Last night, E’s relatives held a family barbeque. After a night cooking charred meat and watching the effect of alcohol on expats (which, incidentally, appears to involve a lot of singing – mostly about how fantastic the English upper class are. Cue awkward silences from E and I, who may as well have been wearing red for all our politics stood out), I returned to the gîte with The Boyfriend in tow. It was early in the morning, and we’d both had a glass or three, so finding the door wide open and what E disproportionately describes as “debris” littering the front step was a bit of a shock.
“Bonjour?” I called out, thinking my attempt at the native language would so impress the Mad Axe Murderer that he’d pause in the middle of his murderous plans to congratulate me.
E hushed me – perhaps seeing the flaw in my logic, but more likely (French wine is very nice) because he’d heard a noise from inside coming out way. We both screamed, as from the darkness there emerged…
The farm cat. It ran off into the bushes, looking sheepish.
Still, Mad Axe Murderer could be hiding just round the corner. We ventured in, tentatively, and turned on the light. All was as it should be, but, perhaps to reassert his masculinity after the scream-at-the-cat incident, E grabbed an enormous knife from the kitchen counter. In a move not unlike one seen in a James Bond remake, he lifted a finger to his lips and raised the knife above his head.
“What the hell are you doing?” I asked, incredulously.
“Stay here,” E replied, manlily.
He began to creep up the stairs, knife aloft. Sick of having been assigned “flower arranging” and “cake decorating” duties all day, I followed.
“Bonjour?” I tried again, stomping around and turning on light switches. E waved the knife at me, dismayed at my lack of subtlety.
With Mad Axe Murderer yet to make an appearance, I left E to check the cupboards and satisfy his Jason Bourne-esque fantasy, retrieved the clawed biscuit packet from the doorstep, and went to bed.