Cosette Age 13
"Father, do you know where papa keeps the graph paper?" Cosette had been doing her math homework, and she had been so messy that she wanted to rewrite it again. Not because she necessarily cared, but Mrs. Jaques was a stickler for neatness, and she didn't want points taken off. Papa was out helping organize a food drive for their local church. He was going to be out for a while and insisted Cosette should stay home and work on her homework even though she begged to join him.
"I think he has some in his desk drawer, the one on the lower left," Javert said, looking up from his laptop.
She walked to her papa's office and immediately found the paper. But as she was closing the drawer, she spied his old leather journal. She hadn't given the journal a serious thought in a while. It wasn't as if he kept it a secret. Often when they were at home, and it was quiet, he would be writing. He took the book everywhere and was constantly jotting things down.
She knew she shouldn't peek, but it was just sitting there. He would never know she had peeked, and besides what harm could a quick look cause? She leaned over and opened the cover. The first page simply said For my darling Cosette in his elegant script.
Cosette shut the cover. It was his private business. But as she touched the book's cover again, she heard a cough came from behind her, and her father was standing there. She was so startled that she dropped the graph paper. The paper wasn't in a folder or bound, so it went flying.
"Oh, hello, Father!" she said and quickly knelt to pick up the papers.
"Cosette," he said sternly.
"I know, I know. I should have grabbed the paper and got out. I know snooping is wrong."
Javert shook his head. She was always apologizing to him. Cosette was apologetic by nature, but with him, it seemed she was hastier and more formal. He knelt as well to help pick up the papers.
"I know he has his secrets. Trust me; it infuriates me sometimes when I don't know quite what your papa is thinking. But that's just who he is," he tried gently. He was never the gentle sort. Now, if someone needed to be brought to justice, like when a kid had copied her homework, he was the one for the job.
"If he just told me or gave me any idea, I wouldn't be so curious. I know he is an adult and knows best, but still," she huffed.
"You just have to trust he will tell you in time. I remember he kept his plans to propose to me for five years, and it drove me wild wondering. But it was worth it. He always has a plan, and you just have to trust."
"You're right." Cosette left with her paper, and Javert was left wondering if he should tell his partner about this exchange.
"I'm going grocery shopping tomorrow, so be sure to write down anything you want on the list," Valjean reminded Javert that night. Javert was finishing reading the newspaper, and Valjean was reading his devotionals.
"Is it the weekend already? These weeks do fly by!" Javert commented.
"They do! Soon it will be Thanksgiving, and we will all get some quality time together. I fear with your promotion and orders at the factory picking up, we never see each other all at once, " Valjean said before quickly noting, "Not that I am not pleased that you finally got the position you dreamed of, Inspector!"
They finished their reading and kissed. When the lights had been out for a few minutes, Javert said, "Hun, can I talk to you about something?"
"Of course." He felt Valjean shift and turn, so he was on his elbow looking at him.
"Cosette was in your office. It is, in part, my fault. She was looking for graph paper, and I knew you had some. So, I sent her in there, and I caught her looking at your journal," Javert confessed.
"You knew? How?"
"There was a piece of paper on the floor."
"If you knew why haven't you punished her of at least spoken to her? She was snooping. "
"Not everything needs swift punishment. I am sure you spoke to her, and that is enough. And on the snooping front, I doubt it. She may have peeked, but I think she wouldn't have gotten too far. She is a good girl and knows right from wrong. I also know God wouldn't have led her to temptation," Valjean said calmly.
"I blame myself. I shouldn't have sent her into your office without your permission," Javert contested.
"She needed graph paper. What's mine is hers."
Javert sat with those words. "But if what is yours is hers, why will you not just tell her? She is getting older, and distractions no longer work. You say she is good, but I know teenagers. I worked with them for 15 years, and every teen gets rebellious."
"I too, have worked with teenagers, and I also know that given a chance, they will do right. I am not worried about her peeking, but I want her to wait until it is time."
"And when will that be?"
"Not for a very long time, I hope."