By: D. L. Karabin
Micheal Archangelo’s hands were cold as ice and his emotions raw. Funerals were solemn events but especially dark and sobering when the deceased was a victim of murder—worse yet, when terrorism was involved and dozens of others were also killed or maimed for life.
Paris was in mourning, still. Nearly two weeks ago, the neighborhood at the intersection of Rue de Rennes and the Boulevard St. Germain was changed forever. A landmark café was in ruins. The attack had left a gaping wound in the otherwise storybook setting.
April in Paris, not so much so this year.
The large crowd of mourners and curiosity-seekers had left the grave of Madame Claude DeFarge leaving Micheal and the woman he met a decade ago staring at one another as if each had seen a ghost.
The attractive woman moved closer to Micheal from the rear so he didn’t see her at first. She tapped him on the shoulder.
“Bon-jer-er,” she whispered.
Micheal turned on his heels, a half-smile brightening his sullen face.
“That’s pronounced bonjour, Madame.”
In a way they were ghosts to one another. Memories flowed freely and the ten years since they first met seemed like minutes ago. Each had a flashback…
He was a handsome Frenchman, thought the impressionable American girl. Or not. No wedding band. She eyed him from the top down. Good quality blazer. And, yes, the shoes. Always the shoes. They were black leather penny loafers. How preppy of him with his turned up pink polo shirt and matching socks.
She was definitely American, he thought, she was smiling a bit too much and parading around the bar with her newly purchased Paris frock. Oh, no, she’s headed toward me! Then her bad French: Bone-swi-er. He had to correct her. He couldn’t let her botch the French language even though she’s kind of cute.
Present day returned.
“Micheal? It’s me. Caroline. From years ago in Paris.”
“Yah, how ‘bout that. Why are you even here? Now?
“I saw the article in Le Monde, and I remembered Madame DeFarge.”
He threw the rose he was holding onto the coffin below and crossed himself. Grabbing her elbow gently, he led her away from the grave and toward the cemetery gate.
“Drink?” he asked. “Coffee…or something stronger?”
“The latter,” she smiled, but her gaze quickly changed as she looked overhead to a birdlike, metal object flying at an indiscernible distance way, way above.
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