A Year In France – Episode 41

Supplied © A Year In France illustration by Mandy Dixon

Silently and carefully, Philippe opened the envelope and drew out a piece of paper. Julia watched him anxiously as he read.

“What is it? Some sort of anonymous letter?”

Philippe shook his head.

“No, it’s not anonymous. It’s signed by somebody called Travis Edgar. He wants to meet you because . . .” Philippe looked up at her. “He says he’s your brother.”

Julia let out a deep breath.

“Not anonymous, then, but definitely a hoax,” she said. “There is no way I have a brother. Throw it away.”

“There’s a mobile number for you to ring,” Philippe said.

“I’m not ringing him,” Julia replied, surprised.

“Don’t you want to find out why he’s saying he is your brother?”

Julia shook her head vehemently.

“I’m not interested. He’s probably some nutter who goes around making up lies and trying to con people.”

“If he is a nutter, we should report him to the police,” Philippe said. “But we can’t do that in case he’s genuine.”

Julia stared at him.

“Philippe, there is no way I have a brother. He must have a sister somewhere with the same name as me and it’s a case of mistaken identity, because I am definitely not his sister.”

“I still think you should ring him,” Philippe urged.

Julia sighed and pulled out her mobile phone.

“What’s the number?”

She punched in the number Phillipe gave her and waited.

It rang briefly before a man’s voice answered.


“Travis Edgar? This is Julia Delahaye. I don’t know whether it’s a simple case of mistaken identity or some sort of con you are trying to pull off here, but there is absolutely no way we can be related. I wish you the best of luck in searching for your relative.” Julia ended the call and turned to Philippe.

“There, are you satisfied now?”

Philippe shrugged.

“If you are. I do wonder, though, what made him think you and he were related.”

“I’m sure your writer’s imagination could come up with a theory on that – one that would have no more truth in it than the one Travis Edgar has dreamed up,” Julia retorted. “I’m going to have a coffee. Do you want one?”


Waiting for the kettle to boil, Julia fought back the tears. It was stupid to let what was obviously a cruel hoax upset her so much, but she couldn’t help herself.

It brought back all her childhood feelings, when she’d longed for years for either her dead father miraculously to turn up, or for Geraldine to meet someone new and give her a brother or a sister, turning them into a proper family.

And now this thoughtless man, Travis Edgar, whoever he was, had invaded her life, bringing all her childish insecurities back to her mind.

If she thought for one moment there was any actual possibility of him being her brother, she’d meet him and see what he had to say, but as there wasn’t the remotest chance of him being who he said he was, she had no intention of seeing him and encouraging his lies.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.