Time After Time

wristwatchThe young man fidgets nervously as he waits in the cavernous train station, checking his tie and fiddling with the carnation in his buttonhole. Red, of course. Beams of sunlight reach towards him across the marble floor as he checks his watch for the umpteenth time. It is a beautiful timepiece with an open face so the intricate cogs and gears are visible. An heirloom from a grandfather he never knew who died in an infamous battle before his father was even born. He checks his watch again. She’s late. Very late. The young man paces across the concourse, becoming increasingly agitated. He lights a cigarette and draws deeply from it which seems to calm him momentarily. He hears staccato heels on marble and whips his head round to greet her. The disappointment shows on his face as he doffs his hat at the girl who isn’t her and bows slightly. Too young, too fair, too tall.

As agreed, he waits until ten past the hour then strides towards the Rue de Dunkerque. He hurries to the drop point and leaves a message commending Madeleine as a strong, courageous woman who gave her life for the Resistance. Pulling his hat down and shrugging his collar up, he turns and flees the City of Light without a backward glance.