Tu es mon autre (You are my other)


Philippe looked out the window at the falling snow. Late October; it had come all too early, leaving him cold and alone and feeling frightened over the future. Estelle had left with few words exchange, to be sure, but her look the night before told him all he needed about how sad and angry she had been. Betrayal is almost the worst sin, because it often impales with a double sided jagged blade; excruciating both going in and coming out.

“Non, mon cher.”

She slapped his face hard while speaking the words with such anger and sarcasm. He held his arms out; not for an embrace he already knew would never come, but in futile pleading that she might change her mind. Her scowl, coupled with the tears that streamed down her face, gave him no hope that she might heal from the wound he had never intended to inflict.

He arose from the bed and walked to the closet door and looked at himself in the mirror. A plain looking woman stared back at him. She was dressed in a long gray dress with a scoop neck and long sleeves. Her feet were unshod and her toes played carefully with the thick carpet as she swayed a bit without losing her balance; something she had done quite often lately.

Ame ou soeur,
Jumeau ou frá¨re de rien,
mais qui es tu?
Tu es mon plus grand mystá¨re,
Mon seul lien contigu,
Tu m'enrubannes et m'embryonnes
Et tu me gardes á  vue.
Tu es le seul animal
De mon arche perdu.

Soul or sister
Twin brother of nothing
But who are you?
You are my greatest mystery
My only close link
You wrap me in ribbon and begin me
And you keep me in sight
You are the only animal
From my lost ark

Sister? Brother? Self? Stranger? Philippe stared at the woman in the mirror and shook his head. Was she more important than Estelle?

“Oui, mon cher,” he would speak softly whenever the question arose, but then again "Non, mon cher" whenever his heart grew sad from the lack of solace as the only arms that surrounded him were his own in pathetic hugs.

“Je vous hais!”

Maman had said that to him on her deathbed.

“Vous me décevez…”

Her last words hurt more than any invective.

You are a disappointment; the words that should never be spoken by a mother to her daughter; even if she wanted her child to be a son. So much conflict and war in his heart. Estelle must be right. He watched as the woman literally ripped the dress off, throwing it awkwardly to the floor and leaving her standing nearly naked in the cold bedroom.

Tu ne parles qu'une langue,
Aucun mot décu,
Celle qui fait de toi mon autre,
L'áªtre reconnu.
Il n'y a rien á  comprendre
Et que passe l'intrus,
Qui n'en pourra rien attendre
Car je suis seule a les entendre les silences
Et quand j'en tremble

You don’t speak the language
No disappointing word
That makes you my other
Being recognized
There is nothing to understand
And pass the intruders
Who can expect waiting on nothing.
For I am the only one to hear the silence
And when I tremble

“Non, mon cher!” He turned to find Estelle standing in the doorway, her own arms opened wide; both in pleading and for an embrace that he longed for. The woman in the mirror looked up from her shame and noticed the tears in Estelle’s eyes. She lowered her head in fear for her life, since her presence would never do; no room in a household for two women, her own mother always said. A moment later they both felt the soft caress of Estelle’s hand on their cheeks as the woman they both desperately loved embraced each of them in turn, in a way.

Her look was one of tentative acceptance. She tilted her head at their stares and nodded.

“Oui, mon cher!”

She smiled through her tears. It’s been said that no one can be disappointed unless they expect something. The two who stood before Estelle knew that neither truly was a disappointment. Perhaps actions and even words might disappoint from time to time, but neither would ever disappoint the women ‘they’ both loved, just as they knew in their hearts that she would never be a disappointment either.

Toi tu es mon autre:
La force de ma foi,
Ma faiblesse et ma loi,
Mon insolence et mon droit.
Moi je suis ton autre,
Si nous n'étions pas d'ici
Nous serions l'infini.

You, you are my other
The strength of my faith
My weakness and my law
My arrogance and my right
Me, I am your other
If we were not here
We would be forever

We would be forever...

Estelle lay front to back against Philippe; her little snoring noises might have disappointed in a way at one time, but now they were like a lullaby to his soul. Her left hand was draped over his waist in serene peace as the two resumed the dance they were meant to enjoy as her love for him saw past any and all shortcomings. She cooed a bit in her sleep before rolling over on her other side. Philippe went to roll over in concert, but before he did, he took one last look at the closet mirror before turning off the light. The woman in the mirror lay in bed staring at him; her body trembled from the cold while draped with a simple ecru gown. She smiled at him and he smiled back before turning off the light…

Et si l'un de nous deux tombe,
L'arbre de nos vies
Nous gardera loin de l'ombre
Entre ciel et fruit,
Mais jamais trop loin de l'autre
Ou nous serions maudits
Tu seras ma derniá¨re seconde
Car je suis seule á  les entendre les silences
Et Quand j'en tremble

And if one of us falls
The tree of our lives
We keep away from the shadow
Among heaven and fruit
But never too far from the other
Or we would be cursed
You’ll be my last second
For I am the only one to hear the silence
And when I tremble

Tu Es Mon Autre
(You Are My Other)

words and music by
Rich Allison and
Lara Fabian
performed by
Lara Fabian and

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