for reasons that would never make sense beyond I had to prove my mother wrong,
Two of the new friends I made were Coco Chiffonade and Flaugnarde Aux Prunes. Coco and I became quick friends over our love of vintage fashion. While well, Flaugnarde and I…
What could I say? He was cute with Chambery accent that could make a girl swoon the minute he opened his mouth.
But it wasn’t enough and by the end of our four year relationship I still couldn’t say those three simple little words because I didn’t feel them. As much as I liked Flaugnarde I just couldn’t love him even though Berry knows I tried. This often lead to disagreements and off periods in what would become our “on again” and “off again” relationship.
As school came to an end and Coco planned on opening a small store in the heart of Chambery filled with clothes that she was going to design and make herself with my help. Flaugnarde had other plans on his mind, plans that included me and the rest of our lives together.
“Shiraz let’s stop this off and on stuff and make this forever, will you marry me?” Flaugnarde asked me as he knelt down on one knee with a hopeful smile that I knew the moment I answered would crush it.
“I can’t Flaugnarde. I’m…I’m sorry I don’t love you.” I answered him as his face fell before my eyes. “Shiraz we’ve been together for four years now if you can’t love me by now then you never will and this is just a waste of our times.” He said darkly as stood up.
He didn’t say too much after that before leaving and I didn’t blame him. Afterwards I decided it would be a good time to take a vacation perhaps back to Briocheporte since I hadn’t been home the whole time I lived in Chambery. So what better timing than after a breakup to run home to your parent’s house? I made promises to Coco that I’d be back before her grand opening and booked the last flight available to Briocheporte.
My parents were of course happy to see me and being back in the city I was raised in felt great. My father even teased me on the drive back from the airport that I had traded in my Briocheporte accent in for a Chambery one. It was good to be home but it didn’t last long before I heard the news of Roux tying the knot with some girl a few weeks ago. As I held the phone in my old bedroom with Flaugnarde’s number punched in I was so close to hitting the talk button and saying What the Berry I’ll marry you. But in my heart I knew it wouldn’t be the right reason to get married to someone.
By the time I made it back to Chambery things had drastically changed while I had been away for those two weeks. In that short amount of time Flaugnarde had found a bit of comfort in the least likely of places our mutual friend Coco. Truthfully I didn’t feel any hurt or betrayal as Coco with her chocolate colored tear filled eyes confessed to me that she and Flaugnarde had gone out together a time or two for coffee while I was away and really had begun to hit it off.
Because in all honestly it was a lot easier as I came to find out being friends to Flaugnarde than his girlfriend. As Coco’s shop opened it surprisingly quickly shot to popularity. The clothes were selling quicker than we could make them. More often than not if she wasn’t busy with ordering more fabric Coco was often behind her sewing machine.
By the second year their relationship was long over while the shop was vastly expanding as it became known as “The House of Chiffonade” I had begun to crave a little of my own independence from behind Coco’s shadow. Not that I didn’t love working with my best-friend but I felt the need to strike out on my own. So in the late fall when I received a phone call from old friend that needed a new fashion writer for the Arts & Culture section The Sweet Times I took it. I couldn’t exactly put my finger on where I had heard of Sweet Valley before but I knew it was only a short drive to Briocheporte and that my parents would be thrilled to have me back on this side of the pond. Little did I know how close to my heart what Sweet Valley held for me and I would find out all too soon on my first day of work at my new job.
My heart momentarily leapt before it was quickly shot down but the reality of everything that had happened in between the time we last saw each other. …and
And things were fine as I avoided him, pretending like he didn’t exist as I went about my workday. And it did seem to work for a while as we narrowly avoided each other every day.
But something eventually happened
… weekend on Fridayobituaries
… weekend on Fridayobituaries
that made me think again that maybe a life without Roux was possible. “Sure. What do you have in mind?” I asked as I agreed to the date. As soon as he heard me say yes his smile brightened and he replied “There is a nice little bistro not too far from here that has the best lobster thremidor in town and there is a theater that is showing The Jello-Jiggler on the Roof. I hope I’m not weirding you out or anything that I’ve thought this out even before asking you.” Dino said with a short nervously laugh as he looked away. “No, actually it’s nice that you have. I actually would have been a bit concerned if you just said ‘I don’t know’ of something like that.” I replied to him before we made arrangements for Saturday night.
Friday the girls and I from the office celebrated Cynnia’s bachelorette party in Briocheporte as we did the typical club and bar crawl with her dressed in white dress and a tiara. The drinks were a lot stronger than I remembered them being at the clubs, soon I found myself being put in the back of a cab along with another girl that I knew from accounting but could never remember her name even when sober. Though you would have thought we were thick as theives the way we sung "Love is a Battle Field" and cursed all men, much to the cabbie’s annoyance we sang along with every song that came on the radio. She was the first to be dropped off at her home on the eastside of Sweet Valley and as we rode towards my own home we passed by my work place, which held a single blue car in its parking lot. “Stop the car!?” I yelled disoriented into his ear without a single plan thought out in my mind.
Fumbling with a the fare I handed over the cost of it along with a nice sized tip before I got out of the cab and headed to the lit building. Nothing happened like it should have in hind sight. We laid our hearts on the table that night as we drudged up feelings that we both tried unsuccessfully to get rid of in our time apart as we did something that we both would always regret.
“This can’t even happen again Shiraz.” He said shakily as he tried to button up his shirt unsuccessfully before giving up as he let out a frustrated sigh. The scent of his cologne hung in the short space between us. Without saying a word I began to button up his shirt but my hands faltered for a moment at just being near to him again as I smoothed his shirt feeling him lean closer for a moment before he recoiled quickly making the world quickly snap back around me. “I know Roux, I know. But…?”
“Shiraz as much as I do love you I just can’t, not again at least. I… I have a family.” He said turning away from me as he put back on his tie and jacket. “I know.” I said with a sigh before continuing “Trust me I know. But why Roux? Why couldn’t it have been me?” I asked even though I knew I wouldn’t like the answer to the question.
“You of all people should know the answer to that question.” He said shortly as he looked at me, the look on his face was indescribably as a variety of emotions brewed under it before one specific one surfaced as he begun to pace in his small office. “I uh... I need to go. I can’t be here right now.” Roux said to himself while nervously running his fingers through his hair in an attempt to fix it. “This never happened and won’t again. It can’t happen again. I need to go home now”
“Roux calm down. The only ones that know of this are you and me.” I said before taking a deep breath to push back any tears before continuing “And if you said this never happened then it never did.” My voice sounded oddly cold as if spoken by someone else. The sound of it was what made him finally stop. As he looked in my eyes all I saw was sadness “I’m sorry Shiraz, I’m sorry.” Roux said before he left with his shoulders completely slumped over.
I stood there stunned for a moment the sound of the elevator ping only brought me back down to reality as my tears finally broke. They quickly slid down, one right after another as I pressed my hand over my mouth to muffle my crying while sitting down on his couch so I could gather myself and regain some control. The smell of him on his couch lingered, as much of it was a comfort it only broken my heart more as pain wrenching sob managed to find its way out breaking the silence of the room making what happened all too real.
When the tears finally stopped and I cleaned myself up in the bathroom I headed home to the comforts of my house. Where I could throw on a robe and wallow in some self-pity until Monday morning would come around. Home was quiet and dark when I opened up the door, like always. But it didn’t stay that way for long before the silence was broken by the sound of a quiet knocking on my door.
Peering out the window panes I saw that it was Roux. My brain was screaming not to answer and to just ignore it but my heart made the final decision as I opened the door.
So it all brings us back to here. Right now here with him was standing right outside my door with that broken look on his face that I had known what seemed like a life time ago all too well as he said "I really fudged up Shiraz and I didn't know where else to go."
“Someone is going to see you.” I said nervously as I glanced over his shoulder wondering why he was here. From what he said at the office it had been quite clear that what had happen would only happen that one time and never again.
“Then you should probably let me in.” He said as he finally looked up at me. And I did, against better judgment; against everything that I might have believed in I let him back into my life. "Alright, you can come in"