The letter which flattered onto my doormat the next morning will remain one of my most treasured possessions for the rest of my life. It was a model of goodness and grace despite the fact that I deserved exactly the opposite. Yet, Thérèse made it quite clear that there had to be limits in our friendship and if I was not willing to respect them, we could no longer remain friends.

I had hardly slept all night, as I was gutted by I had done. And now, here was Thérèse once again opening the door of friendship despite my stupidity. I went around to her house at once. To be perfectly honest I was dreading seeing her and it took me at least half an hour to cover the few hundred metres that separated her house from my apartment. I half expected her to turn me out without a word. When the door opened, I opened my mouth and let the words flood out before she had a chance to stop me. She accepted my apology with grace and invited me in for a coffee. To my surprise Guillaume was also there, and I took the chair next to his a little sheepishly.

"You'd better know that Guillaume knows all about what happened yesterday evening. In fact, I was so shocked and saddened, I called him and he travelled straight back from Reims."

I turned my head to avoid looking into his eyes. But Guillaume would not let me avoid a confrontation.

"Simon. I know how you feel about last night. And I want to let the whole matter rest now. I don't mind telling you that's not how I felt when I got back last night and heard what Thérèse had to say. But I value our friendship and I want to forgive you. But I want you to know that Thérèse means everything to me, and I to her. Our bond is one that we cannot break without causing irredeemable damage. We have promised ourselves to each other, and to each other alone, and we both intend to stick to our promise. I know what I say may sound old-fashioned and I realise that it's not exactly the way most people, even married couples, live their lives today, but we wouldn't have it otherwise. We trust you Simon, and we believe that you will show us the respect we deserve."

I didn't know what to say in response. I was completely numb and I began to mutter some meaningless words, only to stop and begin again with the same success. It was only then I realised that nothing needed to be said. They just seemed to read the thoughts that were inside me. We embraced and I felt something a thousand words wouldn't enable me to express. But time was getting on and there was work to do.

"I think I'd better be getting a move on, I'm afraid. There's still a lot of cleaning up to do after yesterday and I don't want to leave it all up to my volunteers."

"Well, as I'm here now, I may as well give you a hand. And while I'm at it, you set your little Irish genius to work on finding me an eloquent excuse for my missing a whole day of my conference."

"And while you guys are slaving away together, I'll get a good Irish stew up on the stove and you can invite whoever's left back here for dinner." I failed to see, nor would I have understood the wink she gave her husband at these words, but I did notice something in the tone of her voice... something which was soon forgotten in all the hustle and bustle of clearing up, thanking people and getting the centre ready for the first activities which would begin now in just a few days time.


I struggled figuring out that wink, even reread the last chapter.

I came up with a theory, but that would mean murder rather than a happy ending, so I hope I was wrong! Loved the way you tell the story though, even should I never know the wink.

12 March 2008 at 15:59  

Marcia, about the wink you'll have to wait and see. But no, rest assured it doesn't signify murder.

12 March 2008 at 16:02  

Love following this pieces!

12 March 2008 at 21:45  

Waiting for the wink too... I'm curious!

You can find my entry here: The Fire

Have a great day!

13 March 2008 at 02:15  

I'm with the others... I need to know what the wink meant. I have my own idea as well, but I know when I was writing my own ongoing story, it was kind of nice to not have people giving ideas as that tended to influence where I went.

13 March 2008 at 05:06  

ok, totally hooked; yeah, know i've sed it before... i like the vignettes...chapters.. abt the wink, i agree, subtle mystery is a great writing tool..keep writing!!... just a little note…b/c thrz another gal named littlewing in the poetry blog community i'm changing my name from littlewing to onemorebeliever…tho my blogname won't change)

14 March 2008 at 19:33  

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