Aurore, the dawn
Leaving a hash induced paranoia behind us in France, my buddy Dave Thomas and I crossed the border into Switzerland. We had been knocking around Europe for the last couple of months. Almost immediately storm clouds materialized.
We spent two days soaked to the skin with our thumbs out in vain. On the morning of the third day, as we were beginning a long slog up into the Alps, Lady Luck turned her favor towards us, as a maroon Rolls Royce languidly came to stop on the mountain road. A gentleman in a burgundy smoking jacket motioned us inside of the car with his silver topped cane. We got in, filthy and dripping.
The gentleman explained to us, in perfect Swiss-French accented English, that he was throwing an autumn party for his daughter’s engagement and needed hands to clean out a barn. Would we be interested in employment? He would be happy to put us up for two days.
When we pulled up to a iron wrought gate forty-five minutes later we saw the kind of money that would make a Pasha blush. The job was short work and we were finished after a day-and-a-half. Monsieur was so pleased with our job that he stuffed our pockets full of more money than we had used in the past six months and invited us into his study for a drink.
While pouring sherry out of a crystal decanter, Monsieur asked if we would like to stay the evening. Situations as good as this one tend to go south if you’re stupid enough to stick around long enough, so I thought it best to just take the money and high tail it out of there. It was as I was crafting our regrets that I heard the click of heels on cold marble.
I turned, and saw a hot blond who looked like a cool million. She was the type of beauty that screamed money but the result was breathtaking. Her lithe figure gracefully wafted through the grand lobby of her massive villa. She brushed past Dave and I without a thought and softly pecked the cheek of Monsieur.
“Bonjour Papa! Ca va?”
Aurore, like the dawn. Her voice was a bell, up close her skin looked like fresh milk and she smelled of lavender and amber. She regarded the two vagabonds in her house curiously. This was a girl who had perhaps never seen a day of unpleasantness in her life. We, very obviously, had seen plenty.
I had never felt so inadequate in anyone’s presence before but I would have stayed near her to the day I died if I was allowed.
I turned and accepted the invite, if only to be able to be near that creature for another few hours. She had disappeared into the cavern of the house. I only caught another glimpse of her when she slipped out of the grand entrance, dressed in a white evening gown, into the waiting Rolls.
It was late; I was lying on the wet lawn in front of the great house, with the feeling of a boot pressing down on my chest. I knew that I would never achieve any of this, that I would never get to touch a woman so fine as her. Looking up at the stars I cursed my sorry existence and all that it lacked. As I was inwardly moaning to myself, a body slipped down next to mine on the grass. It was her, Aurore, the dawn. She simply lay there, in her white gown, six inches from me, wordlessly for a few minutes. Then she spoke.
“Je ne serai jamais libre, comme vous. “
A tear slipped out of her beautiful blue eye.
“Je ne saurai jamais tout ce qui est vrai.”
I laid motionless, not wanting to break this spell. I didn’t speak French, but I would have listened to her all night. She turned to me and spoke again.
“Take me with you.”
Without thinking I took her into my arms and kissed her, breathed her in. We laid there until the sky turned grey, wrapped in each other’s arms. Each silently dreaming of what life would be like if the other belonged to them, lost in reverie of things not possible.
She rose and walked back towards the manor. I stood and watched her go. She did not look back.
The next morning Dave and I set off for other parts, with vague plans of meeting up with the hash triplets on the Amalfi coast. I caught a glimpse of Aurore moving past the organdy curtains of her bedroom. She waved to me from the fortress that held her. I lifted my hand as well and set off down the gravel drive. I could not look back.
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