Logan was there to help me back to bed when I opened the door, dragging the IV pole behind me. Jeffery was standing in the doorway, and I wondered what Logan had said to him to put that look on his face.
Well, you sit there and take it like a good boy, then you thank him once again for giving you the tools to go out and make your own life.Which he doesn’t respect.
I know, I said. The difference between making artisan world-class handmade chocolates in a shop and making them in a hotel is unbelievably huge. I can’t imagine how either of you can bear it.Are all English girls as sarcastic as you?Are all French men as silly as you?
Suddenly, his voice changed and deepened.In the distance, a fire alarm sounded. It chimed so closely with what was going on in my heart, I almost laughed. The sky was changing now, shades of pink and purple stranding in through the blue, and the streets were filling up with excited young people, mopeds, bikes, everyone out for the evening, meeting their friends, chatting and laughing, up for adventure. It was like a river of brightly colored life below me and here I was, up in my eyrie, watching other people’s lives pass by below me like a bird.
His voice was now totally and completely straight.
I could come and show you how serious I am.Laurent hadn’t been in touch at all, which made me slightly annoyed, then slightly pleased that I hadn’t slept with him, as presumably that would have come to the same end, and regardless of Sami’s libertarian spirit, that would have made me slightly unhappy.
Given, though, that Alice had also told me to back out, it made it very hard to find out how Thierry was doing and how much he knew about Claire’s plan. Alice popped down to the shop every couple of days and hummed crossly when she looked at the cashing up, but was frustratingly tight-lipped on Thierry’s progress. All I knew was that he had to still be at the hospital because, as Frédéric said, if they’d let him out even for a second, he would have been back in the shop before they’d taken out the drip.Claire was ready. So ready. Everything in the house was immaculately tidy. Her oncologist had been cross at first—like all doctors, Claire surmised, he liked mindless gratitude and obedience. Well, like all people, she supposed. But then he’d gradually gotten used to the idea, postponed her next round of chemo, and prescribed her several very strong emergency painkillers just in case. He’d warned her repeatedly that she wouldn’t be insured in France and that her health insurance card wouldn’t help her out with her preexisting condition and that she could get in serious trouble, but she clearly wasn’t listening, so in the end he had smiled and wished her all the best and reminisced about a time as a young medical student when he’d snuck into the Folies Bergère and it had been the best night of his life, and she had smiled back. Paris touched so many people.
Her suitcase was packed. Her sons had both come around and sighed heavily and complained and begged her to change her mind but of course to no avail. She had more color in her cheeks than she had for over a year.Taking the train back to the UK was a revelation. I couldn’t believe how nervous and anxious I’d been on my way here, how sick I still felt, in body and in spirit, really. How I was convinced it would be such a disaster and I’d be thrown out for being a fraud, or that I would sit in a rented room for three months not talking to anyone because everyone would be so rude to me and I wouldn’t be able to speak the language.