The protagonists

The characters meet at Chillon castle.
She's an historian who needs to examine the medieval collections. She crams all her stuff in her bag, so as to be sure not to forget anything. She has a tendency to help, even when not asked. She'd like someone reserved, but who could lighten up with passion on certain topics. He'd also have to be tolerant.
He's doing his civilian service, as the castle's handyman. He regularly cleans his glasses, and meticulously marks down his appointments and tasks. He's looking for a laid-back person, somebody who doesn't take themselves too seriously. He couldn't resist a tendency to blush when laughing.

The encounter

The castle opens, he opens the draw-bridge and then goes on to chat with the person in charge of the reception. A woman arrives, carrying a huge bag, in which she has to rummage at length before finding the official pass. The civil servant finishes cleaning his glasses, asks her if she's the one who is to examine the collections and offer her help. He accompanies her to the archive room, chatting along the way. Later in the day they meet again, and take some time to talk about their respective fields of study. She suggests he could spend part of the afternoon in the archive room with her.

The substitute

One day, I had to substitute for a maths class, but I freaked out completely because I didn't understand anything about these formulas any more. I had forgotten everything. She was able to help, she remembered everything. A fraction there, a square root here, and... everything! She explained well. I was able to bluff the kids. She was good, at everything. Nevertheless, she'd never show off.

Roof theory

At first, I was anxious to throw myself fully into this relationship. I'm wary of people who don't know what they want. He was young, and had difficulties in finding a path for himself. Once, we climbed to the top of a medieval city's bell tower. He started talking with passion about his urban archaeology classes. It reassured me that he could be impassioned about something, and I let go of my reluctance.

Sometimes I was worried I'd get carried away, act too violently, and offend her.

A rustic week

She'd often have to conduct research abroad, sometimes we wouldn't see each other for days. Once, I just went with her, without anyone noticing. We were staying in the attic of an old building, just slightly better than a barn. The whole week was spent together, just the two of us. A powerful memory.

Why is it so memorable?

I had no outside obligations, I had all my time to me and I could put it all to the purpose of being with her!

Extraterrestrial ruins

I remember the fist time we said "I love you". One afternoon, during a vacation, he decided he'd be my tourist guide and took me to see some ruins. He invented all kinds of silly facts about them. I laughed so much my bell ached. And between two bursts of laughter, it came out just like that: "I love you, silly."

Later, he said it wouldn't always be easy, with our respective personalities.

Lost glasses

After a nap on the back seat of her car, I couldn't find my glasses. I think I upturned the whole car, I looked for them everywhere! Then I heard her laugh, she'd just found my glasses in her hand bag. I felt very vulnerable: I've always had an irrational fear of becoming blind, that's why I need my glasses. That she was involved... I didn't feel well, it brought up dark things. But I didn't say anything.


The first time I saw him get mad, he who was so placid, was the time his pal gave him a voucher for a glider flight. He was sick when he came out of the plane, and he yelled at his friend because he didn't stop when he said he was feeling unwell. It was horrible, I was shocked to see him like that.

My mate was messing around, he would turn like crazy and laugh like a madman, as I was telling him to stop. He was humiliating me in front of my girlfriend. He had previously already made remarks about her. I just exploded.

Back to the castle

Even though I had finished my civilian service, I received an invitation to participate in the annual barbecue of the castle where we met. I suggested she come with me. We re-visited the castle, recalling our first encounter. But her heart wasn't in it, as if she didn't give a fuck. As if it annoyed her to talk of the past. I couldn't get into a real dialogue with her.

Saturday night

I broke up in a hurry. One evening we went out with one of his pals (the one from the glider by the way). They drank too much. The guy was despicable with me, he was provoking me. After a bit, my boyfriend got mad and again shouted him down like a maniac. I left him. I couldn't accept to live with someone who reacts with such anger. It was unacceptable.

Later, he told me it was because of his pal, that he didn't recognize himself, that he didn't understand why he reacted like that.

Putting the pieces back together

We talked, but it was already over. We were walking in the forest, I told her that it'd never be directed at her, that she needn't worry. She didn't buy it. It's true that I have somewhat primitive reflexes, but I couldn't tell her... She'd already stopped looking at me, she was absorbed by the stream... I was off to a bad start.


It's the new collaborator first day of work at the castle. When he arrives, he's told an historian will come to take a look at the medieval collections. He waits for her at the reception. She arrives, shakes hands and presents herself, as does he, politely. She knows where the archives are. He gives her the keys and wishes her a good day. The cashier looks funnily at them, and then welcomes the day's first visitors with a smile.

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