This is the story of a French woman. I wrote it a year or so ago and I recently discovered it hidden away in a file on the computer. I thought I might share it with you.
I stared absent-mindedly into my flat white. The milky water swirled around in different patterns. In the distant background I could hear the usual sound of French chatter. Half a pan au chocolat sat on a smooth, white plate next to my cup. It was the middle of winter and I sat bundled up, grateful for the dull heat emitting off the warm fireplace nearby. The wind rustled my long, chestnut hair as the shop door opened and closed and I was brought out of my trance.
I sighed and took another sip of my coffee, cupping it lovingly in my cold hands. I sat hunched over to protect myself from the bitter cold of a French winter. I looked around at the many tables surrounding me. I loved to observe people going about their daily life. A young woman sat chattering eagerly to another young man who stared at her dismally, looking as though he wished he could disappear into thin air. I chuckled to myself and took another bite of my croissant. The table across from mine was occupied by an old man, who sat reading a newspaper and sipping a coffee. Every morning he would come with his newspaper and order a cappuccino with extra sugar.
I knew this as this was the place I came every day also. I worked as a waitress here and loved to take my breaks sitting at the corner table with a flat white and pan au chocolat. I closed my eyes and breathed in the crisp, morning air. I was always happiest when sitting alone, protecting myself from the cold with a warm drink, listening to the chatter of the familiar French citizens.
I sighed and finished off my coffee and croissant. I took up my black leather handbag and headed towards the kitchens. Putting my bag down at the back of the room, I strolled over to the cupboard to fetch an apron and remove my coat.
The orders flooded in and the day went on. At 4 o’clock I finished up my last order and went back to the cupboard to remove my apron and put on my coat. I picked up my bag and headed for the door, calling a goodbye to Violetta and Christophe as I went.
The sweet, little bell chimed as I left the little cafe on the corner of the street. A cool wind greeted me and I pulled my arms in close to my body, warming myself. A little further down the street was my car; a white VW bug. I dearly loved my little car and I smiled as I neared it.
Pulling out of my parking space I started the journey home. I passed many little French shops and cafes on the way and, about halfway home, the heavens opened up and it started to snow. Beautiful, white flakes descended down onto the streets of Paris and I laughed out into it, turning on my windscreen wipers. I loved the sound of the gentle wipers softly sweeping the screen. It always made me feel relaxed and at peace, as though they were whispering to me in low, dull tones that all would be well. At the lights, I craned my neck to look up into the frosty heavens and I thanked God with a silent prayer for His wonderful creation.
The lights changed and engines started as the cars moved dreamily on. The snow fell steadily all the way home and, by the time I had reached the cottage, there was a soft, white blanket covering the ground. My cottage sat just a little way off a small street called the Rue du Flueramont. I left my car in the small wooden hut Edward had built me for use as a garage and made my way to the little wooden home near the stream. I unhitched the frosted gate and bustled on through, the snow crunching under my boots. The garden was covered by a blanket of snow. My white roses grew in the corner and they seemed to call to me as I passed them, begging me to release them from this frosty hell.
I reached the little, green front door and pulled the key out of my bag, my leather gloves squeaking. It clicked softly and I pushed on through. Stepping into the front room, I quickly shut the door behind me. I shook the snow off my coat and hung it on a peg protruding from the wall. My boots came next and I wrestled with them until, with a final tug, they released their firm grip and I stumbled backwards. I then placed them on a shoe rack near the door. I could hear the gentle chirping of a friendly robin outside the window as it called to its mate. I sighed. Life was blissful and I was content.
So there you have it. Ahhh, don't you just love winter?
Miss Aalyn xx