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Growing Up

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First sight
August 22 2014, 15:52

 

Lucille walked slowly beside her mother. Earlier, both had gone to Alberto Giacometti Middle School to formally enrol the teenager. Following the divorce of her parents, Lucille and her little brother had to move into their mother's new apartment, near Flora Tristan square in the 14 th arrondissement of Paris. New place, new neighbors, new school... Lucille didn't like all these changes at all. Arriving in a new school without knowing anyone? What a nightmare!
On the grid of the school, the distributions of the different classes were already displayed. Her mother had taken note on one of her many colorful little notebooks. “3rd B, Principal Professor: Mr. Morel”. Lucille didn't care about this information... It was sure now, she wouldn't like this new school. She already missed her friends.


Head down, her teeth with braces nervously biting her lips, the teenager walked in silence. In front of them, walked a small group of teenagers. The four boys were laughing loudly and one of them seemed to be telling a very funny story, punctuating it with great expressive gestures. They seemed to know each other very well... It wasn't surprising! No doubt they had been friends for years. She would never be able to find a place among them or among others. She would spend the year alone, eat alone at the self, come home alone... The voice of her mother and the arm she laid on her shoulders took her out of her dark thoughts.


"It's gonna be alright, darling.” She tried to reassure her daughter as if she had voiced her doubts aloud. "You'll see, it's scary at first but I'm sure you'll make lots of new friends."
Lucille raised her eyebrows. Not so sure about that...

Having in front of their building, Lucille's mother took the pass from her purse but stopped her gesture before sliding it on the opening post. Her gaze had stopped on the group of teenagers who were now sitting on one of the benches of the small square a few meters away.
"These boys are probably at Giacometti too, you should go introduce yourself, it would be nice to know people even before school!"
A cold sweat ran down Lucille's spine and she looked up sharply at her mother.
"No! No, no, it's ok, I'm fine!
-Oh come on!"

Lucille looked at her mother walking towards the boys. She followed her reluctantly. What a shame... The girl thought.

"Hello young people.” Her mother said as she stood in front of the small group. "We have just moved into the neighborhood and my daughter is going to Alberto Giacometti. She doesn't know anyone and as she's a little shy...
-Mom..."

Ashamed, Lucille didn't know where to put herself, at that moment, if she could have disappeared from the surface of the Earth, she wouldn't hesitate a single second. Blushing with shame and paralyzed by embarrassment, she still picked up her gaze from her feet to see the surprised look of the boys in front of them. Of course they think I'm ridiculous , she thought. Still, one of them moved toward her mother and her.
"Well... Welcome then. I'm Ali."
Lucille looked at him discreetly. He was the smallest and he looked smart.
"He's Antoine."
Full of pimples but looks very nice.
"He's Paolo."
Strong guy.
"And This is Eliott."
When he smiles we can't see his eyes anymore... It's cute.


A nudge and a look from her mother drove Lucille back to Earth.
"Ah yes... Uh, I... I'm... Lucille.” She stammered, feeling shame invading all her soul. "Well, mom, can we go?
-Ok, ok. See you!"

Once inside the building, the girl left her frustration exploding.
"Fuck Mom!
-Oh oh, watch your mou...
-Not only I know nobody but in addition, they now think I'm a big jerk!
-Lulu...
-No it's enough! Do not even talk to me!"

With these words, Lucille climbed the stairs at full speed, went back to the apartment that she hated so much and ran to lock herself in her room. Definitely, the upcoming year was looking bad...

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Secret

November 6 2014, 4:15 pm

 



It has been three months since Lucille has arrived to Giacometti school. To her dismay, the girl had to admit one thing: her mother had been right. The first days were rough but the rest went rather smoothly. She met some girls friends in her class and had sympathised with some teens in the neighborhood. Including Ali, Eliott and another girl named Charlotte Dorange, the daughter of the owners of the bakery around the corner. The little group had taken up the habit of meeting almost every day on the small square to talk about everything and nothing. All this was new to Lucille. Until then, the girl had lived in a posh district with cold walls and anonymous neighborhood. Here, everything was different. The “ Plaisance ” area had known how to remain popular and kept its old charms. In the streets, people spoke all languages, on the terraces of the bistros, the housewives rubbed shoulders with students and the small local shops were very appreciated.

Against all odds, Lucille liked this neighborhood. And then there was Ali, Eliott and Charlotte.
Ali was one of those boys everyone listened to. In his small body hid an extraordinary charisma for his age. He had the soul of a leader, he knew how to handle words and was full of arguments to achieve his goals. His last victory? For his birthday, his parents gave in and offered him a brand new scooter. “ You see Lucille, you must never let go!” He had shouted, proud of himself, the day after his birthday.


Charlotte was a blond haired girl with a strong rebellious spirit. Always willing to be in the worst moves, she had a great sense of humour. Sociable, she seemed in touch with every one of the neighbours and it was because of her that Lucille could fit into the small group. As noisy as Lucille was wise, she dragged her step by step, day by day, to open up to the world, to leave her “perfect girl” role.


And then there was Eliott. Eliott was Eliott. Often absent-minded, dreamy eyes with a dazzling smile. Lucille was already in love with him but couldn't admit it. She could listen to him talk for hours. Curious and passionate boy, for him, every new discovery was a pretext for new dreams and new goals. Sometimes introvert, sometimes exuberant, Eliott has it both ways. He was inventive, sincere and unassuming. Lucille and he shared the same eclectic musical tastes, they loved the same books and dreamed of the same trips across the world.
Would she like to become his girlfriend? Of course. Did she dare to imagine the possibility of telling him about it? No, of course. How could a girl like her please a boy like him?

One November afternoon, Lucille and Ali walked in the Rue de Gergovie at the same pace. The two teenagers sharing the same class, they walked toward school/home daily together.
"So... What about you and Eliott?"
Lucille was surprised. What was he talking about?
"What about me and Eliott?
-He told me what he told you yesterday."
Lucille dug into her memory. Eliott hadn't said anything particular the day before, they'd barely saw each other... The two teenagers turned to the Raymond Losserand street in front of the Japanese restaurant which made the angle and always smelt very strongly raw fish.
"He told me nothing yesterday.
-Ah. Uh... Ok, my mistake, never mind, I'm so dumb.
-Tell me! What did he tell you?” She insisted.


For a long time, Ali refused to tell her anything. Then, in front of the little locksmith in Rue de Plaisance, Lucille forced him to stop and glared in his eyes.
"Ali, tell me! I swear, I won't give up, it's you who showed me how to be so persistent.” She told him in a very serious tone. “Tell me.
-Ok, ok but... Eliott was supposed to tell you himself.
-I'm all ears...
-He likes you."

Lucille felt her cheeks flush. She looked away from Ali, ran her tongue over her braces and started walking again, a small smile on her lips. The young boy caught her quickly.
"You seem pretty happy about it!” He observed with laughing eyes.
"Don't know..." She replied, feigning indifference.
"What don't you know?
-Well... It's not your business!" She told, blushing hard.
Ali shrugged, unwilling to understand his friend's complicated mind.

 

On the small square, Lucille, as usual, settled on their bench. Ali walked toward his building.
"Won’t you stay?” The girl asked.
"No, my mother isn't at home, I'm going to play GTA, usually I'm not allowed to play on week evenings. Do you want to come?"
Lucille pouted. Video games weren't her cup of tea at all.
"No I'm ok, thanks. See you tomorrow!"
She pulled a thick book from her backpack, sat cross-legged on the bench, and started to read. The air outside was getting cool as it was already November and the sky began to darken dangerously but Lucille liked to stay outside. Wrapped in her coat, she enjoyed the end of the afternoon.

The minutes went by, perhaps even an hour, Lucille was lost in her reading and other thoughts triggered by Ali's secret. Suddenly, someone sat right next to her. It was Eliott. He smiled shyly. Lucille smiled as well, she put her book on her lap but didn't know what to say.
"What's up?” He asked.
"Not much, what's up with you?
-Uh... Not much either..."
An awkward silence settled over the two young teens. At the end of what seemed like an eternity for Lucille, Eliott's phone rang, telling him that he had just received a new text message. The boy took it out of his pocket and opened the message.
Mec, I think I fucked up. I told Lucille what you told me. Well you stupid! Why did you tell me that you spoke to her when you didn't???

Discreetly, Lucille had leaned slightly over to peer onto Eliott's phone, curious to read the message. When she read it, the girl felt her throat tighten. Definitely, this embarrassing moment wasn't done... When she looked up, she met Eliott gaze.
"Oh sorry, I... I was looking... Sorry."
The boy didn't answer, just smiling and putting away his cell phone.
"So? What do you think about what Ali told you?” He asked, enigmatic, looking into Lucille's eyes.
"Uh... Well... It's cool.” She tried to articulate with her trembling voice.

Eliott then leaned toward her and put his lips on hers. The gestures were clumsy and hesitant. Perhaps the kiss lasted too long, perhaps they should have move in a different way? Maybe the teeth clashed too much? Anyway, it was Lucille and Eliott's first kiss and for now, that was all that mattered.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Like adults
Sunday 21 June 2015, 11:30 pm

 

 



The streets of Paris were crowded on this music day of 2015. Exceptionally, Lucille had obtained approval from her mother to go out and party with her friends.
"Please, Mom...
-I still think you're too young to go out.
-But... It's Music day...
-And you have exams on Thursday!
-It's been weeks that I’ve been studying.
-I don't know...
-And you'll go out too. Everyone will be outside and you want me to stay locked in there?
-Okay. But promise me not to come home too late. And watch out for alcohol.
-I won't drink a drop!
-Don't lie to me. I'm just asking you to be reasonable.
-Thanks Mom!!"

Dancers were swaying to the sounds of different groups succeeding one by one on the main stage on Place Denfert-Rochereau. Lucille, her hand in Eliott's, was trying to make her way through the crowd. Suddenly, she felt her phone vibrate against her thigh. She took out her cellphone from the pocket of her shorts and read the text.
"Guys! Crazy concert at the Triome! Come! We don't move anymore!"
Lucille stopped and pulled Eliott towards her. Rather not to scream in his ears, she showed him the text Ali had just sent to her. The young man read it and looked at her.
"Ok, let's go!” He shouted.
Both of them, always hand in hand to prevent the crowd separating them, started on their way.

About ten minutes later, the teenage couple was in front of the club called “Triome”. Inside, a rock band made the crowd dance under the flashes of light. Indeed, Ali didn't lie to them, the atmosphere was very nice.
An hour went by. On her way to the bathroom, Lucille checked her cell phone. It was already late. Back in the club, she searched for Eliott.
"I have to go!” She shouted.
Eliott, who had heard nothing of what his girlfriend had just said to him, leaned toward her and brought his ear to her mouth.
"I promised my mother not to come back late, I have to go!
-I'm coming with you, I have to come back home too!"
The two teenagers made their way to their friends, saluted them then came back on the street.

On the way back, alcohol and tiredness mingling with her lack of experience, Lucille felt her head spinning. Being out in the street on summer evening, seeing all these people having fun, watching her lover walking by his side... The girl felt a feeling of freedom hit her hard. All this was new to the teenage girl she was then. She smiled, eager to keep that feeling for the rest of her life in a small corner of her heart.

Fifteen minutes of quiet walk later, Lucille stood on the steps of her building.
"Good night.” She smiled at Eliott.
The latter slowly approached her, put his hands on her cheeks and kissed her. He had been doing this all the time since a few days, holding his face in his hands as if it was the most precious thing in the world... Lucille loved it. After a few seconds, when she felt her heart speed up as each time Eliott put his lips on her, Lucille stepped back and looked up at the windows of her mother's apartment. All the lights were off.

"Don't you want to go inside for... A moment? My mother isn't back yet."
Whatever we could say, alcohol could be very useful, Lucille thought. Sweet, oh sweet inhibition...
"Ok." Eliott answered without thinking twice.
The girl grabbed his hand and the couple came in the building.

Once inside the empty apartment, away from any look, any outside judgment, a new feeling seizes the two young teenagers. A feeling of invulnerability, of power. Suddenly, they were over 15 but 10 years more. This apartment was theirs, they knew all about love, its subtleties.
Elliot looked down, put his eyes into Lucille's, smiled tenderly and kissed her lips. Soon, the kiss became moister, hotter and breathy. Their teeth clashed and unsurprisingly their tongues met each others.

Of course they had already kissed before, caressed each other, had explored the bodies of each other. But that night, everything was different. No more doubts, no more questions. They welcomed all these impulses that made them deaf to any other stimulus and were willing to answer them. It was no longer a matter of childish discoveries but indeed of sexual desire of adults.

 

The kiss ended when Lucille let out a sigh of pleasure. At this sound, Eliott curled a little more and put his lips in the neck of the young girl. The latter took a deep breath and closed her eyes to focus on the small noises that reached her ears. Different distant musics, laughter from passersbys, the sound of traffic, Eliott's kisses and his deep and jerky breathing. She bit her lip, blushed, and slipped a hand under the boy's shirt.


Eliott, with lips still sealed to the young woman's neck, lowered his arm and put his hand on her butt. Stopping to not rush her, he felt her shivering but didn't detect any resistance, no fear.

"Come on..." she sighed before leading him to her bedroom.
Lying against each other on the bed, they took off their shirts. Eliott grabbed Lucille by the waist. Her skin was soft and warm and her hair smelled a subtle blend of soap and citrus. His hand ran to her hips, her belly and stopped at the edge of her shorts. Lucille felt a new feeling of wetness invading her body. She put her hands on his hot skin. His belly was warm and firm, contracted by laborious breathing.


The minutes went by, the exploration continued. He kissed her forehead, her temple, her cheekbone then her lips. She stroked his belly, his back and his hips. No words, even less laughter. This moment was as serious as it was delicious.


Now naked, Eliott and Lucille couldn't take their eyes off each other without realising that they had, for once, left all the lights on. Eliott straightened up, grabbed his jeans and took a condom from one of the pockets. Lucille smiled and took his hands. With her shaking fingers, she tore the package and slipped the piece of latex around the already hard boy's sex. A few seconds later, Eliott get in her with infinite sweetness. He felt all Lucille's muscles tensing, he looked up and saw her face closed. Breathing deeply, he stopped.
"Move, move ..." The girl encouraged her with a tiny voice, once her body ready to welcome Eliott's.

Naturally, the passions grew, burst, then dozed off, bodies calmed down. The two teenagers, sated, cuddled for a moment.

"You have to go, your parents will worry and my mother will be home soon..." Lucille sighed regretfully, still snuggled against Eliott.
"What if I decided to stay there for the rest of my life?"
The girl burst out laughing happily.
"For all life? Ah, parents would kill us...
-Yeah.."
Eliott got up and dressed himself. Before leaving he turned to Lucille and put a chaste kiss on her lips.
"For life?” He whispered.
"For life.” She replied, drunk with happiness.

 

Chapter Text

 

Goodbye
Saturday, December 12, 2015, 14:08

 

 



Lying on the sofa in the living room, Lucille was immersing herself into her book, Froth on the Daydream by Boris Vian. On the small table next to her was her cell phone and a hot cup of tea. Everything was for the best in the best of all possible worlds. After being graduated with great marks, Lucille had joined high school, the same as Eliott and two other friends.
The life of high school's young girl pleased her beyond all hope. The growing independence, interesting teachers, new knowledges... And beyond all this, important things that didn't change. Always the same neighborhood where she felt so good, friends, Ali, Charlotte, long talks with her mother, her habits, her little pleasures and Eliott. More than a year since the two teenagers had chosen to be together. An eternity at this young age. Everything was going well between them. Eliott was the human being with whom Lucille preferred to spend all her free time. Indeed, they had fights. Which couple doesn't know any of them? Eliott's changing mood combined with Lucille's susceptibility sometimes resulted in full hours of cries and misunderstandings, but that never lasted. They always brought themselves together.

That day, her mother was at work and her little brother was at their father's house. Silence fell in the living room, Lucille's playlist had just ended. Not really knowing what to listen anymore, the girl looked, absentmindedly her mother's CD shelf. She grabbed Ben Harper's album Diamonds on the inside and slid it into the CD player. Eliott used to make fun about her musical tastes. "This is soo boho!”, “Ok guys! Be careful, Lucille is choosing the music, we're screwed!"... Some teases which amused Lucille as Eliott's own musical tastes were... originals.

She sighed happily as she fell back onto the couch at the sound of Ben Harper's sweet voice. She loved so much this kind of afternoons. No schedule, no obligation. Just a good book and some music she liked. Knowing that she would spend the evening with Charlotte and some friends to let off steam on the dance floor, this weekend was absolutely perfect.

She had no sooner opened her book than her phone rang. Nevertheless, good things never last las they say... Catching her cell phone, she saw Charlotte's picture appear on the screen.
"Hi Dollface!” She greeted her, picking up.
At first, Lucille didn't hear anything at the other end of the phone. Then, after a few seconds, the sound of growing sobs reached her ear.
"Hey.” Lucille said, straightening slightly.
"Lucille... Ali..." Charlotte's shrill voice was full of tears, she was crying.
"Ali what?
-He's dead.”
Lucille felt the whole universe dissolve all around her. Nothing else existed except the voice of her friend saying the same words again and again. "He's dead. He's dead. He's dead."
Her tight throat blocking the air, Lucille had a hard time breathing. It was impossible. Not him, not now.
"How?” She asked.
"...On his scooter... He slipped... And... There was a car..." Charlotte answered with many heavy sobs.

The two friends remained a long time without saying anything, Charlotte crying, Lucille struggling to fully understand the terrible situation.
Then she hung up and at that moment the girl felt alone, so alone. She wanted her mother to be there. She would have taken her in her arms and would have comfort her. Just like when she was a little girl and had nightmares. As the first tear rolled down her cheek, the reality hit her hard: Lucille was no more six years old but almost ten more and she was alone in this big Paris apartment. The contrast between Ben Harper's sweet voice and the chaos of her thoughts was unbearable.
Eliott. His name cames out in the middle of her scrambled mind. He too must have known. If Lucille couldn't have the comforting arms of her mother, she would have those understanding of Eliott. They would share the same sorrow, dilute their same pain in their cuddles.

Without taking the time to think too much, she slipped her feet into her sneakers and rushed outside. In the street, Lucille did her best to hold back her tears. At the foot of the neighboring building, she entered the entry code, climbed up the stairs and knocked on Demaury family's door.

It was Eliott's mother who came to open it. When her eyes fell on Lucille, she raised her eyebrows, visibly surprised to see her here.
"Lucille? Eliott isn't with you?
-What? No... I... I came to see him..."
Noticing the girl's red and wet eyes, Eliott's mother looked worried.
"What's going on Lucille?
-It's... Ali, he had an accident, he... He's...”
Mrs. Demaury didn't need Lucille to finish her sentence to understand its terrible end. Her whole body shook and she turned back to the living room.
"Chris.” She called her husband. "Eli isn't at Lucille's and..." The girl didn't hear the rest.
Remaining there, in the entrance, totally helpless, no longer understanding what was being played around her, Lucille took a few steps inside the apartment. With trembling legs, she collapsed on a wooden chair. There, she took her head in her hands and burst into tears. It was too much. Too much for a very young girl like her. She cried like a child facing the greatest of sorrows. Her body shook with jerks, tears spurted out of her big hazel eyes to crash on her hands and on the floor.

After what seemed like an eternity, Lucille heard Eliott's mother walked over. The latter was putting on her coat when she saw the teenager in tears.
"Oh... I'm sorry, love..."
She crouched down in front of her and took her in his arms. She held her tight as she would have done for her own daughter.

"I know, it's very hard... There is nothing to say for now... You have the right to cry, to scream, to insult.” She whispered, stroking her hair.
Finally relieved to find a kind shoulder to express her pain, Lucille let herself go, resting her head on the shoulder of Eliott's mother.
The two women remained motionless for a moment, one snuggled into the arms of the other.

"Look, I'm sorry but we have to go get Eliott.
-Where is he?” Lucille asked, backing up slightly before sniffling loudly.
"I don't know. He had someone on the phone and he went out saying he had to see you.” Eliott's mother said, handing her a tissue.
"He must not be far...
-We don't know either. A few years ago, he had a very very very hard time because of the loss of his grandfather and now... I don't like to know he's alone outside.
-I understand...
-You can stay here if you want."
Anxious at the thought of being all alone again and feeling the great worry in Eliott's mother's voice, Lucille shuddered.
"Can I come with you to help you find him?
-Okay but you call your mother first and you tell her everything."

The trio spent a good part of the afternoon browsing Eliott's favourite places. It was only around 5pm that they found him, sitting on the pavement near their old school.
Back at the apartment, Eliott's parents and her own mother agreed that Lucille spend the evening and the night with her boyfriend.


She snuggled against him all night long. He, staring into the void, as absent from his own body, never put his arms around her.

 

Chapter Text


An important role
Tuesday 02 February 2016, 6:26 pm

 

 

His parents, his friends, Lucille. They had all insisted but Eliott was stubborn. He didn't go to Ali's funeral.
Almost no more coming out of his room, he lay there for days, under his blanket, waiting for time to pass. Lucille visited him every day, bringing back the lessons he missed or simply spending a few minutes by his side. The young man didn't seem to be recovering from the loss of their friend. If Lucille was also devastated, a force in her was pushing her every day to go out, to continue to live, not as if nothing had happened but doing with it. Eliott seemed to lack this strength. It was as if he had stopped living at the same time as Ali. His gaze was empty, his body weaker than ever.

After putting a sweet kiss on Eliott's cheek, which he hardly seemed to notice, Lucille came out of his room and saw Mrs Demaury sitting at the kitchen table, deep sadness hanging over her face. Lucille approached.
"Are you okay?” She asked, embarrassed to surprise her mother-in-law, who was usually so strong, in a moment of weakness.
"I'm worried about Eliott. He doesn't eat anymore.
-It's true, he has lost a lot of weight...
-Take a seat."

Nathalie Demaury was a strong woman with an almost dynastic elegance. Engaged in her work as a museum curator, she was the Demaury family's pillar, present on all fronts against all odds. Overflowing with love for her husband and their two sons, she was no less strict and knew how to rule the family with an iron hand. Seeing her, here, looking sad, sitting alone at the table of her little kitchen, sent chills up Lucille's spine. If Eliott's mother was so worried, there was a reason.
Lucille pulled a chair from under the table and sat down. Shy, she stared at the glass of water that Nathalie just gave to her.

"He's not coming out of his room, he's not talking anymore. He doesn't even listen to music anymore."
Lucille didn't know what else to say. Yes, Eliott was feeling bad, she had noticed but what could she add? What could she say to the woman who knew him best in the world, namely a mother? She took a sip of water and put the glass on the table.
"Tomorrow I have an appointment with our doctor, I would like him to see Eliott.
-Okay...
-You know Lucille, I tell you all this because I think that Eliott cares about you a lot and that you play an important role in his life."

Touched and at the same time surprised by these words, Lucille looked up and stared into her eyes.
"I care about him too and... I'm scared for him.” Lucille said in a shaking voice.
"Eliott is a very sensitive boy. He has always been. At the death of his grandfather, he was still very young and yet he spent nearly two weeks without saying a word.
- It's been more than two weeks.
-Yes, that's why I'm worried. "
A heavy silence fell into the kitchen.
"But that doesn't mean that the situation is inextricable.” Eliott's mother added, her voice a little more assured than before. "Eliott is sensitive but he's also very strong, he will get by but we have to help him.
-What can I do?
-Don't change anything. Be patient, keep coming to see him, you will always be welcome home."
These few words had the effect of a great breath of fresh air in the teenager's heart. Lucille began to believe it again; very soon, Eliott would feel better.
"What about you? How are you?"
Lucille's feeling of hope faded slightly. To think about Eliott's recovery was one thing, to think about her own state of mind was another.
"It's... It isn't easy. We miss Ali a lot and... Seeing Eliott like this...
-It's okay to feel bad because of the loss of your friend. And for Eliott... Don't take on too much, think about you, try to have good times on your own."
Lucille smiled sadly.
"Yeah... I'll try."

Silence fell again. After a minute, it was Lucille's turn to speak again.
"Well, I have to go. My mother is waiting for me.
-Yes, you're right, it's already late! You'll say hello to her for me."

Outside, Lucille buried her small hands in the pockets of her coat. She felt thorned between her own sadness and the anxiety to see her lover sinking day by day in the deepest melancholy. However, the words of Eliott's mother came back to her mind. "He's very strong, he'll be fine. Do not change anything.” Yes, soon, very soon, she would find her Eliott again.

Chapter Text

 

Waking up
Tuesday, February 16, 2016, 12:35 pm

 

Two weeks ago, Eliott's parents and himself had gone to their family doctor. Since then, no news. Lucille had tried to call Eliott but he had never answered or even called back. For days she shut her desire to go to his home. Dying to know more, worried about the possible diagnosis the doctor could have made, she didn't want to invade her boyfriend's personal space either. He would have promptly send her packing, saying to her to mind of her own business and he would have been right in a way.

Eliott didn't show up in high school like every last weeks. Ok, the girl didn't kid herself, she knew that everything wasn't going to be solved in a few days, that Eliott's sadness wouldn't dissapear in a few hours but still... Lucille had hoped that with the doctor, the support of his mother, some rest, maybe... No, obviously, she got her hopes too high again.
One evening, on her way back home, she had sat down for a long time on the bench of the little square, remaining motionless despite the small parisian's rain. The light in Eliott's room was off. Was he at home? Was he absent? Lucille didn't know anything about it. Despite everything, she sat there on her little wooden bench, waiting for some sign that never came.

Next day, Lucille was leaving a particularly boring mathematics class. Walking along one of the high school corridors, she was chatting with two of her friends when she felt her phone ringing against her thigh. Folding her hand in her pocket, she pulled it out with difficulty and saw Eliott's name appear on the screen. She looked wide-eyed at her friends.
"It's him!
-What are you waiting for? Answer!"

Lucille, with a hurried step, went away from the crowd and picked her phone up.
"Yeah?
-Hi.” Eliott's voice was hoarser than usual, as if he had just woken up from a long, very long sleep.
"Hi.” The girl answered, so glad to finally have a real exchange with her boyfriend for weeks. "Are you okay?” She asked.
"It's okay. You?” He answered simply.
"Fine fine, thanks. I'm out of math, my head is going to explode!” Lucille had the impression that Eliott smiled at the other end of the phone, but perhaps she was mistaken. "You... you're at home?” Lucille asked, forcing herself to keep a light, almost playful tone.
"Yeah. Well, uh... Lucille, I'm sorry I didn't answer or call you back.
-Doesn't matter. Really, I don't mind." She sweared, sincerely happy to hear even a little bit of his voice. "If... If you call me now it means that you're feeling better.
-Yes, a little better. Would you like to go to the cinema with me tomorrow?
-Yeah sure!
-Good. See you at... 2 tomorrow?
-That works for me.
-Then... See you tomorrow.
-Take care."

The girl hung up and hugged, without really realizing it, her phone against her heart, a big smile hanging on her pink lips.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Happy Birthday
Monday, February 29, 2016, 10:20 am

 

Lucille's daily life was going on. High school, her friends, the house, her brother, her mother, her father sometimes, snow on January, wind on February. As for Eliott, he was feeling a lot better. He hadn't told her about it, but his mother had told her one night that the doctor had prescribed anti-depressants and sessions with a therapist. Back in high school, he laughed, went out with his friends, came back to life step by step.

One morning, Lucille had made the way from home to school alone, neither Eliott nor Charlotte starting at the same time as her. Her first class was History class. Lucille loved History. Leaving the classroom, she was in great chat with one of her friends when Eliott stood in front of her, greeted her with a quick kiss on her mouth and a bright smile.
"Hi !
-I'll wait outside, I'm going to smoke a cigarette.” Lucille's friend slipped away and left the couple alone.
"Hi.” The girl smiled. "How are you?
-Not bad. But the best is yet to come!
-Ah yeah? "
Eliott
raised his eyebrows mysteriously
and leaned onto her ear.
"Come on, I'll take you away.
-What?
-No more school for us today!"

Lucille was confused. Eliott was proposing to skip a whole day of school? For a student as serious and assiduous as she, such a plan came out way off her comfort zone.
"I dunno...
-Come on! Just today!"
The girl looked down. What would her parents think if they learnt that their usually studious daughter was having fun skipping school? And what would Eliott's mother think? Lucille still heard her voice in her ear, worrying about her son's delay about high school.
She looked up and met Eliott gaze. How to resist him? The girl bit her lip and smiled.
"Well... Where do you want to go?” She asked in a small voice as if she feared that anyone other than Eliott could hear her.
"Yes!” The boy shouted, much less concerned than she was to be heard. He put his hands on her cheeks and quickly put his lips on hers. "It's a surprise, I've planned everything. We put our books in my locker and we're out off here!”

Lightened bags, hand in hand, high school in the back, Lucille and Eliott had the whole city just for them.
"Well, you have the choice. Either we take bus and subway or we walk.” The boy said.
"is it far?
-No, it's ok.
-Then we walk!"

 

Wanting to take the time to make the most of this day, Lucille was in no hurry to get to the destination, whatever the nature of the latter. That day, the air was cold but a big sun was shining in the blue sky of Paris. The icy wind coming to sting her nose, the teenager buried her face in her thick scarf, Eliott's hand still in hers.

With a quiet step, the young couple went up the Faubourg Saint-Jacques, walked along the old walls with colorful mosaics of the Hôpital Cochin, turned to rue de Cassini to join the avenue de l'Observatoire and its plane trees denuded because of the winter, they walked along the jardin des Grands Explorateurs, deserted at this hour then walked on rue Michelet.

A few meters away, without warning, Eliott stopped and turned to an impressive building of the late nineteenth century of white stones and fine moldings.
"Here we are.” He said proudly.
Surprised, Lucille looked around. She didn't know this place, looking up, she saw a great status and read the Romanesque writings under it.
"The... The pharmacy school?"
The young girl was expecting anything but that. She had imagined a cinema, a café or even a museum. But this? No really not.
"Yeah.” Eliott replied, visibly amused by Lucille's surprised look. "Come on."
They crossed the doors of the school.

Lucille had never been to any university. The students, of course, all older than them, walked and ran between classrooms, serious teachers walked at full speed, piles of papers in their hands. The young girl, insecure by the gap she felt growing between them and her, squeezed Eliott's hand a little harder. In a nice outdoor courtyard, the teenager pushed a small iron gate.
There, in the middle of the university, was nestled a lush garden despite the winter time. The couple was alone.
"Do we have the right to be here?” Lucille asked worriedly.
Eliott said nothing, just shrugging his shoulders. The girl slowed down.
"Don't worry, it's open to the public!” Eliott retorted and laughed.

The botanical garden of La Faculté de Pharmacie de Paris
was one of those hidden gardens that few Parisians knew. Created in 1884, this small botanical garden allowed students to learn the names and to recognize medicinal or toxic plants.

Eliott and Lucille walked for a long time between basins, greenhouses and flowerbeds, laughing at some strange names, smelling the aromatic plants and watching the toxic ones.
Sitting on a stone bench dominated by an impressive silver lime tree, Eliott fished a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and lit one to his mouth. Nonchalantly, he put an arm around Lucille's shoulders, sitting close to him. The two teenagers remained motionless, one tightly against the other, wrapped in their winter coats.
"So? Are we better here or in physics class?” Eliott asked.
"Here, a thousand times here.” Lucille replied, smiling at him.
"I have a surprise for you.” The boy said, leaning over his bag before putting it on his lap.
"Another ?
-I... I know I haven't been the best boyfriend lately, I didn't even wish you your birthday."

 

Lucille had turned 16 on February 1st, the same day that Eliott's parents took him to see their doctor. Indeed, the boy didn't call her or even send a message. If deep inside herself, the girl had felt a tiny bit of disappointment, she wasn't mad at him at all.

"It doesn't matter, really.” She said, pivoting slightly on the small stone bench to face him.
"Yeah, but still, I'm catching up..." Eliott answered as he took a small black case out of his bag and handed it to her with both hands. "Happy Birthday."
The girl grabbed the case, opened it delicately and discovered a fine silver bangle bracelet. Not knowing what to do or, worst, what to say, she looked at it for a moment before looking up into Eliott gaze.
"Put it on..."
With a trembling hand, she took the bracelet with her fingertips and put it on her thin wrist. The colour of silver blended perfectly with her smooth, pale skin. This jewelry had to cost him a fortune, maybe his parents had participated in this gift? Lucille smiled and put her lips on Eliott's.
"Thank you.” She whispered, sincerely surprised and happy to live this little moment with her lover.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Overdose
Friday, April 22, 2016, 23:40

 

The winter had been long and rainy that year but in spring 2016, the sun made its comeback in the Parisian sky. The terraces were full again, the city asleep caught its breath.
Lucille, like the city, enjoyed the good weather. Multiplying the outings to the park and in clubs with her friends, the girl was
light hearted. In high school, her grades, in this last trimester, were great, at home, relations with her mother were better. Eliott was doing well, very well. The sad boy of this winter had given way to a bright and adventurous teenager. He had decided alone to enrol in drawing lessons and was planning several trips during the summer, he had also found a small job in a bookstore not to depend too much of his parents. In high school, he attracted girls and boys by his good mood and his ideas always appreciated. Lucille, discreet as usual, felt immense pride in walking hand-in-hand with him. It had been more than a year and a half now that Eliott and she were dating. An eternity at this age! Their friends, or even their vague acquaintances, never imagined one without the other. When Eliott captivated their group of friends by his overwhelming speeches, Lucille was always there, in his shadow, trying somehow to reason his sometimes crazy ideas. When she built any projects, Eliott was always at her side, offering his unfailing support.
He needed her as she needed him.

This Friday night, Charlotte had organised a party at her house, her parents having been away for the weekend. In the small lounge, about twenty teenagers danced to the rhythm of electronic music, stunning glasses of Soho and Passoa on the floor, laughing and shouting. On the couch, Charlotte was in great discussion with Lucille, the two girls screaming each other in their ears to hear about what they had to say.
"Your glass is empty! Come on, you have to taste my new cocktail!
-No no it's okay!"
Lucille had fun and had a great time but she only dreamed of one thing: A good and long night of deep sleep. The week had been long and she knew that the next day she would have to get up early to help her father moving with his new girlfriend.
"You're not funny Lucille! Try to fully enjoy for once!” Charlotte shouted. The girl had already drunk a lot and didn't seem to be stopping.
"But I'm enjoying!
-Seriously girl, you look like my grandma!"
For any answer, Lucille pulled her tongue towards her friend. She didn't feel offended, knowing very well that, yes, she was probably the most reasonable one of their group of friends. Why such a thing as wanting to go to bed early was a shame?
"I'll go home now! Have fun and don't be too wise Dollface!” Lucille said as she got up from the couch.
"Count on me!” Charlotte shouted, cheerful, winking at her.

Before leaving, Lucille made her way to the kitchen. There, a small group of boys were talking frantically. Two of them were sitting on chairs, one was sitting on the table next to different
food leftovers
, two others were standing, and among them Eliott was sitting on one of the worktops. The teenagers didn't notice the discreet arrival of Lucille in the kitchen, the latter took the opportunity to watch Eliott. As the months went by, he was getting more and more handsome every day. He was now the tallest of his friends, he had a particular way of moving, almost dancing. Lately, he had the good idea to have his hair cut off, which was highlighting his beautiful eyes. Lucille was amazed to have the chance to stand by his side, she who seemed so common in comparison.

Turning his face to her, Eliott waved a bright smile as he saw the girl. With an assured gesture, he invited her to join him. He spread his legs and Lucille walked close to him. He smelt alcohol and weed he had probably been smoking. The girl didn't like cannabis so much, not enjoying losing control of her thoughts. Eliott smoked a lot lately. After all, it was their age. Lucille put her hands on Eliott's thin waist.

 

"I'll leave.
-Already??” He wondered looking sincerely disappointed.
"Yeah, I'm tired.” She answered in a small voice. Eliott took her face in his hands and frowned.
"Are you okay?
-Well yeah! I'm just tired and I have to get up early tomorrow.” The young boy always looked skeptical and seemed to be searching for the slightest doubt in Lucille's big round eyes. "I'm fine, I swear!” She insisted, smiling, feeling so soft because of Eliott's concern towards her. To reassure him completely, still smiling, she kissed him on the cheek.
"Good. I'm happy then!” He exclaimed as he put his lips in her thick hair.
"It's true, you look very happy, it's nice to see..." Lucille said in a low voice to be heard by Eliott only.
"Yep... Everything's good right now, that's fucking crazy! You know what?” He kissed Lucille, caressing her lips with his tongue. "I think I'm overdosing on happiness!"

The girl burst into a loud laugh and buried her face in Eliott's neck. Yes, he was happy. And she was certainly not going to complain about it after the harsh weeks of this winter. If he was happy, she was happy.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Skids I

 

 

Friday, July 8, 2016, 8:12 AM

To celebrate the end of school year, Lucille, Eliott and three of their friends had decided to go on holidays together on the île de Ré. The small amount of money they have saved during the year combined with some helps from their parents allowed them to book a small camping site for a week.
Joyfully, they took the train then went to the island by bus. The first day was devoted to the build up of their small camp. They stayed awake until a very late hour, all being euphoric to live their first holidays just between friends with no parents to watch on them.

In the tent, Lucille had fallen asleep quickly, curled up in her comfy sleeping bag. Eliott, not feeling the slightest sign of tiredness, took his sketchbook and started drawing frantically.

The next day, awakened by the already bright light of the morning sun, Lucille opened her eyes. At her side, Eliott was sitting cross-legged, his body quite leaning on his notebook. Around him were piled many pieces of papers, some crumpled others intact, all covered with different black and white drawings.

"Hello..." Lucille said in a voice still clouded with sleep.
Eliott, visibly too focused on his drawings, didn't answer. Stretching, she straightened hard and was quickly hit by a vague feeling of fog. Looking around, she saw the remains of a joint in a shell beside Eliott.
"Have you smoked in the tent?” She asked with frowning brows, her eyes struggling to stay open.
"Oh hi.” He said, finally noticing her. Suddenly he leaned toward her and came to crush, more than to put, his lips on hers. "Yeah, just a small stick, for inspiration."
A bad smell of old smoke floated into the whole tent. Lucille put her hand on her forehead, her head was hurting bad. So he had smoked in it? Was it too hard to go out, to get away from just two meters? Despite the growing anger, the girl made the choice to say nothing, preferring to avoid any early argument.
"My head hurts..." She whispered.
"I took some pills.” The young man answered quickly, distractedly. "Look!"
With a sudden gesture he held out his skechbook under Lucille's eyes. The latter grabbed it and went through the many pages covered with many sketches. Everything seemed to follow a thread that clearly escaped the misty mind of the girl. While some drawings followed logically, others seemed to have fallen randomly on the paper. Sentences and simple words punctuated the story rather randomly as well. If the drawings were as usual, very well done, the organisation of them all was obviously more than wobbly.

 

"Have you done this all night long?
-Yeah.
-You didn't sleep?
-No. So? That's good huh?!"
Lucille looked up. It was obvious that the boy hadn't closed his eyes of all night. He had drawn features and his eyes were red and puffy. He watched her, waiting for an answer from her, unable to hide his excitation.
"Yes. Yes... It's nice.” She answered, unwilling to honestly share her real thoughts. He seemed so happy, she didn't want to dissapoint him.
"I'm sure it could be a huge success .
-What?
-I will publish it. I just have to finish it and that's it.
-The... Publish it? But how?” Lucille had a hard time holding a so... surprising talk. Moreover at her wake up, in such a small tent, her mind misted with the vapors of cannabis.
"I'll find a publisher in Paris! Fuck, it's gonna be awesome..." For a moment, Eliott appeared to pause, he inhaled a great breath of air and then slammed his thighs. "Well! I'm hungry, let's go to the bakery! See ya'!” As soon as he said it, he pulled on the zippers of the tent and stormed out.

Enjoying a little fresh air from outside, Lucille took a deep breath and dropped back onto the thin mattress. Eliott's mind was filled with dreams and different plans, among others, that's what Lucille loved so much about him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, July 29, 2016, 9:36 pm

Lucile was comfortably seated in her living room, playing a board game with her mother and younger brother. It had been an eternity that the girl hadn't spend a nice family evening, without tv or stupid fights. The window opened on the street let the noises of the terraces and the singing of the starlings in the plane trees of the little square be heard.
While Lucille was about to throw the dice on the game board, a knock was heard at the front door. Mrs Guisez was about to get up when Eliott came into the apartment with a quick step. When he knew that Lucille wasn't alone at home, he used to wait for someone to come and open the door, he never came inside on his own. Surprised, the girl got up and went to meet him.
"Hi.” Eliott kissed her longer than necessary in front of her family then shifted to greet them. "What's up?” He asked Lucille's mother.
Since when did he talked to her mother in a so familiar way? It didn't bother the young girl but it was... New.

Mrs Guisez had no time to answer that Eliott was already focusing all his attention to Lucille.
"Look what I did this afternoon!” He lifted his T-shirt and showed her his bare torso. Lucille, astonished and a little ashamed of such a weird behaviour in front of her mother, didn't immediately see the little inscription on Eliott's heart.
"It's... A tattoo?
-Yeah." The boy replied proudly.

Under a small patch of cellophane paper and covered with a thick layer of moisturizing cream, was engraved in the skin of Eliott the word "life" in black ink. The calligraphy was pretty.
"Nice huh?"
Lucille would have preferred to be alone with him in her room but the boy didn't seem determined to move.
"Well... Yeah, yes it's nice. But... Did you do it straight out, on a whim? You never told me about it before.
-I had the idea yesterday. "Life" is for Ali, for us, for everyone actually, to not forget to live, to live wildly, to do what we love, to do what we want.
-But...
-See, it's on my heart, I think it's cool to know that where it beats there's always life. As long as it works, there's hope. I couldn't be there for Ali so I wanted to pay tribute to him. Now I always have him with me."
Eliott spoke quickly without taking the time to breathe, still shirtless, a bright smile hanging on his face.

 

Lucille turned towards her mother and her little brother and blushed at their lost looks.

"You... Don't you think you'll regret it?"
Eliott's eyes darkened, his face closed.
"No. Why would you want me to regret?
-I don't know... A... a tattoo is for life.
-Well no, I won't regret it.
-You... Your parents know?"

At this last question, Eliott abruptly lowered his shirt. His eyes were now angry and expressed only contempt about the girl.
"You're pissing me off.” Lucille froze, astonished by such a violence. Feeling the accusing look of her mother on her boyfriend, Lucille remained speechless for a moment. "I show you something that makes me happy, which is important to me and you breaking my balls with your fucking stupid questions!
-Ellio...
-Forget it, bye.” The young man turned around and got out of the apartment, slamming the door.

Struggling to realise what just had happened, Lucille remained motionless for a few long seconds. She finally turned and walked slowly back to the table.
"Is averything allright?” Her mother asked worriedly.
"Yeah, yeah, it's just that he's a bit sensitive at the moment..." Lucille answered, minimising the whole situation.
"It's not a reason to talk to you this way."
The teenage girl brushed her mother's worries aside, trying to shut her own growing doubts in her mind.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Skids II

 

 

 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 5:08 pm

Lucille and some of her friends had decided on that day to celebrate the surprise birthday of Antoine, one of Eliott's best friends. Everyone was at their usual café at 2PM, waiting for Antoine. Only Eliott was missing. Lucille tried to call him several times with no answer. The couple had seen each other since the tattoo incident and everything went well, Eliott acting as if nothing had happened.

It wasn't until 3 hours later that the young man appeared on the terrace, wide dark rings under his eyes and a bright smile on his face. He spoke quickly and was unable to stand still.
"Hey sorry guys! I had lost hack of time!” He exclaimed without any real excuses in his voice. Eliott gave high fives to his friends, kissed Lucille's temple and sat down abruptly at the only free chair. Even when he was sitting, his legs kept moving, he ordered a beer.

"I'm on a whole new project.” Announced the young man without anyone asking him anything. "I'm writing some political articles. Caricatures and denunciations. With everything going on with this fucking society, I think people need to have their eyes open."
For many minutes Eliott explained his new ambitions to the small group of their friends. At first interested, they all listened to him, then, finally, grew weary, Eliott's speeches being more than painstaking to follow. Some tried to redirect the conversation but, taking advantage of well-fallen gaps, Eliott always came back to his words.
"I have a cousin who's journalist, I sent him some of my sketches. I honestly think it could interest many many french people. Then we'll see for the translation. A new look on society by someone who is young. It's gonna be a huge success, I have to start using social networks...” Feeling the awkwardness growing up around the table, Lucille glanced at her friends. Obiviously, some of them didn't understand anything of what was happening, not recognizing their friend. Others watched him angrily, starting to lose patience, annoyed by Eliott's overwhelming presence.

"The style is more realistic than what I used to draw, it...
"Are you serious Eliott?!” Antoine barked, staring at him.
"What?
-What the fuck is happening to you dude? Give us a break, we don't care about all your... New things!
-Aren't you interested in your friend's projects?"
Eliott's body was tense and his eyes glowed with anger, the frustration of not receiving the unconditional support of his friends overflowing of his dilated pupils. Lucille put a hand on his thigh.
"Yes of course I do but it's too much! You didn't even ask once how we are... Or... I don't know, maybe you could have wish me happy birthday ! Seriously, You don't give a fuck about what's going on around you! You're so fucking selfish, mec!"
Eliott stood up abruptly and leaned on the table in front of Antoine.
"Oh I see... You're so fucking jealous!” He taunted bitterly. "You can't stand my success, my projects!
-Excuse me?” Antoine replied in an aggressive voice as he got up in his turn. The tension was at its peak. Charlotte went close to Antoine.
"Drop it, you can see he isn't his normal self...
-For fuck sake! You too!” Eliott yelled, glaring at Charlotte. "You're all so envious...
-Eliott... " Lucille whispered, swamped by her boyfriend's anger.
"Let me finish! You are all so envious. You see me moving forward while you... You do nothing but shitting around and talking about how smart you are!"

Lucille felt tears come to her eyes. It wasn't Eliott, it wasn't him, it was impossible... All this hate, this feeling superiority, this total disregard for his friends... Why did he act like that? Something was wrong. Pulling herself together, she grabbed his hand and stood up.

 

"Come on, let's go.” She told him. She pulled him and dragged him away.
"Fuck, I can't believe it, they're pathetic, these aren't what I call friends!” Eliott was struggling to shut his anger off, still pissed of by the lack of interest his friends had in his plans.


So much anger... Lucille, judging that they were far away enough from their friends, stopped and stood in front of the young man, close to him.
"I'm sure they're concerned for you and your drawings and... uh... your new press articles. This isn't the point.” She said in the softest voice possible.
Eliott looked at her, his eyes filled with incomprehension.
"You look tired, haven't you slept yet?
-I'm too busy to sleep! It would be wasting time! Then I'm not tired!"
A heavy silence fell on the two teenagers. Lucille gathered all her courage and spoke again.
"You... Are you still going to see the therapist?
-Yeah.” The young man answered, shrugging his shoulders.

Relieved to see that Eliott didn't take her question badly, Lucille smiled at him, grabbed his shirt and moved closer to him.
"Do you know what would be nice?” She purred.
"What ?
-A quiet evening at home, my mother works late. No paper, no pencil, no TV, just you and me..."
The young man dropped her hands and ran his fingers through his wild hair.
"Yeah, well, sure, it would be nice but I have lots of things to do... I just had an idea, I have to go."
Without ceremony Eliott started to move away from Lucille, walking to his home.
"Wait... You... Aren't you going to your drawing class?” The girl called out one last time, looking at the dial of her watch.
"No, I gave up, the teacher sucks, I told her, she didn't like it. Well then, see ya'!"
Eliott disappeared into an adjacent street.

Lucille remained motionless as a statue on the sidewalk. No, really, something was definitely wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016, 7PM

Lucille was reading one of her favourite books, comfortably lying on her bed. Eliott had come to spend part of the afternoon at her home. Despite the late hour, he was still there, sitting at the girl's desk, frantically covering dozens of papers of his hasty writing.

focused on her book, Lucille didn't notice at first that the little speaker was off for the first time in hours. Finally noticing, she looked up at her boyfriend.

Eliott had left the desk and stared at her with a dark look. Lucille swallowed hard, her mouth being dry since few seconds. The young man's face had always been very expressive, and it amused Lucille to see how much he couldn't hide the slightest emotion. Sadness, happiness, excitement, arousal... She knew every sign on Eliott's face. But this one... That staring and frightening gaze, jaw clenched, body stretched out. It was the first time. Lucille felt a cold shiver run down her spine. Not knowing how to react, she remained silent. Long seconds flew before Eliott took a few steps in her direction, his eyes still on her. As he walked towards her, he took off his T-shirt before throwing it into a corner of the room. He joined her on the bed, put his hands on her thin hips and buried his mouth against her neck.

"I want you.” He sighed in her ear.
Lucille relaxed. A small smile appeared on her face and she let her head back against the wooden headboard, welcoming the young man's lips on her skin. For days and days Eliot was distant, too busy with his various projects to be fully with Lucille. Only the two of them, forgetting the world around them. She wanted him too, she really wanted to make love with him but the reality caught up her very quickly. Her mother was in the living room, right there, on the other side of the thin door. No, it was definitely not the right time.

"Wait..." She whispered, half-heartedly, running her fingers through Eliott's hair, staring up at the ceiling, forcing herself to calm down.
The young man moved his lips to the base of her neck, his tongue dancing on the moist skin of Lucille. With his hands, he defly unclipped one by one the pearl buttons of the girl's white shirt. In his haste, he tore off one.
"Eliott, wait.” She repeated, still smiling, flattered by Eliott's desire.
Showing no reaction to the words of the girl, Eliott gently bit her skin, his hands on her breasts, only covered with a thin bra pink lace.

 

Had he not heard? Lucille cleared her throat.
"Eliott.” She called in a clearer, louder voice.
Still unresponsive, the young man leaned a little more and stretched out all his weight on the girl, squeezing his shirtless torso against her.

All arousal, all desire completely deserted Lucille's mind. Did he really intend to stop? What was going on in his head? Suddenly, fear gripped her throat. It wasn't him, it wasn't Eliott. He never had, in the past, made any violent or even inappropriate gesture in her direction. Always listening to her, he could hear and understand the least of her desires, each of her refusals. What was happening then so that this time Eliott refused to hear it?

"Eliott, stop..." She tried to pull out herself from his grip, but with an authoritarian gesture, the young man pushed his hips on against hers.
Lucille's eyes blurred with tears as she felt Eliott's fingers open the fly of her denim shorts. It was a nightmare.

On desperate move, Lucille put her hands on Eliott's head and pulled it back, gripping his hair by force. Having no other choice, the young man's gaze fell into her.
"Please... Stop ..." She asked him in a broken voice, forcing herself not to blink once to make him understand at best all the distress she felt at the moment.

Eliott finally stopped and in his eyes, Lucille saw a wave of terror carrying everything in its path. He straightened up, closed his eyes and when he opened them again, his gaze was filled with anger. Without saying anything, he stood up and stormed out of the room. The girl, not thinking twice, followed him. He didn't even take the time to put his T-shirt on. Shirtless, he crossed the living room with long strides, made his way past Lucille's mother who watched him, speechless then he left the apartment.

The shirt open on her bare skin and her bra, Lucille remained motionless. She met her mother's gaze.
"What happened?” She asked with an authoritative voice, worried about reading so much panic on her daughter's face.

Not wanting to explain anything right away and being unable, anyway, to produce the slightest sound coming from her knotted throat, Lucille turned around and came back into her room. After slamming the door, she leaned against it, feeling exhausted. The trembling body, still in shock, she slid to the ground, put her head on her knees and burst into tears.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Skids III

Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 11:55

 



Lucille was at her father's house, spending part of the holidays with him. The girl hadn't spoke to Eliott since her bedroom's incident. Still angry and shocked, she hadn't try to call him and he hadn't call her either.

Lucille was cooking a tomato pie for the whole family when she heard cell phone ring in the living room. Wiping her hands hurriedly in an old towel, she rushed to the phone. The name of Eliott's mother appeared on the screen.
"Hello?
-Hello Lucille, how are you?
-I'm fine thanks, how about you?"
Mrs Demaury ignored the question.
"I hope I'm not disturbing you.
-No no, well I'm cooking, I'm at my father's.
-Ah.
-Did you want to talk to me about something?
-It's about Eliott, I'm getting more and more worried about him."

Lucille remained silent, not knowing what to say. Despite everything the young man did, she still was worried sick for him. Just like her mother.
"I wanted to talk to you this afternoon.
-Yes of course.
-I would have proposed to meet you at a café closer to your father's but... Christophe works and Eliott being at home, I don't want to leave him alone too long.
-I can come, it's not that far.
-Perfect. Then see you later and thank you."

The two women were once again seated at the kitchen table of the Demaury, two glasses of fresh lemonade that had just been prepared by Eliott's mother in front of them. They were alone, Eliott having gone out they didn' know where and his brother being with friends.

"Well, I think you noticed, Eliott isn't feeling very well. Mrs.” Demaury began as a preamble.
"Well..." Lucille searched for the right words. "He's fine. That's what he's doing that is... Weird.
-What do you mean?
-He says he feels good, he's in a good mood, very good mood even but... He changed.
-We agree.” Mrs Demaury decreed, sipping a long sip of lemonade. "He isn't in his normal state. At first I thought it was the after-effects of his depression. Then I thought he's a teenager, he's looking for himself, it's normal to do silly things, to be enthusiastic to the extreme but... That's too much.
-Yes. He... Uh... All he does, his projects, his wishes, it's good but...
-It doesn't make sens, you can say it. I've always encouraged his creative spirit and his crazy ideas, but that's beyond him, he doesn't control anything anymore.
-Right..."

Lucille lowered her head. Once again, Eliott's mother looked very worried, perhaps even more than this winter.

"Lucille, I'm going to ask you a question, I need you to answer me honestly, it's important."
The girl raised her head and locked her eyes into hers. Her eyes were as beautiful as her son's ones.
"Is he taking drugs?
-No!” Lucille's answer had been flowing from her mouth before she could think about it. "Actually...
-Lucille, tell me everything, I won't judge you.
-Some joints from time to time."
Against all odds, this answer seemed to relax Mrs. Demaury.
"Cannabis can't do that..." The woman sighed. "No hard drugs? Cocaine, heroin...?
-No no. Well not that I know at least...”

Feeling the tone of regret in the girl's voice, Eliott's mother's eyes softened.
"Is he turning away from you?
-Yes, a bit... It started with our friends, there are plenty who can't stand him anymore, he can be a little hard to follow sometimes... And about me, well... ten days ago, we had a fight and since then I have no news from him.
-You know, I don't think he doing all this on purpose, it's..."

Mrs Demaury was interrupted by the door opening on Eliott. It seemed to Lucille that the latter had lost weight again, his features were still drawn, wide dark rings darkened his eyes and his whole body seemed tensed.
The young man remained motionless in front of the two women seated at the kitchen. He didn't expect to see Lucille indeed. A suspicious look closed his face even more. He frowned.
"Hi.” He said in a deep, anxious voice.
"Hi.” Lucille replied with a shy little smile.
"It's good that you're here, I had to talk to you.” The young man said as he walked to his room. Lucille followed him.

In the small room, Lucille closed the door behind them. The place was cluttered with clothes, objects of all kinds and an impressive number of scribbled notebooks. If Eliott was not an extremely organized boy, he tried to keep the place tidy. There, Lucille could not take a step without stepping on something, the air was warm, the curtains were drawn, obviously, the boy had not ventilated the room for a long time. Eliott threw his bag into a corner of the room and turned to face Lucille.

"I did not know you had to come. He said to him in a cold tone.
"Your mother just invited me for a drink, we had not seen each other for a long time. It was not planned. Lucille replied, feeling suddenly accused of any plots against Eliott.
The latter did not seem convinced of this answer but preferred, obviously, not to insist on this subject.
"I have to talk about something. "

The teenager did not sit down, preferring to walk the room with a nervous step. Lucille remained motionless, just watching Eliott come and go from one side of the room to the other. Eliott's nervousness echoed on her and she felt her belly knot.

 

"I met a girl. The hard, cold words had fallen like a chopper on Lucille's throat. The breath ran, she remained silent.
"Last week at the park. Her name is Amelie.
"You do not know her ..." Lucille murmured, all the strength seeming to leave her body.

"It's you who do not know her! Eliott snarled in a firm tone. "This is the first time I feel that way. Passion. We listen to the same music, we spend our evenings smoking, we make love, we talk for hours, we laugh ... It's fusional. "
Why did he tell him all this? Each new word was another stab in Lucille's heart. If she could move, she would have plugged her ears, she wanted to disappear, hide in a tiny corner. No, she did not want to hear more, and yet he continued.
"She made me discover lots of books, she understands me and yet I surprise her. She is happy, creative, talented ... "
The girl stared at him, tears streaming down her child's cheeks. He seemed sincere, so sincere. He was happy. Happy to have found this girl who looked so much like him. There was no doubt in his voice, just a new euphoria that he never seemed to have lived in his company.
"Between us it's special, it's great, I can not do without it, it's the love of my life, it's ..."

Finally, Lucille exploded, her feelings, her sorrow, her wounds escaping from all the pores of her skin.

"Why are you telling me all this ?! She snarled.
"I owe you the truth, I do not want to hurt you, I have to be sincere with you, you deserve it. "
To deserve what? Lucille thought bitterly. Did she deserve, then, that the boy she had been in love with for almost two years spit in his face her new encounter? Did she deserve to hear all this, to hear how bland and uninteresting she was beside this ... Unknown?
Suddenly, nothing had meaning or importance. The anxiety passed, the words of Mrs. Demaury, "It is not on purpose", all disappeared in a whirlwind of rage and pain. How could a boy do so much harm around him? Everyone was able to weigh his words, to think of the feelings of others, was he, really incapable? He did not do it on purpose? It was not his fault? It was impossible! He was sincere, thought what he said, it was obvious.

The trembling body, the sobs escaping from the depths of her soul, she advanced towards Eliott.
" So what ? She said, the salty taste of her tears on her tongue. "It's over, is it?
-Yes. I have to live my life and you have it. Eliott answered in a clear and assured voice.

A hoarse breath slipped between the lips of the girl. She wanted to hit him, put him on the ground, give him as many blows as he had stabbed their story. But she could not, instead she turned around and ran out of the sweltering little room. In the living room, she did not leave the ground of the eyes, not taking to confront the mother of Eliott. Once in the street, she collapsed on the sidewalk, her body shaking with uncontrollable sobs. Once again.

 

Chapter Text

 

Stop
September  Saturday 3, 2016, 3:44 pm

 

Lucille painfully walked on rue Didot under a blazing sun, her arms laden with grocery bags. Her mother, tired of seeing her daughter wollowing in her own sorrow, sitted on the couch all day had sent her to the store, to buy something for dinner. Hearing her phone ring in her backpack, Lucille hastily put the plastic bags at her feet and grabbed the phone.

"Hello?
-Lucille?"
At the tone of Mrs Demaury's voice, Lucille felt that something serious happened.
"Yes?
-Is Eliott with you?"
Nathalie Demaury spoke quickly, she sounded like on a rush and panicked.
"No. You know that...
-He's gone, we have no idea where he might be.
-He'll come back sooner or later...” She replied, still bitter after the harsh break up and the chaos that had been going on for several weeks. "He must be with his girlfriend.” She added with clenched teeth.
"Yeah... No... Maybe. We're really worried, he doesn't feel good at all."

Nothing new Lucille thought. The latter couldn't stand to hear these words anymore. It had been several weeks since Eliott "didn't feel good" so what? He doesn't feel good, he doesn't feel good...
Oh yeah but what about me?! Do they think I feel pretty good?


"I know he's not doing well.” Lucille simply replied.
"No, really, he... He... Something changed." Mrs. Demaury insisted in a shrill voice, like the squeak of an injured animal.
"What do you mean?” Lucille asked, Eliott's mother's worry mingling with her own bitterness.
"He... He thinks that the whole world is against him, that he's being followed or stalked... That people are going to kill him, he's sure he's going to die. He realised that something is wrong but he isn't looking in the right way. This morning he went out saying that he was going to fix the problem and... And since then nothing."

Understanding the urgency of the situation, Lucille didn't know what to answer. Remained motionless in the middle of the sidewalk, she remained indifferent to the bad mood of the passers-by, embarrassed in their walk by her and her grocery bags.
"Look, I don't know why I tell you all this, maybe I shouldn't, but please, if you see him, if you learn something, if you hear anything, call us.
-Yes, yes of course.
-Thank you."


Lucille didn't get any news for days. Then, the day before the school start, Mrs Demaury called her back and told her what was going on.

 

On the peak of kind of delirious crisis, Eliott had walked a whole day and a whole night in the streets of Paris. At night, he stopped a car and asked to be taken to the nearest police station. He had convinced himself that he had dismantled an important terrorist network. At the police station, the policemen, wh o had been more than experienced in this type of situations, quickly noticed that the boy wasn't in his normal state and they had taken him to the psychiatric hospital. There, Eliott had been hospitalised in a child and adolescent mental health service. For now, he was gradually emerging from the state of crises in which he was since weeks, helped by the medications prescribed by the specialists. Once his condition would be stabilised, he would still be hospitalised for two weeks if everything went well, time for the the medical team to find a new reliable diagnosis.

Lucille, dazed by this turn of events, hung up and gently put her phone next to her. She felt for the first time that terrible feeling of guilt growing in her belly. So he was really sick? And her, like an idiot, she was angry, upset, had been unable to understand the complexity of the situation...

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

To be born again
Sunday, September 25, 2016, 5:20 pm

 

Lucille's comeback to school has been pretty well. She cameback to her daily routine between high school and home, friends and family, parties and homework. As for Eliott... She had almost no news. Mrs. Demaury had called her one day, in mid-September. The psychiatrist of the unit where Eliott was hospitalized diagnosed the young man with serious bipolar disorder. Last year's depressive episode following Ali's death had been misdiagnosed, as the doctor at the time had prescribed simple anti-depressants, which only worsened his state of mind. Now, properly supported, Eliott was getting better and better every day, and he could soon go home. She also told him that the young man had quickly left his “girlfriend”. For the first time in many weeks, Mrs. Demaury seemed optimistic. And since then, nothing. Lucille didn't know anything.
He was at home, the girl knew it, seeing the light in her room lit up every night. But he hadn't contacted her, left her no message. That wasn't very surprising after all.
What did you expect? Lucille thought bitterly. In crisis or not, he had broken with her, they were no longer a couple, what right could she claim?

Nevertheless, this Sunday, while Lucille was lying on the couch alongside her brother, watching a sitcom, her cell phone vibrated against the small coffee table in the living room. Stretching her arm towards the phone, the girl's heart stopped as she saw Eliott's name on the screen. Impatient, she opened the text in a hurry.

"
Hi :) Do you think we could see each other? "

The message was short and laconic. Lucille answered quickly.

"
Hi ! ;) Yes, yes of course! My mother and my brother are at home. At yours?"


"
No, my parents are here. On our bench?

The phone in one hand, Lucille wrote a quick text while rushing into her room.

"
Ok, I'll be there in a minute.
"

Barely taking the time to put on a pair of jeans and a light jacket, the girl brushed her hair briefly, pulled an old pair of Converse and walked out of the apartment.

 

At the edge of the small square, Lucille saw Eliott already sit on their bench. As he didn't see her coming, she took advantage of it to stop a few moments in order to stare at him. He seemed calm, very quiet. Sitting, his legs were motionless, his body wasn't moving in all directions like weeks before. He was just waiting patiently for her own arrival. Walking slightly, she saw his face. He seemed to have grown (or aged) of a few years in barely a month. He seemed to have regained some weight but something more had changed without Lucille knowing what exactly. He was no longer a child or even a teenager, he was a man. Young, yes, but a man anyway. Someone injured fighting to survive. Anyway, he was still beautiful and Lucille couldn't help but smile. Oh how much she had missed him...

The girl took a deep breath and bravely walked towards him. Eliott noticed her and smiled shyly. Not knowing how to greet him (Kiss? Hug? Something more formal?) Lucille just smiled back and sat down next to him. Silence fell.
It was Eliott who took things in hand first.

"I'm sorry. For... for everything."
Lucille stared into his eyes.
"It wasn't your fault.” She whispered in a barely audible voice. She really thought what she was saying. Ok, she was still hurt by what he has said and did, but from what she understood, during those moments, Eliott couldn't control anything at all so how could she blame him? The most wounded, the one who had suffered the most was him, not her.
"Anyway, I've been a big asshole with everyone and especially with you.” He said, his eyes filled with regrets.
"It's past and now you know what you really have then... It'll get better."

Silence fell again. Lucille looked down at her own hands, embarrassed not to know what to add. Eliott's words made her look up.

"You know... I was maybe in a strange state of mind, but... I remember everything.” Eliott's eyes were flustered and began to fill with tears. About what did he think? Did he remember the time when he had broken up with Lucille, explaining to her how exceptional was the girl he had just met? Did he remember the night he almost didn't stop when she asked him so? Or about all the other times he was selfish or aggressive? "I remember and it's fucking killing me. So... " His voice broke, he looked down. "I could understand if you didn't want to see me again."

 

Lucille grabbed his hands and squeezed them tightly in hers.
"All is forgiven.” She whispered, smiling.
Eliott removed his hands and took her in his arms, hugging her thin body against his.
"Thank you.” He whispered.

Forgetting people sitting on the terraces, curious onlookers and children playing around them, the two teenagers remained there, on their small wooden bench, arms in arms, for long minutes. Eliott was breathing hard, catching his breath, visibly relieved that Lucille expresses only love towards him. She closed her eyes, tasting the happiness to find, finally, the boy she was in love with back.

Eliott slowly pulled away from their hug and put his hand into one of the pockets of his jeans.
"I drew something ..." Feeling a slight of anxiety in Lucille's eyes, the young man hurried to clarify his words. "It's nothing at all huh. It's... Just a drawing for you, just for you.” He handed her a small white piece of paper folded in four. Lucille took it gently and unfolded it. Two little characters were drawn in black ink. "That's me.” Eliott explained, reaching out to a sad-eyed little raccoon. "And that's you.” He continued, pointing to a cat with fine, feminine features.

Lucille watched for a long time the two animals entwined in black ink. Feeling her heart going up in her throat, she unhooked her eyes of the drawing and stared at Eliott. She put her hands on his neck, came close to him and put her lips against his.

"I love you Eliott."

He didn't answer back but deepened the kiss.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Trial and error

 

Following Eliott's diagnosis, Lucille had chosen to join him in his fight against what had hurt him so much. She had read and read again each website about bipolarity she had found, watched dozens of Youtube videos and even visited her family doctor for him to give her medical advices. In the library, she had borrowed many books, from the most specific book ("Bipolar Disorders: Mania, hypomania and depression") to the most... Evasive novels ("Ballads on uncertain paths").

One evening in October, her mother seeing her more and more absorbed in her research, delicately removed one of her books from her hands.
"Don't you think you're doing too much?” She asked, putting a hand on hers.
"Mom... It's... That's all I can do to help him.
-Just be yourself, that's all he needs.
-Mmh. Not sure..."

The stabilisation of Eliott's mindstate was slow to reach. Unsuitable treatments, relapses, doubts. For seven long months, the crises multiplied, some of extreme violence, others foolishly close together. Patient and understanding, Lucille remained, all that time there, alongside the young man. Bending over backwards, she worked for two, allowing Eliott not to drop out of high school, she supported the fits of anger, comforted him many times.
Lucille lived these few troubled months holding her breath, forbidding any of her selfish thoughts. She started to smoke. A little, then a lot. The nicotine silencing in a cloud of smoke, her worries of a young woman in love.

Then, finally, in the spring, after a winter in hell, Eliott's mind finally found a slight cooling down. A new adapted treatment, the regular sessions with his therapist, the support of his relatives, all the work done finally bear fruit. Lucille, even if she felt relieved, didn't let go of the guard, keeping, in her soul, the past pains of Eliott.

After many observations and researchs, she ends up recognising the slightest signs of Eliott's episodes. Through reading and research, she learned all the do's and don'ts. Now she knew Eliott by heart, and put this knowledge to his service. Never again would she let him sink, she made the promise, whatever it costs her, whatever others think.
She would be there in both good and bad times. Taking care that Eliott takes his treatment well, that he doesn't smoke, that he doesn't drink too much, that he has a healthy lifestyle. Eliott didn't like when she was too much on his back, she knew it but couldn't help it.
Even her mother had pointed it out to her.
"Darling, that's not your role."
Lucille shrugged, skeptical. What was her role then? Wasn't the aim of a lover to do everything to make his man happy? Lucille knew what was good for Eliott, should she ignore all this and let him self-destruct? No. It was way above her strength. So too bad. Too bad if Eliott got upset and screamed sometimes. Too bad if bitterness sometimes triumphed over tenderness. Lucille had made her choice; Eliott could hate her as much as he wanted, she wouldn't let him down.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Trust me
Saturday, June 24th 2017, 11:41 pm

 

On this hot and sunny Saturday of June, Eliott had organised an evening party at his house, the opportunity to celebrate his birthday (17!) and the arrival of summer.
The party was in full swing, teens dancing in the living room on sounds of pop beats or throwing themselves into long talks, sat on armchairs and other sofas. The alcohol was flowing, the laughter was firing. Everything was going well.

Lucille was dripping with sweat because of the heat in the small apartment. She was jumping, laughing, dancing with her friends in the middle of the dance floor. She, who usually didn't drink a drop, let herself be tempted by two or three glasses, letting her body surrender to the soft laziness caused by alcohol. Dancing with Charlotte, she felt good. Suddenly, Lucille felt the need to be near Eliott, to hold him in her arms. The girl came out of the little group of dancers and looked all around her. Eliott was outside, leaning against the wall of the wrought-iron balcony, talking with some friends of their. Lucille walked an insecure step in his direction. Hearing the little glass door opening, the teenagers from the balcony turned to the newcomer. Eliott smiled at Lucille and stared at her with so much love that the young girl felt her cheeks blushing deeply. He softly brushed her red cheeks with his hands and put his lips on hers before taking her in his arms. For a moment, the teenage girl felt loved. The most loved and luckiest girl in the universe. Eliott looked at her and even sweaty and tipsy, she felt beautiful. To see herself through the eyes of her lover was one of the most briliant things she had experienced.

Eliott had also been drinking. Knowing that it wasn't really recommended for him, Lucille had made the choice to say nothing for tonight. Exceptionally, it couldn't totally hurt him, right? And then, what made him happy at that moment was to party with his friends, so Lucille was happy in her turn. The girl took no part in the discussions around her, preferring to put her cheek against Eliott's chest, listening to his breathing and his heart beat to the rhythm of his laughter and his words. She closed her eyes, praying that this feeling of hapiness would never evaporate.

When she opened her eyelids, she saw Eliott's long, thin fingers working to roll a joint. Lucille's body stiffened. In a fraction of a second her vision darkens. In her mind, she saw a thick gray smoke invading Eliott's mouth and slipping into his trachea and lungs. A very bad smoke bringing dark thoughts and dangerous feelings that wouldn't take long to take control of the young man. He who was going so well, would see himself once again sink into the limbo of his fucking bipolarity. No, Lucille couldn't stay there, doing nothing at all.

She pulled back slightly and stared at Eliott's eyes.
"Eliott..." she whispered.
The young man rolled his eyes at the starry sky.
"It's ok... It won't kill me..."
Lucille shook her head. Unwilling to take a fight in front of their friends, she spoke again, this time in a voice a little louder.
"Eliott, please, come, we have to talk."
The young man reluctantly gave the joint to one of his friends. "Here, finish rolling it.” and followed the girl inside.

Lucille knew very well where this talk they were about to have would lead them. She was going to tell him things he already knew, he wouldn't like it and he would get angry. It was like that each time. Once alone in the corridor overlooking to the bedrooms and bathroom, the girl stopped and turned to face Eliott.



"You must not smoke, you know it, it's not good for you.
-Eh, Lucille, don't be such a killjoy, it's not a small joint which will fucking screw me.
-But... all your efforts, the medication... all this is useless if you smoke... »
The girl's eyes were pleading, she couldn't convince him but she still had to try. Eliott's gaze, on the other hand, hardens.
"Don't you want to forget all that just for one night?"

Forgetting? Forgetting his struggles, his distress? Forgetting every time he said he wanted to take his own life? Forgetting his sad eyes, his meaningless words? No, she couldn't forget such things. Perhaps he could do that. In this case, he was much stronger and brave than her. Lucille, for her part, was too weak to erase from her memory all the horrors Elliot had experienced during these past months.

"All these... Things... They aren't good for you...
-I don't fucking care right now!
-Please, don't smoke...
-Stop Lucille. I need a girlfriend not a fucking nurse."

The sharp words of the young man had the effect of a punch in the belly of Lucille. The latter lowered her eyes, focusing on her jerky breathing. Feeling the destress of the young girl and instantly regretting the tone used, Eliott kissed her hair.
"I won't change my mind. I will go smoke and enjoy the party. If... If it's too hard for you or if... If you can't let yourself forgetting things, I think it's better for you to go home. And... we'll see each other tomorrow.” He said in a tender smile.
Lucille looked up at him.
"Okay?” He asked her simply.
The girl didn't answer, her throat tight with worry. Eliott just smiled, placed a chaste kiss on his cheek and turned back to the balcony.

Of course it wasn't "okay". Nothing was "okay"! Lucille bit her lip, her mind invaded by a burning guilt. Her lover was destroying himself and she couldn't do anything about it. Full of remorse, she blamed herself for not finding the right words, the right attitude. If only she could find the right words to force Eliott to understand how muche she loved him. If only he decided to take care of himself as much as she wanted...

No, she wouldn't go home. She walked to the kitchen, grabbed a large glass bottle and filled it with water before joining Eliott's room where she sat on the bed. Lucille had only one idea in mind: to get sober again as quickly as possible, to regain all her lucidity. For her, the party was over. If Eliott got out of control, if dark thoughts invaded his mind again, despite all her warnings, she had to stay there. Whatever happens, she would be there and take care of him.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

I love you
Friday, September 15, 2017, 22:12

 

In Charlotte's room, Lucille was comfortably settled on the bed, wearing soft an comfy pyjamas, her friend's head resting against her legs. Charlotte being a great cinema lover, she used to invite Lucille home to make her discover French and European cinema classics.
That night, it was Godard's
Le Mépris that the girl had chosen. A hand in a large box of candy, Lucille was totally absorbed by the small screen of the laptop at her feet. The film had just begun that already, Brigitte Bardot, lying on her stomach on a bed, totally naked, was staring at Michel Piccoli with stunning ingenuous eyes. The famous actress was beautiful, lying in this way, totally abandoned, long and thin legs, rounded bottom... Lucille would have loved to look like her.

"Then you love me totally...
- Yes, I love you totally, tenderly, tragically."


"Pfff!” Lucille mumbled, shrugging her shoulders.
"What?” Charlotte was always curious about what Lucille might think about her favorite movies. She had already watched them a million times, saw only the fantastic lights, sumptuous montages and great mixes while Lucille kept a naive and candid eye on these films. Her opinions were very interesting for Charlotte, who wanted to join a cinema school.
"It's unrealistic.” Lucille simply said, putting a gelly candy in her mouth.

Frowning, Charlotte paused the film and, leaning on one of her elbows, turned to face Lucille.
"Unrealistic?
-Well yeah.” the girl replied, picking one more candy in the box.
"Why that?
-Nobody says "I love you" like that, so easily.” Lucille explained, very confident about her statement.
"Yes, of course people can say that so easily!
-Thomas, he already said it to you?"
Thomas had been Charlotte's new boyfriend.
"Well yeah, many times.
-And did you tell him too?” Lucille kept asking with curious tone of voice.
"Yeah, lots of times!” Charlotte replied with a big smile.

Thoughtful, Lucille focused on the candy box, looking for her favorites.
"Haven't you ever told "I love you" to Eliott?"
Lucille looked up at Charlotte.
"Yeah, sometimes.
-And... Did he told you?"
Lucille shrugged her shoulders and once again focused her attention on the candies. Unfortunatelly, her friend didn't seem ready to let her avoiding this talk. She raised her voice, a look of great surprise hanging on her face.

"Wait... He... He never told you “I love you”?” Charlotte asked, standing up and sitting cross-legged in front of the girl.
"Uh... No, never.” Lucille replied in a small voice, forcing herself to keep an indifferent face.
"Never,
never
... Like... Never?! No, but wait... Since how long you two have been together?
-I'd say... A little more than two years, something like that... " Lucille knew exactly since when Eliott and her were together, it had been exactly 2 years and 7 months but again, she wanted to seem detached from all hurting feelings this talk could bring.
"Whaaaaat?! More than 2 years and he never told you “I love you”?!” Charlotte exclaimed, her eyes growing wide and her mouth falling open.

Lucille, feeling discomfort compressing her chest, grabbed a new gelly candy. Admittedly, she herself had already been surprised that Eliott had never said those three little words to her, but she didn't expect to see her friend as shocked as she was by this revelation. She shrugged again. Charlotte, becoming aware of what her reaction could suggest, recovered herself by clearing her throat.

"No but uh... it's okay huh, it means nothing.” She stammered in a voice no more convinced than convincing. "He shows it in another way that's all..." Then, with a quick gesture, she grabbed the candy that lucille was about to bite and put it on her tongue. Turning her back laughingly, she put the film back on and rested her head on the legs of her friend.

Lucille had a lot more struggles than before to focus on the film. Why had he never told her "I love you"?