Friday, September 28, 2012

Martine - Part 3

In case you missed the first part of Martine, start here to catch up.

On the other side of the front door, Sophie found a tall man with a fair complexion that reminded her of her best friend Joanne who had a black father and a white mother. The man had full lips and a straight nose and he looked very nervous.

"Hi! You must be Alain, Maman's student. I'm Sophie. Come in," she said moving to the side so Alain could enter the foyer.

As he crossed the threshold, a tall man with dark skin entered from a room on the left, an equally dark teenage girl came in from a room on the right.

"This is my dad, James Carter the third and my sister, Bianca," Sophie continued by way of introductions.

"How about you two go on and finish setting the table and I'll show Alain around," James said, hoping the girls didn't notice how much the young, French man looked like their mother.

When the girls were gone, James turned to Alain, extending his hand, "Welcome to our home, Alain, I hope you didn't have any problems finding the house."

"Uh, no sir, the directions were very clear," Alain said as he shook Jame's hand.

"Let me give you the grand tour," James said leading the way to the living room.

It was when they had entered the kitchen that Martine made her appearance.

"Hello, Alain, I'm sorry I wasn't able to greet you when you arrived, but it looks like James is doing a great job showing you around," she said as she awkwardly hugged her first born.

"Bonsoir, Maman, oui, oui, monsieur ist......."

"No, no, Alain, English only, I may be from Haiti by way of France and teach French, but at home, we only speak English.  It would not be fair to my family if we spoke French. Okay?" Martine said, her eyes pleading him to understand.

"Okay, Maman," Alain conceded. "Your husband has been most kind, he even told me I could play the piano in the living room sometime."

"You play the piano, Alain?" Martine asked.

"My mother sent me to Madame Truier to learn. I was not her favourite student but I turned out to be her best," he replied, smiling at the memory of the old woman scolding him.

"Well, you must play for us after dinner," James said just as Sophie came skipping in.

"The table is set, dinner is ready," the exuberant girl took Alain's hand and led him into the dining room with her parents a few steps behind.

"Daddy usually sits there, Maman over there and you get to sit next to me over there," Sophie said, pointing out the seating arrangement. Bianca was already seated and everyone else took their seats.

The dinner went by pleasantly. The conversation flowed from one topic to another, brushing on almost everything except the topic of what had brought Alain Bouvier to the Carter household. The family laughed at Alain's escapades in his small French town and Sophie regaled him on her own adventures while Bianca mumbled when they tried to bring her into the conversation.

Just as they were polishing off their dessert of apple pie with ice cream, Jame remembered that Alain was to play for them after dinner. "Girls, we are going to have a treat. Alain is going to play us a little something on the piano."

Sophie lit up and whipped around to look at Alain, "Really, Alain? Are you going to play something French? I'm learning to play now and Bianca plays but she has not played in ages," the little girl went on and on.

Alain simply smiled and waited for her to run out of steam. "Well if it is alright with everyone, I have three piece I can play, but I would need a little time to play a bit to warm up," he said.

"Okay, girls, clear off the table and stack the dishes in the sink, Honey, go with Alain to the living room and I will get the coffee and hot chocolate and set them up in the living room," Martine said as she stood.

As James listened to Alain play a couple keys on his mother's old piano, Martine was setting mugs on a tray to take into the living room.

"Mom, is Alain related to us?" Bianca asked as she set the last of the dishes on the counter next to the sink.

"Why do you ask, B.?" Martine asked trying to sound casual.

"Well, he kinda looks like us and some of his mannerisms look like yours," Bianca was now leaning on the counter, looking at her mother.

" I guess this is the best time to tell you. Bianca, Alain is...."

"Maman, Bianca! Alain is ready, come on!" Sophie had burst through the kitchen door, interrupting Martine.

"Okay, okay, Bianca, take that tray with the creamer and sugar and I'll bring out the coffee and hot chocolate," Martine said a little too brightly. She was a bit relieved that she was interrupted, but she knew she would still have to tell her girls about their brother.

Thank you for reading the third part of Martine, I hope you enjoy it so far. Click here to continue on to part four.

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