Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Bittersweet November As Seen Though Nicholas' Eyes

This post is due solely to my friend Claire's selflessness. The Elegant November steams from her endless generosity and brilliant imagination. Having her to brainstorm with as been invaluable to me, we often disagree but I'd have it no other way. Now this bit of fiction is told from the point of the male character in Claire's story A Bittersweet November.

Manuela by Robert Longo

Elegant November

She was, like the month of her birth, austere and uncompromising. It had been both thrill and dread to be the one she had chosen, but in the end she had been November and I knew in my heart I could only marry a May or June. I needed the comfort and promise of warm spring, but it would not be easy to let her go.

It took me five years to part with November but I’ll miss her the rest of my days.

Her carriage was regal but she had come to it honestly and this you see the instant you meet her foundation. It's there in her mother, with her smart blouses from Ports accompanied by pearls and pretty apron in the afternoon. There is also her father, that confident fellow who is himself an institution in high finance but it had been the estate in Rexdale that made me know for sure who November was destined to be.

The original house was over a hundred years old, not so old by some standards, but I’m a first generation Canadian so it is daunting. My people are academics on both sides and though I deviated for public relations, I’m attached to the comfort in it. I don’t believe November has ever given the matter any real thought.

She wears grey silks and cashmere almost exclusively and it tells instantly of her station in life. She is without effort in her elegant carriage and I’m awed by her ease. But, more than that is her discipline. November runs seven miles everyday and was partner at a prestigious law firm by the time she was thirty.

She was free of excess and improved my life with phone calls to people who knew better, handmade shirts, catered dinner parties for my boss and the perfect Christmas gift for my mother. She holds me close when we’re out with her friends and I feel as effortless as she, my friends marvel at her sophistication but aren’t sure if they envy my place at her side.

November has strong views on everything, is quick to laugh and never allows me to see her cry, but the thing that will stay with me long after I’ve let her go is that she genuinely liked me.

She looks me in the eyes and never looks away.

She kisses my face just because I’m near and makes love to me greedily.

I left November in autumn for a girl named Olivia with warm clear eyes that reminded me of spring.

And sometimes, I think of November even in spring...
Have a lovely week,


  1. All the rotten things I've said on this blog about you loving the alpha male at the expense of the others I SEE now that it was unfounded and I apologize sincerely. Simone your story is beautiful and Nicholas is a fully realized character BOTH you and Claire are to be commended.

  2. After reading from Marianne's point of view first, I was fully prepared to dislike Nicholas. You made me totally sympathetic to his position. Thank you.

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  4. Thank you all so very much. Cass you of course are forgiven and Ms Ward you are kind and I'm grateful.
    As for the other thank you whoever you are and I will hold dear your fond wish for me.

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