And with that, he shut the door and lived out his days behind locked and barred windows.
So rarely did the birds chirp with such joy. So rarely did the sound of clinking tea cups and China saucers applaud with such exuberance. So rarely did the wind waft such an aroma of sweet fortune as they did the day I finished forging my masterpiece. For the past six months, I had battled upon the hill of a rigorous schedule. Every day, I would set my alarm for 5:30 am, but I always woke up at 5:20 and beat my alarm out the door. That way I could take my time moseying over to Fleur’s Café and collect my thoughts for the coming day’s work. I would get to the café just before Fleur herself would get there. She would greet me with the normal “bonjours,” and would have my plain croissant and almond honey laid out in front of me at my usual table that sat just close enough to the sunflowers to be tickled by their ambrosial essence, and just far enough to be blanketed by the cooling shade of the red and white striped awning.
I would watch Fleur water the sunflowers with more tenderness than the touch of a feather, as she hummed a romantic French melody. I could never put my finger on the exact name of the tune she hummed, but it mattered not, for I savored every saccharine note that drifted gently from her lips while I sipped on Café Crème and bit into my croissant. The buttery flecks dissolved on my tongue and hugged my taste buds with such love, it seemed unfair to deny them of their nuptials. Ah, Paris.
à suivre, to be continued