Saudade (Portuguese) "the love that remains" a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for something or someone you once loved
Set between the end of season 4 and the beginning of season 5
As she pulls him inside their home and she asks him to wait for her downstairs, she can see the turn his thoughts have taken. There are so many questions in his eyes, so many feelings he can't hide as he looks at her, but she needs to do this and she needs to do this alone. She lets go of his hand and she can feel his eyes following her as she begins to climb the stairs to her own bedroom, her sanctuary, and she knows he'll do as she asked, he'll wait until she's ready.
Jean knows what he has in store for her as soon as she joins him. They've already been through this, but this time she wants to be prepared, she wants to answer him with a clear mind and a clear heart. She closes the door softly behind her and with trembling hands she reaches for her jewellery box and a very special photograph she keeps in her drawer. The old picture is not hidden because she's ashamed of it, or because she doesn't want to look at it. On the contrary, it's one of the few things she treasures above everything else. She sits at her dressing table and she notices that the edges of the picture are worn by time and by the constant brush of her fingertips along the yellowing margin, during the years. A pang of nostalgia runs through her veins and invades her body as she looks at it. There's a young woman smiling happily at the camera and an extremely handsome young man standing proudly next to her. If she were to lift her eyes to the mirror, she would be looking at the same woman, not so young anymore, with small wrinkles near her eyes and greying locks in her beautiful hair. Nevertheless, it's the young man that catches her eye. "Christopher" she whispers, as her vision becomes blurred and tears begin to fall and run down her cheeks. She doesn't know what her husband would look like, now. Almost 20 years have gone by and she still remembers him like that, the spitting image of their son, Jack.
For almost 20 years the world has stopped. Well, not exactly the world, bur her world has, her life has. Since that moment, she had to come to terms with the label "widow" that people had stitched onto her person with a very strong thread, a thread that is very difficult to cut. At first, she had welcomed it, because in losing Christopher she had lost not only her husband and the father of her children, but also her best friend.
And what was left of her after a tragedy of such tremendous magnitude? Where the only place she could mourn him was in the silence of her bedroom, hidden from the eyes of her boys and away from the eyes of those people in Ballarat? When she felt lost and trapped? Or when some people whispered behind her back it was taking her too long to mourn him? What would they know of the pain, of the scars left in her heart by that huge sense of guilt for the loss of her husband? What about the life she used to live with him and that now was gone forever, swallowed by the land of a distant country, like the dead body of her Christopher?
For all these reasons, she had carried on for almost two decades with her chin held high during the day and the ache in her heart, remembering all those small things from the life she had before, at night.
She presses her fingertips to his lovely face and although she knows he's not really there, she can't help but speak to him. This is something she's always found comforting and now she finds it reassuring, more than ever. "Christopher", she repeats "you said to me once that when love arrives, one can recognise it because it makes a lot of noise. You were right...our love made a lot of noise, from the very beginning, if you remember, and our marriage even more" she smiles as she speaks because she still relives her memories with joy "and I know I've already said all these things to you, but I want to tell you again, because you are important for me. Yes, you are very important for me. Do you know what the word important means? Well, I read it somewhere that it comes from Latin and it means to carry inside. And that's right. I carry you inside my heart, wherever I go, you'll be there. Always. Our love will always be with me, we've had a beautiful life and a beautiful family. It's true, we've had our disagreements, but we've done our best and I wouldn't change the life I had with you for anything." She dries her cheeks with the back of her hand, and moves her fingers to his hair, as if steeling herself for what is coming next.
"But I have to let you go. I have found love again, Christopher. I've never thought it could happen... not to me, but I've heard that noise again...a noise so loud that it was impossible to ignore, even after so many years. I've tried, you know, to build a wall around me? I was afraid to love him, because...well...he's more like a hurricane, than a simple storm. And I had already lost everything, when I lost you. I was scared of my own feelings, I was scared that you would feel as if I was somehow betraying you. When he came back to this town, at the beginning, I was not able to love him and he was not able to love me, either. We were two people trying to play or to sing something we both loved, but we simply couldn't. But then, we've learnt, step by step, bit by bit. It took us a while to finally see what was right in front our eyes, you know, we both have scars of our own, but he accepts me and loves me for who I am and I love him, Christopher, I do. I think he is going to propose, and I want to say yes. He makes me happy and I know you would want that for me. I have loved you and I will always cherish our memories, but Lucien is my future. I just wanted you to know it. And the reason behind the choice I'm about to make is not because I don't value our marriage or your memory, but because it's time for me to love again."
Jean's fingers linger a moment longer on the black and white photograph, she holds it to her heart and then she lets it fall slowly on the dressing table. She looks at her left hand and she traces the round shape of her wedding ring, Christopher's wedding ring, then she twists it around her finger and she watches as it gently slides along her warm skin. The coldness of the metal, a distinct reminder of the significance of her choice. The silent room around her is the only witness to this farewell of sorts. Finally she is holding the wedding ring between her thumb and her forefinger, the gold sparkles in the soft light. She opens the little empty box and she places it carefully in it, then she takes a deep breath and she closes the lid and she puts it back into her jewellery box. She closes her eyes just a moment to contemplate what has just occurred. When she opens them, her gaze falls to her hand once again and she inspects it. She has worn her wedding ring for so many years, it feels strange, now, to see her hand bare.
She lifts her eyes and she sees her reflection smiling back at her in the mirror. She is ready, now...truly ready to go downstairs and embrace this love, this future. Because the love between two people has to be experienced wholly, completely, every moment of it and that's what she has chosen for Lucien and herself.