Courfeyrac called me "'Ferre" yesterday. It sounds a lot like the English word "fair". It made my chest ache. Of course, that always happens when he's friendly or complimentary, and sometimes when he's only standing near to me.
Courfeyrac is here today, in La Musain. He keeps talking about one of his new grisettes. Seeing him smile happily as he describes how she kissed him gently makes my chest ache worse, and my eyes sting, as though I were about to cry.
I wish I didn't feel this way about him. My thoughts are always choppy and confused. I can barely think straight anymore. And Courfeyrac isn't strange like I am. He isn't unnatural. He loves women, like every other man.
Now he looks over at me, and smiles.
"Bonjour, 'Ferre. How are you today?"
"Fine, as always, I suppose."
I move away slowly to sit at Enjolras' table, looking over the books he is reading. I feel hurt as I hear that Courfeyrac's girl made him laugh. It's not something I can do. I'm a philosopher. I don't seem to have a talent in humour. I don't think I've ever made him laugh, though Bossuet, Joly, and Grantaire have. I envy them.
The only thing I can ever do is watch, and my heart is sick of watching. On the other hand, soon we will both die on Enjolras' barricades, and his girl, alive, will not follow. That shouldn't be comforting, but it is, in a bitter sort of way.
"'Ferre, are you all right?"
"'Ferre is fair as 'Ferre can be," Grantaire offers from his corner. Courfeyrac grins and shakes his head at him, and then looks expectantly back at me.
"I'm mourning the death of one of my good friends. He turned his essay in late to Blondeau." I raise my eyebrows expressively.
Courfeyrac snorts and chuckles, murmuring "Good old Blondeau."
He doesn't notice, but I did. I caused him to laugh. The pain that follows as he says something highly complimentary about the girl that makes Jehan blush is lessened. I'll get through today all right.
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