Le Fleur

The same small little town in the countryside in France. The same impertinent village men and women. The same dirty, stodgy roads. The same smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the air. But something was different. After months and months of waiting, she had finally arranged a meeting with one of the most prestigious publishers of the city. She had to travel all night just to reach there but it was all worth it. This was the opportunity she had been waiting for, for so long. Although, in order to be allowed to go in she had to dress up herself as a man as the old-minded people of the village were not ready to accept that women could outshine men. Women could achieve unimaginable heights and forge new pathways for themselves. But the men had suppressed their power as they were cowards and Le Fleur was determined to prove them wrong. Once her book was published people would understand the real potential of women and would start valuing them. After all, that is what she had been working towards her whole life.

Dressed in a suit, with her hair tied up under a cap and a bowtie around her neck, Fleur could really pass for a man. Now, the only obstacle in her way was the approval of the publisher. Once that was done, she really did believe that she could make a change. But will Fleur’s plan go as she wished or will fate get in her way and throw water all over her well-constructed plan?

Fleur was on cloud nine but she had to be extremely careful so she straightened up, fixed her suit and bowtie, pressed her fake mustache, and clutched her file tightly. Her hands were sweating as she walked up the hall to meet the head. But as she was walking her button got stuck on a handle and she kept on pulling and cutting, but the string just started to untangle more. Flour tugged at the stitch in frustration and before she knew it, she had ripped off the arm of her well-ironed suit and underneath, her dirty and ragged dress could be seen. As all of this was going on, unknowingly her cap had fallen off and her black, messy locks were also visible. Tears clouded up her eyes as Fleur saw her dream being ripped away from her. It felt like somebody had yanked her heart out of her chest as the security guards came to throw her out. As she was walking out, Fleur saw her dreams shatter and probably her only chance to change things being stripped away from her.

Should she blame fate or should she blame herself for this misfortune? Fleur was distraught and as much as she wanted to give up, she wanted equality more. She knew that she couldn’t give up and would never stop trying until the situation had changed. Courageously, she stood up and wiped her tears, and fixed her dress. She might be dirty and smelly and of no match to the people standing before her, but she also wasn’t a coward and she wasn’t about to scare easily.

With all her hopes flying high, Fleur returned to her village and the outrageous gender-oriented monarchy was still in its place with women being thrown at the bottom at the mercy of the powerful men, who had no job but to marginalize women under their oppressive rule. Personally, Fleur felt that all the men in her village had no job but to express inferiority upon women even though their thoughts were completely delusional, and they themselves were totally dependent on women who were working for them. Men had been agonizing and mistreating women for a long time and if they stayed silent now then nobody would be able to take any action against this, and even future generations would suffer under the callous wrath of the so-called men. But Fleur was not going to let that happen.

Fleur had her goal in mind and she would not let anything stop her. So, she went to the market and ran up to every person she could find to tell them about her book, and try to sell it to them. She went from street to street but people ignored her and stomped over her hopes as they walked away. But Fleur was determined, so when her first technique didn’t work she went knocking door to door in hope that somebody might hear what she was trying to say and actually help her. But Fleur was being too optimistic as whenever she turned to a new door in hope of finding an opportunity, unfortunately, that turned out to be a dead as well end, the uninterested villagers would just slam the door in her face. Fleur was now dirty, sweaty, smelly, and out of ideas. Water streamed down her face, as she stood on the verge of giving up. All her efforts had gone to waste and as she lay on the floor detesting her present, the thought hit her like a lightning bolt and she realized that she had not exhausted all her options.

The next morning, Fleur took a nice shower, put on her best clothes, and tied her hair in a beautiful, bright ribbon and she marched down to the town square beaming because she was finally about to get her big break.

Standing at the tallest point of the town square, she perched down and looked at all the people hustling by. They all looked like little mice from above there and Fleur was just about to play the tune of the pied piper to bring them all towards her. She cleared her throat and started reading the first page of her book. At first, people were baffled as to what she was doing and were murmuring amongst themselves, but as she turned to the next page, people gradually understood that they were in for a great ride.

Fleur had made it just halfway through the book when she saw big, broad men appearing from the shadows and realized that the soldiers were coming to take her away. But as frightened as she was, about what was going to happen, she was also as happy as by now the whole village had gathered and was listening to her story. Finally, her voice had been heard and people had been able to understand the deeper meaning of the story. As the men took her away, she left as she had come; beaming for she had achieved much more than she could have hoped for.

The next day people were protesting outside the state building for Fleur’s freedom, and the mayor had to succumb to the power of the people, and Fleur was let out. A crowd of publishers waited for her, outside her house and were fighting for the publishing rights of her book. She instead sold her book to the newspapers, because she wanted each and every person to know a woman’s worth and what kind of power they hold.

Fleur had managed to lead a revolution. She had become a leader, an influencer to many. People danced to her tune and worked towards what she had strived for. All the support that Fleur had gathered by being a little rebellious proved beneficial when the love of her people got her elected as mayor. After all these years, happiness and equality had been achieved in the village, and Fleur introduced many rights for women and young girls, and women worked alongside and above men and they were the backbones upon which the village ran. They worked jobs of butchers to officers and brought more prosperity to the land.