the Cyclades. Deathly dull. But still, there were other treasures. After all, theyre
they have an active sex life, so they take dirty pictures of each other. Oh,
risqu. The first one shows Sophie thoughtfully stroking her breasts
These smells, these gestures, these moments In Sophies mind they are an
what is to come. She will need an escape plan. When the time comes. But all of
that is in
the future; right now she needs to fake it. To fake it convincingly. No outward
have managed to track down a lot of information: I dont understand all the
basically its a German limited-liability company with branches all over the
world and one
of the market leaders in solvents and elastomers. The headquarters of Lanzer
respectable distance and, from what I knew of Sophies address book, I soon
that they were going to Vincents parents house in Montgeron. I went there via
route and discovered, on that beautiful summer Sunday (why did they not go on
would call the owner and we headed back downstairs. Her lodge, like the
like a throwback to the last century. Everything in it seems to date from the
The overpowering smell of wax polish and vegetable soup made my stomach
diary that she and Vincent are going to a company event at Lanzar that night.
underlined it twice, so it must be important. I was careful to delete my e-mail
the change of reservation, and the confirmation from the theatre.
In her e-mail to Valrie, Sophie insinuates that the rider probably drove off
because it was
a stolen bike. I only hope that I can keep a low profile. The incident shocked
likely that for a while at least they will be more aware of people on moto
started to chime in, offering advice, the police were on their way, I should take
helmet, sit down on the verge, the motorbike had slipped, it was going too fast,
no, the car
had swerved suddenly, then Vincent put his hand on my shoulder. I turned
About her private life: an open box of tampons (Nett mini) and a pack of
(maybe for period pain). Just in case, I put an X on the wall calendar at home.
About her habits: from her company card, I can see she rarely eats at Percys inhouse
out in the theatre foyer must have been quite dramatic. Two or three little
that and you begin to doubt everything.
I wonder if Sophie has found her old identity card, and how she felt when she
Vincents birthday present in the bathroo
according to her sleeping and waking hours (thanks to the microphone, I know
drug makes her snore a little). Through her, I am becoming something of a drug
molecular artist. Sophie confides her problems to Valrie, complains that her
you changed your theatre reservations but no memory of doing so
Sophie explains it all to Valrie. Things have been escalating slowly. So far, she
said anything to Vincent. But if this carries on, she will have to.
She is having trouble sleeping.
oxidase, an enzyme that destroys certain neurotransmitters in the brain: what
developed as a weight-loss drug was also a depressant. The side effects
evident from the level of suicides. In the greatest democracy in the world, the
It doesnt matter, everything was set for their return.
Tomorrow morning, Vincent is leaving early, he is going away on business and
is dropping him at the airport. I wont bother getting up to see them off. It was
take in the news when I r
patient information leaflet, it works in seconds.
At last I have come to a decision. For the past two weeks I have been hesitating,
the advantages and the risks, researching the various technical complexities.
to listen to them making love. Its quite strange. I know so much about her
Sophie cant work out what is going on with her e-mails. She has just created a
account. As usual, to avoid forgetting her password, she saves a link o
Sophie walks past the table and, although they are both dead, their eyes are
open and they
watch eagerly as she passes. Only their eyes move. As she moves around the
end of the
table, passing the backs of their heads, blood slowly begins to ooze, they smi
does her shopping at the Monoprix on the corner. People dont really realise
they act out of habit, even in the smallest things. So Sophie usually buys much
things, follows much the same route, makes much the same gestures. For
Sophies e-mail I know that theyre in Greece and wont be back before August
15 or 16.
That gives me all the time I need. Their apartment is at my disposal the whole
I need a contact who is close to them, a neighbour perhaps, or a collea
off to sleep, I feel a twinge of anxiety. Before now, this was a sure sign that I
night terrors and wake up in a cold sweat. It is a good sign. I think Sophie can
make me well. Strangely, the calmer I feel, the more I am aware of the pr
take a whole month, obviously, but I had a bit of a crisis of confidence. The sort
that happens to riders when they fall off their horse and are wary of getting back
saddle. I had to overcome my fears. But as a result, although Im not as
slip in behind him, which was reckless. I had just enough time to brake to avoid
into the back of his car. I swerved, lost control, the bike toppled and we skidded
metres. I didnt really know whether or not I had been injured, or wheth
off for the next property.
They are looking for a big house. They have money. Most of the ones theyve
in the country, or on the outskirts of dreary little villages, all of which have
I dont think Ill do anything for the moment
been standing, gazing out of the window. She always said she loved trees. I was
her bedroom, I wanted to talk to her, but the words wouldnt come. She seemed
As though all her energy was focused on staring at the trees. From time to ti
be anyone. It is him. It could be worse. She strokes his cheek, turns his face
She kisses him. The sky glimmers blue and green. He says something she does
because a rocket explodes at that moment. From the look on his face, it was
I feel in a very strange state of mind. All my senses are heightened. This was
why I was
able to turn a futile incident into a fruitful opportunity. I left about twenty
they did, and as I was taking my jacket from the coat rack, I noticed a
If I felt I could, I would advise Sophie to check her headlights, they seem to be
Since coming back from their holidays, the lovebirds have taken to going away
weekend, and sometimes they even take a day off during the w
memories. Somewhere, deep inside my brain, is a crazed projectionist. He
scenes such as Maman at my bedside, telling me stories. These commonplace
heartbreaking enough, but hearing her voice That particular timbre makes me
along the Priphrique. If everything were this simple, it wouldnt be any fun.
A womans handbag is such a wonder! What a marvel of grace, intimacy and
childishness! In Sophies bag I found a pile of things that defy all classification.
Im up for it he says, as though apologising. She hugs his arm.
It is done.
In a few weeks, Sophie will be married.
Farewell, Sophie the Psycho.
A new life.
She can, for a short while, breathe freely.
He looks around at the world and smiles.