Francois Gall (Gall Ferenc) (Hungary,1912-1987 Paris) 1941 "The girl at the banks of the Seine"- oil on panel
My friend Mile V Ristovski, posted this intriguing oil painting on his Facebook page and it seemed to leap off the page. I decided to use it as a prompt to weave a flash fiction story.
THE SAD SIDE OF THE RIVER
by John Yeo
Adele and Louise and Jules and Jean were always together, they grew up together in the same street in Roquebrun. A pretty village in Provence with beautiful scenery and mountains, with a little stone bridge over the river Orb.
Adele and Louise were sisters, both born in the little house where they had always lived.
Their Mother and Father were well respected members of the community and outwardly friendly to one and all. Mother was a leading member of the local church and chairperson at the church meetings.
Their Father was a successful estate agent and the two girls never wanted for anything. There was a secret mystery surrounding him that he kept very close to his heart.
The two brothers, Jules and Jean's parents were relative newcomers to the area, although the two boys were born in the village and grew up there.
The boys were brought up by their Mother who had been widowed, but she somehow got by and they enjoyed a good standard of living.
One fateful day this placid peaceful existence was about to be shattered forever.
Adele and Jules, fell head over heels in love with each other.
Jules remarked one day to Adele 'I want to get away to live in Paris, the bright lights and the high culture are calling me. I can easily get a good job as I have my degree in economics.'
'Oh! No, Jules, please don't leave me here, you know how I feel about you and I am sure we were meant to be together.'
'Come with me, Adele, I will take care of you and we can be married there. Let us go now and find Jean and Louise and see what they have to say about our plans!"
Excited, the four friends were discussing this turn of events. When Jean could get a word into the noisy happy discussion led by the two girls, he had this to say.
"We also would love to live in Paris and see the wondrous sights of the big city with the impressive architecture and the fluid magnificence of the river Seine. What about our parents? We should ask their permission and get married before we leave."
The four friends all agreed that this would be the right thing to do, but they would have to wait and carefully pick the right moment. The girls father was the biggest hurdle to get over, he had already shown a strange attitude
towards their friendship. Almost over-protective of his two daughters.
Jules had an inspiration, "Why don't we ask Mum, what she thinks about the idea first and maybe she will put a good word in for us, she has always been friendly with their Dad."
A few days later the two brothers broke the news to their Mum.
With a shocked, stunned reaction she fainted on the spot. When she had recovered she told the boys never to even consider getting involved with those two girls and never to see them again. The two boys were amazed at this reaction and there was a huge family row, both of her sons were curious and kept pressing their Mother to tell them why she was against the idea.
When Jules and Jean threatened to leave home and never come back, their Mother became frightened and begged them to stay. Swearing them to secrecy she confessed to a very real reason why she could never agree to any involvement with that family. Both boys were shocked and stunned.
Jules shouted, "Mother, I am leaving for Paris immediately. Sorry I have no alternative!"
Jean assured his Mother he would be as good as his word and break off all friendship with the two girls.
Jules left for Paris and never said a word to his love Adele, boarding a train he left for the city, without a goodbye.
Adele, heartbroken and distraught begged Louise to talk to Jean, without success.
Jean cruelly broke off relations with both girls.
With a tear in his eye he said,
"Goodbye, Jules is in Paris, you must talk to him!"
Adele left home heartbroken to find her love in Paris and every day she walks along the riverbank of the famous river Seine, searching for Jules.
Copyright (c) Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved