Annie was a French girl I dated for a while, whilst living in Brighton, south of London. Back in the early 2000’s. A real shooting star in the night sky that was my life at the time.
Her and I, we used to walk out along the esplanade after dark, past the Western Pier, that sat out over the cold waters of the English Channel, like some burnt out satellite. A reminder of better days. A reminder of childhood dreams.
And un-keepable promises
Anne-Sophie was her real name. A daughter of French royalty/ aristocracy no doubt (by the look of her). Pouting, defiant mouth. Tall. And stylish, as so many French girls are. (A birthright?).
Thick (long) straight hair the colour of Autumn, and a gaze as piercing and direct as a clear midwinter’s night.
I remember our first kiss. Electric. Life defining in its impossibility. Standing at the end of her street in the freezing wind that never seemed to stop blowing, terrace buildings gazing down at us from all sides like disapproving parents. (Hers perhaps?)
People scurrying home in the cold night, collars pulled up, anonymous.
She took my face in her hands, and the whole world seemed to fall away from the two of us as she leant forward, that beautiful mouth, which I had never stopped noticing, coming to rest on mine. I pulled her body tightly into me, and we stood there, at the end of her street, the night moving around us, for the better part of an hour. Just kissing.
I’ve forgotten what that excitement feels like.
She left for France, and home, soon after, to start a new life. The last I heard she lived in Monaco. She dated a French man who moved in similar circles.
(A son of nobility, no doubt.)
I often think of our short time together, the love we made, her tiny flat. I wonder if she ever remembers that first kiss we shared.
And that cold, ceaseless wind.
- Alt country