Late Saturday afternoon and I am sitting at my desk with a pile of mascaras that I am testing for a feature. There has been no news from (or sign of) Luis, so I assume I will be spending the evening alone, having not made any other plans. (Although I did receive a surprise Valentine's card in the post this morning, it wasn't from him.)
As the sky darkens outside my window, I decide to go round to the bookshop for a little break and am thrilled to find several familiar faces, including Mathilde and Martine, sitting at the tables inside. Mathilde is typing away on her laptop, cleverly turning the table on Brits writing 'good life in France books' by writing a book from the point of view of a Frenchwoman surrounded by les anglaises.
'Any news from Luis?' asks Martine.
'Rien,' I reply. 'I do not even know if he is back from Cognac.'
'I am sure that you will see him this evening,' says Martine. 'He is the sort of man who will definitely be planning a surprise.'
'I don't know,' I say. 'He is very unreliable.'
'You will see him. I am sure of it,' says Martine, with conviction.
Walking back down Rue St Benoit, I see a familiar white car parked opposite my house. Valentine's day is suddenly looking up. The phone rings immediately as I step inside the house.
'Ca va?' says a familiar, deep macho voice.
'Where are you?' I ask.
'Next door to you,' he says. 'Ecoute! I will come around and we will have dinner together.'
And so he arrives at my door sporting a new hair cut and looking specially dressed up (entirely in black - usually not a good look for a man but it works on him). With a grin and a flourish, he presents me with a simple but quite perfect bunch of roses in pink, red and white.
It wasn't quite as dramatic as arriving through the skylight, but Martine was right: he is a man of surprises.