She falls in love with Pierre on her eighth day in Paris. They meet in caf?©s and in his garret apartment: he is the most romantic lover she has known, her most patient French tutor. But with each conversation, each night of love-making, the language becomes more her own. She is able to express herself more fully, more completely, but Pierre remains the same, as simple as the French she could speak and understand when they met.
Tonight, a little past midnight, they’ll come home to his garret after drinking with his simple friends. Afterwards she’ll pack her bag silently, calmly, and walk down the long, winding stairs, shutting the door behind her for the last time as she steps onto the empty street. The words he’ll yell through the window to her are the last she’ll ever hear him utter: You used me! You used me to learn French and then you threw me away!
She registers his switch from imparfait to passe compos?© with a slight, smug smile.