She drove on to the marina, read an offer for a crew job sailing to Australia and ran out of petrol on the way back to the house. As she arrived back by bus, Doodoo said to her:
- Someone phoned for the car. They'll come and see it to-morrow.
After a few days none of Elle's plans had worked out. F-sharp and Liyan started commenting on the course of events:
- I have the feeling we're not about to leave New Zealand, F-sharp said.
- Yeah, it's kind of stuck, isn't it? Liyan answered pulling a face.
The two of them had a friend and an ally in the little girl, Mandy, who loved listening to the tunes Elle played on the flute. Liyan found Mandy very beautiful and the little boy very sweet. Sometimes she thought she'd love to be a little girl too, rather than a doll. "One does not decide of one's destiny", used to repeat F-sharp. So she was content with being a doll.
Olympic did not find a buyer. Elle decided to give up the idea of a big departure. She asked Doodoo to give her a lift to the north bridge the next day. She would leave her car at her new friends' place and she would hitch-hike back to Kerikeri and get back to work.
Doodoo had left her at the exit for Davenport. Elle and Liyan were standing on the other side of the big bridge, on the left side of the motorway where three lanes threw up loads of vehicles driving full speed northward. It was twelve thirty.
- Well now! Elle muttered.
The past was in Kerikeri. What did she have to go back there for? What would she appear to be coming back after this farewell party a fortnight ago at the hostel?
- Don't worry too much, Liyan suggested, to-morrow is another day! You will not go back in time, even if you retrace your steps.
A delapidated car on the side lane. The passenger door had a bizarre do-it-yourself system of opening. The driver apologized for it, said he was a baker and that he was back from delivering hot buns in town. He asked if she smoked before lighting his cigarette. About twenty kilometers after the end of the motorway he was leaving the main road to drive home. Thank you, good bye. Elle found herself on the side of the road facing the traffic going north, with her navy blue leather bag on the shoulder and her small bag at her foot on the ground. Her thumb up as a sign that she was asking for a lift. A short while later a big utility stopped to take her. A young couple said they had hitch-hiked a lot themselves. Solidarity binds. They dropped her some fifty kilometers further up. As she was hardly settling in a favorable spot at the exit end of a small town, a powerful four wheel drive stops and takes her in. He was driving up to Kaitaia, in the very far north, on the other side of Kerikeri. And he drove fast.
Elle was dropped at the hostel's door at 4.30 sharp, four small hours after her departure from Auckland. She had broken a record of a type. "A good omen", she thought to herself, "what is next to come?"
Liyan in the South Pacific, book 2 Polynesia is now available for purchase on the net at blurb.com
A novel featuring a Chinese doll, a French woman and a flute
This is not a novel really. It has no plot, no beginning and no end. It is a slice of life, the way it happened, portraying real people. A slice of life set with fantasy. This text is my own bad translation of what I wrote in French between 1996 and 1999.
Learn Chinese on Your Terms at ChinesePod.com