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Category: Some couples

Marx and Engels

The protagonists

The encounter takes place in an empty circus.
A woman, in her forties. A tendency to embellish stories and to cover people with gifts and little attentions. She's looking for someone creative and for whom money isn't an end.
A man, in his forties, likes to cite poetry verses whilst talking and listening to folk music to reassure himself. He's looking for someone warm and generous, with whom he may share his desire to travel.

The encounter

After a circus show, a woman stays a bit longer in the ring. It looks as if she's waiting for someone. A man suddenly comes out of the shadows. They greet as he approaches. She asks whether he had come to get an impression of what it was like to be "under the limelight". He answers that, no, he just doesn't like the crowd and preferred to wait for things to have quietened down. He smiles, embarrassed. She suggests they have coffee together, he accepts. She's got a job at an insurance. He's an English teacher, likes poetry. She's got lots of money, but doesn't really enjoy her work. She comes to the circus to take her mind off things. He talks to her about poetry.

Games

He was so intelligent, cultivated and multifaceted. In addition to his job, he liked to create role-playing games, just for the fun of telling stories and sharing with others. I was impressed. I was discovering a whole new world, in which I even had the opportunity to participate. He astounded me. I'd never thought I could even have the chance of being with someone like him.

Taking the plane

I like her courage and her daring character. She'd just get up and want to do something. We went on holidays together, and we had to take a little plane. One of those noisy ones, in which you're packed toghether and which looks rather rickety. I was scared, like really scared. She took me by the hand and pulled me in. During the flight, she told me lots of jokes to loosen up the atmosphere. When we arrived, I was so proud of myself! Thanks to her, I conquered my fear.

Sheep

I was very happy I could spoil him. I had all this money and I had the opportunity to discover the world. I took him to Scotland, because he was fascinated by this country and had always wanted to visit. We rented a big car and went for the small country roads, where we had to avoid the sheep. It was incredible. I could just forget my work-life and to have the impression to be someone else.

Parrot

However, it didn't work out so well with my friends. They found her a bit ill-mannered, not cultivated enough. It's true that sometimes she'd bring everything back to money. Once, during a meal, she was always saying: "oh you know, this and that is not a problem for me". My friends ended up calling her "the parrot". That's how much she'd talk.

Marx & Engels

I never understood why his friends always looked down on me so much. They always had to bring up our social and economic differences. We were happy with that, but I had the feeling their judgement was hurting him. One day, in Berlin, we stumbled upon this statue. I said: "Look, we're like these two! One has the money, the other the brains. And they did great things together." He laughed. I think it helped.

Little wooden man

I understand that she could pass off as someone superficial, but she really was a very secretive person. For example, one day she had left a drawer of her desk open. Inside, I found a little wooden hand-painted man. I asked her what it was, she said it was a gift for her mum. She had never talked to me about her, or her childhood for that matter. She didn't elaborate.

Why did this event mark you?

Even after all the time spent together, I wasn't sure I really knew her.

Change job

Everything went downhill when I told him I had had enough of my job, and that I wanted to do something more useful in my life. One evening, I had spread out my diplomas and cover letters on the floor, in order to get my job applications ready. When he arrived, I announced that I had sent in my notice. He said nothing and left.

I was so shocked: why did she not talk to me about this before? I was involved in her life after all! Secretly I was pleased, but it was impossible to live with someone who doesn't talk to you.

Sanctuary

After that, I fled to shelter in an Irish cottage. I couldn't stand it any more. I needed time to think it over, to think about us. It hurts so much to lose someone you love. And all my friends were telling me I was better of like this. But I was so miserable.

Epilogue

Six months later, in an Irish Cottage. She's outside taking care of the garden. He's on the phone with a friend: "I'll send you the mnemonic surgeon's contact information tomorrow. No idea if he's any good for the procedure, but he's very attentive during the appointment. God, it's like talking about another life."

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A breach in the wall

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.

Flight

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.

Epilogue

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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