The Girl of Many Names
Almost a watery graveMarie was so beautiful that I almost wished that she was my mother, though I'm sure she would have been a terrible one. Her white wig glistened in the light, but not as much as the jewelry that she was laden with. The dress that she was wearing was a soft blue v-neck that billowed out at the bottom. When she spoke it was with sweet syrupy voice.
“ It is simply wonderful that you have invited Louis and me here for tea. It's so lovely here and you're wife is simply darling. She looks just like I did when I was a young.”
I blushed under her compliment.I could see that Jaque could take what she said as proof that I really was her daughter. As I continued to sip my tea Louis continued.
“ Oui Jaque, I'm glad that you and I will have a chance to remember old times. What made you think of this since we haven't talked in years? If I do remember the last time we talked ended poorly.”
I could see that Jaque was getting anxious to go on that stroll that would either leave him with riches or make him a bachelor again.
“ Well-” He stopped and glanced at his grandmother who had accompanied us. She had said that she couldn't miss a chance to see Marie in the flesh. She was a tiny thing with her hair tucked into a white wig identical to Marie's. Her dress was a more modest tan with thick straps appropriate for her age. “ I do believe my grandmother would like to take a stroll wouldn't you Grandmother? We could walk just a little ways outside of the estate and walk along the Aisne river.”
Jaque's grandmother smiled. “ That sounds delightful dear, that is if Marie-”
“ Of course we would love to.”
“ Then follow me.”
We walked a ways until we reached a path leading beside the Aisne river. I got more nervous by the second.
Since Jaque's grandmother was already talking to Louis, Jaque took that opportunity to pull Marie aside.
“You know how you said that my wife looks like you when you were young?” He whispered.
“ It is because she is your daughter. But not from Louis.”
Marie looked at me in shock. “ Her? No. You must be mistaken. I have never had children outside of Louis.”
“ Alright, maybe this will help you remember!” Jaque grabbed me and dragged me down closer to the river. “ You give me ransom and I will not tell Louis.”
“ Tell me what?” Louis walked over from where he was talking to Jaque's grandmother.
“ But she is your wife! Why would you- Please don't tell Louis he will not believe me if I deny it!” She begged.
“ For ransom I won't say anything.”
“ What is it that you don't want me to know?” Asked Louis again. “ Tell me now!”
“ Or,” Jaque grinned as he held me close to the water's edge, “ If she really isn't your daughter, prohaps you will give me money to save this girl's life.” He forced my whole head into the water so that I was completely submerged.
The water began to fill up my lungs. All I could hear was the steady sound of the water lapping around me. All I could see was green of the water. All I could hope was the Marie would save me. If not I would have a watery grave.
What felt like hours later, my head was lifted out of the water. My ears were so clogged that I could barely make out anything, but I could make out the words, “ How could you?”