Status: Currently working on - hope to finish by the end of the summer.


Chapitre Onze

“Do not walk in front of me you…you peasant!” Marie shouted.
Jean stopped and turned towards her. “I do not need you to babysit me!”
“Oh yes you do!”
They were quiet for a moment. The sky was bright white and they were squinting. “You are not that much older than me.” Jean pointed out.
“But you act like a little kid!”
“And you act like an old lady,” Jean turned and began to walk away again, “a boring old lady.”
Marie sped after him. “Because that is so much worse than a bratty little boy who does not care for anyone but himself?”
Jean walked faster.
“You are a thief. You have a bad attitude. You do not care for anyone else…”
“That’s not true.”
“Prove it!”
Jean turned to her. His face was red. “I do not have to prove anything to you! I hate you!”
Marie laughed. “And you think I care about you?”
“You came to visit me didn’t you?”
They were quiet the rest of the way. Marie kept her distance from Jean, having convinced herself that she must keep an eye on him, or else he might steal from someone else. But deep down, she understood that he was all she had in Groslay. Her eyes watered and she began to feel sorry for herself.
Then she ran into Jean. He was frozen, staring at the crowd of buyers and sellers. “I need to get bread.” He mumbled.
“Then get bread –”
“The orange stand is right there.” He said, pointing to the far right corner. The same man from before was working the stand.
Marie laughed.
“Shut up!”
“That’s what you get!”
Jean grabbed her sleeve and pulled her towards him. He clenched his jaw when he spoke. “I need the bread, okay?”
“Calm down.”
“I am not going to calm down. I need the bread. Will you please get it for me?”
“What is in it for me?”
Jean let go of her. “How about your conscience?”
“Go on…”
He looked around and leaned into her. “Laure is going to have a baby.”
“My sister.”
Marie crinkled her eyebrows. “The one I saw earlier? She looks so young!”
“She’s fourteen.”
“Me too! She’s married already?”
Jean lowered his head and reached into his pocket to retrieve a couple coins. He put them in Marie’s hand and looked at her from behind his bangs. “Please?”
Marie twisted the coins around in her hand as she walked slowly towards the bread stand. “One loaf,” she told the seller calmly, though her heart was racing.
He took her money and handed her the bread. Jean had disappeared into the crowd. She walked towards the vegetable stands, where he was expected to be, but could not find him there. She continued walking, the commoners parting around her. People were staring curiously.
“Jean?” She called.
He turned and took the bread. His eyes were sad. “Thanks,” he murmured.
“Is something wrong?”
“Nothing. I am going to go get some carrots. You do not have to come. I can meet you on the outside.” Then he walked away weightlessly.
Marie looked up and saw that he had been standing in front of a bacon cart. The food was too expensive for him to buy. Her heart sank and she suddenly understood the shame he must have felt. The portly merchant was watching her. “Did you want some bacon, little lady?”