Fools. Their grief-stricken wails for help faded into the distance. Suppressing a sly grin, I silently surfaced and wrung out my hair as I sauntered along the reed-covered path towards the road.
Moments later, a Peugeot touring coupe with a magnificent torpedo body purred into sight. But red? Was he trying be noticed?
“Olivia, I presume?” he intoned with a raised eyebrow, clearly amused with himself. “Open the boot, genius,” was my reply.
At least he had remembered my trunk. A grove of pine trees provided privacy as I slipped into freshly pressed trousers, a silk blouse, and oxford heels. The plan had gone like clockwork.
Everyone would assume my dead body had simply floated away…and then wouldn’t he rue the day he declared our love had died. Oh yes Harry dear, we’ll see who dies now.
Sinking low into the soft leather passenger seat, I allowed myself a satisfied smile as the Peugeot sped off.
The road to Paris was long but my driving companion Nick—an English jockey converted Francophile with a fascination for the bourgeois bohemian life—had brought caviar omelets and fresh asparagus with hollandaise, making the drive immensely more pleasurable. Plus he was easy on the eyes, made even easier by his well-tailored pinstriped suit. He fancied himself a witty conversationalist, which was the last thing I needed, but between the blasting jazz, the caviar, and a carafe of chilled Brouilly, he rather grew on me. Indeed, he might even be useful.
Some go to Paris to have a good time. Some go for the theater or the nightlife, to catch a glimpse of the motion-picture stars, the painters, the writers, the fashion. (The fashion! But please, no dirndls.) Nick, on the other hand, had come to Paris for the parties. Arriving just after the Armistice, he was motivated by the falling franc, but stayed for the easy sex and free-flowing booze. And me? My plan was to spend a few incognito weeks crashing parties with the beau monde at Scott and Zelda’s place, or perhaps slip into stylish soirees on Rue Saint-Guillaume with Cole Porter crooning to the crowd, or recline on black velvet chairs in dimly lit bars consuming shocking amounts of Pisco Sours, and recover every morning with Bloody Marys and Mimosas on the bustling sidewalk cafes of St.Germain with views of the Eiffel Tower soaring like a diamond necklace in the distance. That should buy me enough time.
They say that Paris, the City of Light, is the perfect place to fall in love, but I say it’s the perfect city to plot revenge. And that’s why I came to Paris