It's summer. The light is dazzling. We're in the south of France. The only house in the forest is the one that Mr. Andesmas has just bought for his daughter, Valerie. That afternoon, Mr. Andesmas has an appointment with a builder, Michel Arc. He waits on the site of the future terrace, overlooking the valley.
Music rises up from the village below, a tune that everyone is singing that summer. Life now unfolds far from Mr. Andesmas. At his age he is used to this. Sitting in the shade, in an old wicker armchair, he waits for Michel Arc, who doesn't appear, and thinks of his young daughter Valerie, now his only love, who dances below on the village square.
For a moment he is distracted by a passing dog and then by the arrival of a strange little girl, a messenger from Michel Arc, her father. In the heat and dizziness of the afternoon, he will also revive the memory of one of the key moments in his life: the departure of his wife 10 years earlier when she left the two of them, him and his daughter.
Then, all of a sudden, there is another woman in front of him: Michel Arc's wife. She circles him, approaching him, veering away, coming back, desperate with love and restrained suffering.