Chere Julie, dear Jules. (revisited) Part seven.
Ma tres chere Julie.
I received another letter from you this morning and I was sorry and
saddened to hear that you are so tired. Sleep is a great healer and the lack of it can lead
to illness so I hope, with all my heart, that soon you will enjoy endless nights in the warm
embrace of Morpheus. Tiredness can also result in the making of poor decisions and, at
this moment in time, you need to be clear about what is best for you, Francois and us. I
would welcome you back this moment if that is what you decide to do but if you need
time alone for contemplation and reflection then I completely understand. You must do
what is best for all of us but you must think of yourself and Francois first of all and do
whatever you think is best. Be assured, my beloved Julie, that I wish only good things for
you and my love is unconditional, unending and all-encompassing. I will never love
another as much as I love you and I would not wish to. You are the sun in my life and,
without you, my world is a dark, cold, lifeless place.
A famous author once wrote that you can never go home again and I feel that you are
beginning to understand what he meant. Places remain very much the same but the
person changes and views the past like a foreign country where everything is strange and
unknown. You are not the same Julie Sanders you were when we exchanged our first
letters. You have developed and grown to be Mme. Julie Lablagues, a wife and mother,
an independent free-thinking person with dreams and aspirations. Dear Julie, do not let
your disappointment with the life you once led cloud your thinking. A snake sloughs its
skin when it becomes too tight but then grows a new one which is more fitting. You,
too, must cast off the past you once knew and embrace the future as though it were an
old friend. You must re-kindle the fire of the dreams you once had and I will wait,
patiently, until your flame burns brightly once again.
Your friend Heather seems to be an indomitable character and I admire her ability to bring
up four small children on her own. You say there are four different fathers. Does this
mean she has been married four times? If she is your age then it is very young indeed to
have experienced so much.
It concerns me that Francois falls asleep at night to the sound of conflict and violence. I
do not think ear-plugs are the answer. I think you must find a nice place to live as soon
as possible where the only sound outside the door is the singing of the birds, the sighing
of the wind, and the unadorned chorus of pure nature. Are the police unable to quell the
disturbances? I would think that one police officer stationed in the street and visible from
both ends would be enough to deter the rowdiest of people from engaging in anti-social
I will be returning to Buckinghamshire tomorrow as there were several endeavours left
unfinished and I will have to be there in person to arrange the fine details and sign the
relevant papers. I will probably stay a few days and this will be a great relief for me as I
find the Chateau oppressive at this time. The many happy memories that I have of our
time together there are outweighed and engulfed by the tidal wave of your absence. I
walk from room to room, half expecting to find you, and discover only emptiness and a
sense of loss. In every inch of the Chateau I find remnants of your presence and I am
transported back to happier days when I thought my contentment was unending. What a
fool I have been but it is not my intention to remain so and I am taking steps to rectify
and remedy the situation but, at present, I am unable to disclose the nature of my
The chef we usually employ to make the food when I am absent from the Chateau is
unable to help us this time due to several bereavements in his family. I believe it was due
to a car crash. My father was furious and declared that he would never hire the man ever
again if he was not to be trusted and relied upon. I tried to reason with him as I know the
man in question and find him to be a very conscientious person. I remember once he
discharged himself from the hospital, against the doctors’ and surgeons’ advice, after,
that afternoon, undergoing a major operation which involved a transplant, in order to cater
for a banquet celebrating my parents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary. I consider this far and
beyond the call of duty and commend him for it. The meal was a great symphony of
contrasting tastes and flavours and he served the grande finale of a mountain of
profiteroles, a la Mt. Rushmore but with my father’s face, with rich chocolate sauce
before collapsing and being rushed back to the hospital suffering from severe blood loss.
I was disappointed to find that, when he emerged from the hospital, several weeks later,
my father paid him only 80% of his fee as he had not stayed to the end of the meal.
Jacqueline will be coming to Buckinghamshire with me as there are certain decisions that
only a woman can make and I trust her judgement implicitly. She has said nothing but I
believe your absence saddens her. She saw you as a sister and I know she trusted you
with confidences that she would not even share with me but she hides her sadness and
buries herself even deeper in her charity work.
I must prepare myself for my time in Buckinghamshire and so I will stop here. Every
hour we are apart is sixty minutes ripped out of the heart of my life and they will never be
replaced. I am unable to live without loving you and I need you more than the grass
Please be assured of my undying affection.Jules.
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