~Beyond the Barricade~ Part 6
Cosette sat in her daughter's room doing what she had done many times since the day her daughter disappeared. She was unfolding then refolding the clothes in her daughter's armoire. She didn't know why, but it was just a bit therapeutic. Being among her daughter's belongings made her feel a little less depressed. Cosette felt a stray tear falling down her cheek. What if Angeline never returned?
Angeline and Chandler explored the streets of Paris, hand in hand, in search for something to eat. They eventually stumbled across a small shop.
"Would you like to stop here?" He asked.
"I think so.... I'm rather hungry." She replied. Chandler realized that they hadn't stopped for food at all the day before. He rushed her into the shop, suddenly worried she would become sick from lack of food. A middle-aged woman was inside.
"Bonjour! How may I help you?" She asked cheerfully.
"Four Loaves of bread, please." Chandler said, laying some of the money Angeline had on the counter. The woman smiled and went of to a back room to retrieve the food. Chandler took a seat by Angeline, who laid her head on his shoulder.
"So we need to find the families of Joly, Lesgle, Feuilly, Combeferre, Jehan, Barhol, Éponine, Gavroche, and Grantaire." She said, almost to herself. The woman had came back as Angeline said those last words. She grew pale.
"Did you say Grantaire?" The woman asked.
"Oui...." Angeline replied, confused.
"Oui." Angeline repeated. The woman swayed slightly, as if she was going to faint.
"Why are you trying to find their families?" The woman asked.
"May I ask who you are?" Chandler asked, the skeptical attitude from when Angeline first met him returned.
"Madame Duboisse, unfortunately. If I could change the past, I would be Madame Prideux. You can call me Audra."
"You were Grantaire's lover?" Angeline asked.
"Yes. For a short time when I was 16. I was very much in love with him. And it's all my fault I'm not with him now." Audra said bitterly.
"What happened?" Chandler said, softer now, not as cold.
"It all started in 1828. I met Grantaire and fell in love with him. My father arranged a marriage between me and a politician, my late husband. Grantaire told me to tell my father 'no', that he would take care of me. I went to tell my father that I refused but Papa made me second guess myself. He made me believe that I would die on the streets alone if I married Grantaire. So I left him. And there hasn't been a day since then when I haven't regretted it. So why are you trying to contact the families?"
Angeline couldn't speak. Grantaire had been Audra's one true love and she couldn't bring herself to tell what had happened. Thankfully, Chandler sensed this and took over for Angeline.
"We're looking for the families of men who died on a barricade during the June Rebellion..." He said gently. Audra stifled a gasp. A tear ran down her face.
"I'm so sorry." Angeline said. Audra wiped the tear.
"I think you should leave." She muttered. Angeline and Chandler looked at the pained woman, thanked her for the food, and left. They walked in silence for awhile until Angeline spoke.
"Promise me we won't leave each other. Promise me that we won't give up on us the way Audra gave up on Grantaire."
"I promise you, my love." Chandler replied. His arm encircled her waist. She turned to face him and he leaned in to kiss her. The couple stood in a crowded street in Paris, yet they felt like they were the only ones in the world. They pulled away and continues walking as if they had never ceased. They felt like the could never be happier than they were at the moment.
Hope you enjoyed!
Over and Out!