February 25th, 1990

February 25th, 1990

At home

“Right, where were we?” mum said, settling back on the couch after making us tea.

“I was at the bit when I heard the key in the door.”

“Oh aye,” she nodded, stuffing half a club biscuit in her mouth.

“Naturally, I thought it was Jean Jacques, so I got up and stopped dead in my tracks when a girl about my age I thought I recognized, appeared. Who are you? I sputtered. And who are you? she asked, with a toss of her long hair.”
“Was she French?”

“Yes, mum, hence the reason I just said it in a French accent.”

“Less of yer cheek, missy,” she said, gesturing for me to continue.

“I told her my name and she told me hers was Veronique.”

“Oh what a lovely name,” mum sighed. “Especially when you say it like that.”

“What are you doing here? I asked. I am a very good friend of Jean Jacques, she replied in sort of a haughty tone, floating around the living room. So, obviously, I explained to her that Jean Jacques got a call from work and had to go to LA. Ah, she cooed, the city of angels, it is wonderful, yes? Ugh, I could’ve screamed, I mean is it just me or does it seem like everybody I know has already been to LA. All except me of course. Honestly, it seems really unfair that…”

“Stick to the story,” mum urged.

“Oh yeah, sorry. Anyway, we got chatting and she was actually really lovely. Then out of the blue, she asked if I had posed for Jean Jacques.”

“What did she mean by that?”

“Wait, I’m getting there. She made her way to the guest room and I didn’t know why she was going in there so of course I followed her.”

“Why’d she do that?”

“Stop interrupting and I’ll tell you,” I said, rolling my eyes.

“Hurry up,” mum urged. “I cannae wait to hear the rest and don’t forget about your tea, it’s getting cold.”

“Oh yeah, thanks,” I said, picking up the mug. “So, where was I?”

“Guest room.”

“Oh yeah, so she gestured like this with her lovely long fingers to the pictures on the wall and that’s when I realized why I thought I’d seen her before.”

Mum covered her mouth. “Oh, don’t tell me she was one of the nudie lassies in the photos.”

“Yes!”

“Oh, bejesus! What did you say?”

“I felt a bit embarrassed so I said something really stupid like that’s a lovely picture…”

“Of your arse,” mum shouted.

Barely able to contain my laughter, I said, “No mum, that’s not what I said!”

“So she meant had you posed for a nudie picture?”

I took a gulp of tea. “Obviously.”

“And that slimey wee worm, told you it was his pal who was the photographer.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at mum’s expression. “Yup. And I believed him.”

“Live and learn hen,” she sighed. “Live and learn. Besides, he was too auld for you anyway.”

“That’s true but..”

“But what?”

“I still have his key.”

“Aye but there’s no way you’re going back there, no way. And if your Father gets wind of this, he’ll go to Paris and wring that wee worm’s neck. Ye better no utter a word. About any of it.”

“Of course I won’t but you’re missing what I’m trying to say.”

“What’s that?”

“I have a key to a lovely flat in Paris owned by a man who travels for work a lot of the time.”

“I don’t care,” she stated. “Yer no going back there.”

We’ll see about that.

 

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