The Second World War: PART 9 - Roger Farrier - Paris (1945)
The smashed mirror of water became whole once more when the unshaven face emerged from its depths.
After a long moment, the surface became still. Roger Farrier leant over, gripping the sink with both hands. He breathed in through his nose and puffed out. He repeated the process two more times then looked over to the opened letter sitting on the toilet seat. It wasn’t long and had been typewritten, pre-prepared.
“My handsome soldier,
I love you with all my heart, I want you to remember that as you read these words.
This is my final word. So goodbye, my dearest.
As you know, the Resistance had nothing to do with our coincidental meeting. They recruited me nearly a year after Dunkirk, when I was twenty-three, and I have worked for them ever since. I was in love with a Frenchman, and still was, until you came along. He was trying to destroy sensitive material from a downed R.A.F Spitfire - you can find out who he was from the M.O.D - the Germans caught him and they shot him. He looked a lot like you, with the same dreamy eyes and messy brown hair. He had a moustache though; something you despise.
At the time, I felt I’d killed him, so I accepted their request. Edmund Burke once wrote ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’ So, I was in a sense also to blame. It drove me to a dark place of heavy drinking and ruin.
By time of 3 anniversaire of his death I was already madly in love with you. The Resistance wanted me to infiltrate by seducing the Nazis at the camp and I said no. How could I now with you in my life? They withdrew their transport to get you home and I took over the operation myself.
A year ago, I bailed on an old contact of mine – I didn’t want you to go - I knew that your heart lay with Sophie, but it would break mine and be the death of me. I realised I was wrong a couple of months ago and paid a pilot to get you home. He took my money and ran for Switzerland. At that time, the Gestapo were snooping around the café. I didn’t tell you. They found Pierre and hung him from a tree in the Latin Quartier. They made enquiries into my movements, but nothing’s come of it.
This morning, I missed my period for the third time and I’m pregnant; I’m pregnant with your baby, Roger. I thought we could escape to Spain from Bayonne. Hoping you’d give up on your quest to return to England and to her but I knew you wouldn’t no matter my love for you.
Now I’ve told you, it is the end of our love. You’ll never forgive me. I will raise our child by the sea, I hope to get to Saville on the last of my money and do you proud. I will always love you and hope that a part of you, deep down, loves me in return. There it is, my handsome soldier, my darling, my everything.
It’s late now and I’m tired, I have a long journey ahead of me. I kissed your forehead with your favourite lip rouge before I packed my bags.
My love, my love. It is done.
Adelise & Bump.”
Farrier threw the letter down for the last time. Suddenly he punched the mirror with both fists. It didn’t break, and he stood back from it. He looked at the spot she had stared into only hours before then cursed aloud in a single ghastly profanity. His eyes were wet with regret. He knew he had lost Adelise and wouldn’t win her back. She was gone for good this time. When the Gestapo broke down the door, he didn’t put up a fight, the fight had left him now. They shoved him in the backseat and went for a long drive.