The woman's voice called again. I could hear it even over the chattering of my friends: "Does she love me? No, she loves me. She'd never love you," on and on. They use so many words to say nothing. The woman outside only said one word. My name. Again, she called. I had to find her.
They tried to stop me from leaving, especially Grantaire. He stood in the doorway and breathed on me with his hideous, tainted breath, saying "You can't go out there, the Fates will get you." I informed him that he was drunk to the point of incoherence and dodged around him. Combeferre looked at me sadly, but said nothing.
The street was full of mist. It reminded me of the hills near my house when it has been raining and the fog rises. I felt as if I were walking on a mountaintop, and yet I was perfectly at home there. The woman called again. She was at the corner of two streets. I could hardly see her through the mist.
She was walking away from me. I ran after her. She stood still until I was close enough to see her clearly: her fair hair, her white dress, her flawless cheeks, her grey eyes that seemed a very part of the mist. I reached my hand out to take hers. She startled like a frightened deer and dashed away from me.
I had to chase her. I could not let her escape me. She fled through the streets; I pelted after her, trying to keep her in sight when she faded into the mists that covered everything. She looked back at me sometimes. Whether she wanted to see if I were catching up or to make certain that she did not lose me, I cannot guess.
She slowed, or I was fast. I closed the distance between us, though it took time and effort. At last, she stopped. The street seemed oddly familiar; she was my guide through the city and I had no idea where I was, but it seemed I had been there before this mad chase. The location did not matter. Only she mattered. She had stopped in the middle of the street and stood looking at me. I meant to take her hand, beg for a kiss, fall at her feet on my knees and propose marriage, anything. A heartbeat before I touched her, she disappeared. I touched nothing but a dirty, splintered wall that pricked my fingers and made me bleed. Everywhere was the scent of gunpowder.
I woke in tears for no reason I could understand.
My room smelled of bay leaves.