Visions Of Utopia

Entry by: Nutcracker

3rd April 2022
A Vision, Utopia, or Both?

Amelie was fully aware of what was coming to her. She had run the gamut of emotions, from despair to a drug-induced euphoria, and back and forth between them through aching dullness. But she had settled, her days had a pattern, and often it was she who found herself comforting her husband Tomos rather than the other way round.

'Do not worry, mon amour,' she said to him, stroking his arm. 'I am not leaving you. This is just an adjustment, a shift into a different part of life.'

She realised, during the weeks of that summer, that it is easier to bear our own pain than that of another, and indeed seeing him in such tumult was to her as sharp daggers in her side, a kind of protracted crucifixion.

'Let us go, one more time, to the sea,' she said.

They went to a favourite place on the southern coast of the island and sat for hours side by side and hand in hand, watching the inexorable va-et-vient of the waves, before eating a salade de tomates and thin slivers of cheese and drinking a bottle of the finest Sauvignon blanc.

Next day Amelie asked again to go to the sea, for it was as if sleep had wiped her mind clear, and she cried when Tomos told her of their day, and of its joy. To calm her he spoke of past times at the sea, in that place, and yes, she remembered - how could she forget? They had been so happy, they could be happy there again, it was her favourite place, how could he deny her one more visit, knowing it might be her last? That made him cry, her saying that, so wide-eyed.

They went again, and again, and that summer each day was clear blue and glorious, and Tomos was glad of it, and of his wife's simple pleasure, for all that for her it was a chimera.


On the same day and at the same time each week, Tomos asked Amelia these questions:

When and where were you born?
What was your mother's maiden name?
What was your last job?

Each time she replied, without the slightest hesitation:

I was born in Nevers, France, on the second day of February 1962.
My mother's maiden name was Aumont.
My last job was as a seamstress in the workshop of Jean Samier, couturier in the Rue de la Melle, Paris 5e arrondissement.

She would add little details about the town in Burgundy where she had been born, and which she and Tomos had visited together so many times. She would reminisce about her mother, remembering - and perhaps creating, who was to say? - nothing but good times. She would speak of her job in Paris, of the fine work that she and the other stitchers had done, and of the pleasure it had given her.

Tomos, whose own past life had included things he would rather forget, indulged his wife, was glad to see her smile, whether what she spoke of had been real or was a vision. It was a way of coping, for both of them.

'I have had a good life,' she said to him each week, at the end of their conversation, and it made him weep.


Amelie knew that one day she would be unable to answer one of the weekly questions. That, at least, was what she had been told. But what actually happened was different, the shift that she had expected of a different order.

One day she woke and did not recognise the man in the bed beside her. But she kissed him and her returned the kiss.

'Are you my prince?' she said.

He laughed. 'I'm just Tomos,' he said.

'I don't know you,' she said, putting her hands to his face, gently. 'But you are beautiful.'

When she rose from her bed she did not recognise the view from the window.

'Is this the Garden of Eden?' she said to the man who was a stranger to her. 'Are you Adam? Am I Eve?'

Tomos told her again who he was.

They kissed once more, and moved together as the young lovers they had once been.


Tomos found himself living with a woman who he knew was his wife, but it was as if she had already moved, in earthly form, to the paradise in which some people believed. She spoke less and less, but seemed happy, or at least calm and content. And that was enough for him, for they were still together.

Marker 1
Marker 2
Marker 3