One Summer In France – Episode 41

An hour later and everything was in place. Now she had to get her remaining things from the auberge bedroom. The front door was open and hearing the authoritative voice of a TV news presenter coming from the direction of the sitting-room, Suzette went in search of Libby.

About to knock gently on the sitting-room door, she froze.

“Mystery surrounds the disappearance of ballerina Suzette Shelby from Monaco after incurring another injury during rehearsals. Sources close to Suzette say they are worried as it is completely out of character.”

Suzette held her breath as she waited for the news presenter to say more, but as a brief clip of Suzette dancing faded away, he switched to the next story.

A voice Suzette didn’t recognise spoke.

“I am surprised it’s taken this long for the media to pick up on this story. Everyone down south was talking about it before I came up. Apparently she’s hugely depressed over the amount of injuries she’s had these last couple of seasons and knows it signals the end of her career.”

“It must be hard, though,” Libby answered. “Having to give up a career like that which has been your whole life. Bit like footballers, really – they pass their sell-by date at a young age.”

Suzette took a deep breath and walked into the room.

“Hi, Libby. I’ve come over to collect my things from the bedroom. I expect you’d like to be able to get it ready for more guests.”

Libby stood up and quickly introduced Suzette to Isabelle.

“This is Agnes’s daughter. Can I give you a hand moving things?”

Suzette shook her head.

“There’s not much to do. I’ll be fine. Enjoy the rest of your evening.” She went quickly upstairs to her old room.

Gathering together the clothes she’d left hanging in the wardrobe and a couple of books from the bedside table, Suzette checked that she’d picked up everything and took it all back to the gîte.

Once it was all put away, she sank down on to the settee and allowed herself to think about being a news item on national TV. Who exactly were these sources close to her who were worried? They only needed to talk to Malik and surely he would set their minds at rest without divulging where she was.

Next time she spoke to him she’d suggest he told anybody who was still interested that, while he didn’t know where she was, they were in contact and everything was fine. The media would soon get bored with nothing salacious to feed their curiosity.



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.