Esmé’s TER score was high enough for her to choose any course of study at uni. But she didn’t want to be a doctor or a lawyer. She wanted to study French. For her it was still a gateway to enchantment, a getaway from what had been done to her. It was the romance of a different culture, of a far-away place, of escape from hell, that attracted her. Once, she’d explained the attraction to Luke, who was studying the French horn at the music conservatorium. He said that being big helped you play the horn; and also that not many people took it up because it was so fiendishly difficult, so his chances of getting a post afterwards in a real orchestra were much better than with other instruments. They had to move house twice because their housemates complained about the racket. (Mozart’s second racket). They stayed together when they moved, because each was the other’s best friend. Esmé rather liked the sound of the French horn. Especially when it was muted by distance.
“It’s always my friend,” she answered when he’d asked what was so special about French. “No unpleasant arguments. Always there, happy to let me share.”
“Yeah, that’s like me and food! My best friend.”
Esmé knew Luke well enough to hear the bitterness underneath the seemingly unemotional words.
Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter