Melanie remembers those cool Paris mornings getting ready for class and rushing out the door just in time to catch the Métro.
Now, standing in her Missouri kitchen, she gazes at the plant that she grew from seeds smuggled onto the plane in her wallet, the candle, a gift from a fellow student before she left, that she only lights on special occasions, and the sign she splurged on the day before she left. "C'est la vie," she sighs.
Before washing her hands to make dinner, she gazes fondly at the last bar of French soap on the dish next to the sink. "Tonight, I'll make a croque madame for dinner," she thinks.