A series of "morning after"'s for one of my all-time favorite couples; the first is the actual morning after the end of the movie. Inspired by the poem Déjeuner du Matin by Jacques Prevert.

/ / /

Il a mis le café

Dans la tasse

Il a mis le lait

Dans la tasse de café

Il a mis le sucre

Dans le café au lait

(Il a ramassé les grains de sucre sur la table avec son doigt)

Avec la petite cuiller

Il a tourné

Il a bu le café au lait

Et il a reposé la tasse

Et il commence me parler:

"Good morning," Nino smiles at Amelie from his cup of coffee. "Hope you don't mind that I helped myself to the kitchen."

Amelie stands in the doorframe, clutching the beaded curtain, and replies, "Not at all." She walks to him with confident strides ("Go and get him, for Pete's sake!") and asks, "May I?" He nods, bemused - and she sits herself on his lap. Amelie takes a sip of his coffee, warming her hands with the ceramic.

He laughs softly and presses a butterfly kiss to the back of her neck.

Amelie smiles from their cup of coffee. Then, she puts it down, turns and whispers, "I was about to make some of my world-famous plum-cake last night. Should we make some?"

Nino takes her hand. "How did you know that I love cake the morning after?" he grins.

/ / /

Il a allumé

Une cigarette

Il a fait des ronds

Avec la fumée

Il a mis les cendres

Dans le cendrier

Sans me parler

Mais il me regarde toujours:

Nino thinks that it's ironic that Amelie's father thought that she had a heart defect, but he was the one who would have a heart attack. It was really mild, and he'd been visiting a responsible old army friend, but still. Amelie couldn't and wouldn't sleep until Nino put their favorite record on and kissed her softly: on the corner of her mouth, her jugular, and her eyelid. One, two, three. To remind her that he was there, despite all the things that threatened her optimism towards life.

So, after only a couple hours' "rest", Nino makes sure she gets out of bed and makes her some pain perdu.

Nino needs to be strong for Amelie but today he's shaking. He needs to get rid of stress when it all seems to fester inside his chest. So to his camel coat he goes, and he lights a cigarette after he finishes eating and she drinks some tea. Deep inhale, exhale. Repeat. Before Amelie, he'd stare off into the distant sky and count the corners of buildings - now, he just sits across from her and looks at her to find a little bit of peace.

Her hair is mussed from sleep and there's a faint pillow mark on the pale skin of her collarbone. Amelie is the one now looking out into the distance - perhaps counting the points on her plants' leaves, or the visible scuffs on M. Dufayel's wall. She taps her fork against her breakfast plate absently.

Amelie is still wearing her pajamas - which is one of Nino's old and worn shirts that has a huge wine stain. Nino is dreamer and a bit of clothes-hoarder, and was never really planning on wearing that shirt again. Amelie, therefore, got to keep it when she decided the stain looked like a firework.

Nino sees an eyelash on her pretty porcelain cheek, and automatically leans across the table to take it off gently with his thumb. That interrupts her worried reverie - and her dark, dark, beautiful eyes all of a sudden are focused right on him. Of course, he kisses her.

Then he offers the eyelash on his thumb, and whispers, "Make a wish."

/ / /

They're sitting on the couch, curled up into each other. The smoke from his cigarette looks like ripped wisps of cotton in the gray morning light.

Amelie wishes aloud that one could pluck smoke from the air and spin it into thread.

"It would make lovely dresses and scarves, I think. Nino, imagine blowing your nose into a handkerchief made of smoke!"

Nino laughs. A pair of dreamers, everyone calls them. His eyes bright, he joins in, pondering, "What if you could spin cotton candy into thread, too?"

"Nino, that'd just be sugar thread."

"Precisely. No one's done that before, I don't think."

"It'd melt onto your skin." Amelie makes a dreamy face. While she has a boyfriend, Amelie still likes the simple pleasures of life. Then something dawns her - and she grins wolfishly. "You'd be so sticky, why, I'd have to lick you clean…"

Nino raises his eyebrows and slowly shakes off the ashen bits of cigarette into the ashtray. When Amelie's hands dance across his chest and her eyes light up, dark and sparkling, his half-finished cigarette gets tossed into the ashtray too, forgotten.

/ / /

"Why do you smoke?" Amelie asks, her voice soft like wisps of cotton in the gray morning light.

"To look cool. But also to forget about wanting to look cool."

"...how does smoking help you forget?"

"The shapes." Nino blows a slow stream of smoke out. He pauses and watches it fade, then asks her, "Was that a pear, or an evergreen tree?"

"Beats me," Amelie laughs.

"Well, then we'd better try again." Maybe, he'll impress her with his smoke rings.

/ / /

Nous nous sommes levés

Nous avons mis

Nos chapeaus sur nos têtes

Nous avons mis nos manteaus de pluie

Parce qu'il pleuvait

Et nous sommes partis

Sous la pluie

Sans une parole

Mais nous nous regardons toujours:

It's one of those days where Amelie just wants Nino to understand so she just looks at him, almost pleadingly. Sometimes, Amelie just doesn't feel like words can help.

It's a rainy Sunday morning. (Their anniversary is coming up - Nino wants to do something special for her, so he's been working a lot this week. She has, too, but neither of them mention it.)

After breakfast Amelie quickly takes their plates and washes them, instead of letting Nino wash his own like he likes to.

"Amelie, is there something wrong..?" Nino touches her shoulder, but she just turns and looks at him. Nino understands.

He helps to tidy the kitchen while she washes the dishes. Then she tosses him his hat and his camel coat - and they're off, into the rain, hands held tight.

/ / /

They walk quickly and quietly. Her hand in his, Amelie pulls them both along, but it's as though she is searching for a new direction, not a destination.

The pair walks past the train station, past the Two Windmills, past the dam. Eventually, they stop in front of a puddle in the middle of the cobblestone streets. Amelie looks down at their blurred reflections. "Are you ever afraid for no reason?" she asks.

Nino thinks about being taunted and thrown around as a child, masturbating for the first time, big spiders, smelly priests, and chasing a mystery girl who he was beginning to love around Paris. Firmly, he says, "Yes."

She replies, only looking at the puddle, "I am afraid that I am not the one for you, sometimes. Because I don't know things, or forget to say things. I am far from perfect." Amelie squeezes Nino's hand tight and bites her lip.

He returns the squeeze and reminds her, "Neither am I. I let opportunities pass me by and I forget things too - "

"But why am I like that?" Amelie asks, smiling bitterly. "I live inside my head too much still. I'm scared to let you in to see the dirty parts of me."

Nino wiggles his eyebrows and murmurs, "I think I've seen the dirty parts of you..." but when Amelie harrumphs, blushing, he nuzzles his head into her shoulder and says, quietly and confidently, "No one is perfect, but you are the girl of my dreams, Amelie. I want you to be happy because you make me happy. I...I love you."

Amelie turns from the puddle and looks at him at last. She whispers, "I love you, too."

/ / /

Et moi j'ai pris

Ma tête dans ma main

Et j'ai souri.