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Nicole Cavalier
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Shop helper, former pickpocket
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[align=right]25-th of November 1719[/align]

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St Catherine, St Catherine, O lend me your aid
And grant that I never may die an old maid.

Anyway, the days are one like the other, and going out for errands or to church, which is nearby, is the only way for me to change the scenery, given that I work and live in the same place. Sometimes I feel confined, and the free life of a former street rat seems less boring – until I remember the fear, the hunger, the cold, and the helplessness of being at anyone’s mercy. So, yes, I am happy that God and all the saints gave me the chance to redeem myself and have a honest workplace and a roof above my head for which I don’t pay half of my monthly earnings.

If I was as desperate to get married as most of my peers who aren’t yet, I would have started a novena to end today, given that this saint is the patron of unmarried girls. But I am not. I am realistic – men don’t want to marry a girl with a past. And I know well that I am not as pure as Sainte Catherine, so if a man would ever want to marry me, it would be for the dowry. And in that case… sorry, but I’d better save for myself than for somebody else to use my savings. Some day I might want to own something, to be really mine.

But Sainte Catherine is also the patron saint of students, of people who are learning. So, instead of asking her for a husband and baking her special bread, I preferred to go to church normally and pray for good health and sound mind, to learn everything I can about plants and running a shop, and some day to have one I can call mine.

Since I started to learn Spanish from Madame Lucia, I prayed for a good mind for it too. Some day this damn war will end, and Santo Domingo is closer than Martinique or Guadeloupe. It will turn to be useful for business too. And until the war ends… it might be a nice surprise for somebody, if he keeps his promise and comes back to me. If he doesn’t, it still won’t be a wasted effort. And it is easier to learn than English.
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A Dream Worth Keeping · Message in a bottle