EN |


Spring, 1778.

The bitterly cold winter winds have left the Queen and the ladies of the court with painfully dry skin. A formula, an elixir, no, an ambrosia was needed to keep the Queen's complexion fair as snow, supple as spring and radiant as the first rays of the sun in the dawn amidst the shifting moods and temperaments of the seasons.

How can I distill the essence and goodness of nature from you?

Laurent pondered as he stared at the vial of spring water from the nearby mountain. His gaze moved to linger thoughtfully on the lush green leaves rustling in the cool gentle life giving breeze of spring.

How can I harness your ability to renew, rejuvenate and bring a new lease of life to aged and damaged skin?

The long interminable trek of winter had reached its end. Spring had come and life had begun anew. But for Laurent, so absorbed was he in his quest for the regeneration and rejuvenation of beauty, he had not realized that the letters from home had been dwindling and had finally stopped altogether.

"Monsieur Laurent? An urgent letter from Bordeaux! " An anxious and rapid pounding on his door jolted Laurent from his thoughts.

Urgent? What could have happened?

A sense of unease built in Laurent as he unfolded and read the hurriedly scrawled contents of the letter.

His heart plummeted and his hands involuntarily crumpled the paper in his hands as he reached the end of letter.

This cannot be.

Laurent rose and immediately strode out the door to make arrangements to return to his ailing wife.

As the miles flashed past the carriage's wheels he stared blankly out of the window.

No harm must come to her. We have not yet had enough time. I am so close to achieving everything we have suffered so much for.

A pang of guilt struck him and lodged in his heart as he held onto that thought.

"We have arrived, Monsieur." The driver's announcement momentarily ceased the storm of self-recrimination in Laurent's heart.

Please do not let me be too late, he pleaded silently as he stepped into their bedroom.

He stopped short and gazed at his wife's shrunken but still beautiful form. He reached out for her limp icy cold hand as she stirred from her rest and smiled weakly at him.

Still as beautiful as the first day I met and fell in love with you. You are still the most beautiful soul I have ever known.

Her eyes burned with a deep longing and love for him. "I have been …" she paused as she gasped for breath "… waiting for you my love".

"I'm here now and I am not going anywhere. So you must not leave me," he begged as his hands tightened over her frail wasted fingers.

I did this. It's my fault. I left her behind so that I could pursue my selfish ambitions.

She reached out her hand and brushed his tear-streaked cheek, "I wish …" she paused as gathering strength for her next breath "… we had had more time together but …" she breathlessly continued "… I don't regret anything my love, I will always—".

Her last words were forever lost to Laurent as her eyes closed and life faded from her body.

Please. Please don't go.

Laurent clutched his wife's still form, his head buried in her hair as he rocked her body in grief.

Goodbye my Queen.

His tears flowing down his face, he raised her head and softly kissed her still warm forehead.

Goodbye the Queen of My Heart.