Zoe and Rita decided to spend a weekend in Barcelona.
The two had met on a study exchange in France, and had become close, sharing an interest in fantasy novels and romantic notions.
Zoe was completing her bachelor's degree in European history, which had brought her to France in the first place. She was set in her ways, and had decided on her path for the next decade. Rita was studying law, but was unsure of her future in the subject, and would often talk of a life of travel. Yet, when it came to the subjects of art and of living well, both Zoe and Rita were of one mind.
They met for breakfast at a hostel, where they planned the day's events and surreptitiously took a few small loaves of bread from the breakfast spread, hiding them in Rita's purse for their lunch.
In the morning that followed, Zoe and Rita drank in the artistic treasures of the city, capturing photos of each other in Parc Güell. Inside the church of Sagrada Familia, they conversed deeply and in hushed tones about the beauty and splendor of the architecture. Both of them were in awe of the light streaming through the basilica's windows - which seemed to have an ethereal quality; and Rita, who could not suppress her exhilaration, held tightly onto Zoe's arm as she gazed upward.
The evening was balmy, and the girls found themselves in a small square watching a Spanish guitar player from the stone steps of a church. Rita was smitten, and chatted with Zoe about the beauty of the player, while Zoe poured over the map, deciding on the next destination.
It turned out that a nearby hotel had a rooftop pool, and Zoe had no problem convincing Rita to sneak through the lobby into the elevator and up to the top floor, where they then admired the sunset.
In the streets below them, the city was preparing for a warm night, and laughter and music could be heard from a distance. The next few hours for the girls were a whirlwind of dancing, drums, chocolates sampled from La Boqueria, and at nearly midnight the two settled down to dinner over wine. While walking home, they stopped by a fountain and reminisced about the day, the small streets and the balconies, the performers and about people at their hostel.
Their parting the next morning was sorrowful, as, with its charm and indescribably beauty, the city of Barcelona had brought the girls closer together.