Francis Bonnefoy loves waking up in the mornings. Especially during Mondays. Others may hate that day of the week, whenever it concerns work or school. But Francis was a different kind of man. His whole persona is an enigma.
And he meant it when he said he love Mondays.
Francis Bonnefoy, aged 26, 6'0 in height stretches his tall toned body by extending both arms all over his head. Stirring from the arms of Morpheus, he would pull his linen blankets closer to his body for additional warmth. He would cross the linoleum floor of his bedroom with a pillow tucked underneath his armpit. He would open his blinds and look from his third floor apartment to below the busy streets of Paris where cars and people would resemble garden ants. With a voice that oozed magnolia blossoms, he will greet the morning of the first day of the week with a smile on his face.
Is there a specific reason of his sudden change of mood this time of the week?
Obviously there is.
Scratching his head, he would yawn and stretch to his satisfaction until his weariness wear off. He'll shower with the news anchor's voice blaring from the opened television. He would use two towels: to dry his hair and wrap the other around his torso. He would review the emailed medical reports at the hospital for problems and holes. Usually there's none. He would don a sensible shirt taken randomly from his closet and smooth down the creases. He would check his reflection four times at his full-length mirror from head to foot.
For it was only every Monday he can see a particular waiter at his favorite café.
Francis learned to anticipate each pale pink hue the sky color its clouds before the start of each new day. He breathes in the planted strawberries and Scottish rose bushes near his backdoor. The hard firmness of the sidewalk and the soft lulling whisper of a passing breeze. The sound of the passing train and the smells inside a domesticated household. The complimented colors of mowed lawns and bayberry thickets, of English ivys and morning glories. The taste of salt near the coastal areas and the smell of citrus in a passing woman's skin.
Furthermore, he learned to anticipate life.
The change started one rainy July, when a downpour came bathing the Earth with its rare showers. He was alone and broke, living his life monotonously in a lame and boring routine. His life last year was simply to wake up, to eat, to work, to sleep. After a whole day of no progress, the cycle would repeat.
There's no joy at all to date.
That is until that said July morning.
It was a heavy rain that was sure as he dried himself with a crumpled handkerchief from his left denim jeans pocket. The fat droplets falling from the sky made him seek refuge to a famous cafe an acquaintance of his recommended. His hair was wet and his disheveled appearance was surely attracting too much unwanted attention. With a sigh, he combed his unruly locks.
"Bad day sir?"
Francis looked up and found his lavender eyes meet with ones the color of drenched leaves. His clothes dampened and his trousers clinging to his thighs, he answered impudently. "That was quite obvious."
"You should've taken to mind to bring an umbrella." The man had the nerve to answer back and at the same time smile. "Better prepared."
"Paris is not London." Francis retorted back, annoyed. The waiter eyed him quizzically. He explained, "Your accent gives you away."
The waiter nodded, nonplussed. "Well you too. Absolutely Parisian." He handed a tall cup of coffee. "Here have an espresso."
"I didn't order this." Francis eyed the beverage as if it grew fangs.
"Take that from me. You need brightening up." The waiter raised a brow and smirked. "Maybe free coffee would do it."
"I'm no sunflower." However, Francis started taking the cup and sniffing its aroma. "What's your name?"
"Full?" Francis asked as he cooled the coffee to his liking.
The man gave him a dimple smile. "You don't need to know."
From that day on, Francis has taken a liking to the fellow.
"Good morning." Tuesday. It was sunny. Francis came again the shop to grab coffee before work.
Or possibly trade friendly banter with Arthur.
"Where is he?" Francis scanned the place and saw no signs of the man.
"Huh?" Alfred F. Jones, a regular worker was asked. "Who?"
"Oh, that guy?" Alfred fished for a sandwich inside his backpack while he answered. "He only works here during Mondays."
"You know him?"
"Hell yeah I know him." Alfred wiggled his eyebrows after getting his snack. "He's my roommate."
"What's his full name?"
"Arthur Kirkland. He's Brit." Alfred took a bite of a salami. "An exchange student in my university. Taking up Law." He gulped down a machiato. "Quite moody if you asked me."
"I know." Francis answered, his thoughts wandering.
"Good morning. Saint Joan Hospital. How may I help you?"
"Your voice sounds like its preaching. Tone it down."
"Boss." Melisande Lefevre, a receptionist from the hospital answered the phone. "What's up?"
"On second thought, keep it. Conversationalist doesn't become you." Francis looked at his paper-thin wristwatch. It read 9:19 A.M. "Did we have a patient named Kirkland there?"
"Let me see." The woman typed the name in her computer. "Is this personal?" She waved at a head doctor.
"No. I just need to check him up. Call it the daily random." Once a week Francis checks out a random patient for specifically no reason. Melisande got the drift and gives results of forty-three year old pantyhosed ladies. She pressed enter. "Daily random? Its Tuesday." She smoothed her hair as she took in the results. "Besides that, its a man your searching for."
"Is there a rule that I should only search women? Who gave you the idea?" Francis leaned on one good hip. "So how is it?"
"There's one. Peter Kirkland."
"Did I hear it right, Peter Kirkland?"
"Yes and he's..." Melisande laughed out loud. "Ten years old."
"I'm not pedophile."
"I've never said anything of that sort."
"Just keep reading."
"Of English descent. Diagnosed of asthma. Stayed for two weeks. Not much to mention here." Melisande continued scrolling.
"Peter is it?" Francis blew out a smoke. "Check his relations."
"He had three brothers." Melisande pushed her glasses at the bridge of her nose. "What is this, you're into boys now?"
A choking sound. "Is th-that supposed to be a jo-joke?" Sound of a banged receiver. "Man, I spilled my half-assed latte."
"You are drinking at Elle et Cafe?"
"Oui, however it looks like their service was mediocre for today."
"Anyway, it says here this boy Peter has three brothers. Only two names are specified though. Kyle and Arthur Kirkland."
"X marks the spot." Francis smiled. "Check records for Arthur."
"Arthur Kirkland. 23 years old. Of British descent. Eye color green, hair color blond. He was-"
"Thanks Mel. I owe you one." Francis stood up and took his coat.
"Sounds like a life-threatening situation." Melisande massaged her knuckles after typing the email.
"Don't tell Roderich about this." Roderich Edelstein was one of the head doctors of the hospital. He strongly oppose giving detailed reports of patients, even to fellow doctors.
"No need. He's right beside me."
"Ah... here comes the never-ending coffee. Espresso again?" Francis eyed the familiar tall cup of warm beverage.
And also the familiar form of its server. "Well you don't say what you want so I bring the usual, you git."
Monday morning. He was there again at Elle et Cafe. It was his ninth time since coming to the area. Francis smiled at Arthur's fruitful swearing. "Git? Seriously? At this time and age."
"That's more like it."
He thought it was spring fancy.
But then it was the middle of September.
"You have a pretty nice cap as usual today I see." Francis admired the way Arthur's hat was askew, giving him the chance to see the way the early morn sunlight dance at his silken curls. It was a dramatic contrast against his mixed blood coloring and noble nose.
"Its part of my uniform. You always see it."
"And I see wheat gold hair peeking from under it." Francis grinned as he smelled Arthur's scented sandalwood soap and shampoo. He knew that the reason for caps even at terribly heated weather was because Arthur's hair was not tameable. The artistry of the monthly winds are more responsible than a comb or a brush.
"Hush it." Arthur chided and immediately patted the hat in place. "Now, will you tell me where you you got my personal information? You sound like a bloody stalker calling at my house that time of the night last week. I've been asking this question nonstop and you won't give a reply."
"And a very rosy mouth."
"S-Stop i-it. Answer my question."
"But your cheeks are rosier."
"You are harassing me Francis." The Englishman would sputter, making him in turn laugh. "You're not your usual self this morning." Arthur stopped, thinking. "No, rather, you are not always yourself during Mondays."
"Just because you saw me as a keynote speaker last month at a televised charity ball doesn't mean I'm always that serious."
"I sure hope you were."
"Oh, is that so?" Francis closed his eyes and teased. "Admit it, you like both of my sides."
"That is absolute poppycock!"
"I love it when you go archaic-like."
Mondays are a pleasure.
It was love.
God, he truly love Mondays.
Author's Note: In celebration of Entente Cordial. April 8, 2012.