Her white hair was a reflection of the winter snow, luscious and soft, perfection. The fair skin of Morana which I had become so familiar with over the past year, brought a smile to my face.
Just seeing her, sent an electric shock across my body, my heart beating faster by the second. She was an angel in a hell’s world.
“So you will come in, it is awfully cold just standing here. Why won’t we get some coffee, please, let us go to the café?” Morana said, with a certain pride and eagerness.
I snapped from my daze, and followed her into the café located near my old enemy, the pole. Her parents, owned the café. It was rustic, traditional, lovely.
The walls were stained, that was history telling a tale. What has passed here over the years were only known by the people of past.
But it was the only and greatest café in Chambon, and the place where Morana and I would have discussion like philosophers and chess games as the grand masters.
As I entered, the aroma of coffee filled the room like the sun enters a room with no curtains. This was the smell of Chambon, the café eternite it was called.
We quickly took our seats at the table located near the entrance, the window allowing for the sweet view of snow as it fell to the earth.
This was the earth’s treat, with the snow melting, gardeners were made redundant but this allowed for greater freedom of time.
Where adventure was endless, this was the winter of Chambon. As we sat, Mr Rose, Morana’s father brought the chess set.
The famous chess set that had become tradition and routine this past year, the café and chess were like heart and mind.
One could not live without the two, well that is what we both thought, that is, Morana and I.
As we set the stage, the two composers took their sides, and a game of intellectuals was about to begin.
But before I could move, Mr Rose as usual, asked the same question before each of our chess games.
“Just the usual I assume?” Although he already knew the response, it was odd, not that he always asked. But his tone gave the impression of a sadness and joy I had never heard from his voice.
Morana judging from the confused expression I must’ve been presenting, answered on my behalf.
“As always, we will have le café de la jeunesse and the buttered baguette.” Morana smiled, and this reassured me, as I too smiled not only at her but smiled and thanked Mr Rose.
“Consider it on the house today” his humour obvious, but always pleasant. We both giggled, and he disappeared.
Time had no place in the café eternite, but the match was reaching a climax. Our coffee drained of life, drained of existence.
The only remaining evidence of the buttered baguettes, crumbs on a white plate.
Morana without notice suddenly spoke, an aspect in her tone, as if she knew what she was going to say years before this match had happened.
“Chess, it is like life, no? We all set a stage, we all have dreams, but we want to win.
The opposition in chess is like the obstacles in life, we see it as our mission to rid of the other, the flaws, the doubts, the impossible.
Yet maybe it is the challenge in life, which creates the person we are. Without obstacle, without challenge, without purpose or something to push through.
We are meaningless, as there is no growth. We are better off dead than alive, if we do not challenge ourselves. This is why, even though I have played many, seen masters come and go.
You are the greatest chess player to date. For you have never beaten me, not once. But you always set out to completely dominate the board. You are not content with just a win.
That is taking the king at all costs, you wish to rid of every piece before getting my king. You challenge yourself every time we play, this reflects you.
A perfectionist with flair, a rarity in its own. You seek to break all the rules and conventions in chess, the ultimate challenge.
You fail each time, but your persistence makes you the champion in the loss for each time, you come a step closer, to winning.”
I was dumbfounded, this was a compliment which I had never expected. Each time we played resulted in a loss of course, but our time together was like a summer’s day, Shakespeare would say.
Too short, to express the true beauty of summer, one could not express all about the summers day for it is only a day, but if I had an eternity.
I could express all that is Morana, what makes and had me in love with her from our first words together. I replied with joy in each of my words.
“Well maybe today is the day I win, but could chess not also be viewed as the world of love, with the obstacles,
the opposition pieces representing the obstacles one overcomes to be with the person they desire.
Winning chess, checkmate, it is about showing the person that there is no one else that can love them as no matter where they search,
what they seek isn’t found in someone else but rather the person who is playing, moving the pieces is position.
” My words touched her heart perhaps, as she beamed a smile which sent a shock of electricity throughout me.
My heart running a race once again, I quickly regathered my composure as my cheeks blushed evident by Morana giggles.
A rare, no a miracle presented itself in the café eternite that day, I saw clearly.
I was in the position to place Morana in checkmate, but why I hadn’t moved my queen into position I will never fully understand.
I arose with great speed and with passion spoke “Let us go now, to where we always conclude our days, where our minds are filled with poetry and the knowledge of those before.
” Morana looking defeated knew what I could’ve done, but followed as we left the café.
We finally arrived, at the hill over looking Chambon, the adventure and noises of Chambon still clear, what the people experienced here, happiness, sorrow, sadness, comfort.
All could be found in Chambon. We huddled close together, so as to keep warm. The snows’ cold was still present and more intensified with the evening that had arrived.
Night was almost here, and just like summer our day and adventure would be another memory, no longer the adventure we had experienced but something of the past.
I looked at her, I had to tell her, no more time to waste. “May I speak clearly, without judgement without question. May I tell you the truths of myself, Alexandre and what he feels.
” Morana, nodded, suspicion aroused, doubts I had became present. But I must speak, this was a necessity, words couldn’t express my true emotions, like Sonnet 18, the day was to short.
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, and summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Those are the words of Shakespeare, the poet of love, Morana.
This past year has been like an eternity of memories, I could recall all our times in the piano room, the chess, the coffee, the baguettes and much more.
But what purpose would it serve, if we do not have the time of day to express all that we admire of another?
Shakespeare’s poem draws the conclusion I cannot compare you to summer’s beauty, as it ends as quick as it came.
But his words, his poems live on till this date, by his love declared eternally through his sonnet.
I am no poet, with no words, no credentials, but I declare that I love you, and if I could I would speak an eternity of words professing my love and admiration of you, your beautiful mind,
your blue eyes which act as pulse for my heart, racing as I gaze into eternal peace which comes with those eyes. Your peaceful smile, comforting me when I feel as though all crumbles around.
I know that one day you will leave Chambon, the village of adventure, but I want to be with you.
Telling you of the love I have for you, a man does not rest when in love, well I slowly die when I cannot be with you.
So please let me join you wherever you go?” Morana, as brilliant as ever, as majestic as one can be, replied, each word already premeditated.
“Why only live this life to tell me that you love me, for, I too love you. But love and words are meaningless in this life as it is short.
Why not then, why, you should live with I for eternity? Why not, would you join than? Why let us travel through the ages.” With these words began a new age of love.
I put my pen down, my hand swelling as if I was just involved in a fist fight. That was all my writing for today. My children Elaine and Jeremy were playing chess.
It seemed an interesting game but perhaps another time.
The smell of coffee filled the air, memories of Chambon flooded my brain,
the memory of where the love of two beautiful individuals found themselves in an eternity of professing love to the other.
My daze broken only through my desire to get the window and open it,
as it was awfully stuffy in the apartment although a big apartment and the air conditioning provided some coolness it was still redundant.
I suddenly found myself at the window, before opening what surely would be the cold. I guess this is what eternity was like, an adventure, just like Chambon.
I opened the window, and as it was opened, the coolness of outside filled the room like coffee fills a mug.
The Eiffel tower, a marvel, a beauty of this world something I had become so familiar with looking at but never losing my love for it.
I looked at the tower with great pride and spoke words, reflecting what was and still is the dream.
“Today Paris, tomorrow Rome.” I turned to see my wife, Morana, reading my draft for my new novel.
She had not read it yet for I had not allowed her but she read aloud the first sentence, with great joy and triumph which had never been lost in all these years together,
“So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long live this, and this give life to thee.”