Letter from a stranger! For a long time, I wanted to write an article about a real fact that happened to me and which could be considered by some as a news item, however if I haven’t written it for so many years, it’s because there was a heavy thing that kept me from writing it. It is the very great sadness of the story of a real fact that I witnessed as a spectator but also partly as an actor, without my knowledge. For a long time, I was shocked and stunned by this event full of Shakespearean twists and turns, which for me was incredibly intense. It was completely unexpected, notwithstanding, a stroke of fate caused by a simple coincidence, since then and to this day I still have a lot of emotions when I talk about it. The story goes that sometimes you can turn someone’s life upside down just by allowing them to make a phone call. It also says that we must never give up when the world around us is falling apart and when we are in the turmoil of bad luck, to give nothing up and to keep hoping and believing that this fucking life that makes us suffer so much can still have a happy ending. We have always lived with an animal disease without a cure, which affects many, if not all men, it is that of wanting to succeed in everything, whatever the price to pay. But, due to a lack of life skills and education, it becomes even more worrying as we become monsters with a human face for our loved ones. I am not saying that I am a solipsiste and a self-glorifier who has benefited from a better savoir vivre than another poor guy, not at all. What I would like to say is that I have always kept a critical eye on the bad nature of men, avoiding behaving in the same way as those I considered bad people. Having said that, my life is also full of mistakes, and not a day goes by without me regretting my stupidities, be they small or big, I always feel remorse. For a period of time, I worked knocking on doors to sell cable television subscriptions and to make a living, yes, I know it’s not a nice job, but I made more money then than I do now. I had so many anecdotes while I was doing this job that I thought one day I would write a book, because some of those anecdotes are very funny, but a lot of them are very sad. Indeed, to do this type of work, we were taught how to speak, behave, detect and identify people’s needs in order to better respond to their objections to finalize a sale. When I entered a home, I already knew who I was dealing with and how I was going to sign a contract. I’m not proud of what I was doing because I had even sold TV channels to blind people who only had radio, but you learn a lot about people’s behavior in this kind of work and you have to earn a living. Last Wednesday, I went to see an operetta by Jacques Offenbach, “La Périchole”, it was a real treat, I could never translate my feelings into words and the benefits I get from this type of concert. One unfortunate observation was there and it still doesn’t change, it’s the average age of the spectators, it was 60 years old and over, it’s really sad to realize that young people who ask for interest in their music and new trends are incapable of taking an interest in the great masterpieces of classical music. During this operetta I made the decision to write this article that I had always wanted to write and that day I felt ready and I was no longer indecisive. Did a psychedelic wave provoked by the music make me want to write this story? Maybe it was the colors of the music or maybe the lyrics of the operetta, because for once it was sung in French. It’s as if it had awakened deep feelings in me and I felt the need to reveal this story. In one of the songs, it was “Les Femmes il n’y a que ça”. Anyway, and not to mention the dive bottle I’ve gotten off to a good start, I’m writing this story for good and you’re reading it. In schools, in families, in companies, where in society in general, we admire leaders, those who impose themselves on others either by their physical strength, by their characters or by the opinions they defend. But never by their kindness, or by their compassion, which is often considered a weakness and a defect, we always say “too nice too stupid”. The winners are the best, of course, everything they do, everything they are, always rewarded by their teachers, by their parents and by society by predicting an exemplary future for them. I ask myself some simple questions, do we really have the capacity to distinguish, how can we then confuse, between an agreement and the promise of a love and turn it into a closed dungeon? That when business escapes us and it degenerates, must we impose ourselves by any means? Even by using violence to control one’s destiny? Where should we admit defeat, but how then when we have always been considered a winner and as such we had to take matters into our own hands, whatever the consequences of our actions? I imagine that those who have been made to believe that they are born killers, they take credit for themselves and think that they can control their destiny, are they really incapable of admitting defeat when the situation demands it? Nevertheless, to be successful, we must first learn how to lose, we must know how to lose and how to hold our heads high to be real men. Unfortunately, it’s not at school that you learn how to be a good loser and understand that sometimes when you lose you win. The saddest thing is that when I told this story to male colleagues, 90 per cent of them laughed in my face, telling me that there is no rape between a woman and her husband. Saddened by this, I reminded them that sexual acts between spouses must be consensual and in mutual respect and love, and that it is by no means a man’s right to dispose of them at will. In this respect, I think that if we do not learn anything about the essential subjects of life from school or from parents, then we must invent a school for those 90 per cent of men who believe that there is no rape between a woman and her husband. In fact, we should even create a school for men and women to have access to reproductive rights, because for some of us men we are limited to the role of simple procreators, whereas we are supposed to educate our children by giving them the best of ourselves. Perhaps I am going a bit too far, it is true that I am a bit wound up when I think of this story and even a few years later. But it reflects my shock and my feelings at the time when I understood that for some people, hell is a never-ending daily routine, that life is nothing but an ordeal day after day with frightening, restless nights. However, my story is also full of hope, especially for those who have lost all sense of future and think that things will not change, that everything is lost and even the light has become dark. For these people, I would like to tell them that you must never give up the fight by letting a born killer, take over your future, you must continue to believe that sometimes finding your happiness is as simple as making a phone call. Please read the rest of my story next week, you’ll understand why I’m back on my feet and where I was when this news item hit me.
The Miracle of Montferrat! I knew you don’t like to wait, O, but I’m joking, it was an idea to make the article shorter, but don’t worry, I’ll tell you the rest of my story now, WARNING: Be careful, the stories in this article may shock some sensitive minds. It was less than ten years ago and more than seven years ago, if I remember it was April, I went to make an estimate for one of my major customers, it was a question of redoing major works, therefore a significant turnover and several days of well-paid work in perspective. This client was a supermarket in the Vaud region and after several hours of negotiations, we managed to deal with the major parties for the services to be provided and for which my client had called me. When it was time to go home, I decided to take the national highway, because it allowed me to rethink the project, whereas if I took the highway, I would concentrate on driving faster, without being able to retrace the essential ideas evoked during the interview and therefore that I could forget them. After I left my client, about ten kilometres away, I said, “Oh, shit, shit, shit! So I did it again O Merrrrrrde! I forgot to mention to my client an important aspect of my quote, so I folded over to the first place where I could park my van in order to contact my client while things were still fresh in his mind and before he moved on to something else. It’s true that if I had Bluetooth in my car at the time, I might not have stopped to make a phone call and therefore might not have been able to save a life that day. The whole world agrees that I’m a real pain in the ass, you can ask my wife, my children and even my boss, they’ll all tell you that I never stop bitching, I’m always unhappy with what I received. Yet when I think of this story, there is always a little tear that comes to my nose to remind me, that there is so much unhappiness around us and so close, that we have become blind to see and feel nothing. So I stop on what looks like a sidewalk, but it’s not really a sidewalk because there weren’t any cobblestones, I call the customer’s number and I start to explain why I’m calling him back. As I was talking to my customer, I could see in my right rearview mirror, a little woman who appeared out of nowhere and walked calmly towards me without deflecting her gaze, I was a target. As I continued to converse with my caller and watched this woman approaching my vehicle, I knew I was going to be accosted since I was hogging the little place that was used as a sidewalk so that people could walk quietly. For a while I almost left so as not to get in the way, but I had not finished my conversation yet, and besides, cops are often where you don’t expect them to be. She tapped her finger delicately on the passenger window to talk to me, and I thought to myself, either she’s going to ask me for a euro or a meal ticket, that’s in the best of cases, or in the worst case, I was going to get a big kick out of parking on the pavement. I press the button to open the passenger window, I ask my interlocutor to be patient as I have a lady knocking on the passenger window to talk to me. With a small, shy and fragile voice, she greets me and asks me to call the police for her. I started to panic, because in my mind I was at fault, I remained on the fact that I had monopolized the pavement and that in this case she was perhaps going to report me to the cops for lack of civility in short, I ask her “but for what reason Madam” she answers “I was kidnapped, beaten and raped by my husband, he locked me in my house and I just ran away”. After reflection I would have preferred to hear her say to me instead “Mr. parked on a pavement, this one is for pedestrians, get out of the way”, possibly ending with a polite formula.
A woman in the guise of an angel can be a pernicious demon, it was around noon, I looked at her, I had the impression that it was a hoax or a hidden camera, however she didn’t look like she had been beaten up. But ignoring her request was tantamount to not assisting a person in danger, I told my client who stayed on the line, listen, I’ll call you back later. I hang up the phone with my client and I ask her if she was really sure she wanted to contact the police and she says yes, in all honesty. I dial 17 and guess what! The gendarmerie of Pont de Beauvoisin. Yes, I know that you know Pont de Beauvoisin in relation to another sad case, that of Maëlys and Norbert Lelandais; I explain to the gendarme that I had stopped to make a phone call to make them understand that I did not break the law by driving with a phone in my hand. While I was talking to the person I was talking to, a lady came up and asked me to help her by phoning the police, so I asked this constable if he would be okay with me handing over my phone to this lady so that she could talk to him. Great apparently, he understood the circumstances, however fearful, I was still expecting this woman to take her leg and disappear with my phone. After all, she is a woman and like many women they know how and when to give themselves a little bit of weakness to dope a man, indeed, a Swedish proverb that says “a woman in the guise of an angel can be a pernicious devil” I was not yet aware of what was going on in front of me. As a general rule, you see this kind of event on the TV news, in the cinema in nightmarish films, a film like social drama, or psychological drama, the style of film that my wife is particularly fond of and that I can’t stay in front of these types of films for more than 3 minutes, after that, I freak out, I can’t help it. She confirms to the police what she told me, adding that she was afraid that her husband would find her and lock her up again, since she was sequestered and had managed to escape from her home where she was held against her will by her in-laws while her husband was away. She gave me back my phone after she gave her address and identity to the gunmen. I was finally happy, since she had not fled with my mobile phone and this gendarme on the phone who asked me to keep this lady in my car until the gendarmes arrived, which should not be long. I say okay, but I ask him where I was, since I didn’t know exactly where I was, in fact I was just passing through this village among many others on my way, he asks me to find a place and park there until the gendarmes arrive. I told him listen, I’m going to park in front of the church and I told him the model and color of my car so that his colleagues can spot me as soon as they arrive. Indeed in a village there is no better meeting place than the church square, since everyone can spot a church from afar. In my car, there were two seats in the front and as it is a utility vehicle, there is a lot of room, so I can defend myself if it tries by chance to rob me with a knife, it’s feared, because I was still suspicious. I make her get in the front, I ask her to put her seat belt on in case I come face to face with the gendarmes when I arrive in front of the church. With a passenger without a seat-belt, there is nothing better to get noticed. You’d think they’d be quicker than me to get to the meeting place, after all it makes more sense to buckle up, no! So I set off in the direction of the church which was a few hundred meters away. As I parked in front of the church, I began to realize that maybe I was changing dimension, since my passenger was showing me the inside of her two forearms that she had cut all the way down to end her life because she was fed up with her life, but that she only wanted one thing: to have her son with her. I presume it was a son that she had with her monster as her husband. I had never seen anyone before who wanted to commit suicide by cutting their veins, with such gash marks like the ones I saw all along her bars. I realized that she certainly didn’t want to commit suicide just to pretend or to get attention, but that she really wanted to end her life. It was really horrible worse than a horror movie, what’s more, I was still between a customer quote and a nightmare of which I was a horrified unconscious spectator of this drama that was unfolding in front of me live. Suddenly, she bends down, putting her head between her legs and she announces to me that in the car that just entered the church parking lot there is her husband driving with his stepfather next to him and the little boy standing in the back seat was his son, I ask her which car? She answers me, it’s the red car that just passed behind the church, she tells me that it’s not her first attempt to escape. She explains to me that she has already hidden behind the church during other escape attempts and that is why her husband was looking for her there. Stunned by the stories of this poor woman, this time I became aware of the seriousness of the situation, as well as the magnitude of the human tragedy. I had a car with an automatic transmission, I left the engine running, but I forgot to shift into neutral because I was afraid that her husband would find her with me and I was afraid that he would break my car, not to mention my face. I was speechless as I listened to the stories of the atrocities that this woman had suffered at the hands of her husband. But where are those damn gendarmes, to tell us where they are, they’re always there when we don’t wait for them, but never when we need them, I call them back to find out when they’ll arrive, and the idiot tells me that his colleagues are late and to do the right thing, I’d have to take this lady to Pont, directly to the gendarmerie, I just wanted to stop and make a phone call, and here I am becoming a Samaritan public servant. I didn’t have to start my car or shift into drive since I was stuck for an hour with my foot on the brakes to escape from an insane husband who at any moment could pop up to find me with his wife sitting next to me in my car. I arrive at the gendarmerie, they don’t let me enter with my car inside their parking lot, they piss off these assholes. I park in front of the gendarmerie on a small parking lot and I have to accompany this lady to make my statement, I didn’t ask for anything, I just left to make an estimate for a client and that’s all. So I went back with this lady, she was immediately taken care of by two gendarmes, I think it was the two jerks who had to come and get her, and I was heard separately by another gendarme, to whom I told the story of a client estimate that I wanted to make, and so I found myself in the middle of a crazy story of rape and kidnapping of a poor distraught woman and alone in front of her monster husband. As I was leaving the gendarmerie while I was saying goodbye, there was the husband inquiring by phone whether the gendarmes had any information about his wife, whom he had lost sight of since she had been gone for two hours without leaving any news and if the gendarmes could warn him if they found her, I heard that he was invited to go to the gendarmerie quickly, without any further details, hoping that he had never been able to get out of there since that day.
We do not know the value of life that when we are about to lose it, this woman has tried to end her life several times although she knew the true value of a life and what she could lose, hanging on by a thread, was the love she had for her son who was at the end of that thread. The latter allowed her to hold on and to believe that one day she could regain her freedom and live a quiet life, as far as I was concerned, I was more of a Mosquito than a Mosquito that allowed this woman to make a phone call to people in arms and the coup de grâce to a monster by preventing her from harming anyone forever.
I leave you with a big kiss.