One Summer In France – Episode 08

Her local presse kiosk on the corner of two streets just yards from her apartment was busy when Suzette went to pick up the current issue of  “Le Monde”. A large photograph of the countryside on the side of the kiosk caught her attention as she stood in the queue: Venez en Bretagne pour vos vacances – translating to Come to Brittany for your holidays.

It was a little-known fact that Suzette had been born in Brittany, although the family had moved away shortly afterwards. She hadn’t returned until her mother had taken her back for a holiday when she was eleven. It had been an idyllic time and Suzette had felt an instant and enduring connection to the place, as though it were her real home.

The countryside had been beautiful and she’d longed to stay, but at the end of the holiday she’d been dragged, crying, to the train station and they’d returned to Paris. From then on, ballet school had taken over her life and her mother’s finances and there had been no more holidays.

Since then, of course, she’d travelled the world, but had never been back to Brittany, though she had recalled her happiness there often. Maybe when she retired she’d take a holiday there to see if it was as beautiful as she remembered.

Back in the apartment Suzette picked up the velvet evening cape to continue some delicate embroidery bead work while she waited for Malik. It was his first evening back from the South of France and they were due to go to the theatre and have supper in one of their favourite bistros near the theatre.

She glanced at her watch. Malik was typically late. She’d wanted to talk to him before they left for the theatre, but that clearly wasn’t an option.

Half an hour later than she’d expected him, Malik let himself into the apartment.

“Désolé,” he said. “I forgot the time. That’s looking good,” he said, glancing at the cape.

“I’m pleased with it,” Suzette answered. “I needed a cover up to go with that dress I wore for the Cannes Film Festival last year. The one with no back, remember?”

“The scarlet one that caused such a sensation?” Malik said, smiling.

“That’s the one,” Suzette replied, carefully placing the material on the special cloth she kept to wrap her work in.

Malik bent over to take a closer look.

“It’s beautiful,” he said, studying the intricate butterfly, vine and flower layout Suzette was painstakingly creating.

“It’s meant to be a tribute to Lesage. I adore his designs. I hope to finish it in time for Monaco. Talking of Monaco, how did it go?”

Malik shrugged.

“I would prefer to be using the Princess Grace Theatre, but the Grimaldi Forum has everything we need.” He glanced at her feet. “How’s the ankle?”

“As good as it ever gets these days,” Suzette said, glancing at him. “Can we talk?”

“Over supper,” Malik promised. “But now we need to get to the Champs Élysées or we will miss the first act.”

“And whose fault would that be?” Suzette gently grumbled at him.

Margaret Scott

Margaret is a sub-editor within the Production Team on the "Friend". Her main job is to work on the stories and make sure the magazine leaves us in its best possible guise. When not doing that, however, she either has her head buried in the old “Friend” volumes or is out and about giving talks or going on Warner trips (fab!). She hates cheese.