Friday, October 7, 2011

Chapter 10:Lily meets Gustav:Georges Du Roy and Lily Bart:Bel Ami and House of Mirth

Cy Twombly - Cold Stream

We are waiting in the reception area for my son Gustav to meet Lily. He enters and looks at her. Lily catches her breath. He is so like me. His eyes, his hair, the expression on his face, the way he regards her.

“You are my new Maman,” he asks?

“I am another Mother for you, “ says Lily. “You have one in heaven and one here below. That makes two, doesn’t it?”

“Oui,” Gustav says as he flashes a small smile. “And you are American?

“Oui,” replies Lily. “Yes, I am an American. Je suis une américaine . Did I pronounce the words correctly?”

“Oui, parfait. I like your accent.”

“Oh, I hope you will help me with my French. I am just learning it and I have so much to learn that I will need a lot of help. And your English is so good.”

“Yes, I do speak English very well. I have been practicing since Papa left for America to find and return with a Mother for me.”

“Do you like stories? I am asking because I thought maybe we could write some in French and English. That way we could learn together. Would you like that?”

“Oh yes. I do like writing stories. I have already written some that I will show you. Shall I get them?”

“Later,” I say. “We have had a long journey. Tomorrow would be better.”

Lily kneels down to be on a level with him and says, “Whenever you are ready to show them to me, I will be delighted to read them. I can’t wait!”

Gustav smiles and says to her, “I think I am going to like you very much. I hope so. I do not want a wicked stepmother.”

Lily laughs and says, “I would love to hug you and kiss you. Maybe when you know me better you will let me. I will wait until you are ready. But please hurry, as I think I love you already.”

Gustav solemnly holds out his hand and Lily takes it in her own. She has tears in her eyes, and brushes them away. Her mouth trembles. Gustav watches her face carefully.

“Please don’t cry. Please don’t be sad. Bientot, soon, just wait a little.”

“All the time you need is yours,” she says to him.

I am choking and I lean to help Lily to her feet and lead her upstairs. She is sobbing as we climb the stairs, hiding her face from me.

We enter our rooms and she turns to come into my arms, hiding her face in my chest.

“He is so beautiful. Just like you. He looks just like you. He is so beautiful I can’t believe it. Such perfect manners. Such a beautiful little boy. I love him so much I can’t stand it.”

“Hush, hush,” I say to her. Please, it’s perfectly all right. I know he will love you. I know you will make him happy with you.  You are as perfect for him as you are for me. Oh, Lily, I love you so. You are my perfect Lily. I knew that right away when I met you. I just didn’t know how to convince you. That took me some time to learn.” I tilt her face up, and I kiss away her tears until she smiles; then I know everything is all right.

"Tu es parfaite pour moi."

I have fallen in love with her all over again.

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