Fishing in Beirut

February 15, 2010

Part 3: Blue, July – Sept 2002 (scene 12)

Filed under: Character : Karen, Part 3 : Blue — fishinginbeirut @ 13:46

Michel had been apologising for a week. He had sent flowers, brought flowers, had turned up unannounced with chocolates, wine, and bread. She was beginning to thaw. She knew this, was consciously aware of it, but felt fine, and had no more use for anger. She let him in on the seventh day.
He thanked her profusely, rubbing her hand in his. She smiled from the weight of affection. She no longer even wanted to ask what that package was, no longer even cared. It was good to have him back, and good to feel his hand.
He insisted on using his English, and she listened and didn’t correct.
“I have been speaking with my mother yesterday,” he said.
She boiled the kettle and reached for cups, and he took coffee and she tea. His mother had asked after her.
He went to the kitchen for more sugar, and right then the thought rose again. What had it been? She suppressed it after a second. He returned, sat down, and she felt herself stiffen as his leg touched hers. She did battle with her anger, wanting to feel nothing but joy. She had thought this was behind her, but…
Why had he sent her up there for some package? Begged her to go, and meet this guy. She was baffled and still upset.
She heard him drinking beside her. Michel Rigaudeau. He slurped his coffee gently, in a way that was normally endearing, and today she wanted to like it too, but couldn’t. She had to be honest with herself, and admit she was still resentful. She sighed and drank some tea.
“So how is your mother doing? Had she anything else to say?”
“No, not really. I think that mostly she was just to say hello. Oh, and that she has bought a new car. From German.”
“Germany.” She couldn’t help herself.
“Yes, that’s right. Germany.”
Karen drank more tea.
“I have always liked this picture,” he said. He must have been looking at the wall behind. “I like the water, and the boats, and the…how do you call the sun when it’s in water?”
“The reflection.”
”Ah yes, of course. The reflection. Yes, this I like.”
She heard the fabric of his jacket scratching, as he turned back around beside her. Then he took off the jacket, and placed it on the sofa arm. She listened as he folded it carefully.
His leg started jumping, and he sniffed and rubbed his nose. She put a hand on the leg, exasperated. These French boys could be children.
They were silent for a while, and she took her hand away. She listened to her fridge. The gentle easy buzzing always put her mind at rest, like a Zen recitation, or a child’s friendly hum. She sat back, loosening her shoulders. Yes, that picture on the wall, she liked it too, and this man beside her also. She breathed deeply. She re-placed her hand, the warmth of his knee assuring, and they sat together on the couch, in daytime.
“Je veux etre avec toi,” he whispered. “Je t’adore.”
She put her head on his shoulder. There are moments to be angry, and moments to be soft, and she touched his face, his neck, in softness. Comfort from skin. Curling into him further, she smelled his familiar smell, and Michel who’d made her travel became Michel who made her safe. They were together in a simple moment, entwined, and hurt and dislocation seemed to melt like passing snow.
Hot Parisian summer.


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