Plans for Colin in a vintage phone call

Royan  , October 1985

«  They want me to be at home on the first Saturday of holidays. They both want me to agree without conditions to what Edouard has planned for me. A tiny flat in the building where he lives and the obligation to look after his old mother when he’ll be abroad to promote his fucking books , namely almost all the time. Officially, this should allow me to have free housing; but I know very well this is a way to have me constantly on sight, and incidentally to escape his mother and have his “affairs” in peace.
– What can I do, Colin?
– I have no idea for the moment, but I wanted you to know that I won’t come back for holidays, or at least for the beginning of these. I’m staying at Simon’s home, taking time to find a solution. But keep me posted on everything they plan to do.”

I hung up with a heavy heart, the trembling of his sobbing voice still in mind.

“ What the fuck can we do for him ? This is unbearable.
– You see , right now I just want to run away, but it won’t solve anything for him. We can do nothing, because we’re too young; with school and parents…
– Didn’t you say me that you had another gay friend of his age in La Rochelle?”

Instantly I kissed Diane on the lips. Alban , of course. Wasn’t he the one to call in all inextricable situations? And then more, he was the only one who could bring good mood and adventure in all this sordid story. This time it was a slightly shrill hissing sound in the telephone line that brought us to La Rochelle.

I hadn’t heard Alb’s voice since august, it was strange to hear him pick up, with the noise of cutlery, the sound of New Order and laughes in the background.
I was sure they were all there, everyone from the party, by him.

“ Eponine? What’s happening to you, you’ve got such a small voice” And then, silence behind, just the music, more melancholic this time.

I told him about Colin, about adults, about Edouard, and about the noose of intolerance in which he would be trapped the next year, in Paris. I was trying to take a detached tone, but my emotion, and all this fear of things I only half understood caught me up while speaking. And the lack of breathing at the end of the line made me understand it wasn’t funny at all.

“ Give me his number. We’re gonna call him, David is here. And don’t worry, we’ll find something to get him out of there, even if we have to spend the night on it. What kind of friends would we be otherwise? “

In my head, there was now his smoky room, guys and girls leaning over a coffee table, and chatting animatedly while drinking a lot. No doubt, a perfect battle plan would come out of this brilliant meeting …
I don’t know why, but I was reassured. Knowing that there were plenty of friends in the business , even the least concerned, but all united by the comforting power of a vodka bottle warmed my heart.

“ Epo, there are guys outside” moaned Diane.

Night had completely fallen now, and it was the hour when  particular bunches were hanging out around the station.
Alb could hear them knock on the plexiglass walls.

“ For heaven’s sake, I don’t know who you are with nor where you are, but keep a low profile when you go out from this booth. Just walk, do not respond to provocations !”

As we were quickly going out , a guy called out to me.
“ Hey you ! You’ve forgotten your phone card.
– Take it, it’s for keeping you waiting …
– But it is that the young lady has manners… Don’t you want to have a phone call with us?”

We continued to walk, very quickly; we were already far away and this ordinary threat got lost in the night.
Anyway, I wasn’t losing much; there was almost nothing left on my card.

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