Green Card Ch. 7 - A Marriage of Inconvenience
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
Thanks one last time to the marvelous @llewcie for saving me and the story from myself!
April in Paris was supposed to be romantic. That’s what the fucking song had said. But Nigel couldn’t see what was so fucking great about it as he stomped through a frigid puddle and toward his flat, cursing the rain and the wind that still whipped through the streets.
He sneered at the group of 20-somethings wandering down Oberkampf, looking for excitement in the gritty part of town. A few girls winked at him as they clopped by in their heels, no doubt thinking the man with the long hair and the tattooed neck would be a good story for their friends over brunch. He could smell their perfumes in the wet air, acrid and floral.
Nigel smelled like camembert and sweat, his shift at the Fromagerie always leaving him tired and reeking of cheese. Adam had asked Nigel to quit dealing, insisting he keep the rest of his savings as he looked for a place in Paris. He had also requested that Nigel find legal employment, because it would look better when Adam filed his appeal about the marriage.
Nigel had wandered from shop to shop, getting polite rejections until he found Le Jardin Fromager. Sabine had patted his cheek with her wrinkled hand, telling him such a handsome face will certainly bring in customers. He spent hours cutting hunks of cheese for the hipsters and locals, making sure to flirt with every customer. Adam told him it was OK to flirt, as long as he wasn’t selling drugs.
Even in foul weather, Nigel walked. The air took some of the cheese smell from his skin and it gave him a chance to wander down Boulevard Richard-Lenoir. The gardens along the street would bud soon, and Nigel planned to film his walk to show Adam, who would appreciate the bits of greenery in the midst of a busy city.
Turning down Rue de Lappe, Nigel dodged the bar crowds that were beginning to line the streets. His postage stamp of an apartment was above Le Bazar Egyptien. He could afford a bigger place, but Nigel didn’t see the point. This was just a place to sleep until he could find a way back to New York and the blue-eyed boy he’d left behind. Most nights he could smell the hookah and the cumin in the air as laughter and conversation floated through his open windows, but he rarely felt the desire to go out. Nigel was content to stay in, nursing a beer until it was time to Skype with Adam.
He snorted. Marriage had finally made him a homebody. Now, he just needed the man to stay home with.