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After Manon

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Chevalier de Grieux weeps as he sits in front of his dear Manon’s gravestone. Oh how he loved her so, her joyous laugh, her sweet smile, her seductive gaze, all of it is gone. So he weeps before where she was buried, now under the ground because of him.
As de Grieux cries, someone walks up behind him, silent and watching. He turns, looking up to see the well-groomed Monsieur de Brétigny look at the polished stone with glassy eyes. He, too, loved Manon much like de Grieux did, and had come to grieve.
It is silent between the two men, before de Grieux couldn’t stand the silence. “We were going to move to the countryside.” He mutters, voice broken. “In a little white house, surrounded by trees and fields.”
De Brétigny moves his gaze to de Grieux, who hadn’t moved his eyes from Manon’s resting place. “Would she have wanted to, is the question.” Seeing de Grieux furrow his brow in confusion, he elaborates. “Manon loved pleasure, loved nice things and money and leisure. Would the calm, small life have satisfied her?”
“No.” de Grieux sighs, rising to his feet. “It would have been many years, when she would be far out of her youth. And now it shall be no years.” He turns to leave to his small apartment, with the tiny table and tiny bed, when de Brétigny gently takes his wrist.
“If I am to be quite honest with you, de Grieux,” de Brétigny says with a smile. “I like the idea of a small house where no one can reach.”
De Grieux looks at de Brétigny in shock, feeling his body go numb for a few moments. “Do you jest at me? Are you leading me to mock me and leave my family with shame?” He asks, not believing the rich man.
De Brétigny laughs, eyes still sad and glassy. “Why would I jest at the one man who could understand me and my undying love of Manon? I shall admit, I was cruel to you in the past, but I understand now that there was no reason to hurt someone who shared affections as strong as mine to one who is now gone.” He admits, pulling de Grieux back to him. “Let us live in a small white house in the countryside, surrounded by trees and fields. Let us grieve together, and make ourselves new.”
De Grieux feels his hands shaking as he looks at Manon’s grave, then at de Brétigny. Taking his wrist from de Brétigny’s grip, he stands before the wealthy man with determination. “Yes, let us.”