Au Revoir

By: Sara McNamara

Glancing in the window, I saw her face and was captivated. Her hair was as black as a raven's feathers and fell around her face beautifully. The moon illuminated her face, and her radiance was indescribable. I couldn't help myself; I stole her.

I desperately wanted a friend. I had nobody. I was an outcast. My parents disowned me once they realized that I was able to fly. I was forced to be a beggar boy, and I was ridiculed by the townspeople. Once my parents died, I was quite wealthy because they left me in their will. Although I had money and was kind to anybody who came near to me, I was left alone. My permanent solitude was too much to handle, but I hoped that was going to change.

Gently, so as not to wake her, I carried her through the air, soaring over her village. I decided to take her to my house in the town of Cambrai, France. It was only a short fly lasting a few hours, but as the sun rose, so did the amazing girl I captured.

I decided to be courteous since I hoped for her to stay with me for a while.

"Bonjour! My name is Tristan," I greeted.

"Bonjour, I am Giselle," she responded then gasped. "We are flying!"

"Yes," I answered. "Are you frightened?"

"No. Why should I be? This is just a dream, I have no reason to be afraid," she said certainly.

I left it at that. She would soon find that I was not a figment of her imagination. She would learn that I kidnapped her, and she would despise me. I so hoped it wouldn't come to that. Maybe I would gain a friend through my actions instead of an enemy.

While flying she gazed at the wondrous landscape below us. The rising sun shone on the grass so beautifully. The townspeople were rising from bed and readying for another day of work. Flowers were blooming in abundance, and every once in a while I could catch a glimpse of a colorful bird's plumage. None of that compared to the girl I was holding in the air. I only had eyes for her face.

"Where are we going?" she finally inquired.

"To my home in Cambrai."

"Then this isn't a dream."

"No, you aren't dreaming," I said. "Are you afraid now?"

After a period of silence, she answered me truthfully. "I am a little frightened, but I am more curious than anything. Why did you take me? Why are you able to fly?"

"I have always been able to fly. It comes naturally to me. Ever since I was a child the sky called to me, and I was able to answer."

I decided not to respond to her first question because I was afraid she wouldn't like the answer.

"You still haven't answered my first question," she reminded me.

"I am sorry that I took you from your home, but I am so lonely. I am considered a freak because I am able to fly. I am an outcast."

She nodded her head sagely and returned to admiring our surroundings. I stayed quiet and allowed her to muse over what I said. I was ecstatic! She acknowledged my peculiarities, and she wasn't terrified. There was hope!

When we arrived at my house, I landed and led her inside. She was taken aback at my beautiful home. On the walls there were paintings and tapestries from around the world, all of them were of the finest quality. Every so often Giselle stopped to examine a painting more closely. I didn't mind. I loved just watching her. Her face was glowing in wonder of it all.

Suddenly she turned to me and asked, "How long will I be staying here? When will you take me home?"

When I didn't answer she became furious. "I demand to be taken home," she said in a dangerous, low voice.

Her eyes flashed and her face flushed. She raised her hand as if she was going to hit me, but then it fell down limply.

"Please," Giselle whispered, her eyes filled with anguish.

Still, I didn't answer. I turned and led her to her room and left. She needed to be alone. Maybe after a while she would understand that I needed her.

Later in the day, I went to see Giselle. She begged me to take her home, and I pleaded with her to stay with me.

"I am lonely. I have never had a true friend."

"How do you expect to gain a friend by stealing one?" she shot back. "I want to go home. My family will worry, and I miss them. My mother needs me. She is deathly ill, and my father can't care for her on his own."

Her words devastated me, mostly because they were true. It was not right of me to kidnap Giselle. I was only thinking of myself and what I wanted, not what was best for her and her family.

She disrupted my thoughts with her query, "Will you take me home?"

"I will tell you my decision in the morning."

Apparently, my response was adequate because she spun around and stalked away, leaving me in agony. Although I had only just met Giselle, I was already in love with her. I couldn't stand hurting her. I would rather die than harm her in any way. Yet, here I was, hurting her.

With my decision made, I left in search of Giselle. I found her exactly where I expected her to be, in the great hall. She was examining my favorite tapestry. It was a picturesque scene of a field of flowers and an ancient tree. All of the colors were brilliant, and it seemed as if you could walk into the scene. My favorite part of the tapestry was the boy and girl sitting contentedly in the tree. The tapestry was everything that I dreamed for in life. My dreams that seemed impossible.

"Bonjour, Giselle."

She only nodded and turned back to the tapestry.

"I have decided to take you to your home in the morning."

"Merci beaucoup, Tristan!"

Her eyes shone with excitement. I could tell that she was pleased to be going home, but I thought I detected something else in her face. There was a bit of sadness in her eyes too. Maybe I was just seeing what I wanted to, but I so hoped that she would miss me the way I would miss her.

I wasn't able to sleep that night. My heart was in too much turmoil. I had just found a reason to live. I had found my heart but not for long. I was going to take it back to where it belonged in the morning.

The fly back to Giselle's house was as beautiful as the previous one, but a feeling of melancholy hung over us. We never spoke a word or looked at each other, ignoring the fact that we would soon have to say goodbye.

We made it to Giselle's home as the roosters were crowing the arrival of the sun. I set her down gently in her room, through the window. As I was leaving, I heard Giselle whisper, "Thank you Tristan."

I walked back to Giselle and scooped her into my arms. I gave her my first and last hug. After I put her down, she stepped up to me and kissed my cheek. She then whispered in my ear, "Au revoir."

"Au revoir", I responded, my voice barely concealing my surprise and joy. I knew that it wasn't goodbye forever. I would see my love again.