Sunday, 24 July 2016

Monsieur Engel

Mr. Engel had been our neighbour since my family moved to Saint Maur some thirty-two years ago. He was a mechanics, always there to offer help to anyone who'd need it. He enjoyed that. I remember him, a tall and slightly hunched brown-haired man, his eagle-beak nose and soft, clear eyes. I also remember his young son who was the sexiest man on the street when I was a young teenager. 

Mr. Engel had been in depression for the past year. His wife as well apparently, since the day her little pet dog passed away. From what my father told me, she would barely talk to him and would seldom leave her house. He tried to endure the silent treatment but his state of mind deteriorated. He would still be very glad to give a hand to anybody who'd call for him, despite his old age and declining vigour. That was his outlet.

Then it happened. Three weeks ago, he shot his wife and shot himself afterwards. It was brutal. We all miss him. My father is devastated. It is the second suicide on the street after Mr Laurent, his neighbour, whose house is exactly opposite my parents'. He hanged himself a few ago. Depression too. 

But we must and will remember the gentle man who was always so happy to come and help. Engel means angel in German.

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