Chapter 18: Second Part / Chapter 8

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 109



Well, if Alain Renard wanted to know about Francesco, he has such an opportunity. She won’t tell about everything else, as well as hurt herself in a second time. When Nicole was pulling on herself a short red dress, Alain sat down again to her.

It was a moment when he wanted a conversation. “Nicole, I have a question for you,” he said, hugging her hands when she finished.

“I hope that not a very personal one, because I refuse to answer very personal questions.”

“No, it concerns all women.”

What ambiguous hints, yes? And yet, Alain could have had anything in mind. She didn’t know what to think, she just nodded her head. She is familiar with his attempts to be completely personal.

“I really have no one to ask. Well, who else would understand my question?”

“Do you need money, Alain?”

“No! What money, Nicole? What made you decide that it’s about money? I wanted to ask you about tears.”

“And why are you asking about tears?” She said with a shrug. “Tears are the liberation of salts. Don’t you know that?”

“I’m not interested in health and science. I’ve got a personal question. It seems to me that someone put strong brainwashing on this subject, for it began with children and then with future adults: as if men don’t cry.”

“I saw different men, although I don’t really like to talk about the ex-boyfriends,” Nicole hinted, though without specifying exactly where she could have seen them. “Men do the same thing. I didn’t hear any data so that the eye-socket was different in different sexes.”

What always surprised Alain is her tendency to move to scientific data. He wanted personal approval, but not a scientific summary.

“Probably, my question would clarify everything.”

“You said that you’re interested in tears, but didn’t ask any questions.”

“I grew up in the same flat together with a very older nephew. I considered myself too whiny, but I didn’t see any tears from him or my father. Nobody told me that men don’t cry and should be courageous. No, I didn’t become ‘brainwashed’ in its pure form. I just always understood it myself. And now I think I’m wrong.”

“You’re mistaken. Millions of people think about tears equally. Millions of people want to cry as little as possible, including women.”

From the last conversation about food, he had a feeling that this was an understatement, and Alain tried to change the subject.

Nicole told the story of the birds and the cake, Napoleon. Alain was very pleased, especially given the fact that he can hear little words from Nicko.

“Let’s return to tears.”

“Let’s go. What do I remember? You know, Alain, I often have the impression that no one understands me. If anyone understands me, it’s only a few people.”

“Don’t you believe me?”

“I’m not talking about you. I just listened to some songs, read some books. And I have the impression that a song or a book understands me better than a dozen, if not hundreds, of people. And, to put it mildly, these books and songs are with lyrical characters that don’t always look like me. And sometimes I want to say so: yes, go to hell with votre (your) masks, votre (your) playability. If the person who wrote this song or book agrees with me, I don’t need vous (you), and the so-called advantages of votre (your) society.”

Alain sincerely hoped that all of the above wasn’t addressed to him personally. Oh, this French with a difference between ‘you’ in singular and ‘you’ in the plural, because plural form sounded very weird in communication with a specific person.

“Actually, my emotions aren’t clear to me either,” Nicole said, as if in justification; as if she wasn’t entirely sure of the idea that had been uttered. “It seems to me, well, what a web, what a network of incomprehensible associations and interweaving. But, nevertheless, these are my emotions.”

“The only thing I don’t understand is who are ‘you’ in plural pronoun in this story?”

“And don’t try to understand. You don’t need it, Alain.”

“Feelings can’t be ordered—if you hate someone, this is due to previous relationships. You shouldn’t try to replace the hatred for love only due to good tone. It won’t work out from the very beginning. If you tell the stone ‘break,’ and the thunder and lightning ‘disappear’—would one break, respectively, and the other disappear? Don’t. But numerous people still believe in this pitiful lie, as if the situation would be changed.

“I don’t know where you have so much wisdom from, but you’re absolutely right. I didn’t even know that the employee of the bank’s call centre, who always plays the role of a ‘retired banker’ would say that.”

Alain didn’t answer at all, but she wanted to believe him more than André Moody or Gilbert. Gilbert didn’t appear there often when Nicole last visited Moody’s site, but he was replaced by another active user, some guy named Mondel. They developed the plugin, “anti-profanity in French” for the phpBB2 engine, Moody together with Mondel.

It sized about two gigabytes and even contained mistakenly written words, such as kon, ckon. An interesting situation when opponents of the profanity are almost the main experts on it. She doesn’t know for sure whether there is a JNSPUC abbreviation. Is a hidden profanity not considered as profanity?

If we also take into account that, for the French ear, the name Mondel is associated with the world (‘monde’ in French, ‘mondiale’ in Italian), then probably the world belongs to emotions and very rude expressions. And this is not going anywhere. Honestly, Nicole doubted that the ‘dictionary of the profanity’ was of their authorship, more that it was compiled from different bases.

* * *

Nicole returns to her mom for a day off and starts a conversation. She is interested to know on what day after her birth she was baptized as a Catholic. She promised to say this to Raimon in Signe d’argent, but since she stopped working there, she fulfilled the request for herself.

“What day was I baptized, mom? On the second or third?”

“Neither one nor the other,” Margeaux said. “Don’t you know, mothers with children spend a month in the hospital?”

“Well, I’m sorry, I didn’t know. I haven’t given birth to children. Should I be asking: on the second or third month?”

“I don’t remember exactly when, but somewhere in September. Two months later. We tried to do it quickly.”

Nicole didn’t understand mom’s talk about religion; that a mom with a police character can believe in something, actually. Nicko would have believed in the religiousness of Bernarda despite some profanity rather than the religiousness of Margaux. She often spoke of God. Margeaux recalled God, as a rule, once a year, at Christmas or Easter.

Gratte thought it was very weird: after two months. She heard about some Islamists. They circumcise after the second day of giving birth, but they weren’t Islamists. When the conversation turned to her ex-husband, she learnt something more interesting.

Francesco puts pressure on Margeaux, although he is full of hot air. He called her home’s phone number several times and swore allegiance to his wife. He even tried to give his mother-in-law a birthday present: a cell phone. There was still time that only the younger generation called through them, not every single adult.

Margeaux refuses: she’s not accustomed to taking someone else’s gifts, even if presented to her. Who Francesco is, she knows superficially, and if not some bank employee who offered her daughter to this man would never have known? Francesco may be thinking about other ways to get his wife back. But for now, this is enough.

Nicole, heavily change her image as if she’s another woman, went to the stairwell of the seven-floor of her house. She saw ... Francesco. Her heart had beat, and she felt all shades of disgust that could be associated with this person. Feeling that she was beginning to go limp, she walked into the old elevator. However, she didn’t show anything.

She was wearing black glasses, a cowboy hat, wheat hair, and a light pink manicure. The image is, frankly, atypical for the former Nicole, so he didn’t recall her. She goes to her mom’s flat only with the use of this appearance. She opened the first door of the old elevator with her hand, closing it, her heart was still beating fast; but when she went out, Nicole immediately felt better.

Francesco through the intercom of her mother’s flat immediately after the elevator doors closed. The daughter didn’t hear their conversation.

“Who is this blonde?”

“This is my niece,” said Margeaux, although she didn’t have a niece, or at least who had announced herself. But this role is quite suitable for the ageing portrait: the niece can be twenty and thirty years younger.

“Nicole never told me about her.”

“Nicko has always been closed, intimidated.”

“It’s noticeable by her, Margeaux. By the way, what’s the name of the blonde?”

“Adele,” mom said, hoping there would be no further questions.

“What is her last name?”


“A very common last name. Tell me, is still she married?”

“Not yet, but she’s planning.”

“What reason did she come here for? Is there a wedding dress or something else?”

“The dress hasn’t yet been chosen. We discussed what restaurant they would go to.”

“And which one?”

“I think that in some German one. Adele doesn’t like loaves like most French people who chew any food with them. But in Germany, only butter smear on loaves or serve sausage, fish placed on them. Soups there are free from flour, she doesn’t like them.”

Margeaux described the tastes of her daughter, Nicole; those she knew. She didn’t understand the high value for her white fish, just one product of a Chinese restaurant. But she knew that for some reason the daughter didn’t like loaves.

“Could you tell us about your family besides your daughter? Do you have brothers and sisters?”

“We have too much data, and it seems to me that you didn’t ask at the right time.”

“Oh, I understand! But it’s a great honour for me to know your family.”

“With pleasure! I would write about all the relatives, so as not to forget them; and get photos from the album but not today.”

It was a half-truth. The current Margeaux hardly looked like a school one, her photo with a cap can be given for Adele’s child photos. And the fact that she had grey eyes, and not blue: it’s not as if on a black and white photo it’s so noticeable. In addition, Margeaux kept some family secrets.

There were days when Abraham was alive, Margaux’s father, who would be a grandfather now, his father had a huge number of sisters. There were about nine and she remembered all their names. They moved out to different directions. One lived in different parts of Paris, one moved to Dieppe, one lived in Lyon. Margeaux didn’t know them, but they weren’t keen to get acquainted with their family.

Nicole, of course, heard about this, but Monica had no idea. The only thing left from the ‘big clan of sisters’ is, perhaps, the black-and-white children’s photos of the grandfather’s peers taken while Abraham was alive. Once Abraham was alive. Then he fell ill, and after some time, he died. Only his daughter remained with him; his numerous nieces, together with their adult children, they didn’t even know the state of their uncle.

Nicole doesn’t even consider that nephews, uncle and aunts are their relatives. It’s like they are no more than a colleague at work. Today, you’re working in Signe d’argent with Raimon, and tomorrow he is gone. It’s like friends on the forum. Today, you’re sitting on the forum Women’s Games, and tomorrow, perhaps, there won’t the site itself.

Margeaux wanted them to remember their family ties, but they have their own families; they may not want to meet anyone. And then it made more sense when Abraham lived, and they were the sisters of his father. As soon as they had grown-up children, and then their own families appeared, they lost the character of identity. There is nothing to look for some ghosts.

But for now, their photos are a good way to brainwash Francesco Ricardo himself. Well, he deserved it. God shall know, he would never know the truth. And even if he tries to find someone, he doesn’t know anything about them. Even if she would call them by real names and not just fiction ones. In addition, some of the names she simply doesn’t know.

Submitted: September 08, 2019

© Copyright 2020 RomanBoukreev. All rights reserved.


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