Memoirs of a Marked Woman


BLACK OPS FOR A YOUNG LADY Part 2/4

I went to the beach with mom and dad, reading “Les Esclaves du Diable”, the Devil’s Slaves, a non-fiction account of modern satanic sects and practices. As a virgin, I was shocked that the rituals had a sexual content, where for instance women were lying naked on an altar and ritual objects were put into their vaginas. Neither of my parents asked me why I was reading this or discussed it whatsoever.

At the end of our stay in Brittany I didn’t have the reportage and no alternative. My parents were in the process of moving from Annecy, in the Alps near the Swiss border, where we had been living since 1955, to Normandy, one hour west of Paris, where my father had a large house built on a steep slope in the countryside.

Professionally, my father was changing too. While in Annecy starting in 1955 he had been selling appliances during the hey-days when households bought their first washing machine, their first radio, their first electric razors. At the end of the 60's he had switched to a classier trade and another store where he sold carpets, old copper jugs and “copie d’ancien” furniture, that is copies of antiques. My mother named the store “La Cabale” and a thick tome of the same name was always in the display window. Maybe she chose that name because of her interest in the Kabbalah, numerology and other esoteric pursuits, maybe it was a confession hidden in plain sight that she was a conspirator, maybe both.

About a year and a half before the big move to Normandy, my father sold the house and the store, and with his brother Jean received his inheritance in advance of his parents’ death: an apartment building in Pré St Gervais north of Paris and the “naked ownership” of another in the 13th district of Paris, the one I’m living in now. Under the status of naked ownership, the income produced by the property belongs to the owner’s parents during their lifetime. It’s only after their death that the naked ownership becomes full ownership. However, in this case my father was naked owner only on paper. In reality my grandmother let him collect the income of the building as if he were a full owner. This state of affairs lasted until Mamy’s death in 1992. In other words, during a period of about twenty years, my father collected the income from the twelve apartments of this building while he claimed to the tax authorities, with duly notarized supporting documents, that he was only the naked owner. In his obsession to evade taxes, he had become a self-taught tax expert and in addition to his own, he also filled out his mother’s tax returns, so it is safe to assume that he harmonized his and hers to eclipse that income on both sides. The year I passed the Bac’, in 1971 he also bought a building north-east of Paris in Pantin. So at the time he was torturing me over five dollars, he was receiving the income from three apartment buildings.

From 1970 until his death in 1990, the management of his own property and of his mother’s would be my father’s main occupation.

At the time of the move to Normandy the house was still unfinished but livable if one wasn’t too picky. Véronique, François and Norbert, my younger siblings, would live there and I would live in Paris. Doing what and living where, I didn’t know. We stayed a few days in the new house and I started feeling hard and painful bumps on my outer sexual organs. Every day the bumps increased in size and caused more pain.

I went to Paris with my parents and Véronique. My father had just bought an apartment in St Mandé; at the Porte Dorée subway stop, just outside the south-east city limit. He wanted us to see it but didn’t say why. We had no choice so we went. It was the first time I took the subway without adult supervision and, feeling very mature, I smoked in the train, not knowing that it was verboten. It was a long tripfrom Neuilly in the north-west to St Mandé, and after getting off the subway there was a good fifteen minute walk. We saw not an apartment but a small store that my father had bricolé with some plywood into living quarters. We entered from the rear into a micro-kitchen. Past the kitchen was the living space where I recognized the huge architect’s table and metal desk that my father had bought at auction. Parallel to the window was an unpainted partition that reached three feet under the ceiling, at the bottom of which was a rectangular hole big enough to slide a twin bed through, so that the bed could be out of the way during the daytime.

To the right of the partition was a small door which revealed two or three unpainted wooden steps, at the top of which was a bathroom: sink, small bathtub and a toilet. There was no toilet pipe connection, only a regular waste water connection, so the toilet was equipped with an electrical shit grinder that reduced the solid waste to a consistency compatible with the small diameter of the pipe. I wondered what kind of person would want to live there, to pay rent for this studio. Only a single person, I surmised, since the hole beneath the bathroom floor was only wide enough for a twin bed. I imagined an ugly, lonely, deviate bachelor. I couldn’t tell at the time why I imagined a male pervert living there, but now I know that it was because of the sexual symbolism of this freaky contrivance: the bed sliding in and out of the hole.

We returned to Neuilly, dad asked us if we had seen the studio, we said we had, he didn't say more and Véronique left us.

Now I was alone with my parents to solve in a dash my occupation and housing problems, staying in the apartment of my father’s parents who weren’t there. “So, the tests said that she would be good in advertising, then let’s look for an advertising job,” my father said. He bought the Figaro every day, scanned the help-wanted ads and made phone calls. I never looked at the ads myself. He said that he was the father of a young lady who had just graduated and was interested in the advertising position. “No, she just graduated, she doesn’t have any experience,” he said to several people (unless he was always calling the same confederate). “No, she never worked in advertising before.” After several calls over a few days, he stated that you couldn’t start in advertising without prior experience, and suggested that I inquire about training as a secretary. So he made calls to private secretarial schools who sent us beautiful brochures promising that their graduates found positions as executive assistants, but my father found the tuition fees beyond his means.

Then he saw another advertising position on offer and called the Philips headquarters and repeated the same, just graduated etc., then: “Excuse me, let me write this down....” and he wrote down a name and phone number. After hanging up, he explained that the person he had talked to had said that I didn’t have the profile for the advertising position, but had suggested a typing and shorthand course that the company was offering for free, provided the student worked at least one year for the company after graduating. So my father signed me up for the typing and shorthand course, that would last from mid September of 71 until mid February of 72. I felt at this moment that my parents were stealing my future from me.

My studies being taken care of, my mother called her cousin Alice Perret who lived next to Neuilly in Levallois-Perret, North-West of Paris, with her husband and four children, and she asked her if she would do her the favor of letting me live with them for the duration of my training, which would last six months and start in about two weeks. Although Alice was my godmother I hardly knew her because I grew up in the Alps, far from the Paris region. All I knew about the Perrets was what my mother told me a while back, that André had cheated on his wife. So the first thought I had when mom called Alice was about her husband cheating on her.

After hanging up my mother said Alice invited us to lunch the next day to talk about it. So we went, mom and me. Alice was alone in the apartment and was very warm and friendly. While having an "apéritif" she played some lovely music. It was a Vivaldi concerto for mandolins. The melody was exquisite, with some very emotional and romantic accents. For lunch she served us some endives with ham slices au gratin and at no time did we discuss any practical issue about my stay in her family. She didn't show me any bedroom that would be mine. We only made small talk and when lunch was over and coffee drunk, she said that she would be glad to have me in her family and not to worry about anything.

Alice had a sister named Hélène who was single and had worked all her life as the big boss’s secretary in an import-export company. She was one of these rare birds whom my father liked. My father saw a similarity between her and me because I had a sense of humor: I was witty and had made bons mots since childhood, making my father chuckle (quite a feat) and my sisters concede that I had a subtle mind. Hélène had a sense of humor too, because she told jokes.

Excuse me but telling jokes and being witty are two very different things. To tell jokes one needs an acting ability which Hélène had to be sure, but one doesn’t need a sense of humor. Besides, the jokes Hélène told to our expectant ears were sometimes racist, sometimes obscene, sometimes racist AND obscene, and sometimes just plain unfunny. But my parents allowed her to upstage me or, rather, they ASKED her. They welcomed her at their house like she was the life of the party, focused all their attention on her and I no longer felt relaxed enough to give my wit free rein. “Oh, if THAT’s the kind of humor they like,” I thought, “why should I try?” So I shut up.

Having cut off my wit, my father caught me unawares when he now brought it from the dead only to bludgeon me with it: it was because of this trait that we supposedly shared Hélène and me, that my father rationalized his decision to make a secretary out of me. The syllogism went like this: Hélène has a sense of humor and is a secretary. You have a sense of humor too, THEREFORE you should be a secretary. Whaaat? The truth was that Hélène was a secretary with an acting ability, a dirty mind and no sense of humor, and I had a sense of humor which would have come in handy to write film dialogues.

My mother bought me a short sleeves summer shift dress that was displayed in the window of a nearby boutique we had passed several times, and which I had hated on sight. Having grown taller I was in dire need of fall and winter clothes and had a feeling of unreality when, despite my protests that I hated this synthetic material and this lizard print she made me try it on, declared that it fit me and actually bought the dress.

We returned to Normandy until the time I moved to the Perrets, one or two days before the start of typing school, and by that time the bumps on my sex organs had grown into full-blown boils that were excruciatingly painful, preventing me from sitting and forcing me to alter my gait. The doctor came and, burning with shame, I lay on the couch in the living room and showed him my affected vulva. The boils were at the bottom of my labiae, rubbing against the fabric of my underpants and pressing against the seat when I was sitting. This doctor was the first man who saw my sex in my adult life, and it was not for love, and it wasn't exciting nor pretty. He gave a quick look and wrote a prescription for antibiotics. I thought I detected a suppressed amusement in my mother, who was waiting in the kitchen next door. She later said that it was an infection of staphylococcus aureus but it didn't do me any good to know which bacterium was responsible. The antibiotics didn't work. New boils kept coming out while old boil healed after discharging enormous quantities of pus and blood, all mixed up with my pubic hair. The cause of the outbreak remained unaddressed. It was an unending nightmare.


It was in this state that I moved in with the Perret family. The couple were a few years younger than my parents and their four children’s ages ranged between twelve or thirteen for the daughter, the eldest, and about eight for the youngest boy. The husband was a salesman in a company that made industrial wood-processing machinery and, judging from the Mercedes he drove and the apartment the family lived in, he made a good living.

It was only upon getting to the Perrets’ apartment that I discovered that not only would I share a room with the girl, I would also share her bed. It was a king-size bed but... forget about the privacy, independence and psychological comfort that I needed. All the time I spent there I would have the uneasiness of feeling that I was imposing on L., who was a very pretty girl, and who gave me, with her lowered eyelids, her silence and her sweet smile, the impression of heroically suffering my presence. How could it be otherwise? I knew that if I had to share my bedroom and my bed with a woman I didn’t know I would be very angry.

Although we were so close physically, there was an unbridgeable gap between us. First, the age difference was enormous: she was emerging from childhood and I, emerging from adolescence. But it was the difference in experience that separated us even more. She had the leisure of developing at her own pace without worrying about anything, confident that her father would provide for her as long as she needed, while I was cast into the working world and had to fend for myself with minimum preparation.

I told Alice about my condition. In my family we called the boils “furoncles” and she called them “clous” (nails in English). My mother called me Axelle and she called me Brigitte. Like my mother, she never showed any compassion for my distress nor did she give me practical advice like, for instance, that I should wear sanitary napkins to protect my clothes even though I didn’t have my period. The idea occurred to me belatedly and I wondered why Alice hadn’t told me. She could also have advised me to see another doctor and try a different antibiotic since the one I was taking didn’t work. As my godmother, she was supposed to care for me like her own daughter. One evening, wearing a beige skirt, I got up from the dinner table and walked to the door when André called to me: “There’s blood on your skirt.” “It’s a boil that just burst!” I said hurriedly, lest he believed that I had my period. And there was my intimate problem exposed to my godmother’s husband and three young sons.


The dinner table was a bit too small for seven and I felt it was because of me. If anybody had talked to me I would have felt welcome but nobody did. Alice wouldn’t let me help her prepare meals and the intimacy that could have developed between us during meal preparation never had a chance. Her refusal to let me help also denied me the comfort of participating in the family life and of feeling useful. I didn’t know what the financial arrangement was between the two families. I would have liked to know but didn’t dare ask. I felt like the poor relation, learning a trade in an upper-middle class family, and a burden because the apartment was fine for six but not for seven people, and my godmother on whom I had counted on to make me feel welcome and signal it to her family rejected me instead. If she didn’t like me and there was no room for me in her apartment, why did she accept to have me?


At the first typing class the teacher impressed on us the importance of body posture to promote accuracy and avoid back-pain. She examined every student’s posture and told me that mine was very poor. Because I couldn’t bear pressure on my boils, I was forced to sit at the extreme edge of the chair, to the point that I sometimes almost fell to the floor . I was too embarrassed to tell the teacher why I couldn’t sit normally and after a while she left me alone. It never occurred to me to call it quits, to say look, I’m sick, I can’t sit, I’m in such pain it gives me cold sweats, I can’t start school in this condition that doesn’t improve. I relied on my elders to set the limits, and if they didn’t say anything I took it that I was fit enough to go to school. Besides I wasn’t running a fever so in my view I wasn’t really sick.

Until then all the texts I had read were literary or scholarly. Now both shorthand and typing dealt exclusively with commerce. Why had my parents allowed me to elevate my intellect only to bring it crashing to earth? I had learned French, Latin, English and German literature and poetry; now I was writing letters regarding the ordering, manufacturing, storage, packaging, transportation and delivery of merchandise. I couldn’t care less about merchandise! And I utterly despised this hateful, soulless, cramped style of commercial letter-writing.


I had thought that my mornings would be free since the classes took place in the afternoon but I was promptly disabused when the teacher gave us shorthand “scales” to do at home. What bitter irony for someone who had wanted to learn the piano since early childhood, that the only scales she was permitted to do were shorthand scales! I considered deliberately failing my classes, such was my aversion to the future that awaited me with this instruction. It would have been easy to sabotage my scales and my typing and claim that I wasn’t cut out for it. But after giving it some thought I decided against it and dutifully disciplined my hands and mind to acquire the mastery of the skills.

One day a week we had a French lesson in the morning, where we learnt the intricacies of tenses in the three groups of verbs plus the irregular verbs, and how to end the past participle (feminine or masculine, singular or plural). I was very good at it. I had always loved French grammar and had impeccable spelling. My schoolmates, who had all left school at sixteen, had a much harder time. I was the most educated of the lot, the only one who had the Baccalaureate, and I felt like the odd woman out among these young women who were two or three years younger than me and whose interests were so trivial. To put it mildly, they were no intellectuals. There was one who had a Breton last name and on that basis we formed a kind of friendship. When we had French class in the morning, for instance, we went to lunch together. She was very happy, cheerful, satisfied with her lot while I was deeply depressed. But I didn’t talk about my dashed expectations, nor about the humiliation I felt. I mentioned that I was interested in film-making however, and she told me that one of her cousins was a photographer in film studios. I asked why he was making photographs in film studios and she said that the photographs that were displayed at the entrance of movie-theaters were made by film studio photographers like her cousin. I have learned since that these pictures are called “movie stills” and are taken from the actual film, so I wonder why she was lying to me. What did she have to gain from it?


Sometimes on the way back from the class I got off at the Havre-Caumartin subway stop to go to the Galeries Lafayette and looked at the make-up and the clothes. How many times had I heard the name of this subway stop on the radio when we lived in the Alps! And now, there I was. After looking around for half an hour, I was always forced to leave by announcements that the store was closing. Since I couldn’t afford the clothes, I looked at the sales-bins. Once I bought a form-fitting knit top that had horizontal effects where opaque and see-through rows alternated. I bought it because it was a good brand and I could afford it, but I didn’t have any use for a see-through top. I also bought a burnt-orange lipstick that looked very good on me, and a Pierre Cardin yellow silk scarf.

Pocket money was a constant, exhausting battle with my father. There never had been an agreement between us where he committed himself to give me a certain sum regularly at a certain time during my typing school days. Beyond money for transportation to and from school, everything had to be negotiated. I needed money for lunch one day a week when I had class in the morning. So how much did lunch cost? Hélène who was visiting her sister seemed to take my side, saying that you couldn’t have lunch in Paris for less than x amount, which seemed a little high to me. My father bargained it down. It went on for about ten minutes, my father screaming in the Perrets’ living room. After he finally agreed on the amount of the lunch, I was only too relieved that the screaming stopped and didn’t bring up the subject of my needs for clothes and entertainment. And every month the same scene repeated itself. He was so inquisitive about my expenses that I felt he was prodding me to tell him how much I needed for feminine hygiene.

Once I bought a pair of red pants. Why red? Because that was the only color available at the very cheap price I could afford, let’s say $5. The following month my father asked me how much I had paid for the pants and, having learned from Hélène how to pad the bill, I gave him a price that was higher than what I had actually paid, let’s say $10. So he discounted that amount from what he intended to give me, saying that if I could afford to pay that much, it meant he was giving me too much money! His ruthless bargaining made me feel how worthless I was in his eyes. It was not enough that my tuition didn’t cost him anything, he nickel-and-dimed me my very existence.


After he had left, Alice took his side every single time while I was still dazed by the emotional assault. Never mind he was screaming, never mind he was screaming in her apartment, in the presence of the entire Perret family, never mind it was over the difference between forty and fifty francs, never mind that I was a young woman newly arrived in Paris with the need to replace the clothes I had outgrown, to socialize and to explore the city’s cultural life.

She often told me that I had to change. I was conscious that my parents had given me a maladaptive bend and I was eager to hear her unbiased opinion and quite willing to change, but she never told me what she thought was wrong with me.

When I visited my parents at their new house in Normandy it drove my father nuts to see me smoking like Alice. The truth is that she smoked in a very vulgar way for an upper middle-class woman: first, she smoked Disque Bleu, the Gauloises’s twin, the proletarian cancer stick. And then she spoke with the cigarette hanging and bobbing in the corner of her mouth, and she raised her head and squinched to protect her eyes from the rising smoke. I imitated her unconsciously and became aware of my mimicry only when my father gnashed his teeth and proffered threatening ejaculations of displeasure. So he had placed me under a bad influence and he was blaming mefor modeling my behavior on her.

Shortly after school started, Alice suggested that I should try and get a babysitting job. I hadn’t thought about getting a job and, seeing that she wanted me to have one, I acquiesced. She said that I could put an ad at the bakery nearby and I did. Within a week someone called and soon I was babysitting two girls, aged around seven and five, every weekday evening between six and eight. Their mother, Victoria Llanso, was divorced from the girls’ father and now she lived with another man in a posh ground floor apartment in Neuilly, just across the street from where the Perrets lived. I understood that the girls’ father was Jean Lartéguy, a renowned writer whose political leanings were on the right, while Victoria and her boyfriend were leftists. “Caviar leftists”, I should say, because unlike the blue-collars, they had good jobs and lived in opulence. The man, Jacques Fémontier, looked aristocratic, wore Charvet and Cerrutti shirts and was, I would say, subdued. He seemed to avoid me. Although I saw him every evening when he came back from work with Victoria, he never said hello and our eyes never met. Several times I saw him smile a secret smile while sitting alone on a couch in the corner of the living room. How could such a refined man find any charm in Victoria? She was not pretty, was taller than him, gangly, her long thin hair always disheveled, and always wore old jeans and sweaters. She talked fast and always seemed to be in a rush. The only instructions she gave me to care for the girls was to show me how to turn on the oven and make carrots au gratin for their dinner. Huh? That's all she ever asked me to cook for the girls. Always the same dish.

I heard they both worked in the audio-visual media and I told Victoria about my desire to work in that field too. She said that I could learn how to be a film-cutter, she could help me get my foot in the door with that position. I didn’t take on her offer because film cutting was far too removed from the creative side. What I wanted was to imagine dramatic stories. My favorite genre was what the French called “Drame Psychologique”. I didn’t see how being a film-cutter could help me reach that position. Besides I didn’t want to work in a dark post-production studio; in my view it wasn’t much better than being a typist. I wanted to work at the source, at the story-making end, and she offered me to work at the tail end, after all the creative choices had already been made. It seems to me she was trying to demean me and squelch my creative flame.

One evening the girls took me to their mother’s room and showed me her large wardrobe, packed tight with clothes in rich fabrics. Then the older one took a dress and asked me to try it on. Victoria and I were about the same height. I didn’t want to but they both insisted, and as I kept refusing they started to remove my clothes! One was unfastening my skirt in my back while the other was unbuttoning my top in the front. I didn’t want to hit them so they won. I found myself in my undergarments and at that point I gave in and tried their mother’s dress on. Having been coerced into the situation, I didn’t feel guilty about trying on my employer’s dress. I have read since that chambermaids fantasize about doing this, and do it sometimes while the mistress is away. It gives them a fleeting sense of power. This mental state was alien to me, as I didn’t consider myself a servant. I mentioned the incident neither to Victoria nor to Alice and was puzzled for a long time by the temporary insanity that suddenly possessed the girls. Unless, of course, it was a scheme concocted by the women in my life.

Having thought about this episode for two days after recounting it, added the details about Jacques’ odd attitude towards me, how ill-matched the couple were, the strange instructions Victoria gave me, and read “their mother” several times , I now think that Victoria was neither the girls’ mother nor Jacques’ girl-friend, that she didn’t live there, and that the girls coercing me into a dress was not, as I first thought, to induce a guilt trip, but to make me believe that Victoria lived there, when in fact only the dress the daughter picked out was my and Victoria’s size, while all the other clothes in the wardrobe belonged to the woman who actually lived there, the real mother. The real mother was a clothes-horse, Victoria was a jeans-and-sweater nag. About a year later, while working as an entry-level secretary, I wrote Victoria asking her to help me get my foot in the door of the film industry and the letter was returned to me marked "unknown at this address".

I remember quite clearly thinking that the girls must take after their father since they didn’t resemble Victoria at all, and noticing that there were no great transports of affection from either side when Victoria came in. To the contrary, she and the girls kept their distance in my presence, because mother-daughter love was impossible to fake convincingly.

If my reading of this incident is accurate, then everything I was told about professional activities, political leanings and marital situations can be discounted as fictitious, and Victoria wasn’t working in film. The only explanation I can think of for this costly and cruel hoax that involved two minors therefore, is that it was a psyop, an operation of “grey propaganda”, i.e. a message transmitted by a partisan (my family) through an apparently disinterested and knowledgeable third party, to give the message the authority of expertise and objectivity.

The message was that the best I could hope for in the film industry was to be a film-cutter. It wasn’t the last time I had to deal with psyops and grey propaganda. But it didn’t work because Victoria’s suggestion made me think “What does she know?” We hadn’t really talked., so she wasn’t in a position to judge my qualification. In my view her suggestion merely reflected her lack of power in the industry and, being a-political, I was impressed neither by her leftist pose nor by her apparent wealth.

Alice had told me several times with confidence that I would meet a good young man, as if nothing else really mattered for a young woman. My virginity made me feel vulnerable and I wanted to get rid of it. There was this young man Michel. I had met him in 1969 when I was a boarder at St Ambroise in Chambéry. He was the cousin of a schoolmate who had invited me to spend the week-end at her parents several times, and that’s how I met him. Now he had “gone up to Paris” like me and was a student at the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique. The last time we saw each other in the Alps he gave me his phone number in Paris and I called him. He came once or twice to pick me up at the Perrets and we went out to eat in the city. The third time he invited me to his room on campus in the south of Paris. I made the date coincide with a safe period in my ovulation cycle, and on a Saturday afternoon took the “train de banlieue” (the commuter train) to visit him. He was very nice and cute but there was no love between us. He gave me some VAT 69 whisky to drink from the bottle cap. I was ashamed of my situation in front of this young man who was going to university but he didn’t seem to hold it against me. I felt an unbridgeable gap separated us. He was full of enthusiasm for his studies and for his future while I was caught in a tragedy I couldn’t begin to explain. When a woman was a secretary, it was assumed that that was all she could do, take orders, obey, be a good girl, obey her boss, and I felt I had been viciously pushed in that role when I was capable of doing much, much better than this. And the thought that people in general, and especially marriage prospects, could think I was that kind of girl humiliated me but I had no way of proving my worth. We made small talk but in the back of my mind was constantly the thought of sex. We were both thinking about it yet didn’t speak about it.

After a few capfuls of whisky Michel went to his narrow bed and started to undress. I did likewise and we were naked against each other, then we had sex. I didn’t want him to know that it was the first time so I acted a little "blasé". He did nothing to change my attitude: the copulation was functional and quickly over, the sensations minimal, the emotional involvement nil. But at least I had experienced the mechanics of the sex act and for the time being that was all I wanted to know.

I didn't want to see him again. I saw the pregnancy trap yawning and waiting to snap shut on me. I had taken a chance I wasn't willing to take a second time. I didn't want to fall in love just yet because I didn't want to get married. I didn't want to be railroaded into the mommy track. So when he came to the school without warning to see me, I refused to come out until after he had left. He did this two or three times, the girls pleading with me to at least say hello to him while I hid in the bathroom with a racing heart. Then he stopped coming. Alice asked me whatever happened to this nice young man and I said I wasn't seeing him anymore.


I was doing my steno scales one morning when Alice called me to the phone. It was Sylvain Vicki, the brother of my brother's schoolmate. He had introduced himself to me on the day of the Baccalaureat exam while I waited in line to get into the examination room. He never explained how he knew who I was and I, not suspecting a hidden agenda and eager to make friends, didn't try to know. I don’t know how he got the Perrets’s phone number, nor who told him I was living there. It could only be my mother. But then how did he know where to find her?. He didn’t say and I didn’t ask, I was only too glad to have someone my age to talk to.

copyright 2003 by Brigitte Picart
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