I hope this letter finds you well. Your postcard is hanging on my vanity mirror. Is Paris really as beautiful as the photos make it look? I’m not sure I could convince Mom and Dad to pay for me to visit after everything that has happened. They think you’re a bad influence (which is just ridiculous, and I’ve tried to explain that to them, but you know how they are once they make up their minds).
What you did was very brave – who cares what people think? Besides, there will be someone else to gossip about soon enough. There always is. Maybe you will discover something in Paris that you couldn’t find here.
(Is that right?)
Caroline smiled as she folded the letter back up and tucked it into its envelope. Since she had escaped what would have been a life of pasted-on smiles and intense boredom, Dottie was the first well-wisher. Her parents had sent a curt telegram (“Best of luck.”) shortly after her arrival at Agnes and François’ place. Three words that said so much more. Of course, she knew breaking off her engagement to a very rich, but otherwise untenable man would anger them, but it salted the wound nonetheless.
She turned her attention back to the petites annonces in the newspaper. Her French was good enough that she could manage a job, she figured. Agnes and François were kind, but she knew that they couldn’t support her financially for very long. What money she had brought with her would only stretch so far, and her parents were out of the question. In Paris, she would make something of herself that was more than just a pretty, dutiful wife as she had been raised to be.
She looked up to see a somewhat familiar, although very handsome face. “Dominique, right? From the party?”
“That’s right,” he said, his eyes crinkling at the corners as he smiled at her. “I hope I’m not interrupting.”
“Not at all. Would you like to join me?”
Dominique took the other seat at the small café table and set a camera beside her folded copy of the morning paper. When they had met over the weekend, Agnes mentioned that he was a photographer who freelanced for newspapers and magazines between exhibitions. The idea fascinated her – being able to carve out a living doing something that you enjoyed. Dominique had fascinated her as well, which she attributed to his easy manner and soft green gaze that had made her stomach go all funny.
“If you’re looking for a job, I could put in a good word with a few people looking for English writers,” he said, noting the circled positions.
“Really? But you barely know me.”
He shrugged. “I read people well. Agnes told me that you are a writer.”
“Not a professional one,” she said with a blush.
“Perhaps it’s time to change that.”