On a spring day in 2007 a special wedding ceremony took place on the second platform of the Eiffel Tower. Friends gathered, vows were spoken, and the bride was kissed. As cool April breezes swept up from the river and across the betrothed couple, the structure’s iron beams seemed to reverberate with the optimism of freshly declared love.

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And yet it was clear to the tower’s other visitors, who had been drawn to the applause of the small audience in attendance, that the event was lacking a key component-–the groom. They were even more perplexed, after a closer look, to see that there in fact wasn’t a second spouse involved at all.

This didn’t bother Erika, the young American who had just pledged herself to her soul mate; she ignored the strange looks and descended with her twelve wedding guests to ground level. More importantly she was descending with her…

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