At Paris airport Charles de Gaulle I just managed to get my plane to London.
Within forty minutes we would be in England's main city. Travelling on the tube I changed my watch to UK time. The tube as usual, dirty and full of passengers on their way to work.
London hadn't changed much, Big Ben still impressive in the late October sun . The red brown leafs gathered along the road. Compared to the smells of Paris the air seemed to be fresh, the sky was astonishingly blue for this time of year.
The first London Taxi in the queue sat a brunette in her late thirties.
“ Coke street please” and I sat back in the cab. “ Coke street?” are you sure as she looked at me in her rear mirror.
“ Yes I believe Greenfield Road and Commercial road are in the near “. She drove in a fast manor, one was more aware in the crowded streets of London, with all means of transport on the road.
I had got the tube to London Bridge, and looking down at my little map, I realised I should have got out at Aldgate.
As we drove along the streets of London I couldn't help thinking how old the buildings looked, and yet how modern technology had manifested its self in this city.
“ Coke street, which number?”
We had driven into a small lane which didn't have any resemblance to a housing estate.
I got out of the cab and paid. I looked through my notes and found another address Settles street, which was fortunately in walking distance. After a short walk I finally arrived at Settles street 5b. The house was in a row of semidetached. Like most of the houses here its appearance was of better days, the front gate was closed. I noticed a door bell next to the gate, with apprehension I pressed it. I could see lights being switched on, and all of a sudden the door opened with a safety chain attached . An old woman showed her face through the crack of the door “ Yes can I help you dear?”
“Is Mr Gilles here?” Her eyes scanned me as if to determine whether I was the type of visitor you would leave standing out side or let in. I happily reflected that I had deposited my luggage at Paddington train station , standing here it looked as though the day would be quite long.
“ Is Mr Gilles expecting you?”
“May I ask the reason for your visit“?
“ Its to do with the Au pair girl.”
She took the chain off the door and invited me in. I walked through a small corridor and into the living room which looked out into the back garden. “ I will see if Mr Gilles wants to see you.”
I looked around the room. “ whom shall I say has come to visit?”
It accrued to me suddenly that I hadn't introduced my self “Michael Le Rossignol”
The elderly woman looked slightly nervous. “ Le Rossignol , are you related with the Mr Le Rossignol who lived here.”
“Yes, I'm his brother.”
The woman's face had an uneasy look, as though a doctor had just told her that a Cancerous tumour had come back which she had hoped had gone for ever. “ Please wait here”
The sun had come out and the day was quite bright, and so it filled the room with light. The furniture was of a past decade, but still quite inviting and cosy . Over the mantel piece was a clock that in the silent room made itself noticed. I tried to imagine my brother fitting into this scenery ; I just couldn't.
I hadn't seen my brother for more than three years, in my memories he was still a young teenager of seventeen. He was two years younger than myself , but twice as clever ; when I left school he was further in his education as myself. Being more of an academic, his education came first. For myself I wanted to be in the great out doors playing rugby or fooling around at school.
Simon had won many awards and a scholarships. As a violinist he was a prodigy at the age of fifteen , the worst part was that I loved school and he hated it, more to the point he couldn't get used to discipline, in any type or form.
The old woman returned with a solemn face “ my brother cannot oblige your visit”. She made motions towards the door; I felt an emptiness within me and felt an uncomfortable nervousness, but remained calm.
“ Sorry for the intrusion, what a pity. Would you please give him a message? I have come to London to find my brother, and had hoped that your brother could of helped me. As it turns out he cannot help me so I must go to the police“. She looked at me with an annoyed expression on her face, she was torn between two sides, she didn't want the police to come, but she also didn't want to upset her brother.
“ If that's the case.” As I stood there it was obvious the longer I waited that something must happen. How could my mother send him to such an old pair of weird characters?
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