A Year In France – Episode 57

Supplied © A Year In France illustration by Mandy Dixon

“That’s great news,” Julia said, switching off her phone and turning to Philippe. “Maddy’s coming for New Year and she’s hoping Luc will come with her.”

As she went to place the phone down on the kitchen table, it beeped. She sighed as she read the message and Philippe glanced at her curiously.

“I left a message for Travis earlier,” Julia explained. “He thanks me for getting in touch, but he’s currently up in the mountains for a few days to visit his friend. He’ll be in touch to arrange a meeting after he gets back next week.”

“Next week’s not too long to wait,” Philippe said.

“I know, but I didn’t want to wait. I was hoping to see him tomorrow or the next day at the latest. I need to get it over and done with.”

“We’ve got a lot to do to straighten the house out over the next few days,” Philippe said. “You would have struggled to fit a meeting in, so it’s probably for the best. Especially as you haven’t been well recently.”

Julia sighed.

“I’m fine. A bit tired but I’m feeling better. Keeping busy will keep my mind off things,” Julia said.

Two days later the house was beginning to look like the home Julia had envisaged.

There was still a lot to do, of course, including decorating their bedroom and giving the main bathroom a make-over, but essentially they were putting their own mark on it with their favourite things.

When her phone rang Julia picked it up quickly, hoping it was Travis saying he’d returned early and arranging a day and time to meet. But it was Christiane.

“How’s the settling in coming on? Looking forward to having a break from it tomorrow?”

“Break from it?” Julia repeated, puzzled.

“We’d arranged to go wedding dress shopping tomorrow, remember? The day is getting closer and I haven’t found anything to wear yet,” Christiane said. “We need to find something for you, too.”

“I’d forgotten all about our shopping date,” Julia confessed. “But yes, I’m fine for tomorrow.”

“Good. I’ll pick you up at nine and we’ll head down to the coast.”

Switching the phone off, Julia turned to Philippe.

“I’d forgotten I’d agreed to go shopping with Christiane this week. Would you like to have a day off from sorting things here and come with us? Help me to choose an outfit?”

Philippe shook his head.

“Are you joking? I find my mother a nightmare to go shopping with.” He glanced at Julia. “I’ll stay here and enjoy the peace. I might even get some writing done.”

“Don’t you need anything new for the wedding?”

“No. I’ve got the suit I bought for our wedding, so it’s virtually new. I might buy a new tie for the occasion, though. There’s plenty of time to find one locally before the big day.”

Julia laughed.

“I’ll buy you one tomorrow. You do realise the wedding is less than two weeks away, don’t you?”

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.