Do you really want to read me?
It’s midnight. The twelve knocks sound at the church tower of Malestroit. This church, where I understood a few hours ago, in front of Robert’s coffin, that I am a widow. Widowed. This building is both Romanesque and Gothic. In his image, our couple was strong and cheerful.
I’m not lying yet. I’m not sleepy. Why stay in bed with your eyes wide open! So, I’m tidying up. Finally, I occupy my insomnia. I try to put the order in my head and my house.
I want to make a room. I will not leave this bad job to the children when I leave in my turn. The difficulty is to tidy up without seeming to get rid of it.
For his shoes and clothes, I’ll call Milo.
He had kept our favorite weekly since our marriage, just as his father had done before him. It makes paper! I’ll talk to Denise. She is a librarian at Bacco. It is thanks to her that I never get bored: there are so many books to read! New, old, classics, rarities!
I will give Marcel his balls of petanque, they were winners, he said Marcel!
As for his one hundred and forty nutcrackers, no one will want it! We do not collect much nowadays. The accommodations are so small! Maybe I could sell them at the next garage sale? But people may think that I liquidate Robert’s goods, that I get rich on his back, that I kill him a second time …
Eyeglasses and hearing aids will return to the optician-hearing care professional. It can always be useful to someone.
The cellar is full of bottles that I will never drink. I will offer them on a site for online sales between individuals, but I have no idea of their value.
What will become of his bike? He who knew all the local circuits: the canal, the walk in the maquis of the Breton resistance, the valley of the Arz from the heights of Molac up to the river with its network of water mills, the old way railway from Messac to Plorel! And so many more that he surely has not forgotten!
The bowl with jam will make the happiness of Mary and Rene. They create an orchard in the old garden of her parents. You have to be two to prepare and cook the fruits, put in jars and marmalades, and especially move the copper container that weighs a dead donkey!
It rings the doorbell! At this hour? Who can it be? I approach the entrance. Chocolate slips between my legs. This black cat is still a browser. He would have been happier in a concierge. Here, visits are rare and repetitive! I look through the peephole. I discern a middle-aged woman with a big hooded black cape. It must be with the storm of this night. It may be a local insomniac but I do not recognize it. So, I scream through the massive wood:
- Good evening, who are you?
- Good evening, I’m the mower …
- … Death? Oh, but I’m not ready!
- (sigh) I know, that’s what I get answered every time.
“Maybe, but you just took my husband away three days ago, and now I have to pack his things. Come back, say … in a month. I think I’ll be done.
- It is not possible! You are on my list of the day. You understand, I have names and I have to fill my quota!
- Yes, I understand. But maybe I could exchange my place with someone who is not a month away?
- Must see …
- But, come in! It’s a dog’s time and then, we’ll catch a sore throat similarly! Take off your soaked clothes. Sit down, I turn on the kettle. You need a hot drink. And me too!
His cape drips into the bathtub. His shoes are corked under the radiator. She is sitting in Robert’s chair with a cup in his hand. She consults her tablet. Modern, the mower! Chocolate purrs, nestled at his feet. We search, in the daily lists, a surname that would be familiar to me.
- Well, no, I do not recognize anyone! How could we do it … Would not it be easier to take someone at random, someone I do not know? But I think about it, why not the person who reads me ?!