Chapter 6: First Part / Chapter 6

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

Reads: 108


Nicole not only had an economic education, but also experience of this kind of work. She was an employee at a bank, quickly went up and in twelve months she worked with large operations. She knew how the bank worked and what a banker behind a glass section might suspect about ‘suspicious transactions.’ Gratte remembers very well how a man represented someone else came and began to close the accounts of five relatives. Firstly, he cashed a very large amount of money from various accounts. Secondly, he placed them into just one account. Junior bank staff usually don’t have the authority to handle such operations.

When she escaped from the mansion, Nicole was in a grey tracksuit and black tight shorts for running, as well as white sneakers with a dark cherry handbag. Not being like a woman who just took a working break, she could easily have been mistaken for a woman on a casual trip. And they believed her with such clothes, probably thinking that she was staying somewhere in a near hotel.

Gratte left the branch of Banque de Morales. The woman who drove Nicole on the car didn’t wait for her. She came up with two different versions of what allegedly happened to her in the city. Gratte said to the woman at the car that she came to Dieppe with a friend. They were going to her nephew half an hour ago when three young men approached them in the backyard. Without witnesses, each of them showed a knife, offered to either have sex with them or pay some euros.

Nicole gave them all the cash from the handbag. The ‘girlfriend’ didn’t agree, and she was put into some kind of car. Then Gratte without money didn’t know what to do in the downtown. She seeks for someone who would give her a lift to the bank. She will get to the police station on her own because she allegedly remembered the license plate of the criminal’s car.

Nicko also added that if she bothered the woman, she could wait for her to come from the bank. After that, Nicole would pay her for the time lost, but the woman refused. If some men rob her, she should not pay someone who should help her. The woman obviously thought that her credit card was at least with her if she wanted to go to the bank.

When she was driving with her in the car, Gratte gasped slightly. The woman asked was everything alright with her. Nicole felt pain in her feet again: after her husband’s attempts to crush them, veins in her feet ached periodically. Nicko told the woman: one of the criminals said “You’re next,” stepped on her foot with force, grabbed her by the waist, and also tried to put her into the car.

Arriving home in Paris, she planned to get a job in Banque de Morales, where her last classmate was working before. Judging by the site on the Internet, which she looked at Francesco’s home, the company didn’t have open vacancies, but it was already a great success to speak with the director of this bank.

Especially considering that this bank has already saved her, helped to get out of the dark nightmare. Once Ricardo, still good, insisted that she must be opened an account in Dieppe in this financial company because there is high annual interest on deposits.

* * *

The train brought her from Dieppe to Paris. This is better than hitchhiking the whole day, perhaps with a night in a hotel by car, and hardly anyone would agree to go. After all, there are no guarantees that she would pay anything at all, despite her decent appearance, as well as there were guarantees that she is not connected with a crime.

Gratte didn’t take anything than money: no phone, no money, only a passport and very necessary documents. Nicole didn’t even dare to look for a card: it’s too risky, and it’s not a fact that Francesco didn’t take it to work. He generally took many things that either belonged to her or were common to work, although these items for him are absolutely useless.

A couple of times Ricardo picked up her phone so that she didn’t call random people. In this regard, he is still very jealous. Understood that she was using his computer, he took away first the hard drive of the computer, and then the entire system unit. And Nicole used the computer only to browse sites or search for the information she needs.

She didn’t delete any of his files, didn’t even view them. She didn’t rename any folder, almost didn’t install any third-party software. Nicole didn’t even cash money from his e-wallets, although she could have done so. He didn’t want her sitting at the computer, but Gratte did nothing wrong.

After eating at the station, Nicole took a taxi from Paris train station and headed to her home. At the driver, she heard on the radio a few songs.

What a … Nicole has never lied so much. She remembered the dialogue from a French film depicting the interrogation of a Vietnamese sergeant who had come out of a coma. He woke up and found out that he would be subject to torture, because, in the opinion of the general, he had been wronged and had not provided for the safe egress of troops. Nicole remembered the dialogue by heart because she had watched this film many times:

“You said you saw a light at the end of the tunnel. Now you’re telling you’re speaking with fallen angels. Isn’t it a big pack of lies?” The formidable general looked into the face of the suspended sergeant, sometimes he beats him, speaking in a hoarse bass. Sometimes he is shouting.

“Damn, I’m telling the truth! You’ve been to the coast, you must know this! Those aircraft that dropped the bombs. You do remember, don’t you?” the sergeant spoke in a tenor.

“You’re wrong. I wasn’t there when the base was assaulted. I was urgently recalled to the border. There was a business that supposed to be solved in that place.”

“You weren’t there?”


“But who then warned them about the assault? I saw how the guys from another squad carried the equipment and supply: ammunition, weapons, walkie-talkie, boxes of food. Ten minutes later, enemy aircraft dropped bombs. First on their empty bunker, where there was no one and then another ten minutes on our bunker. As if they knew in advance that they were being dropped on, someone helped them. We have a spy.”

“Is it really important? You’re a sergeant, you had to ensure the safety of all people among your squad. And you now answer me like a piece of shit!”

“You must listen to me.”

“I will beat your fucking face. Do you understand, do you? You’re not a sergeant but dogs’ shit!! Fucking imbecile!! I’m sorry, very fucking sorry …”

When Nicole watched this film, she understood that it’s the best illustration of a lie. The film depicts the situation among the Americans in Vietnam. There is some kind of spy with double cooperation between the American army and the Vietnamese army. He or she provides the other side with information about the location of the US military units. However, he or she does not take 100% either the side of Vietnam or the US. The spy remains in the shadow until the last moment.

He gets some economic benefit by saving his friends—and killing everyone else who is of no interest to him. Therefore, the spy prepared both a strike on American bunkers on the coast and the evacuation of troops of a ‘friendly’ squad for some reason. On the Vietnamese side, he said that there were no people in another bunker, but they would appear in ten minutes, and that fact deceived this sergeant, who at first thought they had missed the target. And his actions in order to save the squad are assessed by the general, who at that time was mostly in a different place.

She had one weakness: she hated a lie in any way. Neither someone uses a lie for good purposes, nor someone uses a lie for harm. And she had a principle: either you speak the truth, only the truth and nothing but the truth, or it’s better to remain silent. In one day, she lied so much more than she ever had.

Of course, although Nicole was relatively young, she had to lie. She remembers how her mother, Margeaux, came, asked her grandmother: how many candies did Nicole eat? The grandmother replied that there were four, whereas in reality there were nine of them, which according to her mother was too much for her daughter in the second class of the elementary school. According to the grandmother, there is no need to save when their whole kilogram in the refrigerator. But in order to come up with a whole performance with washing shoes only to run away, actually waiting a couple of weeks … It’s common as dirt.

She deceived a woman in a blue car. Shall she even use her pain in order to lie? She deceived the banker-operator. Allegedly, Nicole is living not here, remembers the pin-code of her card, but forgets it at home in another city.

On the other hand, had not Fran deceived her?

When commercial was announced on the radio, Nicole recalled body care products, perfumes, shampoos, clothes and other goods for women. Advertising imposes a certain stereotype on all women: their body should come first. A woman should … dress well, look well, smell well. The body of women for themselves should be put in the first place. And although, of course, the body is not always in the first place; education is important, culture is important, the outlook is important. She thought that she was ready to put her intolerance of falsehood to be even more important than her body.

What else would she choose? She would choose truth, but perhaps would die because of it? Does she want to become Mother Teresa only because from a moral point of view it’s for someone more ‘righteous’? Or make a pause and continue to live, to love, to feel, but with one condition: shall she have to lie once?

Interesting that no one has ever criticized lies in the family itself. It seems to her that she has always been like that. She saw schoolchildren who have beaten each other, but everyone said that it was not he who exactly started this conflict. She heard friends discussing how to hide their smoking from their parents: as if they had never touched cigarettes at all.

No matter how old she was, she always wanted to see fewer lies in the world. She saw it everywhere, almost everywhere, and rather cruelly condemned it. You would start from the Americans in Iraq with their rescue operation, killing civilians from a helicopter, and you would end to some schoolgirls with cigarettes. Not to mention Nicole’s lie.

Nicko never accepts any lie in any form, regardless of its aspects, and all the more when the lie is so global. But at least reporters, documentalists wrote about Mother Teresa and her achievements; she is a well-known and public person. What about Nicole? But who needs to rendezvous with Nicole Gratte and her lies about criminals, even if the US policy is not based on the truth? The lie of an ordinary person is very differently: no one will be significantly affected.

If she does not leave this home, he will continue to do so forever. Francesco will put pressure on her feet, hit her in the face, break another glasses. What’s next? Reanimation, murder? But to leave this home, it’s necessary to come up with a good lie: it’s impossible to leave this home using the absolute truth. At stake is her body, and perhaps her life and her health.

Yes, Nicko married this idiot Fran—yes, he deceived her. But she, too, went ahead and told lies. It will be a long time to remember this one. Because she poorly assessed this act from the point of view of morality, it’s possible only from the fact of lying she won’t get something in her life.

As her school friend who offered her a cigarette used to say: “It’s not scary to fall, it’s scary not to stand up.” So Nicole thought it was bad to kill, but if you honestly talk about it, it will be better for you, unlike your rejection of the fact. If you’re lying—be sure to consider other options when you can solve the same problem, but not using a deception. As if they are always possible

Submitted: May 27, 2019

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