and looking things up to make my time really worth it. So today it’s the Musee National des Beaux-Arts de Quebec…I know it’s a mouthful but this is a really great place it’s basically the provincial gallery of fine arts and I kill the day there.

I have a good time just walking around, enjoying the grounds but the art too. Art in Quebec has always had this sort of romantic appeal, there’s an edge to it that is steeped in politics and social drams and then there’s just the stuff that’s innovative or just beautiful.

The place is huge really with music and film and so much in the twenty some thousand works that are here. Really if I wanted to do it justice I’d come back here a few more times to really see all the stuff they have. But there’s a lot more things to see that I’d like to get in besides I’m going to be spending some time in Ontario too seeing some of the things that I really have wanted to see while I’m going across the country. I guess it’s a bit of a pick and choose kind of thing. Beside’s I’ve taken tonnes of pictures and even some video too.

It’s close to four by the time I get back to my hotel and my room and just in time for a nice hot bubble bath and a nap before I head back out into the Old City. I start off doing my usual just walking around after leaving my cab and it’s a bit of people watching and window shopping I buy some of the trinkety things that the people are selling or making on the bluff boardwalk to have as souvenirs to take with me. I treat myself to another nice coffee from a man with a cart that roasts and grinds the beans right there and he’s even got all the things to make me a latte.

God I know that’s so gauche of me to be drinking a latte after being all that time down in south America but I like them from time to time and this French vanilla is so good because I seen him put a chunk of vanilla bean right into the coffee roaster. I sip at it as I take the classed in escalator platform thingy down from the boardwalk into the Old City Proper.

Okay it’s something I recommend too. It’s like a platform but with a bus seat bench on either side of it and you can sit or stand but in either case it’s a five minute slow ride down the bluff but it’s the view. You’re descending into the Old city and you get to really see the old restored buildings and the roofs that are all redone to fit the style of the building as it used to be way back when and its early evening so add in the lights and even the river out in the distance.

I can’t help but feel just good about the whole day so far and I’m right in this nice sort of happy Zen place. It gets even better when I get out and at the entrance there’s a few locals playing some romantic or well that kind of Paris styled music that you hear in scenes from the movies. I toss some change and a couple of fives in the instrument cases and make my way through the crowds of locals and tourists like myself and start window shopping. Even slipping into several of the shoppes and places that I’ve been wanting to see from last night.

It’s just right.

You know one of those evenings that just sit right with you and soothes nerves you didn’t know were hurting.

I end up at this nice little café out on the patio that has this nice wrought iron fence around it still covered by runner beans making it kind of garden in the city cozy and I’m reading a new book that I’ve been wanting to get for awhile now and enjoying a glass of the house white while waiting for my dinner to arrive. I’m trying duck for the first time and I’m hoping it’s good. I see, sort of notice the candle in the jar on my table flicker with movement and there this handsome in this kind of rangy way man standing there in a white t-shirt that shows off some decent muscles and this brown hoody that has these old odd dried stains of paint on it and he’s got just a bit of scruff from a day or two without shaving. Nice jeans and nice shoes if a bit old and in need of some TLC. Long hair but in that he just lets it do what it wants from getting out of the shower, it’s a medium shade of brown and about shoulder length all in all a nice look with those sweet deep chocolate eyes of his.

Oh and glasses, real glasses gold frames not those dark frames that these “hipster” geek faux geek types are sporting now. Five years ago it was the metrosexual Ryan Seacrest clones now the guys trying to be it with the girls is the hipster.

“Can I help you?” I ask in English hoping not to be too off putting.

“I was wondering if I could join you. I noticed you there reading and you really stand out in the crowd.”

“I stand out in what way?” I’m waiting for the flattery or some comment on my looks and he pulls out one of my chairs with a questioning look and I nod, so he sits.

“I noticed you reading. These days all I ever see now is either someone with their face in some digital device or on their phones, or texting or tweeting or ignoring life with the help of their earphones. It actually does stand out when someone isn’t swept up in the tech trend.”

“Well I was sort of shutting out the world a bit.” I hold up my book.

“That’s another plus, it’s a real book not some downloaded copy, and it’s a hardcover too.”

“I have all those toys, but there’s still nothing like the weight and feel and the smell even of a real book in your hands. That and I like to hold it up in front of my so I can peer over the edge of it all flirty and seductive and such.”

He laughs. “Even better. So, can I join you?”

“I’ll be eating soon, that’s not a pretty sight.”

“I need to eat too, and I’ll buy the wine.”

Okay, he’s kind of cute and really easy to talk to. I smile at him. “Sure but I’m not making any promises for after dinner?”

“That’s all right the meal will give me time to figure out how to ask you out during dessert.”

I get that he just did. I smile and I can’t help but to laugh.” I extend my hand. “I’m Haley.”

“Nice to meet you Haley, I’m John.” He takes my hand and he just pulls it gently to his lips not slow but gentle, like he’s used to doing this. Hey, it’s Quebec and even the guys that aren’t french are good at being french.

He really does have these sexy eyes too.

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This story is 3238 words long.