“Embarquement immédiat pour le prochain train en direction de la gare du Pont du Garigliano” a woman’s voice started to come through the intercoms, muffled by the loud noises of people hurrying through the train station. Babies were crying, women and men practically yelling on their phones and let’s not forget the actual trains. Taehyung cupped his ears as he tried to listen and translate the words that were coming from the speakers. Scanning the signs for some sort of direction he switched his focus to and from his translation book. The trip itself was completely last minute and buying a translation book at the airport was of no help to him. Taehyung frantically searched for a sign that could point him in the right direction, but as he was walking a rough shoulder rammed into his sending him jolting backward into a woman carrying a small child. “C'est quoi ce bordel? Regardez où vous allez connard!” The words were spat out by a large man whose face was smudged with dirt, alcohol seeping out of his pores. Taehyung didn’t understand what the man said, but he figured by his body language he didn’t really want to know.
As he watched the man walking away a high-pitched cry came from behind him. Taehyung turned and bowed to the woman trying to express his apologies. “I’m so sorry! Are you okay? Is the baby okay?” His voice shook with nerves as a worried frown fell over his face. The baby’s cheeks were cherry red as the tears rolled down her cheeks, the mother bouncing her softly trying to get her to calm down. “It okay! Do not worry, she…” the woman looked like she was trying to think of the right words, she had a warm smile showing that she wasn’t upset. Taehyung felt his shoulders relax, happy another person wasn’t going to scream at him. Saying his goodbye to the woman and child he searched once again for the List of Trains leaving the station. Not sure if what was called out before he took the time to look at his ticket, searching for the number on the board. It wasn’t there. Did he miss it? Taehyung spun around hoping that maybe he was just looking at the wrong sign, but he wasn’t. The station seemed to have calmed down while he was talking to the woman, and all his hopes were gone.
Taehyung found himself wandering around the station, his shoulders aching from carrying his heavy backpack along with his camera bag. He had only been in France for 4 hours and had already gotten himself lost. He had asked someone when the next train would arrive, and the answer made him regret not studying French beforehand more. Kicking his feet against the ground he decided to pull out his camera and look at the few photos he had gotten right after he landed. Most of them were of old buildings that he passed on his way here, but he still loved them. Taehyung was a professional photographer in New York City. The best place to be for someone in his field, at least that’s what they say. The past few months had been hard for him, not enough jobs or too many jobs all at once. His mental state was a wreck and he needed a break. A week ago, his boss told him that he was shutting down his studio. Taehyung didn’t work their full time, but its where a big portion of his money came from. After hearing the news, he panicked and decided he would become a traveling photographer. Worst case scenario he got a vacation out of it. A static voice erupted from the speakers once again, but thankfully this time Taehyung could actually hear it. “Malheureusement, en raison de circonstances atténuantes, le reste des trains sera annulé ce soir. Nous nous excusons pour le derangement” The few people that were standing around him let out long sighs, some yelling at the faceless voice from the ceiling. Confused as to what was happening Taehyung stood up and walked over to a young man “Uh excuse me, what’s going on?” he asked slowly hoping the man could understand him. The stranger's face seemed confused for a brief second till he pieced together Taehyung’s words. “Uh- C-Cancel. No…Train tonight” the man replied searching for a better explanation. Giving him a nod and a thank you Taehyung walked back over to the bench slumping down into it. So far everything was going terribly wrong. He had no way to get to Paris now, and he wasn’t sure if he could even afford a hotel.
Slugging his bag over his shoulder Taehyung walked up the stairs and out of the station. It smelled like rain, but the ground was still dry, people still out shopping and having fun. He couldn’t read any signs, and he couldn’t communicate with anyone so instead, he just walked. The air was cool enough that it felt somewhat relaxing, keeping him awake no matter how tired he was. Little boutiques, cafes and restaurants lined the narrow streets, hundreds of people buzzing around enjoying the nightlife. Camera in hand, he occasionally stopped to take some photos. Night photos weren’t his favorite, but there were a lot of different things to capture that you just couldn’t in daylight. AS he looked through the focus on his camera, he saw a small sign in the distance. It was simple, a white board with red letters. Next to it was a small building, people going in and out of it with smiles on their faces. Overall the chatter and loud noises Taehyung could hear a small violin playing in the distance. Before he knew it, his feet were moving toward the enchanting noise, his curiosity getting the best of him. He didn’t have anything better do to anyway.
Entering the small room Taehyung’s mouth dropped. The walls were lined with beautiful artwork, in the middle of the floor marble statues. He wasn’t sure if he could be in here, but he found himself face to face with the most beautiful paintings he had ever seen. What was that smell? Roses? The scent was drifting around him, no it was almost consuming him as he walked further into the studio. People were gathered in the center of the room, the sound of the violin getting stronger as he followed the crowd. As he started to approach the large circle someone grabbed his arm and turned him around. Taehyung let out a small startled yell, receiving a few glares for the interruption. A small woman was holding onto him and whispering a bunch of things to him in French. She sounded almost mad, but Taehyung could barely hear her. She pointed to his camera and started to drag him away from the crowd. He can't take pictures in here “I'm sorry! I didn’t know- I haven’t taken any pictures at all please” he quietly pleaded to the woman. She was still talking, and at this point, it was probably to herself. Taehyung was about to speak again when he realized she wasn’t dragging him toward the exit. She was dragging him around the crowd.
As the faces of the viewers came into frame, Taehyung finally got to see what everyone had been watching. It wasn’t an orchestra or even a single violinist. It was a man. His hair was blonde, and he had a small frame. His skin was so fair it looked like porcelain, and his jawline was sharp enough to cut stone with. The man was dancing in the middle of the studio, his movements fluid and graceful complimenting the music perfectly. His eyes were closed as he twirled and moved around, almost amazing that he wasn’t all over the place. Taehyung had forgotten the lady next to him completely entranced until she smacked his arm. She started imitating a photographer and pointed toward the performance. She wanted him to take pictures of this. It all became clear, even though Taehyung didn’t understand any of it. He wasn’t going to deny capturing such a beautiful moment. Immediately he grabbed his camera and adjusted the settings quickly. Why were his hands shaking? Looking through the viewfinder he searched for the man. The moment his face came into frame Taehyung was completely breathless. If he thought the stranger was beautiful before, seeing him this close was indescribable. Even as he was completely dumbfounded, his hands still managed to do their job. The small sound of pictures being captured echoed through his ears, not caring if he wasted an entire SD card on this one performance. He couldn’t believe that there was someone in this world so breathtaking. The man spun around as the song started to come to an end, striking an elegant pose facing toward him. Looking through the camera Taehyung focused on the man's face. It was as if he knew, by the way he opened his eyes as the music stopped, looking straight into the camera he gave Taehyung the smallest smile. The man’s eyes squinted, and his cheeks raised but it was over as quickly as it started.
Frozen in his place he watched as the man bowed to the guests and the applause roared through the small studio. Taehyung couldn’t quite understand what had just happened, but it left him with an unfamiliar feeling. Praying for a chance to talk to the man he waited patiently where he stood, ignoring the people that crowded around him to look at near by pieces of art. To Taehyung the only art in the room was the blonde-haired dream standing in front of him. A small beep came from his camera, briefly looking down to see that the battery was low. The best picture he had ever taken stared back at him. That small smile he thought he imagined, was smiling at him through the screen. Taehyung’s heart fluttered at the sight, feeling a small heat flush across his cheeks. He needed to talk to the man, hopefully he could understand him. There was so much he wanted to say, but when he looked up. The blonde hair was gone. Spinning around frantically Taehyung looked for him again, hoping that he was talking with another group of guests. He walked through the crowds of people but there was no sign of him.
Taehyung ran outside of the studio, rain starting to pour down onto him. As he turned and looked up and down the sidewalks, he saw nothing. Mostly everyone had taken shelter indoors, people running to get inside of cabs. He stepped out into the empty streets, his hair sticking to his forehead, begging to find the man he was looking for. It was then he heard a small horn, whipping his head around he saw a cab pulling over. A man in a black leather jacket and a hat started walking toward it but was that- blonde hair. Taehyung started walking no- running toward the cab “Hey! Wait!” he called out, but his voice was silenced by the rain. As the car drove away, Taehyung stood there completely defeated. His muse… someone more beautiful than art itself was getting away and there was nothing he could do about it.