Chapter 4: First Part / Chapter 4

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

Reads: 90

Nicole was a very obedient mother’s girl. She didn’t know her father, for some reason he left her family at an age when she could not remember his face. She studied relatively well: she was interested in German, which was her mother’s foreign language. She ended secondary education, graduated from economics university. Everything looked so good that she just didn’t want to believe it. Somewhere inside herself, Gratte thought that she lacked warmth, no one understood her, and actually, she was extremely lonely.
In high school, girlfriends offered her a smoke. They didn’t even say why, and for what, but she often saw their smiling faces with a cigarette in the school toilet. When Nicole tried the first cigarette in front of them, she coughed so hard. After all, she didn’t know how to smoke. Something like a soda was exiled from her lungs. With the difference that soda is only in the throat, and the smoke is also in the lungs. You can be hoarse from a soda, but don’t cough up—if you only choke, but it’s quite possible from cigarettes.
Over time, when she learnt how to smoke; she didn’t grasp, although at the beginning it was difficult. The endorphins that a cigarette produces in the brain do raise some spirits. But the cigarette is so dangerous that its harm appears only after many years. A typical phenomenon when it’s very difficult to understand where the enemy is.
* * *
Fran’s flat was located in a three-story mansion in the coastal town of Dieppe in France on Route de Pourville. The mansion had a basement with a wine cellar, a staircase to the attic, four entrances outside, the same on the other side, and another door on the side. In the Romanesque architecture, almost all buildings are symmetrical. They don’t build houses with the only one entrance door. Nicko thought about how to leave his house and get to Paris. She was pleased that the guard in the house was alone, and theoretically, it was very easy to deceive him.
With the closed kitchen it was possible to go and eat only after the prior permission of the guard. Calls through cellular phone are formally prohibited, except for calls to Fran himself. Nicole began to check the home in search of keys to the rest of the doors; if the guard found out, she allegedly wanted to read and was looking for a special book (he didn’t know what and where something was sitting in the house there).
The keys in one of the boxes are literally on the ground floor: it seems that Francesco kept all the most important things there. Waiting for the guard to be outside on the street, she would try to open the door without any permission. No one asked Francesco to lock her up in this prison.
The mansion not only seemed big, but it was also actually so. The roof was made of grey stone, part of the walls are of red brick, part of beige slabs. This is hardly the original mansion, looks like to an attempt to repair it. It’s possible that once it was completely made of red brick. It seemed to be such a mansion for cars passing on the road (they lived with the noise of cars from the road), but Nicole knew: there is no red brick here. This is an imitation with the use of some wallpaper. Inside, almost everything is covered with wallpaper, full of cabinets.
Realizing that the keys are appropriate, she needs shoes. Indeed, at this time it was autumn. The sun was hot, the windows were wide open. From some there was a blowing light wind as if Francesco didn’t live here, but her mother. There were almost no shadows inside the mansion: the glare from the windows lit up everything around. Who said darkness is always dark? Darkness is also a fake reality, a mirage; a picture that is clearly inconsistent with the present state of something that happens. Since this exit from the mansion was a black door, the shoe rack was not there, but at the other exit of the home. Nicko didn’t know if she could slip away; the guard was walking somewhere outside. She quickly closed the door, trying to do it as silently as possible.
Although it just didn’t make sense: the mansion is quite wide. She hid her keys under her clothes and went to her shoes. It would not be superfluous to put on shoes before going out through the back door. As the home guard stood before the front door, he might notice it. She began to put shoes on. Without explaining his plans, the guard approached her:
“Nicole, do you want to walk in front of the doorstep?”
She nodded.
By this time, Nicko, of course, had closed all the boxes, so there was not a single piece of evidence against her. She had a habit of taking small runs, usually no more than a hundred meters and twenty laps, but too small to run away. Several times she looked around at the guard, trying to make sure that he didn’t catch her eyes. The guard didn’t leave the door; it seemed that her husband had ordered him to be very carefully guarded her.
No matter how they thought about her, she knew that she would run away today. Gratte would not put it off until later, and since she takes the keys without asking, it’s not just that. Nicole ran for twenty minutes, then took off her shoes and returned to its original place.
When she lay down on the couch feeling of accelerated breath, she thought that escape might not work. How can she deceive this clown? After a bit of lying and thinking, she had the idea to go to a basin in the bathroom and wash her shoes by hand. Of course, it needed to be before the desired back door. If the guard passes, she will say that she has a special request from Francesco.
The truth is, Nicole first went to the narrow thumbs on the ground floor and began to look for her documents. Without a passport, even if she returns to Paris, she will be a ghost. She was lucky, and she finds what she needs, and then goes to wash her shoes meaningfully. As a result of which Nicole will brainwash the guard about her intentions. The guard again intersects with her:
“Do you wash your shoes by hand?”
“Yes, Francesco had a special request for me.”
“What request?”
“If I wash his shoes into a shine by hand I can use the kitchen without prior permission.”
“I didn’t hear about that, myself,” said the guard. Nicole, of course, was afraid that he would call him and clarify, and then they would realize her trick. “I think that Francesco wanted to surprise me. It looks like him.”
Nicko was grateful for the opportunity that he didn’t want to know that it could happen. After all, today, she may not be at home, and then it does not matter. ‘It so looks like him.’ That is, Nicko’s fiction story coincided with his character? Come in handy.
After some time, the guard left. Nicole continued washing shoes by hand: it was about thirty pairs. She has already brainwashed the guard. Now it was interesting how to escape. Shall she put the shoes in the right place, and then disappear, or imitate her kidnapping? Allegedly, someone opened the door from the backyard and kidnapped her, but the shoe scattered and sit around in chaotic order. However, if she was kidnapped, why didn’t anyone hear her scream? And what if someone will find out from witnesses on the street?
And then, if there are casual witnesses, and Francesco called the police, would he really find those passers-by who were present at this time? The fact is that when the last two or three days Gratte asked to go to the store, she noticed that she would have to cross the street from the back yard from this back door. Then she would walk a little bit ahead. She can hide in front of five garbage containers, and then she tries to stop any driver.
She will have her own documents so she will convince drivers that she is not some random homeless woman. If she sat in front of containers it does not mean that she would sit inside them. What version of a decently dressed girl with documents, but without money, appears in an allegedly unfamiliar city? Was she kidnapped? Maybe some wounded and hit her? Moreover, metal containers are massive enough to maim. But Nicole doubted this: metal containers would only lead to a blunt blow to the forehead. A blunt blow is when it hurts you, sometimes it hurts a lot. But there is no bleeding or any serious injuries. They would visually convince someone that she speaks the truth.
When he hit her for the first time, the peculiarity was in blunt blows. They hurt terribly, but only a slight redness of the face is visible, and they quickly disappear. Not all cases of domestic violence can be seriously proved at all.
Would she take a knife, hide behind trash containers, then her self-inflict? Would then she call herself a victim of some raiders, trying to stop the car? But when the police appear in Fran’s home, it turns out that the raiders took the wife. They were not noticed by the guard, and they also cut her not with their own knife, but from some knife from his home. It would all look very strange.
Being long thinking about all these options during the ‘washing shoes’, Nicole thought about them now. She opened the back door of the home with a key, crossed the carriageway. She turned left onto the side-walk and reached the garbage cans. There was a small nook with four fences the height of a man, forming a square, with other dustbins inside. Outside, five containers were in front of a wall opposite the roadway and a sidewalk for pedestrians. Also, Nicole is not visible for police cars.
So, monsieur, the money was taken away, but the documents were?
Maybe ask someone to take her to the bank, saying that she has no cash as a result of the attack of some robbers? Nicole came out of the nook with containers with a strong desire. To stop any car that would let her in, take her to the bank where she can buy a ticket to Paris. Then she quietly goes home by train, declaring the silent enmity of Fran. The probability of meeting his car at that time was extremely minimal because he is the CEO of two companies.
You could see bottles and juice boxes of his second brand Le répas almost every day in the stores. (Le répas means breakfast, lunch, dinner in French.) Eldorado could not openly advertise themselves on the market due to restrictions on smoking advertising. However, this brand was well-known among visitors of stores asking for cigarettes. Le répas didn’t quite belong to her husband. It was bought because many tobacco business owners are trying to acquire alternative companies. Lower profit from cigarettes with half-closed nature of trading activities.
A curious feature is a name itself. If you consider that the Spanish article is El, then El Dorado should be with space. When his father founded the company Le répas and invented a brand, the extra space was considered not to have the desired effect. If his father had founded the company Le répas, he would not have been able to name Lerépas without space. But in France, many people respect their language more. They not very often admitting of word modifications and demanding minimal literacy.
Great Britain since Winston Churchill and a little later was the most smoking nation in the world. They have first place among deaths from lung cancer (but freedom of speech).
Now 18% of men and 15% of women smoke there. After stating the propaganda of non-smoking lifestyle those who smoked became less. Therefore the products of the Eldorado company were no less in demand among the British in their time than in Italy or France. The French now criticize their country due to numerous smokers. Traditionally, smoking there is not considered the prerogative of only men: there are no fewer women with a cigarette.
They are inferior only to South Korea. There are more smoking women than in France. At this point in France, smoking prohibited in public places, common restaurants and cafés. (Besides night clubs—places for smokers.) The penalty for smoking only starts at six hundred euros. (The law was established in 2006.) In 1991, the French restricted smoking on public transport only (among passengers and drivers).
Gratte tried to stop the car. Someone was silent, one said: “Find a job for yourself, stubborn bitch.” Some woman agreed to give a lift to the nearest branch of Banque de Morales, where she can withdraw cash (she didn’t have a credit card, she was in search for too long, but she knew her pin code, and there was her passport: the bank with such data is not entitled to refuse to conduct the operation), then proceed to the railway station (by taxi or bus). She’d get her home in Paris in two or three days. In a short time, it’s difficult for even the police to track because she faked her abduction to get away from her husband.

Submitted: May 13, 2019

© Copyright 2020 RomanBoukreev. All rights reserved.


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