Everything looks perfect. My life seems mapped out, exactly like those of my parents and grandparents. I spent my childhood in a small provincial town in northern France and, at 18, I left for Switzerland to study physiotherapy. Very quickly, I fell in love with Victor, a promising field hockey player, in the running to be selected for the Olympic Games. Once graduated, Victor left Switzerland to settle with me in France. We buy a house and then a dog. He is handsome, athletic, we share the same passions for hockey and sailing. He becomes the coach of my team and gets along wonderfully with my family. I have two younger brothers and a sister, we are what we call an extremely tight-knit family. My mother considers Victor her third son. It ticks all the boxes.
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The small dishes in the big ones
Seven years after our meeting, we decide to get married. Even if the passion of the first days has died down, this union is obvious. I tell myself that the perfect man does not exist. I want to start a family, so all I have to do is say yes. Looking back, I think I didn’t ask myself the right questions. Social pressure is strong in the provinces. Of a go-getter nature, I invest myself thoroughly in the preparation of the ceremony. I don’t pay attention to my mother’s alerts who try to warn me. “Sophie, are you really sure you want to marry him?” He doesn’t want to have children, and you, it’s your dream…” she finally whispered in my ear. The long-awaited day is coming. A real princess wedding, two hundred guests, the small dishes in the big ones. It’s the most beautiful day of my life. Four months later, we fly to Guadeloupe for our honeymoon. We planned to spend a week at Club Med for windsurfing, then a week cruising on the high seas. Bad luck, the wind is not there. Regardless, there are always a thousand and one things to do at Club Med, right? This time, that’s not the case, and Victor languishes in his corner. Our honeymoon is off to a bad start. Let’s pray that the second week aboard the sailboat goes a little better. Once on board, the newlyweds that we are benefit from the only double cabin. A nice attention from the skipper. Just as we are about to weigh anchor, two young men come running with their wheeled suitcases. Two little single Parisians, medical students, very well dressed, but not having the “veily” look at all. I take them a little high, but very quickly, I am attracted to Alban. This intense feeling, I had already felt it a few years earlier, when I was already in a relationship with Victor. But it hadn’t gone further than a simple attraction. I even talked to him about it, he understood and didn’t hold it against me. I know that I must not fall back into the trap. I scan Alban in all directions, looking for flaws that would suit me well. He has a bit of a belly, whereas my husband has an athletic body. No matter how hard I concentrate, I find nothing more than this slight overweight. On the other hand, it combines the qualities in my eyes. He loves photography, cooks very well, travels a lot, takes his life in hand, loves his job, he will be a cardiologist, he saves lives… One moonlit evening, the atmosphere is festive, and Victor, a little killjoy, prefers to slip away in our cabin. I stay with Alban drinking coconut rums while dancing on the tables. I feel super good. Apart from a few touches, we avoid any gesture that is too close. But I feel the attraction is mutual. Suddenly, my life as a low-level provincial life jumps out at me. I rewind the last seven years of my life. It’s obvious: the future that awaits me with Victor is not made for me. On the other hand, the one that I could share with Alban completely makes me dream. The week on the boat is over, we exchange our numbers, promising to contact us again.
€16 for two glasses?
Three weeks later, a field hockey match in Paris gave me the unexpected opportunity to reunite with Alban. I need to see him again in the Parisian gloom to get to the bottom of it. Will it keep my heart racing or is it just holiday flirtation? He offers me to stay with him during the weekend of the tournament. When we traveled, I used to share my hotel room with my little sister, since she plays in the same team as me. This time, I ask him to find another plan for the weekend. Years later, I’m still ashamed of having let her down. Alban picks me up at the station and takes me to dinner in a healthy restaurant as I like them – although it’s more steak, fries and a glass of bass. We continue the evening in a bar, drinking caipirinhas. I have the impression of discovering life. With Victor, we rarely went out, except for rare dinners with friends. The night world suddenly opens up to me. I have no idea of Parisian prices and I remember asking the bartender if he wasn’t joking when he asked me €16 for two drinks. This shows how much I am anchored in my little provincial life. ” Welcome to Paris ! Alban throws at me, with a small mocking smile. I fall into his arms. I just met the man of my dreams, the one who will give me the life I dream of. When I wake up, after having slept for only two hours, I feel boundless energy within me. It will be the best hockey game of my career. The weekend is over. I take my TGV back to my province. The days pass, my stomach is in knots, I no longer eat, I no longer have a taste for anything. I send the last thank you cards for my wedding thinking of Alban. Such a waste ! With Victor and a group of friends, we have planned a week of skiing in Courchevel. I’m dying to cancel, but guilt stops me. I go there with a heavy heart. I spend my week riveted on my phone exchanging messages with Alban. My friends notice it, but Victor sees nothing, or pretends not to see. I end up cracking up and confessing everything to my friends. Then to Victor. He collapses, promises me to change. But it’s too late. His efforts seem grotesque to me. We make an appointment with a couples therapist. “I can help you get back together. But I can also help you separate…” Would she have immediately understood that my story with Victor was over? Her conclusion, after a few sessions, will be clear: “Sophie, you have chosen your path, now go for it! »
In his arms, I forget everything
I come from a very Catholic family, my parents help couples prepare for marriage. When I tell them that I want to divorce barely six months after my wedding, I trigger a domestic tsunami. I don’t even know if I really have a common future with Alban. To be honest, I don’t know this boy very well, I only spent one weekend alone with him, but I’m ready to take the risk. So during the week, I work in my physiotherapy office and, at the weekend, I go to Paris to find Alban. We are getting used to each other little by little, and I am getting used to Parisian life. I appreciate the anonymity of the capital. My parents are notables, the whole town knows me, and I walk with my head down so as not to face the gaze of people who pass me. This is obviously not the case in Paris. Relations with my parents are now strained. The bond I had with my sister has also crumbled. By having broken up with Victor, she lost not only her brother-in-law, but also her coach whom she adored. In Alban’s arms, I forget all that. We go out every evening, I accompany him to a convention in the heart of Chicago, we go to the Seychelles… I discover travel, Parisian life, restaurants… I realize how much my relationship with Victor was not the one who suited me. Ten years and three children after we met, we decided to get married next summer. One thing is certain, we will not be going on a honeymoon on a boat!