Lilly Melancholy

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Miss Flof

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As far back as she can remember, Lilly’s memories of her childhood are all tinged with melancholy.
She can picture herself dragging her early misery into nursery school, being bored in class from the youngest age, colorless and insipid, impervious to the efforts of successive teachers who tried in vain to capture her interest.
Then she dragged her misery to the Wednesday gym class, parallel bars and floor beam, wrecking the wild hopes of her parents that they would one day see her wearing France’s colors at the Olympic Games. A change of activity did not result in a change of outcome, and she exhausted the natural patience of the dance teacher who undertook to rigorously inculcate the rudiments of the Floor Barre to that skinny twig…
She paraded her adolescent melancholy along the banks of the Seine, to the top of the Eiffel Tower, in the shade of the Arc de Triomphe, and methodically criss-crossed the capital, as she had been recommended to do. With neither regret nor enthusiasm, she took the train back to Lyon after a few days, and resumed the linear progression of her life.
Her few friends, fearing that her melancholy might turn into chronic depression, suggested a temporary change of country. Lilly chose a destination at random, it was to be Egypt and the pyramids… from where she returned weary, after scarcely ten days, prey to an existential crisis.
In the end it was at a roundabout that Lilly’s life took a major turn: she just missed being knocked over by a moped who’s rider was not paying attention! Julian offered endless apologies, while she observed him nonchalantly. By way of apology, he bought her an ice-cream, then took her on the big wheel on the Place Bellecour. As if by magic, Lilly discovered from the top of her wheel that the earth was round, and she began to perceive its nuances through Julian’s eyes.
He continued her apprenticeship with a jazz concert in the amphitheatre at Vienne, and Seal’s charm and voluptuousness did the rest… Lilly observed with eyes wide the change taking place within her, and gave Julian a smile as wide as a banana! Her first real smile! It vanished just as suddenly.
Now Lilly feels as if she is living life to the full. She is surrounded by Julian’s loving arms and eyes. Right now, he has just placed before her a small tantalizing red package… and softly asked her to open it. Then Lilly’s face lights up with a spontaneous smile of happiness when she discovers inside it a beautiful cultured pearl which he slips onto her finger.

Translated by Wendy Cross


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Leia Hound · ago
I would LOVE to read more stories such as this. Novel in our future I hope!