||The Real Toronto
by, Gavroche Thenardier
The scene is set in Toronto, Canada. It is a bitterly cold November morning. The city life has just started. Businessmen and women are off to work, pushing and shoving their way across the crowded crosswalks.
In this scene a boy around the age of 12 wakes up in the park. His brownish blond hair is ruffled and his torn clothes dont do much for the cold. Looking up at the sky, he sees towering buildings with brightly colored signs. The noises of the city are unfamiliar to him; even the language spoken is unfamiliar.
He stands up on the grass, still moist with the morning dew. He is in a daze, the smells of gun powder and burning wood are gone. And his head is swelling with pain. Where was he? It wasnt where he was before, nor was it the time. Picking up his small leather sack, he sees a shiny silver coin. Picking it up; he sees "United States of America" across the top, and on the bottom "In God we trust". He didnt read well, and realizes that it wasnt French, it was something else. Putting the coin in his pocket, he shrugs it off and starts walking down the street.
Marius, having settled down in a small cafe reads a book. Trying desperately to understand the English he once knew. It was something about a girl named Alice in some strange world while chasing a rabbit, it didnt make much sense to Marius, but it was something to read.
He had been there for about 15 minutes. How he got there, he didnt know. He remembered walking in the streets of Paris, with Cosette by his side. But when he opened his eyes, he was here, with a cup of a hot drink in his hand. He was drumming his fingers on the iron table when he looked up at some sort of screen. There were moving pictures on it, as if there were little people behind the glass. Also, there were numbers on the bottom of the screen and "CNN" on the lower right hand corner.
Looking back down at the book; Marius decided he had been reading this long enough, and grabbed a newspaper off a small rack. It was in English. On the front were pictures with blaring headlines. Nothing seemed to interest him...but a curious date seemed to beckon him. There in the right hand corner of the page read "December 1, 1998". Marius laughed, how could this be? That was over a hundred years after he last saw Cosette. It was impossible. And to be here in. He looked for any clue to where he was. The only thing he could see was Canada. Such a place did not exist in France. Marius looked around him, and became more aware of the situation he was in. He stood up; he looked at the people. They were wearing strange outfits; women in short skirts and the men in strange looking black suits. He looked at his own attire he saw a black tail coat, a cravat, a grayish vest, and black pants, which was the style of the time.
He walked up to the closest person he saw. Which happened to be an older man wearing a sweater vest. Quickly Marius asked the man in French, "Where is the library?"
The man looked at Marius stunned that a man is speaking to him, in a foreign language. He said to Marius, "Im sorry, I dont understand you." Marius, too impatient to even try and communicate went up to a waitress. Again he asked, "Where is the library?"
The waitress smiled at Marius. And happily gave Marius directions to the library in French. Even though she spoke little herself, she was always glad to give a Frenchman directions. Especially a good looking one, like Marius.
Marius walked quickly down the street. He tried his best not to bump into people, but his attempts were in vain. The flow of pedestrians was quite odd compared to Paris. They would stop at intersections and wait for carts that moved on their own to go by. Marius scanned the people for anyone familiar. There was some thing though, a child singing loudly. The song was French and familiar, something from long ago. That was it! At the barricades! Oh could this be? Marius ran to the voice, it had to be Gavroche.
There was the boy, sitting on a bench singing, and munching on something that looked like blond rectangles in a red box with a big yellow M on it. Marius yelled, "Gavroche! Its me, Marius Pontmercy!"
Gavroche looked up from his meal. He laughed, "Ah, Marius. Its you!"
"Gavroche!..but....you are dead!"
"I didnt know that. And I dont think Ill ever understand you, Marius."
"Oh...Gavroche! Where are we?"
"Toronto, Canada. You didnt know that? " Gavroche laughed.
"Where?? Oh nevermind, Im going to the library. Come with me."
"Ah, I hate the library. But what can I do? I have no choice."
They walked to the library, and discussed the situation that they were in. When they arrived at the library, Marius realized that finding the information that he needed was going to be harder then he thought. He walked up to a librarian he asked in French where any books on French history were. She walked them over to some books and some of those odd looking lit boxes. She turned to walk away, but Marius asked, "Where are we? I mean, what country?" She answered the same as Gavroche, Toronto, Canada. Marius, not satisfied with her answer asked her, "What is the date?" The librarian looked at him calmly, "Decembre 1, Monday." Marius, still not happy with any response hes gotten out of this lady asked again, "The year?" The librarian tried her best to keep from laughing taking it as a joke, but looked at him and saw he was not kidding. She said, "Sir, the year is 1998." He finally believed the date, even though it seemed quite impossible. Marius thanked her, and took some of the books off the shelf. He sat down at a table, and skimmed through the French history books.
Gavroche drummed his fingers on the table whistling a tune for about an hour, but became very bored, very fast. He looked around; he saw one of those strange boxes with moving pictures on it. He excused himself, and he walked over to one of the boxes, and had a seat. There was a pad with bumps on it and on those bumps were letters. He had been staring at the screen for quite some time, when someone beside him started to type on the pad, and letters appeared on a little box on the screen. Gavroche decided to mimic that person and started to type. After a few minutes Gavroche was now very confused and rather dumbfounded that this thing doesnt do much more then put letters on a screen.
"Marius, look here!" Gavroche cried.
Marius, now having a rather large headache took a break from researching and took a seat by Gavroche.
"Marius, you speak English, read this!"
"Euh...the library of Toronto, novels, authors, search."
"I do not understand."
"Its an index of all the books, Gavroche."
"Pretty funny looking index." Gavroche muttered.
Marius decided to take matters into his own hands, started to type random book titles into the computer. Strangely, he found many novels written by "Victor Hugo". One book was listed many times. Marius decided that it could be important to his search for answers and took a note of the call number.
"Come with me, Gavroche." Marius stated.
They headed to a quiet and secluded area of the building. Where in front of them both were books upon books. After scanning through the books for a few minutes Marius face lit up.
"AH! This is it Gavroche! This is the novel!" Said Marius. Holding up a thick book.
"Ouh...thats a fat book!" Gavroche groaned.
"Oui, But its a French novel."
"Oh really? Thats good! Non?"
Marius and Gavroche sat down at a small table with an unusual white bottle on it. Marius paid no attention to it, he flipped through the book, his blue eyes content on finding something French. But something struck him; the names in the book were too familiar. There was concern on his somber face. All of the words were familiar to the story of his life. Suddenly a dagger struck through his heart, there in bold black words was "Marius Pontmercy".
Gavroche looked at Marius and laughed, "You are very pale. The ghost of Christmas past, non?"
"Oh....my name is in here. And the names Cosette, Valjean, your name too for that matter!" Marius quickly flipped through the book, the names of his dead friends shot out like neon lights. Marius was trembling, almost panicking, but his fear was interrupted by Gavroches voice.
"What is the book?" Gavroche cried.
"Les Miserables" stated Marius.
We leave those two children to go to a shopping mall on the outskirts of Toronto. There were two curious figures. There was a young girl and a man in his twenties.
The girl looked sickly, yet beautiful. Her brown hair was matted and dull, but you can see that it use to shine with beauty. Her trench coat was quite worn in spots and covers her body almost entirely. The only thing you can really see is her face. There shown a pale complexion, with hints of pink showing through. Her big round eyes were lonely, and you can tell she has lost someone dear.
We turn now to the man. He was quite tall and handsome. His dusty blond hair hangs off his head like grains of wheat. But the most unusual thing hes wearing is his vest. The vest was red with gold rope entwined on the red velvet. The mens shirt underneath it is buttoned up, except for a few buttons on the top. The sleeves were rolled up, showing his muscular biceps.
As you may now tell, the man was Enjolras, and the girl was Eponine. Both of them awoke in this strange place only about a half-hour ago. They met simply by running into each other at the mall. They didnt know who they were, just that they came from the same place. Enjolras did however recognize her from the barricade.
They were sitting on a bench outside a store with the sign "Osco" on it in big orange letters. Confused they sat there both in awe on how they got here. Eponine, in hopes of making a conversation tells Enjolras how she got here. Her story is that she had been in Marius arms, making him promise to kiss her on the forehead after she had died. She remembers closing her eyes, and waking up here. Enjolras looked at her sternly, but you could see that he was thinking. Seeing that Eponine wished for a reply Enjolras tells her his story.
He had been trapped in the cafe, cornered by the National Guard. Grantaire had stood by him, but when the shots were fired, he was here. She said to him, "But your death must have been after mine. And you say you were here, only a few minutes ago."
Trying to lighten things up Eponine said, "Well, this is possibly heaven?" she smiles. Enjolras expression did not change.
Joly stood in front of shelves upon shelves of medicine. He was talking with the clerk, who didnt seem to listen to Joly's ramblings. Joly had been there for about an hour, after just finding himself here sitting on a chair. The wounds were all gone, and his tongue well, it could have looked better. He must have come down with something. To him, he was always sick. But how all the wounds disappeared was still a mystery to him.
Examining all the medication and medical instruments he came to a conclusion that it wasnt in 1832. The date on the Peoples magazine also gave him that hint. It was too bad he didnt have any money though, he remembers having spent it on food back in Paris. There was so much stuff there, and the people were dressed strangely. Or maybe he was? Even back in Paris he remembered people looked at him oddly, but here he felt out of place. So, he left the store, disappointed that he didnt get any new medications. And that he was still sick.
But he was greeted with the best medication, friends. There before him was Enjolras and that girl at the barricade.
"Enjolras!" Joly cried.
"Joly, is it you?" Enjolras asked.
Both of them embraced and rejoiced. After sitting down, they exchanged stories and questions on were they were.
"So it is settled, we must find the rest of us." Enjolras said.
"Well, if we are here, then the others must be to."
"But where to start? They could be anywhere. And we dont even know where we are."
"Well, I came to a medicine shop. Maybe the others are were they were known to be at?"
"That is true. Do you have any ideas?"
"Grantaire would be at a liqueur store." Joly joked. But saw on Enjolras face that he wasnt too interested in finding Grantaire. "Okay, Courfeyrac could be a place where women are. Marius might be with him. I dont know about the rest of us. Feuilly would be reading and learning. Maybe that will help"
"Im afraid it doesnt Joly. Lets see if we can find them here, in this building. Then we can go outside, and we need a map."
"Oh, I do have one." Joly takes out a small map of Toronto. "But Im afraid it wont do us much good."
Enjolras, "It will have to do. Come, lets go."
The two students left. Joly fumbling around with the map and Enjolras was thinking out loud.
Eponine hadnt said much durring their conversation. She didnt know what to say. She wasnt there at the barricade long. And she didnt know who these people really were. When Enjolras and Joly walked off, she left them and the mall, to go outside. Her mind was set on finding Marius, if Joly and Enjolras were here, Marius had to be she thought.
Grantaire sat back watching a football game on television. He was at home in this time and place, he woke up here. The bar was clean, and it was open. Which was good, and the drinks were strong. The thing that confused Grantaire was the currency used to pay for them. He had found some just laying there on several of the tables. He didnt care much for the money though. He took a swig of his drink he looked at several of the women. Nothing like they were in his old hangouts. The dresses were short, and the unusual shirts had less fabric to them then the cravat around Grantaires neck.
The door to the bar opened and two gentlemen entered. They were talking loudly and were rather excited about something. Grantaire turned around in the stool, to face Courfeyrac and Bossuet.
Grantaire yelled, "Hey, Courfeyrac, Bossuet!"
The two students looked suprised at Grantaire. Laughing, they joined Grantaire at the bar.
Courfeyrac, "Ah, Grantaire, looks like you found a watering hole!"
Grantaire, "I found it? I woke up here!" he laughed.
Bossuet laughed, "Why should we be surprised?"
"How in Gods green earth did we get here anyway?" Courfeyrac said, while looking at the womens attire.
Grantaire, "Hell if I know."
I must pardon all this skipping around from one place to another. But, this was the only way I could really tie these people together.
A clerk of a small specialty clothing shop was talking quietly with her assistant. Their discourse is of a lovely lady carefully examining the elaborate dresses. To them, this creatures dress was quite odd. Her dress was large, and had many layers. At the shoulders the fabric poofed out. While, the actual sleeves came down to her wrists. But the thing that amazed them, was her waistline. It was very
small, and narrow. A perfect hour glass figure. She must have had been wearing a corset.
To try and get a better look at this girl, the clerk and assistant approached the lady.
The lady, smiled at the two, and greeted them kindly, in French. The clerk being quite interested in the lady, asked if everything was all right and if she would like to look at anything else. She complimented the ladys dress, saying that she had never seen anything like it before. The girl just smiled and thanked her, but said she wont be buying anything, she hadnt any money. The two store clerks sparked some unease in the young lady. But, she said goodbye to them, and left the store with a sense of being unwelcome.
The city was cold, even though it was a pretty day outside. Luckily, she had her warm cloak. Even the iron bench she sat on was cold.
She had only been here an hour or so, and already she wanted to go home. Everything was quite strange here. The way the women dress confused her more then anything though, well the open-ness of couples love confused her the most. There was a strong remembrance on where she was the last time she was at home. She was sick in bed with her children by her side. Oh, they were so young. Her children, all four of them were gathered around her. The eldest, reminded her so much of Marius. The way his eyes focused on everything. All of her children were great. There were so many memories. They were all gone in this place. Her life seemed, empty here. No one she knew was here. At least when Marius died, she had her children to remind her of him. But now, there was no one here to remind her of anyone. I may note that this girl is Cosette Pontmercy.
She had been sitting there for quite a while when; a scratchy voice said something. She turned around and Cosette saw a young girl, in ratty worn clothes. Standing up Cosette said, "Excuse me, what did you say? Im afraid I didnt hear you."
"I just said...." the girl paused, "Cosette?"
Cosette tried to recollect her memories of her past. But nothing registered in her mind. "Im sorry but you must be mistaken, I dont seem to recall who you are. What is your name?"
The girl looked at the ground, wishing she hadnt asked. "Im not mistaken. And Im sure you dont remember me. My name is Eponine."
Eponine, Cosette knew this name. It was the girl that Marius once spoke of, the girl that she so often heard at the Thenardiers tavern. "Eponine, now I know! Surely, I do know. You were the Thenardiers, daughter. And, Marius, my husband..."
Eponine interrupts her, "Yes, I know who Marius is."
"Well, Marius once spoke of you. You, you saved his life at the barricade." Cosette said while walking over to Eponine.
"Marius, spoke of me?" Eponine said hesitantly.
"Yes, he told me a few years ago. Oh, he was so grateful." Cosette set her hands on Eponines shoulders. "Eponine, you have no idea how much I want to thank you. You were so brave and you did that for Marius."
Eponine lowered her head.
"Im sorry, I must be upsetting you."
"No, no its okay."
"Eponine, come and sit down on the Park bench. Id like to talk to you, if you dont mind." She smiled fondly at her.
Eponine sat down on the bench, almost afraid of what Cosette will do and say. But, she is happy to sit down, she had been walking for quite a while, and her feet were very sore.
"Eponine, how long have you been here?"
Rather startled that it isnt something about Marius she says, "Im not sure maybe a little over an
"Thats funny, Ive been here about an hour." After a pause, "Eponine, may I ask you a personal
"I-I guess." She looked at Cosette in odd wonderment.
"Eponine" Cosette said, "What was the last memory you had, before coming here?"
Eponine thought about it for a few minutes, just savoring those last memories in Marius arms. Finally she said, "I remember being in Marius arms. Talking to him, and looking at the sky. I remember... closing my eyes with Marius face there in front of me. And then, I opened my eyes, and I was here." She looked at Cosette. Cosettes eyes were puzzled, and filled with wonder. Eponine asked, "Well, what was your last memory."
Cosette woke up from her thought, and told Eponine her story. "I was sick with pneumonia I was close to dying. Our four children were gathered around me. Josephine and Delphine had their children in their arms. Our eldest son Georges was sitting in the armchair by my right side, while our youngest child Jean stood by his brothers side. Oh there was so much loneliness in his eyes. Then, I closed my eyes and died. But I came here, where ever here is.
Eponine had been listening intently. Marius and Cosette must have had a lovely marriage. But her story confused her, "But, your death was a long time after mine. And you arrived here at about the same time."
"You are right, Eponine." The two of them sit in silence watching the city pass them by for around ten minutes. When Cosette broke the silence with a question, "Have you seen anyone else here?"
Eponine remembered Enjolras and Joly over at the mall. "Yes, I remember. I ran into Enjolras and another student, Joly I think was his name."
"Really? Then there must be others here!" Cosette had an idea. Making it possible would include Eponines help, and knowledge of the city.
Marius and Gavroche had both been sitting for around 2 hours at the library. Marius was very pale and possibly scared to death. Gavroche was rather relaxed about it, and took it as a great thing that they were in the future. Clearly, Marius took being there as a terrible sign. They were dead, but at the same time, they were alive. How were they supposed to manage? More questions then he needed were in Marius mind, and he was giving himself an ulcer.
So, Gavroche took up to fooling around with a medicine bottle he had found on the table. It was white, and had "Aspirin" on the front. "What a silly thing." Gavroche muttered while trying to open the lid. He could twist the top, but it would not open. Sighing reluctantly and desperate to find out what was inside, he asked Marius, "Marius, ghost of Christmas past. Could you read this?" He handed Marius the bottle.
Taking the bottle Marius saw nothing of interest to him. "Gavroche, what do you want me to read? And, what is this?" Marius was getting impatient with Gavroche.
"I want you to open it, you are the one that speaks English." Seeing that Marius wasnt too thrilled with this idea he said, "So until you teach me English you will be opening that bottle for me."
Marius sighed having given up hope of ever seeing his beloved Cosette again. He missed his kids, even though they could be a pain. The four of them could bring quite a bit of joy into his life, it almost suprised him. There on the bottle it read "child proof," maybe thats what sparked this sudden flash back to his children, and Cosette. He looked at Gavroche, who looked something like Georges (the oldest of the four children). He frowned; Gavroche was obviously getting very impatient with him sitting there and not opening that little bottle. He looked at it he saw, "To open align arrows and push up." Sure enough there were two arrows, one on the lid, one on the bottle itself.
"Gavroche, see these arrows?" Gavroche nodded. "Well, align them and then push up on the lid."
"What a silly idea!" Gavroche took the bottle from Marius. Marius face clearly wanted to be thanked. "Thank you mdear Marius." He grinned and got to work on opening the bottle.
The library was very quite and not very many people were there. There was only the steady hum of the air conditioner, and the occasional sneeze and cough from a guy with the flu. About an hour passes, when out of no where a white disc came out of no where and hit Marius on the forehead.
"Ouch!" Marius yelped.
"Yeah! Finally!" Gavroche cheered. He poured out the contents onto the wooden table. There were hundreds of them, little white tablets with "Aspirin" on one side. He was happy that he opened the bottle, but the contents of the bottle upset him a bit. What the heck were they? They were not candy, or food. "Marius, what is...aa...preen?" Gavroche cried.
Rubbing his forehead Marius stated, "I, I dont know Gavroche. Could you have been just a bit more careful with that thing?"
"Well, I couldnt help it. I didnt know it would do that." He picked up one of the tablets and examined it. "Do you suppose its food?"
Marius said jokingly to Gavroche, "Well, then eat it."
It didnt look harmful; it was just a little white tab. And Gavroche had eaten worse things in his life, how much worse could this be? He set it in his mouth and only had bitten into it once, when he discovered, aspirin did not taste good. Trying his best not to disturb the librarian, who was apparently in a cranky mood, he just whimpered and swallowed the aspirin.
With a sour and very upset look on his face he said to Marius, "Do you want one? It tastes lovely?" he tried his best to grin.
"No, no thanks Gavroche." At first Marius was polite about Gavroches meal, but he couldnt help but chuckle.
Gavroche scowled, "Isnt that Cosette behind you?" He said rather jokingly.
"That isnt funny Gavroche." Marius cried.
"I mean really shes standing just behind you with Eponine."
Marius stood up and said between his teeth "Gavroche! That really isnt funny!"
"Marius!" a young lady called out to him.
He spun around and there before him was Cosette. Just as beautiful as the day they first met in the garden of Rue Plumet. He fainted.
"Marius?....Marius..." a voice softly said to Marius.
Opening his eyes he saw Cosette with a worried look on her face. She was holding him like a babe. The warmth of her body comforted him greatly. All of his worries washed away from his mind.
"Well, weve got one problem solved. But Marius is still unconscious." Gavroche joked.
"Are you all right Marius? You fell pretty hard." Cosette whispered.
"Yes, yes Im fine. My head hurts a little."
Cosette stroked his hair lovingly. "Can you stand up? Marius."
"Yes, I can." He stood up, only to stagger a bit. Using the table as a crutch he sat back down in the chair.
"Marius, you shouldnt scare me like that. I dont want you to get hurt." Cosette said, while sitting down next to him.
"Im sorry Cosette, I didnt expect to see you. Or any of you for that matter." He said while laying his head upon her shoulder.
Eponine walked over to Gavroche, and took a seat. She saw how happy Marius and Cosette were together. And how, Marius would have never loved her like he loved Cosette. They were both so happy together.
Gavroche looked at them all, and felt rather alone in the world. Everyone was on a down note except him.
The piano was ringing through out the theatre with great ease, while the childrens choir teachers voice rang out, rather obnoxiously. Her voice was louder then that of the entire first graders voices put together. They were out of tune, but the teacher was singing too loud to notice. Everyone in the small audience assumed she was showing off her minimal skills for singing.
Fantine grimaced. Of all the places she could be she had to be here. She loved children, just not right now. And the girls all reminded her of Cosette. How odd could it be that she was at the hospital in a gown, but all of a sudden is at a school concert in one of her dresses that she wore with her old friends. She had been thinking about this for quite a while, but had shrugged it off durring "Away In a Manger" when the angel had punched one of the three wise men.
The air was very warm, and Fantine was quite uncomfortable in her dress. Not only because of the heat, but also because of the seats, they were rather narrow and her dress wasnt staying in the seat.
The children walked off stage, and the audience clapped. It was obvious most of them just wanted to go back to work. And the kids wanted to go back to class where they could look at the wise mans new shiner. Everyone left by row; Fantine however just sat deep in thought. Her mind was set on Cosette, Valjean, and Javert. She knew she was in the future, she found that out from the program that was handed to her. Nothing worried her, she was thankful that she wasnt sick, that her hair was long and beautiful, and her two front teeth were still in place. She was like she was before she lost her job at the factory.
A man cleared his throat, "Excuse me, miss?"
Fantine turned around, and looked up at a man dressed like a gentleman of Paris. He wasnt too old; he was possibly in his 30s or early 40s. Nothing was too wonderful about him, except that he seemed very soldier like in his ways.
"I was wondering if I might have a word with you." He said politely.
Fantine thought about it, what did she have to lose? So she smiled, and nodded her head.
He started to speak, "Well, I was sitting over there. When I noticed that you looked like, well that you looked like someone from France. Well, you see I dont know where I am or who you are. Could you help me answer these questions?"
Being the gracious lady Fantine was she smiled and said to the gentleman, "You are right, I am a lady from France. I do think we are in Canada if that is what you are asking. My name is Fantine."
"Well, My name is Georges Pontmercy. I dont think Ive ever met you. But, I assure you, Im glad that I saw you."
She laughed, "Well, Im glad you saw me. Im afraid of what might happen to me here in this year." She paused to think, "Georges how do you think we got here?"
"I think we died. Isnt that odd?" he laughed. "This surely isnt what I expected of heaven, or hell, for that matter."
"No, it isnt." she said. "Do you really think we died?"
"Honestly Fantine, I do think we died. But now, we are alive here in the future. I guess we should make the most of it. Maybe we are here for some reason. What ever it might be."
Fantine smiled. She hoped that she was here for a good reason. Possibly to see Cosette. "Yes, hopefully its a good reason."
Georges nodded his head in agreement. After a few minutes he looked at Fantine and asked, "Would you have a reason for coming here?"
"Me?" Fantine had to think about that one. "Maybe I do. I hope I do at least. What about you, do you have a reason?"
He sighed, "I hope I do, I cant think of anything though. Well, maybe I do. Or at least I hope thats the reason Im here."
Not wanting to pry into this mans personal life Fantine watched him carefully. His eyes showed that he was remembering a past, a lonely one. He looked upset. "Sir" Fantine said, "Are you all right?"
Georges looked up quickly, "Yes, Im okay. Im sorry about that. I was just thinking."
"Oh? You looked upset thats all."
Georges thought that maybe this young women should know, after all she was going to find out sooner or later. "Well, seeming as though you will find out sooner or later. I may as well tell you now. I was thinking that maybe, I would see my son again. My father-in-law never let me see my son, when I was on my deathbed, Marius was supposed to come. But, I guess he never did." His head sank, those eyes filled with tears. Such a strong man brought down to near tears. He cared about his son very much, he only wished that Marius knew about it.
"Your son?" Fantine whispered. Her story was the same as this mans, except, it was her daughter that she longed for. "Sir, do you speak truth?" she sighed, "I will tell you my story then. I had a child, but her father left us. And I had to give her up to some innkeepers; I paid for Cosettes room and board. I was fired from my job, because someone found out. I became ill, and the mayor was about to get Cosette when I died. I wonder what happened to her. Where she is, or even if she knows about me."
The man looked at her and felt a deep empathy. The loss of ones child was the worse loss of all. They both knew it, and hoped that one day they would meet again.
After a long duration of time the two of them left the small auditorium, to go out into the freezing weather of Toronto. It was gray outside and the air was crisp with winter winds. The air smelled of the city, but it was much cleaner then the streets of Paris.
"What an odd place" Georges muttered.
"It is isnt it?" Fantine said. "It certainly is a grand place though."
Georges nodded his head in agreement. It was a grand place. The buildings were tall, and decorated as if a holiday was comming up. Georges thought the buildings quite odd, and it perplexed him that they could even stand. The architecture was simply fascinating. He concluded that the technology here was far beyond his imagination. He wasnt as confused as Marius, or as scared as Marius. Georges thought more simply and asked one question at a time, while his son asked more questions then could be contemplated. Where Marius got that side of them, no one really knew.
As we have said before Fantine was overly relaxed. Her hair and her teeth were enough to please her. Where ever she was, and however she got here would just be an extra bonus. Yet, there was unease in her. The thought that Cosette could be here was in her mind. The thought was only an ember burning, but it would soon burst in to a wild flame.
There they were, completely lost in some unknown land. Enjolras looked at the map like a hawk at its prey. They had been wandering these streets for hours. They stopped outside a small well lit bar to look at the map. Joly was beginning to complain about the cold. Enjolras thought that he must have been asked 10 or more times to check Jolys tongue.
"Were lost." Enjolras finally said.
Joly sighed, "We must be. Got any ideas on what we can do?"
"Well, we can go inside and get some rest, and out of the cold."
Joly and Enjolras walked into the bar. It was very warm and quiet; it was still early in the day. The air was musty, but the bar on a whole was clean. Both of the two men relaxed, for a moment. But Grantaire, Bossuet, and Courfeyrac greeting them interrupted it. They all smelled of alcohol and pretzels. Enjolras knew in an instant that they had been drinking merrily away. But he was quite happy with finding his friends here. They all embraced and greeted one another with hugs and handshakes.
Grantaire just smiled warmly at Enjolras. He had been drinking but his emotions for Enjolras had been with Grantaire since they met. Looking at Enjolras he saw the same man he saw before. He was strong yet at the same time he was like a flower. With out knowing it Grantaire extended his hand to Enjolras.
Enjolras looked at Grantaires hand. He studied it with care. Enjolras never really liked Grantaire. The thought of Grantaire didnt please him. But the memory of the barricades ran though his mind like that fatal shot fired. Was this the same man he had always known? No, it couldnt have been. Grantaire was unexplainable. His action that day was subtle, yet heroic. Enjolras remembered how Grantaire never believed anything, but he did, and Enjolras knew it. Grantaire believed Enjolras and he possibly admired him. The thought of Grantaire standing there beside him when they died was far beyond anything Enjolras could have imagined. He almost thanked Grantaire for it. At this reflection; he smiled like a friend to Grantaire. He extended his hand to Grantaires, and before they knew it, they were shaking hands.
The others laughed like they always did.
"Come on you two, theres a table we can sit at." Bossuet laughed.
The five of them went to a far off corner of the room. The table was lit with a small candle of sorts. Their discussion was of the present time they were in and the past time they had remembered. It was one of those emotional discussions that two friends have after being apart. It was like the good old times when they first got together at the Cafe Musain. Well leave them now to their reminiscing and sheer happiness, to go to a more mournful crowd at the library.
There she was sitting there staring at Marius and Cosette for the past 15 minutes while Gavroche sat and sang. She wasnt mad but she was still upset that Marius was taking no notice to her. She sighed and looked at Gavroche somberly. How could he keep so happy? That seemed to always amaze her how he could be left out on the streets and maintain happier then a newlywed. She stared at him for quite some time, and she noticed every detail about him. His curly brown hair was long enough to peek out of his worn cap. He had always worn that hat it seemed to Eponine. But she didnt mind it was his character. In his hazel eyes shone the innocence that only the youth possess. He was a happy creature that never could see the misery in life. Eponine wished that she could understand how he could do it. Maybe he was too young to understand. She smiled at that silly thought. She knew her brother well enough that the very thought of him not understanding was blasphemy. Suddenly she spoke, "Gavroche what are you singing about?"
Gavroche woke up from his song to respond, "The birds my dear sis."
"Oh, well, its a very nice song."
He grinned at Eponines remark. It was a burst of self-esteem for him. His eyes wandered to Cosette and Marius who were off in their own little world.
He says to Eponine, "Looks as if the love birds are going to be here for a while."
Eponine sighed, "Yes, it does Gavroche, it does..."
"Marius? Marius!" Gavroche demanded.
Marius was in a rosy haze when Gavroche called upon him. The world around him had stopped and the only thing in it was Cosette. But Gavroche had interrupted that. He didnt mind though, he tried to always be kind to Gavroche. So he responded with a smile, "Yes Gavroche?"
"What are we to do? Sit here and assume that others are here. Or are we going to go on a search of the city?"
Marius had to think about this. He didnt really want to go outside, and he preferred to stay in the library with Cosette. He came up with an idea, "Gavroche, if youd like you can go through out the city and find anyone else that might be here. Cosette and I will do some more research on this...this Les Miserables."
"Ah, mighty good idea chap." Gavroche grinned. "Come sis lets leave these to alone and find some company."
Gavroche hopped off the chair and started to walk off when he realized Eponine was frozen in her seat. "Eponine, you cant sit there and come with me. Now are you going to stay here with your..."
Eponine quickly interrupted him, "Coming!" She knew he was going to reveal her love for Marius, and rub it in. "I was just thinking, thats all." She stood up quickly and walked over to Gavroche.
"Now thats better." Gavroche stated.
The two siblings walked out of the library, leaving Cosette and Marius to their studies.
"So now what are we suppose to do?" Eponine asked Gavroche as they stepped out into the library. It was now snowing and the wind was cutting through their clothes.
"We are suppose to find the rest of us." Gavroche smiled.
"We'll freeze to death before we find them."
"How would you know? I've spent the night in colder weather."
"You are impossible, Gavroche."
"And youre not, I suppose?" Gavroche asked.
Eponine ignored him. She started to walk down the street briskly just to make Gavroche suffer. She was starting to get very annoyed with her brother.
To break the silence Gavroche asked, "And where do you think we go from here?"
"I don't know Gavroche." Eponine snapped.
"What has gotten into you?" Gavroche said calmly. His sister's harsh words didn't get through to him.
"I don't know, Gavroche." She said. "Listen, Gav, I'm sorry I didn't mean to yell at you."
"I know." He replied simply.
Eponine looked at her brother rather surprised. Perhaps she didn't know him that well. Neither of them really knew each other. They had rarely had any sort of conversation. He wasn't a bad kid. Eponine had always known that. She knew he always tried his best at anything. At this she sighed.
"What has gotten into you?" Gavroche demanded.
"I was only thinking."
"No time for that. You can think about the past when we find the rest of us." He paused. "Do you have any idea where they might be?"
"Yes. Well, maybe." Eponine said. "Who are we looking for?"
"Well, considering Marius sent us off to find people. I think he wants us to find his friends. Well, the people he went to the barricade with."
"Oh, you mean Courfeyrac?"
Gavroche was rather stunned that his sister knew Courfeyrac. "How do you know about...Well never mind that. Yes Courfeyrac, Enjolras, and a few others."
"Well how are we suppose to find them?" Eponine said. "I don't see why we can't just stay at the library."
"Well I'm sure if we did that we would never find them!" He cried. "Besides it'll give Marius and Cosette some time to them selves. So I don't have to watch."
Eponine rolled her eyes at Gavroche, and didn't say anything.
The wind started to blow hard down on Toronto at around five PM. The skies started to fill with small snowflakes, and the streets started to fill with children sticking out their tongues.
As Fantine walked by a small girl dressed in a lovely woolen dress she saw Cosette. Her dear daughter was standing there smiling with rosy cheeks and big round eyes. As she stopped in her tracks to watch the girl play in the snow, she remembered the times she had with Cosette. She remembered how she used to laugh and smile. Her pretty little voice rang through Fantines head. But a frown grew on Fantines lips when the girls mother took her daughters hand, and walked away. A tear rolled down her pallid cheek, but she quickly wiped it away.
Georges looked at her curiously, but he thought nothing of it. He looked about him and saw a rather large billboard above the two of them. "What do you suppose that is, Fantine?" he asked.
Fantine looked up herself and answered, "I dont know. Its French."
"Les Miserables?" he read. "Doesnt sound too happy if you ask me."
She grimaced, "No it doesnt. That girl on there looks pitiful." These words were said sadly. That girl on the advertisement was sad and lonely. Fantine being a mother would have loved to take the girl into her arms. "I wonder what it is all about."
Georges shrugged his shoulders. He didnt think too much on what it meant. It was French, which did not surprise him seeming as though many people around him were speaking French.
Grantaire sat singing with Courfeyrac and Bossuet in the bar while Joly and Enjolras talked. Grantaire was very drunk and was starting to get restless.
"I got an idea!" Grantaire shouted. "Lets go on an expedition!"
"What?" Enjolras asked bewildered.
Grantaire staggered to his feet and raised his beer bottle in the air. "Onward!" He shouted. He started out of the bar and down the street singing and Old French tune at the top of his lungs.
Courfeyrac and Bossuet just laughed as Grantaire walked out of the bar. Both of them took it as a joke. Enjolras and Joly scowled at the two of them.
"Do you know what this means?" Enjolras demanded.
Bossuet laughed. "Yeah, it means Grantaire is drunk."
Enjolras grit his teeth and pounded his fist on the table. "Yes! And it means that now we have to run after him. We cant have him loose in this city. Who knows what will happen to him!"
Courfeyrac and Bossuet both looked at the floor.
"Well come on. Let us be on our way." Enjolras said. "Joly, do you have the map."
"Yes." Joly sighed. He unfolded the map reluctantly.
As if buy command Courfeyrac and Bossuet stood up and started to walk out of the bar with Enjolras and Joly. Once they were out of the bar, they followed the sound of Grantaires voice.
Fantine and Georges had sat down on a small wooden bench on King Street for a rest. Both of them were rather cold and their feet were sore, but they couldnt do anything else other then sit on the bench. Their conversation had boiled down to small talk. Georges talked about the gardens he once had kept in Paris, and Fantine talked about her life. Both listened to each other intently. They had become friends. But their discussion was put to a halt when an odd looking fellow was standing in front of them. Fantine thought him rather ugly and drunk.
"I think hes drunk." Fantine said quietly to Georges.
Georges smiled. "Yes, he does appear to be. None the less..." Georges stood up and walked over to the apparently drunken man. "Excuse me, sir?" He said to the man in French.
"Yes?" The man said.
Georges could instantly smell the alcohol on the mans breath. He coughed. "Well you wouldnt happen to know where you are would you?"
The man laughed. "I was last in Paris!"
"Paris?" Georges smiled. "Tell me dear sir, what is your name?"
The man looked at Georges smiling. "Well, my name is Grantaire."
Georges looked at Fantine and said to her. "It looks as if we have found someone."
Fantine simply said. "Indeed it does."
"Well Grantaire, do you know if anyone else could be here?" Georges asked calmly.
"Yes! I think... Courfeyrac, Bossuet, Joly, and Enjolras." Grantaire said slowly. He had to think about it, because the alcohol had made him a tad bit slow.
Georges scratched his head. "I dont think I know them. Say Grantaire, what was the date when you were in Paris?"
"Why are you questioning me?" Grantaire cried. "I guess it was 1832."
"Oh well that would explain it." Georges said to himself.
"Oh nothing Grantaire. I was just thinking thats all."
"Excuse me, uh... sir?" A voice said quietly.
"Yes?" Georges said while he turned to a rather young man.
"You must excuse my friend. This is Grantaire." The man said.
"Yes but, who are you?"
"Oh! Im Joly. This is Enjolras, Courfeyrac, and Bossuet." Joly said while wringing his hat.
Georges nodded his head and surveyed the younger men. He assumed they were students. "Ah, well Im Georges. And this is Fantine." Georges motioned to Fantine.
"Well Ill be...," Courfeyrac said while looking at Fantine. "Looks like weve run into us." He laughed.
"Yes it does." Enjolras said strongly. "But there must be more of us." He turned to Georges and Fantine. "I dont think I have met you before. But I am happy to meet you now."
"I wonder where the others are." Joly said.
Enjolras shrugged his shoulders. "I dont know where we will find them. Surely they must be here."
"I wonder if Marius is here." Courfeyrac said.
"Oh Marius?" Grantaire bellowed. "Rather depressed fellow...Why would you want to see him?"
"Well hes my friend. And sure enough I wonder what happened to him." Courfeyrac said rather calmly.
"He was rather down at the barricades." Joly commented.
Courfeyrac and a few others nodded their heads in agreement and all fell silent.
Georges had listened to their conversation but none of their words sunk in. In order for words to sink in the mind cannot have questions about it. But his head was so full of questions about if that Marius was his son. He hesitantly asked Enjolras. "Marius Pontmercy?"
"Yeah, how did you know?" Bossuet said having remembered meeting Marius for the first time outside the cafe.
"Oh nothing. I was just wondering." Georges said while sitting back down on the bench. He had gone pale. Could these students be Marius friends? That was one of the many questions flowing through his mind.
"I have an idea where to go!" Joly cried.
"Where?" Enjolras asked.
"Just follow me, all of you." Joly said while walking down the sidewalk quickly.
The students along with Georges and Fantine did not hesitate to follow Joly.
"You dont suppose that someone knew my father?" Cosette said while thumbing through a book.
Marius shrugged his shoulders. "I honestly dont know Cosette. It is all too real. Everything about us is correct."
Cosette smiled happily at Marius. "Dont be silly about it Marius. You are stressing yourself out over nothing. Oh listen, why dont you take a rest from being worried and talk to me."
Marius sighed as if he hadnt heard a single word Cosette said. "I dont know Cosette. I do wonder how someone could be so right." He looked at Cosette. She looked ravishing as always. And his minds worries melted away when he looked at her. He simply smiled and said to her. "All right Cosette. Im sorry I got so high strung. I didnt mean to."
"Oh Marius. I forgive you. But you really should try not to worry me like that." Cosette smiled broadly and gave Marius a reassuring pat on the shoulder.
"Cosette, may I ask you something?" Marius said while fiddling with one of those clicker ballpoint pens.
"Well you certainly can ask me a question!" Cosette said with a slight laugh in her voice.
"Well. Cosette, what happened when we were walking down the streets of Paris?"
Cosette looked at him astonished. "What do you mean?"
Marius dropped the pen and turned to Cosette. "Remember? We were walking down a street and we were walking to the gardens. And all I remember is a bunch of shouting. Cosette, what happened?"
Cosette squirmed in her seat and looked down at the ground. She fully knew what happened that rainy day in Paris. And Marius could clearly see she did not want to talk about it.
"Come on Cosette. Tell me." Marius said quietly while draping his arm around her shoulders.
Cosette sat erect staring at the table as if it would speak for her. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply as if drawing in strength. Slowly she began to speak. "We were walking down the street. And the roads must have been slippery. Those shouts you heard were from people yelling for others to get out of the way. There was a runaway cart." Cosette suddenly stopped. Her eyes were glossy from tears and her voice was trembling. "I was pulled out of the way but I guess it was too late for you." Suddenly the tears came but she didnt stop talking. "They said you were dead. Oh God Marius, when they pulled you out from under the cart I thought the world was at an end. I couldnt breathe. You were gone!" She couldnt go on speaking. Marius had taken her into his arms and there she was crying in Marius arms. But she wasnt alone he was also crying. Before Cosette told him this he didnt know he died, but Cosettes testimony proved it for him.
"Shhh...Cosette angel Im here Im here." Marius repeated softly to Cosette.
"Oh mother of God." Georges whispered.
"Shes beautiful!" Courfeyrac said. "I would have never thought!"
"Who?" Joly asked.
Bossuet nudged Joly. "The girl Marius is with."
"Oh, well sorry I didnt know." Joly simply said.
"Who is she?" Fantine said quietly. Fantine noticed the girl was very beautiful. She felt almost as if she knew the girl.
Georges did not stay with the group, and as if by command the rest of them stood and watched Georges. He was now sure this was his son. There he was there in front of him. Tears were in his eyes and they were starting to flow down his cheek. "Marius" the man whispered. The name flowed past his lips smoothly. He was now very close to the table Marius and Cosette were at. He wanted to shout out his sons name and run up and embrace his son. Strangely though nothing came out of his mouth, and his feet were like brick and just stayed in their place.
Marius kissed the shoulder of Cosettes dress, when he lifted his head he had a feeling as if someone was near him. The sight in front of Marius eyes was something he never expected to see. He lifted his eyes and Marius saw a man that he never knew. He let go of Cosette slowly, who seemed to understand Marius departure. Marius walked around the edge of the table; his mouth was gaping open.
Georges said. "Marius. I..." But he was cut off, because Marius embraced him. The two at long last met, their arms tightly clamped around each other. Both of them were crying on each others shoulder.
Eponine and Gavroche had joined the rest of the group when Marius and his father met. Eponine and Gavroche decided to go back to the library after the snow began to fall harder then the two could bear. Both of them were freezing from the cold weather and snow.
"Well blow me. Marius has found a friend." Gavroche commented while he was walking over to the group.
"What is with Cosette? She doesnt look to happy." Eponine said.
Fantine turned around to face the two. "Who?"
Eponine drew back a bit. "Cosette."
Fantine grew pale. "Is she the girl?"
"Yeah. Cosette is the girl." Eponine stated.
Fantine had turned around to look at Cosette. It was her girl. Her hair was the same beautiful color. She was grown now but she still looked like her baby girl. "Cosette." Fantine repeated. She ran over to Cosette who was now standing and watching Marius. "Cosette my darling!" Fantine said to Cosette.
Cosette turned to her, and examined the woman in front of her. She was very confused. She did not know the woman at all.
"Its me. Cosette, its you! Remember me? Oh of course you dont. Im your mother." Fantine said with tears flowing down her cheeks.
With the word "mother" Cosette stumbled back a few steps. Tears filled her eyes and a smile grew on her lips. "Mama!" Cosette cried out. She regained her balance and ran up to her mother; embracing her.
"Oh Cosette! I never thought this day would come." Fantine said through sobs. "I love you so much, my darling."