- Vol. 02
- Chapter 12
Image by Molly Baber
My name is Jeanne. I had never visited this room of dreams before, but forced myself to before the building was raised to the ground.
My mother would have sat here drinking absinthe with my father’s Bohemian friends. Did they laugh together, or were they too serious? I’ll never know. Does some trace of their love linger on in this room? Was my mother mad with grief or simply a young woman having a Modigliani moment? My father, artist, lover of life was a striking man if the photos do him justice. The mask like face of my mother in his portraits is passive; inscrutable like the Mona Lisa and no one will ever know what bound her to him.
My eyes rest on the empty armchair and my heart longs to see my mother sitting there waiting to embrace and cuddle me, but I at least now the difference between reality and dreams.
He was gone. He had escaped his illness through the window of death into a new life. I could not live without my beloved; his hair smelling of oil paint, linseed mixed with tobacco smoke. Our child moved within me. Jeanne’s little brother or sister would join me on my pilgrimage of love. I would leave Jeanne with my parents to carry on the Hébutenne line, but we would join him. I would fly through the window, holding the memories of our love tightly and then we would be together forever.