A Lot On My Mind

It was with a heavy heart that I left Gensdouce just two days later to return to Olonne. I had just four weeks of my course to go but I knew they were going to be four long weeks. I sat there and imagined what they would be like. The work, the nights at the beach, the contacts with other students and teachers, they all seemed so trivial now. Violette had disappeared and I couldn't get her out of my thoughts. Was I still in love with her? I had certainly loved her once, although it may have been more a fascination with her beauty than true love. Certainly, she never really showed much love towards me; nor to anyone else for that matter. Maybe that was her tragedy. She so wanted to be loved, it made her unable to give it to any one person. After her disappearance rumours soon surfaced that she was pregnant. I remember asking Thérèse, but she refused to confirm or deny the rumours. At first, I thought they were true. But when Gérard swore to me that it was absolutely impossible, I believed him. Strangely, the thought never occurred to us that it could have been someone else.

Gérard and me were once again becoming friends. Not the kind of friendship we'd shared in those heady, carefree days of our first meeting in Ireland. I guess he never was that kind of person and I'd most definitely changed since then. I couldn't help wondering what his father would have made of me, had he met me for the first time now, and not the unruly youth I was back then. To be honest, I could even muster up a measure of understanding for his attempts to prevent Gérard from having anything to do with me. But this slight I got at the time I was most vulnerable hurt me deeply and it took me a long time to forgive him, despite his humble apologies. But now, we were growing closer again, and I slowly began to look on him as a friend.

As for the centre things were beginning to look up. Most of the old team had promised to renew their activities when we started up again after the holidays. In addition, we had one or two promising, new additions to our list of activities, including aquarelle painting and electric guitar. But our biggest gift was Morgana. Guillaume and Thérèse had mentioned Morgana several times in their letters and I was disappointed not to have had the chance to meet her. She came from Brittany, so was a fellow Celt. She was a music teacher and had recently been named the new director of the Conservatoire in Besançon. Not being used to large cities she decided to live outside the city and found a flat in Gensdouce quite close to the railway station. Being a stranger, yet not having the exotic touch an Irishman would have had, meant the population was somewhat cool towards her at first, but she soon won them over with her gentle manner and her willingness to do almost anything to help.

Unfortunately, French employment laws did not permit her to teach music other than at the Conservatoire, but she didn't let that stop her. The moment she heard about the espace loisirs she immediately volunteered to run a folk dance workshop, and didn't wait for us to open up to start. So every Thursday evening Jean's pub was turned to a dance hall and rocked to the sound of traditional folk music from all around the world. It even began to acquire the reputation as the place to go to look for a girlfriend. But that wasn't all. Morgana also volunteered for a fair amount of the centre's correspondence and thus became the centre's first secretary - unpaid, I hasten to add.

As for me, I was once again going to have to get used to school life. The prospect didn't quite fill me with unmitigated joy. It had been a chore at the best of times, but the events of the past few weeks made it more difficult than ever. At least, there were no more exams and the four weeks crawled by until, at last, I was once again sitting in the train and returning to Gensdouce, excited at what the next few months would bring. Make or break time was coming near. Would we beat all the odds and make the centre work? Would I still be in a job in six months time? And most important of all, would I see Violette again?


I say ditch Violette and go after Morgana.

13 February 2008 at 19:50  

I'm going to trust you on this one--I lose track.


13 February 2008 at 22:03  

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