C'est dangereux

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

Chapter 2 (v.1) - First Part / Chapter 2

Submitted: May 13, 2019

Reads: 25

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Submitted: May 13, 2019



Gratte thought that by marrying Ricardo, leaving Paris, then having left for Dieppe, she would feel, as the French say, côte à côte (“side by side”). Dieppe was a small port town which is overlooking the open ocean, about which they talk a lot. She had never been there before. But the more Nicko lived with Francesco, the more their sides moved away. Partly because Francesco worked a lot, which actually it is natural for a businessman.
However, it seems there was something wrong in the way Francesco perceive his wife. Nicole liked to go out and go shopping, even without the intention to buy something, and he explained to her by saying that she had to choose clothes for four trips to the store. When Francesco had free time, he preferred to read columns of jokes, to solve crossword puzzles, and not trying to make Nicole an accomplice of some common task.
She never touched his Italian, French, or any books or things at all, but Nicole found out that Francesco had taken her cell phone and deleted all the numbers from there. He told her that a married woman could hardly call her classmates and her friends and maintain external contacts. However, Gratte rarely managed to call “all those who she shouldn’t” all the same, and she wrote down the telephone numbers on paper; the most important ones, she remembered. At that time, in 2003, cell phones existed for no more than four years, and people still had a long-term habit of memorizing numbers.
In the morning, Ricardo goes to business, closed the kitchen with a refrigerator, and handed over the keys to the guard. If she wanted to eat, first she had to ask permission from the guard. Usually, he didn’t refuse her, but Nicole felt some strange feelings. Francesco said that for him ensuring the proper diet of his wife is a matter of honour.
Actually, this was a really liked the phrase—‘a matter of honour.’ They are well-educated people. Two economists, although she found it difficult to say for sure whether Francesco was an economist at all. Because she has an economic education, she knew that her husband didn’t have the talents of a businessman. His whole business just, he’d just got from his father, and the second company with juice was bought on the rest money. Since the company’s fate is 70% if not 90% depends on its previous success, it will be very difficult to bring the company to the poverty line even with the director’s lack of professionalism.
Given that Francesco especially liked the phrase “this is a matter of honour,” she decided to try to manipulate him using it.
“Signor Ricardo,” she said emphatically, formally addressing Francesco, who was reading the newspaper. It would be ‘Monsieur’ in French.
“You’re so drawn to me as if you had become more submissive.”
“You will be greatly honoured to give me a free visit to the kitchen. Don’t limit me.”
“Yes, I can reconsider. It seems that you have behaved well in recent months. Obviously, you won’t become a food addict. But there is one condition.”
“What condition?”
“You must report what and how many times you ate. It’s a great honour for me to be aware of my wife’s diet.”
The voiced demand didn’t seem so cruel, so Nicole agreed.
“Given my extremely positive behaviour, it would be nice if Signor Ricardo would have allowed me to travel outside Dieppe by train.”
“Why do you need outside Dieppe?”
“I would like to meet my mother and my sister in Paris.”
“But you’re not ten years old, Nicole. Your family should be here, not there. I have one guard, if I let him go with you, I cannot fully count on the signalling.”
“Get a dog. Sheepdog or bulldog would be a good solution for the protection of the mansion,” Nicole said it without evil irony, simply offering options, given the different meaning of the word ‘dog.’
“Who will walk the dog while you’re travelling with a guard to Paris?”
“You can find the second guard. The cellar is full of wine barrels, they are not cheaper.”
Francesco put down the newspaper, frowning, hitting the table, asked:
“What did you do in the wine cellar, you bitch?! Do you want to break your head or something?” He hit the table a second time, even harder than before. Nicole’s heart starts to beat faster. Francesco came up and hit on her forehead. Nicole felt a dull blow: there was no blood on her face, but it was as if a heavy wrench has pierced her head.
When they were discussing French and Italian, Nicole told him that in France the main animal in curses was a ‘dog’, Francesco replied that there was no such thing in Italian at all, this is the vague word ‘animal’.
“Are you an animal, are you?” Francesco continued a clear flow of words, and crushed her with another blow to the forehead, though not so strong.
Then Nicole heard some words in Italian, but she was smart enough to understand what it could be.
“You’re crap,” Nicole answered in the style of his attacks, but in French. “You’re crap!” She repeated even louder, got up from her chair and tried to at least find some way to escape. He grabbed her by the jacket and slapped her ass.
“No, Francesco, I didn’t drink. I swear on everything that one can swear: mother, country, God, but I didn’t drink anything from these barrels.
Nicko was breathing loudly, her heart was beating fast and almost breaking down, her blood pressure was obviously high, but there is nothing to change. Trying to calm down she just started to breathe even louder. A tear flowed from her right eye. If Nicole would say something, her voice would completely spoil and resemble a falsetto. Sitting down, she lifted her right leg and laid her face on it.
“If the cellar is so important to you, you could have locked it with a key instead of a kitchen,” she said with a horrible squeaky, spoiled falsetto.
“Yes, I will close both from now on,” Francesco spoke in a language understandable to her, and between the sentences, he occasionally inserted something Italian. “You’re not worthy of freedom, everything will remain the same!”
Francesco was shouting loudly, not in the sense of a tension of his vocal cords, but his bass seemed to be especially loud. She felt suppression into her ears.
“C’est con,” Nicole broke out of the mouth of the little-known synonym of ‘fool’, too typical for Paris. Besides, she said it just in a loud whisper.
“What are you muttering? Crap?” Judging by his question, he didn’t know this rare synonym.
“I want to say I will become better.”
“Speak louder enough to hear!”
“I’m promising that I will become better,” Nicole spoke slowly, sitting still on the same lap, trying to pick out every word and increase the dynamics of her voice for ‘hearing.’ For the illusion that Francesco does not hear. He never even said that he went to the Ear-Nose-Throat doctor or had a hearing problem.
“Good dog. I believe.”
Francesco switched to French. It seemed that he had insulted her with the same word and the same expression that he had heard from her when she introduced him to French swears. The word ‘good’ in French does not always mean ‘good’ but can be used for amplification. The context of this word for Nicole as a Parisian woman remained unknown, but now nothing surprised her.
“The dog that needs to be tied up is you. And I don’t think I need a second one.” He said and left the kitchen. In front of the kitchen, Nicole heard him tell the guard to lock the door as soon as she comes out. She won’t call anyone at all in the near future. And what if mom calls her first? Where should she go that the guard would not see her? After all, living with Francesco, she could do almost nothing herself, without any permission. Nicole always knew about it, but she understood it better now.
Nothing swam before her eyes; the dull pain from the side of her forehead had passed but she sobbed soundlessly. Nicko made no sound, she doesn’t remember thinking that she could do it at all but she did it right now. A lot of tears poured from the right eye. She tried to wipe them with a cloth made of her striped shirt, but soaked it as if a whole mug had been poured onto her shirt.
After leaving the kitchen and hearing how the guard closed the door on the lock, she climbed into the bathtub, feeling unpleasant moisture in her eyes. After seeing herself in the mirror, she saw that her forehead was slightly reddish, but nothing serious, it would be healed. No bleeding, no scars. In truth, she didn’t even hurt too much.
There was the only reason she believes him: his very happy stories about Italian culture, but it was all is a mask. ‘Great honour’ to show himself as a very good person, really he was not such a person. After all, what good person does not respect parents, a father, a mother? If you don’t respect them, then you need to pretend. To pretend, to play as if it is actual. Especially if a person supports such conversations, and Nicole was one of them.
It’s funny that he locked the kitchen using the idea that he was following his wife’s diet, while the cellar was almost more important to him, but he didn’t specifically protect the cellar. Maybe she is not the only one who knows about the cellar, and the guard comes in there sometimes? Francesco didn’t want Nicko to drink wine in the cellar, but he didn’t even have any proof that she was drunk at all. He built his logic exactly from the fact that she should not appear in the cellar.
She could calmly think about her painful feelings only at night, rather than try to break the rules during the day, going to the wine cellar. Nicole was still surprised by something else: the guard usually made reports when she ate, drunk, how much food was spent, tried to call, but he never followed her into the cellar and didn’t recognize what she was doing there. She even saw how he could theoretically notice her, and he knew that she didn’t go upstairs to the second floor of the mansion.

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