The Mesturet Novel : A Life of passions

Article publié par Le Mesturet le 21/05/2011 à 14:21
Catégories : The Mesturet Novel
Tags : The Mesturet Novel
Chapter One / part 2: The Awakening of the Senses
 
Of course he has to make a decision, but the path to take isn’t obvious to him… not at all. Making up his mind about the future isn’t the most important thing. Besides, he feels good  at home, he’d like everything to stay the way it is. His mother would like to keep him too, her last, her final little one. “Her little darling” his four older sisters called him. Four girls before she had the boy she wanted so much. Each time it was a girl. She’d told her husband:
 
“You’ll see, it’ll be a boy.”
 
The had answered right away:
 
“Boy or not, darling, that will be the last one.”
 
For nine months she had believed and the long-awaited day came. Not easily; she will long remember this moment of relief that she experienced with the cry, the gift of life. Nothing at the moment, not a sound. She was just told: “It’s a boy.”
 
But there was no cry. Her baby was taken away immediately. Those minutes alone, without a sound, the minutes where fear erased joy. Alone in that room – they had all left, worried about her Pierre. And then suddenly, in this night that was so dark, after minutes that were an eternity for her – a cry, a cry in the night. There was life, Pierre was there, they brought him back to her.
 
Yes, Pierre is her “little darling” and her daughters that she adored, her “four goddesses” as she liked to say, can very well make fun of her. “Her Pierre” she watched over him, she shapes him. She knows deep down that he’s a good kid.
 
In this month of July 1975, Pierre didn’t have things sorted out. Complete failure at school, his father was worn out by him. He would have liked him to be a doctor or lawyer, we’re far from it, very far. He would have liked his son to be somebody. That Pierre would be different than him, not different inside, but different on the outside. A factory worker all his life, from a low-income family, he had done everything so his children could study at school. Sacrifices and overtime joined together to make ends meet. He had ended up having a happy close-knit family lacking nothing. His daughters had done well in their studies and everything looked promising for them.
 
But Pierre, this pride at having a long awaited and hoped for son. He remembered the day when his son arrived, his crazy race through the streets of Paris, how he burst into the room and the first contact with his own flesh and blood. With his daughters, he had shouted his joy, there he held back his tears – he who had given so much with weeping, without getting down on his knees, he who had constructed a life step by step, without complaining. And on this beautiful spring day – a son. His wife had seen him turn away, his huge shoulders heaving, with the little one, such a little one in his arms.
 
So of course, all his hopes and dreams soared. But they were his, not his son’s. He didn’t know if he wanted them for Pierre or himself. Maybe it was idiotic to have hoped for so much. Everyone has to make their own life. He knew this well enough as nothing it life had come easily to him. Nothing, in the end, except his wife who he loved madly. She with her long black hair and blue eyes, the one who presided over the household with her smiles and laughter that always promised “the best is yet to come”. But when Pierre got on his nerves, “the best is yet to come” hadn’t arrived.
 
Supressing his anger, he goes into the kitchen where he knows he will find Pierre, inevitably, like every Thursday, in the company of his mother and grandmother. The picture that day was always the same. Pierre sitting with his head buried in a history book and the two women cooking because like every week, the obligatory ritual – the cousins were coming to eat. Twelve at the table…
 
“Well Pierre, I thought you were looking for a job. You won’t find it in the kitchen.”
 
“Leave him be, he’s fine there,” answered Pierre’s mother raising her head.
 
 « It’s true, you have to understand, she’s right, he’s fine there. And anyway, he’s so young,” added his grandmother.
 
“Ha, that’s the best. Both of you always back him up. The girls are right, he is your little darling. Well, the little darling is going to work or he’s going to enlist. The army will do him good.”
 
His wife looked at him with her blue eyes that had gone dark and serious. HE knew that her answer would be sharp.
 
“You’re a good one to talk about the army. What did the army do for you? Suffering, misery and neglect. What a good time you’re talking about!”
 
She hit hard there; things had to be smoothed over.
 
“Lucky for you I was there, my dear, because the army doesn’t take care of a person like this.”
 
Pierre enjoyed this conversation, but he wouldn’t have interrupted for anything. He knew that his presence was an intrusion and that for a moment he had been witness to the intimacy of the couple that his mother and father made. His grandmother had almost certainly felt the same way because she came and sat beside him.
 
“It’s true, without your little dishes, I would still be scrawny and could never have survived at work.”
 
“You’re a good cook, for that matter, you’re the chef of everything good in this family,” he added.
 
“Whatever happened to you cousin the chef? You know, the tall one that always spoke loudly. Anyway, I never understood anything that he said with his sauces and his baking… it’s not my thing.”
 
“Ha! Charles has a restaurant in Auvergne, a good restaurant,” says grandmother.
 
“Cooking is hard, anyway. You have to get up early in the morning, go shopping, clients lunchtime and evenings, people to manage and so on,” concludes father.
 
“Chefs are cool. I’d like to do that.”
 
The kitchen was silent. All three turned to look at Pierre…
 
 
 
The next week : the sequel to Chapter One / part 3

Translated from the French by Bodega Designs, http://www.bodegadesigns.com 

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