This 41 year old man goes by the name of Philippe, a professor of history in a Parisien University. His knowledge on art, history and the crusades is unrivalled, as is his skill with ancient french. He captivates his students with a mastery of storytelling. People come from all over the world to have him appraise artefacts and masterpieces.

He lives in a modest one bedroom apartment in the center of town, and it’s saturday morning. Ever since he was young he didn’t need an alarm clock, having the shades partially open is more than enough.

Walking slowly to the kitchen, he pick a small copper cup by it’s handle, fills it with water putting it in the stove.

There is a knock on the door.

An old man stands in front of him. An anachronic man with a top hat and a walking cane, wearing thin glasses and a grey beard that is spread apart by a sincere smile.

Bonjour Monsier Philippe!

“Bonjour Monsieur…” He pauses mid sentence, taking a closer look. “Lupin! Come in, come in! What brings you here?”

— How could you tell?

— The disguise is good but your eyes are the same, try wearing lenses next time. Coffee? What brings you here?

Philippe doesn’t wait for the reply, he adds water to the copper cup on the fire.

— I was in Lisbon, bored out of my mind honestly, after acquiring my latest crown jewel.

— It was you who took the Mona Lisa from the Louvre.

— Of course, my house in Lisbon needed a touch of class, you see?

— And coming to Paris cured your boredom? The addrenaline of getting caught I imagine.

— Funny thing about that… I was having my usual glass of red wine, admiring the river and the people when this sort of vagrant sits in front of me. I wish you should have seen him. He looked as if he had walked off the desert, ignored everyone in the restaurant and sat starying me in the eyes a lot like you just did. He smiled, and knew my name.

Phillippe was paying attention to both his story and the boiling water. Opening a can, poured two spoons of coffee and stired. As Lupin continued, Philippe could hear the stress growing in his voice, despite the efforts to hide it.

Placing two cups on the table, he slowly poured the coffee in both while Lupin, still a bit tense, sat in silence.

— Relax my friend, take a sip while it’s still warm. You know, this copper cup is a lot like the one I used to have when I first met you new friend, back in 1289 trying to run from the crusades.

Lupin freezes holding the cup of coffee close to his lips.

avatar Bruno Amaral
Bruno Amaral

I am a Digital Strategist, divided between tech and creativity, working for the Lisbon Collective and teaching Public Relations at the …