downplaying: ((( for a rainy day )))
Claude Bérubé ([personal profile] downplaying) wrote2014-03-31 02:49 pm
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(( FIC : post ))

Sure, he returns from the Ivory Coast the very minute that Le Monde withdraws him from duty, but he doesn’t really come home. To Luxembourg. To Vincent. Not at first. A part of him stays behind along with the remnants of Dad’s and Tannella’s lives in Abidjan, with a people fighting amongst themselves and the memories that linger at the back of his mind. The images and the audio. Like a constant drumming, in the beginning. The drums of war. They interrupt his sleep, those drums, leaving him in the arms of insomnia the first couple of weeks where he is almost ingesting his coffee intravenously, cup upon cup upon cup. Everything he does is done mechanically. He eats mechanically, without tasting the food. He fucks mechanically, all motion and no real passion behind it. Eventually Vincent gets tired of it and they stop. Altogether. For a while. Just while he still watches the news mechanically, following the conflict as it ascends into a crescendo, but in reality he stores none of the information until the day, one day when he realises that he has to write it down. Everything he wants to remember. All that has nothing to do with the slaughterhouse called Duékoué. All that’s worth holding on to. He writes down, the first word on the first page of his first notebook being Vincent – growing into a sentence. Vincent said yes to marrying me.

From that day on, things get slowly better. His concentration improves. His mood following suit little by little. Eventually, when they’ve passed the happy yellows and greens of Easter, he feels like writing an article again and calls Luxembourg Daily to hear if they’ve got anything for him to do. Anything. He wouldn’t mind covering the growing grass in an elderly lady’s garden somewhere in Alsace. Instead they send him to Lille. Three days, but it’s alright, being out in the field again.

Because when he returns, he’s home.