The Mesturet Novel : A Life of passions

Article publié par Le Mesturet le 15/06/2011 à 18:09
Catégories : The Mesturet Novel
Tags : The Mesturet Novel

Chapter One, part 3: the Awakening of the Senses

Pierre said it as if he'd said "I'm going to go get some bread". He'd put no effort into the words. His mother and father looked at him as if to say "He isn't ill, I hope?" His grandmother peered at him with a mischievous smile that said "I understand".
"Cooking? But you don't know how!" said his father.
"I can learn and beside, I've watched mother and grandmother -- it doesn't look so hard."
His mother understood that the time had come, that he'd made his decision, and came to his rescue.
"It's a real profession. Look in the newspapers, they often write about chefs. Some of them are even well-known in other countries."
"Yes, but there are cooks and there are cooks. There are the best and the rest."
"Finally, now that I'm going to do something, I don't know how to get started," said Pierre, making it impossible to take his words back now.
There were culinary schools of course, but Pierre made it absolutely clear that he didn't want to go back to school.
Grandmother, who hadn't missed a word, said quietly: "And if you just call Charles, he could give you some advice."
"I'll call him first thing tomorrow. Besides, the last time I saw him was at a cousin's wedding. We were both twenty years old and we haven't seen each other for twenty years. I knew him well before, we spent our holidays together in Auvergne. It'll be a pleasure to talk to him," said Pierre's mother.
"Really!" said father ironically, frowning.
"Jealous darling! I had a life before you, but you know very well you are the only one for me."
Humour had the upper hand again and the horizon cleared for Pierre. Even if he didn't know how, he knew why; he was sure of himself, it was like a revelation. But above all, he didn't want to talk about it with anyone, a young person too determined... it wasn't natural.
The days that followed were full of activity and much to Pierre's delight, things took off.
His mother had telephoned Charles -- there was a long conversation. Charles ended by saying that he could meet "the little one" and that an apprenticeship was a good solution: a little bit of school and a lot of time in the restaurant. Maybe, maybe he could take Pierre under his wing.
His mother was thrilled. She knew Charles, this six foot two giant was a good man. Despite his tough image, she remembered the little smile at the corners of his big blue eyes that said "Don't worry, I won't hurt you."
With a meeting set for the middle of summer, the family went south for their holidays stopping first for two days in Auvergne. Charles was happy to see his cousin again and to meet her family.
The two cars, necessary for a big family, arrived around three in the afternoon at the restaurant whose name "The Tranquil volcano" suited the region, but perhaps also cousin Charles.
It was a magnificent 19th century building with adjacent barns that had been turned into rooms for guests. The establishment was majestic with its grand gravelled courtyard and central fountain. The reception area for the restaurant and hotel was reached by an equally majestic staircase with grey stone columns on either side.
At the top of the stairs, Charles waited for the little tribe. They parked the two cars just inside the gate on the right. Mother, like father, didn't want to make too much noise or disturbance.
"You should have parked in the opposite field, it would have been even further," laughed Charles, kissing his cousin on the cheek.
"You haven't changed, but... twenty years!"
Kisses on the cheek for the four sisters, a sturdy handshake and a slap on the back for father. He stood in front of Pierre.
"So, my boy, it's you that wants to cook,"
Pierre didn't know whether he should give his cousin a kiss on the cheek or shake his hand, but he didn't have the time to chose. An enormous hand landed on his shoulder. At first, he thought it would snap him in half, bit it only guided him into the building first .
"All right, get settled in your rooms and come and see me in an hour, I'll show you around and then we can talk a little, can't we, Pierre?"
"Yes, sir." He didn't know what he should have said. He'd wanted to hide under something, but even though the man frightened him, he also felt a kind of growing fascination and curiosity.
The day went very quickly. After an in depth tour of the establishment under the amused looks of the staff, the little troop settled on the terrace with fruit juice for the children and champagne for the adults.
"Know this, little one. Cooking is not a profession." Father looked at Charles, lost. Pierre wasn't any better.
"No, it's not a profession, it's better than that -- it's a daily adventure."
Pierre started to hold his head up.
"An adventure, but the kind that transforms itself into sacrifice and passion."
Charles spoke like that for nearly an hour. Everyone drank up his words and Pierre's mother watched Charles. Charles and Pierre, the same eyes, the same smile at the corner of their mirror-blue eyes. She saw her son smile again, overcoming his anxiety. She also understood where Charles was going with this. She thought of her husband and her little one... She was a little afraid, but she knew deep down that you don't let opportunities like this slip away.
"So, little one, it's not a profession, it's a beautiful story." He fell silent, looked at the four sisters, the parents and then Pierre. A minute or more went by.
"Tell me then, would you like to try it out this summer, just to see? And after, we'll see if we can keep you on as an apprentice here."
Pierre didn't know yet whether he would answer yes or no, but he felt something strong within him that he had never felt before. Something that repelled and attracted him like a lover.
The adventure of a lifetime started today, but that, he didn't know that...
The next week: the sequel to Chapter One/part three
Translated from the French by Bodega Designs,
Copyright © 2020 - Design by EPIXELIC - Administration - webgreen