“ During our phenomenal existence, between the changes from the real to the unreal, the pain and suffering of the individual can be the result of the unavoidable deterioration of the body.

There is no durability of the modifications of the body.

Attachment to the body is in comparable existence.

Therefore, the rules of nature do not permit a second over what an individual is fated to live.”

                                                                                                      Philosophical Meditations



   Christine was leaning towards Madeleine's face to check if she was still breathing.
She was. That was the first sign which eased Christine's mind.
Madeleine was alive.
The operation took more than four hours. Christine was told that the only obstacle of the operation was Madeleine's heart. If the heart would stand the procedure of her amputation, the rest would be reasonably successful.
She had been sitting next to her bed more than three hours.
One of the nurses came in.

" Oh, madam ", she said, she wouldn't wake up before at least another five hours, she had a strong general anaesthetic for the operation, why don't you go and relax for a few hours, I am assigned to watch her until eight o'clock tonight, and another nurse will follow me."

" Thank you nurse ", said Christine, " I am exhausted, you know, her son was killed in Beirut, a few days ago, I haven't told her as yet, but the body will be brought here, to Paris tomorrow and I have made all the arrangements for the burial. She used to tell me that she never wants to cause pain to her son with her death, and now she will go through the most horrendous feeling of loosing her son. Maybe I should not tell her, until she is recovered and strong, but I don't know what to answer if she asks about him. I will return in about four or five hours and bring her fresh underclothes and a robe, goodbye ".

Christine left the hospital and she immediately went to the Montmartre Cemetery, where Maman and Papa were buried and Vincent's body would arrive.
She was trying very hard to contain herself. The responsibilities she was shouldering were beyond her capabilities, but her belief was stronger than ever. The energy she had gathered was remarkable.
An hour later, Vincent's body arrived in a simple coffin, and was at once buried.
She stood alone, tears running from her eyes, she uttered a prayer.
She had witnessed her father's, her mother's and her husband's burial, but this one was the most tragic, the most moving burial she ever experienced. It was like the Unknown Soldier, who was worthy of a grave, for a death he never deserved, in a conflict he never understood.

Carrying her wounded spirit, she headed to Madeleine's house.
At the front loan, there were a few letter in the mail box.
She took them in and put them on the dining table, when she noticed one, with Soviet stamps on it. She immediately thought, it must be from Vladimir. What a proper timing, she thought, she was sure it would elate Madeleine's mood. She was talking about him a few days ago, and wondering why he  has not written for a while. She decide to take the letter with her to cheer her up a little.

" You're awake ", said Christine, with a surprised voice and a reserved smile, " I am so happy for you, the danger is over ".
But she noticed the colour of her face, which was so pale, almost yellowish.
Madeleine just nodded, with a fainting smile. She was very feeble.
" Guess what ?, I dropped by your place to grab fresh undergarments, and in your letter box there was a letter which I think will make you contented.

Madeleine raised her arm as if to ask for the letter.
" You want me to read it for you ? ", asked Christine.

" No, please, Christine, I will read it myself ".
" Dear Madeleine,

"I hope this letter will find you in good health.
Please forgive me that the content will not be much pleasing for you. It was not at all for me. But I had to write the following information, because, both of us were involved for the pursuit of truth regarding my father and your "soul mate', as you called him.
A few days ago I received an official letter from the Authorities. It read like this.

" Dorogoy Tovorish Tamarov,
Regarding your inquiry about Sergey Ivanovitch Alexandrov, we would like to inform you that he died recently, in the psychiatric section of the Luiblianka Prison, from insulin overdose. He has been buried in a mass grave. "

Attached to the letter was a " Rehabilitation Certificate ".
My dear lady, I ask for forgiveness for intruding a past torment in your present life. But I couldn't continue to live with myself, if I couldn't inform you about a matter so close to our hearts, about a saga that we shared together.
Unfortunately, all the answers of all my questions that I carried with me so hurtfully all my life has been taken to an unknown grave.
God rest his soul.
I will continue my correspondance with Vincent and Victor regularly.
Best regards,

There was a frozen silence in the room.
The paper fell from Madeleine's hand.
Her eyes were open and aimed to the ceiling.

A squeaky noise came out from the heart monitor.
Christine glanced to the monitor. A straight line had replaced the pulsing line.
She instantly knew what happened.
Madeleine had passed away. She approached her, closed her eyes and gave her a last kiss.

Nobody heard anything further from Victor

                                                                          The End

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