To Days Gone By
Chapter 1 - Thoughts
Eponine pulled her coat a little tighter across her chest. There was a cool breeze this particular evening. She had nearly reached the ABC cafe, and she was determined to see Marius after he had swiftly left the scene of the Thernardier robbery a few hours earlier. She only wanted to know two things from him. One; why had he ran after the old man and the girl? And two; why had he left her in the street to fend for herself against Inspector Javert?
She knew the answer to the first question already though. The girl with the old man was beautiful. It irritated Eponine to even think it, but she was. Eponine had no chance at all against this girl. She had long chestnut hair, with big green eyes and soft pink lips which was the total opposite of Eponine's dark hair, dark eyes and muddy face. She knew that Marius had run off to see her.
Eponine had never seen Marius act that way. He had always commented on pretty girls who passed, but it was different this time. And she knew it. She didn't like to think it though. She was still in the self-delusion of thinking that Marius would choose her and take her away from her pathetic little life in the gutter.
Her thoughts took her to the front door of ABC. When she knocked, it was Feuilly who answered. Feuilly was an attractive man, nothing totally special, but attractive none the less. He was black haired and had blue eyes. Eponine and Feuilly had a close friendship, but neither were attracted to the other, making their relationship easy.
He smiled and took her in an embrace, taking her hand and leading her into the den of reading, talking and drinking students. She couldn't see Marius, but she could see his friends that had now become hers; Coureyfac, Combeferre, Joly, Grantaire and Enjolras. Eponine was full aware of the fancy that Grantaire had taken to her. If she'd been forced to choose one of them though, it would be Enjolras. Eponine admitted to herself countless times that Enjolras was very good looking. He was strikingly tall, with blonde-brown shoulder length wavy hair, with piercing blue eyes. He was stunning. But nothing to Marius, she always had to remind herself.
"Eponine. For what reason do you grace our hallowed halls?"
Asked Enjolras with that honest smile she so loved.
"Is Marius here? I need to ask him something."
"No, actually. I haven't seen him since the rally in the rue de vilet. I can pass on a message, or as always, you're more than welcome to stay here and wait for him. I need him before I can start this meeting..."
Eponine smiled and removed her hat. She didn't remove her jacket, though. That would have left her too exposed in a room full of gentlemen. Her short sleeved vest and ripped skirt were in no way appropriate.
"So, where's he run off to this time?"
Combeferre asked politely, looking up from his book.
"He ran after a girl. There was a gang who were about to rob the old man she was with, and when Javert appeared, they scarpered. Marius ran after them."
"Oh, is Marius in love at last! I've never heard him ohh and ahh!"
Grantaire burst into hysterical fits of drunken laughter at his comment. They stung Eponine. At last. She couldn't begin to describe how that comment hurt her. Enjolras noticed this quickly.
"Grantaire, you've had far too much to drink this afternoon. And evening."
Grantaire shrugged and shifted his gaze to Eponine. He gave his usual cheeky smile and nod of his head and then returned to his conversation with Joly. Enjolras offered Eponine his seat, and gathered the attention of his fellow students.
"The army we fight is a dangerous foe. With the men and the arms we never can match. It is easy to sit here and swat them like flies, but the National Guard will be harder to catch. We need a sign! To rally the people, to call them to arms! To bring them in line!"
Just as Eponine let herself dream off about Enjolras, the door swung open and Marius entered the cafe. Eponine's heart fluttered again. Marius made her stomach flip just looking at him.
"Marius, you're late. What's wrong today?"
"You look as if you've seen a ghost!"
"Some wine and say what's going on!"
Marius grinned as he embraced Enjolras and took a drink from Grantaire's mug.
"A ghost you say, a ghost maybe... she was just like a ghost to me! One minute there then she was gone!"
Eponine's smile turned to a frown. She left quietly. She didn't want to hear anymore.
"I am agog! I am aghast! Is Marius in love at last? I've never heard him ohh and ahh! You talk of battles to be won, and here he comes like Don Juan! It is better than an opera! Thank you!"
Eponine slammed the door behind her. She didn't care who heard or who judged her for being a 'brat'. She'd had enough of listening to battle plans and love she'd never have.