Things Left Unsaid
Here she was, telling him that everything was happening as it should be, and all he could think of was that she was sorely mistaken, that everything wasn't falling into place—it was all falling apart. Nothing was going the way it should, he wanted to argue. Nothing at all! What could he say to make her understand that she was not headed towards a certain future, but rather something very uncertain?
No, Oscar. No, he wanted to tell her. Would she listen to him if he took hold of her shoulders and shook her? If that was what it would take, he would do it! You have to listen to me, he would say. For once, just listen to what I say!
It wasn't that she never listened. On the contrary—she asked his opinions on a lot of things. She always had, and he always answered her. But this was not a question, therefore it required no answer.
Words filled his throat, choking him. She tilted her head, watching the emotions flickering over his face, and gave him a tentative half-smile. "Won't you drink with me, André?" she asked, and he wanted to rip the bottle from her hand, throw her glass on the floor and shout at her that no, he would not drink with her, and no, things were not falling into place, and no, he was not happy for her even the slightest bit.
Was she even happy for herself? Or was she only pretending to be? She'd become rather accomplished at wearing a mask, he noted almost bitterly.
But he only poured some wine into his own glass and took one sip after raising it to her in a silent toast. I feel as if I don't know you anymore, Oscar, he wanted to say. And I hate feeling this way. I miss the connection we used to have. I miss those days together and those nights when we used to talk and understand exactly what the other one of us was trying to say.
"Head Commander of the Royal Guard," she sighed, having finished the contents of her glass already. She poured another. "It's quite an honor. Instead of being in charge of only one regiment, I'll be in charge of them all!"
Oh, Oscar, is that really what you want? Then why do you drink? Why do you welcome more responsibilities with open arms? Don't you know that you were promoted because the new Queen of France likes you?
Is that why you drink, Oscar? Why do I feel as if I don't know you anymore?
She swirled her wine around in her glass before taking a long drink, smiling at him with no small amount of gratitude. "I suppose things will be busier from now on, but I can count on you."
Another statement, not a question. He raised his eyes to meet hers.
"Can't I?" she asked. Evidently, she'd been expecting an answer or at least some positive acknowledgement after all.
"Of course," he said automatically, as he had done for what seemed like years and years. "Of course you can."
She nodded, finishing off the contents of her second glass before pouring a third. It was then that she noticed something odd. "Hey, you, why aren't you drinking? Aren't you happy for me?"
No, he wanted to tell her. No, I'm not! I love you, Oscar! But I do not understand you anymore! How can I when you close yourself away from everyone and pretend to be someone you have never been!
"No, I am happy, Oscar. I just…"
I just miss the way things used to be! I know it is selfish of me to expect that a childhood friendship should last forever, but I can't help but want those days back! The days where it was only you and me and our freedom. Two fencing swords, a few apples, and the feeling that we still had our whole lives ahead of us.
"What is it?"
His expression faltered, and he plastered a smile on his face. "It's nothing," he said. "It's just…you look cute when you're happy."
No, no, no! That isn't what I wanted to say… I have to stop her from rushing into this madness! I have to… I know this will turn out badly… It might be just a feeling, but it won't go away. I do hope this will not be her undoing… But I should tell her everything she doesn't want to hear…
She crinkled her nose at him—which only made her look cuter, he thought, though he said nothing—and was about to speak when he did so first.
"Congratulations, Oscar." He raised his glass to her before downing it all in one long gulp. "To your happiness."
Just imagine all of the things André could have said to her and didn't. All of the times he wanted to say something, and kept his mouth shut. This is just one example, of course, of what he might have been thinking at the time—when Marie Antoinette became Queen and promoted her to Colonel of the Royal Guard.
So really, it's just speculation. Feedback is appreciated, as always. Thank you for reading!