One Summer In France – Episode 33

It was nearly lunchtime before Suzette had completed her material purchases so she hailed a cab to take her to the Marché les Enfants Rouges, where she intended to indulge in one of her favourite meals prepared by one of the market’s regular stall-holders.

Waiting and watching as her favourite galette was being cooked and filled, she began to exchange her usual chat with the cook. To her surprise, while he was friendly enough, he didn’t really engage with her like he usually did.

It wasn’t until she was sitting eating her salad-filled galette that she realised why. He hadn’t recognised her. She was wearing her Evie wig. As far as he was concerned she was just a passing customer, not one of his regulars. Suzette smiled to herself. She was beginning to enjoy going incognito. It certainly made a change from being asked for her autograph whenever she was recognised.

Once back in the apartment, Suzette placed the materials in the case, along with some candles she’d been unable to resist in the Marché les Enfants Rouges before pouring herself a glass of wine and stepping out on to the balcony.

She’d enjoyed herself once she’d become acclimatised again to the hustle and bustle of the city and relaxed. She was looking forward, though, to getting back to Brittany and the peace and quiet that surrounded the auberge.

Later she’d go downstairs with a large stamped envelope and ask the concierge to forward her post to Brittany for the next couple of months. She’d need to swear him to secrecy and make him promise not to give out the address to anyone. A bribe of a larger Christmas bonus than usual should do the trick.

When her mobile rang later that evening as she was finishing her packing, ready to leave in the morning, Suzette answered it without even glancing at the caller ID. She knew instinctively it was Malik.

“Still talking to me, then?” he said. “How’s country life?”

“Actually, I’ve been in Paris for the past few days,” Suzette said. “I needed to pick some things up.”

“I’m back late on Monday. Any chance you’ll still be around?”

“Afraid not,” Suzette said. “I’m off early tomorrow. How did Geneva go? Is the sponsorship deal going ahead?”

“One or two little details to sort, but yes, all will be signed by the end of the week.”

“I’m pleased for you,” Suzette said. “Can you say more or is it still hush-hush?”

“I will tell you all about it when we next see each other,” Malik said. “Any idea when that’s likely to be?”

“End of summer, when I return,” Suzette said.

She heard Malik sigh at the other end of the line.

“Rehearsals for ‘Swan Lake’ will start the first week in September, so you’d better be back by then. You are exercising and at least doing some barre work, aren’t you?”

Suzette heard the anxiety in his voice.

“Yes, I’m exercising.” No point in mentioning she’d been neglecting her barre work. When she got back to the gîte it was one of the things she intended to sort. There was more room there and she should be able to fix up some sort of temporary barre to work with.

“I’ll phone you next week to see how you are,” Malik said. “Please promise me, no more ignoring my calls.”

“I promise,” Suzette said. “Just don’t hound me. I really need time and space to decide what the future holds for me.”



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.