her, his whole body seems overcome by fatigue. By the time Sophie has put her
he is asleep.
 By February 1974, Sarah is pregnant again. Given the profound depression
suffered during this period, the pregnancy seems fraught with symbolism
reassures her. She lays her cheek against him and stares at the ground. She can
She relaxes each of her muscles, one by one, and her body gradually melts in
arms. He lifts her up. He carries her into the bedroom and lays her down. She
woods, as close as he dares in other words. A few minutes later, two welcome
greet him when he sees the Auverney house in darkness and hears the first
splatter on the ground. He sets his sports bag at his feet, quickly peels off his
down and fall onto the oilcloth. For two days.
Awkwardly he wipes away his tears, then says, Im sick. His voice is
Maybe its flu? Sophie says.
A foolish thing to say, his tears would hardly be a symptom of flu. But it is so
Paradoxically, it is her own son, her (unwitting) victim, who becomes her
killer, since it is his very existence that acts as the trigger to his mothers death.
Twenty hours later, Frantz wakes up. His eyes are puffy. He has cried a lot in
long, slow breaths and allow his arms to hang limply by his sides.
The boxes are extremely heavy. Each is sealed with a length of packing tape.
turns over the one he is interested in. The bottom is simply glued together. The
blade of a
given him? Perhaps she made a mistake. He reaches out, grasps her wrist firmly.
back in the chair. He continues to stare at her, to grip her hard, he has not said a
Then he says, Are you there? She swallows hard. Yes, she whispers. Then,
were, at the time, considered effective. The state of the patient upon admission
intensive treatment as the only efficacious preventive. As a result of the
treatment, it was not until July 1987 that it became possible to engage directl
then penetrate her. She almost smiles.
Sophie has slipped into a phase of sleep that means he can allow himself a brief
from his vigilance. This time, in the excitement of the moment, the joy of being
he was a little heavy-handed with
minutes later he is driving back along the autoroute, taking care to observe the
The moment she stepped through the door, Sophie was shaken to the core. She
to know Frantz well, but seeing what is in the cellar it is like tumbling
some of the images and study one or two properly before deleting them. He
In the first, Auverney is walking in his garden. Frantz kept this one because
face is clearly visible. For a man of sixty, he is in fine fettle. Square-jawed
never know. Frantz folds his arms, stares at the rain streaking the darkness and
himself for a long wait.
When she was a child, she found nights when there was a storm exhilarating.
the windows wide and inhales the cool air that chil
Mme Sarah Berg was first admitted to a psychiatric unit in September 1982
Pasteur). Her case notes for the period have not been forwarded. From what we
gathered, the admission was made on the instructions of her attending physician
props himself up on one elbow.
You really should get undressed, she says, bustling about.
She plumps the pillows, smoothes the sheets. Frantz gets up and slowly
seems completely worn out. She smiles: You look dead on your feet. Before
hangs up in front of the vent in the airing cupboard. She makes herself a cup of
(unlike coffee, it leaves no odour) and while she waits for it to infuse she
arms, her legs, does a few press-ups to get her blood flowing and gradua
apartment and the way he closed the fridge door, she could tell he was excited,
he who is
usually so calm. She sensed his presence in the doorway. Then he came to the
down and stroked her hair. Despite the fact that it was late, he did not come
plate, checks that Frantz has not moved and then stirs the sleeping tablet into the
Frantz tastes it, looks up at her. The silence makes her uncomfortable.
Its nice, he says, eventually.
He eats the pasta, pauses for a second, then tastes th
Nothing savage, she fell to her knees just long enough for me to take the few
steps to the
table and pick up the kitchen knife. She looked surprised, and terrified,
understandable, it was a lot for her to take in. Dont toss and turn like th
scans the interior which he has previously seen only through his binoculars: a
table with a low-hanging ceiling lamp, at the far end of the room a hi-fi is set
shelving unit that holds an impressive number of C.D.s. Frantz drags the pi
distance, a flash of lightning rips across the sky illuminating for a fleeting
At 2.05, Frantz leaves his post, walks slowly along the side of the building and
frame of a small window at head height through which, by t
I believe my wife is supposed to sign something? Frantzs voice interrupts this
oblique conversation and brings them back to earth. Jondrette snorts.
Yes. Right here.
He turns the form around for Sophie. She looks for a pen. Jondrette hands her a
When she is certain that he is asleep, Sophie goes down to the cellar and fetches
notepad containing his diary. She lights a cigarette, sets the book on the kitchen
begins to read. From the first words, everything is there, almost exactly
marked by two suicide attempts, symptoms of a refusal to accept the pregnancy
on the part
of a young woman who sees her unborn child and she is convinced it is a boy
intruder, as unrelated to her, a being she increasingly considers to be wicked,
are still a few minutes remaining of the time she has allowed herself. Just before
leaves, she opens a ruled notepad and begins to read:
May 3, 2000
Ive just seen her for the first time. Her name is Sophie. She was coming out of
apartment block. I
He smiles an awkward smile by way of answer, then, steadying himself against
wall, he struggles to his feet, stumbles through the living room and back to the
They meet again in the doorway. He cocks his head hesitantly, clinging to the
deep in the wound.
Sophie opens her mouth to scream.
See Vroniques face. See her suffer, see the pain you have caused her. Her
belly is on fire, you see her eyes grow wide, her mouth gape in horror but still
the knife deep into her belly. Y
This time Frantz sleeps for almost six hours. He has now gone for thirty hours
eating or drinking anything, drifting in and out of his comatose sleep. Sophie
think that he might die here, now. By accident. An overdose. He has already
of the 1970s and indeed increase by the acquisition of real estate, principally
properties. He died in 1999.
Jonas Bergs steadfast strength and his unconditional love would become the
his wifes security. The first years of the marri
was taken in the Oise, she is in the garden, walking arm in arm with Valrie.
looks sad. Here she is holding little Lo by the hand. Sophie begins to weep,
help it, she cannot think, all she can do is sob, her head shaking as she star
Were you out? Sophie asked.
He looked down at his mud-spattered shoes as though they did not belong to
Yes I mean, no.
Clearly something was wrong. Sophie moved closer and stroked the back of his
She found the simple act of touchi