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Louis Valois
If these wings could fly
Thu Jul 20, 2017 07:39

Laughter and secret smiles, the clink of bottles in a bag. Sunglasses, cologne, ice-cream, skin on skin, those curls just begging to be pulled. Two-stroke smoke, wind rushing through his hair, hand in hand and bare feet on warm sand. Dusk falling, but who cared? The sun rising, and still going strong. No time to breathe and yet all the time in the world. Friendship, freedom, happiness.

That was summer, encompassed in one paragraph, a jumble of words and feelings and longing that couldn’t properly be expressed. Louis was no Keats, no Cummings, and he knew he couldn’t explain it even if he sat there for years. But he didn’t have to, because he had the memories and he knew exactly how the sea sparkled in the sun, the exact sound of JB’s laugh, and the exact shade of the 2€ wine they’d picked up from the Carrefour.

It contrasted. Horribly. Jarringly. Now was just different. It wasn’t summer anymore. Summer was long gone. Freedom to choose was something to fight for, not an everyday gift. Sometimes when he closed his eyes he could take himself back to the moment, lose himself in the past, but then he always had to face reality again – however much he tried not to.

He was almost sure JB wouldn’t see the same boy in him now. Gone was the easy smile, the sense of relaxation, and the world was once more something to struggle against. His father had threatened to remove him from Sonora if he didn’t shape up, behave as was expected, and Louis couldn’t risk that. How would he survive, trapped in a dreary house, away from Emmy-Lou and everything else? Quite simply, he couldn’t. The future seemed bleak, an endless cycle of schmoozing and fancy dinners, of accepting prejudice and discrimination as facets of normal life. He would have to take his place as Louis Valois, a privileged heir who should be looked up to and worshipped. He would have to hate it silently, accept that he had to follow in the path his father had laid out for him.

Was this to be the rest of his life?

A sudden rage filled him, and he ran an angry hand through his hair. No. Damn them, damn their rules, and damn their controlling expectations. He was Louis, and he wasn’t going to be anyone he didn’t want to be. He’d been toying with an idea for a long time now, resentment stewing under his skin as he’d seemingly accepted his father’s decisions, and all of a sudden it wasn’t enough to stay silent and do nothing. The world seemed to grow sharper around him, a newfound clarity that reflected his inner decision. He stood up straight, the path ahead of him suddenly seeming clear. He knew what he had to do and, perhaps more practically, he knew who he needed by his side.

The enormity of what he was about to do was daunting but he would do this, step by step. Standing up from where he’d been sitting on the floor (when had he sat down on the floor?), he went over to his desk. Pulling a quill from his bag, he put ink to parchment and started writing a lesson to his cousin. Juliette had managed to escape from the madness that was French pureblood society. Maybe she would be able to help him do the same.

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