It was a chance meeting.
Sandrine went to the movies with her children. Her daughter was fluent in French, and her son was proficient. Emilie spoke to her in French the entire time, while Michel only spoke occasionally.
The woman next to her started speaking to her in French.
“We live here,” Sandrine continued in her native language. “But I wanted my kids to speak fluent French. I spoke fluent English when I was their age.”
“Me too,” the other woman replied.
It was so rare that she met other women that she connected with, and Sandrine was desperate for connections these days. It was all a blur to her now, the steamy affair that she had with Rafe. She had felt so alive being with him again. She realized she had demonized him, because it was easier for her to do that than to deal with the fact she had never gotten over him.
And she might never…
Seeing him in the newspapers now with Eliza made her sad. She did not hate Eliza, and she wanted Rafe to be happy because she did love him. But whatever was in him that made him want her, was not something she believed he could have extinguished that quickly.
It was not put out for her.
Marcus was okay with it, she was honest with him now. They had that kind of relationship that she could tell him about another man, and he would be okay. He was upset if she was not okay, so she pretended to be.
But sitting with her new acquaintance, in a tres French cafe that she loved, Sandrine caressed her large cafe au lait in both hands. Being with a stranger who did not know her, who did not know any of the players in her life made her feel like she could tell her new friend anything.
Severine, she discovered was also going through a heartbreak of her own. There was an American man who she had loved very much, and met as a flight attendant.
“But he was engaged to this other woman. And it is even harder because they are always in the papers.”
Sandrine swallowed. Hard. She took a huge gulp of cafe au lait, feeling exposed because she had just revealed so much about Rafe to Severine. And she had a sinking feeling. Severine was French like her, and she knew that Rafe had had another lover that was French. Eliza had mentioned it as well.
“The thing that drives me is that he and I, what happened between he and I was passionate and amazing and he acts like it was expendable. But the woman is lovely, maybe she puts up with things I would not. She let him come to me, and when she was in Paris…” Severine’s accent intensified as she talked about her relationship.
Sandrine was no longer listening.
She looked at her cafe au lait, and remembered having even hot long distance sex with Rafe. Going to the bathroom in a cafe in Paris sexting him. The way that they had had sex long distance, was as hot as the sex had been in person.
“Are you okay?” Severine touched her hand.
“Just thinking about my kids,” Sandrine said, hating to use her children to explain her spaciness. “I am sorry.”
“No problem…I was only talking about Rafe…”
Both women looked at each other: Severine for her slip, and Sandrine because it was confirmed. It was Rafe.
Everything unfolded like a dream after that: they paid the check, Severine said that she would linger a bit longer because she was meeting someone and Sandrine left.
Outside, Sandrine took in the air like a smoker. It was hard to breathe.
And then she saw him. Rafe was hurtling toward her, and she wanted to get out of his way.
But she couldn’t, even though she did not know what she would say…
More chance meetings here:
sky via wikipedia