Short Story #141: September Roses by Robert Dieudonne

Title:  September Rose

Author:  Robert Dieudonne

Summary

Great French Short Stories edited by M. E. Speare.  The World Publishing Company, 1943Author-turned-playright, Michel becomes quite close with his lead actress, Marise, to the point of breaking his wedding vows to his wife Marthe.  Despite having a family, he is irresistibly drawn to Marise and she to him.  Marise believes she is falling for him despite her friend, Jane knowing this is just part of Marise's demeanor and remains skeptical of the whole situation.  Michel all but admits to this affair with Marise to Marthe by his actions and frustration with her when she raises questions about his spending time with her.  Their love continues enthusiastically until the play runs and though it is not received well, the two still decide to run away together and ditch their current lives.  Michel writes his wife to tell him he has left while Marise goes home.  Jane claims that she will be back in a week.  While waiting at the station, a man encounters Michel to explain that Marise isn't coming and the man is Marise's partner and that she regularly does this kind of thing.  The man hands him a note from her saying as much.  Distraught, Michel returns to the hotel room that he and Marise stayed in regularly.  He knows he cannot go home to his wife and shortly discovers that she committed suicide upon his news.  After the funeral, Marise shows up Michel can only ask why they did it at all.  She responds that she loves him and answers with a haunting, "Yes...love!  What is called love!".

Reflection

It's a rather sad tale of two adults acting like children with those around them.  I am fond of the naming of the story as it hints at love in the older years.  I would need to research more but I would also guess there was more about roses in September beyond the metaphor of love in middle age.


Short Story #141 out of 365
Rating:  3 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  5/19/2014
Source:  Great French Short Stories edited by M. E. Speare.  The World Publishing Company, 1943.  You can find this story and others in this anthology at this resource.

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.




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