Two are Happy — Chapter 05. Alpine Strolling

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


Chapter V
Alpine Strolling


The gondola swayed slightly from the breeze swirling through the station. Thierry was the sole occupant. But for the workers, normal people weren’t up at this time in the morning. He had been the sole person waiting for service to begin. Gondolas were being loaded with the day’s supplies for the restaurant upon the mountain, the end station. The men were chatty and friendly. Jokes were shared concerning last night’s adventure in the pub, and how much coffee was necessary this morning to get out the door.

Earlier, Thierry was noticed standing at the queue gate. A man came over to explain they required a few minutes longer until operation would begin. He offered that Thierry could board the lead car, to make himself comfortable while they continued with the loading. He thanked the man, explaining there wasn’t a hurry to his day, though he would enjoy being out of the bracing wind.

Finding a place against the chilly seat, he continued to observe the men’s efforts. From the motion, there obviously wasn’t a hurry to their day either. They worked to and fro in graceful movement. One had a cigarette balanced between his lips; it proved no hindrance to the boisterous conversation. Relaxed was an attitude he took comfort in: slow, but steady, remaining ever diligent to the task at hand.

Thierry relaxed further into the seat, becoming fascinated with the intricate but sparse shapes connecting the car to the cable and the large gear drive it was threaded through. The approaching woman wasn’t seen until she called out. The workers paused to watch her progress directly to the lead car. In passing, she smiled and nodded, honestly enjoying their attention. Her boarding the car startled Thierry. The gentle sway built up by the breeze was disturbed by a new sway—a sway induced by her presence.

They exchanged greeting kisses before she slid onto the other seat.


“I made it, Thierry.”

“I wondered if you would.”

“Were there mixed signals?”

He paused before finding the words. “I don’t quite have the hang of you.”

“If you ever do, you would grow bored with me in an instant.”

“No. I can’t imagine a time when I would ever grow bored.”

“There is comfort to be found in words spoken from an expert wool-gatherer concerning imagination.”


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