The evening air was deliciously warm and we chatted freely as we strolled casually along past the Hippodrome in the direction of La Madeleine and towards the centre of Lille. We walked along the rue du GÃ©nÃ©ral de Gaulle until we came to the t junction with rue Pasteur.
"This is one of my local restaurant Lilly, it is very very good." I said as I pointed to the Restaurant de L'Orangerie. We entered and I was greeted by Lucie who I knew well.
"Your usual table Monsieur Baillieu, right this way." She deftly showed us to my table in the corner. The ambience was perfect, subdued lighting, warm dark red table clothes and candle light.
We ordered an aperitif and studied the menu. After some consideration we settled on the Lâ€™ardoise de foie gras de canard maison et sa crÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©e as a starter followed by PavÃ© de saumon rÃ´ti, millefeuille de poireaux et pommes vapeur for our main course. As we waited Lilly started the discussion in earnest.
â€œWhen was Robert des Armoises born, Yann?
â€œI think it was 1403 according to the internet information why?â€
â€œWell, if Jehanne des Armoises died in 1453 as recorded then he would have been 50; how old were you when you made the book 5 years ago?â€ I knew that Lilly had hit on something big and my mind started racing for the answer.
â€œOf course I was precisely 50 years of age! Wow! I must have produced the book in response to the death of Jehanne whom I dearly loved. Youâ€™re a genius to see the connection, Lilly. Youâ€™re right; I suddenly wanted to make a book on heraldry and the history of France which focused my creative skills on that period. Then I guess my subconscious continued to hijack the project with escalating force once it had been given an effective platform on which to communicate!â€
I could see in an instant how it all worked; my subconscious was responding in chronological synchronicity with that of Robert des Armoises. In fact, if there was only the eternal now, then we must both be physical projections or aspects of one spirit linked by a single mind which operated in a higher timeless dimension.
Quick as a flash Lilly immediately launched in with another profound insight. â€œYes, that makes some sense if we imagine our separate physical past lives as chronologically synchronous with what we perceive to be our present. It would be very similar to a number of trains setting out on parallel railway tracks. If one train were to be emotionally derailed the shock waves would be felt on board all the other trains!â€
In a single moment of inspiration we had grasped the true nature of time and space.
â€œYes, thatâ€™s it!â€ I shouted! â€œOur consciousness must reside in a higher dimension with no time only the eternal now, so our subconscious mind is present simultaneously in all of our physical incarnations.â€
Lilly became highly animated and took out her limited edition Greta Garbo Mont Blanc pen and started drawing on the table cloth.
â€œImagine our many lives on this spherical 3D planet as having 2 dimensions rather than the 3 that we perceive; each separate life would therefore be stacked like a pancake one on top of the other. As we wander about the surface of this planet, we would be at certain geographical points, at certain times of our lives. Imagine that these coincide and collide when we visit places in synchronicity. The emotional event effect would be doubled or trebled and therefore magnified to create the dejÃ vu timeslip experience exactly as in Metz; also when you produced the book and the soldiers!â€
I leant forward to look at her geometric doodling. â€œInteresting, this looks like mathematical topology? Gaston Julia would be proud of you!â€ Lilly laughed at my fractal mathematical observation.
â€œIâ€™m honoured that you compare my insight to one of Franceâ€™s most famous mathematicians.â€
â€œIt would account for dejÃ vu; the coming together of time and place with the subconscious orchestrating the proceedings on two levels of pancake without the conscious mind being aware on either.â€ I realised that we had grasped a primary truth that was testable in scientific terms by examining the timeline for Robert des Armoises life with my own. â€œWe have a testable theory, Lilly. The coincidences of time and place should be self evident when we lay our two lives side by side.â€
â€œPlace is of course space, so we could mathematically substitute one for the other; so it is technically a theory of time and space. Lilly had realised the profound nature of our discovery and enquired further to clarify the detail, â€œWhen precisely did you paint the red dragon figures?â€
â€œIt was 1982; I remember it well as I was not enjoying my job at the time so I threw myself into a parallel world of fantasy or more accurately drew on my subconscious memory as we now know.â€ We both raced to do the math but Lilly beat me to the line!
â€œYou were 28! That means it was 1431 in Robert des Armoisesâ€™ life and Jehanne was about to get burnt at the stake on May 30, hence the urgency.â€
â€œMon Dieu, Lilly! Youâ€™re absolutely correct! I wrote several games with the same reoccurring theme. If I still have those scripts in the attic we can examine them as primary evidence for parallel details. This is so exciting!â€
I stood up, circled the table and knelt beside her. Taking her hand I kissed it passionately. The restaurant immediately broke into a spontaneous round of applause as they thought I had proposed!
I ignored them and only had eyes for my genius comrade-in-arms. â€œTime for home, Lilly; I will escort you to your door.â€
â€œMerci, mon chevalier!â€ Lilly curtsied theatrically and smiled as I helped her put her jacket on.
â€œSsssh not so loud Lilly, anyone knowing you will think we are already married!â€ Lilly realised her faux pas, laughed and blushed a bright scarlet.
I announced our spoof engagement to the restaurant with an exaggerated sweep of the hand. â€œOui. Madame Chevalier noir et Monsieur Chelvalier noir; what a team!â€
I paid the bill much to the amusement of the waiter who winked at me, gave my â€œfiancÃ©eâ€ a red rose and was then totally bemused by Lillyâ€™s doodling on the table cloth which he puzzled at for quite some time whilst scratching his head.
With that we left the merry restaurant scene, I walked Lilly to her door as promised. I then headed for home and a good nights sleep before our rendezvous set for 06:00hrs on the morrow.