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Dis, Quand Reviendras-Tu?

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The other ladies, the older ones, they don't believe Jake is coming back.  He's gone for good this time, they think, the ones who say it and the ones who don't quite dare yet.  They think Gaby's faith is ridiculous, the naive trust of a child who hasn't learned about the treachery of men.  They think perhaps, with her poor English, she doesn't even understand what has happened, that Jake has ruined them and run away to save himself, leaving them behind with the mess he made.  Arlette could explain it to her in French, of course, but she doesn't.  No one explains.  They just snap at her, or coddle her, and then make their worried whispers when they think she can't hear.

Gaby thinks perhaps the reason they can't bear to tell her is not simply because they think of her as their child and want to protect her.  No, that is not truly the reason.  They are afraid to shatter her belief that Jake will come back, because then. . .then there would be no magic charm to keep the worst from happening.

But she is not quite as innocent as everyone thinks she is.  She understands the fear that makes Jake run from them, from his mistakes that he doesn't know how to fix, from responsibilities he never wanted and doesn't know how to get rid of or live up to. She understands--what maybe none of the others do--how little idea Jake himself has of what he wants or even who he is.

He's not an angel; she knows this.  But he will return to them.  She believes this with all her heart, as she loves him with all her heart.  Not because Jake is such a good man, in the end, but because believing in him--having something to believe in this way--is what keeps her alive.