"Vive la France!" Enjolras exclaimed, bullets flying by him. He couldn't get distracted now. Regardless of his sweaty hands and falling comrades – there was a higher calling now.
Let them see the oppressed. Let them see our blood.
Oh how angry he was with himself when this occurred to him. What kind of people occupies the seats of the government? Those people who let the poor suffer and allow their own bellies to grow larger by the day?
"How dare they!" He picked up the loaded gun from behind him and fired again, shutting his eyes as his shot hit its mark. "How can they turn a blind eye to their fellow man!"
"Canons!" Enjolras paled, feeling Combeferre's desperate grip on his arm. He steeled himself for the onslaught, glancing briefly at Marius.
"Make them pay through the nose!"
"Make them bleed while we can!" Enjolras nodded at Courfeyrac, finding tears trailing down his cheeks. He turned again and took aim.
"To the right!"
"Fire!" Enjolras felt the gun recoil into his shoulder and threw it down to be reloaded. He couldn't watch as soldiers fell. He went to pick up the rifle that was being handed to him. He wasn't watching; he wasn't looking. His mind was a mess. All the plans he had made, all the preparation was gone. Instead he was stuck in a whirlwind of frantic thoughts and desperate motions. Then he felt the earth shake beneath his feet and parts of the barricade shatter beneath him.
Enjolras fell back, landing hard on the cobblestones, his breath pushed forcibly from his lungs. He heard the groans of his comrades and he slowly pushed himself up. He quickly went to Combeferre and helped his friend stand up. "Quick, to the café!"
Only four of them remained; he spied Marius lying unconscious and vulnerable just a few feet from the barricade. Enjolras could do nothing for him now. There was nothing anyone could do for them now. No one would open their doors to the students. The people did not stand up; the people did not come. He hurried his remaining friends to the café. They climbed up the stairs, tripping over their feet, feeling light headed from their wounds. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
They heard the soldiers clambering into the first floor of the café and then there was an eerie silence. Enjolras held his breath, waiting and within moments the rest of his comrades fell, the National Guard having shot under their feet. He was alone.
Enjolras backed up towards the windows, the remnants of the barricade in his line of sight. He heard the soldiers make their way up the stairs and he faced them without fear. One soldier, a sergeant he figured from his decorated uniform, stepped forward to address the revolutionary.
He heard a scuffle going on behind the other soldiers and Grantaire shoved his way through the armed men. The drunk stumbled his way to Enjolras, not taking his eyes off of his friend. Saying nothing, Enjolras held his right hand out to the human wine-cask and Grantaire gripped it with his right hand. A final pact is what it was. Today we die as friends. Today we die as martyrs. Neither said a word, but one look was all they needed.
He looked again to the sergeant whose rifle was aimed at his chest. Inhale. Exhale. This was it, then. Enjolras' lips tilted into an almost arrogant smirk.
"Who are you?" said the man. He saw Grantaire shift to stand straight beside him on his left.
"I am Michel Enjolras." He stared intently at the man. "I am for the poor." He threw down his gun, holding back his tears for his fallen friends. "If you are going to kill me, look me in the eye and don't look away when you do so." He inhaled one last time, holding the red flag high. "I am you."
And then it was so dark.
So this is death.
Enjolras was surprised. Death was dark, but there was no pain. Death was dark, but it was not cold. How confusing. Oh nothing the matter. I died for the cause. It was – no! Is! It is a good cause! No one should be stepped upon; not when we are equal.
Then suddenly he was awake.
He squinted against the light that met his eyes. His eyesight slowly adjusted to the minimal light and he found himself in a room with white walls. He was looking up at a dimly lit, white ceiling. He struggled to pick himself up. When Enjolras looked down on himself, he was wearing a thin, peculiar, white fabric. He shifted his gaze from side to side, his eyes landing on odd, whirring machines, weird buttons on the bed he laid on, and finally, a person – a girl – sitting asleep in a chaise by the bed.
He looked on in confusion, reaching out to shake the young girl awake. As soon as he had placed a tentative hand on the girl's knee, she jolted awake. She rubbed her eyes momentarily before staring at him in both awe and disbelief.
"Oh! Lucien! Maman!" The young girl ran out of the room, quickly returning with a much older woman at her side. "He's awake!"
The older woman said nothing, but stared at Enjolras with tears in her eyes. She pressed a hand to her mouth and after a moment, Enjolras was quickly held within the woman's embrace. He saw the younger girl over the woman's shoulder look over to a blonde haired man that had just entered the room.
"Oh my Lucien! My darling Lucien!" Enjolras could feel the woman's tears soak through the fabric on his shoulder. After a few moments, Enjolras slowly and gently disentangled himself from the woman's hold.
Michel Enjolras looked at the trio, confused. "Excusez-moi." He cleared his throat awkwardly. "But who is Lucien?"
Lucien. I am Lucien Favreau. That's right. My name is Lucien. Not Michel. Not Michel Enjolras.
Lucien repeated this to himself. It was something he repeated over and over again every day since he had woken up. It was a long and slow process, all of his remembering. It was irritating and incredibly jarring for the young boy. I am Lucien, not Michel. This had become his mantra – his daily reminder – that all things Enjolras were nothing but his imagination.
Lucien Favreau was the eldest son of Raphael and Angeline Favreau. He was, at the moment, eighteen years old – a young high school student at a particularly prestigious school in Paris. He had a sister named Julienne who was younger than him by two years. He was, apparently, a smart boy. He was lined up to graduate from his school and fly off to medical school in London by the end of the year; all of this despite the fact that he was, indeed, quite out of it for the most part.
One year ago, the family had gotten into a severe car crash – this he remembered. He remembered the pain as plain as day for he had taken the brunt of the force of the incoming car. This accident rendered him unconscious and he had been stuck in a coma for eight months.
Lucien had spent eight months constructing a life for himself in 19th century France as Michel Enjolras. When he finally woke up, he was no longer Michel. No longer was he the charmingly terrible leader of the Les Amis nor was he spearheading a revolution for the downtrodden. He was not a young man of twenty-three fighting for and inspiring those less fortunate. Instead, he was Lucien; surrounded by family who loved him and friends who cared.
The doctors had said he would be fine, physically. But his mental state was another matter. Michel – no, Lucien – was not, apparently, going to simply accept this fact. He was not going to accept the fate that had been dealt to him. He was Michel Enjolras! At least, in his mind he was that man. Lucien questioned his friends and family daily on his life eight months prior and the memories eventually came back. One by one or sometimes three at a time, they came back leaving him dizzy and often confused.
In reality, Lucien did not forget anything. He remembered his studies, and he remembered the machines. Computers, cars, cell phones, everything he remembered. He was in a place where he knew what everything was, but he felt so out of place at the same time. His memories were often mixed with his imagined French reality, but he was a smart boy and eventually sifted through what was 21st century and what was 19th.
It was odd and disconcerting for him to be 'returning' to this life. He had a bit of a tough time separating who he was as Lucien and who he pretended to be as Michel. He did not look quite so different from who he was as Michel Enjolras, if only looking like the darker version of that self. Where Michel was blonde, Lucien had dark hair. Michel was quite pale – like marble, he thought ruefully – Lucien had a slight golden tone. Lucien did, however, possess the deep blue eyes, high cheekbones, and strong jaw line that he had grown accustomed to as Michel.
He was still equally as stubborn as Michel. He was equally as passionate as Michel. He was a student intent on learning like Michel except he was now eighteen again and actually not Michel Enjolras.
Enough. Do not think of that. I am Lucien – not Michel.
But how difficult it was. Here he was – in Paris of all places! Everywhere he looked the Michel inside of him would jump and grin. Perhaps it was not perfect, but democracy was in place. Rights for every man, woman, and child as the western societal norm! He frowned to himself in thought. There was always this burning in his heart when it came to the rights – the politics – of man, but now it was just a dull ache. In its place stood a song, a song that called – begged – him to aid the helpless. He spent many nights in his room at his parents' house in contemplation of that very song. Sometimes it pounded in his ears and other times it warmed his thoughts.
Do you hear the people sing? Singing the song of angry men!
He had considered politics, but he realized it was something too polluted – too dirty – and too unworthy of his young life now. He considered becoming a lawyer, but it didn't sit quite as right with him now as it did when he was Enjolras. But then he thought of becoming a doctor, and his heart was enflamed and the song ceased its incessant pounding. That was his new plan; he was going to see it through.
"Oy! Lucien!" Lucien looked up, meeting the gaze of a boy who he had soon recalled as Fabien – his best friend.
"Good morning, Fabien." Fabien clapped a hand on Lucien's shoulder and the two meandered their way into the school. Lucien nodded to those who called his name. That's right. Many friends, many names, but none quite so difficult to pronounce as Courfeyrac.
"Did you do Richard's assignment?" Fabien pulled a paper from his bag, waving it in front of Lucien's face.
"Enjolras! Do you have Geroux's paper? Let me compare!" Combeferre smiled waving a piece of parchment in the air. "I feel like I've completely missed the point."
Enjolras chuckled and handed his paper to Combeferre who immediately paled at the length of his friend's assignment. "You asked, mon ami. Don't blame me."
"My God, are you even a man? He assigned this yesterday!"
"Oh, yeah. Here." Lucien replied after thoroughly shaking his head. He handed Fabien the worksheet, trying to shake the memory – no, his imagination – away.
"Oh man! There's a back side?!" Fabien immediately turned to his friend and handed him back his assignment. "I've got study hour first! I'll see you later!"
With that, Fabien ran off to the library. Lucien shut his locker and looked down the hallway in a daze.
Perhaps this had not been the particular life he had in mind, but it was his life now. It was all he had. And he was alone again.
I am Lucien. Not Michel.
Lucien. Not Michel.