A smile crept onto her lips as she closed the book.
"I know him, too, Monsieur de Saint-Exupéry. I know le petit prince."
He was playful, curious, adventurous.
Less naive than the little prince.
More mature than the little prince.
He was a traveler, a wanderer. Dreamed of the mountains, talked about buses that would carry him through the stars. She always admired him for his freedom. It almost bordered on envy. Sadness, too, because he left her behind like the little prince left his rose. So she stayed at home, rooted to the place where he first kissed her. Rooted in the place where he asked for her name, where he laughed at her jokes.
She liked her home, at least most of the time. The little prince's rose - at least that's what she suspected - missed him, but was also tired of the volcanic craters because they constantly reminded her of him. Little did she know that he, too, thought of her every time he saw a flower. Of his rose, which he missed just as much as he was drawn out into the world. His rose, which he trusted to welcome him as soon as he returned. He did not ask her to wait for him, he only asked her not to forget him. That was a promise on both sides.
When she finally understood that he had not left her behind, but only with herself, she found peace with the volcanoes. She enjoyed the place where he kissed her for the last time, the place where he called her name loudly and told her jokes.
He came back, his pockets heavy. He brought her a piece of stone from each planet he had visited.
Little stones from the mountains whose echoes had reminded him of her laughter.
Little stones from rivers whose sparkling water reminded him of her eyes.
Little stones he had accidentally stepped on, which reminded him of the support she gives him.
Loose pebbles, as he was one. Because he wanted her to remember too.
© Sophie Haller 2022-07-28